7/28/2013 7:14 P.M. ET
Absent starters, Phils' offense continues to struggle
By Todd Zolecki / MLB.com
DETROIT -- The Phillies' offense has been toothless for more than a week, and it is easy to see why.
The club is without left fielder Domonic Brown, first baseman Ryan Howard and center fielder Ben Revere. Each is on the disabled list. It has been playing reserves and others that started the season in the Minor Leagues in their place.
The result is just 10 runs scored during a seven-game losing streak entering Sunday's series finale against the Tigers at Comerica Park. It is their lowest output over a seven-game stretch since they scored 10 runs from May 16-22, 2011. But that team went 3-4 in that offensive drought.
The Phillies also entered Sunday afternoon without a home run in six consecutive games. It is their longest homerless streak since a six-game stretch from June 1-7, 2011. They have not gone seven consecutive games without a home run since May 25-31, 2010.
Papelbon sees need for improvement
DETROIT -- Jonathan Papelbon had only a couple minutes to talk Sunday morning at Comerica Park, but he said plenty, expressing the need for changes in the organization if things do not improve on the field.
Papelbon signed a four-year, $50 million contract in November 2011, but he has known mostly losing at this point in Philadelphia. The Phillies returned home after a 12-4 loss to the Tigers riding an eight-game losing streak and a season-high seven games under .500.
"I definitely didn't come here for this," he said.
Papelbon carries an influential presence in the Phillies' clubhouse as the team's closer, a nine-year veteran and World Series champion. Asked what he thought about the direction the organization is headed, he sighed.
"Oh, man," he said. "We could be here all day."
So then what about this team's ability to turn things around, if not this season, then next season?
"It's going to take, in my opinion, a lot," he said. "And in my opinion, I think it's going to have to be something very similar to what the Red Sox went through a couple years ago. From top to bottom."
Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr., declined comment.
In 2011, the Red Sox entered September in first place in the American League East, but finished 7-20 to miss the postseason. The club and manager Terry Francona parted ways following the season, and general manager Theo Epstein also departed.
Players soon followed.
That included Papelbon.
"That's part of it," he said about Boston's decision not to bring him back. "That's part of the business. If you want to go in a different direction and I'm not a piece of that puzzle, so be it. This is a job. There are no feelings in this game. I left. Carl [Crawford] left. [Josh] Beckett left. Adrian [Gonzalez] left. Now look at them."
The Red Sox had the second-best record in the AL entering Sunday.
Asked after the game if he wants to be traded, Papelbon said, "No, I would like to stay here. But if I'm going to have to put up with this year after year, then no, I don't want to be here. Why would you? Why would anybody?"
The Phillies are open to trading Papelbon, although Amaro does not have an option to replace him internally. But there does not seem to be much interest in him at the moment. Joaquin Benoit has been effective closing for the Tigers, and Koji Uehara has been even more impressive closing games for the Red Sox.
Papelbon is 2-0 with a 2.21 ERA and 20 saves in 25 opportunities.
"If I don't do my job right, they're going to find somebody else," he said. "How is that different than the rest of the organization?"
J-Roll targets top of Phils' hits list, not a deadline deal
DETROIT -- There has not been any buzz about the Phillies trading Jimmy Rollins before Wednesday's 4 p.m. ET non-waiver Trade Deadline, but even if there were, it would not be easy to move the veteran shortstop.
"There are still a couple of things I'd like to be No. 1 in for this organization, so until those things are done, I'm not going anywhere," he said after Sunday's 12-4 loss to the Tigers at Comerica Park.
Rollins has five-and-10 rights because he has been with the organization since 2000, meaning he must approve any trade.
Rollins already ranks first in franchise history in games played by a shortstop (1,875) and doubles (441). He is fourth in hits (2,127), 80 behind Ed Delahanty for third place, 90 behind Richie Asbhurn for second place and 107 behind Mike Schmidt for first place. He is near the top in other offensive categories, too.
The hits mark certainly is within reach for Rollins, who is in the second year of a three-year, $33 million contract, which includes an easily attainable $11 million vesting option for 2015 based on plate appearances.
Slumping Phils could be inclined to deal M. Young
DETROIT -- If the Phillies were close to .500, they might not feel compelled to trade Michael Young before Wednesday's non-waiver Trade Deadline.
Maybe they would just roll the dice and take a chance at the long-shot postseason berth.
But as the Phillies headed home riding an eight-game losing streak and a season-high seven games under .500, perhaps they will take what they can get for Young, who is unlikely to be resigned as a free agent following the season. One team mentioned frequently lately is the Rangers, but sources said a trade between the Phillies and Rangers for Young is not going to happen.
The Orioles and Red Sox also have been linked to Young recently.
"I haven't heard a thing," Young said after a 12-4 loss to the Tigers at Comerica Park. "I haven't had any conversations with the Phillies up to this point. As far as I know, I'll be ready to roll 7:00 on Tuesday."
Young has a no-trade clause in his contract, so he would have to agree to a move. Asked if he would waive it, he said, "I don't know. The first thing I want to do is talk to the Phillies about that. Ruben [Amaro Jr.], has been very upfront with me since Day 1. The entire organization has. What I went through back in May [with a son's illness], they stood by me the entire time. I certainly appreciate it. Any conversation that has to do with trades will be with them first."
Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.