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All I can say is, what a bad ending to a successful, fulfilling season! The Phillies finished last year with the best record in baseball, 97-65.
The Phillies struggled in 2010 with injuries to almost all of the everyday starters. Going into 2011, the offense is a big concern for the Phillies, even though their offense is one of the best in the game.
Slugging first baseman Ryan Howard got injured in August and was placed on the 15-day DL, but when he returned to the lineup, he was not the same. Howard dedicated his offseason to improving his swing and finding a comfortable approach at the plate, with some luck, he will find it.
In terms of injuries, all-star second baseman Chase Utley has been diagnosed with patella tendinitis, and is out indefinitely which is not a good sign for the offense. Luckily, his replacement option is very reliable in Wilson Valdez, however the Phillies could look outside of the club for a replacement (other than Luis Castillo whom they already signed).
Probably the largest hole in the lineup is in right field; the big gaping hole that Jayson Werth left in his wake. Now the options are among John Mayberry Jr., Delwyn Young, Ross Gload, and the projected starter Ben Francisco who should be able to fill the hole quite nicely, especially if he hits well with RISP (a trait that Werth neglected to do in 2010).
Other players looking to pick up where they left off in 2010 are Raul Ibanez who batted .309 with nine home runs and 44 RBI's post all-star break, and Carlos Ruiz who hit an impressive .302 in 121 games last season.
Hoping to get back on track in 2011 are outfielder Shane Victorino and shortstop Jimmy Rollins. Both are leadoff hitters who have the mindset of a power hitter and swing for the fences at-bat after at-bat. For them, more small ball equals more success.
Overall the offense is looking quite powerful, but it is the pitching that will carry this team to infinity and beyond.
The rotation that the Phillies have compiled is the best in recent memory. It consists of 2-time reigning Cy Young Award winner Roy Halladay, 2008 AL Cy Young award winner Cliff Lee whom the Phillies miraculously signed from the free agency this past offseason, career 3.18 ERA pitcher Roy Oswalt, 2008 WS MVP Cole Hamels, and the less fantastic Joe Blanton. This foursome of aces will surely dominate baseball if all remain healthy, but if they lose one to injury, no big, they still have three more.
The Phillies' bullpen also seems to be getting better. Closer Brad Lidge, after struggling greatly in 2009, came back in 2010 and finished off the last two months with a 0.73 ERA and a 0.79 ERA, respectively. The set-up man Ryan Madson was just as good toward the end of the season, and both have contract years coming up, so there is a lot at stake for the two relievers.
Overview: Although the Giants defeated the Phillies in the NLCS, the Phillies have put themselves back on top with the acquisition of Cliff Lee. When healthy, the Phillies' offense is also much more powerful and productive than the Giants'.