Did the Philadelphia Phillies Do Enough to Improve This Offseason?
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Spring Training is now just a few days away, as pitchers and catchers are due to report to Clearwater, Fla. on Saturday.
This offseason, Ruben Amaro Jr. went out and retooled with the addition of numerous players in an attempt to bolster their bench.
But, was it enough?
Will the additions of Jim Thome, Laynce Nix, Ty Wiggington, Johnathan Papelbon, Dontrelle Willis and Chad Qualls be enough to get the team back to baseball's promise land?
Papelbon will surely have an impact on this year's team as the team's primary closer at the price of $50 million; the opportunities will be available. He will just have to go out and prove his worth. Anywhere from 35-40 saves and an ERA in the low 2.00's will be a good season.
Providing he remains healthy, Ty Wiggington will see anywhere from 300-400 at-bat's this season, due to his ability to play so many positions and due to the injury to Ryan Howard. Reasonable expectations for "Wiggy" at this stage in his career would be 15-20 home runs, 60 RBI's and a batting average in the .260's or better.
Outside these two guys, things begin to get a little murky.
Laynce Nix has never been a big numbers guy in his career. He has never had more than 371 at-bats, 16 home runs, 46 RBI's and has only hit above .255 just once.
The question here is, how much can we really expect from Nix outside of the field? He has been an average baseball player for the duration of his career, and he will likely remain mediocre in spot-play with the Phillies.
The best hope for Nix is that a line-up as good as the Phillies' gives him good pitches to hit.
At the age of 41, Jim Thome's return to Philadelphia is a warm story.
But what will be bring to the team?
I'm sure Thome can still launch a ball out of the park in pinch-hitting situations, but can he provide anything at first base in Howard's absence? This remains to be seen, but it will be good spot to keep an eye on this season.
Chad Qualls may have been one of the best additions this offseason, although it did not receive the press others did. However, at only $1.15 million, the Phillies got one of baseball's most durable pitchers since the middle of the last decade. He will surely have a chance to make positive contributions to the team.
Left-hander Dontrelle Willis is a shell of the 23 year-old stud that won 22 games in 2005.
But for the Phillies, he will have a small role on the team, which will likely be situational. All he has to do is contribute positive innings for the Phils and keep his ERA low, as he won't be asked to do too much.
In the end, the Phillies did a lot to patch up the team. But did they really improve enough to make it farther then they did last season? Band-aids do not cut it (no pun intended).
It is all or nothing for the 2012 Phillies, as it's unsure how much more disappointment Phillies faithful can handle.
Originally Published on Phillies101.com
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