Philer Up! The Hitters Preview..

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The last installment of the NL East belongs to the Fightin Phils. Chuck Lombardi will be bring you the pitchers and I will take care of the hitters. So let’s go…

Obviously, the Phils found themselves in unfamiliar territory last season by missing the playoffs. Some might say the run is finally over and that age has caught up to them. Others might say that is was injuries that killed this team last season and a make-shift bullpen.

If I am going to choose a side I am going with injuries and bullpen. I believe this team has one more good run in them. Yes, I know Howard (played only 71 games last season) and Utley (played only 83 games) are coming off injuries and they’re both reaching their mid-30’s but they still can be productive.

Say what you want, but if any team is missing their 3 Hole and 4 hole hitters for a half of a season they’re going to struggle. The Phils did play better once Howard and Utley both returned even though they both were not completely healthy. I think with both of them healthy the Phils will be at least 5 games better then they were last season.

The thing that excites me about the Phils is that I am not quite sure what to expect. I know I said that I think they will bounce back but I would be lying to you if I didn’t tell you that I was really sure.

You have some “experts” picking the Phils to win the division and others having them finishing third. They also have no clue what to expect. So that is why I am excited to see if this old crew can make one last run. I think they can.

Key Additions.

Michael Young, Mike Adams, Delmon Young, Ben Revere, Chad Durbin.

Key Losses.

Juan Pierre and Placido Polanco.

Lineup (projected).

CF Revere, SS Rollins, 2B Utley, 1B Howard, RF Young, LF Brown, 3B Young and C Chooch.

Once the lineup is fully together it should look this way. Chooch will be back in a few weeks from taking his ADHD medicine and Delmon is rehabbing (ankle) should be back in a month. Delmon is the wild card of the lineup. If plays the way he is capable, he will help this lineup a ton or he could weigh a ton. Even at 36, Michael Young knows how to hit (7 seasons over .300).  Dom is coming off a great spring and might be finally ready for a breakout season. Revere brings a ton of energy and speed. I know it’s only been one week of baseball but Utley looks like the old Utley. Jimmy will be Jimmy. Look for .265 to .275 average with 15-20 bombs and around 30 stolen bases again. Howard is struggling so far after a good spring training. It’s early.

Bench.

Frandsen, Nix, Kratz, Mayberry, Carrera and Galvis.

Kratz has good pop for a backup catcher. Galvis can play anywhere, it doesn’t matter where you put him, he can flat-out pick it. Frandsen is a “dirt-ball” player. He does a lot of the little things. Mayberry is decent 4th or 5th outfielder. If asked to be more he gets exposed.  Nix is a solid 4th outfielder, struggled last season because of an injury. The kid Carrera has speed, though I haven’t seen enough of him.

Out Look 

There are question marks with Delmon, Brown, Utley and Howard.  But if those question marks become answers, they could have a solid lineup. They’re struggling in the early going with knocking in runs. The good sign? Like I said before, it’s early.

Record

90- 72. Second Place

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