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Prognosis for 2012

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  • Prognosis for 2012

    Let's start with the infield where all four starters have shown declining hitting skills over the past two seasons. Only Polanco cracked the .270 mark last season, and it was power-starved. Both Howard's and Utley's power stats have faded dramatically, and I doubt that Howard can come back as soon as the predicted May time frame. As a Northwestern University football fan, I watched their pre-season Heisman hopeful, Dan Persa, fail to return to top form from an achilles tendon injury after more than a year of recovery. Ryan Howard doesn't need the mobility of a quarterback, but his performance surely will be negatively affected. Chase Utley's physical issues have relegated him to average player status. Have they been resolved? If Polanco can avoid the injury bug, has he grown too long-of-tooth to hit .300?

    Center field remains Victorino's to lose, but he has shown a tendency to fade in September. Is Mayberry ready to become the team's slugger in left field (and no doubt some first base) over a long season? Only Pence in right field seems solid.

    The bench is completely new to the Phils. Does Thome have anything left in the tank? Can he play first base for two months and not not become the Phillies' latest Dr. Strangeglove?

    The first three starting pitchers, on paper at least, still appear to be the best combo in baseball. But two of those starters are getting up in years, and it remains to be seen if Worley can repeat last year's performance that turned shaky in September. Can Blanton keep his ERA below 5.00? The bullpen seems solid, but Papelbon's arm has a lot of mileage on it, and he bombed in the clutch last September. They do have three lefties in the pen, a luxury that Charlie has never enjoyed, but Bastardo went from genius to klutz in a hurry last year. Who is the set-up man?

    Over the past several seasons, the Phillies have feasted on division rivals, but ever other team except the Mets has improved in the off-season. Don't count on the Nationals being a doormat any more, and they could contend. The Braves have enough pitching to match the Phillies and a better bullpen, although their defense is not as good as the Phils'. The Marlins likewise have some good pitching, and their infield - if Ramirez and Reyes stay healthy and get along - has improved dramatically.

    Last, I have been frustrated by Phillies' hitters continuing inability to hit according to situations. Only Utley can set up pitchers and take his walks. Howard and Rollins don't have a clue in that area, Victorino is almost as bad, and Polanco, for all his bat control, doesn't sport a great OBP. Unless they can up the team OBP and can get runners in from third with less than two out, they will lose many a game they should win.

    Can they still win? Yes, but everyone will have to play their best. They are not a virtual sure thing this season.
    Last edited by tbng; 02-19-2012, 07:06 PM.

  • #2
    Originally posted by tbng View Post
    Over the past several seasons, the Phillies have feasted on division rivals, but ever other team except the Mets has improved in the off-season.
    The Mets will be a good team again once Fred Wilpon sells.

    The Braves made no significant moves this off-season other than trading Derek Lowe to the Indians. And Papelbon is seriously overpaid.
    The Mets have the best, smartest fans in baseball.

    Comment


    • #3
      SOME PHILLIES ISSUES & QUESTIONS FOR 2012

      The Phils now have two regular corner outfielders in Pence and Mayberry who weren't starters on Opening Day 2011. Pence seems right at home in Philly and we'll see if Mayberry can continue the development he made in the second half of last season.
      The one player from last year's bench that they didn't turnover is their backup catcher Brian Schneider. If I was in Amaro's shoes, I might have sought an upgrade for him during the winter.
      Will former #1 prospect Domonic Brown even start the season in the majors and will he be trade bait for one of Amaro's patented July 31 Deadl;ine Day trades?
      With Jimmy Rollins signing for three years, with an option for a fourth, is Freddy Galvis' path to an everyday job now blocked, making him expendable and a possible trade chip?
      Will Joe Blanton be healthy this year and will he be traded?
      Will Vance Worley survive "The Spohomore Jinx"?
      Have the Phillies done enough in the offseason? They haven't made as many moves for key players as their competitors Washington and Miami have, and Atlanta certainly has incentive after being booted out of the playoffs picture on the last day of the 2011 season..
      How long will Ryan Howard be out and how effective will he be once he returns to the lineup? Can Chase Utley have an injury-free season? (for a change).
      Can the Phillies win with what is probably the oldest team in the major leagues?
      Can the Phillies or anybody else match up with the Yankees, who have strengthened themselves considerably this offseason, and who have to be considered the World Series favorite, at least on paper? Would a Yankees-Phillies World Series have the same results as the 2009 Series did?
      Last edited by philliesfiend55; 02-22-2012, 05:09 AM.

