Philadelphia Phillies Player Roster in 2013: State of the Union Updated Mar.1/2013
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Update: Friday March 1, 2013
By Ryan Dana (MLB Reports Writer): Follow @ryandana1
2012 was a disappointing year for the Philadelphia Phillies, as they saw their stranglehold on the NL East diminish to the point that they missed the playoffs for the 1st time since 2006. In fact 2012 was the 1st time since ’06 that someone other than the Phillies won the NL East. The team is also not that far removed from a World Series championship which they won in ’08. In 2012 with the emergence of the Washington Nationals, and the re-emergence of a very capable Atlanta Braves organization, the Phillies found themselves finishing with an 81-81 record, only good enough for 3rd in the division.
The Phillies saw themselves selling at the trade deadline, moving OFs Shane Victorino, and Hunter Pence, followed by a waiver induced trade of Joe Blanton. Make it clear though, Philadelphia plans to compete for the NL East again in 2013, made evident by their off-season moves. They are an aging team of veterans, with a depleted farm system, so this year might be their best chance to get back to the promise land and play some October baseball. The Phillies have a lot of money committed to players, so hopefully what they have on their current 40 Man Roster is enough.
Philadelphia Phillies Highlights 2012:
In 2013, the strength of the Phillies should be its rotation. A top 3 of Cole Hamels, Cliff Lee, and Roy Halladay still look pretty intimidating. A 4th/5th combo of Kyle Kendrick and John Lannan doesn’t look too bad either. Cole Hamels just cashed in signing a 6 YR/144 Million Dollar extension during this past summer, and it was well deserved. Since Hamels entered the Majors in ’06 – he has started 211 games going 91-60, with a cumulative 3.34 ERA. He has been a consistent bright spot for the rotation. While Cliff Lee didn’t earn his 1st win of 2012 until July 4th, he didn’t pitch badly like the media may have portrayed. The workhorse had a 3.16 ERA and had nearly a K/IP. Since ’08, Lee has had a high ERA of only 3.22, so I think he can be counted on to turn in another good campaign in 2013.
Roy Halladay is surprisingly the biggest question mark of the big 3, as had a disappointing season in 2012, (at least compared to what we are used to seeing out of him.) Halladay, hindered by some injury troubles, made 25 starts (his least since ’05) – and had a 4.49 ERA (his highest since ’00). Halladay had a sub 3.00 ERA from ’08-’11, so 2012 was a huge outlier in this and many statistical categories, but is it a fluke, or a future trend? To say father time is catching up with Halladay may be accurate, but to think he will have a season as poor as 2012 in the upcoming year is probably not a good bet.
Kyle Kendrick is an interesting case for a 4th starter. He had a good rookie year in ’07, but hasn’t been all too consistent with his output since. I guess that is part of the reason he is only a 4th starter. The fact that he has come out of the bullpen in 31 out of his 71 appearances over the last 2 seasons doesn’t put him in the most consistent environment either. His ERA was below 4 in both of those years, which for a #4 starter isn’t bad.
The Phillies also brought in John Lannan this winter as their projected 5th starter in 2013. He signed a 1 YR/2.5 Million Dollar deal. The Left-Hander had pitched for the Nationals since he reached the Majors in ’07. I think this is a good and underrated pick up. He pitched much of 2012 in AAA, but his career statistics in the MLB are impressive for a 5th starter, plus it is a relatively small commitment from the Phillies. He started 134 games for the Nationals from ’07-’12, featuring an ERA of 4.01. His K/BB Ratio or OPP BA isn’t very impressive, but he can log IP.
Lannan keeps his team in ballgames by inducing a lot of ground balls. As a whole, the Phillies rotation had the 10th best ERA in the MLB in 2012 at 3.82, the 2nd most Quality Starts with 99, the least amount of BBs at 231 – and the most Ks with 918. They clearly do a lot of things well, but aren’t invincible. Hamels and Lee should be a great 1-2 punch again, and hopefully Halladay can bounce back and be an excellent 3. I think a Kendrick/Lannan combo at the end will keep the Phillies in a lot of games. Their rotation will be one of the better ones in the game if Halladay can return to pre-2012 form.
The Phillies bullpen had the 21st ERA in 2012 at 3.94 in the least amount off Innings Pitched in the MLB. The club only needed to pitch 418.1 Innings in 2012. Their K and BB rates were middle of the pack; they weren’t relied on heavily and didn’t amaze anyone. It was a bullpen with many arms throwing the innings. The only pitchers to throw more than 50 IP out of the pen were closer Jonathan Papelbon (70), and Antonio Bastardo (52.0). The next highest IP for a Phillies reliever was 34.1 IP. Hoping to add a consistent setup man to their bullpen, the Phillies signed veteran Mike Adams. 2012 wasn’t the greatest year for Adams in Texas. His ERA was an unexpectedly high 3.27 for the Rangers, which is not usual for the guy – who carried with him an ERA of less than 2 in each of the 3 seasons prior. Going back to the NL may prove to help Adams, but regardless, he is a big improvement for the Phillies setup situation.
