The Phillies are caught in limbo at the moment.
While they don’t want to push aside the aging veterans that brought them a championship in 2008, the Phillies need to get younger if they want to stay relevant-especially seeing as though they are coming off a disappointing 73-89 season. They do have some exciting youth to rally around and they are soon to make their mark in fantasy circles.
5. What can the Phillies get moving forward from the aging core of Ryan Howard, Chase Utley and Jimmy Rollins? Clearly this triumvirate are on their last legs.
Combined, they are 104-years-old and between all the injuries they have endured, this trio is obviously past their prime.
Of the three, Utley has the best chance for success, as he makes for a dependable starter at second base in 10-12 team leagues. He is coming off a season in which he batted .283 with 18 home runs and 69 RBI’s in 476 at-bats. Those are not the numbers of his early 2000’ halcyon days, but solid nonetheless.
Rollins can pass for a serviceable starter at short in deeper leagues and Howard at this point is just a backup 1B for your squad or a dependable corner infielder (for leagues that use that spot).
Just know what you are buying when gambling on these guys. They are not hot garbage, but they are clearly on the decline and all come with great risk for injury.
4. Can Domonic Brown take the next step? After tearing it up early last season, Brown succumbed to a late-season concussion and limped past the finish line. Nevertheless, he still had a terrific season, batting .272 with 27 home runs and 83 RBI’s to go with a .818 OPS.
With a clear grasp of his role in the Phillies’ offense, Brown should now feel comfortable with where he is at and that should lead to a fine follow-up season this year.
You should feel comfortable drafting Brown to be your second or third outfielder.
3. Is Cody Asche worth drafting in deep leagues and is he just keeping the position warm for Maikel Franco? To quickly sum up the question: barely and absolutely.
In 162 at-bats in his rookie campaign, Asche batted .234 with five home runs and 22 RBI’s. That’s not stellar numbers, but Asche should be able to build on those numbers in 2014. He has good contact skills and has a modicum of power in his bat. He is better known for his defense though. He makes for a solid reserve in deeper mixed leagues and a marginal start in NL-only leagues.
It does appear, though, that he is holding the seat warm for the much more heralded prospect, Franco. Franco was sent down less than a week ago after a shoddy spring, but it should be only a matter of time before the Phillies will want to see what they have in Franco. If Franco can mash in Triple-A the way he did in Double-A, he will be in line for a promotion in no time.
2. Is Cole Hamels damaged goods? With Hamels having to deal with a lingering shoulder injury at the moment and him coming off an uninspiring 2013 season in which he went 8-14 with a 3.60 ERA, a lot of people are souring on Hamels.
However, Hamels has at least proven to be durable in the past. In his last six years, Hamels has averaged 32.3 starts. Considering he is slated to return in late April at the latest, Hamels could be a nice value on draft day for those who are worried about a precipitous drop in production.
You shouldn’t worry too much about last year’s results; it’s more an abnormality than anything else. Sure, he is not a top-20 ace, but he should be a staple in the middle of your rotation.
1. Is Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez worth drafting? Although he is currently dealing with a shoulder injury, there was some hope that Gonzalez would crack the Phillies rotation.
However, with the Phillies signing A.J. Burnett and Roberto Hernandez in the offseason, the Phillies will likely take it slow and steady when it comes to their 27-year-old Cuban defector. With the injury and Gonzalez needing to refine his skills in the minors some more, Gonzalez is probably going to be a mid-season call up.
So, unless you are in very deep and or keeper leagues, you may want to pass up on taking Gonzalez, given the uncertainty surrounding him.
Latest posts by Dan Stack (Posts)
- 2014 Fantasy Baseball Pitch or Ditch for Friday May 30, 2014 - May 30, 2014
- 2014 Fantasy Baseball We’re all day to day: Week 9 Injury Update - May 26, 2014
- 2014 Fantasy Baseball Pitch or Ditch for Friday May 23, 2014 - May 23, 2014