Rockies vs. Phillies series preview: the Phillies rumble into Denver to face the Rockies

Doug Pensinger

The Phillies may no longer be the juggernaut of the recent past, but they're still dangerous.

The Phillies are a classic "window has closed" baseball team. That isn't to say that they don't have good players, because they certainly do. They have a couple guys that could be All Stars this year and a number of solid regulars that would fit in on any contending team.

The problem is, the Phillies are old; very, very old. Around the infield, the Phillies play Ryan Howard (34 years old) at first, Chase Utley (35) at second, Jimmy Rollins (35) at short, Cody Asche (23) at third, and Carlos Ruiz (35) at catcher. The outlier there is Asche, but he's actually been the worst of the bunch.

That's the thing; those old players are actually very good when they're healthy (well, maybe not Ryan Howard). Utley, totally healthy for the first time in a while, is hitting the absolute stupidity out of the baseball, already piling up 1.6 WAR. Rollins is having a very nice campaign so far, with an OPS of .760 while playing a steady short stop. Ruiz is a rock solid backstop with a .365 OBP.

So when these guys play, they produce. The problem is keeping them on the field. Utley played 131 games last year, and that was his highest total--by a lot--since 2009. Ruiz only accrued 341 PA last year. Howard has been absolutely bedeviled by injuries in 2012 and 2013. Rollins has actually been very durable, but his numbers took a tumble in 2013; at his age that might be an outlier year, but more likely he's hitting his decline phase.

The Phils turn to a motley crew of outfielders in 2014. Ben Revere is a speedy center fielder who is utterly powerless. Dominic Brown is a former top prospect who has turned into a respectable, if streaky, corner outfielder. Marlon Byrd, a big free agent acquisition, is coming off a renaissance year, but at age 37 it's fair to wonder if that was a fluke. He's striking out at a prodigious rate while hardly walking at all.

On the pitching side of things, the Phillies, like seemingly all teams, are dealing with the injury bug. Cole Hamels hasn't thrown a pitch yet, though he's close to returning (the Rockies will likely miss him). The Rocks will be missing the Phillies other best starters, Cliff Lee and AJ Burnett, as well. Instead they'll be squaring off against the decidedly less intimidating Jonathan Pettibone, Kyle Kendrick, and Roberto Hernandez.

Closer Jonathan Papelbon has been pretty terrible too, with a fastball that's barely scraping above 90 MPH. That's nice.

The Phillies are relying on old-as-dirt veterans firmly in their decline phase. They don't have any real prospects to speak of and their backups are pretty terrible. If their old guys stay miraculously healthy, they could push perhaps 85 wins. In the more likely scenario, some of them get injured or lose effectiveness, the team spirals, and a dispiriting losing record results.

That doesn't really affect the next few days, as most of the regulars are healthy at this moment. The Rockies caught a stroke of good luck in the pitching matchups: no Lee, Burnett, or Hamels. Rockies pitching will have to contain Utley, who is simply unconscious right now. I predict a 2-1 series victory, where one of these starters inexplicably shuts the lineup down.

Pitching Stats

Name W L SV IP K/9 BB/9 HR/9 BABIP LOB% GB% HR/FB ERA FIP xFIP WAR
Cliff Lee 2 2 0 27 9.33 0.67 0.67 0.432 76.50% 50.60% 8.70% 4 2.16 2.37 0.9
Jonathan Papelbon 0 1 4 6.1 9.95 4.26 0 0.294 62.50% 47.10% 0.00% 4.26 2.26 3.78 0.2
Jake Diekman 1 1 0 7.1 15.95 6.14 1.23 0.4 47.20% 46.70% 33.30% 8.59 3.32 2.11 0.1
Jeff Manship 0 0 0 3.1 8.1 2.7 0 0.273 25.00% 70.00% 0.00% 8.1 2.15 2.56 0.1
A.J. Burnett 0 1 0 23 5.87 6.26 0.39 0.271 73.80% 58.60% 7.70% 2.74 4.66 4.87 0
Kyle Kendrick 0 1 0 18 7 3 1.5 0.288 73.40% 47.50% 15.80% 3.5 4.66 3.95 0
Jonathan Pettibone 0 0 0 5 9 1.8 1.8 0.412 92.10% 41.20% 25.00% 1.8 4.25 2.75 0
Mario Hollands 0 1 0 6.1 4.26 4.26 0 0.167 83.30% 64.70% 0.00% 1.42 3.52 4.39 0
Luis Garcia 0 0 0 1 9 0 0 0 100.00% 50.00% 0.00% 0 1.05 1.05 0
Roberto Hernandez 1 0 0 16.1 9.37 4.41 1.65 0.25 78.70% 50.00% 27.30% 3.86 4.82 3.37 0
Brad Lincoln 0 0 0 2.1 7.71 0 3.86 0.444 65.20% 10.00% 25.00% 11.57 8.19 4.98 -0.1
Antonio Bastardo 2 1 0 8.1 6.48 6.48 0 0.095 60.00% 25.00% 0.00% 2.16 4.49 6.47 -0.1
Justin De Fratus 0 0 0 5 3.6 1.8 3.6 0.188 62.50% 44.40% 33.30% 7.2 8.05 4.5 -0.2
B.J. Rosenberg 1 0 0 4.1 6.23 2.08 6.23 0.357 100.00% 23.50% 37.50% 6.23 11.36 4.9 -0.5

