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Philadelphia Phillies providing expected mixed results

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The Philadelphia Phillies are currently floating around the .500 line. In consideration of Ryne Sandberg's roster, people would be hard-pressed to project that his team can push beyond the 81-win mark by season's end. Varying levels of talent often produce mixed results.

This early-season feeling is hardly news to hardcore Phillies' fans, or to those who closely follow the game. Philadelphia's pitching, hitting and defensive issues still remain unsettled. With that apt assessment in place, no one honestly expects 'Ryno' to flip a magical switch in 2014.

Charlie Manuel's post-World Series' squads eventually fell to 81 wins in 2012 and 73 wins last year, which included 20 Sandberg victories during the final fourth (approximate) of the season. While another 81-81 campaign wouldn't look different than 2012, it would represent a likely step back toward postseason contention.

Putting all sabermetric assessments aside, it's fair to estimate that nearly one-half of this major league roster needs to somehow be 'developed' before playoff tickets could be printed again. As to whether general manager Ruben Amaro, Jr. will be allowed to handle that tough task remains an open-question.

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