2010 Philadelphia Phillies Baseball Preview
The Philadelphia Phillies (93-69) have won three division championships in three years, two N.L. pennants and one World Series. Not bad, huh? They may have lost some important guys from last season, including starter Cliff Lee to the Mariners, but they added one of the biggest prizes to their starting rotation—Roy Halladay. As they have been in the past three seasons, the Phils are loaded.
The high-impact pitching staff includes Roy Halladay (17-10, 2.79 ERA, 208 SO) in the role of the ace. Always a Cy Young candidate, he’s got a great mix of pitches and fine command. Lefty Cole Hamels (10-11, 4.32 ERA, 168 SO) had a tough year. If he can rediscover his curve ball, he’ll put up premium numbers. Righty Joe Blanton (12-8, 4.05 ERA, 163 RBI) is a durable strike thrower. Two lefties round out the rotation—J.A. Happ and Jamie Moyer.
Closer Brad Lidge (0-8, 7.21 ERA, 31 SV, 61 SO) had a subpar season as he battled various injuries. It’s hoped that off-season surgery will prove to be beneficial. When healthy and confident, he can be lights out. The pen is a bit thin right now with the main man being reliable setup guy Ryan Madson (5-5, 3.26 ERA, 10 SV, 78 SO).
The bats are loaded in Philadelphia. Leadoff man Jimmy Rollins (.250 BA, 21 HR, 77 RBI), who plays short, is an aggressive switch-hitter with power and fine speed. He’s also an outstanding fielder. Third baseman Chase Utley (.282 BA, 31 HR, 93 RBI) and first baseman Ryan Howard (.279 BA, 45 HR, 141 RBI) are both premier hitters. They are an impressive combo in the third and fourth spots. Left fielder Raul Ibanez (.272 BA, 34 HR, 93 RBI), who was hampered by injury in the second-half of the season, brings a disciplined, veteran bat to the plate. Catcher Carlos Ruiz (.255 BA, 9 HR, 43 RBI) is expected to power about 15 round trippers a season. Behind the plate, he shows excellent skills and technique. Ruiz works well with pitchers,
The Ruben Amaro Jr. era started in 2009 and the good news was that it wasn’t much different than the Pat Gillick era. New GM Amaro, who had been mentored by Gillick, made big things happen, including bringing pitcher Cliff Lee in mid-season to help secure the pennant. He also manufactured a three-way deal that brought Halladay to the team for the 2010 season. Manager Charlie Manuel is one of the best skippers in the biz, ably handling each of his players and game situations.
With a talented and dependable starting rotation, dynamic batting order and continued topnotch management, the Phillies have reestablished their winning tradition. The last time they dipped under .500 was the 2002 season when they posted a .497 mark. If the right guys stay healthy, this team has a chance to appear in its third straight World Series. The last time that happened was in 1942- 1944 when the Saint Louis Cardinals did it. Of course, a few clubs in the East, like the Braves and Mets, will have something to say about that.
For more info on the Phillies check out the MLB official page for Philadelphia.