Hitting Stats

Name PA HR R RBI SB BB% K% BABIP AVG OBP SLG wOBA wRC+ BsR Off Def WAR
Chase Utley 58 3 9 10 0 8.60% 10.30% 0.488 0.462 0.517 0.769 0.551 252 0.8 11 1.8 1.6
Jimmy Rollins 61 2 8 10 3 9.80% 14.80% 0.279 0.259 0.333 0.426 0.337 109 0.3 0.9 1.8 0.5
Domonic Brown 58 1 6 8 2 10.30% 19.00% 0.35 0.288 0.362 0.385 0.33 105 0.4 0.7 -0.7 0.2
Carlos Ruiz 52 0 9 0 1 15.40% 13.50% 0.278 0.233 0.365 0.326 0.321 99 -1 -1.1 0.9 0.2
Tony Gwynn 27 0 5 0 0 14.80% 29.60% 0.5 0.318 0.423 0.364 0.361 126 0.2 1.1 -0.5 0.2
Wil Nieves 11 0 0 2 0 0.00% 18.20% 0.375 0.3 0.3 0.4 0.306 89 0 -0.2 1.2 0.2
Marlon Byrd 63 2 4 10 0 4.80% 30.20% 0.359 0.267 0.302 0.4 0.298 84 -1.5 -2.7 1.7 0.1
John Mayberry 17 1 1 4 0 11.80% 29.40% 0.222 0.2 0.294 0.467 0.334 107 0 0.2 0.3 0.1
Ryan Howard 62 3 8 7 0 16.10% 29.00% 0.29 0.231 0.355 0.442 0.356 122 0.1 1.7 -3.3 0
Cesar Hernandez 14 0 1 0 0 7.10% 35.70% 0.375 0.231 0.286 0.308 0.268 64 0 -0.6 -0.5 -0.1
Ben Revere 55 0 7 4 5 3.60% 16.40% 0.349 0.288 0.315 0.327 0.287 76 0.7 -0.8 -2.1 -0.1
Freddy Galvis 9 0 0 0 0 22.20% 11.10% 0 0 0.222 0 0.154 -12 0 -1.2 -1.3 -0.2
Cody Asche 43 1 5 3 0 11.60% 30.20% 0.25 0.184 0.279 0.316 0.262 60 -0.1 -2.1 -1.9 -0.3
Jayson Nix 21 0 0 0 0 0.00% 47.60% 0.3 0.15 0.15 0.15 0.134 -26 -0.4 -3.5 -1.3 -0.4

Friday: Phillies' Jonathan Pettibone ((0-2, 3.50 ERA) at Rockies' Tyler Chatwood (0-0, 6.00), 6:10 p.m., ROOT

Saturday: Phillies' Kyle Kendrick (0-2, 3.50 ERA) at Rockies' Jordan Lyles (2-0, 4.32), 6:10 p.m., ROOT

Sunday: Phillies' Roberto Hernandez (1-0, 3.86) at Rockies' Juan Nicasio (2-0, 3.50), 2:10 p.m., ROOT



In This Article

Teams
X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Purple Row

You must be a member of Purple Row to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Purple Row. You should read them.

Join Purple Row

You must be a member of Purple Row to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Purple Row. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9351_tracker