I know that everyone has said that the biggest concern for the Phillies in 2009 is getting a #5 starter. I believe that the biggest concern for the Phillies is Right Field and Jayson Werth. And here’s why.
No doubt, Werth was one of the big reasons why the Phillies were successful in 2009. And he deserved every penny of his new 2-year, $10 million contract. But that is where the concern starts.
Werth has certainly had injury problems in the past (missed all of 2006 season) and he was a catcher coming up through the Minors. He was even a little “dinged” up at the start of Spring Training this season.
My concern is that 2008 was a one-year wonder. I came to this conclusion because I saw too many guys in the Minors that start great and don’t finish the job. Werth has going to be an integral part of the Phils lineup this year if they are going to go after the brass ring again.
With the addition of Raul Ibanez, there will be many times that Charlie Manuel will want to break up all the left-handed bats. Werth and Shane Victorino are the two candidates (and more so Werth with his power) that will have to fill the #5 spot in the order. I’m sure that Ibanez will see plenty of time batting fifth, but Charlies is no fool.
The old line of “too many chefs spoil the soup” applies here. Too many left-handed bats in a row will cause a problem. Not all the time, but some sometimes. And that is where my concern comes from.
Some of my former guys in Trenton made the news recently…
A’s starter Justin Duchscherer is going to miss a month after arthroscopic surgery. That sucks for a guy that was given up on by Boston and has made a great career in Oakland. No doubt he was looking forward to the Opening Day start.
Congrats go out to Yankees OF Brett Gardner. He has won the job in centerfield for the Yankees. Reports are he has had a great spring (had one last year as well). Yankees fans started to see what we knew about Brett in the Minors (tough, no-nonsense). He will run through a wall if need be and his speed will be a huge factor for the Yankees at the bottom of the lineup. You watch, Gardner gets on base, steals second and comes home on a hit by Johnny Damon or Derek Jeter.
More later. look forward to hearing more from all of you in the Blogsphere.