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Phillies Diagnostic

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  • Phillies Diagnostic

    My review of the Phillies, position by position


    Ryan Howard – I am weary of hearing, “The Phillies need to get Ryan Howard going.” He’s a highly paid, experience professional who should be going all the time. But he flails helplessly against many lefties, his batting average continues to dip (.219), and his OBP was a dismal .295. Yes, he was coming off an injury, but his offense did not go in an uphill direction as the season moved forward. I would trade him for Adrian Gonzales or Joey Votto in a heartbeat. And yet, there are those 56 RBIs that would have been over a hundred had he played a full season.

    Chase Utley – The pop in his bat has vanished, replaced with lots of weak ground balls to the right side of the infield. Will it ever return? If not, he should not bat third. He retains the ability to get on base (.369 OBP), runs well, and therefore would serve the team better as a leadoff man in the absence of a real one. His demise has hurt the team as much or more than Ryan Howard’s.

    Freddie Galvis – Astonishing hands, great defensive instincts, and a weak bat at this point in his career. May his back heal and may he keep his #$&(! hands off drugs! He is J-Roll’s eventual replacement, although his arm makes him a better choice for second base.

    Jimmy Rollins – If J-Roll were Chinese, he could call 2012 “The Year of the Popup,” because that is what he did this season – a lot. He retains 90% of his fielding skills, and he still has pop in his bat, but his low OBP and inconsistency at the plate must push him out of the leadoff spot next year down to sixth or seventh, if not eighth. The Phillies need to sign Michael Bourn because they need a center fielder and a legit leadoff man.

    Kevin Frandsen – We keep hearing how the Phillies desperately need a third baseman, and there is Frandsen hitting .335 over an extended period of playing time. He isn’t Scott Rolen in the field, but he is certainly adequate. Keep him! Even if you get someone else to fill the position, sign him.

    Michael Martinez – The man can play anywhere and do it well. Problem is, they’re considering changing the term “Mendoza line” to “Martinez line.” He’s a Sister of Mercy at the plate because he tries to be the second coming of Babe Ruth with Baby Ruth ability. He will not be greatly missed.

    Placido Polanco – You’ve had a great career, Polly, but Father Time has caught up to you. Enjoy your retirement – unless you’re willing to be a utility infielder.

    Ty Wigginton – Another guy who can’t hit a curve ball. He’s a bench player at best and won’t be severely missed if he leaves. He sure can’t play third base.


    Juan Pierre – Re-sign this man! He gets on base, plays great fundamental baseball, and is good in the clubhouse.

    John Mayberry – All that potential waiting to bust loose, but the experiment has failed. Another woeful start capped by a woeful ending with some success in between. If he makes the squad next year, it must be as a utility man.

    Domonic Brown –We keep hearing about his potential but don’t see much progress. He may be back in a platoon situation with Darin Ruf, but Darin will soon take his spot and become the next Greg Luzinski.

    Nate Schierholtz – Worthwhile addition as a fourth outfielder who can start if required but not the stuff around whom championship teams are developed.

    Laynce Nix – See Nate Schierholtz. Same comment.


    Carlos Ruiz – The best all around catcher in baseball. ‘Nuff said.

    Eric Kratz – Did great at the plate until the league figured out he can’t hit a curve ball. He should be the backup catcher next year unless someone better comes along.

    Brian Schneider – Adequate backup, but injury-prone. Kratz likely has pushed him out the door.


    Roy Halladay – Doc, you gotta come back. But at your age, can you? His demise was a killer, and Reuben Amaro must prepare for the possibility that Super-Doc is no more.

    Cliff Lee – A weird season for Cliff but not solely because his team didn’t hit for him, although they didn’t. He finished strongly but blew his share of leads and too often turned into a batting practice pitcher for an inning or two. He needs to return to form but is also getting a bit long of tooth.

    Cole Hamels – A very good pitcher one new pitch shy of greatness – a great curve, a screwball, a slider – something to cut down on the foul balls that make him into a six or seven inning pitcher.

    Kyle Kendrick – Who the blazes is this guy? He’s Cy Young one outing and Loretta Young the next. Consistent he isn't.

    Vance Worley – Another pitcher one pitch shy of becoming a very good pitcher. The league kind of caught up with his backup fastball, and he needs something else. Pitching with pieces of bone in your arm doesn’t help either.

    Tyler Cloyd – I was not impressed with the few outings I saw. I doubt he has the control to win consistently with the stuff he has.

    The Phillies need to look for help at starter.


    Antonio Bastardo – I fear he has pitched his last for the Phils. You never know if he enters a game as a fireman in the NYFD sense or in the Fahrenheit 451 sense.

    Jonathan Papelbon – A solid year that looks great on the surface. But he was still responsible for nine losses (six losses and four blown saves, one of which was a loss and blown save combined) and did not pitch well in non-save situations.

    The new bullpenners – Collectively they’ve got some good arms. Aumont and Horst look like keepers, but the best arms, Diekman and Rosenberg, don’t know where to throw the ball. We need Stutes and Herndon back and some fresh blood that doesn’t smell like Qualls.

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