The sound of baseball will be heard starting Tuesday as the Phillies pitchers and catchers report to spring training. Pitching which was the strength of the Phillies and the envy of baseball now is a big question mark. A large part of this question mark, Roy Halladay who struggled most of the 2012 campaign and spending time on the disabled list. Halladay who has started opening day the past three seasons for the Phillies will be a big piece of any success the Phillies have in 2013. At 35 soon to be 36 in May, returning to his previous Cy Young form is highly unlikely and we shouldn’t be using this as a measure of success for 2013. With an improved bullpen Halladay should get some relief.
The signing of set-up man Mike Adams and the return of Chad Durbin will go a long way to help Halladay and the rest of the Phillies starters. Adams who is coming off surgery to repair nerve and circulation problems is not a sure thing by any means. If he returns to his original form, being one of the best in baseball, Durbin looks that much better. With perfect health the seventh will be Durbin’s, the 8th Adams and the ninth Papelbon. With this in mind using Halladay past the sixth during the first half of the season will be entirely unnecessary and Charlie Manuel should not.
The final important pieces to a successful Phillies pitching staff, number 4 and 5. Kyle Kendrick’s role with the Phillies as the number 4 guy is all his and he earned it the second half of last season. Finishing the season 7-3 with a 2.43 era after the Joe Blanton trade, anything close to these numbers could have a big impact on the Phillies winning the division. The signing of John Lannan who ended his Washington career in Triple A will begin the spring as the number 5 guy and it is his to lose. Hungry for another chance, Lannan could be a great acquisition for the Phillies and maybe a National killer!
So with some snow on the ground in Philadelphia the news of warmer days is here! The sound of baseballs hitting gloves that will begin to make reality out of just winter hope. Go Phillies!