In the This Is My Nightmare series, we'll take a look at what the absolute worst case scenario for each team would be in 2013. Think of it as the negative complement to our You May Say I'm A Dreamer series that we'll be running during our preview series.
Imagining a nightmare season for the Phillies is easy, because...well, it happened last year. Nearly everyone missed time with injuries. The team's record dropped by 21 wins from 2011 to 2012. The team struggled so much that they were sellers at the trade deadline, dealing off Hunter Pence, Shane Victorino, and Joe Blanton. It was an absolute nightmare in many ways for the Phillies and their fans, yet 2013 could be much, much worse.
Roy Halladay missed time with a strained lat in 2012, and when he was healthy, he was largely ineffctive with decreased velocity and walk and homer rates very unbecoming of Halladay. All indications are that he's primed to turn things around in 2013, but what if he doesn't, and Halladay puts together another disappointing season like he did in 2012? A three win season from Halladay would be a nightmare, especially at his salary. What about Cliff Lee? The 34-year old got a lot of negative attention from ignorant fans and media types after only winning six games in 2012, but was generally the same old Cliff Lee on the hill. Maybe that negativity becomes justified in 2013 as Lee shows his age.
The Phillies outfield has the potential to be a disaster. Ben Revere will make the corner outfielders look good with his excellent defense, but Revere's bat leaves a lot to be desired. Moving from the AL Central to the NL East, maybe Revere's bat will be an absolute drain on the Phillies, rendering him as nothing but a glove at the end of the season and throwing his future with the Phillies into question. Delmon Young, Domonic Brown, and Darin Ruf all could be wastes of space in the majors. Brown has never been able to hit in (very) brief major league tenures, Young cannot field or hit, and Ruf is largely untested above AA. It's not too far out of bounds to think that all three could cumulatively be worth less than replacement level for the Phillies.
The infield is the same old song and dance as well. Chase Utley's knee appears to finally be healthy, but for how long? Ryan Howard thinks he's good to go after Achilles surgery a year and a half ago, but after how hideously he's performed over the last three seasons, is he even the old Ryan Howard anymore? Then there's Michael Young at third base, who looked as done as dinner last season with the Rangers and is now being expected to play the field on an every day basis.
That's the major difference between the 2012 Phillies and 2013 Phillies. The 2012 squad was loaded with All-Stars and excellent players across the diamond, and a series of unfortunate events ended up dooming the team. The 2013 team has fewer great players, and probably has more injury risks than the squad from a year ago. A nightmare would be everything that happened last year happening again...but with a worse team, that would probably turn the 2013 Phillies into a 74 win squad, a true nightmare for a franchise with so much money committed to future payrolls.
Phillies on TOC
End of Season Postmortem
2013 Season Preview
You May Say I'm a Dreamer
2013 Burning Question
This Is My Nightmare
X-Factor (3:15 PM)
Top Ten Prospects (4:30 PM)