Philadelphia Phillies 2011 Preview

2010 Record: 97-65

2011 Projected Roster

  • Catchers: Carlos Ruiz, Brian Schneider
  • Infielders: Ryan Howard, Jimmy Rollins, Placido Polanco, Luis Castillo, Michael Martinez, Wilson Valdez(Chase Utley)
  • Outfielders: Raul Ibanez, Shane Victorino, Ben Francisco(Dom Brown,) John Mayberry Jr, Ross Gload
  • Starters: Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, Roy Oswalt, Cole Hamels, Joe Blanton
  • Bullpen: Brad Lidge, Ryan Madson, Jose Contreras, JC Romero, Danys Baez, Antonio Bastardo, Kyle Kendrick(David Herndon)

Notable Signings

  1. Cliff Lee: 5 years, $120MM
  2. Luis Castillo: minor league deal
  3. Delwyn Young: minor league deal

Notable Losses

  1. Jayson Werth
  2. Chad Durbin
  3. Mike Sweeney

Top Prospects

  1. Dominic Brown: RF
  2. Jonathan Singleton: 1B
  3. Jarred Cosart: RHP
  4. Brody Colvin: RHP
  5. Trevor May: RHP

Key Position Battles

  • Right Field: Ben Francisco vs. Dom Brown – There are no real position battles for the Phillies due to the fact that Dominic Brown got injured so early in camp and the rest of their positions were essentially locked up. We will take a look at how this may have played out. This looked as though it was going to be a pure righty/lefty platoon between these two until Brown went down with his injury. Even before getting hurt Brown looked lost at the plate with a lone hit in 16 at bats and 6 strikeouts while Francisco has mashed this spring(.385 batting avg. and 4 home runs) Right Field Pick: Ben Francisco

There is no where else to begin with this Phillies team other than the juggernaut that is their starting rotation. The will be returning reigning Cy Young winner Roy Halladay, former Astros ace Roy Oswalt and top tier lefty Cole Hamels. Halladay, in my opinion, is the best pitcher in the major leagues and has been for some time now. The jump from the AL East to the National League only made him better. We can easily expect another 20 wins and an ERA in the mid 2s. Oswalt may be due for a bit of a regression due the fact that he had a BAbip of .258 in 2010(42 points below his career average.) The final piece of H20 or the Cole Cut Sandwich, whichever you would like to call them, Hamels just seems to be getting better and better and has one of the nastiest changeups in baseball today. What did they do to make that trio of pitchers even better? The Phils turned the Big 3 into the Big 4 by adding Cliff Lee in the offseason. Lee was the most coveted free agent this offseason and returned to Philly for 24 million dollars a year over the next 5 years. He is also one of the most feared postseason pitchers in recent memory. The offense on the other hand has some question marks. Chase Utley is having knee problems and there is no timetable for his return which can only be bad. Ryan Howard should be the only hitter in this lineup that any pitcher should truly fear. His power has been declining in recent years and this season he is in an even weaker lineup with no protection which could lead to teams pitching around him even more than in the past. Jimmy Rollins is another year older, declining and can’t seem to stay healthy for a full season. Shane Victorino and Placido Polanco will both look to bring their usual production to the table with a mix of speed and on base ability. I can not see Raul Ibanez doing any better than last season’s showing of .275/.349/.444. Frankly, I expect him to continue regressing with age. It will be tough for an offense with only one starter under 30 to be consistent and strong from April to October; also any lineup that includes Luis Castillo is trouble. They are also experiencing trouble in the bullpen with Brad Lidge already heading to the DL with shoulder problems. Look for Jose Contreras and Ryan Madson to fill in as part of a platoon role in the mean time. Even with Lidge in the closer role the bullpen is quite underwhelming. This Philadelphia Phillies team should still be the best regular season team in the National League due to their incredible pitching staff alone.

WTP Projected 2011 Record: 95-67

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About jacarfagno

Live, Breathe, and Bleed Baseball
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