If the 2013 Philadelphia Philiies season proved one thing it was that the Philiies needed help in many key areas like the bullpen, starting pitching and the outfield. Each year Phillies fans have looked to Reuben Amaro to bring in new blood to help the team make it back to the promised land of the playoffs and hope upon hope the World Series.
While the Phillies season ended on a high note and fans are hopeful 2014 will pick up where 2013 left off there are still a lot of concerns among fans about the competitiveness of the current Phillies roster.
- Fans wonder if players like Ryan Howard and Chase Utley will ever produce like they have in years past.
- It also remains to be seen if Ben Revere and Dominic Brown can have as good a season in 2014 as they did in 2013.
- Fans are skeptical about the free agent signings of Byrd as a prolific hitter in the Phillies lineup and Nieves as a third ace who can replace Doc Halladay or even as a fifth starter. Last year Nieves was relegated to the Rays bullpen when he proved ineffective as a starter.
- There is no definitive 3rd starter who will replace Halladay in the lineup though there are some promising names like Kyle Kendricks.
- There are also questions about how a team who has not produced runs in the past can do so without the addition of any true power hitters.
Phillies fans want change. While the team has changed over the past few years fans have not seen enough positive change to remain quiet.
According to a comment by one fan on MLB.com, it seems a team like the Phillies who are, "near last place in scoring runs, does virtually nothing to improve the offense, and expect the same players that have not scored runs the last several years to all of a sudden to start producing. Miracles happen, but to expect the Phillies to be an offensive prowess with this group is beyond a miracle."
Why have the Phillies not made any really major changes?
According to Todd Zolecki in article for the Phillies MLB page the team believes they are right where they need to be because they, "have signed Marlon Byrd to play right field, re-signed Carlos Ruiz to catch, acquired right-handed reliever Brad Lincoln in a trade to help the bullpen, signed Wil Nieves to back up Ruiz, and signed right-hander Roberto Hernandez to help the rotation."
Zolecki also states that these,"moves have not electrified the fan base, but the club believes its high-priced core of Ryan Howard, Cole Hamels, Cliff Lee, Chase Utley, Jimmy Rollins, Jonathan Papelbon, Byrd and Ruiz are more than capable of winning if they are healthy." He continues, "I've heard from frustrated Phillies fans because the team's offseason moves have not reassured anybody following an 89-loss season. They want to know why the Phillies haven't signed a marquee name to a big-time contract, or made a big trade like they have in the past when they made deals for Roy Halladay, Hunter Pence, Roy Oswalt, etc."
Phillies fans want change, but the Phillies
One fan put everything in perspective with his comment on the MLB page, "Merry Christmas to all; and a Happy New Year! Now if the Phillie's sign Tanaka (LOL) all will be quiet on the RA front. Thank goodness for the Eagles; now go beat those Cowboys!"