NL East Preview: Philadelphia Phillies
3. Philadelphia Phillies
If you listen closely, you can almost hear Father Time creeping up behind the Phillies with his scythe ready to strike. The Phillies have talent. But most of it is old and in decline, and the organization appears not to want to recognize this.
The Phillies had a strange spring. Around .500 in record, first in runs scored but last in runs allowed. Their offense has talent but lacks speed and average. On paper, there are no holes- but there is an overall decline, as they did finish only 19th in runs scored in 2012. Jimmy Rollins led the team in BA with .250. That’s right. It’s not that the team could not improve, especially with health, but those teeth are starting to look awful long.
Jimmy Rollins SS
Michael Young 3B
Chase Utley 2B
Ryan Howard 1B
Carlos Ruiz C
Domonic Brown LF
Delmon Young RF
Ben Revere CF
Good news, there is talent and there is some youth here. Domonic Brown looks like a star, Ben Revere is promising and had a great spring. Can Rollins, Utley, Howard and Ruiz turn back the clock and stay healthy? They have not lately. Their decline in general will be the biggest impediment to the Phillies cracking the upper echelon.
Jonathan Papelbon (Closer)
Everyone but Hamels from the above group had horrible springs. The organization has no pitching depth to take their place- this team had no promising breakout pitchers in camp. Their ERA was not too bad last year, middle of the pack, 3.83. But can Hamels, Halladay and Lee beat the Reaper again? Their spring performances cast doubt. Can they be above average enough to hold down the dynamite offenses of the Nats and Braves? Doubtful.