A rival scout sizes up the PHILLIES
If COLE HAMELS, CLIFF LEE and A.J. BURNETT are good, they have a chance three out of every five days to get seven good innings. There aren't a lot of pluses here past that.... RYAN HOWARD's upside may be 20 home runs. His Achilles was a debilitating injury: If you can't sit on your back leg and turn on it, you're going to have a tough time driving the ball. He doesn't have the power in his lower half that he once had.... DOMONIC BROWN is an enigma. Early last year he was turning on balls in, but when he came off the DL later in the year, he did not swing the bat well, and it carried over this spring. He looks long to the ball.... JIMMY ROLLINS has to frustrate the hell out of their people. He pulls off everything trying to hit a home run. That isn't who he is. If he gets a mistake middle-in, he'll hit it out, but now he tries to hook everything from both sides of the plate.... I think if they could find a buyer for JONATHAN PAPELBON, they would sell him in a heartbeat. His velocity is down, and his split isn't the out pitch it once was. Everything has declined a grade.... MARLON BYRD is really playing well. He's a good mistake hitter.... I watched RYNE SANDBERG manage in the minors. I think some players, because he's a little bit quiet, may mistake that for softness, but I don't think he takes any s---.... This spring I had CHASE UTLEY at 4.2 seconds from home to first, which is very solid for him. I think he's going to be productive, but Sandberg has to get other guys in there to keep him fresh. Utley still has good instincts, but he's not a plus defender like he once was.
2014 Projected Statistics and Run Totals by ROTOWIRE.COM
PROJECTED RUNS SCORED
NL AVERAGE 667
PROJECTED RUNS ALLOWED
NL AVERAGE 677
For CHASE UTLEY the aging process has been about injuries that frequently keep him off the field—but that don't affect his performance much when he does play. JIMMY ROLLINS, on the other hand, has missed just eight games over the past two seasons but has slipped from average to replacement level as he's become a liability in the field, costing the Phillies runs in every season since 2011 according to Baseball Info Solutions. At 35, Rollins has reached the next phase of his career. Manager RYNE SANDBERG created a stir in spring training by playing FREDDY GALVIS at shortstop quite a bit, but he was right to do so; Galvis can be an asset with the glove and has a little bit of pop at the plate. His most important statistical edge on Rollins, though, is his date of birth. Galvis is 11 years younger than Rollins. Sandberg has to find ways to play the future, especially since the present looks as if it will be difficult for an aging, injury-prone roster.
CHUCK SOLOMON FOR SPORTS ILLUSTRATED (BURNETT)
AL TIELMANS/SPORTS ILLUSTRATED (UTLEY)