The MLB trade deadline came and went earlier this week, allowing several teams to load up for a postseason run. The Philadelphia Phillies made a few deals, including the acquisitions of starting pitcher Noah Syndergaard, reliever David Robertson and shortstop Edmundo Sosa.
Even with a trio of notable moves, one MLB insider believes that the Phillies still have an area to improve on. ESPN's Bradford Doolittle calls the Phillies' shortstop position a "gaping hole" remaining for this squad making a postseason push.
It's not so much that Philadelphia doesn't have options at shortstop, but merely a question of the production. Starting shortstop Didi Gregorius was released following the deadline, and it appears the Phillies will use a combination of Bryson Stott and Sosa down the stretch.
Doolittle explained the Phillies' issues at shortstop come from both sides of the ball, resulting in their overall 29th bWAR ranking. This includes a dreadful .570 OPS (29th) and 22nd defensive rating per FanGraphs.
Stott made his debut with the club out of Spring Training, but has racked up more defensive time at second base (371.0 innings) than shortstop (239.0) because of Gregorius. In the small sample size, Stott rates at league-average defensively amongst shortstops, but Doolittle notes that hasn't been enough time to make a true declaration about his skillset.
Although it's his rookie season, Stott's .198/.264/.316 is less than appealing and something he'll need to improve upon if the Phillies want to make any noise in the postseason.
Philadelphia trails by 10.0 games in the NL East, but sits in a three-way tie for the final NL Wild Card spot as of Friday. FanDuel Sportsbook's MLB odds show the Phillies at -290 to make the playoffs.
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