Is Roy Halladay the Biggest Difference Maker for the 2010 Phils?
Harry LeRoy Halladay III, welcome to the fold. It has certainly been a whirlwind few days for the Phillies and their fans.
Boy Genius Ruben Amaro Jr. or RAJ as he is referred to, finally got his man. The love that RAJ has for Halladay is remarkable, the way they looked at each other during the press conference was like watching a poorly made romantic comedy. These guys have a serious "Bromance" going on.
Not just any "Bromance," this one resonated so deep that RAJ traded our best pitcher and three of our best prospects just to acquire him and some Canadian prospects from Seattle.
Aside from the "Hollywood" storyline, are the Phillies actually any better? After many days thinking about this, I say yes, yes we are.
Let's review last year a bit. Coming off a World Series victory, the Phils were headed into the season with Brett Myers making the opening day start. So obviously Halladay > Myers.
But is Roy Halladay actually better than the man who's number he is taking and replacing in the rotation, Clifton Phipher Lee? I say yes.
Prior to the postseason last year in September, Lee was really faltering. He had about 4-5 bad starts in a row.
Halladay, a right-handed, ground ball pitcher, is tailor-made for the friendly confines of Citizens Bank Park. Lee has a small enough sample size to not make any mistakes that were really noticeable.
But again, not taking anything away from Lee, I just feel Halladay, who will now be in the easier league for pitchers is just going to dominate.
Another great signing by RAJ, who has taken the back seat is Mr. Placido Polanco. This guy is perfect for the Phillies, replacing Pedro Feliz as third.
Polanco can also potentially bat second, so you can move down Victorino to the 7 spot in the lineup, making our bottom third much more dangerous.
RAJ's additions of Ross G-Load (and the Special Sauce) to replace Matt Stairs and Juan Castro in place of Bruntlett also can be considered upgrades, although no one is exactly taking the bench additions to the bank anytime soon, myself and my grandfather could be better additions than Stairs and Bruntlett.
Which bring me to my next and final point...
Eric Bruntlett will always be remembered in Philly, for his unassisted triple play last season and his role as a pinch runner/defensive replacement in the 2008 World Series. But mostly, Eric Bruntlett will be remembered as champion.
Someone with such little ability can have a large piece in a team going on to win a championship.
Now, I am hardly saying the Phillies couldn't have won without Bruntlett, simply that everyone is talking nonstop about Halladay coming and Lee going, but if the "little guys" don't perform at all, the Phillies will not make a third straight World Series trip.
Team consistency will be a key, and with the new additions of Gload, Castro, Polanco, and of course Halladay, the Phillies should have a much improved 2010, and possibly reach the 100-win plateau.
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