2012 Philladelphia Phillies Season Preview
A hard-fought battle in the division series with the St. Louis saw the Phillies lose two one-run game on the way to a 3-2 defeat. The Cardinals went on to win the World Series in game seven, while the Phillies sat at home wondering what went wrong after being the best team in baseball all season. The best pitching staff in baseball will be sure to take Philadelphia back to the postseason for another shot at a title with Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels leading the charges once again in 2012. Vance Worley will be new man to watch, as he’ll start the season in the rotation for the first time this year. Worley started 21 games last season, putting up an ERA of 3.01 over 131 innings while striking out 119 batters. He finished third in Rookie of the Year voting and features a fast ball in the low-to-mid 90s with a plus slider that can fool hitters on both sides of the plate. Joining the pitching staff is former Red Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon, who will perform the same duties in Philadelphia. Amassing 219 saves for Boston over the last six seasons, Papelbon has proven to be one of the premier closers in the game and has the ability to strike out the side any night of the week. Papelbon racked up 31 saves last season as he struck out 87 batters in only 64 innings. The offense is pretty much the same as it was in 2011, when it was led by Ryan Howards 33 HRs and 116 RBI. The only change will be the Hunter Pence playing a full season in right field after he was acquired from Houston at the deadline last season. Playing right field for the past three years, Raul Ibanez has moved on to the Yankees to look for time as a DH. The Phillies will travel across the state to Pittsburg to open the season at PNC Park on April 5. The home opener at Citizens Bank Park will come on April 9 when they host the Angels.
2011 Philladelphia Phillies Season Preview
If you’re going to make a single offseason move, it might as well be the one that has everyone talking. When the Phillies picked up superstar pitcher Cliff Lee off Free Agency, the team created the rotation that many are calling “The Four Aces.” Those aces being Lee, Roy Halladay, Roy Oswalt and Cole Hamels (fifth starter Joe Blanton’s pretty good, too). However, for a team built like the Phillies, they’re going to need those aces to beat the hand dealt them in the batting department. Not to say that Philadelphia has no offense. They still have a monster in Ryan Howard, but the sparks that propelled the team to two World Series are hurt or gone. Jayson Werth now calls Washington D.C. home, and Chase Utley, Raul Ibanez and Jimmy Rollins are trying to keep healthy to last the 162-game season (and it’s not looking good for any of them). So it’s up to the Phillies pitching staff to see the team through to the playoffs. If any staff was up to it, it would be this one (Halladay alone has more complete games in a season than some rotations). It will be exciting to see if the Phillies can overcome some injury hurdles and become that World Series contender people are expecting.
2010 Philladelphia Phillies Season Preview
For diehard baseball fans, November through March can be the longest months of the year - and for fans of the Philadelphia Phillies, the offseason was likely one of the more tedious in recent history. After battling to a World Series Championship in 2008, the Phils came close to an encore performance last season, winning the National League East Division for the third straight year, claiming the NL title for the second consecutive season, and coming just games of capturing another World Series victory. While their championship defense came to a bitter end last year, manager Charlie Manuel ended the season by saying that the Phightin' Phillies would be back in 2010 to make another run at the title, giving fans plenty of reason to head to the ballpark this summer. When Philadelphia takes the field this season, a few new faces will greet the fans. Roy Halladay, a former Cy Young award winner and one of the most dominating pitchers over the past few years, will take the mound for the squad this year. In addition, the Phillies welcome back third-baseman Placido Polanco to join All-Star infielders Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley and Ryan Howard.
2009 Philladelphia Phillies Season Preview
Philadelphia Phillies fans are thinking about back-to-back World Series championships as their team starts 2009. The Phillies surprised a lot of people in 2008 by winning the World Series, but now the challenge will be defending their title. The Phils return a ton of talent and should be able to make the National League playoffs in '09, the only question will be whether they have the stamina to go back-to-back in the World Series.
2008 Philladelphia Phillies Season Preview
The Philadelphia Phillies are one of the top teams to watch and the toughest to beat in the National League this season. In 2007, the Phillies came out on top of their division but lost in the National League Division Series to the eventual National League Champion Colorado Rockies. The Phillies hope to extend their playoff run this season behind the leadership of National League MVP shortstop Jimmy Rollins. Tens of thousands of fans will pack Citizens Bank Park this season to support the Phillies and their playoff hopes.