It's been a year now since the Philadelphia Phillies have won their fifth consecutive NL East division title. And next year, should they win it again, the count starts over.
2012 was a year of change for the Phillies. It signified that if they weren't at full strength, they no longer possessed what it takes to win. In the past, losing players such as Chase Utley for a few months or Jimmy Rollins for half the season may have knocked a couple of wins off the board for the Phillies, but now it's clear that missing more than one of these guys at a time is detrimental.
However, as is the case with each new season, 2013 will be a fresh start, a new leaf turned over. Players such as Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, Roy Halladay and Vance Worley are all expected to be at full strength heading into next season. That, along with a revamped coaching staff that has Hall of Fame second baseman and former Triple-A Lehigh Valley coach Ryne Sandberg as the third base coach, should bring not only hope for Phillies fans, but excitement as well.
The offseason is only beginning. The Phillies could make a move to sign an outfielder, trade for a third baseman, ink a bullpen arm. While some of these are more likely than others, who knows what will happen?
Phillies fans, there's a lot of reason to think that the Phillies will win the NL East once again in 2013. And here's why.