Spring training preview: Phillies open 2013 with question marks

San Francisco Giants v Philadelphia Phillies
Ryan Howard and Chase Utley, if they can stay healthy, will be counted on to lead the Phillies in 2013. Sound familiar?

If it feels like it’s been an eternity since the Phillies hit the diamond, well, Charlie Manuel’s squad didn’t play a meaningful game in October. Some might argue that the club didn’t play a significant game since May but that’s another story.

You can forget about the miserable 2012 season since pitchers and catchers reported Tuesday. Still, there are just as many questions as there are answers in Clearwater, Fla.

» The Roy Halladay watch has commenced: There will be no Phillie under more scrutiny than Doc, who was injured and ineffective in 2012. Will Halladay rebound from a season in which he said he didn’t give the Phillies, who pay $20 million a year for his services, their money’s worth? Stay tuned.

» Will Ryan Howard rebound? The Phillies desperately need The Big Piece to rebound after struggling and rehabbing from an Achilles injury in 2012. The Phillies played at a .600 clip in the 71 games Howard played in during the second half of last season. Bet on Howard to put up some enviable numbers.

» Will Chase Utley disappear when the Grapefruit League starts? Utley was absent in March of 2011 and 2012 due to lingering knee problems. The Phillies need a productive Utley, who is in his walk year. He showed up Tuesday morning — three days before position players were required to report — and fielded groundballs. Utley looked fresh and agile in his spring training debut.

» Who will play the outfield corners? Delmon Young is apparently the front-runner for the right-field gig, but there’s a lot of time between now and Opening Day.  Charlie Manuel will undoubtedly go with the hot bat. So will that hot bat belong to Young, Domonic Brown, Darin Ruf or John Mayberry Jr. when it comes to the two vacant outfield spots? First impressions begin now.

» What does Michael Young have left in the tank? There is a good chance that the most beloved player in Texas Rangers history still has it. Young is just a season removed from leading the American League in hits. The guess here is that Young, who hits line drives and possesses good plate discipline, will be immensely popular in Philly — assuming he can stay healthy and flash the leather at third base.

» Will Ben Revere adequately replace Shane Victorino in center? Revere and Vic are two very different players. Revere has no pop, but he can cover as much ground as any player not named Michael Bourn. Revere is a young Juan Pierre and under club control for cheap. Yes, all those things should excite Phillies fans.

» Is the bullpen as good as it looks on paper? That’s difficult to answer since relievers are the most volatile players on the team. However, the Phillies ’pen looks rock solid with Jonathan Papelbon as closer, Mike Adams in the eighth inning, with Antonio Bastardo and Chad Durbin stepping in to put on any fires before that. The frontrunners for the other three spots are three young relievers with considerable upside, Mike Stutes, Jeremy Horst and Jake Diekman.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

East Village woman fights off rape attempt from…

An East Village woman fought off an attempted rapist that she woke to find standing on her bed over the weekend, police said.

International

Nearly 300 missing after South Korean ferry capsizes

Almost 300 people were missing after a ferry capsized off South Korea Wednesday, in what could be the country's biggest maritime disaster in over 20 years.

Local

Police look for man suspected of threatening Muslim…

Police seek man suspected of calling a teen Muslim girl a "terrorist" and spitting on her multiple times while on a Queens bus.

News

Explosions in new Boston Marathon bomb panic, 'twisted'…

A fresh Boston Marathon terror alert, which caused Bomb Squad officers to order an evacuation while two controlled explosions were carried out, was today being…

Television

'Orphan Black's' Jordan Gavaris talks Felix's Season 2…

Jordan Gavaris plays heroically helpful foster sibling Felix to main clone Sarah on "Orphan Black." We talked to him about what’s ahead for him in…

Going Out

Accomplice Tour: New York (Spoiler Alert)

When I signed up for the Accomplice show tour, I had no idea what I was in for. But every grimy job comes with a great reward.

Television

TV watch list, Tuesday, April 15: 'New Girl,'…

'New Girl' Nick and Jess are hiding their breakup from the other loft residents. And Winston passes the police academy exam! That guy needed some…

Television

'Orphan Black' is back with 'crazy clone shenanigans'

“Orphan Black” is the little show that could. It had a few things working against it: a sci-fi premise, attracting an audience who had never…

NFL

Jets confident despite Chris Johnson leaving with no…

Jets fans clamored for a playmaker on offense all offseason. It looked like they were going to land that player on Tuesday when Chris Johnson…

NBA

Knicks, Nets rivalry never materialized despite national attention

When the NBA schedule was released, the league anticipated an intense rivalry between the Nets and Knicks with all four games slated for national TV.

NBA

NBA Power Rankings: Are the Spurs frauds? Could…

NBA Power Rankings: Are the Spurs frauds? Could the Mavericks surprise?

NHL

Top 5 New York storylines for Rangers-Flyers playoff…

The Rangers and Flyers have a long history of animosity toward each other. Now they get to rekindle that rivalry in the Stanley Cup playoffs.

Home

Steal home decorating tips from Nattystyle blogger Natalie…

Despite the towering ceilings and enviable exposed brick, it’s easy to see how Natalie Decleve’s apartment could be considered a challenge. Perched above the streets…

Home

How to plant a garden in the city

Small on space but big on gardening? You can still have that welcoming oasis of fresh air with an urban garden. Peter Smith, owner of…

Style

Personalize your massage at a private practice

CityTouch customizes spa treatments to meet client's needs.

Style

Victoria's Secret Fashion Show moving to England

It will still broadcast on CBS this fall.