Philadelphia Phillies: 10 Phillies with Something to Prove

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Philadelphia Phillies: 10 Phillies with Something to Prove
Greg Fiume/Getty Images

Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels are going to keep racking up quality starts.  Carlos Ruiz, Shane Victorino and Hunter Pence will hit the ball hard and drive in runs.  And Jonathan Papelbon will continue to shorten games when the Phillies get ahead.

Winning baseball, though, is about more than your stars showing up.

Unlike in basketball, where a dominant big man and talented two-way wing player can seemingly win titles alone, or in football, when a top-tier quarterback can will a flawed supporting cast to a deep playoff run on the strength of his arm, baseball requires players to understand and execute their roles if success is to come.

The lineup has to get on base and score runs, the fourth and fifth starters need to contribute six and seven-inning starts and the bullpen needs to be able to bridge the gap to the closer if the team is ahead, or give the offense a chance if they are down, by keeping the opponent within striking distance. 

The Phillies' problems this season have been more about the role-players than the stars. Plenty of contributors have something to prove as the calendar moves toward the summer and we start to separate contenders from pretenders, and buyers from sellers.

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