Phillies Phirst Week Analysis

Another disappointing April for the Fightin's... expect a lot of thumbs down.

Jon Lieber
- While the rest of the rotation has gone down in flames after their strong start to the season, Lieber has maintained consistency, allowing 3 runs or less in his 5 starts. He's been extremely beneficial not only as an ace pitcher, but as a mentor to some of the younger pitchers like Brett Myers. I was skeptical of Lieber coming into the 2005 season, but he has definitely proven me wrong.
Billy Wagner
- Billy Wagner has picked up Tim Worrell's check more times than he should have to this early in the season. Worrell, 0-1 with a 7.27 ERA, cost the Phils the second game of the season against the Washington Nationals and he hasn't regained his stuff nor his confidence yet. Manager Charlie Manuel, vowing not to use Wagner for more than 3 outs, has used Wagner for more than 3 outs twice in the last week (April 24 - May 1) , saving Worrell's hide. Wagner has yet to allow a run, and has yielded only 6 hits and 1 walk over a span of 9.1 innings thus far in the 2005 season.
Jim Thome
- This ailing slugger has failed to find his homerun and clutch hitting niche during the month of April, and entering May, he's day to day with a bad back. He's had just 1 homerun to show for his efforts. Although he is a notoriously slow starter, he is hitting in a bandbox stadium, Citizens Bank Park, and should be able to have more results. If he doesn't start hitting, the also hobbling Pat Burrell will really have some pressure on him to perform, and I think the Phillies have learned not to rely on any one player.
Starting Rotation
- Excluding Jon Lieber and Brett Myers, the Phils' #1 and 2 starters respectively, the starting rotation has been awful as of late. Randy Wolf has had the misfortune of having to face the Florida Marlins twice in a row. Padilla is trying to bounce back from his stint on the DL to open the season, and Cory Lidle has been mediocre. While the offense hasn't been there to back these guys up, the starting rotation must perform better than it has been, or the Phillies will never climb out of the muck.
Pat Burrell
- After a sizzling start to the 2005 season, Pat Burrell has found himself sputtering to the April finish line. He spent some time on the bench to close out the month following a right groin sprain and continues to sit going into May. The Phillies can't afford to have one power hitter go down, let alone two. Burrell needs to rehab and get back on fire quick.
Jimmy Rollins
- The Phils' leadoff hitter needs to start getting on base more consistently. He, like many other Phils, started off the season on a good note, but has sputtered to the end of April. He's stolen only 5 bases in 6 attempts. Rollins needs not only to get on base, but when he does, to be more aggressive. Charlie Manuel predicted Rollins would swipe 70 bags, but that's looking pretty bleak. His 5 stolen bases in 25 games is prorated to 32 over 162 games. In addition, only 5 of his 26 hits are for extra bases (1 2B, 1 3B, 3 HR). The Phils are 7-3 this year in games in which Rollins scores a run, proving that Rollins is the catalyst for this ballclub. When he's not getting on base, everyone suffers.

2005 Regular Season - Next 3 Games

Date Opponent
Sun. 5/2
Philadelphia Phillies @ New York Mets
Sun. 5/3
Philadelphia Phillies @ New York Mets
Sun. 5/3
Philadelphia Phillies @ New York Mets