Today in “30 Teams in 30 Days,” we will be looking at the Philadelphia Phillies. After their World Series defeat to the New York Yankees, the Phillies will take the field this season to again prove that they are one of baseball’s elite teams. With much of the lineup left intact, this will be the same offensive juggernaut of years past. The big move this off-season is the acquisition of arguably the best pitcher in baseball, Roy Halladay. While at the expense of Cliff Lee, Halladay gives the Phillies a right-handed ace to anchor the staff for the next four seasons. Look for Philadelphia to continue their reign over the National League and contend for another World Series title.
|C Carlos Ruiz||.255||.355||.425||32||9||43||3||322|
|1B Ryan Howard||.279||.360||.571||105||45||141||8||616|
|2B Chase Utley||.282||.397||.508||112||31||93||23||571|
|SS Jimmy Rollins||.250||.296||.423||100||21||77||31||672|
|3B Placido Polanco||.285||.331||.396||82||10||72||7||618||w/DET|
|LF Raul Ibanez||.272||.347||.552||93||34||93||4||500|
|CF Shane Victorino||.292||.358||.445||102||10||62||25||620|
|RF Jayson Werth||.268||.373||.506||98||36||99||20||571|
Unsettled: Raul Ibanez. It was a tale of two halves for Ibanez in 2009. In his first season in red pinstripes, Ibanez came out of the gate white-hot, hitting .340/.399/.716 with 19 home runs and 51 RBI in 50 games through June 2. Then the injury bug bit him as he was placed on the disabled list in mid-June with a strained left groin. In his final 84 games he was a totally different player, hitting .228/.313/.446 with 15 home runs and 42 RBI. After battling through pain for nearly four months, Ibanez underwent sports-hernia surgery in November. He is expected to be ready for spring training but you have to wonder how much of a toll age and injuries have taken on this once-reliable outfielder.
Target: Jimmy Rollins and Shane Victorino. The acquisition of third-baseman Placido Polanco gives the Phillies a career .300 hitter with the ability to get on base and strikeout very rarely. His table-setting skills are best suited in the second spot in this lineup. If manager Charlie Manuel agrees, this will inevitably bump down either Rollins or Victorino to the seventh spot in the order. Rollins should be the ideal fit here, as he is better served as a run-producer than a leadoff man. Whoever Manuel chooses to hit seventh, they will have many chances to drive in runs hitting behind the meat of the lineup. Couple these chances with their ability to steal 25 or more bases and you should have fine value in your draft.
|Roy Halladay (R)||17-10||2.79||1.13||208||35||239||w/TOR|
|Cole Hamels (L)||10-11||4.32||1.29||168||43||193.2|
|Joe Blanton (R)||12-8||4.05||1.32||163||59||195.1|
|J.A. Happ (L)||12-4||2.93||1.23||119||56||166|
|Kyle Kendrick (R)||3-1||3.42||1.37||15||9||26.1|
Unsettled: Jamie Moyer. The 47-year-old lefty has his name penciled in as the fifth starter though he is doubtful to be ready for opening day after undergoing three surgeries, two dealing with a hernia and its complications, and another on his left knee. Kyle Kendrick looks to have the first opportunity to take the job, though he will have healthy competition in spring training. Kendrick pitched well as a rookie in 2007 and as a spot-starter last year, but he is still a work in progress, as he desperately needs to find a pitch to combat left-handed hitters. Andrew Carpenter struggled in his lone 2009 start but posted a 3.35 ERA at Triple-A. Antonio Bastardo looked intriguing early on in his rookie campaign before going down to injuries, though he will probably be utilized as a lefty in the bullpen with Scott Eyre’s retirement and J.C. Romero recovering from elbow surgery. Jose Contreras, recently signed to a one-year contract, provides versatility, being able to start or work out of the bullpen.
Target: Cole Hamels. Coming into 2009, the talented young lefty was flying off of draft boards as the fourth starting pitcher selected. After his dreadful performance last year, he is coming into this year as the 22nd starting pitcher taken. Sure his ERA ballooned from a tidy 3.09 to a pedestrian 4.32, but as we delve deeper into the numbers, what really changed? His K/BB ratio was better, (3.91 in 2009, 3.70 in 2008) as was his HR/FB rate (10.7% in 2009, 11.2% in 2008), and his FIP (3.72) was exactly the same. It seems as if Hamels and his .325 BABIP, 11th highest among major league starters, was simply unlucky and he started to lose a little poise because of it. There are concerns that he needs to develop a third pitch, as he can become predictable at times when just throwing fastball and change-up. He is sure to prepare better for this year as he admitted that his off-season routine wasn’t the best after winning the World Series MVP. His median draft position has him being selected late in the ninth round of a 12-team league, a bargain for a potential ace.
The 8th and 9th Innings
|Brad Lidge (R)||31||7.21||1.81||61||34||58.2|
|Ryan Madson (R)||10||3.26||1.23||78||22||77.1|
Chasing Saves: After a perfect 2008 campaign where he converted 41 saves in 41 chances, Brad Lidge’s eleven blown saves (31 of 42) led the majors in 2009. When the first save opportunity arises in 2010, he may not be the man to close it out after two surgeries (knee, elbow) in three months have clouded his status for opening day. Ryan Madson, who blew six saves of his own last year, is next in line if Lidge misses time. Madson is a nice target late in drafts because of this and also because Lidge’s leash is sure to be shorter after his performance last year. Veteran Danys Baez was also brought in this off-season and possesses experience closing out games if needed.
The Phillies are a one-stop fantasy shop. Howard and Utley are the cream of the crop at their respective positions. Rollins, Victorino, and Werth will give you good speed among other counting stats. Halladay is sure to anchor your rotation and Hamels can do the same. Lidge and Madson are guys to keep in mind for your relief corps.
Sean Acey is an avid Phillies fan who again thinks this is the year. You can catch up with Sean in the Cafe's forums where he posts under the name of smoovethug.
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