As of this posting the Phillies are an easy team to evaluate. Only one guy is performing better than expected, second half man Cole Hamels. Pat Burrell is also surprising to the upside, as is his wont in the early going, but he'll soon fall back to earth. Shane Victorino is hitting as is Carlos Ruiz. The rest of their mates are laboring through various states of catatonia.
There's little to be gained by obsessing about the bullpen. Suffice it to say manager Charlie Manuel is even pleading publicly for some help. Speaking of Manuel, the death watch has begun though the suspicion here is things have already gotten out of hand and secretly GM Pat Gillick is nodding to himself and saying, "I knew this would happen." Manuel is forever being given credit as a players' manager for creating a positive attitude in the clubhouse. That and a $93 million payroll will get you second place.
Meanwhile, poor Jimmy Rollins is the literal toast of the town in New York after declaring the Phils the team to beat in the division during Spring Training and then failing to walk the walk. His first appearance in the Big Apple was a disaster as he grounded into a double play with the bases loaded and then booted a ball that opened the flood gates to a Mets' 7-run inning. Frankly, all of the pre-game brouhaha over his remarks is just predictably good old fashioned hype. He remains the engine that drives this team. Unfortunately, the Phils 1 - 6 April start is also predictable.