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We at Razzball realize that exporting our views across the country has damaging consequences on the blogosphere. To help make amends, we are reaching out to leading team blogs and featuring their locally blogged answers to pressing 2013 fantasy baseball questions regarding their team. We feel this approach will be fresher, more sustainable, and require less energy consumption (for us anyway). The 2013 Phillies Fantasy Baseball Preview comes courtesy of Elizabeth Roscher from The Good Phight.

1) It was a rough year for the Phillies in 2012 both in real and in fantasy baseball.  One of the biggest letdowns on the year in both terms had to be Roy Halladay, whose 2012 season was probably the worst one he’s had since 2004.  Of course an injured shoulder can do that to anyone, even Roy, but given his age (36) and the wear and tear of his career (8 seasons with 220 IP or more), how leery should we be of drafting the Doc and what are your expectations for him in 2013?

Watching Halladay in 2012 was a painful, painful experience. I constantly asked myself (and others) “Is this the end of the Roy Halladay the world has known? Is this the new Roy? Has age caught up to him?” Recently, Doc has admitted that he injured his back early last year and it affected his velocity for the entire season. He’s also changed his training regimen and admitted that he’s mortal and subject to wear and tear and aging and injuries just like the rest of us. I see all of these things as positive developments. Don’t get me wrong, I’m wary of Halladay. He’s 36 and his return to form is far from a sure thing. It all depends on his velocity, so I’m waiting until spring training gets started before I start my Roy Halladay soothsaying. If his velocity is where it used to be, in the low 90s, then I think there’s a good chance of him being effective in 2013. If his velocity is in the upper 80s like it was for much of 2012, then we have a problem. But if there’s any one player I’d bet on bouncing back, it would be Roy Halladay.

2) Speaking of bad 2012′s, I dare say Ryan Howard topped the Doc in that department.  After having a 2011 achilles injury follow him into 2012, he found himself ahead of schedule to return only to be felled by an infection of the same achilles.  When he finally reached the field, he put up some of the worst walk and strikeout rates of his career, finishing his year with a .219 average and – of all things – a broken toe from dropping the lead pipe he swings during batting warmup.  Seriously, how snake-bitten can one man be for a given season?  But I digress, with all of this, Howard will be turning 34 at the end of the year and people are saying he’s washed up in the fantasy world.  So what’s your take: is Howard a fantasy sleeper or should we just leave the big man alone on draft day in 2013?

I don’t know about fantasy sleeper, but you could certainly do worse at first base than Ryan Howard. His 2012 was unbelievably awful. Just really, really bad. But it seems like the result of a freak series of events. Howard is healthy coming into spring training this year, and a healthy Howard makes a difference. I’d put him decidedly in the middle of the first base pack, so I definitely don’t think he’s washed up in fantasy. How can he be washed up when there are players like Michael Young (oof), Yonder Alonso, and Mark Reynolds eligible for first base? If you miss out on one of the top first basemen, you could absolutely do worse than Ryan Howard.

3) The Phillies signed Delmon Young to a low-risk, high reward one year deal for $750K.  Delmon has had all the talent in the world but has had off-field issues and a perception that he’s lazy.  With all that said, how excited are you to have Young in LF and what can fantasy players expect from him in 2013?

I am not excited about Delmon Young in any way and would advise anyone who doesn’t want to lose their league to stay away from him on draft day. There are just so many problems with Delmon Young I don’t know where to start. His weight is such an issue that the Phillies put a weight incentive into his contract. He’s also injured right now, and will probably start the season on the DL. Then there’s the whole “he hasn’t played right field since he was 21” thing, which is also not good. And his off-field issues involved an anti-Semitic hate crime. But beyond all of that, he’s just not all that great a player. He’s nothing to get excited about. It’s thought of as a low-risk, high reward move, but there’s also the hidden third option: making the Phillies look like jackasses.

4) Ben Revere can fly.  It’s here where many would refer back to his great, great, great Uncle (<—not true) Paul Revere and how he could fly on his horse but I’m not going to do that.  I’m here for facts and the fact I wanna know is this: if I’m drafting Revere, can I reasonably expect at least 90 runs and 40 steals from Ben in 2013?

Yes to 40 steals. The Phillies are a smart base stealing team, and I think that will only improve Revere’s abilities. As far as 90 runs? I’m not sure. While it partially depends on Revere’s ability to get on base, it also depends on his teammates’ ability to actually hit balls and move him over without getting themselves out. That’s what’s really in question – the quality of the team behind him, and is that team better or worse than the 2012 Minnesota Twins. And that is what we don’t yet know. (And also don’t really want to speculate about, since I’m not sure I’ll like the answer.)

