Could It Happen?
A fair amount of that will fall on the new pitching coach, Bryan Price, and his work with the remaining alleged starters Phillies fans should view as the Three Failing Amigos, as well as developing starters who will very likely take some of the starts in the fourth and fifth starting slots.
Price’s work with relief pitchers will also be important, and as scary as depending on, say, Vince Velasquez to provide a foundation for 28 wins is, the Phillies relievers are just as iffy, but may offer a bit more hope.
However, let’s stay with the starters for the moment, stay rosy, and say either Velasquez or Zach Eflin manages to go 10-10 in 30 starts.
Yeah, that could happen, and then the Phillies would only need to go 18-31 in games started by the fifth-slot starter or starters and the 10 games in which decisions don’t go to the Phillies miracle .500 fourth-slot starter.
(Obviously, a few of the starts remaining will be elsewhere in the rotation in reality, but for neatness sake, let’s put all 39 in the five slot.)
Let’s review what we’re assuming will go well here. The “firepower offense” must deliver. The top three assumed starters must do very well with an allowed touch of just above average. And the fourth starter or combo starters must go 10-10. Call him Eflin this time around.
The rest of the pitchers literally throwing after the 10-10 guy – the relievers for him, any fifth-slot starter, and any fifth-slot relievers – must only manage not to lose roughly twice as many games as they win.
Who will these remaining pitchers likely be past Eflin or Velasquez as the number four starter? We must especially consider the relievers, who might make meaningful impacts, especially among the younger players or those returning from injury.