Time for the Phillies to rebuild

Taking a page out of the Red Sox's playbook is a good place to start

Updated: April 23, 2013, 1:01 PM ET
By Dan Szymborski | ESPN Insider
Ryan HowardJonathan Daniel/Getty ImagesRyan Howard has a .697 OPS this season and hasn't cracked the .850 mark since 2010.

Some people like it with a bit of butter, a smear of cream cheese. Some prefer jelly or a sprinkling of cinnamon. The more adventurous a poached egg or smoked fish or even baked beans. Whatever your preference, lather it onto the Philadelphia Phillies, because the Phils are toast.

The Phillies aren't going to lose more games than the Astros, and certainly won't be in the running to pick first in the 2014 draft, but the team's recent dynasty is over. The club is still likely to limp to a .500 finish or thereabouts, but as one of the most feared teams in the league, all that's left is to turn out the lights and pen the eulogy.

Philadelphia's offense no longer has the horses to properly support even a dominant run by the top three pitchers in the rotation. Chase Utley remains -- oddly for one of the key players in a big-market dynasty -- a woefully underrated player, but as for the rest of the lineup, there's just not much there.