Jeremy Horst and Raul Valdez both pitched well in limited innings out of the pen in 2012, and will hope to continue that success. Papelbon, Adams, Bastardo, Horst, and Valdez could be a decent core, plus Phillippe Aumont and Justin De Fratus could also contribute into a turn around this year. The Phillies bullpen still isn’t great, but with their rotation, they may not need to be, and they will probably be a little better than last year.
The Phillies Lineup needed a major facelift after last season. In 2012, the Phillies only produced 684 runs (19th in MLB) – which was a drastic fall from the 892 in 2007, or even the 799 they scored in their Championship season during 2008. Both years, that was good for 2nd. The 2012 lineup lacked consistency.
The only player to qualify for the BA Title (need at least 3.1 PA per team game to qualify) was Jimmy Rollins. The veteran Short-Stop also lead the team with 23 HRs and 68 RBI. Philadelphia hovered around the middle of most offensive statistical categories as a team in 2012, so that won’t win them another ring if they do this again in 2013. Luckily, they could be due for an improvement with better health and a few new faces.
The Phillies lineup is sorting itself out as we reach ever closer to the regular season. I’ll start off with Ryan Howard. The First Baseman missed the start of 2012 (recovering from a Torn Achilles Tendon) and played just 71 games. His numbers were nothing impressive. Howard hit for a 3-Slash Line of .219/.295/.423 – with 14 HRs and 56 RBI in 260 AB for 2012. For his career, he has a 3 Slash Line of – .271/.364/.551.
Ryan Howard is the MLB’s Active Leader in HR/Per AB – with a round-tripper every 13.56 AB, (300 HRs in 4054 AB). Considering he’s had plenty of time to heal from his Achilles Injury and Broken Toe (which happened at the very end of the 2012 season,) I think Howard will be a lot closer to his career averages than to last years numbers. Bill James projects Howard to hit .251 in 2013 – with 36 HRs and 102 RBI – which the Phillies would gladly accept.
Another big piece of the Phillies puzzle that saw a lot of the DL in 2012 is Chase Utley. The former perennial ALL-Star, Silver Slugger and top NL MVP candidate, played in only 83 games – hitting .256 with 11 HRs and 45 RBI in 301 AB. Bill James projects for Utley to hit .274 BA – with 19 HRs and 70 RBI. James also projects him to play in 122 games.
Utley may be past his prime, but he can still contribute valuable At-Bats to a team that could use his ability to get on base, which he does well. Short Stop Jimmy Rollins should be able to turn in another solid season as he did last year. The combination of Rollins, Utley, and Howard all healthy again, could help the Phillies creep back up the runs scored chart toward where they had been in years past.
The final piece of the infield is newly acquired Third Baseman Michael Young. Young really had no place in Texas anymore, and was dealt to the Phillies for a couple of relievers, while the Rangers will still pay a large portion of Young’s remaining contract. Even at this late stage in Young’s career, he can still hit. He had 169 hits in 2012, (his lowest total since ’02) which gave him a .277 BA. It was a decline, but with all things considered, he didn’t fall off too far, those are still respectable numbers. Young will play at 3rd Base to start the season. Kevin Frandsen will be the’ Super-Utility’ Infielder – in backing up Rollins, Utley and Young. Frandsen hit for a 3-Slash Line of .338/.383/.834 in 195 AB for the Phils in 2012. The young Freddy Galvis will also be vying for the Utility Infielder spot trying to prove himself ready in Spring Training.
In 2013, the Catcher spot for the Phillies will be a combination of Carlos Ruiz and Erik Kratz. Ruiz was an All-Star in 2012, but will have to sit out the first 25 games of 2013 due to failing a drug test. It was announced Ruiz tested positive for Amphetamines in November, this just a month after the organization picked up his 5 Million Dollar Option for 2013. Ruiz is a solid all-around Catcher who can hit, with a career slash line of .275/.363/.418.
He doesn’t show great power, but he’s pretty good offensively for his position. He is also solid behind the plate, throwing out 34% of runner last year, 5th for players catching at least 80 games. Kratz will be behind the plate to start the season in Ruiz’s absence. He won’t make a big impact at the plate, but he is good enough to get the club through the 1st month of the season without killing them.
The Phillies Outfield is the most interesting part of their team in my mind. It’s hard to say how good the unit will be, or even necessarily who will be out there every game. Ben Revere, who was acquired from the Twins this winter – will likely patrol Center Field every game, but Left and Right Field aren’t exactly crystal clear.
