Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Philadelphia Philies

Philadelphia Phillies (81-81) – 3rd place NL East

Riding high expectations going into the 2012 season, injuries were an enormous problem for the Phillies all season.  Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, Roy Halladay, Carlos Ruiz, and Placido Polanco all missed significant amounts of time throughout the year.  A late season run wasn’t enough to propel the Phillies into the playoffs ahead of division rivals Atlanta and Washington.

Pitchers- The Phillies’ three headed monster of Cole Hamels, Roy Halladay, and Cliff Lee was pretty good again in 2012, but a couple of glaring statistics stood out.  Despite a 3.16 ERA and over 200 strikeouts, Cliff Lee managed to only win 6 games!  Somewhere sabermetricians are celebrating and screaming to completely eliminate the wins statistic, just as they have been screaming for days about Mike Trout not winning the MVP award.  Roy Halladay, who missed about a month due to injuries, wasn’t himself in 2012.  Halladay had an ERA of 4.49, astronomical by his standards, and he had 0 complete games, a stat that Halladay is usually near the top of the league in.  Cole Hamels was magnificent for the Phillies. He won 17 games, had a 3.06 ERA, and also led the team in innings pitched and strikeouts.  The rest of the rotation, at times consisting of Vance Worley, Joe Blanton, and Kyle Kendrick, was all pretty average, but with the 3 horses in this rotation, not much is expected of the bottom 2 spots.  Free agent closer Jonathan Papelbon was brilliant for the Phillies, converting 38 saves in 42 opportunities, all while maintaining a 2.44 ERA and striking out 90 batters in 70 innings.

Halladay, Lee, and Hamels lead the charge for the Phillies

Infield- This infield is usually led by superstars Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, and Jimmy Rollins.  Rollins was the only one of the three to play a full season in 2012.  The average was not there for Rollins, but he did hit 23 home runs and stole 30 bases.  Howard and Utley missed most of the season prior to the All-Star break.  Both struggled to return to form once returning, as Utley hit just .256 and Howard flirted with the Mendoza Line, hitting just .219.  Third base was manned by both Placido Polanco and Ty Wigginton.  Like the rest of the Philly offense, both struggled, hitting .257 and .235 respectively.  Perhaps the story of the year for the Phillies was catcher Carlos Ruiz.  The fan favorite, affectionately nicknamed “Chooch,” hit .325 with 16 home runs and 68 RBIS, despite missing almost all of August due to injury.

Outfield- Shane Victorino, also known as the “Flying Hawaiian,” wasn’t bad for the Phillies, hitting .261 and stealing 24 bases, but because of the Phillies’ struggles, Victorino was shipped to the Los Angeles Dodgers.  Right fielder Hunter Pence was also a trade deadline casualty, and was traded to the San Francisco Giants in July.  The surprise of the outfield was Juan Pierre.  After joining the team on a minor league deal in the off-season, Pierre cemented himself at the top of the lineup, hitting .307 and stealing 37 bases in 130 games.

Victorino, known as a spark plug, and Pence, known for having
the skinniest calves in baseball, were both sent out west at
the trade deadline

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