The torture that was the 2012 Phillies season is finally over. And sadly, it ended just as I predicted before the season even began; without a playoff bid. I was hoping to be wrong about that.
Since the Phillies won the World Series in 2008, each year they have taken exactly one step backwards. So this year, missing the playoffs seemed like their destiny. They lost the World Series in 2009; lost the NL Championship Series in 2010; lost the NL Division Series in 2011; and now, the next logical step has arrived. The Phillies will go home early without even a sniff at a post-season run.
Remember happy days like these?:
For now, they are gone :O(
The first casualties of the 2012 disaster are already accounted for. Bench coach Pete Mackanin, hitting coach Greg Gross and first base coach Sam Perlozzo have all been given their walking papers. More fallout is probably on the horizon, but it will probably involve players, not coaches.
So who else should stay and who should go? Here are some thoughts, starting with the offense:
In 195 at-bats, Kevin Frandsen hit .338, which led the team. And for an entire month, he played with a stress fracture in his leg, yet he still kept hitting. I say put him at 3rd base and get a back-up in case of injuries.
If the Phillies do not re-sign Juan Pierre, they are insane. He hit .307 in 394 at-bats, led the team in stolen bases with 37 and he is the best bunter you can find anywhere.
Bring Shane Victorino back! After a depressing second half with the Dodgers, his price will go down, possibly to the point where the Phillies can afford to resign him. John Mayberry Jr. and Domonic Brown can platoon and then the Phils need another outfielder or two.
Needs to Go: Nate Schierholtz, Ty Wigginton, Michael Martinez. Martinez is good defensively, but hit only .174 in 115 at-bats. They can find a better utility guy. And we are stuck with Laynce Nix for one more year unless someone is willing to trade for him…not likely.
Back-up Catcher: In – Erik Kratz; Out – Brian Schneider.
Relief Pitching: Jonathan Papelbon stays and probably Antonio Bastardo. I will also put in votes for Jeremy Horst and Phillipe Aumont. The maybes are Jake Diekman and Justin DeFratus, although DeFratus needs to be 100% healthy, which I feel is still in question. Michael Stutes may return, but no one is sure in what condition.
Please Go Away: Josh Lindblom – trade him (if anyone wants him). He has been awful. This team needs some veteran help in the pen.
Please Come Back: Ryan Madson!
As for starters, unless someone’s arm falls off, stick with the usual 5: Cole Hamels, Cliff Lee, Roy Halladay (pray he gets healthy), Vance Worley and Kyle Kendrick.
And of course, all the usual suspects, like Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley, Carlos Ruiz, etc… will be back. But will they be healthy? That is the looming question.
To give an idea of how badly the injuries hurt the team this year, consider this: I may be missing some, but by looking at the team stats, at least 49 different players made an appearance for the Phillies this year, rotating in and out of the 25-man roster. Also, only 2 players of those 49 reached 400 or more at-bats; Rollins (632) and Mayberry (441). That is scary.
So the season is over and the healing (quite literally) shall begin. Do you have any thoughts you would like to share about this season? Feel free to leave comments below.
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Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography