"If we make any additions, that will help," Pete Mackanin, May 18, 2016.
This wasn't supposed to happen. Everyone knew the Phillies would be terrible. They'd get beaten back like Picket at Gettysburg. Vegas had them winning eight games. All year. OK, it wasn't that bad. Fivethirtyeight.com had them with 68 wins. No one thought this team would play anywhere near .500.
And here we are, 41 games into the season, and the Phillies are 24-17. Seven games above .500. Guaranteed a winning record after 48 games. This team didn't win 24 games until June 21.
After the Summer of Trump and the Winter of Sanders, it's the Spring of Phillies. Why not, right?
Oh, sure, some of the predictions were right. Ryan Howard has continued to regress. The outfield is dreadful. There are reasons for hope. Tyler Goeddel is looking like another Rule 5 find, hitting .363 in his last nine games.
But it's been consistently woeful, having scored four or fewer runs in 20 of the Phils last 22 straight games.
So Mackanin's comment during today's postgame press conference really stood out to me.
Has Mack reached the point where he fully believes this team can keep up its winning ways? If so, what help is he pining for? From the minors. From outside the organization.
While the rotation, defense and bullpen have been brilliant, you have to wonder what this team would look like with just one more consistent bat.
If you trotted out the best possible lineup, it would look something like this:
CF Odubel Herrera, L, .333/.443/.458, 2 doubles, 2 triples, 4 home runs, 6 SB, 3 CS
2B Cesar Hernandez, S, .263/.318/.321, 4/2/0, 2/5
3B Maikel Franco, R, .243/.285/.428, 7/0/7, 0/0
1B Tommy Joseph, R, .400/.455/.700, 0/0/1, 0/0
SS Freddy Galvis, S, .238/.265/.374, 6/1/4, 2/1
C Cameron Rupp, R, .241/.267/.268, 8/0/1, 1/0
LF Tyler Goeddel, R, .262/.284/.369, 2/1/1, 1/0
RF Peter Bourjos, R, .204/.239/.296, 8/1/0, 2/2
That is five regulars with on-base percentages below .286 when Ryan Howard isn't starting. When he does, it's a .286 mark added to the lineup. That's five regulars with slugging marks below .375.
A decent middle infielder or a solid corner outfield bat would make this team a lot better, obviously. But it would have a ripple effect. Freddy Galvis shouldn't be your fifth best bat. Plus you would make the bench better.
Sure, the Phillies have two highly regarded prospects at those positions. I'm not sure Mackanin is asking for their promotions. But it sounds like he wants some help.
Maybe there's a bat out there to be had.
Either way, the fact that we're even talking about this on May 19 means this season is a lot more fun than anyone expected.