Philadelphia Inquirer columnist Phil Sheridan makes an interesting point today about Jimmy Rollins’ pre-season declaration that the Phils were the “team to beat” in the NL East:
More than enough has been said about Rollins’ declaration that the Phillies would be the “team to beat” in the NL East this year. The one thing that hasn’t been said lately is that he was wrong. Well, right in one sense and wrong in another.
The Phillies did win the division, but it wasn’t because of the addition of Adam Eaton and Freddy Garcia. Those pitchers were, in Rollins’ preseason view, the missing pieces that would get this near-miss team over the hump into the postseason.
Rollins couldn’t have foreseen the emergence of Kendrick, the shifting of Myers to the bullpen, the midseason addition of Kyle Lohse, the almost miraculous transformation of Pat Burrell. For not only is a team different from year to year, it evolves and defines itself over the long, unforgiving baseball season.
Isn’t that the truth? I mean, the Phils entered the season with SIX starting pitchers. The fact that the team had one too many starting pitchers was actually considered a major problem.
Of course, that problem took care of itself — and then some. Lieber got hurt. Garcia got hurt. Gordon got hurt, prompting the Phils to move Myers to the bullpen.
And then all of a sudden, the Phils rotation included J.D. Durbin.
Crazy how that happens.