The first half of the MLB season ended on a high note as the Phillies headed into the All-Star Break. As always, the “Phightin’ Phils” are dealing with the pressure to keep performing at top level, thus leaving a huge question to answer, how will the Phillies respond to high fan expectations and can they keep the hits coming?
The Phillies had a very exciting start to the 2013 season with the new additions to the starting lineup Ben Revere, John Lannan, Chad Durbin, Michael and Delmon Young and of Course Dom Brown. Some of those additions have turned out to be major assets to the Phillies, despite a generally losing season, ( Dom Brown has 67 RBI this season) and others have fallen short of expectations. The Phils had a shaky start at the beginning of the season, but really got themselves into a groove heading into the All-Star break. The Phillies are currently sitting comfortably in third place of the NL East division, but are very eager to jump ahead in the standings. Only a half game back from the Washington Nationals, the Phillies hope to continue their recent streak and surpass the Nats to land themselves in second place in the NL East.
But not all is bright in our “Broad Street Paradise” as the Phillies have taken two huge losses to their starting lineup. After going 7-3 in their last 10 games and being .500 at 48-48 in 96 games played, the Phillies have lost big name players like center fielder, Ben Revere and first baseman, Ryan Howard. Both have landed themselves on the 15-day disabled list and neither injury seems like a “walk in the park” when it comes to returning to the lineup. Howard (knee) will be out 6-8 weeks after undergoing successful surgery on his left knee which he has had issues with all season, taking breaks to deal with “soreness”. Darin Ruf will be starting at first base in Howard’s absence. Revere (foot) underwent successful surgery on his foot Tuesday and will also be out 6-8 weeks. Ben Revere is currently being replaced by OF John Mayberry Jr, but GM Ruben Amaro Jr. is exploring the trade market for other options at the center field position.
Going into the all star break many fans still questioned the Phillies offensive ability and their chances at coming back for a playoff run and were wary about their situation. The debate went on whether the Phillies would be a buying or selling team at the trade deadline. The Phills stepped up their game just in time to give us some hope again winning their last 3 series and moving back up to .500.