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PHILLIES FINISH LACKLUSTER SEASON


A break down of the team

73-89. That was the Phillies' record this season. And a lackluster 73-89 record to boot. Thus, a third straight subpar Phillies season has just concluded. And interest in the team has waned badly. This year's attendance was its lowest since 2006 and more than a half a million less than 2013 when the team also played bad baseball.

What went wrong? Almost everything. Injuries. Poor defense. Lack of punch offensively. Too many strikeouts. Terrible decisions by management, namely giving A. J. Burnett a huge 16 million dollar contract to lose 18 games and almost singlehandedly taking the team from mediocre to a last place club. Ruben Amaro's insistence to keeping its aging core together has definitely initiated the downward spiral of this team since having baseball's best record in 2011. There will definitely be moves to be finally made. But it won't be at Amaro's expense. Marti Woelver, the team's scouring director received his pink slip last week, adding to the list of Charlie Manuel, Rich Dubee, Milt Thompson, and Greg Gross who have been asked to leave since the team has failed to return to the World Series since 2009.

Liberty City Press will now break down who played well this season and who played poorly. And who should or will be back next season. Personally, we would like to see a youth movement with World Series heroes Chase Utley, Ryan Howard, and Jimmy Rollins moving on. It won't happen but it's best for the team.

A     P COLE HAMELS,P KEN GILES, and P JEROME WILLIAMS

Hamels, the 2008 World Series MVP was clearly the team MVP this year though his 9-9 record doesn't come close to telling how well he dominated. He rarely gave up more than 3 runs in a game. He struck out 198 in 204 plus innings with a sparkling 2.46 ERA. BRING HIM BACK

Giles was the biggest revelation of the season. The flame throwing reliever looks ready to be baseball's great closer. He was 3-1 with a 1.18 ERA, striking out 64 in 45 innings. BRING HIM BACK

Williams enjoyed the most success of his long journeyman career with 9 solid starts since being picked up in late July. It's doubtful that he can duplicate his 2.83 ERA but he's an innings eater and deserves the chance. BRING HIM BACK

A-    P JONATHAN PAPLEBON

Okay, he "cupped" the fans, whether he did it deliberately or not. But outside of a few hiccups and an inexplicable non-outing in May in which he said he was sore, the veteran was mostly outstanding with a 2.04 ERA and 39 saves in 43 chances. Still, it’s probably better if the organization can find him a new home. TIME TO TRADE HIM

A-    CF BEN REVERE

The hit machine has hit .305 and .306 in two seasons here and that has to count for something. He's only 25 so one can hope he can get 200 hits, 70 steals, and 100 runs scored next year. He needs to learn how to walk and increase a woeful on base percentage. But 184 hits is nothing to sneeze at. Would have been an A but his terrible throwing arm and poor route taking catching balls are real deficiencies. KEEP HIM

B     P JUSTIN DEFRATUS, 2B CHASE UTLEY, RF MARLON BYRD, P CESAR JIMINEZ, and SS ANDRES BLANCO

Defratus solidified a bullpen that started the season as the weak spot and finished the year as its strong point. KEEP HIM

Utley had a great first half but tired in the second half. Still, a .270 average with 36 doubles, six triples, 11 homers and 78 RBIs was more than solid. He was above average defensively. It would be great to get 2-3 prospects for the Phillies most popular player but it's not happening, so why hope. PHILS WILL KEEP HIM BUT HE SHOULD BE TRADED

Byrd was the team's best all-around position player in 2014. But he struck out too much and tired in August and September. It's time to move Dom Brown back to his favorite position in right field or use Darren Ruf. SHOULD NOT BE BACK/TRADE HIM
Jiminez showed a lot in a brief stint in the bullpen with a 1.69 ERA. KEEP HIM

Blanco produced in his few opportunities but isn't needed. TRADE OR RELEASE HIM


B-    SS Jimmy Rollins, P David Buchanan, P Mike Adams, and P Cliff Lee 

Rollins showed he still has some pop in the bat with 17 homers and 55 RBIs. He may win a Gold Glove again, stole 28 bases and scored a team high 78 runs. His improved walk total (64) was a revelation. The Phils would be better off handing off the job to Freddy Galvis and getting a prospect for Rollins who has had a borderline Hall of Fame career SHOULD NOT BE BACK BUT PHILS WILL BRING HIM BACK

