Losses: Jayson Werth, Chad Durbin.

Acquisitions: Pete Orr, Delwyn Young, Cliff Lee.

Lineup:

CF Shane Victorino
3B Placido Polanco
SS Jimmy Rollins
1B Ryan Howard
LF Raul Ibanez
RF Ben Francisco
C Carlos Ruiz
2B Wilson Valdez

CF Shane Victorino
3B Placido Polanco
SS Jimmy Rollins
1B Ryan Howard
LF Raul Ibanez
RF Ben Francisco
C Carlos Ruiz
2B Wilson Valdez

RHP Roy Halladay
LHP Cliff Lee
RHP Roy Oswalt
LHP Cole Hamels
RHP Joe Blanton

CL Brad Lidge/Jose Contreras/Ryan Madson

Evaluating this Phillies team is tough. Much of what the team did this offseason wasn’t very inspiring, with one notable and very expensive exception.

Last season, the Phillies offense took a major step back. On the other hand, Cliff Lee!

This winter, the Phillies’ best player from 2010, Jayson Werth, signed with the Nationals; however, Cliff Lee!

Jimmy Rollins, Ryan Howard and Raul Ibanez are all old and declining. Then again, Cliff Lee!

Chase Utley is injured, and may never recover. But — BUT — Cliff Lee!!!!

Seems like the Phillies should be favorites to win the NL East if their vaunted pitchers stay healthy and guys like Rollins and Ibanez can rediscover just a little bit of magic. If Utley recovers, the Phils should be favorites to win the pennant.

But this is an old team and it’s clear already that things could go very wrong this season. Utley’s tendinitis is the most troubling injury by far, but Hamels and Lee both had tough springs and Polanco has already injured the elbow he only recently had surgically repaired. What will happen to Rollins’ hamstrings when he returns to Philadelphia to find the weather is near freezing? Can Ibanez stay healthy? Can Howard rediscover a bit of the power that went missing last season?

As a Phillies fan, all of these ‘what ifs’ make me worry. But at the end of the day, it’s hard not to be excited about a pitching staff that has a chance to be historically great.

Grade: B

Hot Offseason Action Index

 

4 Responses to “Hot Offseason Action: Philadelphia Phillies”

  1. Congrats on acquiring number 4. Ready Orr not, here Pete comes…

  2. Delmon Young?

  3. I meant Pete Orr, though after attending the weekend series in Atlanta, I see that he’s wearing number 5 this year. When he was with the Braves he wore number 4, in honor of Bobby Orr, ostensibly b/c they share a last name and Pete is just like any other Canadian – a hockey fan at heart.

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