Originally written on Philly Sports World  |  Last updated 11/19/14
Phillies’ 2nd Baseman Chase Utley 2012 is a distant memory now for The Philadelphia Phillies. Thankfully. All attention can now be turned on 2013, and what the Phillies can do to bounce back and be competitive again. After all, 2013 may represent their last chance at winning with this core of players in tact. Ryan Howard, Jimmy Rollins, Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels and Jonathan Papelbon will all be here (presumably) in 2014, but several key faces may not be. That’s in addition to Hunter Pence, Shane Victorino and Placido Polanco who played for the Phillies last year and already won’t be returning. Chase Utley enters the final year of his contract with the Phillies with way more questions than answers. The main question being will Utley be able to start the season healthy after failing to do so for the last two years? If he is healthy and able to control the pain in his knees, will he be anything close to the player he once was? In light of Utley’s health concerns during his career, it would seem unlikely and unwise for the Phillies to entertain signing him after this deal expires. Chase Utley has been one of the faces of this franchise’s rebirth, but his time in Philly may be small. Roy Halladay has a vesting option with the Phillies for 2014. That option vests based on the number of innings pitched between 2012 and 2013. Roy Halladay, after missing two months of the season with a lat strain, will be hard pressed to get to the 400+ innings needed for that option to kick in. What does that mean in short? Roy Halladay will likely be a free agent after next season with the Phillies. Like Utley, Halladay’s health and effectiveness have become questions where none used to exist. After returning from that injury, Halladay never seemed to be the same pitcher that the Phillies expect. The hope for Doc is that the extended rest this winter will help him regain his form. Another Phillie entering the final year of his contract is catcher Carlos Ruiz. Unlike, Halladay and Utley, Ruiz has been aging like a fine wine. At 33, Ruiz turned in the finest season of his career batting .3xx with 16 HRs and 64 RBI. It was a breakout performance for Chooch and earned his 1st All Star nod. The issue with Ruiz is his age. It is not typical to see a player in his 30′s putting up the kind of numbers he put up last year for very long. A lot of what happens with Chooch’s future with this team will be likely be predicated upon what he does offensively in 2013, AND what catching prospects Tommy Joseph and Sebastian Valle do in the minor leagues. Joseph was acquired for Hunter Pence at the trade deadline and is a highly regarded prospect. If the Phillies don’t fare we’ll next season, they may decide to blow the team up and go with a younger catcher. Time will tell on that one. In the face of potentially losing some of their best talent, the Phillies also have huge holes to fill this year. The outfield for the Phillies is a train wreck of potential and the great unknown. Can Darin Ruf play? Can Domonic Brown play? Who will man centerfield? It’s amazing how a team has gone from having its outfield start in the All Star Game in 2009 to not having an outfield. It all happened so quickly. And then there’s third base. Placido Polanco will not be back. There are rumors that A Rod is available from the Yankees, but how do you replace a 37 year old broken down body with a 38 year old broken down body and expect to gain traction? I get that A Rod could provide you the right handed power threat, but I’m just not convinced his antics would play well in Philly. The question I keep coming back to is how will the Phillies approach this offseason? Will they try to patch as they did last year, or will they go all in one final time? It’s the big question this offseason, and it’s answer may reveal whether this team can take one more shot or whether they will fade into history. Similar Posts: Utley to 3B? Not So Fast 6 reasons to look forward to Phillies baseball in 2013 Who’s on third? Not Chase Utley Phillies dispatch Braves 6-2, pull within 3 of Wild Card Phillies Odds and Ends – Rain Out, Charlie Will Be Back, Polanco May Not Be Back & Injury Updates
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Robert Griffin III benched by Redskins for McCoy

Dice-K Matsuzaka headed back to Japan

Lovie Smith: 2-9 Bucs are still in playoff contention

UCLA QB Brett Hundley likely to enter NFL draft

Bills will return to Ralph Wilson Stadium for Sunday's game

Miller to Oregon transfer rumor originates on Reddit

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Valencia FC ditches bat logo amidst DC Comics challenge

Paul Pierce: Celtics' Big Three was like 'Holy Trinity'

Cubs reportedly offer Jon Lester more than $135 million

Colin Kaepernick: Jim Harbaugh will be back in 2015

Jeremy Maclin not happy with Riley Cooper’s contract remark

Broncos reportedly waive kicker McManus, sign Connor Barth

Derrick Rose leaves game with hamstring tightness

WATCH: Ty Lawson drops Kirk Hinrich to the floor

Alabama DL trolls Auburn with Instagram photo

Rockies pitcher takes shot at former Astros pitcher

WATCH: Paul Pierce signs autograph during game

Jeremy Hill asks great question about alma mater LSU

NBA rookie rankings after 1st month of 2014-15 season

Statistic about Derrick Rose, Jimmy Butler very revealing

Aaron Rodgers blasts those who accused him of trolling Vikings

The century's 10 most one-sided college football rivalries

WATCH: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly of NBA's first month

Sherman mocks NFL media policies in press conference

All Sports News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

Rose leaves with injury again

WATCH: Pierce signs for fan during game

Report: McCoy to start over RG3

Braxton Miller headed to Oregon?

10 most one-sided college football rivalries

Pierce: C's Big Three like 'Holy Trinity'

Maclin unhappy with Cooper comments

Post-Week 13 CFB Playoff projection

What has Masai Ujiri built in Toronto?

How L.A. should replace Hanley

Lester, Red Sox still talking contract

Why each NFL team should be thankful

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.