Originally posted on The Outside Corner  |  Last updated 2/20/13
The Philadelphia Phillies fell flat on their faces for the majority of the 2012 season. It took a strong run towards the end of the year to get them back to .500 for the year. And even then, they still fell 17 games back of the division-winning Washington Nationals. Heading into 2013, the Phils and their aging core are hoping to make one or two more deep runs before they may have to tear it all down again. But regardless of what the distant future holds, 2013 should be better for the Phillies. Phillies on TOC End of Season Postmortem 2013 Season Preview You May Say I'm a Dreamer (11:30 AM) 2013 Burning Question (12:45 PM) This Is My Nightmare (2:00 PM) X-Factor (3:15 PM) Top Ten Prospects (4:30 PM) Depth Chart (as of 2/20) C: Carlos Ruiz 1B: Ryan Howard 2B: Chase Utley SS: Jimmy Rollins 3B: Michael Young LF: Domonic Brown CF: Ben Revere RF: Delmon Young SP: Roy Halladay SP: Cliff Lee SP: Cole Hamels SP: Kyle Kendrick SP: John Lannan CL: Jonathan Papelbon New Faces The Phils added a few veterans to the mix, the most notable of which was Michael Young. The seven-time All Star will hold down the hot corner for the Phillies, adding a nice veteran presence and a guy who hasn't hit under .277 since 2002. A couple new faces join the outfield, including Ben Revere and the much more questionable pickup of Delmon Young. Revere will add a terrific glove to center and Young is a wild card out in right. Mike Adams was brought into help shore up the back end of the bullpen. They also brought back Chad Durbin on a one-year deal. Departures Much of the subtracting that the Phils did took place during the 2012 season. They unloaded the trio of Hunter Pence, Shane Victorino, and Joe Blanton. Pence went to the San Francisco Giants, while Victorino and Blanton were shipped to the Los Angeles Dodgers. The latter two moved on in free agency over the course of the winter, though. Vance Worley probably counts as a subtraction, as he was sent to the Minnesota Twins as part of the trade that brought Ben Revere to Philadelphia. Impact Rookies There isn't a whole lot of room for a youngster to crack this lineup right now. But if Brown or Young struggle in the outfield, the Phils could turn to someone like Darin Ruf, assuming they exhaust all of their bench options. Ruf has come on as a prospect recently and made a brief appearance in the bigs towards the end of 2013. He hit .333 and three home runs in 12 games. He has power, but there are still plenty of flaws in his game. Some time in the minors, along with struggles from Domonic Brown, though, could lead to him heading back to Philly at some point during the summer. Position Battles Similar to the situation with the rookies, there isn't much to be discussed with this Phillies roster. The starting spots are settled for the most part, meaning that it's a matter of bench and bullpen spots to be settled. The trio of Yuniesky Betancourt, Kevin Frandsen, and Freddy Galvis will battle for two infield bench spots. The Phils will have a host of folks battling for three or four available spots out of the bullpen that aren't already reserved for Papelbon, Adams, or Antonio Bastardo. Injury Concerns Really, where do you start with this team? Three of the five infield starters represent a significant injury concern, none bigger than Chase Utley. He hasn't appeared in more than 115 games in the last three years. Ryan Howard played in just 71 games last season. An injury in the outfield could open up an opportunity for somone like Ruf. Same goes on the infield for the likes of Freddy Galvis, if Utley ends up hurt again. Burning Question Does this core group still have another World Series run left in them? Best Case The Phillies have seen two of the four other teams in the NL East catch up, to the point where the Atlanta Braves and Washington Nationals have actually passed them up. Which means it's wild card or bust for the Phitins. If they can snag one of those spots, they still have the pitching and the offensive punch, on paper, to make another serious run. That requires them to actually reach the postseason, though. Worst Case Last year's struggles prove not to be a fluke for the Phils. They continue to struggle with injury and show their age. Domonic Brown continues to struggle and fails to earn consistent playing time. The addition of Delmon Young completely blows up in Ruben Amaro's face. Such a scenario could require the Phillies to start tearing it down, completely sell what they have, and attempt to build back up the farm system that they've depleted in going 'all in' the past few years.  Realistic Scenario The Phillies are probably going to battle for a playoff spot. That doesn't necessarily mean that they'll grab one. The addition of that wild card spot does help their chances, but you have to figure at least one of those spots is already reserved for the Braves or Nats, whichever doesn't win the division. Which will leave the Phils to likely battle it out with someone from the NL West as the other wild card. They should be in the thick of things, if they can maintain their health throughout the lineup, but they're not the surefire World Series pick that they were just a couple of years ago. [follow]

This article first appeared on The Outside Corner and was syndicated with permission.

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Blake Griffin opts out of contract to become free agent

Report: Wolves targeting Kyle Lowry, Jrue Holiday, other point guards in free agency

Conor McGregor’s coach says tentative plans include a return to UFC in 2017

Report: Mets open for business on the trade market

Markelle Fultz believes the Sixers are already a playoff team

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Jimmy Butler’s attitude toward Fred Hoiberg made players ‘uncomfortable’

St. Louis Cardinals to hold first LGBTQ Pride Night

John Mara: Extending Odell Beckham Jr. isn’t team’s No. 1 priority

Mike Trout reportedly wanted to sign ‘lifetime deal’ with Angels

Blackhawks, Blue Jackets swap Artemi Panarin, Brandon Saad

Matt Forte expected to be ‘offensive workhorse’ for Jets?

Best of Yardbarker: Diana Taurasi makes history

The 'Finest running back from America’s Finest City' quiz

Players who need to turn around their season to save their teams

Sports & Politics Intersect: Washington gets a rare win

Three Up, Three Down: Flouting the written and unwritten rules of baseball

2016-17 NBA Awards: The Billy King Award for worst trade

Kicking it: David Villa isn't interested in a 'retirement tour'

Box Score 6/23: Philly continues to trust the process

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Feeding your roundball addiction through the summer months

The 'NBA Draft going back to school?' quiz

2016-17 NBA Awards: The Gary Payton Award for best trash talk of the year

MLB 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.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Best of Yardbarker: Diana Taurasi makes history

The 'Finest running back from America’s Finest City' quiz

2016-17 NBA Awards: The Billy King Award for worst trade

Players who need to turn around their season to save their teams

Three Up, Three Down: Flouting the written and unwritten rules of baseball

Sports & Politics Intersect: Washington gets a rare win

Kicking it: David Villa isn't interested in a 'retirement tour'

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Feeding your roundball addiction through the summer months

The 'NBA Draft going back to school?' quiz

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker