It’s 2011. Time to make some Phillies related resolutions. The Phillies Nation gang tells you what they hope to see in the upcoming season and, of course, you give us your opinions in the comments section below.
Nick “The Beerman” Staskin: My Phillies New Year’s Resolution is for Jimmy Rollins to stay healthy. In two of the last 3 seasons, the phillies catalyst has missed significant time.
Odds are we will never see a season from Wilson Valdez like we did last year. When Rollins is playing his best, he gives the Phillies a gold glove in the infield, a big bat in the lineup and a speedster on the basepaths. When Rollins is hurt, it gives the Phillies a new number 8 hitter and a lot of headaches.
Jeff Nelson: The most important thing the Phillies need (other than a right handed bat) is for Chase Utley to stay healthy for an entire season. Over the past half decade, Chase Utley has been one of the most valuable players in all of baseball, regardless of position. Even at his worst (his 2010 season) he’s still an elite second baseman and one of the better players in the league, both offensively and defensively. His SLG has declined over the past three years, which is a growing concern. I think if he can avoid the DL and Charlie can find a way to give him rest here and there, he should be back to his MVP-type self in 2011.
Paul Boye: This almost feels like a layup, but I want another sold out season. The current streak of 123 straight sellouts of Citizens Bank Park is incredibly impressive – especially considering the Phils managed just 47 sellouts in their 33 years at the Vet – but 200 is within reach by the end of the year, and I think that’d be an awfully impressive marker to hit. Sunday, September 18 against the Cardinals is the date, and if you want tickets, well, I’d suggest grabbing them sooner than later.
Jay Floyd: The system should resolve to win a minor league title above the Class A Level. With a collection of FOUR league championships between the Rookie level Gulf Coast League Phillies and the A Level Lakewood BlueClaws in the past three years, it is about time the success moves upward within the organization, as the players do the same.
Attention Florida State League opponents of the High A Level Clearwater Threshers, the 2010 Lakewood BlueClaws are graduating and coming for you. With more than five strong starting pitchers (Brody Colvin, Jarred Cosart, Jonathan Pettibone, Colby Shreve, Nick Hernandez and Trevor May) ready for their opportunities to climb the ladder and offensive threats like Jiwan James and Sebastian Valle set to thrive in the warm Florida weather, 2011 should be another great season for this group of future Phils as they mature, continue their habit of doing big things and strive to reach their ultimate goal of winning titles for the big club.
Kieran Carobine: One of the big things I would like to see the Phillies do is win for the entire game. I mean I love the comeback win, or giving up a lead and winning with a walk-off just as much as anyone but that kind of magic doesn’t happen all the time. With the way our rotation is this year, I don’t see the Phils giving back too many leads. I would love to see the Phillies win 100 games and the Four Horsemen to win at least 77 (C.Lee 22, Doc 21, Oswalt 18, Hamels 16). However, with Hamels up against most number four starters I would not be surprised to see him win closer to 20 games. This will be a season that baseball fans talk about for years to come. This season will be magical.
Michael Baumann: There’s a bunch of talk about the Phillies having the best rotation since an arbitrary historical cutoff date (1994 Braves, 1971 Orioles, 1905 Giants for you Hooks Wiltse fans…) but this is a team trying to embark on a historical run of National League dominance in 2011 after losing its leader, in 2010, in walks, runs, extra-base hits, total bases, WAR, and slugging percentage. Yes, in 2010, the Phillies had the best record in baseball despite having a harder time scoring in May and June than a high school senior who took six AP classes. After winning four straight division titles largely on the strength of its prodigious offense, the Phillies stand to lose a lot of 1-0 and 2-1 games in 2011. I guess what I want this year is to not have to endure a period of offensive impotence the likes of which we saw last May and June. Just hit the ball and run around the bases, folks, and let that ridiculous rotation take care of the rest.
Pat Gallen: The one thing I’d enjoy seeing over anything else is a power surge by Ryan Howard. The Big 4 will win and I believe Rollins, Utley, and Polanco will find themselves healthier throughout the season. But with the loss of Jayson Werth, more than ever, Ryan Howard needs to hit for power. His career low 31 home runs and .859 OPS just will not do in 2011. Frankly, those numbers are a joke and he’ll have to really make a strong comeback this season to justify the large extension he was given in ’10. Yes, he limped around with bum ankle during the second half, but before that injury the numbers suffered. This lineup relies on the big boy in the middle – this year he’ll have to act like one again. As a starting point, I’d like to see 42 home runs/130 RBI/.900 OPS. If he can provide that, the offense should be fine again.