Report card: Phillies at the All-Star break

Miami Marlins v Philadelphia Phillies
There are good reasons why the Phillies are perfectly mediocre at the break. Let’s take a look position by position why the Phillies are seven back in the loss column.

 
Starting Pitching: B+

If it weren’t for starting pitching, the Phillies would be ten games under .500
With the exception of three subpar starts, Cliff Lee has been exceptional. Who would have guessed that Cole Hamels would have been 2-11 at the midpoint of the season? Hamels has had five lousy starts, but he’s primarily been the victim of poor run support. King Cole is back in a groove. Kyle Kendrick has been rock solid. John Lannan has been hurt and up and down. And then there is Roy Halladay, who pitched hurt and is on the shelf until September. Jonathan Pettibone has kept the team in games.

 

The Bullpen: C

 

The Phillies supposedly solved the eighth-inning problem by adding the best set-up man available in Mike Adams, who pitched hurt, was ineffective and is done for the season. What’s most surprising is that not one of the kiddie corp of relievers (Justin DeFratus, Mike Stutes, Phillippe Aumont, Jake Diekman) has seized the opportunity. Jonathan Papelbon has blown five saves, but he’s been good overall. J.C. Ramirez and his 98-mph fastball is intriguing.

 

First Base: Incomplete

 

It was obvious that something was wrong with Ryan Howard. The Big Piece had a great spring training. Howard tried to play through considerable pain with his left knee injury, which robbed him of his power. Howard is out until September and Darin Ruf is getting his opportunity. Can Ruf approximate the numbers a historic run producer provides? The magic eight ball — as well as several rivals and scouts — says absolutely not.

 

Second Base: B

 

When Chase Utley is out there, he’s played with that familiar intensity and his sweet, short stroke looks a lot like it did back in his glory days. The only problem is that he missed a month with his oblique injury.

 

Shortstop: B-

 

Jimmy Rollins doesn’t have the pop he once had, but he still plays well-above-average defense. He still has great range and a plus arm.

 

Third Base: B-

 

The word was that Michael Young had gap power. Young had 58 extra-base hits in 2011. He’s on pace for less than half of that. However, Young shares the team lead in hits with 96. He has played solid defense. A huge upgrade over Placido Polanco, but certainly not a difference-maker.

 

Left Field: A

 

Does anyone want to trade or cut Domonic Brown now? A number of pundits suggested that Brown needed a change of scenery, but that’s not so. It’s not just about the 23 homers for the first-time All-Star. Brown has 67 RBIs and has hit left-handed pitching well. He’s been clutch and appears more comfortable in the cleanup spot than Hunter Pence was last season. The kicker is that Brown has been plus defensively in left. He has seven assists this season thanks to his cannon of an arm.

 

Center Field: B

 

Ben Revere turned things around quickly. After getting off to a very slow start, Revere rebounded and he leads the team in hits with Michael Young at 96. He has a .306 average. His defense has been spotty, but he was clearly on the upswing until he broke a bone in his ankle Saturday night. Revere won’t be back for two months and he’ll be sorely missed.

 

Right Field: C

 

Delmon Young has finally started putting it together offensively after a slow start. He, not Brown, is the weak defensive link in the outfield.

 

The Bench: B-

 

Kevin Frandsen has been clutch when called on to get big hits. The same could be said for Laynce Nix, until May 1 arrived. John Mayberry Jr., who will be plugged into center, has been decent off the bench. Erik Kratz is a good bat off the pine if you need someone to swing for the fences in the ninth.

 



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Federal mediator joins Met Opera labor talks as…

Unions representing the orchestra and chorus of the Met Opera agreed to have a federal mediator join labor talks on Thursday as a threatened lockout loomed.

Local

Winning $7 million New York lottery ticket sold…

The only $7 million winning New York Lottery ticket for Monday's Cash4Life drawing was sold at a Queens 7-Eleven, officials said on Tuesday.

Local

Brooklyn man charged in roommate's stabbing death

A Brooklyn man accused of violently stabbing his roommate to death on Monday is in police custody and faces murder charges.

International

Dinosaurs could have survived asteroid strike

It turns out there is a good and a bad time for the planet to be hit by a meteor, and dinosaurs were just unlucky.…

Movies

Review: 'Guardians of the Galaxy' is a refreshingly…

Marvel is sitting so high on a cash mountain that it's now thrown $170 million at the relatively obscure and very silly title "Guardians of the Galaxy."

Movies

Review: 'Get on Up' is a war between…

James Brown finally gets his own boring biopic with "Get on Up," but the Godfather of Soul puts up a good fight against the usual cliches.

Movies

Review: 'Child of God' finds director James Franco…

James Franco's 11th directed feature is a noble but sloppy adaptation of Cormac McCarthy's "Child of God," about a feral mountain man (Scott Haze).

Movies

Review: Alex Gibney's Fela Kuti doc 'Finding Fela'…

Prolific documentarian Alex Gibney takes on Afrobeat god Fela Kuti in "Finding Fela," but fails to capture his unique essence.

MLB

Yankees land Stephen Drew, Martin Prado at trade…

Yankees land Stephen Drew, Martin Prado at trade deadline

College

Playing the Field: Valentine's Day coupling edition

  It’s Valentine’s Day, a day created by Hallmark to make couples spend loads and loads of money on candy, flowers and gourmet dinners. Or…

MLB

Angelo Cataldi: Ryan Howard deserves better from Phillies

Just last week, Ryan Howard endured the embarrassment of a benching that was inevitable, and yet still shocking.

NFL

Larry Donnell has inside track in Giants tight…

Little-known Larry Donnell of Grambling State currently has the inside track, as the second-year player has received the bulk of the first-team reps.

Career

What do you wear to a career fair?…

Getting that gig starts with presenting the most polished and memorable version of yourself, so refer to our expert fashion advice.

Style

Editors pick: Margiela's finger armor ring

These cool rings from Maison Martin Margiela are designed to overlap over the finger, covering each joint like armor.

Style

Givenchy champions diversity

Riccardo Tisci's uses a variety of ethnically diverse ladies for his spring campaign including Erykah Badu.

Wellbeing

Don't settle for the hotel fitness center with…

Travelers who want to skip the hotel fitness center in favor of local gyms that may offer better equipment, classes and amenities can turn to…