Monday, January 11, 2010

Philadelphia Phillies Season Outlook (Season 10)

Last season was a disappointing one in Philly, finishing last overall. Pitching stats were high, offense numbers were low. It was a transition year, to say it as positive as possible. Hopefully, season 9 marks the turning point for the Philly franchise, having never made the post season in World Major Leagues, nor ever even finished higher than third in the NL East. New direction was added, a plan was formed to keep advancing in that direction, and goals have been targeted at the end of that plan. Unfortunately, this season in itself does not promise a whole lot more than number nine.

It will be better...but small steps better, not the type of progression we were actually hoping for for this franchise. One of our short term goals, finishing .500, was supposed to be in sight this season, backed by some strong FA market activity. However, due to vacation plans and unanticipated lack of internet, those major signings were few and far between. Philly had their sights on two of the top Pitchers in this year's FA mad scramble, Kyle Powell and Victor Solano, which would have greatly improved this team. Looking back though, it's a double sided two edged sword bullet that was narrowly dodged, in terms of contracts. It was lucky in one sense to have avoided the slippery slope of Powell's contract, but unlucky to miss out on Solano who went for lower than expected. .500 is still in sight, but it might take a lot of good fortune to hit it this season.

The focus in Philly still remains on the long-term. Youth, depth and quality are the four buzz words that front office seems to fall back on after such set backs as this past FA period. A few decent Pitchers were signed, and some higher quality hitting will improve the team from last year, but not much was achieved in the long run. Two youthful pitchers, Todd Leon and Rafael Santiago, stand on that mound on the horizon, waiting to make their ML debut and impact on the franchise and the league. Most likely that will happen next season though, season 11. A budget that can attack the FA market could play a major role in that season ahead. For now, some fresh faces and a number one draft pick add some life to what will most likely be an event depleted season 10. There have been some rumors of trade, but wheeling is dealing is difficult when assets are low.

The goals for Philly are .500, 90 wins and a division title. Small steps though, small steps....for now.

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