At last, the Philadelphia Phillies will get the chance to right the wrongs that resulted in an early exit from the postseason last October. Thursday they will open the 2012 season against Pennsylvania's other team in the Pittsburgh Pirates at 1:35 pm at PNC park.
Many questions loom over this 2012 squad and many pundits have differing opinions of the team. Some feel the Phillies are still the National League East favorite, some feel they won't even make the post season and others see this team making it to the World Series once again.
All of which remains to be seen, but what is for certain is that Charlie Manuel and the gang will have to rely heavily on quality pitching day-in and out as they will begin 2012 with a severe lack of offensive fire power due to injuries to Ryan Howard and Chase Utley.
The Phillies mantra for the early part of the new season will have to be "small-ball" due to the vacancy left by Howard's bat.
This leaves the team with no true clean-up hitter.
Home runs are going to have to come from John Mayberry Jr. who struggled in spring training in addition to Pence as both have showed the potential for power in past seasons.
The offseason additions of Jim Thome, Laynce Nix, and Ty Wiggington are going to be under the scope as any positive contribution to the offense and first base will likely come from some of the newest Phillies.
Let's just say RAJ will earn every penny of his salary this season and his acqusitions are likely to be scrutinized for better or for worse.
And, if the Phillies didn't have enough obstacles to surmount, the Phillies faithful and media members alike will be paying close attention to the young guns in Freddy Galvis and Dominic Brown.
Can Galvis hold down the fort at second base and can Brown turn into that everyday player that many thought he would when he was one of baseball's top rated minor league prospects?
The jury is out on both but if the team is going anywhere this season one of the two will have to step up to the plate literally and figuratively.
Finally when Utley and Howard do return, will the team be in playoff contention? Or can the pair make the team better?
The funny thing in all this is, we don't know when either will return, but let's hope each question posed above will have a positive answer down the road.
Related VideosReturning Soon!!!!
No related posts.
Short URL: http://sport-ne.ws/d3n