If the IronPigs make the postseason, that not only gets their own players more experience under pressure, but it could enable others from the lower levels to compete as well.
"Anyone who says it's not important to make the playoffs is wrong," said Joe Jordan, the Phillies director of player development. "It's not the most important thing, but hopefully as we prepare these guys and develop them, in time I think it is more of an issue."
Lehigh Valley first-year manager Dave Brundage, who led the Atlanta Braves triple-A Richmond team to the 2007 International League championship, said the players' focus and intensity goes up another level when there is a playoff berth at stake.
"At this time of year we understand the importance of everything, and everything kind of gets magnified," he said.
And it makes what could be a drab end of the season that much more exciting.
Lehigh Valley catcher Cameron Rupp put it best when talking about what it would mean to earn a playoff spot.
"When you are fighting for a playoff spot the way we are, the focus every day is to do what you can to help the IronPigs win," Rupp said.