View from the Left Coast by a Lefty: Checkin' In
I intended to write this a week ago at least. Laziness and weird happenings have pushed it off until now. I originally predicted 77 wins this year, with an uptick in possible excitement. After 2 weeks or so the anticipation has drained a bit with lack of execution covering the entire field and roster.
A few statements of fact. Pitching is mostly sub-par both starting and the pen. Overall I think McClure is falling down badly. There is no difference between him and Dubee any more. I'm wondering if this is a reflection of Pete Mackanin and if so, there is an indication of why Pete has not been extended yet. I am a Dusty Wathan fan and as early as it is in the season, it's not too early to wonder especially if the Pigs do well just what may be in the not so distant future.
SO... with that in mind some observations...
|When Bill talks Klentak listens|
Hernandez - great leadoff hitter, good hitter period. a possible perennial all star.
Joseph - my pick to really come through this year. so far a tad behind my expectations but has room to grow exponentionally.
Galvis - gold glover, was robbed last year. love his less exaggerated stance from both sides, will eventually become a steady .270+ hitter.
Franco - still wild at the plate. needs more discipline and to learn to go up the middle and to right more. not losing his helmet on swings so much but long way to go.
Subs - Blanco is a first class utility man, Stassi if given playing time could be a gold glover at first.
Rupp - top shelf catcher, keeps getting better.
Knapp - good choice for backup, and versatile. calls pretty good game.
Kendrick - excellent acquisition, professional. Lost nothing in swap for Ruf and Sweeney.
Odubey - biggest enigma on the team. also possibly the biggest potential still. good extension.
Saunders - a letdown so far. he also has upside I was counting on from Stairs but looking like the 2nd half of last year so far.
Nava - seems to be having a renaissance of his early Boston career. no qualms with him. needs more AB's.
Altherr - good upside and athletic but looks like shit at the plate. expect so much more from him, maybe cut down his swing a tad?
This is what will make the Phillies go or drown.
Highlights: Hellickson is a professional. Period. Nola looks to be coming back to his early showing a couple years ago. Eickhoff still keeping up string of quality starts but getting no support... no surprise. Phils only 3 errors all come during his appearances.
Lowlights: Velasquez has no command. Needs a real pitching coach up his ass to be effective. Bucholtz just sucks, bad signing. Being hurt could help bring back Eflin who I think can finally be a major league pitcher.
Pen: overall poor. in top 5 for worst ERA in at least the NL if not all of baseball. Gnats have a worse ERA but hit in the clutch to bail them out. Gomez has completely fallen apart since the birth of his child. who knows if that affects him but he sucks now. Benoit is a professional. Ramos and Neshek are holding their own.
I don't know what else to say. Is there potential? Yes. One good thing is this team seems to have chemistry, even with the new pieces. Another is they don't quit. They have come back big a half dozen times at least so far. To counter balance that, Phils are 0-5 when leading after 7 innings. Draw your own conclusions all around.
Last note, I now do not think they'll win more than 73 games tops. That's it, Ft Pitt. Please Phillies prove me wrong.
Bill S aka/netfather