Sully Says: Ruben Amaro should listen to trade offers on everyone (Yes, even Chase Utley)

Sully Says: Ruben Amaro should listen to trade offers on everyone (Yes, even Chase Utley)

The 2014 Phillies are who we thought they were. A mediocre team struggling to stay at .500.

A couple of interleague losses this week and they currently sit at 17-21. Sure, you can look at the NL East and point out they're only 4.5 games out but nothing about this ball club over the past few weeks should give you any confidence in them turning into a legit contender come October.

Which brings us to the future. Phillies' scribe Jim Salisbury, who is has the finger on the pulse of the team as closely as anyone, believes it's time for Ruben Amaro to start considering any and all trade offers that come his way.

We’re not saying it’s time to stick a For Sale sign on Cliff Lee, A.J. Burnett, Jonathan Papelbon, Mike Adams, Antonio Bastardo, Kyle Kendrick, Roberto Hernandez, Domonic Brown, Marlon Byrd, Ben Revere or any other Phillie. But if some quick-striking team calls with the right package, Amaro should listen. Right now. And if Chase Utley would waive his no-trade rights and bring a sweet return, Amaro should listen on him, too, and Jimmy Rollins, as well, after he breaks Mike Schmidt’s hit record. Rollins is on record as saying he might -- might -- be willing to go somewhere else after he gets the record. He’s 24 hits shy. Ryan Howard remains untradeable because of his contract -- the remainder of $25 million this year plus a guarantee of $60 million through 2016.

The initial pain of seeing Chase Utley potentially play in another team's uniform would be tough, for sure, but do you really believe he'd still be around by the time it takes this team to turn it around? Assuming that will one day happen.

As Salisbury points out, the organization isn't exactly bubbling with guys in the minors waiting to breakout in the bigs. Ruben Amaro's cupboard isn't exactly stocked. Hitting in the draft and making some trades are the only ways to fix that.

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In other quality Phillies reading today, Corey Seidman looks at the failed Ben Revere as starting center fielder experiment. The numbers are bleak.

Revere in 36 games has hit .268 with a .284 on-base percentage. He's walked three times in 142 plate appearances -- that 2.1 percent walk rate ties him for dead last in the majors with Jean Segura and Khris Davis of the Brewers.

Over his last 13 games, Revere has a .196 OBP in nearly 50 plate appearances, all out of the leadoff spot.

Which invites this question: Is he even an everyday player?

Pete Mackanin on Odubel Herrera's slump: 'He needs to battle his way out'

Pete Mackanin on Odubel Herrera's slump: 'He needs to battle his way out'

After an 0-for-5 day at the plate, Odubel Herrera isn't heading to the bench a day later.

He's leading off. 

Pete Mackanin chose to move the slumping centerfielder atop the lineup card for Friday's series opener against the Reds despite Herrera's striking out in all five plate appearances Thursday.

"I think he's a .290-plus hitter as a leadoff man and I'm not going to sit him," Mackanin said pregame. "He needs to battle his way out. You figure you're the leadoff hitter once a game. After that, it's wide open."

While he hasn't batted leadoff this season, Herrera spent the majority of his time in that spot last season. In 76 games there, he batted .285 with a .359 OBP and .417 slugging percentage. 

The leadoff hitter this season has been Cesar Hernandez, who has a day off with a groin pull he's dealt with the last 10 days. Herrera primarily has been the No. 3 hitter this season and his average is down to .226 with 49 strikeouts to just 11 walks. 

Mackanin hopes the leadoff role can help change Herrera's approach at the plate.

"He was drawing a lot of walks at leadoff, so whether he has that mindset or not, I'm not sure," the manager said. "I just want to get him as many at-bats as possible. We need to get him going. We need him and [Maikel] Franco to get going."

May specifically has been tough on Herrera. He has four hits in his last 36 at-bats and has seven strikeouts in his last two games. He has just seven hits in 22 games this month. 

"I think he's at the point where he's grinding and sometimes when you grind, sometimes there's that feeling where you get lost," Mackanin said. "I've been in situations as a hitter where I've gone up to the plate saying, 'I don't care where it is. I'm going up there and just hacking.' Because you start thinking and that's not working.

"And you look for a pitch and then all of a sudden you say I'm going to take a pitch to get a look at and it's strike one. Then he throws you a nasty slider and that's strike two and your plan is out the window. So I've gone up to the plate myself saying, 'I'm just looking down the middle and swinging. I'm not thinking.'"

When asked, Mackanin said the team had not discussed demoting Herrera or Franco to the minors to take pressure off the duo.

While Herrera tries to hit his way back into a groove, Howie Kendrick is in the midst of working his way back to the majors. He was hit by pitch twice in a rehab appearance Thursday but is back in the lineup Friday in left field. 

Mackanin said Kendrick needed four days minimum in his rehab assignment and will therefore play Friday and Saturday before the team sees how he feels.

The manager also said the team would give more playing time to backup catcher Andrew Knapp. He started consecutive games for the first time on Tuesday and Wednesday. 

"I'm going to try and see him as much as possible and keep him as sharp as possible instead of once a week," Mackanin said. "That's tough to hit, once a week. It's tough to hit twice a week if you don't hit back-to-back. There's no ulterior motive."

Report: Brett Brown accuses longtime friend of defrauding him of $750,000

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Report: Brett Brown accuses longtime friend of defrauding him of $750,000

Sixers head coach Brett Brown is in Australia this week, where he has accused longtime friend and former Australian men's national team assistant coach Shane Heal of defrauding him of $750,000, according to the Australian Associated Press.

Brown invested $250,000 into each of three companies for which Heal was the sole director. Brown wasn't given a legal title regarding the companies and didn't know the specifics of how the money would be used.

"I assumed that the money was going to be used for what Shane told me it was going to be used for," Brown said. "Because it was a friend that I had for 25 years."

Heal was charged last year by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission following an investigation relating to alleged misconduct in 2008, 2009 and 2010, according to the AAP.

The sides return to court in Brisbane on July 20.

Heal played in the NBA for the Minnesota Timberwolves in 1996-97 and was with the San Antonio Spurs in 2003.