Wednesday, February 17, 2016

It Should Be An Interesting Roster…


Zolecki's Projections – Phillies pitchers and catchers hold their first workout today in Clearwater, Fla. Opening Day follows 46 days later. This figures to be the most interesting Spring Training for the Phillies since 2011, when they had arguably one of the greatest rotations in baseball history with Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels and Roy Oswalt. This time, things will be interesting for different reasons. The Phillies are rebuilding, which means this camp will feature players with plenty to prove. In the fifth part of a seven-part series previewing Phillies' Spring Training, takes a look at the projected lineup, rotation and back end of the bullpen. It is worth noting that while Cameron Rupp is expected to play more regularly than Carlos Ruiz behind the plate, it would not be a surprise to see the Phillies give the starting spot to Ruiz on Opening Day. It also is worth mentioning that there are multiple candidates for closer and setup men. Projecting a favorite at this point would be a bad bet. 2015 record: 63-99, fifth in the National League East. Projected batting order: 1. 2B Cesar Hernandez: .272 BA, .339 OBP, .348 SLG, 1 HR, 35 RBI in 2015; 2. CF Odubel Herrera: .297 BA, .344 OBP, .418 SLG, 8 HR, 41 RBI in 2015; 3. 3B Maikel Franco: .280 BA, .343 OBP, .497 SLG, 14 HR, 50 RBI in 2015; 4. 1B Ryan Howard: .229 BA, .277 OBP, .443 SLG, 23 HR, 77 RBI in 2015; 5. LF Aaron Altherr: .241 BA, .338 OBP, .489 SLG, 5 HR, 22 RBI in 2015; 6. C Cameron Rupp: .233 BA, .301 OBP, .374 SLG, 9 HR, 28 RBI in 2015; 7. SS Freddy Galvis: .263 BA, .302 OBP, .343 SLG, 7 HR, 50 RBI in 2015; 8. RF Peter Bourjos: .200 BA, .290 OBP, .333 SLG, 4 HR, 13 RBI in 2015. Projected rotation: 1. Aaron Nola , 6-2, 3.59 ERA in 2015; 2. Jeremy Hellickson , 9-12, 4.62 ERA in 2015; 3. Jerad Eickhoff , 3-3, 2.65 ERA in 2015; 4. Charlie Morton , 9-9, 4.81 ERA in 2015; 5. Vincent Velasquez , 1-1, 4.37 ERA in 2015. Projected bullpen: Closer: Edward Mujica, Ernesto Frieri or Andrew Bailey; RH setup man: David Hernandez , 4.28 ERA in 2015; LH setup man: Elvis Araujo , 3.38 ERA in 2015.

Today In Phils History - It was an interesting opening to spring training on this day in 1995 as with the strike still unresolved, the roster was full of minor-leaguers and replacement players, including former major-leaguers Marty Bystrom, Todd Cruz, Jeff Stone, and Greg Legg. A year later, the Phillies brought back Terry Mulholland. Also, happy birthday to Roger Craig (1930), Dave Roberts (1951), and Cody Ransom (1976). Still can't believe the latter of the 3 is turning 40. 

With the Phillies having finished the 2015 season with a spectacularly awful record of 63-99 it will be interesting to see what kind of team new President Andy MacPhail and GM Matt Klentak put on the field. At the same time I am definitely looking forward to the games against Boston with former GM Ruben Amaro on the field. Given the departures, lingering contracts, a history of injuries, bipolar performances, and unproven talent, it should, at the very least, be an interesting season for the Phillies. Who knows, maybe they can avoid 100 losses... hopefully by more than one game!

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