Originally written on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 10/29/14
Adams Loads up a 4-seam Fastball during a Bullpen Session on February 14 in Clearwater. The healed warriors are in camp for the Philadelphia Phillies, Roy Halladay is the most watched athlete of the three, and the red pinstripes move on from 2012 to 2013. The 8th-inning death trap has been slammed shut with arguably the best setup man in baseball. Two new outfielders have been acquired with one to patrol center field, while the other will be the right-handed power bat in the five hole. Two youngsters and a veteran third sacker will take the diamond along with the hope for a bounce-back ‘13. After a 102-victory season in 2011, the breaking point was reached on the mound and at the plate. The rotation suffered after Halladay went on the disabled list for two months. Cliff Lee had a three-month span of bad luck that was magnified during June before his first win on Independence Day. It was also no coincidence that Cole Hamels uncharacteristically encountered a rough patch in his first four starts after Halladay went down. When Chase Utley and Ryan Howard were penciled into the lineup, the pressure during the 1st half that influenced Hunter Pence’s swing-for-the-fences summer was gone. Even with the swaps of Pence, Shane Victorino, Jim Thome and Joe Blanton, the locals went 44-31 (.587) for the 2nd half. That equals a 95-victory clip despite no spring training for Howard and Utley, while Halladay only provided one good month during the final three after recuperating. However, the final trade was completed on August 3 and the Phils then went 34-23 (.597), which is a 97-65 pace. Mike Adams is the premier arm for locking down the 8th frame, and was brought here to address last year’s losses during that inning. If he turns those 12 into 9 triumphs, the Phils have a 90-72 campaign. Counting on Howard, Utley, Delmon Young, Michael Young and Ben Revere as part of the offense for the entire 162 has to inspire confidence among the faithful. Low expectations are always easier to trump than four aces on the hill, which ended with a bitter NLDS after a sweet franchise-setting record. The core four–Jimmy Rollins, Utley, Howard and Hamels–landed that 1st trophy during their ascension, can they hoist it one last time near the end of their dominance? Here are 3 reasons for and against that happening. 3 Up Best case scenario for 2013 That elusive 2nd ring is achieved after retaking the NL East from Washington. To materialize, the 3 time-missed  stars and the rest of the regulars remain relatively injury-free. And it would require a campaign where the offseason moves are successful. Plus, the 19 games each against the Nationals and the Braves would have to favor the hometown crew at 60% (23-15). Most important Phillies Opening Day starter Halladay began ’11 without Utley and Howard, the squad’s premier run-producing weapons. All three missed 2 full months last summer, and experienced 4-5 weeks for reacclimation upon returning. The 3-4 hitters are still the meat of the order, and Halladay is needed to be almost good as new. However, the organization has the luxury to slot him between Hamels and Lee. Potential breakout players Darin Ruf will be the fan-followed favorite during March after his dynamic 2012. He launched 51 rockets in ‘12, which included 38 at Double-A Reading, 3 for the parent club and 10 during 32 winter-league contests. Dom Brown was the untouchable prospect that Rube Amaro had the tightest hold on, and, according to Howard, he now knows the formula for major-league success. He is only 25 even though it seems we’ve waited a long time for his arrival, but he’s now at the crossroads of his past and future. With additional offense and more than adequate fielding, the best 3-horse unit relieved by the top 1-2 endgame will pop the champagne of the champion. 3 Down Worst case scenario More talent on the DL than the active roster would sound the alarm bells, as the team grows old before our eyes. The expiration date is reached on Rollins, 3B Young, Halladay, Lee, Utley and Howard. The franchise experiences its first sub-.500 tour since before Charlie Manuel took the reins from Larry Bowa, which was his 80-81 season for 2002. Citizens Bank Park becomes half empty by August after they stumble out of the gate, which ends the era. Areas of concern The health of the older regulars and number ones would top the list. That would be followed by the defense, which slid down to the middle of the pack last year. Delmon in right field is a question mark, Michael at the hot corner is another worry, and the other left-side position is a learning process for Ruf. Delmon’s bat outweighing his leather is an iffy proposition as well. Who needs to bounce back from a down 2012 A 15-win campaign for Halladay would calm the restless natives, and 35-40 homeruns with 110-125 RBI from Howard would represent a powerful threat in the cleanup role. 140 battles for Utley in the 3 hole with a .285 average and 20-25 dingers would solidify the 1-2 punch of old. Michael would enhance scoring opportunities with his return to .300 for the third time, like he did in 2009 and 2011 as a Ranger. A slimmer Delmon with a solid glove in right field would solve a problem, because he had that and a strong gun before his stint as a designated hitter. There is an excellent chance this could happen, and that would mean a full 162 that’s a down-to-the-wire competition for the trophy. Be sure to check out the Phillies page for the latest developments during Camp Clearwater.

Geno Smith: Jets coaching change 'could be good'

Did Rex Grossman turn down Browns offer?

Wes Welker admits to feeling effects of repeated concussions

Report: Jim Harbaugh's decision down to Michigan or Raiders

Jay Cutler to start again due to Jimmy Clausen concussion

Aldon Smith was reportedly drinking with Ray McDonald


Johnny Manziel ruled out for Week 17 with injury

Dwyane Wade hopes Heat fans give LeBron a warm reception

Adam Silver: No NBA team is tanking

Penguins having three more players tested for mumps

Jay Cutler is not the answer for the Titans

Josh Smith released by Detroit Pistons in surprising move

Video: Vince Carter channels Vince-anity with big dunk

Video: Aquib Talib's amazing interception for a pick six

Alleged love child of Jerry Buss wants piece of family fortune

WATCH: BYU, Memphis fight after Miami Beach Bowl

FSU sends recruit 75 reasons to play for Seminoles

Dale Earnhardt Jr., girlfriend wear great Christmas sweaters

Brandon Marshall: Raiola mocked my mental illness

Don't mess with Seahawks punter Jon Ryan

Niners OT asked Manti Te'o about his fake girlfriend

Darren Sproles' wife Michel fires back at Eagles critics

Steve Smith expects 'couch quarterback' criticism

WATCH: Tennessee walk-on gets scholarship as bowl gift

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.

Wes Welker, wife confused over his concussions

BYU, Memphis fight after bowl game

FSU sends recruit an eccentric pitch

Brandon Marshall unloads on Raiola

Did Aldon Smith violate probation?

Johnny Manziel ruled out for Week 17

Appreciating Marshawn Lynch's crotch grab TD celebrations

D-Wade: Heat fans should cheer LeBron

Niners OT asked Te'o about fake girlfriend

Sproles' wife fires back at Eagles critics

Game of the week: Lions vs. Packers

'Manny' is the must-watch film about Manny Pacquiao

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

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

Company Info
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.