Looking beyond the heightened expectations and blind optimism for the 2011 season. Getting over the fact that yet again an anemic postseason offense took a mini-vacation and spoiled one of the greatest pitching staffs of all time. Realizing that Philadelphia's golden boy, a pitcher brought in to win in the postseason, blew the biggest lead any starter had. From Chase Utley's return to Hunter Pence's debut, from Cliff Lee's mastery to Roy Halladay's usual surgical position. The Philadelphia Phillies 2011 season was certainly an enjoyable one, and one to remember, but it's time to face facts.
As the St. Louis Cardinals danced on the mount at Citizens Bank Park and celebrated throughout the Philadelphia night, the collective thoughts of the Phillies' organization changed focus. The season long thought of, "Which foe will we meet in the World Series?" quickly evaporated and became, "What needs to change for us to get back there in 2012?"
With 102 games in the win column, there's no doubt that the 2011 version of the Phillies were a good team—a great team—and whether or not you believe the Phillies drew the short stick in the World Series or failed miserably, there's not much denying that fact.
In spite of that, there's also no denying the fact that personnel will change. Scapegoats will be made and players will move on. That's just part of the game. "Baseball is a business." With any business, changes will be made, and future success relies on those changes. Big or small, obvious or not, every move matters.
So with that in mind, and however painful it may be to do so, it's time to take a look back at last season's 25-man roster (plus a few bonuses!) and determine who will be wearing red pinstripes in 2012. Every player will be judged on a scale of 1-100% chance of returning.
So without further ado, lets take a look at which players we can expect back in 2012 and who is ready to fly the coop.