Can Ryan Howard return and be productive?
Yes. His knee and Achilles are feeling much better and this will help him drive the ball. Howard will hit behind Jimmy Rollins, Ben Revere and Chase Utley which will provide him with plenty of RBI opportunities. Heâ€™s not going to hit for a very high average but he can take a walk with the best of them so he is ideal in OBP leagues. If he remains healthy through the entire season look for him to have a nice bounce-back year.
How will Chase Utleyâ€™s knee affect his 2013 performance?
Once considered one of the best players at his position, the past few years for Chase Utley have been hard. His knees have been giving him trouble and he missed a huge chunk of time last year because of them. He has solid protection behind him in Ryan Howard but Utleyâ€™s true value this year is where he will go in your typical draft. Chances are you will be able to grab him late and he is still worthy of a starting 2B job on your fantasy team.
Can Ben Revere effectively replace Shane Victorino?
This is a tough question. Revere doesnâ€™t have the power that Victorino has but he makes up for it in speed. Last year he stole 40 bases for the Twins and has a shot at scoring between 80 and 90 runs batting second in this Philadelphia order. Though he is a much different player than Victorino he makes for a perfect fit in this lineup. He is a great defender and will be a steal in both auction leagues and standard snake drafts. He’s a guy who will probably end up stealing 40-45 bases and the fact that he is only 24 makes him a great keeper pick as well.
Can Roy Halladay become an ace again?
Shoulder injuries are by far the scariest thing that can happen to a pitcher; especially one who is 35. After topping 220 IP for 8 of his previous 10 seasons, Halladay suffered a strained right shoulder which caused a lack in velocity and effectiveness. He is believed to be fully recovered and ready to go for the start of the season. â€œDocâ€ may not be as dominant as he used to be but he is an ace on nearly any staff. One of the fiercest competitors in the game, Halladay will cost you a little less this year than in the past but still remains one of the best pitchers in baseball.
Can Cliff Lee triple his win total from 2012?
Absolutely. Lee had a great season last year as he posted a 1.11 WHIP and 3.16 ERA with 207 strikeouts. What really brought him down was his win total. He was the most unlucky pitcher in baseball as his team could only muster up enough runs for Lee to win 6 games. Tripling that amount will be quite possible this year. Though he is 34 years old, Lee is not a power pitcher and relies on changing speeds to get his strikeouts. I see him winning 16-18 games this year with a very similar ERA, WHIP and strikeout total as in 2012.
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