Philadelphia Phillies

Manager: Ryne Sandberg
Stadium: Citizens Bank Park
2008 Record: 92-70 (1st in NL East)
Team Page | Roster | Schedule

LINEUP

'08: Batting | Runs (2nd in NL)
PLAYER B POS
Jimmy Rollins B SS
Shane Victorino B CF
Chase Utley L 2B
Ryan Howard L 1B
Raul Ibanez L LF
Jayson Werth R RF
Carlos Ruiz R C
Pedro Feliz R 3B
OFF THE BENCH
Greg Dobbs L INF
Matt Stairs L OF

PITCHING

'08: Pitching | ERA (4th in NL)
ROTATION T POS
Cole Hamels L SP1
Brett Myers R SP2
Jamie Moyer L SP3
Joe Blanton R SP4
Chan Ho Park R SP5
BULLPEN
Ryan Madson R Setup
Scott Eyre L Setup
Brad Lidge R Closer
 
The best move of the offseason wasn't made by a team, but by Raul Ibanez. After suffering through a 101-loss season with the Mariners, he signed a three-year, $31.5 million deal with the World Series champs. "The perfect spot," he says. His new teammates are just as thrilled to have him. "He's someone you watch on TV and say, 'Man, I'd love to play with that guy,'" says Jimmy Rollins. "And then, shoot, we get him." One reason Rollins didn't think it would happen is that Ibanez is a left-handed hitter, like Chase Utley and Ryan Howard, which could make the Phils susceptible to lefty pitching. Last season, though, Ibanez batted .305 against southpaws. The 36-year-old left fielder is no prize with the glove, but he's dedicated and durable, averaging 158 games over the past four seasons. When the Phils had their team golf tourney in February, Ibanez was the last to leave camp for the outing because he was finishing a workout. "He's always in the weight room," says a team rep. After 11 years in the bigs, Ibanez wants to be ready to lift a World Series trophy.
-- Tim Kurkjian

ESPN The Magazine's Phillies preview Insider

PROSPECTS

HITTER TO WATCH:

Jason Donald is blocked in the majors by Chase Utley and Jimmy Rollins, but any delay in Utley's recovery from hip surgery would give Donald the opening to prove he can play every day in the middle infield.

PITCHER TO WATCH:

Carlos Carrasco has iffy command of an above-average fastball and average changeup and pitched extremely well in a Triple-A callup last August.
-- Keith Law, Scouts Inc.

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SPORTSNATION

Is Ryan Howard the best first baseman in the National League? Do the Phillies have the best starting lineup? Will Brad Lidge remain at the top of the head among NL closers? Register your vote.

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Featured Comment

In a rematch of the 1915 World Series, the Phils avenge the ghosts of Gavvy Cravath and Grover Cleveland Alexander and beat the Sox in a thrilling six game to repeat as champs.


anthonyc218

National League fan previews

FANTASY

SLEEPER

Brett Myers hasn't had a normal season since 2006, when he approached 200 strikeouts. Since then he's closed and been demoted to the minors, but he's an Opening Day starter yet again, and in a contract year. Expect this bulldog to make 32 starts and flirt with career-best numbers.

BUST

Brad Lidge was perfect in save chances in 2008, regular season and playoffs combined. No matter how well he pitches, there's likely to be some regression in his numbers. Save totals always fluctuate, and while Lidge should be strong again, don't count on another sub-2.00 ERA and only two home runs allowed.
-- Eric Karabell

INJURY TO WATCH

Much was made of Chase Utley's offseason hip surgery and how far into the 2009 season it would be before he could return. Well, surprise, surprise. Utley has been a model patient, working diligently to exceed his rehab targets while being mindful not to overdo it and create a potential setback. Utley has clearly demonstrated his readiness to return by not only offensively hitting for power this spring, but also defensively by sliding, throwing hard across his body and even diving for balls without hesitation. Manager Charlie Manuel has already proclaimed Utley a member of the Opening Day lineup and he will continue to be a regular fixture thereafter.
-- Stephania Bell

MORE

30 Questions: Will Brett Myers (finally) pitch like an ace?

PRESEASON POWER RANKINGS

  • Jayson Stark

    Stark
    No. 4 overall
    (1st in
    NL East)

  • Tim Kurkjian

    Kurkjian
    No. 3 overall
    (1st in
    NL East)

  • Buster Olney

    Olney
    No. 3 overall
    (1st in
    NL East)

  • Rob Neyer

    Neyer
    No. 13 overall
    (3rd in
    NL East)

  • Jim Caple

    Caple
    No. 6 overall
    (2nd in
    NL East)