Among all sabermatricians and their digital disciples, walks plus hits per innings pitched is referred to by the acronym WHIP. This fashionably smart geeky calculation helps to reveal how effective any pitcher, or pitching staff truly is.
Charlie Manuel's staff ranked fourteenth in the National League in 2007, with a collective 1.45 WHIP line. During their World Series Championship year in 2008, the Phillies ranked fifth (1.36).
During the past four seasons Philadelphia's WHIP and National League ranking was as follows: 2009 (1.35, sixth), 2010 (1.25, first), 2011 (1.17, first) and 2012 (1.24, fourth). Through more than 150 games this season, Manuel's and now Ryne Sandberg's staff has posted a 1.35 WHIP line, which ranks fourteenth in the League. Cliff Lee leads the staff with a 1.03 WHIP line.
There are many valid Phillies' points to be made regarding the importance of age, injuries, offensive consistency, defensive performance and bench depth. But, a staff that routinely allows more hits and walks than the opposition increases the odds of losing any game.
General manger Ruben Amaro, Jr. needs to provide his soon-to-be-named permanent manager (Sandberg) with a deeper roster by the start of next season. A majority of arms that command the strike zone must be included among the revised pitching pieces.
Seriously addressing this current team weakness will help the Phillies' chances of playing playoff baseball by next fall.