2014 MLB Preview and Rankings: #22 Philadelphia Phillies

Published: Mar 14, 2014 00:15am EDT
By Michael Owen, Sports Writer for Konsume Sports

Please Note: This article was updated Mar 14, 2014 @ 12:15am EDT


Spring training games have already begun and Opening Day is still a few weeks away, but the rite of passage that comes every Spring and finally getting to see actual ballgames going on in Florida and Arizona is enough to get any fan going.

There is still a lot of work to be done for some teams, position battles, last minute signings and so on. While one of the best things about Spring Training is that when it starts, anything can happen and every team has a chance.  Unfortunately for many teams those hopes can be shattered and lost by May.

As we begin playing ball, we have a pretty good idea of where each team stands and while each season is unpredictable, things can change at the drop of an Ace lefties torn rotator cuff.  

Over the next few weeks we'll give you a preseason ranking and analysis of each team daily.  feel free to disagree and voice your opinion

So with with all that being said, here we go:

22. Philadelphia Phillies

Like the Mets and the Rockies the Phillies are yet another team that lacks direction.  GM Ruben Amaro thinks this team is still a contender, only 3 years removed from a 102 win season.  After finishing .500 in 2012 and going 73-89 in 2013 signs have definitely pointed to a downward trend.

Long time manager Charlie Manuel lost his job towards the end of 2013 and was replaced by Ryne Sandberg. While Sandberg's chance was WELL overdue (I still think he should have gotten the Cubs job), it shouldn't have come at the expense of Manuel. 

I went back and forth about "who's worse" between the Phils and the Mets and I gave Philadelphia the nod only because of their pitching staff.  Specifically their rotation.

Any team that has Cliff Lee at the top of their rotation will get a huge nod.  Follow that up with a (hopefully) healthy Cole Hamels, a newly signed A.J. Burnett, a vastly under-rated Kyle Kendrick, a workhorse in Roberto Hernandez to go along with Cuban defector Miguel Gonzales waiting in the wings, you have a a pretty strong and deep rotation.

The rotation might be the only place that the Phillies have depth....and that's only at the major league level. Depth is a major concern for the Phillies right now, especially considering that they have the oldest roster in the NL. Adding Hernandez (33), Burnett (37) and  Marlon Byrd (36) didn't help that cause. As the season wears on, depth will be the Phillies undoing.

Offensively, the Phils look good. On paper. Seeing a lineup with Rollins, Utley, Howard and Byrd filling the 2 thru 5 slots would strike some fear in most pitchers hearts....in 2010.

Age and reality has finally set in on the Phillies, yet Amaro still think this squad still has one good run at a title left in them.  Considering how top heavy the NL East is, with Atlanta and Washington leading the pack, this gamble will likely cost Amaro his job.  As it should.

So far in this series I've made a prediction on every one.  I'm making two for this one.  

Prediction (1a): Ruben Amaro is fired by July 1st

Prediction: 76-86



                                                          ***PREVIOUS RANKINGS***

23. New York Mets 75-87

24 Colorado Rockies 74-88

25. Toronto Blue Jays 71-91

26. Chicago Cubs  70-92

27. Minnesota Twins 67-95

28. Chicago White Sox 66-96




29. Miami Marlins 64-98




30. Houston Astros  62-100






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