The Most Disappointing Moment of Each Phillies Player's 2012 Season
There are plenty of people disappointed with the Philadelphia Phillies right now.
Sure, the team and its fans are obvious choices. Neither group wants to be in third place right about now, especially since they had the highest payroll in the National League for most of the season.
How about Roy Halladay's fans, who want nothing more than to see him get that World Series ring? The same goes for Cliff Lee and his supporters. How about those who expected Jonathan Papelbon's first season with the Phillies to result in his first ring with a new team?
How about all of the experts that staked their reputation on picking the Phillies to win the World Series this year—or even to come close?
It's been a disappointing year for the Phillies without a doubt, and the effects are far reaching. Here's the most disappointing moment from every player's perspective.
Disappointment: Benched for not hustling up the first-base line.
Jimmy Rollins didn't have the greatest season of his career in 2012, but it was definitely acceptable, especially coming from a 33-year-old shortstop.
He was about average offensively and elite defensively, but one of the areas of Rollins' skill-set that was surprisingly lacking this season, at least in my opinion, was the leadership aspect.
Rollins was caught taking a stroll down the first-base line more than once, and while I'm sure just how big of a deal it actually was, that's not the message that you want to send to the rest of your team when they look up to you.
Blowing off members of the media after he was benched only made it seem worse.
Disappointment: Losing playing time.
Part of me wonders if Juan Pierre quietly wishes that the Phillies would have traded him at the trade deadline, or even thereafter, not because he doesn't want to play here, but because the Phillies clearly don't have a defined role for him in the future.
Pierre did an admirable job of being a stopgap left fielder in 2012, but you have to wonder if he would have been better suited playing for a contender down the stretch.
The additions of Domonic Brown, Nate Schierholtz and Darin Ruf—none of whom were on the Opening Day roster—really sapped his playing time.
Disappointment: Missing nearly the entire first half of the season.
Chase Utley's most disappointing moment is more of a series of moments.
Since rejoining the Philllies, Utley has been one of the club's best hitters. His OPS+ of 121 is above-average and his best mark since 2010. More importantly, he looks healthier this season. He is hitting the ball hard and has shown a noticeable increase in power.
But you have to wonder where the Phillies would have been if Utley hadn't missed most of the first half this season. There are so many questions that are left without answers as a result.
And that's by no fault of Utley. The man has a chronic knee condition that he finally seems to have a handle on, but that's not going to stop people from wondering if the Phillies would have been gearing up for postseason play instead of golf had he been around.
Disappointment: Missing the entire first half of the regular season.
Not to be repetitive here, but Ryan Howard and Chase Utley are in the same boat. Both are guys who have anchored the Phillies lineup for a long time, and both were sorely missed through the first half of the regular season.
Unlike Utley, however, Howard actually had a series of disappointing moments when he returned. He just never looked comfortable, outside of—maybe—an impressive stretch of power in the month of September.
But Howard's strikeout numbers ballooned and he ran the bases like he was playing in the Celebrity All-Star Game, and those are two things that I think can change in 2013.
One thing that can't change is the past. 2012 is done and over with, but as was the case with Utley, I think people will wonder where the Phillies might have been after a full season of their cleanup hitter anchoring the order.
Disappointment: Going on the disabled list.
In what could only be described as a microcosm of the Phillies' 2012 season, Carlos Ruiz hitting the disabled list with plantar fasciitis in the middle of a career year was definitely a disappointing moment.
For the first half of the regular season and beyond, Ruiz put the Phillies on his back and carried them without Chase Utley and Ryan Howard to hep do the heavy lifting.
But I guess the weight was too much for Chooch, who would eventually suffer the painful foot injury and wind up on the disabled list.
Even still, he is right at the top of nearly every offensive category for the Phillies.
Disappointment: Having yet to live up to his potential.
There have been some gaffes for Domonic Brown this season, but they pale in comparison to the fact that the Phillies need the outfielder to step up and reach his potential, but he hasn't done it yet.