Buchanan excelled even though he was a non-roster invitee who did the most with his call-up. He has cemented a spot in the rotation with is 3.75 ERA and 6 wins. BRING HIM BACK

Mike Adams admitted at least that he has stolen money since he has been on the Disables list more than the mound since Amaro gave him a ridiculous contract three years ago. It's a shame. He's an effective reliever when healthy. SEE YA MIKE

Cliff Lee pitched effectively albeit not like an all star before a second major injury sidelined him for most of the year. He's under contract so bring him back and hope he can get you 12 wins. BRING HIM BACK


C+    C Carlos Ruiz, C Will Nieves, and OF Grady Sizemore 
Age and injuries have made Ruiz a slightly better than average player. He does have a knack to get on base and, to a man, the pitching staff adores him. BRING HIM BACK

Nieves was a solid back-up but isn't scaring any pitchers back there TIME FOR A MOVE HERE

Sizemore showed for most of the summer that he still had a little in the tank before fading late. Phils should hold onto him for outfield insurance BRING HIM BACK

C     2B Cesar Hernandez, P Jake Diekman, and OF Darren Ruf

There's a feeling among some team front office members that Hernandez can be a .300 hitter with good fielding skills if given extra work. I think it, too. BRING HIM BACK

Diekman is too skilled to have 5 losses and a 3.80 ERA. He has the ability to be a dominating force for 8th and 9th grade situations. BRING HIM BACK

Ruf has been misused and mishandled and injuries ruined his season. He didn't show much but wasn't given a chance either. He has to start next year. If he does, you may see Pat Burrell production. Plus, he is the only guy on the team capable of walking 80 plus times. KEEP HIM

C-    3B Cody Asche and 3B Maikel Franco

Asche can be a star in this league but he has to improve his fielding. Sixteen errors with just 397 at bats is not a winning formula. But he is young and has a potentially wicked bat that should be ready to produce in 2015. BRING HIM BACK

Franco will be the team's best player within two years. He flashed the leather big time at third, meaning that maybe Asche will go to second base or the outfield. Franco has to play every day next year where hopefully that offensive talent he displayed in the minor leagues will shine as soon as next year. KEEP HIM

D     1B Ryan Howard, LF Domonic Brown, P Antonio Bastardo, P Mario Hollands, P Kyle Kendrick, C Cameron Rupp, SS Freddy Galvis, P Sean O'Sullivan, P Luis Garcia, and P Miguel Gonzales

Howard is one of the team's all time greats and a hero in this town. We all love him. But his skills faded badly this year in his first healthy year since 2011. A low batting average, on base percentage, and striking out 190 times doesn't make up for 23 homers and 95 RBIs. He's owed a lot of money but the team would be crazy to keep him around. TIME FOR A CHANGE

Many people are down on Brown but I think one more chance is deserved, and in right field where his great arm and better instincts will be on display. His demeanor is more disappointing than his batting average but he can still hit 30 homers and knock in 100 RBIs. BRING HIM BACK

Bastardo hurt the team more than anyone but Burnett this year. Way too many losses. TRADE HIM

Hollands was overused this year. It seems the Phils have better options now. TRADE HIM

Kendrick finished strong but you can't win with average players. TRADE HIM

Rupp has power potential but needs another year at Triple A KEEP HIM

Galvis showed enough in this last month to give him the starting shortstop job next year. There will be an upgrade defensively if you can believe that. I think Galvis hits .260 with power and RBIs next year. Time to give him his shot. BRING HIM BACK

O'Sullivan and Garcia should never pitch here again TRADE THEM

Gonzales was an expensive mistake. But because of that contract, he has to have a chance next year as the long man. KEEP HIM

F     A.J. BURNETT 

Who knows why A.J had such a poor season? But it killed this team. If he could have been mediocre, the team would have not finished in the doghouse. He has an option to come back for a lot of money. Hopefully, he's too embarrassed to come back. TRADE HIM

PHILLIES FINISH LACKLUSTER SEASON
Jeremy Treatman - Contributor

Jeremy Treatman is the founder and co-director of the Scholastic Play-by-Play Classics and Sports Broadcasting Camps. Over 50 NBA players, including Lebron James, Kevin Durant, and Rajon Rondo played in his events when they were in high school. Jeremy wrote high school sports for the INQUIRER for 10 years, and was the first TV reporter for the HIgh School Sports Show on Channel 29 from 1994-2001. He currently is Comcast's announcer for all high school games.

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