Well here we are Philadelphia Phillies fans. Six seasons after being on top of the world as World Series champs and declining every year since then, we head into this season not expecting to win the division, but to just stay above the New York Mets and Miami Marlins in the basement of the NL East.
It’s pretty hard to believe that half of the starting lineup consists of players who were on the team that won 5 consecutive division titles, including a World Series in 2008 and a 102-win season in 2011.
GM Ruben Amaro Jr. Is doing his best to sell us this aging lineup and squeeze whatever he can out of this bunch of, at this point, “they are what they are” players.
Let’s take a look at this offense and look at the good side of things. Warning: there are TONS of “If he can…”
Ben Revere actually played pretty well last season in his first season after coming over from the Minnesota Twins. He had a terrible start batting in the leadoff spot, so much that manager Charlie Manuel had to move him down in the lineup. He came on strong before an injury ended his season, finishing with a .305 average.
The core of Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley, Ryan Howard and Carlos Ruiz is obviously not the same as 5 years ago but I think as a group they can contribute a little something, after all they are professional baseball players.
The only new face in this lineup is Marlon Byrd, who had a pretty decent season last year. Byrd split time with the Pittsburgh Pirates and Mets. Hopefully now that he has a bigger contract, he doesn’t fall into that “Jason Bay” category. Pair him with Domonic Brown, who will only be getting better and we have a nice duo at the 5-6 spots.
I really liked what I seen from Cody Asche last season. We’ll see what he can contribute over a full season.
The bench is pretty serviceable, with your ultimate utility guy (which every team needs) in Freddy Galvis. Limited offensively but the glove is second to none. Darin Ruf provides some power and can also fill in at first base and in the outfield corners when the starters need a break. John Mayberry is another one of those “they are what they are” players. His potential was sky high but he just never reached it. At this point, he is just a bat off of the bench. Wil Nieves will spell Ruiz every once in a while behind the plate.
Ben Revere: .310 avg 0 HR’s (he will probably never hit a Homer in his career) 35 RBI’s
Jimmy Rollins: .255 avg 10 HR’s 50 RBI’s
Chase Utley: .280 avg 20 HR’s 74 RBI’s
Ryan Howard: .240 avg 28 HR’s 76 RBI’s
Marlon Byrd: . 278 avg 25 HR’s 82 RBI’s
Dom Brown: .283 avg 35 HR’s 90 RBI’s
Carlos Ruiz: .265 avg 11 HR’s 47 RBI’s
Cody Asche: .247 avg 12 HR’s 49 RBI’s
Keep in mind; these numbers are based on the assumption that the whole lineup stays healthy, which probably isn’t logical thinking, considering their history and their ages.
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