What is that potential? Well, once upon a time, it made Brown the best prospect in all of baseball. The Phillies haven't given him the easiest route to the MLB, and he's paid for it.
But the talent is still there. We've seen flashes of it when Brown destroys an inside fastball or fights a tough pitch off the other way, but I'd venture to argue that the most disappointing moment in Brown's season is that it's almost over and we still don't have an answer about his future.
John Mayberry, Jr.
Disappointment: Realizing he'd be stuck in a platoon until the trade deadline, at the earliest.
On the surface, you may surmise that John Mayberry, Jr. didn't have the greatest season, and he didn't. Eventually, there will come a time when we can't break down the outfielder's season into two parts any longer, but for now, that's exactly what I'm going to do.
We know that Charlie Manuel loves his veteran players, so when the Phillies broke camp to begin the regular season, we kind of knew that Mayberry would be stuck in a platoon with lefty Juan Pierre.
That wasn't necessarily a bad thing. Pierre had a good spring, and Mayberry has struggled against right-handed pitching in the past.
However, the lack of playing time must have gotten to Mayberry. He struggled through the first half of the season, and fans panicked when he began the replacement for Shane Victorino in center field.
But with more playing time, Mayberry was hitting the ball much better. The second half of the season included the month of August when he posted an OPS of .838 and slugged five home runs.
He would eventually cool off in September, but I thought it would be a worthwhile discussion anyway: Would Mayberry have had a better season if he was named the everyday left fielder on day one?
Disappointment: Suffering a stress fracture in September.
As far as "disappointing moments" go for Kevin Frandsen, you can name a few, but most of them are pretty broad.
For example, you could say that spending nearly an entire season in Triple-A was a disappointing moment, but we're going to be a bit more specific with this one.
I'd argue that Frandsen's stress fracture was his biggest disappointment.
After sitting atop the Triple-A leaders in hits for most of the season, the Phillies gave Frandsen a shot to prove himself in lieu of an ailing Placido Polanco. And he did. All Frandsen's done since joining the Phillies is hit.
But while with the Phillies, Frandsen would suffer a stress fracture in his leg. While he'd only miss a couple of games, and in spite of the fact that it doesn't seem so, you have to wonder if Frandsen's injury is actually holding him back a bit.
Now that would be interesting.
Disappointment: Hitting the disabled list with a strain of his right latissimus dorsi.
Roy Halladay is almost always a tough player to write about for a list that involves a player's "disappointing moments," only because he almost never had any in the past. It's the complete opposite this season.
2012 has just been one big disappointment for Halladay.
The Phillies ace didn't look like himself in spring training, and now that his final start of the season is in the books, we can honestly say that this never changed.
But one of the most disappointing moments is when a strain of his right lat forced Halladay onto the disabled list. And that hurt. The man that had carried the Phillies over the last few seasons was about to miss an upwards of two months.
As it turns out, 2012 is just something that Halladay would like to forget as a whole.
Disappointment: Not getting his first win until July 4.
The Fourth of July was a joyous occasion for Phillies starter Cliff Lee this season, but also a sad reminder of the club as a whole up until that point in the year.
Three months of the regular season were already in the books, and Lee still did not have a win.
I'll let you digest that statement for a moment. A player that the Phillies are paying more than $100 million didn't have a win for three months. Sure, that included a minor trip to the disabled list, but three months is still a long time.
Now, I'm not big on the "wins" statistic and Lee would wind up having an excellent season anyway, but for Lee to go three months without a win should serve as a decent reminder of what was wrong with the Phillies up until that point—streaky offense, inconsistent pitching and a bad bullpen.
If those three things improve in 2013, the Phillies will be a much better team.
Sometimes it's easy to nitpick when you're looking at disappointing moments for a starting pitcher, but I thought that it would be fair to give Cole Hamels the benefit of the doubt.
I was going to list his moment as his last start against the Houston Astros, when the Phillies were in the thick of a Wild Card race and he gave up four runs (three earned) to the lowly Astros.
