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Philadelphia Phillies: Can They Survive Injury-Plagued Cliff Lee, Chase Utley?

PHILADELPHIA - OCTOBER 16:  Chase Utley #26 of the Philadelphia Phillies hits an infield single in the sixth inning against the San Francisco Giants in Game One of the NLCS during the 2010 MLB Playoffs at Citizens Bank Park on October 16, 2010 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images
Casey SchermickContributor IIIMarch 10, 2011

Chase Utley's recent injury is quickly becoming more serious than originally thought.

Seeing a leader out of the lineup already is causing concern for many Phillies fans.

After a big offseason move put together arguably the best pitching rotation in the major leagues, fans may have to ask themselves: Can the team win without Utley and Lee?

Lee also had a minor injury this offseason, which he downplayed greatly last week. He says he is fine and he looks good after a rough first outing, but what if this injury wasn't just a minor tweak?

Last year's pitching rotation was already scary, but pitching was not their downfall last season and it doesn't figure be this season. Even if Cliff Lee goes down with an injury, the big three can still carry the team while players such as Kyle Kendrick or Vance Worley step up as a fill in role while Lee recovers.

The offense, however, greatly contributed to last October's NLCS loss to the Giants and this year's crew has a lot of question marks.  

Can Rollins stay healthy and put up MVP like numbers again? Can Ryan Howard perform like he did in 2006? Will Utley stay healthy?  

Utley has a very good possibility of starting the year on the disabled list if his knee injury does not heal soon, this increases the need for players like Rollins and Howard to step up and fill in. Ben Francisco, who is likely to earn the starting right field position, will also need to have a hot start to the season.  

The potential is there; the players just need to perform.  

The Phillies have a dominating lineup from top to bottom, and are obvious favorites to win the NL East again and to win the World Series in October. Even if Utley and Lee were to go down with injuries, there is still enough talent to carry the team to another championship.   

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