March 24, 2013; Tempe, AZ, USA; Los Angeles Angels left fielder Josh Hamilton (32) sits in the dugout during the fourth inning during a spring training game against the Los Angeles Angels at Tempe Diablo Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

TBOH Staff Picks, Vol. 3: The Last Hurrah

The third installment of TBOH’s staff picks.

Not all picks are created equal. In fact, some are much better than others. Like these!

John Stolnis (@FelskeFiles)

Opening Day Lineup, 2013

  • CF Ben Revere
  • SS Jimmy Rollins
  • 2B Chase Utley
  • 1B Ryan Howard
  • 3B Michael Young
  • LF Domonic Brown
  • RF Laynce Nix
  • C Erik Kratz
  • P Cole Hamels

Ben Revere’s .382 on-base percentage this spring and the havoc he creates on the bases makes him a no-brainer at the top of the lineup. It also makes a lot of sense because it breaks up a potential string of left-handed hitters at the top of the Phils’ lineup, especially against an Atlanta bullpen that features two lefties that can make life very hard on left-handed hitters. That’s also why Michael Young will likely hit ahead of Dom Brown, at least to start the season.

Opening Day MVP

Cole Hamels

Call me crazy, but the Phils’ best overall player right now is Cole Hamels. I’m looking for eight shutout innings from the lanky left-hander on opening day.

Yeah, Chase has one more great season left. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Team MVP

Chase Utley

Yeah, I think he’s got one more really good year left in him.

Trade Deadline Deal

Phillies trade for the Cubs’ Matt Garza

If the Phils are still in the race, as I expect them to be, and Roy Halladay continues to struggle, as I expect him to do, the Phils will likely be looking for an experienced starter to replace him. Garza is a free agent at the end of the year and Chicago isn’t going anywhere this year. You can bet they’ll be looking to unload him as the trade deadline nears. He hopefully wouldn’t cost too much in return, although starting pitchers are like gold at the trade deadline. Still, given the doubts about Kendrick and Halladay, the Phillies will probably need more starting pitching as the year progresses.

If the Phillies are out of the race, Utley, Ruiz, Halladay, and others, could be on the way out.

Unfortunate Twitter Rumor of the Year

Phillies sign Delmon Young to a contract extension.

I mean, they gave Joe Blanton and Kyle Kendrick contract extensions, right? Is this so crazy?

Season Finish

3rd in the NL East, Winner of the second NL wild card

The Phillies will finish behind Washington and Atlanta, but will snag that final wild card spot, win the play-in game against the Braves, beat the Giants in the NLDS and advance to the NLCS against Washington. And that is where the last hurrah for this once-championship squad will end.

NL East champs

Washington Nationals

NL Central champs

Cincinnati Reds

NL West champs

San Francisco Giants

NL Wild Cards

Atlanta Braves, Philadelphia Phillies

NLCS Teams, Winner

Phillies vs. Nationals – Nationals win in 5

AL East champs

Boston Red Sox

AL Central champs

Detroit Tigers

AL West champs

Anaheim Angels

AL Wild Cards

Texas Rangers, Tampa Bay Rays

ALCS Teams, Winner

Texas Rangers vs. Detroit Tigers – Rangers win in 7

World Series Teams, Winner

Rangers vs. Nationals – Nationals win in 6

Your NL MVP. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

NL MVP

Justin Upton, Braves

AL MVP

Mike Trout, Angels

NL ROY

Adam Eaton, Diamondbacks

AL ROY

Wil Myers, Rays

NL Cy Young

Cole Hamels, Phillies

AL Cy Young

David Price, Rays

Most Devastating Injury of the Season

Derek Jeter, who after briefly returning from injury, hurts his leg again, misses the rest of the 2013 season. Poor, poor Yankees.

Biggest Bust (Team)

Los Angeles Dodgers

Can there really be any other team to whom this designation would apply? Most of these players disappointed last year, both in L.A. and in Boston. Why would this year be different? The weight of expectations… THEY WILL CRUSH YOU!

Biggest Bust (Player)

Josh Hamilton, Angels

Frankly, Zach Greinke of the Dodgers is too easy here. So, I’m going to go outside the box here a bit.

For the money the Angels are paying Hamilton, they’re not going to see nearly that kind of return. I think Hamilton was helped a bit by hitting in Texas, and his injury history is going to plague him in 2013. I have no scientific basis to back this up. Just call it a hunch.

Most Predictable Finish

Washington Nationals

Biggest Surprise

Boston Red Sox

I really like what the Red Sox did this offseason. They reloaded with a bunch of smart acquisitions, including low-risk deals involving David Ortiz, David Ross, Jonny Gomes, Koji Uehara, Ryan Dempster, Stephen Drew, and Joel Hanrahan. The only bad contract was their three-year, $39 million deal with Shane Victorino, who is a good player but is in a clear decline. I don’t think Toronto is going to do what many expect them to do (how often do big offseason spending sprees ever work out?), the Yankees are a mess, Tampa’s lineup after the clean-up hitter is a joke, and I don’t believe in Baltimore.

That leaves the Red Sox.

Phillies Opening Day Lineup 2018

  • SS Roman Quinn
  • 3B Maikel Franco
  • CF Mike Trout
  • 1B Paul Goldschmidt
  • RF Adam Jones
  • LF Domonic Brown
  • C Tommy Joseph
  • 2B Freddy Galvis
  • P Cole Hamels

Yeah, there’s no way to really know who’s going to be available in five years, but it’s a fun exercise and I was told I have to do it, so, here it is.

There is no doubt in anyone’s mind that, when Trout hits free agency, he’s going to want to play for the Phillies. The Phils should have their new TV deal in place, which means they’ll be ready to spend a ton of money and make the hometown boy their signature player. Plus, he’s pretty good and all, so that’ll be fun. Adam Jones is coming into his own as a hitter right now and would be a perfect fit in the Phils’ outfield in his early 30s. And look out for Arizona’s slugging first baseman, who could become a 30-home run hitter this year and plays 2013 at just 25 years old.

Shortstop prospect Roman Quinn, one of the fastest players in baseball, has lead-off hitter written all over him, and I’m optimistic that Dom Brown is going to stick around for a long while. Catcher Tommy Joseph, despite some defensive deficiencies, is a legitimate hitting prospect and appears to be the catcher of the future. Maikel Franco and Freddy Galvis are two farmhands that could stick with the club for the next few years.

And Cole Hamels will be entering the last year of his contract, looking to cement himself as one of the five best pitchers in team history.

Tags: 2013 Preview Philadelphia Phillies

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