Sunday, April 15, 2012

Time to Panic? Not Yet

After 8 games, the Phillies offense has been struggling to score runs, to say the least! Are the injuries to Ryan Howard and Chase Utley too much to overcome? Will the offense continue to scuffle? The replacement in the lineup haven't done much, though slick fielding second baseman Freddy Galvis has started to hit a little after beginning his big league career with an 0-12 collar. Still, his production is nothing like Utley in his prime, nor even th Utley of last year, nor can we expect it to ever approach the Hall of Fame type numbers Chase produced before injuries derailed his election to those hallowed halls. Expecting Chase to return and be Chase is likely a pipe dream as well. Howard, on the other hand, should come back and be a reasonable facsimile of the run producing machine he always has been, if not this year, then certainly by next year. The combination of his temporary replacements, Ty Wigginton, Laynce Nix, Jim Thome, and John Mayberry Junior should be able to approach the 31 homeruns and 109 RBI's Howard produced last year. If Mayberry can begin to harness the talent his physical gifts imply (He began to show signs of this last year), he might be able to give them production similar to what Jayson Werth produced while here in Philly, production that netted him a $126 million free agent contract from the Washington Nationals.

The Phillies pitching continues to be excellent, the offense should improve to a level that will allow the Phillies to generate enough runs to support that pitching, and the team still has the pedigree the win the NL East. The low run totals are likely just a function of slow starts and offensive funks that afflict every baseball team throughout the season. That's why they play 162, giving plenty of team for the cream to rise to the top.

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