As the weather warms in Philadelphia signaling the ever impending start of spring, the city's baseball team has already taken to the field hurriedly preparing for the season's first spring training game. There is excitement and anxious anticipation of course, but also a fair bit of nervousness and uncertainty.
Entering the spring of 2013, the Phillies have a lot of questions that need to be answered and a fair amount of positions that need to be filled. Injuries, which loomed large last season, are once again going to be under the microscope and young rookies will get a chance to make a impression and perhaps even earn a role on the Opening Day roster that in the past may not have existed.
It will be a spring training of storylines.
Who will make up the starting outfield?
How will Utley's knees survive a full season?
Who will back up Kratz during Ruiz's suspension?
How does the rotation fill out?
Among others, these are some of the questions that the Phillies hope they will be able to answer based on spring performances. They also provide some of the most intriguing spring storylines to follow.
Unlike in the past, this year's spring training will really decide quite a bit about the outlook for 2013. It will also give fans an idea of who will be taking the field and what they will be bringing. Ultimately, the goal is still to win another World Series and it is fair to say that what happens this spring might give an idea of if this goal is realistic.
Here are the top seven storylines you are sure to want to keep your eye on this spring.