Phillies Mailbag: 2012 Preseason Edition

Realistically, how much longer is the window open with this current core? – @Realdeal411

This is assuming the Phillies were going to continue basing the heart of their order around Ryan Howard, Chase Utley and Hunter Pence as well as Shane Victorino, Jimmy Rollins and Carlos Ruiz and a rotation with Roy Halladay, Cole Hamels and Cliff Lee?

If that were the case, next year at the longest. They are now in the echelon of franchises that make improvements via trade and free agency (Boston and New York to be specific) and they are going to have to do just that.

They have already started that method by acquiring Halladay, Lee, Pence, Roy Oswalt and Jonathon Papelbon since winning their last World Series. But as we have seen already, the current infield has very few years left of being key crucial parts in their line up and who knows how much longer Doc and Lee have at the top of the mountain before the Phils need a new staff ace.

Do you think Polanco will stay healthy? If not, who plays third?@KevinthePhan

It’s tough to predict injuries. If Polanco goes down, it could be related to his problems last year or be a complete fluke injury.

That being said, let’s say Polanco does struggle with elbow or hernia problems again. If he’s in and out of the line up, you should see Ty Wigginton getting more starts at third base. That’s the main reason the Phillies signed him to begin with; to play the corner infield and outfield positions.

If Polanco is out long-term, third base could be on the Phillies radar towards the deadline. It depends on what teams will be selling and what they will be looking for in return. The Phillies aren’t exactly wealthy in terms of prospects (none in the top 68 this season) and who knows if they will be looking to shop Domonic Brown in hopes to get a third baseman.

This is a wait-and-see question. I hope Polly is healthy, especially because he probably has the biggest question mark hanging over his head as far as health this season.

What’s your opinion on the Phillies not having IF under 30 (RH,Utley,JRoll,Placido) + not having a prospect in the top 68? – @LegendsDontDie2

As far as the prospects go, I think this means more that the Phillies don’t have much to offer if they need to make a midseason trade, which they likely will have to do. It’s become a trend (Cliff Lee in 2009, Roy Oswalt in 2010, Hunter Pence 2011) and with the question marks in regards to health and offense, that could be a problem.

As far as the infield is concerned, that’s not a huge problem as you may think. Look at the 2009 Yankees that won the World Series against the Phillies. They were an average age of 32 years old, with this year’s Phillies team being an average age of 33.4 at the start of the season. Yes, that group may be more talented than this group, but if healthy, the Phillies infield is still very good.

Now they do have questions coming into the season. They include Polanco from last season as well as Ryan Howard not starting the year with the Phillies. Rollins proved to be fairly healthy last season and Utley barely played 100 games. It’s a definite concern and that will be the Phillies biggest question this season.

Will you miss saying RAAAAAAAAAAUUUUUUUUULLLLLLLLL? – @KevinthePhan

I just cried a little.


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