2010 Hot Stove: Why the Phillies WILL Be the 2011 World Series Champions

December 14, 2010 by  
Filed under Fan News

The Philadelphia Phillies have been one of the most successful baseball teams in the MLB the past three seasons. Recently, as most of you have heard, the Phillies lost their all-star left fielder, Jayson Werth, to the Washington Nationals for a ridiculous amount of money, but also gained the most coveted free agent in the 2010 class, Cliff Lee. Also, they are looking to shop Raul Ibanez, which would mean they would not have a stable outfield. However, this is no reason why the Phillies should not still be an elite team.


1)    Starting Pitching

Pitching wins championships, and the Phillies have plenty of it. Their Big Three, Roy Halladay, Cole Hamels and Roy Oswalt, all return next season. Now the Phantastic Phour after the HUGE signing of Cliff Lee, the Phillies can almost not even dress any relievers.

Halladay is coming off a career season, winning 21 games and striking out 219 batters, both career highs. He also added another Cy Young Award to his collection, a perfect game and a no-hitter in the postseason. Cole Hamels had a great season to bounce back from a terrible 2009 campaign. He posted a 3.06 ERA after an abysmal 4.32 ERA in 2009. After the Phillies acquired Oswalt, he was un-hittable. His record did not show it at 13-13, but he had a 2.76 ERA, and after losing his first game as a Phillie he won seven straight.

Oh, not to mention, they now have Cliff Lee. Lee is coming off another spectacular postseason. He played in his second World Series, one with the Phillies and one with the Texas Rangers. Last season he posted a very good 3.19 ERA, but for the first half of the season he played on a terrible Seattle Mariners team. He was 12-9, and was injury-plagued in the begging of the season.

This prized free agent signing gives the Phillies the most feared starting rotation in the MLB, if they didn’t have it already. Also, Joe Blanton (who they are also looking to shop) and Kyle Kendrick are pretty good options for fifth starters, winning a combined 20 games in 2010.


2)    Charlie Manuel

As much as I hate Charlie’s in-game strategy, the players love him. He can get any player to play hard. He’s led the team to four straight division titles, back-to-back National League crowns in 2008 and 2009, and another three straight NLCS berths from 2008-2010. The players will always listen to him, and respect him.

For example, Jimmy Rollins did not run a ball out to first base on a ground ball last year. Charlie immediately pulled him from the game, and benched him the next game. He sent a message to the team, to make sure this did not happen again. The Phillies will continue to win under Charlie Manuel. One thing he needs to work on if his public speaking ability in post-game press conferences, but that’s irrelevant at this time.


3)    Howard, Utley, and Rollins

Despite losing Werth, the Phillies return their core players Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, and Jimmy Rollins. All had injury problems last season, so they’re bound for bounce-back seasons.

Jimmy has not been the same after his 2007 MVP season. His stats and games played have taken a very noticeable drop since the 2007 season. Howard, despite being on the DL twice last season, still hit for 31 HRs and 108 RBIs. Utley has been debatably the best second basemen in the league, but also had an injury-plagued season.

All these players will pick up the team, and fill Werth’s RBIs and HRs. In the postseason, the Phillies looked like a Little League team at the plate. Especially Ryan Howard looking at strike three to end the season. That is just inexcusable, and the Phillies will have to be better from the plate this season.


4)    Fielding

The Phillies are one of the best-fielding teams in the Majors. As a team they only had 83 errors, which was sixth-best in the league. They also were sixth in fielding percentage, and eighth in total assists. Yes, they lose Werth’s big arm in right field, but Carlos “Chooch” Ruiz is one of the better-fielding catchers in the game, and Shane Victorino just won his second Gold Glove in two years.


To wrap things up I will admit the Phillies are losing a big part of their team in Werth, but they will continue to have success like in recent years. A point I did not address in the article is their bullpen. Brad Lidge has to be the Brad Lidge of 2008 for them to be a World Series team again. Without Werth it will be a struggle, but the veteran Phillies will survive and still have great success. 

Read more Philadelphia Phillies news on BleacherReport.com

Article Source: Bleacher Report - Philadelphia Phillies

Speak Your Mind

Tell us what you're thinking...