The Philadelphia Phillies haven't played terribly so far this season. But, they haven't gotten off to a good start either. That's why the imminent returns of Mike Adams and Freddy Galvis should help to close some gaps within the current roster. Both players are expected to be activated from the disabled list shortly.
Ryne Sandberg knows that he will be challenged to push this particular version of Philadelphia's baseball team toward playoff contention through the summer and into the fall. However, his mere presence changed the clubhouse atmosphere late-last season. Then, the real rebuilding process began in-full in spring training.
The front office, led by general manager Ruben Amaro, Jr., can't publicly state that it is likely in the midst of at least a two- to three-year rebuilding process. However, that's exactly what is taking place.
Adams' sustained health could change the bullpen's dynamics this season. Galvis is a versatile player, whose energy in the field stops runs from scoring. The importance of mixing players of their caliber into this 25-man roster drink can't be understated.
Obviously, Jonathan Papelbon needs to look more like Brad Lidge, circa 2008, than 'Lights Not Out' in 2009, in order for the back-end of games to be secured this season. But, having a strong, veteran set-up man like Adams available would enable Sandberg to slot the other relief arms in their proper slots. That two-step process would then give 'Pap' his best shot at success.
Galvis doesn't carry a big stick to the plate. But, he's easily the best fielder on the team. So, when he's serving as a late-inning defensive replacement, or filling in for one of the starting infielders on their off-days, the Phillies have an upgraded defensive unit.
It could be awhile before the fans at Citizens Bank Park truly feel that their baseball boys have a chance to be World Series' contenders again. Of course, patience isn't a word that has been used to describe this rowdy bunch of mostly-loyal fans. With those parting shots in mind, 2014 should prove to be an interesting transitional season.