There is no denying the fact that starting the season without the men who would normally hit third and fourth in your everyday lineup is a huge loss. Anyone who believes otherwise can probably trace their roots back to their gullible ancestors that believed the Earth was flat and the center of the universe.
The Philadelphia Phillies are going to miss Chase Utley and Ryan Howard. There are no two ways about it.
Howard is recovering from a torn Achilles tendon suffered on the final play of the 2011 National League Division Series. His return date is unknown. Ditto for Utley, who is dealing with a chronic condition called chondromalacia in his knee.
It is a major concern for a team that was already fielding a questionable offense coming into camp. Now that both are shelved, the future of this club's firepower looks bleak.
However, the true mark of a good offensive team is how they perform in the face of adversity, and boy, are the obstacles stacked high against the Phillies. But this team has dealt with adversity in the past and handled it well. What does the 2012 season have in store if Utley and Howard can't be key contributors?
Here are a few predictions for the state of the Phillies' offense, sans the right side of their infield.
For news, rumors, analysis and game recaps during spring training, check out Greg's blog: The Phillies Phactor!