I say two years is a reasonable estimate for the rebuild as we'll have Hamels (prob.), Nola, Biddle, Morgan, Pettibone, Buchannan; Crawford, Hernandez, Ruf, Brown (poss.), Revere (poss.), Rollins (poss.), Utley (prob.), Asche, Franco, Rupp, Joseph, Valle (poss.), Galvis; Bastardo (poss.) Giles, Diekman, Martin, Gonzalez, and De Fratus in the majors or a half-year away from the majors at the two-year mark. Many of the prospects, so far, have either panned out or are in the "so far, so good" category. And many experts seem to agree, putting our farm system in the middle of the pack and improving. There is definitely even more room for improvement, which includes better scouting through incr. use of advanced stats (OBP, WAR, BABIP, SIERRA, (x)FIP, etc.) and getting back into the intl market (think Franco, Chooch, Bastardo, & Gonzalez).
I hope that circumstances allow for a slow & steady rebuild over the next two years... and I think they might. The big contracts dwindle at the same time that players in the minors appear to be ready to replace them: Crawford for Rollins via Galvis & Hernandez; Buchannan for Kendrick. It is my hope that Sandberg's contract is renewed in two years: he will probably have three loosing seasons to start his big league managerial career... but I think that is more on Rube than Ryne. Anyway, enough of this overview... I'm going to grade the team:
- Offense: F+/D-
- The offense has been inconsistent throughout the year, although an occasional flash of brilliance. They're hitting .229 w/ RISP (worst since 1972) & have a .300 OBP & .362 SLG.
- Pitching: B
- Both the rotation & bullpen have improved between the 1st two quarters. The rotation has a 3.99 ERA - a bit less due to loss of Lee & lack of early-in-game run support (trying to be too perfect). The bullpen has finally come around, evidenced by its 2.74 ERA in the 2nd quarter & 9.27 K/9 ratio overall.
- Team Grade: D