Yet another piece on why the Phillies will most likely be positively awful this summer. This time it’s Jon Heyman who, in trying to find some silver lining in this playbook, spoke to a couple of scouts who aren’t particularly bullish on the team managed by the longtime baby bear:
“They had a nice window of winning, and it just slammed shut, just like that,” one NL scout said.
One talent assessor assessed the Phillies in two words: “Potentially dire,” said the AL scout.
The word “potentially” seems to be used a lot around the Phillies, who could go either way. The AL scout finally concluded the Phillies needed to “turn back time,” which seems like an unlikelihood.
“There are a lot of “ifs” for them not to struggle,” that scout said. “They did not look good this spring.”
The bullpen, which one scout referred to as a “mess,” looks a bit better after recovering veteran righthander Mike Adams threw a scoreless frame against the Yankee. He, too, could be back sometime in April if all goes well.
While veteran star second baseman Chase Utley seems to be back to his form, according to the scout, they wonder how close Howard and Rollins can come to their previous MVP form. Howard appears to be in excellent shape but he’s still trying to generate his old power. And the AL scout said, “Rollins is very frustrating to watch. He had some lackadaisical at-bats. He looked nonchalant at times, but the last couple games it’s been getting better.”
The best part is that Ruben Amaro has long maintained that the Phillies are a scouting organization, not a SABR organization. That’s all well and good. But, problem: the SABR folks think they stink and so do the scouts. Oops.