Can the 2012 Phillies Be Saved?
Monday May 14th, 2012
Brendan Henderson: The Phillies are currently in last place in the NL East division with a 17-19 record, YES the Phillies, the team that won the 2008 World Series and the team that has won the NL East division in 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008 and 2007.
Why are the Phillies doing so badly? The hitting has been okay for the Phillies this year despite the absence of stars, Ryan Howard and Chase Utley; the Phillies are 10th in the MLB in batting average with a team batting average of .257. The Phillies aren’t doing the best as in scoring runs and hitting for power though, they have scored 122 runs as a team this year which is the 19th best in the Big Leagues. As for home runs, they are 23rd in the MLB with 22 team homers this year. Their offense has picked up as of recently though. The Phillies pitching on the other hand, hasn’t been up to par so far this season; they are 15th in the league with a team 3.70 ERA. They Phillies’ opponents have a .255 batting average against Phillies pitchers, which is 20th best in the MLB.
The Phillies are actually hitting decently without the powerful bats of Ryan Howard and Chase Utley in the lineup. Utley’s performance has been down in terms of stats the last couple of years, but he would still give you a sold-hitting left-handed in the lineup that could drive in 60 plus RBIs. Utley hit .259 last year with 11 home runs and 44 RBIs. Ryan Howard, the big, power-hitting first basemen for the Phillies is also out. Howard is also another great left-handed bat that can provide a lot of offense to any lineup. Howard has driven in 100 plus RBIs the last six years, he led the league in RBIs in 2006, 2008, and 2009. Howard has also hit 30 plus home runs the last six years. I read an article today about the two and the article said that neither of them is close to getting in a game, which is not very good news at all for Phillies fans.
There are some players on the Phillies that are performing well right now, like Hunter Pence who has seven home runs this year, which is a team best. Pence is also leading the team in RBIs with 23. Veteran Shane Victorino has been doing his job this year as well, Victorino has a batting average of .259 this year with five home runs and eleven stolen bases. Shane and Hunter are both great, veteran players who can carry the Phillies, they are swinging the bat well right now and I expect them to keep it up. I do think Hunter Pence will get his batting average up in the future. He is a great hitter and I think he will improve himself as the season goes on.
Jimmy Rollins has really been under-performing this year, in my opinion, he is only batting .230 this year with only five RBIs, Jimmy has also struck out 25 times this year, which is the second most on the team. Jimmy is a great player and I think he will start to swing the bat better here in the next couple of weeks, but he just isn’t getting it done the way he can right now. Rollins is hurting his team… well I don’t know about “hurting” his team, but he definitely not helping them out the way he can. The Phillies need him to perform well if they want to get on top of the NL East division.
The Phillies may not have the best starting pitching rotation in the MLB like they might have had the last couple of years, but they defiantly have a good one this year, Cole Hamels has a 5-1 record right now with an ERA of 2.28, which is the best ERA in the starting rotation. Roy Halladay has been under-performing just a bit so far this season; he has a ERA of 3.20 and a record of 3-3. Don’t get me wrong, Halladay has been a good pitcher this year but I just think he can do a lot better. I think he has just gotten off to a slow start.
Can the Phillies be “saved” so-to- speak is the question most MLB fans are probably asking themselves, as I am myself. I honestly don’t think they can, and the reason I don’t think they can is not because of their current record, they still have plenty of time to change their record. The reason I don’t think they can be saved and win the NL East division this year is because of the stars I talked about, Ryan Howard and Chase Utley. I think that the Phillies just can’t perform the way they know and can without Howard and Utley in their lineup. Don’t get me wrong, they have a pretty good lineup as it is but I just don’t think the Phillies can “get it done” without Howard and Utley in the lineup every day. I think that Howard and Utley have been the “key factor” for the Phillies the last couple of season, and the Phillies won’t have their “key factor” in the lineup for a long time, so it seems.
Overall, I think the Phillies won’t finish last in their division, I think they will have an okay year and they will finish 2nd or 3rd in their division. You never know though, that’s why we all enjoy baseball so much, you can’t predict it, as anything can happen. In my opinion, the Phillies need to start swinging the bats better. Don’t get me wrong, they are hitting the ball decently well now, but they need to tack on a couple more runs a game and they will be sitting pretty. I believe the Phillies’ pitching will get better as the season goes on because I know they have a good starting rotation that can go deep into ball games and I believe the bats will start to “pick up”.
***Today’s feature was prepared by Brendan Henderson, MLB reports Intern Candidate. We highly encourage you to leave your comments and feedback at the bottom of the page and share in the discussion with our readers. You can also follow Brendan on Twitter (@HenduBlog)***
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Posted on May 14, 2012, in MLB Teams: Articles and Analysis and tagged baseball, chase utley, cliff lee, cole hamels, hunter pence, jimmy rollins, jonathan papelbon, mlb, philadelphia phillies, phillies, roy halladay, ryan howard. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.