Posted on: March 20, 2011 3:07 pm

Another Spring Training Prediction

LIfe should have been good. Last year's blog on 2010 was close to prophetic. I hope I am wrong with what i am about to write, but here it goes:
PItching:The pitching staff is flush. All this nonsense about Hamels and Lee getting roughed up is nothing. They will be fine and the bullpen looks good as well. Madesen is focused because he is playing for his big payday and as a free agent he will impress as the set up man. The only real question is "Lights On/Lights Out Lidge--That's where the pitching staff has to keep the pressure off the bullpen. The only concern I have is where the starters are eking out a one  run victory and Lidge has to pull out the one inning or even two out save (if Danys can be somewhat effective). This scenario assumes that the line-up, given its injuries and sudden trending down due to aging of the core will be the norm not the exception.
Hitting:jason Werth cashed in and left town leaving a huge void that may be covered by a platoon of Mayberry/Francisco. Ibanez will be covered by these two or even in platoon with Brown (when/if he returns). Bottom line--none of these guys hits for the same power as Werth, though they may not strike out as much either. Chase Utley reminds me of Don Mattingly, a great player whose career was stifled by unfortunate injuries and had to retire early. I realize its only March, but I'm not counting on Utley this year--that knee sounds arthritic and the Phillies brass (i.e., Amaro) are downplaying the injury or not responding. They are already at their max salary up against the salary tax and they have little or room to bring in other players. Rollins is an enigma and is 32 playing out the string, Ryan Howard is still struggling against off-speed pitching and he is 31. Chooch Ruiz had a career year and can not be expected to repeat a .300 season. I think Victorino will do better than last year's .250, and Polanco at 36 years young has a lame elbow again. Wow, we are in trouble.
Prediction: the Fightins' have enough to stave off Atlanta for the Eastern Division, But I don't think they make the World Series this year, even with the stud Pitching. The line-up is just too suspect and lame knees (Utley), previously operated on inflamed elbows (Polanco), 40 year old starting left fielders (Ibanez), 31 year old sluggers (Howard), just doesn't sound like the nucleus you should hang your hopes on. I love the Phillies and I truly hope I am wrong, but the line-up and the salary requirements mean we will probably go into battle with what we have. Anything beyond the East is a gift in 2011
Posted on: February 7, 2010 4:54 pm

Phillies Spring Training a Week Away

Having little or no interest in the Super Bowl (it's so hard being an Eagles fan), I turned my attention to the fact that Pitchers and Catchers report this week to Clearwater. I am extremely optimistic that the Phillies have added the right parts, though losing Cliff Lee was a tough one. I guess having 140 Million doesn't mean you can go as far as you want with it, but Roy Halladay is a stud. i am anxious to see how hard Cole Hamels worked in the off-season--if he can come back to 2008 form, we will be in excellent shape. Blanton eats innings and the bullpen looks replenished. I don't see anyone else in the East or in the NL that has improved to the point where the Phillies won't be competitive.

The biggest problem I see is the 5th starter--Jaimie Moyer. WOW!!! Otherwise, we could try Contreras and/or Kendrick again. I realize not many teams have a reliable 5th starter, but I am hoping someone comes out of spring training with the inside track. With Lidge rehabing again from post-season surgery, Danys can close if you assume he's healthy.

The line-up itself is as solid as ever. Feliz was a nice player but his injuries and lack of power from 3rd base did have an effect. Palanco is not a power hitter yet he can hit on contact and gives flexibility with Victorino in the 6 hole or the 2 hole; thus, he's an upgrade. I saw Ryan Howard and he looks buff--spent the whole off-season training and looks like he wants to start fast out of the gate. Chase is Chase and he is one full year removed from the hip surgery so I expect him to hit for power again. Jason Werth is playing on the last year of his contract so he'll be trying to showcase himself. Jimmy Rollins is in his prime and shows no signs of slowing down.  Ibanez is 37 and definitely slowed down as the year went on, but the bench is upgraded too.

Pre-season prediction: Strong Powerful LIne-up, Reliable Defense, Some weak spots/question marks in the Pitching.....First in the East, World Series Bound.....Whoo HOO  On Phillies Victory Train.
Category: MLB
Posted on: February 6, 2010 7:13 pm

Owls Caught in Spiders Web

The # 17 Owls went down to Richmond and lost an important game that not only drops them out of 1st place tie in the A10 and will now knock them down if not out of the top 25. Once again a top shooting team and a tough defense caused us to lose this game. Also, our vaunted defense, gave up 71 points. Fran saw some lapses against Duquesne on Wednesday and benched some of the starters.

I wonder if there needs to an alignment in the starting 5. Is Juan Fernandez still feeling the affects of his injury.

Maybe the snowstorm that battered our area was a factor. Really wishful thinking.
Category: NCAAB
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