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Sunday, April 18, 2010

Will the Phillies' Fans' Chorus Begin?

The big question: do the Phillies have enough pitching . . .

to make the playoffs?

Right now, it's hard to say, when you consider that Cole Hamels hasn't reverted to 2008 form like some thought he would, that Kyle Kendrick is quickly establishing himself as a perennial AAAA pitcher who might have a 10-year career bouncing between AAA and the 25th roster spot, and that Jamie Moyer appears to be through. Atop that, the Phillies have in their bullpen two people about whom the stats whizzes at Baseball Prospectus have serious doubts -- one-time closer Denys Baez and Rule 5 draft pick David Herndon, who should be offered back to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim sometime soon.

Naturally, the Phillies' brass knows a lot more about this stuff than you or I do. Hamels should round into better form, but Kendrick has pitched terribly and what can you expect from Moyer at this point in his career? As for Baseball Prospectus, the last time I checked, the Lords of Baseball didn't pass a rule declaring it to be their bible. (Although if pushed, many general managers might do just that).

Still, Phillies' fans aren't a patient group. They're very loyal (at least right now), and management has done a good job of building the roster for this season (GM Ruben Amaro doesn't get a "great" because many believe that the team should have kept Cliff Lee; right now, those doubters have the better argument than Amaro does, despite Lee's being on the disabled list in Seattle).

Let's see how the staff develops over the course of the next several weeks. But if Kendrick and Moyer continue to struggle, the chatter will intensify.


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