More Phrom Phillies Phans

After the Home Opener loss yesterday, I phigured you haven’t heard enough about the Phillies … so herewith more pheedback from Phillies phans, this time phrom Jonathan oph The Good Phight.

1. With the Mets acquisition of Johan Santana, do you see them as the Phillies’ main competition for the NL East title, or are the Braves a more threatening club?

Mets are definitely a more threatening club. The injury to Pedro hurts, but Santana, Maine and Perez (who I thought could compete for a Cy Young 3 years ago) is solid. Hudson seems like the odds are going to catch up with him and Smoltz and Glavine are almost as old as Shea.

2. How do you feel about Brad Lidge in the closer’s role and Brett Myers in the starting rotation? Is this the best use of the team’s arms?

Lidge has the best strikeout rate in the history of the game for a pitcher that has thrown as many innings as he has. The mental component is a question mark, but really, is it more of a question mark than on Brett Myers. Myers had back to back season of ERAs under 4.00 (which is considered elite now) and is best used in the starting rotation.

3. I think Geoff Jenkins and Pedro Feliz are going to have fun in CBP … how do you feel about these particular acquisitions?

Jenkins is a decent addition if he only hits righties, but at his price and his declining numbers, you have to hope he really has a good year this year. His forecast doesn’t look too bright. Feliz is the biggest mistake that Gillick made this offseason. His OBP is putrid and his power is probably seen its best days despite being in the CBP. Factor in that he is on the wrong side of 30 and I would have been happier with a Dobbs/Helms platoon. At least you didn’t have to pay even more for that. Considering that the Giants may have the worst offensive team in the league and didn’t re-sign him should be an indicator there.

4. What is the key to the Phillies’ success this season?

The key to the Phillies success is what happens in the 3rd, 4th and 5th rotation spots. I am not too high on any of those guys. Assuming for a moment you win every game with Myers and Hamels (hypothetical here), you only need to win one game with those three guys each time around the rotation. Hopefully that is the least we’ll get from them.

5. Who on the Phils will be biggest surprise in 2008?

Pat Burrell. Not that he is a surprise to me as I have been a big Burrell supporter over the years, but he often gets kicked around in the media here. He has been remarkably consistent over the last 3 years and I think we may see even more in his contract year.

6. Is Shane Victorino an everyday centerfielder?

Absolutely, but mostly because everyday centerfielders aren’t that great. Shane plays above average defense and hits about league average which is good to have at such a cheap price at a tough position.

7. Prediction: who is the Phillies’ team MVP in 2008?

Most likely Chase Utley (as he was last year). Rollins gets the glam, but Utley plays solid defense at second and has a much better OBP and SLG than Rollins. Of course, Hamels may be just as important, but I prefer to keep Cy Youngs and MVPs separate.

Thanks again to Jonathan. Be sure to check out The Good Phight for Phillies information.

Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers. Follow Joe's baseball tips on Twitter at @onbaseball and at the On Baseball Google Plus page.