Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Age And Recovery

Good pitching beats...blah, blah, blah.  We've heard it all before because it's normally true, and when it comes to good pitching the Phils seems to have an abundance of it at most positions.

Unfortunately, the corollary to that mantra is that good pitching normally relies on good defense, and on that front the Phils will be hard-pressed to say theirs is superior.  At least two and possibly as many as four positions are suspect.  First base and right field will be adequate at best.  Even were Ryan Howard to miraculously recover in a week the prospects for good defense at first base are mediocre.

Hunter Pence is not going to make anyone forget Roberto Clemente.  Left field should be in good hands depending on who starts there.  The Phils best option would be John Mayberry.  Centerfield is in excellent hands.  Third base and shortstop are well-manned, to be sure, but both by aging stars whose range and arms will begin to provide somewhat diminished returns.  Second base will have a youngster of great defensive ability but one who is learning a new position and partner.  It could take a little time.

Chooch is Chooch.  He calls a great game and is defensively very sound.  He doesn't throw out a high percentage of base runners, but, then, the pitchers seem most responsible in this department.

Age and recovery will control the destiny of the defense.  Neither is very predictable.