But I didn't. All in all, Hamels has been every bit as good as advertised this season.
Disappointment: Last start against Houston Astros.
This was a big series for the Phillies, but an even bigger moment for Kyle Kendrick to prove that he not only belonged in the starting rotation, but could be counted on in big moments.
He fell flat on his face.
Coming off of consecutive sweeps of the Colorado Rockies and Miami Marlins, the Phillies had jumped back into the Wild Card race before a four-game set with the Astros. It was a chance to make up crucial ground.
In his start against the last place Astros, Kendrick lasted just five innings and allowed four runs. Not a good start when the Phillies needed him to be at his best.
The Phillies asked for a lot out of Tyler Cloyd this season. He did a lot of pitching in the minors before they called him up in place of the ailing Vance Worley, and he wound up throwing nearly 50 innings more than he had in any previous season.
What the Phillies really needed out of him was to pitch well enough to keep them in games, and he did just that, going 2-2 with an ERA of 4.91.
The ERA is high, but not necessarily indicative of how he pitched.
Disappointment: Getting run over by Chipper Jones in Atlanta.
There really haven't been many disappointments for Erik Kratz this season. The expectations were low.
With Brian Schneider just ahead of him on the depth chart, Kratz was sent back to Triple-A as the third-string catcher. So when Schneider got hurt, he got his chance. Of course, Kratz would run away with that opportunity.
Kratz would fill in admirably for Carlos Ruiz when he joined Schneider on the disabled list and all but cemented himself as the team's backup catcher for 2013.
But if there was one low moment, I'd have to say it was during a game against the Atlanta Braves when he got bowled over by Chipper Jones, who is practically a senior citizen nowadays.
I can't quite explain why, but that just seemed like a disappointment to me.
Disappointment: Realizing that he is behind at least three—maybe four—outfielders on the depth chart.
Nate Schierholtz thought that he was going to be playing a bigger role with the Phillies than he was with the San Francisco Giants. For full disclosure, I thought that this was going to be the case as well.
But ever since Schierholtz broke his big toe, it seems as though he's been falling further and further down the depth chart.
Charlie Manuel has used him primarily as a defensive replacement, while players like Juan Pierre, John Mayberry, Jr., Domonic Brown and even Darin Ruf have been starting ahead of him.
One player that has played even less is Laynce Nix. You have to wonder how valuable they are moving forward.
Disappointment: Not living up to the Phillies' expectations.
Picking out a single moment can be difficult for a bench player, and I don't think that Ty Wigginton has had a single disappointing moment that we can look back on and remember him by.
With that being said, you can definitely look back on the 2012 season and realize that Wigginton wasn't even close to what the Phillies were expecting him to be.
They acquired him from the Colorado Rockies to be a "utility man." He came with the reputation of being able to play both corner infield and outfield positions and second base.
Wigginton barely made playing third base a realistic options this season, and that goes without mentioning his ability (or inability?) to roam left field.
He was also barely above-average against left-handed pitchers this season, and the Phillies are very likely to decline their option on him this offseason.
Disappointment: Suffering a severe calf strain early in the year.
Signing Laynce Nix to a deal that guaranteed him two years with the Phillies was a curious transaction last winter, but the outfielder / first baseman was making it count early in the season when Ryan Howard was on the disabled list.
Nix was doing an admirable job filling in for Howard and playing in the outfield before he suffered a severe calf strain that would force him to miss more than 50 games of the regular season.
He never seemed to be the same after that. Charlie Manuel has struggled to find playing time for him and Nix hasn't hit well enough to play regularly. It will be interesting to see just how much that calf strain actually affected him.
It sounds harsh, but it's true.
Michael Martinez came into the season bearing no expectations and still hasn't been able to surpass them. A stint in Triple-A didn't help the cause, and Martinez has been used sparingly in the month of September.
You have to think that, health permitting, his days in a Phillies uniform are numbered.
Disappointment: Meltdown against the New York Mets.
