phillypressbox

“View from the Philly Pressbox” – 2013 Phillies

In Philadelphia Phillies on April 2, 2013 at 10:26 pm

Phillies

What can we expect from the 2013 Philadelphia Phillies? Can the Phils get to the 88-92 wins it will take to make the playoffs? Here’s how we see the keys to the season from The Philly Pressbox. Lets start out by saying we think they can win 88 games, however, we don’t think they can win 96-100 that it will take to beat the Nationals. They must get off to a quick start when the schedule is in their favor.

 Here’s what has to happen:

  • ·        A combined 50 wins from Cole Hamels, Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee whether it’s 18, 16 and 16 doesn’t matter.
  • ·        A combined 22 wins from Kyle Kendrick and John Lannan. Again, whether it’s 12 and 10 or 14 and 8, they need to get to 22.

That gives 72 wins from the starting rotation. Are we asking too much? It should be safe to say that Hamels will have another solid season and should win 18 games. It should also be safe to say that Halladay and Lee will improve on the 17-17 record they posted in 2012. That brings us to Kendrick. Last year Kyle posted an 11-12 record with a respectable 3.90 ERA. Can he improve upon that as the #4 starter? We’ll take the 11 wins if he can cut down on the losses. Some run support will help. The #5 starter is lefty newcomer Lannan. Last year with the Nationals he finished 4-1 with a 4.13 ERA in just 6 starts. Basically the Nats gave up on the big man after 6 seasons in the big leagues and a 42-52 record. Can Lannan win 10 games for The Fightins? We think so. He will have to!

 The down side to this thought process is, as always, injuries. Last year the Phils had some depth with Kendrick as the 6th starter but that luxury is gone with the present big league roster.

 Mark this down, the bullpen will be better! Jonathan Papelbon will be solid as the closer. The addition of Chad Durbin and Mike Adams is huge. Add Antonio Bastardo, Jeremy Horst, Phillippe Aumont and Raul Valdes. I like this bunch. They are capable of grabbing 16-18 wins and more importantly not blowing leads late in games that seemed to be the norm in 2012. It will be up to Charlie Manuel and Rich Dubee not to overwork them so they’re ready in the stretch run of late summer.

 Lets talk position players. This is where it gets dicey. I like the infield regardless of its age if they stay healthy. We know what to expect from Jimmy Rollins. We will get 25-30 HR’s and 110 RBI’s from Ryan Howard if he plays 130 games. Michael Young at 3rd base will have to play 120 games, at least, if this lineup will be successful. Young is a good player and has been for a long time but it’s a long season playing every day and not just being a DH. Young contributing in the 5 hole will be huge. Chase Utley has got to have a big year. Watching Utley in the spring was fun again as he finally looks healthy. Chase has averaged just 100 games each of the last 3 seasons contributing 38 HR’s and 154 RBI’s. A healthy Utley playing 130+ games means 25 HR’s and 90 RBI’s in 2013.

 The infield depth could be a real question mark. Kevin Frandsen did a nice job in 2012 and deserved to be on the roster. Frandsen will be solid resting Young, however his lack of pop, his career 9 HR’s changes the dynamics of the lineup if he has to play an extended period of time. Freddy Galvis rounds out the infield. We are not big on Galvis and stand behind what we said last season, “he can’t hit big league pitching” and that was before he was suspended for performance enhancing drugs.

 The outfield is full of questions marks. Ben Revere will be a solid young player that will hit for average and steal bases. Hopefully he will be the leadoff hitter. Dominic Brown had a real good spring but the jury is still out on him. He has a lot to prove at the big league level. Lance Nix is not a starting everyday outfielder. John Mayberry has never earned a full time job. Delmon Young hasn’t shown much interest in playing and starts the season on the disabled list. The last spot currently belongs to Ezequiel Carrera. Who? Overall this outfield is not very strong.

 The catching position is also in flux. Erik Kratz will be the man for the first 25 games due to the suspension of Carlos Ruiz. Kratz played in only 50 games last season, a career high, and hit .248. Kratz will hold down the fort until Ruiz returns. Chooch will need another strong season. Humberto Quintero will back up Kratz.

 The summary is, can the pitching win without a strong lineup? That’s what it will take to make the playoffs. Can the Phils stay healthy? That’s what it will take to make the playoffs. There is no depth! Can Utley and Howard return to years past? That’s what it will take to make the playoffs. Can Chooch have as good a year as he did in 2012? That’s what it will take to make the playoffs. As important as anything can Halladay and Lee return to years past? That’s what it will take to make the playoffs.

 The Philly Pressbox prediction is 88 wins, 74 loses, 3rd in the East and the #5 playoff spot. Once you get to “The Party” the pitching takes over and The Fightins could surprise people in a short series.

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  1. I enjoyed reading your optimistic point of view on the Phils 2013 season. If they can get 5-6 strong innings from Lannan and Kendrick, in combination with Bastardo (7th), Adams (8th) and Papelbon (9th), then I think a playoff spot is not out of reach. Go Phils.

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