Bullpen Bonanza: Projecting the 2011 Philadelphia Phillies Bullpen

January 12, 2011 by  
Filed under Fan News

Winning the World Series requires the perfect balance between pitching and hitting.

When the Philadelphia Phillies won the World Series in 2008, they did so on the strength of their bullpen, anchored by Brad Lidge, and an offense that went unrivaled in the National League.

When they returned to the World Series in 2009, the balance wasn’t perfect. Lidge crumbled, and the bullpen followed suit. The powerful offense wasn’t able to keep up with the bullpen’s woes.

In 2010, the tide turned. The bullpen was strong, at least at the back end, by the time the playoffs rolled around, but the injured, slumping offense drifted into oblivion.

What will the balance look like in 2011?

The offense will gain some internal boosts. Despite losing Jayson Werth, perennial All-Stars like Ryan Howard, Chase Utley and Jimmy Rollins look to stay healthy and return to form. Players like Shane Victorino and Raul Ibanez look to capitalize on healthy seasons once again, and Carlos Ruiz looks to continue his 2010 success.

Though the right field puzzle remains in pieces, the Phillies play host to a few breakout candidates in Ben Francisco and Domonic Brown.

Health will be the key, and if the Phillies remain healthy, the offense will not be a concern.

The rotation, with aces galore, has already taken shape, and the bullpen is beginning to follow suit. With many roles already filled, health will play a major role in this area as well. Relievers like Brad Lidge and Ryan Madson, who had great success during last year’s stretch run, will look to solidify a bullpen that has been somewhat of an Achilles heel in the past.

In order to obtain balance, the Phillies’ bullpen must match the strength of a healthy offense. Can it be done?

Here is an in-depth look at the Phillies’ bullpen as it projects to shape up in the 2011 season.

Begin Slideshow

Article Source: Bleacher Report - Philadelphia Phillies

Speak Your Mind

Tell us what you're thinking...