Philadelphia Phillies: 5 Players Who Will Not Be Back in 2014
The Philadelphia Phillies cannot even make a columnist's job easy these days.
This assignment, picking players who will not be back on the Phillies roster in 2014, would have been a snap two weeks ago.
Then Laynce Nix, one of the obvious candidates, got zipped by the club on August 6.
Adding insult to injury, the Phillies sloughed off more dead weight by releasing Delmon Young on Wednesday, per Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer.
This assignment began to feel like one of those games of eight ball where a better player agrees to spot you two balls, then immediately after the break spots you the two balls you had sitting on pocket edges.
Fortunately, the Phillies are so bereft of talent and mired in mediocrity that other candidates do in fact abound.
Even given the way the last two seasons went for Roy Halladay in Philadelphia, all things considered his time as a Phillie must be considered a success.
Anyone who was lucky enough (as I was) to be at Citizens Bank Park the night Halladay no-hit the Cincinnati Reds in the 2010 National League Division Series will surely never forget it.
And Halladay could hardly be blamed for the way the 2011 season ended. Halladay faced off with St. Louis Cardinals ace Chris Carpenter in an epic pitchers' duel where a first-inning run held up and eliminated the Phillies.
Many Phillies fans think that Halladay left a lot of his right shoulder on the mound that night. I absolutely concur with that assessment.
Halladay's contract is up after this season. He is valiantly battling to make a few more starts this season, per Matt Snyder of CBSSports.com. Halladay probably feels he owes it to the Phillies to give them what he can.
But he also needs to show his next team, whoever it is, that he can still pitch.
To be fair to the Phillies, a look at Michael Young's career statistical lines on baseball-reference.com through 2012 suggested that Young might have one last great hitting season left in him.
Unfortunately for both Young and the Phillies, his 2013 season has been effectively a continuation of his 2012 season, i.e., the season that convinced the Texas Rangers to let him leave after more than a decade of distinguished service.
No one can say that Young was anything but professional this season.
But even in the National League, it is very hard to survive with a third baseman hitting for only a decent average and no power while playing half his games in hitter-friendly Citizens Bank Park.
Young's contract ends when the season does. He will almost certainly not be back, as the Phillies have already installed Cody Asche at third base.
The big question for Young is whether another team will give him a shot at the major leagues in 2014.
John Mayberry Jr.
The trouble with valuing cheap things is that too many times you get exactly what you pay for.
It is tempting to look at John Mayberry Jr.'s 2013 salary of $517,000 and equate his annual double-digit home run totals (he is on pace to do it again in 2013) as cheap power.
But the Phillies have to take a harder look at every other statistic Mayberry produces. He has not hit better than .250 since 2011. He strikes out a ton and rarely takes a walk.
And good gravy, does the man ever produce some dopey baseball plays from time to time, like getting picked off second base with Chase Utley batting as the tying run.
Mayberry will be 30 next season. Whatever potential he used to have has metamorphosed into a subpar finished product.
There have to be better outfield options for this team than John Mayberry Jr.
On a better team, John Lannan might have been a serviceable fifth starter.
On the 2013 Philadelphia Phillies, though, Lannan has been something less than serviceable.
He missed a few starts due to injury. When he has pitched, he has been just barely passable. His most recent start, a lopsided loss to the Atlanta Braves, launched his earned run average well past 5.00.
Lannan came to Philadelphia on a one-year contract. He is unlikely to get another one.
Erik Kratz will probably not be back with the Philadelphia Phillies in 2014 because the starting catcher he backs up, Carlos Ruiz, will probably be the Phillies' backup catcher in 2014.
It is not like the Phillies cannot find another catcher to hit for a low average and throw a low percentage of baserunners out.
Those guys are everywhere.
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