Posted by Pat Gallen, Mon, March 24, 2014 02:04 PM Comments: 29
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Question: What has surprised you the most about the Phillies thus far in Spring Training?
Don McGettigan (@DonM409): The biggest surprise to me has been the lack of offense from Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley, and Ryan Howard (hitting .211, .196, and .245 respectively). It’s not that I expected great numbers, or some complete rejuvenation, but I anticipated that the heart of the lineup would buy into the plea for better at bats from the coaching staff. The only chance this team has to contend is to get production from the 2-3-4 spots in the lineup, and so far the intended lineup just hasn’t shown anything worth getting excited about.
Corey Seidman (@CoreySeidman): The biggest surprise for me has been Mario Hollands, the Phillies’ towering lefty pitcher who wasn’t even protected in the Rule 5 draft, but who has a genuine shot to make the team out of camp. Hollands could be an X-factor this year because of his versatility. He could be a long reliever, a spot starter, or a LOOGY (Left-handed One Out Guy). Why not give that all-purpose role to a guy like Hollands who has a mid-90s fastball and some upside, rather than a Jeff Manship or a Sean O’Sullivan or a Shawn Camp?
Jon Nisula (@JNisula): My biggest surprise is the Jimmy Rollins saga. One of the best players in Phillies history is being treated like a villain in already one of the worst offseasons in recent history. Regardless of what side you’re on with the J-Roll thing, this is just a horrible way to go into the season.
Pat Gallen (@PatGallen_975): Actually, the most surprising part of Spring Training has been the absolute lack of any mojo or juice pertaining to the team. No one is talking about the team in a positive way. You might say that isn’t surprising given the lack of good baseball over the past two seasons, but it still surprises me.
That falls more on the players. Very few Phillies have given us anything positive to report. But what’s surprising is that normally a player or two will jump off the page at you in a given Spring Training by hitting .400, smashing eight homers, or just being a complete unknown that turns heads. Corey describes Mario Hollands as that guy, but even he has pretty much flown under the radar.