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.