In no particular order....
It's hard to know just how much Vance Worley's elbow issues have affected his command, but one thing is clear: his command has been poor much of this season. He's giving up a lot of hits and walks and throwing a lot of pitches. His best outing came against Colorado, hardly a ringing endorsement that he had overcome the Sophomore Jinx. Indeed, Worley has been a bit of a bust this season.
Not as much as Cliff Lee, however. Again we watched as Lee dominated the opposition until he left a fat one over the plate. In nearly every outing this season Lee has had a bad inning, or two, that costs him the ballgame. No one has been a bigger bust this year than Lee. No one. How do you spell B U S T? Two wins by mid-August.
As for my recent prediction about John Mayberry, what can I say? I was wrong. Dead wrong. I want big John to succeed, but opposing pitchers clearly have his number. A guy who pulls off with as much consistency has he does is never going to change. Dead wrong.
Juan Pierre has been the biggest surprise of this season other than Chooch. In late March or April I wondered what kind of outfield would have Pierre starting? His arm is shot. He's a slap-happy hitter whose best days are behind him. Well, his arm is
shot, but the slap-happy hitter just keeps on keepin' on. Yesterday, he beat out an infield single for a walk-off victory in the eleventh inning, allowing the Phils to improbably take two of three from the visiting Cardinals.
If Chase Utley is hurting it's hard to tell because he is playing with abandon. No where was that more evident than his takeout slide Saturday that broke up a double play. Utley has been very streaky at the plate. Overall, he has put together some good games where he appears to have found his stroke, but his average remains below .250 as he struggles for consistency. He appears to chop at the ball more than ever, which is why he flies out or pops up so much. Too often he isn't putting a clear follow through on the ball.
Ryan Howard has been striking out at a prodigious rate. Nothing new about that. His personal Spring Training/early season is about over now and he should be getting more comfortable at the plate. Unfortunately, it's been feast or famine with him. Unfortunately, it's been feast or famine with him several seasons running.