We are 12 games into the season and the Phillies are 5-7. Not quite the start we all have hoped for, but much better than where we have come from. Here are 5 things I am happy about and 5 things I am worried about at this point in the season.
Jon Lieber- For all the talk about his catcher, Fasano didn't seem to help much in Coors. Jon has given up 27 hits in 16 innings. I want to believe that is an anomoly, so, he is at the bottom of the worried list. He has to start missing more bats.
Rheal Cormier- 3.6 innings pitched, no earned runs, no walks and 3 strikeouts. Will it last? Who knows, but I am on the Rheal bandwagon now. Choo choo!!!
Ryan Howard: Yeah, get got the game winner today, but hitting a homerun in Coors is something we've all done. He is hitting .317, but with 3 infield hits, which, if were removed, would put him at .245. He sits at #4 because I am sure it will come around and he'll have more than 2 rbi on 2 homeruns.
Mike Lieberthal- For all the crap this guy gets, he has started of pretty decently this year. After calling the only 1-0 win by a visitor in Coors history, he deserves some props on his game calling. He is batting .345 with 4 doubles, which is more than you can ask for from your 8th hole hitter who's a catcher.
Chase Utley- More to the point, his patience. Let's not let his 4 homers in 2 days blind us, he is still struggling. He is seeing as many pitches as ever, but has just 2 walks to his name. In fact, 11 hits (4 for homeruns) and 2 walks has not created many RBI opportunities for Howard. I think the slow start has made Chase think he has to swing with people on base and he can't hit an unhittable pitch.
Brett Myers- He looked like he had decent stuff in his first 2 starts, but couldn't put it together. 7+ shutout innings in Colorado has definitely helped. His K rate will increase, and hopefully his BB rate will decrease. He will be our "#1" by June.
David Bell- Not so much David Bell, but the whole 3rd base position as a whole. We knew it would be like this, but that is what makes me worried. How come all of Philly could see this, but Gillick could not. He needs to go, and he needs to go yesterday.
Power Stroke- It seems to be back and the Phils have hit 19 homers to their opponent's 12. Going deep is the only sure way to score a run, and the Phillies may set a single season record this year.
Top of the order- Jimmy and Aaron may have a combined OBP of .325. Neither likes to take a walk or even look at many pitches. Rollins scored a ton of runs last year because the #2 hitter rarely got out, and thus, when he got on, the big guys had a chance to knock him in. Rollins has scored 10 times while being on base 21 times. That rate will likely come down as his and Rowand's BAs drop and they continue to not walk. This team cannot afford to only have 4 hitters.
Bobby Abreu- He has carried this team so far this year. 13 RBI and 8 runs are the tops combined on the team. He is sporting a .446 OBP and .614 SLG which is more than you could ask for considering how last year ended. He is the only player showing any kind of patience at the plate and his play in the field has much improved with a couple of diving catches and a few more on the run. He is also 2-0 in stolen base attempts. MVP, MVP, MVP!