It will most likely be some combination of Domonic Brown, Darin Ruf, John Mayberry,and newly signed Delmon Young. Revere will be good for the Phillies. He is a good defensive OF and will bring speed to the top of the lineup (#1 or #2 hitter) who can help a club with his speed. He stole 74 bases over the last 2 years for the Twins. Revere does not bring much power to the lineup, (0 HRs so far in ML career), however he puts the ball in play a good amount (only SO 1 X per 10.6 PA) – and shows the ability to get on base and make things happen while there.
Delmon Young who was signed to a 1Yr/750,000 Dollar deal. That might seem like a bargain, but with the baggage Young comes with it may be a pretty fair price. Young has had numerous behavioral issues from a DUI to throwing his bat at, and hitting and umpire. On top of the behavioral problems are his fielding problems. I won’t get into the horrendous numbers, I’ll spare you, but he has never been good which is why the Tigers tried to hide him at DH over the past 2 seasons.
There is no hiding at DH in the NL, so Philly fans will get to see the Delmon Young show out in Right Field, or maybe Left. On the bright side, Young is a solid hitter. He hit .267/.296/.411 with 18 HRs and 74 RBI in 2012 which he has shown is about what you can expect from him. One more thing of note on Young is that he is coming off ankle surgery and may not be ready to start on opening day. He will likely be a starter once he is healthy though.
Domonic Brown was once a highly regarded prospect for the Phillies that everyone wished they had in their organization, but his shine has since faded some and there are skeptics that think he may have been over-hyped. His career statistics in the Majors would back up the naysayers, but he has only played 147 big league games over the past 3 seasons.
Brown has spent a bunch of time in the Minors. Brown has hit .236/.315/.388 with 12 HRs and 58 RBI in 433 AB with the big club – while his Minor League numbers are much more impressive. He is big and athletic with the tools to be a star, but don’t expect him to get there in 2013. I think at this point he has the upper hand in the 3rd OF spot behind Revere and Young, but that could change by the end of Spring Training.
Darin Ruf’s played 12 games for the Phillies in 2012 – and 139 games for their AA affiliate. In AA, Ruf was flat-out dominant. He hit .317/.408/.620 – with 38 HRs and 104 RBI. The numbers look incredible, (he led the Minors in HRs) – while maintaining a good BA, but you may need to curb your enthusiasm a little bit. Ruf was 26 Years Old for a good portion of the season – which is bordering on elderly for AA. Ruf can obliterate AA pitching that much is certain, but how will he handle jumping all the way up to the show? I imagine his power will translate, but will he make enough solid contact off the superior pitching he will now be facing?
It would have been nice to see him in AAA a little bit in 2012 in order to predict his 2013 success, but if there was ever a candidate to skip AAA, it would be Darin Ruf. John Mayberry Jr. hopes he doesn’t get lost in the Phillies outfield shuffle in 2013. Much of that will depend on the development of Brown and Ruf, as they both have a higher ceiling than Mayberry at this point, but they still need to prove themselves. I would consider Mayberry in the category of solid 4th OF. He doesn’t do anything outstandingly well, but he is a solid all-around player with 35 HRs and 109 RBI in 777 Career AB.
The Phillies 2013 outlook seems to hinge upon a few things and number one would probably be health. They didn’t have the best health in 2012, but as of now, 2013 looks more promising (cross your fingers). A couple more vital things to the Phillies 2013 success include the great unknown. If Halladay can be the Halladay of 2011 again, and Ruf/Brown can put together solid seasons which they have yet to do in the Majors, then I think the Phillies can be NL East or at the very least, Wild Card contenders. The organization has done pretty much all it can within its resources to put a winning team on the field in 2013. Every franchise needs some luck to be successful – and the Phillies are one of them.
(*The views and opinions expressed in this report are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of mlbreports.com*)
A big thank-you goes our to our ‘Baseball Writer’ Ryan Dana for preparing today’s featured article. Ryan is a junior studying physical education with a concentration in coaching at Bridgewater State University. He has been playing baseball since he was 7 and coaching since he was 14. Ryan wants to be a college baseball coach once he graduates. Ryan is, and always will be, a diehard Boston Red Sox fan. Secondary to baseball, he is a big health and fitness enthusiast. You can find Ryan on Twitter. Follow @ryandana1
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Posted on March 1, 2013, in MLB Teams: Articles and Analysis, The Rest: Everything Baseball and tagged 2008 world series', 2009 World Series, @ryandana1 on twitter, antonio bastardo, ben revere, Bill James, carlos ruiz, chase utley, Citizens Bank Park, cliff lee, cole hamels, darin ruf, delmon young, Domonic Brown, erik kratz, Freddy Galvis, hunter pence, joe blanton, john lannan, john mayberry Jr., jonathan papelbon, justin de fratus, kyle kendrick, michale young, mike adama, National League Central, philadelphia phillies, phillipe aumont, raul valdez, roy halladay, ryan dana, ryan howard, shane victorino, texas rangers, vance worley. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.