Earlier this week, the Philadelphia Phillies bullpen took a hit. Joe Blanton, Brad Lidge, and J.C. Romero are all going to start the season on the disabled list. Losing Romero, like last season is going to hurt the bullpen greatly, and being coupled with Lidge gone too, the Phillies bullpen, which is already the worst part of the team, will most likely struggle at the beginning of the season. Joe Blantons injury hurts, but not quite as much. The Phillies already had 6 starters, and were deciding between Kyle Kendrick and Jamie Moyer to start the season in the bullpen. Now both will be in the rotation, and Blanton will be on the DL.
Unfortunately, these injuries are the lead story going into the season instead of the big splash of the off-season: The Phillies trading for Roy “Doc” Halladay. For no reason other than money, the Phils got rid of Cliff Lee, whom they traded to the Seattle Mariners. With a healthy Lee, in my opinion, the Phils would be looking at one of the best rotations in the NL. That’s neither here nor there though, whats done is done. Halladay is arguably the best starting pitcher in the entire MLB right now. On any given night he can give you 9 strong. He’s coming from the treacherous AL East, where he was pitching against the offenses of the Yankees, Red Sox, Rays, and Orioles. From 2002–2008, Halladay had a .698 winning percentage, 113 wins, 9 shutouts, 37 complete games, and 7.14 innings per start, all of which are the best in the American League in that time frame. Simply put, he’s a stud.
Here’s what the rotation looks like:
-Cole Hamels. He struggled last year, but has looked very good this spring, and should be back to his 2008 form.
-J.A. Happ. Is it Jay or J.A.? Who knows. For a while last year, he was the Phillies best pitcher. He needs to avoid the sophomore slump.
-Kyle Kendrick. If he learned how to throw a changeup, he’ll be good.
-Jamie Moyer. Played against the dinosaurs, so pitching against people should be easy in comparison. If he can stay healthy, and not tired, he should be fine.
-Joe Blanton. On the DL, but will come back and be in the rotation. Looks exactly like Brendan Crowther.
And the relievers:
-Danys Baez. His first name is plural, I dare you to find me another Danys in the world. Hopefully this will distract hitters, because he isn’t that good.
-Antonio Bastardo. He’s a young lefty. He’ll be pitching more while Romero is gone, hopefully he’ll be solid.
-Chad Durbin. Durbin has been solid the past couple years, hopefully he’ll continue.
-Jose Contreras. He either sucks, or is brilliant. We need consistency out of him.
-David Herndon. Who’s this? He earned a spot in the spring.
-Ryan Madson. Looking like the closer while Lidge is out. Once he’s back, Madson should be the setup guy.
-Brad Lidge. On the DL. He needs to be somewhere between his perfect 2008 season and poor 2009 season.
-J.C. Romero. On the DL. Lefty specialist. Used roids before and get caught so he’s got street cred.
I hate to say it, but the Phils are probably going to be looking to pick up a pitcher or two at the deadline. That being said, I’m going to predict a 93-69 year.