B.J. Rosenberg is finally look a bit more comfortable at this level. He's made seven straight scoreless appearances out of the Phillies bullpen, including a three-inning performance against the Atlanta Braves.
But getting to this point of stability has been a struggle for Rosenberg, who has shown flashes of promise and a lot of inconsistency this season.
The most disappointing moment for him, however, had to be that meltdown against the Mets, when Rosenberg allowed four hits and four earned runs, leading to an eventual loss.
Disappointment: Phillies eliminated from postseason contention after walk-off by Miami Marlins.
The transition from Los Angeles Dodgers reliever to Phillies reliever has certainly not been a smooth one for Josh Lindblom.
Acquired as part of the package for Shane Victorino at the trade deadline, Lindblom struggled quite a bit with his new team before finally settling in a bit more recently.
The Phillies were all but mathematically eliminated from postseason contention when Lindblom made that a fact against the Marlins in his most disappointing outing of the season.
After a well-pitched game by Cliff Lee, Lindblom took over in the ninth inning trying to force extras, but the Marlins would have none of it. They walked off on Lindblom and effectively eliminated the Phillies from postseason contention.
Disappointment: Can't shut down Braves' rally.
Jeremy Horst has been nothing short of incredible for the Phillies this season. The disappointing moments are hard to come by, but there is one that sticks out in my mind.
The Phillies were playing a three-game series against the Atlanta Braves at the end of August—a series that most people believed they had to sweep to jump back into the postseason race.
They were about to do it.
The bullpen was tasked with making a big lead stand against the Braves, who just wouldn't go away. Charlie Manuel tried to milk more than an inning out of Horst, who would eventually allow two runs and let the Braves back into the ball game.
More on how this ended on the Jonathan Papelbon slide.
Justin De Fratus
Disappointment: Poor outing against the Washington Nationals.
Phillippe Aumont's incredible repertoire of pitches has turned him into an attraction coming out of the Phillies bullpen, but I'd argue that Justin De Fratus has been the more consistent arm.
In fact, if you don't want to count De Fratus' most recent outing against the Nationals as a "disappointing moment," you wouldn't get much of an argument out of me.
De Fratus has been solid for the Phillies since rejoining them this season. That outing against the Nationals (0.2 IP, 3 ER) has been the only real blemish.
Disappointment: Consecutive poor outings against the Houston Astros.
As a whole, I think Phillippe Aumont has been a positive for the Phillies. It probably wasn't the fair of the Phillies to trick their fanbase into believing that they could make such a difficult jump back into a postseason race on the backs of a slew of young relievers.
But those relievers, Aumont included, have certainly gotten their feet wet this season and should be valuable assets in 2013.
Because I'm a big believer in the old cliche that you have to "fail to succeed," I think that Aumont's poor series against the Astros will only wind up making him stronger.
In two consecutive outings, Aumont would allow a pair of earned runs to the worst team in baseball.
Disappointment: Shellacked by the Atlanta Braves in July.
Antonio Bastardo has had an interesting season. He was very good in the second half and very bad in the first half of the regular season.
One of those poor first-half outings came in a game against the Braves in early July. The Phillies handed the ball over to Bastardo, who would, in turn, throw batting practice to their NL East rivals.
The Braves touched up Bastardo for five runs on the heels of three walks, two hits and a home run. Clearly an outing that the lefty would like to forget.
Disappointment: Giving up a walk-off home run to Chipper Jones.
Chipper Jones' farewell tour ran right through (or over, I suppose) Jonathan Papelbon this season.
Papelbon will finish the season with right around 40 saves for the Phillies this season and has been every bit as good as advertised, especially in save situations.
But one of Papelbon's most disappointing moments came in a game against the Atlanta Braves early in the month of September, as the Phillies were attempting to claw their way back into the postseason race.
The Phillies had a big lead early in the game, and the bullpen quickly allowed that to evaporate. That set the stage for Jones to be a hero against Papelbon, and he didn't disappoint.
It was one of the most crushing losses of the season for the Phillies.