2009 Philadelphia Phillies Baseball Preview

In 2007, the Philadelphia Phillies (92- 70) made it into the post-season but never got to the World Series. Last year, the team from the City of Brotherly Love took the whole kit and caboodle. They did it with sound pitching, homerun hitting and a closer who was simply perfect. In each of the past five seasons, this team has won 85 games or more. This season should be no different.

The top of the pitching rotation features Cole Hamels (14- 10 W/L, 3.09 ERA, .237 BAA). Hamels throws a sinking, tailing fastball, sinking curve and fine change. He's an excellent number one guy. Brett Meyers (10- 13 W/L, 4.55 ERA, .267 BAA) throws an 89- 93 mph fastball that sinks into the lower third of the plate. His cutter and slider keep hitters off balance. Meyers has to watch putting the fastball in the center of the plate. Joe Blanton (9- 12 W/L, 4.69 ERA, .271 BAA) slings his fastball on both sides of the plate. He's a durable, motivated athlete. Jamie Moyer (16- 7 W/L, 3.71 ERA, .262 BAA) keeps hitters totally off balance with his mix of pitches and the manner in which he spots them. Fifth starter Kyle Kendrick (11- 9 W/L, 5.49 ERA, .304 BAA) is a capable sinker/slider hurler. Closer Brad Lidge (1.95 ERA, 41 SV, .198 BAA) is phenomenal. If he comes in, the game is won.

Shortstop Jimmy Rollins (.277 BA, 59 RBI, 11 HR, 47 SB), a switch-hitter, gets on base and can steal. Shane Victorino (.293 BA, 58 RBI, 14 HR, 36 SB) is a switch-hitter with a fast bat and fine speed. Back-to-back, Chase Utley (.292 BA, 104 RBI, 33 HR) and Ryan Howard (.251 BA, 146 RBI, 48 HR) were good for over 80 homers and exactly 250 RBI last season. Free agent Raul Ibanze (.293 BA, 110 RBI, 23 HR) brings some nice power and run producing chops.

The fielding on this team is uneven. At third, Pedro Feliz shows quickness and agility, while at first Howard is slow and clumsy. Short is manned by the impressive Rollins but Utley at second is average and prone to making bad throws. Catcher Carlos Ruiz has some positive attributes but is not a day-to-day player. In left field, former Mariner Ibanez plays well. In right, Werth offers smart, athletic play, and in center, Victorino uses speed and instinct to track down tough-to-get balls.

Ruben Amaro, Jr takes over as GM after serving a three-year apprenticeship under master GM Pat Gillick. Amaro knows the ropes, the moves and the philosophy. Manager Charlie Manuel is popular with the players. Noted for his consistency and ability to motivate, Manuel knows how to get the job done.

Can this team repeat? It is certainly possible. They'll have to deal with a few East Division opponents, and then in the second-season, the Phills will need to take care of either the Cubs or the Cards. Neither will go easily. Still, this is a solid team and they are durable. They'll be tough to stop.

Read more on the Phillies other NL East division opponents, New York Mets, Florida Marlins, Atlanta Braves and Washington Nationals.

For more info on the Phillies check out the MLB official page for Philadelphia.


2009 Baseball Preview

The 2009 Major League Baseball season is here and Maddux Sports once again has unveiled their annual preview of this years summer pastime. We go in-depth on all 30 baseball teams as well as our divisional predictions including order of finish. To find your favorite team click on the division links to the right. At anytime you can return to the 2009 baseball preview page.

09 MLB Division Previews

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