MLB Previews: Expectations For Wounded Philadelphia Phillies
Heading into the 2012 season the Philadelphia Phillies were the favorite to win the NL East as they were coming off of five straight postseason berths. With Chase Utley and Ryan Howard missing a ton of time, the expectations dwindled as the month wore on causing the Phillies to finish with a 81-81 record for the first time since 1984.
2013 looks like a good year for the Phillies and could very well be the last season that this current group has a world series in them considering the age up and down the ballclub. First and foremost, Philly to avoid any injuries to their big guns–last season Utley and Howard combined to miss 170 games with Howard playing in just 71 contests. I’ll give the organization credit as they signed Michael Young to a contract this offseason after he was a staple of excellency in 14 seasons with the Texas Rangers. Young can play three different positions which will be crucial for a team that has been riddled by the injury bug for the past three years.
With Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels and Roy Halladay in their pitching staff the Phillies should be able to stifle any offense, but the health issue with all three of these guys looms large. Halladay is scaring MLB scouts around the country as his velocity has seen a considerable drop during spring training this season. The Phils’ signed Halladay to be an ace and his 4.49 ERA last year is a huge red flag to anyone who thinks this team can make another postseason run.
Charlie Manuel has coached some great teams, however this team is going to struggle to stay above .500–look for the Phillies to start out hot, but fall later in the year and finish in third place with a 84-78 record.