A team decimated by injuries and underachievement in 2012, the Philadelphia Phillies are looking to rebound and return to their winning ways in 2013.
The Phillies were one of the more unlikely storylines this season. Manager Charlie Manual had a surplus of talent and promising young players, but struggled to get the team to mesh through the first half.
At the all-star break this team looked to be down and out, trailing first place Washington by 14 games in the division with a record of 37-50. At the break in 2011, the Phillies were 56-33 with a comfortable lead in the NL East.
A dormant Phillies team was rejuvenated by the return of their three and four hitters within 10 days of each other.
With the return of Ryan Howard, who ruptured his Achilles during the final game of last year’s playoffs, and Chase Utley, who was nursing various knee injuries, the Phillies went on a tear.
Philadelphia went 44-31 after the all-star break. They jumped New York and Miami to end third in the division, avoiding a sub-.500 record by going 81-81.
If Charlie Manual would like to avoid taking his place on the coaching hot seat next season, the Phillies need to play up to their potential and avoid injury.
Here are five Philadelphia Phillies set to have significant rebounds in 2013.
Howard in a game against the Mets, Sept. 20.
Ryan Howard went through a disappointing half-season at the plate. He needs to come out of the gates swinging for the Phillies to have a shot at securing a playoff spot next season.
Howard spent the first half of the season nursing a ruptured Achilles back to health. He made his return to the lineup July 6 and ended the season with a .219 average, 14 home runs and 56 RBI.
Howard’s short season was cut even shorter after he dropped a lead pipe on his toe on Sept. 29.
Howard was a surprising .320 hitter in the ninth inning this season and will be a key part of the Phillies' success for the remaining four years of his contract.
Expect a healthy and productive Ryan Howard next season.
Utley rounding third after a home run in a game against the Mets, Sept. 21.
Chase Utley has been a vital part to the Phillies' success over the years.
From 2005 to 2009, Utley was in the top five in wins above replacement (WAR), a stat to determine how many wins a player is worth. During those years, the Phillies won three division titles, two pennants and a World Series.
Utley has been a key part of the Phillies' postseason success as well, owning a .262 career average and a .402 on-base percentage in the playoffs.
Utley began the 2012 season the DL and didn't work his way into the lineup until late June, finishing with a .256 average, eleven home runs and 45 RBI.
The 33-year-old is entering the final two years of a seven year deal. Whether or not the Phillies will re-sign the veteran second baseman relies heavily on his production in 2013.
With his job on the line, look for Utley to have a successful 2013 and return to being the centerpiece of this Phillies lineup.
Galvis in a game vs. the Marlins, June 2.
The 22-year-old rookie Freddy Galvis is coming off of a disappointing and embarrassing rookie season.
What began as a season on the verge of a Gold Glove, ended in shame and disgust as yet another young MLB talent succumbed to performance-enhancing drugs.
Galvis has a lot to prove to his team and the fans of Philadelphia in 2013. He will work with hitting coach Steve Henderson and new assistant hitting coach, 16-year league veteran Wally Joyner this offseason to improve at the dish.
Galvis hit just .226 with 24 RBI in 58 games this season, but covered a lot of ground in the infield, only committing one error.
Mayberry robbing the Nationals of a homer, Sept. 27.
After various minor league stints over the last five years, it’s finally time for John Mayberry to have that breakout season Phillies fans have been waiting for.
At 6'6", 225 pounds, Mayberry has the potential to be a force with the bat.
While dropping off slightly in 2012, Mayberry has improved at the plate in each of his previous three Major League seasons.
He’s also been a valuable utility guy for the Phillies. Mayberry had a stable season with the glove, including 27 games at first base filling in for the injured Howard.
Look for the 29-year-old Mayberry to have the best season of his career in 2013.
Halladay against the Braves, Sept. 22.
Two-time Cy Young Award winner Roy Halladay recorded one of the worst statistical seasons of his 15-year Hall of Fame career in 2012.
Halladay went 11-8 with a 4.49 ERA and 132 strikeouts.
The savvy veteran is signed to a three year deal and needs a strong first half in 2013 to avoid the possibility of being place on the trading block.
Halladay is too good not to rebound next season. The Phillies are also in the market for an outfield bat which would give Halladay and the rest of the rotation increased run support.
The Doc will put this season’s mediocre pitching performance behind him and return to his dominant self next season.