By Kevin K
Last week 97.5 the Fanatic host Jon Marks through out a rapid fire question, that question was "what is your worry about the Phillies this season?" To be honest with you, I am not that worried.
You know is good when we are talking about open competition in the #5 starting spot instead of just 5 years ago where we didn't even know who are #1 starter was. Jamie Moyer is a crafty veteran who doesn't have any speed on his pitches, but he has a lot of movement on his pitches. The problem with Moyer is he is really up there in age for a Major League Pitcher and he is coming off of a bunch of surgeries in the off season. Right now competition is definitely brewing between Moyer and 25 year old Kyle Kendrick. Kendrick has won 21 games in 2 years for the Phils, but Kyle has really had troubles with a third pitch. Kendrick so far in Spring Training has definitely impressed me with his constant work ethic and his will to constantly be better. Kyle has reportedly been working out with Roy Halladay and asking him for tips on how to become better. There has even been competition between Halladay and Kendrick on who makes it to the ballpark first. Working with Halladay is only going to help Kendrick and make him better. The dark horse is Jose Contreras. Jose reminds me of Chan Ho Park last season, a guy who wants to be a starter, but will be great out of the bullpen.
Speaking of the bullpen, the main problem there is JC Romero is the only left handed pitcher in there, as of right now. I said it last year when Antonio Bastardo started for the Phillies for a few games, man this guy would be great out of the pen. He mainly works with his fast ball and can get guys out. Look out for Bastardo making it on the MLB roster in the Pen. The Phillies also made a big move signing Danny Baez, who I think if Brad Lidge falters this year, Baez will take over for him and be a worthy closer.
A main problem for the Phillies my be defensively at 3rd base. Placido Polanco is a great offensive player and will be great at the number 2 spot for the Phillies, but I am worried a little bit about his move from 2nd base to 3rd. He is a gold glover and I think he will work it out in Spring Training to be a top 3rd basemen in the league. Mike Schmidt being at Spring Training will only make him better.
The main problem with the Phillies last year was the bench. The bench was horrific for the Phils last season, and they really bolstered their bench this season. Ross Gload is a decent bat off the bench and will get hits. Greg Dobbs had injury problems last year but I believe he will be back this season. A key pickup last year was Ben Francisco (ooo Francisco I like that name). Big Ben was a key acquisition last year for the team, he can give the guys in the outfield some days off and can hit home runs. Ben is the perfect guy off the bench, and is a better run producer then Matt Stairs. Brian Schneider also gives the Phillies a chance to rest Carlos Ruiz and not scare the fans. Schneider is BETTER then Paul Bako and Chris Coste and gives the Phillies the most depth in catching. Also look out for Brad Wilkerson, he is not in Spring Training, but the Phillies did sign him to a minor league deal, he will play in Lehigh Valley and will be a great addition on the bench in case anyone gets hurt.
So Jonny to answer your question, I am not worried. Baseball is back and the Philadelphia Phillies are only going to be better this season. How can you get better then making the World Series, WINNING THE WORLD SERIES