The Philadelphia Phillies will field, arguably, one of the best pitching rotations in history. It would seem that many “experts” and fans alike expect the Phillies to win the National League, and possibly the World Series. I posit this: the Phillies are overrated.
The Phillies pitchers are phenomenal. Lets face it, the National League needs to be concerned. If you are a fan of the Mets, Braves, Nationals, or Marlins you should be worried. However, games are not won solely on your starting pitchers arms. You need hitting. If Chase Utley returns before the All-Star break, the Phillies should consider themselves lucky.
Philadelphia’s offense was, in my opinion, greatly hurt by the loss of Werth. I say this because there are to many questions surrounding what offense will show up in 2011. Ryan Howard needs to have a stellar season. Shane Victorino needs to improve as does Jimmy Rollins.
Placido Polanco’s .298 average helps, but he needs to produce more RBIs. Raul Ibanez is simply to old. I don’t think he will be effective.
In short, the Phillies seem to be placing much hope on their rotation and bullpen. Teams like the Yankees tend to depend on their offense to fill the gaps in their pitching. The Phillies are doing the opposite. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Phillies struggle out of the gate. The Braves should be a concern to the City of Brotherly Love. Until we see what the Phillie bats will do, lets not punch their World Series ticket just yet.
Agree? Disagree? Let me know what you think!
All statistical data from espn.go.com.