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Friday, March 19, 2010

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Yes, with Halladay > Lee being the first reason. While it is impossible to fault Cliff's performance in the WS, I recall he had a few off-games in a row. I had a chat with a gent who has an old-friends connection with an AL East powerhouse. In his words "If you liked Cliff Lee, you'll love Halladay. He's that much better."

Early signs point to '10 Hamels being better than '09 Hamels, beit in pitches or in his head. ST means something in the mental prep area.

Nothing I can point to statistically with KK, but there's a feeling that 6th starter KK will ease the sense of dred I had of which Brett Myers will show up for the game. KK out of the pen? Very possible, given the concerns there.

Some concern with Polly being a step down defensively at 3rd, but he is a step up offensively for that position. It's not like MLB players are going to say "hit it to 3rd, he can't field."

Prefer another RHB option off the bench.

The bullpen is what it is: questions followed by concerns. It makes me miss Everday Clay. Lidge, Contreras, Bastardo, JC? Baez? Madson as closer until Lidge comes back bothers me. Still believe Rube will pull a rabbit out of the hat on or about the close of ST.

Put me down for 94-96 wins and the NL East title over the Braves by 2.

I think this year's Phillies are slightly better than last year's team:

Position Players:
- Howard/Utley about the same
- Rollins 2010 > Rollins 2009
- Polanco slightly better than Feliz
- Outfield will be similar to last year
- Ruiz about the same
- Bench 2010 > Bench 2009 (addition by subtraction - no Bruntlett or Bako)

Starting rotation:
- Halladay > Lee + #5 starters the rest of the year
- Hamels 2010 > Hamels 2009
- Happ 2010 < Happ 2009
- Blanton/Moyer/Kendrick 2010 roughly the same as Blanton/Martinez/Moyer 2009

Bullpen
- Lidge 2010 > Lidge 2009 (could it be worse?)
- Madson/Contreras about the same as Madson/Park
- Romero 2010 > Romero 2009
- Bastardo/Zagurski 2010 < Eyre 2009
- Baez/Durbin 2010 < (slightly) Durbin/Condrey 2009 (While I think Baez > Condrey, I think Condrey got a bit lucky last year that I don't think Baez will duplicate)

So, a slight improvement on a World Series team, though with a more improved NL East it might not show in the win totals. Let's hope it's enough to get it done this year.

Oh yes. Between Hamels and Young James having even average seasons (by their standards) this year, we'll be a huge step up.

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