With the Winter Meetings set to conclude today following the Rule 5 Draft, baseball fans are seeing more and more of what their teams' rosters will look like for next season. Many teams have or will soon fill the remaining holes in their rosters, looking to bolster their offense, defense, pitching or more.
The Philadelphia Phillies, whose current primary target is Jimmy Rollins, will have most of their holes filled for next season on paper once either he or another shortstop signs with the team.
I emphasize—on paper.
As with every other team in baseball, unexpected things will happen to some of the Phillies players throughout spring training and the season that will take a toll on the team. Some players get hurt, others don't hit or pitch as well as they once did, while others may lose the skills they had with the glove.
Regardless of why, it's inevitable that some players regress each season. Being one of the oldest teams in baseball, the Phillies understand this well. Many of their MVP and All-Star-caliber players three years ago have since become mediocre. Players like Chase Utley and Rollins, who were considered to be among the best in the league at their positions, have since been downgraded to the middle of the pack with stars throughout the rest of the majors rising up.
Having said that, there are numerous players on the Phillies' roster whose performance could take a turn for the worse next season. Whether it's a gradual decline that's about to hit rock bottom or a sudden free fall, some players just may not do as well as they had in years past.
Not all players listed in this slideshow will necessarily regress next season, but they have a chance of doing so, and we'll discuss the reasons why each player mentioned could deteriorate.
Let's get crackin'.