2012 Philadelphia Phillies

Starting on Friday, February 24th I will be previewing each team in Major League Baseball. I will start with the San Diego Super Padres and end on April 5th1 with the Boston Red Sox.

I will tell you each team’s 2011 record and place in their division, along with my 2012 projected record and projected place in division. If they are lucky enough to make the playoffs I will tell you how far they will go.2 I will then briefly summarize the team’s overall talent.

Each preview will consist of the projected 2012 defensive line up, the top 3 starting pitchers and the top 2 relief pitchers.3 A comment about each player stating my view of whether they will be good, bad or the same.4

And now the 2012 Philadelphia Phillies.

2011 Record:102-60
Projected 2012 Record:95-67

2011 Division Place:1st Place
Projected 2012 Division Place:1st Place

2011 Playoff Result:Lost NLDS
Projected 2012 Division Place:Lose NLCS

Overall the 2012 Phillies seem old and because of that I think that they will not repeat their 100 win season, even though I do think they will repeat as NL East champs. While the rest of the NL East is young and exciting, they are not quite ready to over take the dominant Phillies. Even if age catches up with Halladay, Lee, Howard and Utley, guys like Hamels, Pence, Mayberry, Papelbon and Bastardo are on hand to take the pressure off the older veterans.

POSITION
PROJECTED STARTER
COMMENT

Catcher
Carlos Ruiz                           
You wouldn’t know it from looking at the stat sheet, but Ruiz has finished in the top 25 in the NL MVP voting in both of the last 2 years. He is that important to this team.

First Base
Howard will not start opening day, but has only experienced very minor set backs in his recovery from his Achilles injury and should return in early May as scheduled. Jim Thome will fill in until Howard can get back.

Second Base
Since cresting 30 Utley has not been able to stay on the field for a whole season. They will need him, especially early to to help reduce the affects felt from Howard’s loss.

Third Base
Polanco’s numbers while eerily consistent most of his career took a tip in some key areas last year. His ability to bounce back at 36 will determine if this is a place the Phillies try to make a midseason upgrade or not.

Short Stop
Rollins bounced back pretty well from an injury plagued ’10. Not bak to his MVP numbers but certainly provided solid production. Does he have an MVP type season left in the tank?Based on his contract offers this past season scouts don’t think so.

Outfield
Victorino was the Offensive MVP for the Phillies in ’11, I think he at least replicates his .847 OPS and is again a catalyst for the Phillies.

Outfield
I feel Pence was a steal for the Phillies and provides them with a great bat that plays everyday and makes them younger. He was good in Houston with little help, in the Phillies lineup he showed he can be great.

Outfield
In Mayberry’s first extended amount of playing time he had great power numbers. Now he he has to replicate them, walk more and cut down on the strikeouts.

Starting Pitcher
Consistently dominant. 6 straight seasons with at least 220 innings, 16 wins and over 31 games started. He shows up every fifth day and gives his team a great chance to win.

Starting Pitcher
Cliff Lee                     
Lee is a bit of a statistical enigma. A lot of his numbers should translate to  losses, but continually don’t. In ’11 his strikeout numbers skyrocketed at 32 is that an aberration or a trend?

Starting Pitcher
Its amazing, based on the stats Hamels should lead the team in wins, his WHIP and ERA in ’11 were both spectacular. He is poised to break out with a 20 win, sub 3 ERA, sub 1 WHIP and run away with the CY Young award. At 28 this could be the year.

Relief Pitcher
As a Boston fan, I have watched Papelbon his entire career. I don’t like him but he has grown into a great pitcher who set out to pitch well and get paid. He has achieved both, now to see how he pitches after he cashes the checks. Probably just as well.

Relief Pitcher
Great WHIP, great K per 9. His ability made me think they would forgo signing a closer and go with him. Instead they now have 2 quality arms to pitch the late innings.

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  1. Red Sox Opening Day []
  2. These visions are still cloudy even though it is clear that the playoff format will consist of 2 wild card teams. So I will summarize them in total the final week of spring training. []
  3. according rotochamp.com []
  4. click the player name or picture and see their career stats at baseball-reference.com []

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