      Comment


      • #4
        philliesfiend,

        I like Victorino's on the surface. He has the tools to be successful and plays tough, spirited, Philly style baseball. My friend got to compete in a trivia game with him at ESPNzone in Baltimore and said he was a great guy. But he has proven with his plate approach that he cannot bat leadoff. He is 8 years older than Brown and is gonna want paid. I would honestly deal him while we can and put Pence in CF and take my chances with Brown. I would really hate to see him go and the average fan would be pissed but cuz he is a fan favorite but we just can't afford to pay him.

        What are your thoughts?
        "No matter how great you were once upon a time — the years go by, and men forget,” - W. A. Phelon in Baseball Magazine in 1915. “Ross Barnes, forty years ago, was as great as Cobb or Wagner ever dared to be. Had scores been kept then as now, he would have seemed incomparably marvelous.”

        Comment


        • #5
          The jury is still out on Domonic Brown. He has a verrrrry long swing that makes him vulnerable to the high fast ball. When he makes good contact, it can go a long way. But how often will he make good contact? He reminds me of a left-handed Dave Kingman, who was also cursed with a long swing, i.e., expect lots of power with a .240 batting average and a liability in the field. That is something the Phillies can ill afford because they've already got a player named Howard sinking ever deeper into that zone.

          Comment


          • #6
            Victorino gives a .270 BA with limited power and is gonna want a pretty decent size contract. He does play a damn good CF but that won't last, by the time he's below average Brown will be 30 (and thats a high estimate). He can't bat top of the order either because of his free swinging. He is strictly 6,7 in the order material.
            "No matter how great you were once upon a time — the years go by, and men forget,” - W. A. Phelon in Baseball Magazine in 1915. “Ross Barnes, forty years ago, was as great as Cobb or Wagner ever dared to be. Had scores been kept then as now, he would have seemed incomparably marvelous.”

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by bluesky5 View Post
              philliesfiend,

              I like Victorino's on the surface. He has the tools to be successful and plays tough, spirited, Philly style baseball. My friend got to compete in a trivia game with him at ESPNzone in Baltimore and said he was a great guy. But he has proven with his plate approach that he cannot bat leadoff. He is 8 years older than Brown and is gonna want paid. I would honestly deal him while we can and put Pence in CF and take my chances with Brown. I would really hate to see him go and the average fan would be pissed but cuz he is a fan favorite but we just can't afford to pay him.

              What are your thoughts?
              Two major issues I omitted putting on my list were do the Phillies re-sign Victorino and will they re-sign Cole Hamels (or can they afford to re-sign Cole Hamels is more like it) .
              Another thing about Hamels besides aN OUTRAGEOUS PRICE TAG HE WILL COMMAND BEGINNING IN 2013 is that while he's averaged just under 190 strikeouts over the last five years, reaching the 200K milestone once with a career high 211 in 2010, making him one of the top performers in the game in that category, Hamels also has failed to wnm over 15 games in any season and sometimes doesn't pitch late into games - the result being, he gets a ton of No-Decisions and those games' fates end up being decided by the Phillies bullpen.
              Victorino is a lifetime .279 hitter and he's hit at or above that mark in five of his last six seasons including two years in the .290s. 18 home runs is his best single season total, so while he is not a front line power hitter, he is a solid contributor. Add to that his defensive prowess and he may be a player who is worth holding on to for a few more years while he is still in his prime. Potential Unreasonable salary demands might be the only thing preventing him and the Phillies reaching an accord and extending his contract for two or three more years.
              Last edited by philliesfiend55; 02-29-2012, 04:55 PM.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by philliesfiend55 View Post
                Hamels also has failed to him over 15 games in any season and sometimes doesn't pitch late into games - the result being, he gets a ton of No-Decisions and those games' fates end up being decided by the Phillies bullpen.
                He gets a disproportionally poor amount of run support it seems like. At least last year. Its gonna be an interesting next couple years for roster moves that for sure.
                "No matter how great you were once upon a time — the years go by, and men forget,” - W. A. Phelon in Baseball Magazine in 1915. “Ross Barnes, forty years ago, was as great as Cobb or Wagner ever dared to be. Had scores been kept then as now, he would have seemed incomparably marvelous.”

                Comment


                • #9
                  Howard sidelined indefinitely:
                  http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/p...efinitely.html
                  The Mets have the best, smartest fans in baseball.

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