#16. The Philadelphia Phillies
Team Ace: Roy Halladay
Most Valuable Position Player: Jimmy Rollins
Breakout Candidate: Ben Revere
Notable Offseason Additions: Ben Revere, Denard Span, Michael Young, Mike Adams
Notable Offseason Losses: Vance Worley, Carlos Ruiz (Suspension)
Biggest Team Weakness: The Outfield
Similar to the Red Sox, the Philadelphia Phillies missed the playoffs in 2012 after coming into the season as division favorites. After making the playoffs for 5 consecutive seasons, the team traded away some of their pieces to build for the future, but were able to keep many of their superstars. The difference between the 2013 Sox and Phillies is that the Phillies still have Charlie Manuel as their manager, still have the scariest pitching rotation in the league, and have a greater chance of being successful right away.
The Phillies infield is actually improved from last season. The team hasn’t had a respectable third baseman in years, so even if Michael Young is 75% of what he was in 2010 or 11 it’ll be an improvement. Chase Utley is expected to be completely healthy for the fist time in a few years, and the same goes for Ryan Howard, who struggled finding his swing in a half season of work. One loss will be suspended Carlos Ruiz, who batter .325 last season and will miss most of the first two months of the season.
The biggest question mark will be the effectiveness of their young, revamped outfield. Will long-time prospects Domonic Brown and John Mayberry Jr. produce like they’ve been expected to over the last three or four seasons? World Series MVP Delmon Young and his fellow free agent signing Ben Revere are also young players, but it’s hard to predict what kind of production the Phillies will get from them on offense and defense, especially with both player’s injury history.