By DAVID MURPHY
As you may have read elsewhere on Philly.com yesterday, Ruben Amaro Jr. thinks that his offseason work is likely complete. Given the options remaining on the free agent market, you can't blame him for feeling that way. I still would not be surprised if the Phillies landed a right-handed power bat like Scott Hairston, but any such player is likely to be a part-time player struggled against right-handed pitching while mashing lefties.
We'll give a deeper review of the Phillies offseason in the coming weeks. For now, though, let's look at how this offense might look, with unproven players starting the season in a rotation in both left and right field (and, frankly, I'm not sure that you can say that Ben Revere is proven in center field either).
I took each player's totals over the last three seasons combined and used those rates to project a 2013 season based on a specific number of plate appearances. Here is what I got, and how those numbers compare to last season's totals.
|John Mayberry Jr.||325||.257||.317||.446||.763||13||4||2|
These numbers don't really tell you much of anything except that even in a near-perfect world in which Michael Young, Chase Utley, Jimmy Rollins and Ryan Howard stay healthy for an entire season and log 675 plate appearances and Darin Ruf continues to hit at the ridiculous pace that marked his minor league career and Carlos Ruiz makes 425 plate appearances, the numbers still aren't overwhelming. A .741 team OPS would have ranked sixth in the National League last year (the Phillies .716 ranked eighth). The 160 home runs would have ranked seventh. The .328 OBP would have tied for third. The Nationals, for example, finished the season with a .261/.322/.428 battling line and 194 home runs, in addition to boasting the best pitching staff in the league.
Again, these numbers are assuming everybody stays healthy, and it assumes that each player will come close to producing as he has over the previous three seasons. In other words, it pretty much plans on an absolute best case scenario. The only potential wild card is Domonic Brown, who has hit .236/.315/.388 in two major league stints but certainly has the potential for more.
In fact, if everything remains as it is, the Phillies formula for offense in 2013 will essentially be the hope that young players like Brown, Ruf and Revere take huge steps forward while veterans like Utley, Rollins, Young and Howard remain healthy and stave off any precipitous decline in production (like the one that Young experienced last year).