Thoughts on the 2011 Philadelphia Phillies

They appear to be pret­ty good. Guess they answered the “but can they hit?” ques­tion ear­ly. Nev­er thought Wil­son Valdez and Ben Fran­cis­co would be ear­ly heroes. Polan­co’s not shab­by either.

How much do you want to bet that Jim­my’s talk­ing to Char­lie non­stop about jump­ing back into the lead­off spot? If Char­lie’s smart he’ll keep him bat­ting third. Feel like the bot­tom of the line­up is flu­id, which is great. Like the idea of drop­ping guys like Raul down if Fran­cis­co is hot. Want May­ber­ry Jr. to get some expe­ri­ence and maybe spell Raul from time to time.

Not con­vinced that the bench will be as help­ful as hoped. Love Ross Gload. Did­n’t like what I saw out of Orr at 2nd last night. Might be okay at third, which is fine because Char­lie needs to han­dle Pol­ly with kid gloves. Valdez can do it all if asked.

Start­ing rota­tion? Goes with­out say­ing, but I’m shocked at how effi­cient Doc and Cliff have been and how effec­tive Roy Oswalt was in his start. Cole? He’ll bounce back. Blame it on the bad weath­er. Blan­ton? Any­one else think Char­lie left him out there to die as an object les­son in con­di­tion­ing? Dude just can’t seem to pull it togeth­er in ear­ly going, and with a staff like ours, there’s real­ly no excuse.

Bullpen? Some ques­tion marks there, too. Romero, Hern­don and Baez fright­en me. Kendrick sur­prised me in the mop up role. Got love for Con­tr­eras, but I fear we’re ask­ing for trou­ble when Mad­son looks to have super­star clos­er stuff. Why post­pone the inevitable? If it’s sole­ly for lever­age, that prob­a­bly won’t change much when the time comes for nego­ti­a­tions. Get Mad­son in the clos­er role. That change­up can’t be touched.

Glad that like last sea­son Amaro did­n’t pan­ic and rush to add a bat, right-hand­ed or oth­er­wise, when Utley went down and Werth left town. Let the offense play out and see where you are at the dead­line. Blan­ton’s val­ue will increase, espe­cial­ly if Utley’s able to come back before the deadline.

Look­ing for­ward to see­ing where the Phillies stand at the end of April. Have a good feel­ing about their hot start.

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