Like any team, the Phillies have had their share of surprises and disappointments through the first three months of the season. Here's a quick look at some of the players that fit into each category:
Surprises - Offensively, Shane Victorino would probably be the biggest surprise, though the guy was an All-Star just two years ago. He has a line of .299/.364/.513 - all figures significantly higher than his 2010 stats. ... Pitching-wise, would you consider Cole Hamels a surprise? Perhaps, but many Phillies fans saw a career year coming for the 27-year-old lefty. The bigger surprise may be Kyle Kendrick, who has a 3.12 ERA and has pitched well as both a starter and a reliever. ... With all due respect to Vic and KK, though, the Phils' biggest surprises are definitely in the bullpen. Ryan Madson has had good seasons in the past, but never has he excelled in the closer's role as he has this year. ... Antonio Bastardo and Michael Stutes are both major surprises - arguably the two biggest surprises on the entire team. Combined, they have allowed eight runs and 23 hits in 48.2 innings.
Disappointments - Many Phillies fans probably figured Raul Ibanez would be right about where he is at this point (.243/.292/.402). Ben Francisco, though, was predicted by some on this site to emerge as a force (or at least a reliable starter) this season. However, Francisco has scuffled to the tune of a .218/.341/.361 line with six homers and 25 RBIs in 174 at-bats. ... And it's not as if he was expected to be Ted Williams, but Michael Martinez (.194/.215/.242) has definitely been a disappointment to this stage. ... From a pitching standpoint, Joe Blanton seems to get off to a cruddy start each season, but between his 5.50 ERA and his elbow injury, all that "Five Aces" talk has been put on the back burner. ... As far as Cliff Lee, you can't call him a disappointment now, can you? Maybe two or three weeks ago, but now the guy has a 3.12 ERA with more than a strikeout an inning... And sorry, J.C. Romero, but anytime you're DFA'd before the first day of summer, you're a disappointment.