The Phillies are what they are...a not very good baseball team in an improving division. I hate to make the prediction in mid-June but I just don't see the Phillies making the playoffs this year, ending their string at 5 years.
In addition, my crystal ball says this may just be the start of a slide that lands them back to where they were prior to their recent success....a struggling baseball team that ended up at the bottom more often than not.
Yes they will still have Halladay and Lee next year. It's not certain they'll have Cole Hamels. They will have Papelbon...but how do the Phillies get to their closer?
Offensively, it is evident this team has seen its best days and no immediate improvement is in sight. The return of Utley and Howard, whenever that might be, doesn't guarantee improvement. Both are in their 30's, likely on the downside of their careers coming off significant injuries.
The farm system offers little help, especially in the way of hitters. The Phillies' front office (read Ruben Amaro Junior) put all its eggs in the pitching basket and the punchless offense has no one to step up and make the big hit when needed.
And now, another staple of the Phillies' success of the past 5 years, the defense, is falling apart with the reliance on backup players.
The only positive to all this...tickets will be easier to get at Citizens Bank Park.
Posted at 10:46am on June 11, 2012 by Big Don Voltz
The Phillies are in a free fall --- and NOT only because of the injuries to Utley and Howard.
There are no big scary bats in this lineup. When you have Hunter Pence batting cleanup, it illustrates how impotent this lineup is, and how it lacks the firepower (like the Yankees) to score runs from behind.
The bullpen has given up many leads and, yes, even the Four Aces starting pitching has collapsed. Oswalt released. Halladay hurt. Cliff Lee winless after two months. And, Hamels having a good year but soon to depart.
As Big Don notes, the Phils have too much money tied up in aging players with injuries. This will hamper their ability to sign free agents or acquire big names in a trade, assuming there's anybody to trade in the first place.
Dare I say it, the Washington Nationals--yes, the Washington Nationals---appear to be on the fringe of a dynasty. Nats have some great talent that are either in their late teens (Bryce Harper) or early 20s (Strasburg).
The torch has passed in the National League East.
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