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Philadelphia Phillies: 5 Milestones to Look Forward to in 2012

Patrick HaoContributor IIIMarch 7, 2012

Philadelphia Phillies: 5 Milestones to Look Forward to in 2012

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    Phillies fans have a lot to look forward to this year and with spring training in full swing, the 2012 season is right around the corner. 

    The 2011 season was full of new Phillies milestones including Charlie Manuel's 1500th game managed and Jimmy Rollins' 1500th game played in a Philadelphia uniform.

    Without any more suspense, here are the top five milestones to look forward to in the 2012 Philadelphia Phillies season.

Roy Halladay's 2000th Strikeout

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    Of all milestones for pitchers, 2,000 strikeouts is one tough feat to accomplish.

    A pitcher needs to have dominant pitches and must pitch in that dominant manner for a long time.

    About 50 percent of the 65 pitchers with 2,000 strikeouts or more are in the Baseball Hall of Fame, while there are a handful of other pitchers who are Hall of Fame candidates—including Randy Johnson, Mike Mussina, Tom Glavine.

    Currently at 1,934 strikeouts and with a career 6.9 strikeouts per nine innings, we could possibly say his 2,000th strikeout will come during his 11th start against the Dodgers at Citizens Bank Park.

    Maybe he'll strikeout 2011 NL MVP Runner-Up Matt Kemp for his 2,000th?

Ryan Howard's 300th Home Run

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    Ryan Howard was slated to come back mid-May from his ankle injury but an unfortunate infection from his surgery has put him at least 10 days behind, if not longer.

    Though at 286 home runs, he only needs 14 more to reach 300.

    Even if Ryan Howard came back in July he could easily reach 300 home runs before the end of the season.

    Ryan Howard's estimated time of completion for this milestone larger depends on when he is able to return to baseball activities from his injury but early September shouldn't be a problem for the big man.

Jim Thome's 609th and 610th Home Runs

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    Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. lucked out that he signed Jim Thome early in the offseason. With Ryan Howard out for possibly half the season, Thome adds the pop back into the first base position.

    What Ruben Amaro Jr. probably wasn't aware of though is that not only is Thome a decent replacement for Ryan Howard, he is also on the verge of notable milestones.

    At 604 career home runs, Thome only needs six more to move past Sammy Sosa into seventh on the all-time HR list.

    He also has a chance to pass Ken Griffey with 26 home runs, which is possible if he is playing well and they decide to give Thome more playing time even after Howard's return.

Jimmy Rollins' 2,000th Hit

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    Just like 2,000 strikeouts, the 2,000-hit mark is another tough feat to accomplish.

    Jimmy Rollins doesn't have contact skills to hit over .300 for an entire season but he sure is consistent. Ignore his 2010 season and he has played in at least 140 games every season for 10 seasons.

    Currently at 1,866 hits, Rollins needs 134 hits to reach 2,000.

    That puts his estimated time of completion at around mid-to-late August. Luckily that is when the Phillies have three-consecutive home series, with the against the Reds, Nationals and Mets.

    Rollins might have a chance to turn on a 100-mph fastball from Stephen Strasburg for his 2,000th.

Roy Halladay's 200th Win

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    Who else but "Doc" Halladay again?

    Roy Halladay is only 12 wins away from reaching 200 wins and at the pace he is going, he is easily going to surpass that.

    When he does pass 200 wins, he will be only the third pitcher in major league history to win 200 games and have a 0.667 win percentage or higher.

    He joins Hall of Famer Lefty Grove and future Hall of Famer Pedro Martinez as the only ones to accomplish that feat.

    His career averages suggest that he will win his 12th game near or on his 20th start of the season. That puts an estimated time of completion right after the All-Star break in July, barring an injury.

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