Major Changes

The Phillies lost Jason Werth to free agency, and signed Cliff Lee to replace Jamie Moyer (who insists he is NOT retired). They also signed Danys Baez to replace Chad Durbin. This makes them one of the least changed teams in baseball, which is what happens when you win 97 games.

Hitters 2010 C 2011 D+

Werth was their only A-rated hitter in 2010, and of course he is gone, replaced by rookie Dominic Brown. But Utley had an off-season (and may start 2011 on the DL) and so did Howard: some rebound can be expected from both. Assuming a cumulative matching of 2010 form between Rollins, Victorino, Polanco and Ibanez, the real question here is: how much will improvements from Utley and Howard offset a decline from Ruiz (unlikely to reproduce his 2010 career year) and the difference between Brown and Werth. I would say down about 3 WAR. This will NOT be a good offensive team in 2011.

Starters 2010 A+ 2011 A+

For once, the rating system doesn’t tell ENOUGH – A+ is not enough grade for this rotation. Halladay is the best pitcher in baseball, Lee has been one of the best the past two years, Oswalt one of the best in the NL for MANY years and Hamels is a legitimate #1 starter. Blanton may be the best 5th starter in baseball. The Phillies got GREAT pitching in 2010, and I project 2011 to be better.

Bullpen 2010 B 2011 C+

bWAR sees the 2010 bullpen as pretty worthless, and projects 2011 to be about the same. My metric saw 2010 as being pretty solid, with positive contributions from Contreras, Madson, Durbin, Lidge and Romero. I expect a little fall-off from this bunch, as Lidge is unreliable, Baez and Contreras are getting old, and no one stands out.

Overall 2010 A 2011 B

The problem with projecting the Phillies overall is that they outperformed their report card by more than any other team, winning 97 games when the report card was giving them an overall B, which should have been only 90 wins. So do I project the decline from the 97-win level, or the 90-win level? I mostly lean toward the latter, and will project the Phillies to win 90 games.

Charts

Player Position Age 2011 2010
Carlos Ruiz Catcher 32 2.5 4.4
Ryan Howard First Base 31 3.1 2.1
Chase Utley Second Base 32 5.2 4.2
Placido Polanco Third Base 35 2.0 1.8
Jimmy Rollins Shortstop 32 1.6 1.7
Raul Ibanez Left Field 38 1.5 1.0
Shane Victorino Center Field 30 3.3 3.6
Domonic Brown Right Field 23 1.5 5.2 Werth
20.7 24.0

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Roy Halladay Starting Pitcher 34 6.1 6.9
Cliff Lee Starting Pitcher 32 3.5 -0.2 Moyer
Cole Hamels Starting Pitcher 27 4.1 4.7
Roy Oswalt Starting Pitcher 33 3.8 5.1
Joe Blanton Starting Pitcher 30 0.7 -0.7
18.2 15.8

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Danys Baez Relief Pitcher 33 0.5 0.4 Durbin
J.C. Romero Relief Pitcher 34 0.5 0.2
Jose Contreras Relief Pitcher 39 0.8 0.7
Kyle Kendrick Relief Pitcher 26 0.2 -0.3
Ryan Madson Relief Pitcher 30 1.4 1.3
Brad Lidge Closer 34 0.5 1.1
3.9 3.4

2 Responses to “2011 Projections – Philadelphia Phillies”

  1. The biggest issue with your projection is Utley’s injury recovery. How long will it take? Will he be the same. I expect a good season from Mr. Howard, but their offense has a potential to be middling. Coul the Braves make up the difference?

    • I know that the Utley injury could change things a lot, but the projection method goes for averages – Utley may project too high, Victorino too low, or whatever; the theory is that it comes out in the wash. And if a team has a real spate of injuries, well, it comes out worse than the projections (see: 2008 Mets). Dave Cameron of FanGraphs published some predictions today, and one of them was that Utley doesn’t play in 100 games this year. THAT would hurt the Phils a lot. But I already rated the Phils offense as D+, same as the Nats and the worst in the division (equal to the A’s in Oakland), so I am not sure how much worse they will be.

      Can the Braves overtake the Phillies? Sure, they can. Will they? Who knows? I predict that they will not, but that it will be close.

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