It looks like Philadelphia Phillies fans will have to wait at least one more year for an exciting October.
An article recently published on Sports Illustrated’s website says that although the Phillies were mathematically knocked out of the playoff running on September 14th, Philly fans still have a few silver linings to hold onto.
For example, the author mentions Dominic Brown: a top prospect in 2009 who has struggled with injury and unsatisfactory playing time, finally seems to have found a successful place from which to operate. An opening in the outfield gave Brown a chance to get some at bats, and he certainly made the most of them. According to SI, Brown went on an absolute tear, putting 12 out of the park in only 19 games, and batting .272 with 27 homers and 81 RBIs for the year.
Also mentioned in the article is Philly fan favorite Chase Utley. Utley had experienced major knee issues in 2012, and had been spending several months recovering from regenerative surgery. However, the end of his season left him injury-free, and hitting for more power than in any of his last three years.
The team also got some help from two of its newest members, SI says. Rookies Cody Asche and Darin Ruff proved themselves to be solid everyday players, particularly Asche, who for the time being has earned himself the starting spot at third base.
Oh, and Cliff Lee continues to be amazing. Nothing new there.
There were, however, more problems than highlights, and SI is quick to point to Roy Halladay’s ERA of 8.65 in just seven starts, this before a shoulder surgery that would sideline him for nearly four months. Ryan howered and Jimmy Rollins’ bats were both virtually non-existent, Howard because of season-ending knee problems and Rollins for reasons passing understanding.
Overall, Sports Illustrated argues that the Phillies’ old age is beginning to show. Their 2008-2009 runs of success are behind them, and until they can breath some life into an old and aging organization, they will continue to struggle.