5) It’s the middle of Summer and the Phils are in the race for the NL East pennant.  What’s the biggest headline driving this comeback season for the 2013 Phils?
A) Chase Utley is healthy and on pace for 20+ HRs, 15+ SBs and hitting .280
B) It is found that Philly Cheese Steaks are a performance enhancing food, or PEF if you will, and becomes the staple diet of the entire Phillies lineup (it will eventually be banned in 2020 after Doc wins his 7th straight Cy Young in his early 40s)
C) Cliff Lee gets a little bit luckier with his win/loss record and is on pace for a 20 win season
D) Carlos Ruiz comes back after his 25 game suspension completely focused…ok, ‘focused’ isn’t the best word to use.  Ruiz’ unique catching style simply called ‘oooh, look a squirrel’ confuses/frightens hitters in the batters box and all 5 Philly starters have a K/9 of 10+ in his starts…or should I say, the games he remembers he’s the starter.
E) Domonic Brown is having an unspectacular but effective year and is on pace for 15 homeruns and steals while batting .275

The answer is absolutely A. While Chase Utley’s performance isn’t what will determine whether or not the Phillies can compete, it’s certainly a factor. The lineup has sorely missed his contributions, and having him back at full strength could make a big difference in how the offense looks.  (Good instead of bad!) I have also missed him, and having him back will make the games more enjoyable to watch, win or lose.

  1. Jack Full of Hate says:
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    would you drop marcum for

    Peralta – your DC
    Buchholtz
    Lohse
    Johan
    Capuano
    Floyd
    Worley
    Smyly
    Kendrick

  2. Sky

    Sky says:
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    Probably Kendrick. Marcum has a better track record when healthy but really, Caps/Kendrick/Buchholtz are all fair game.

    • Jack Full of Hate says:
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      @Sky: I;m going to go with Kendrick, he’s NL and Cap is in the fight for the final spot

      • Sky

        Sky says:
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        @Jack Full of Hate: Yeah, those guys are EOTR fillers that are first to go anyways. Kendrick just has litlte upside.

        • Jack Full of Hate says:
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          @Sky: more than your double double check Peralta?

          • Sky

            Sky says:
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            @Jack Full of Hate: Kendrick? Career 4.64 K/9 rate Kendrick? Yeah, Wily has more upside than that.

            • Jack Full of Hate says:
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              @Sky: I’m going with free agent Willy, he’s my 6th starter and i usually leave that spot for schomatos anyway

              • Sky

                Sky says:
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                Oh I thought you were giving me a list of guys you had and wanted to know who to drop for Marcum…totally got turned around there. Was about to say ‘Uh, Jack, that’s a really bad staff’. Ha! Yeah, Wily is worth a flier there over Marcum.

                • Jack Full of Hate says:
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                  @Sky: even ahead of Lohse, johan and worley in that huge park

                  • Sky

                    Sky says:
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                    Johan is steady when healthy but he’s not going to change your fantasy team. Lohse doesn’t even have a team right now and Worley is just ok. It’s all about upside when you’re talking SP6/7.

                    • Jack Full of Hate says:
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                      @Sky: true, I just want to get the jump on Lohse when he signs. I want Worley to be what he was 2 years ago. and Johan is well johan.

                    • Sky

                      Sky says:
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                      To be fair, I’m not a huge Lohse fan. Track record says he should’ve stayed in STL. If he lands back there, I still think he’s a month away from being startable when he lands. He needs to get his sea-legs and for a guy who doesn’t do much else other than ratio help (6.10 K/9 rate last year), he gets a lot more love than he should in my opinion. I don’t dislike Worley but still think we’re talking streaming options, not long term holds unless Peralta comes out of the gate on fire. I’m not interested in Lohse if he lands with Texas

                    • Jack Full of Hate says:
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                      @Sky: I must agree, I was viewing him as a whip stabilizer

                    • Sky

                      Sky says:
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                      Yeah, I think that’s Cardinals magic. He’s Joel Piniero.

                    • Jack Full of Hate says:
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                      @Sky: so we have roids in Toronto and pitching pixie fairy dust

                    • Sky

                      Sky says:
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                      I think I saw Matheny sprinkle some on on Westbrook last year. Canada is a great place to go for all your cheap med and PED needs.

  3. Hawk says:
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    Still lookng for some draft advice. I posted this in the last thread, didn’t receive any blog love…

    6×6 12 team mixed H2H. OBP replaces AVG. Added Total Bases and Holds. We keep 7. I kept:

    Joey Votto
    Robinson Cano
    Hanley Ramirez
    Brett Lawrie
    Ginacarlo Stanton
    Justin Verlander
    Madison Bumgarner

    I have the third pick. Best position players avail are Edwin Encarnacion and BJ Upton.
    Best pitchers available are Adam Wainwright, Mat Latos, Jordan Zimmerman, Max Scherzer and Aroldis Chapman.

    Edwin is probably going #1 overall. If Upton is available, do you take him over one of those pitchers? If not, which pitcher would you take?

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      @Hawk: You already have Verlander (Ace) and Madison (Sub-Ace). Think it’s better to take a guy with speed/power there, especially if both Lawrie/HanRam miss time to start the year.

  4. DiRo says:
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    Would you pick Rollins or Bundy as a final keeper in a league with 6-7 years left? I just think I could get equal production from another SS and keep a future ace. Thoughts?

    Goldschmidt
    Kinsler
    Wright
    Jennings
    McCutchen
    Trout
    Sabathia
    King Felix
    (Final spot for Rollins or Bundy)

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      @DiRo: @DiRo: I always play for the year ahead, not the years. Plus Bundy isn’t even starting the year with the team. Just aim for him in the draft if you want him and take the boring production of Rollins instead.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Bundy

    • DiRo says:
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      @DiRo: uh oh, a little drama in the Razzball house. My gut says Bundy. Why you are in there Grey, I have no idea!

      • Sky

        Sky says:
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        @DiRo: My reasoning is you can get both. Are there any values associated with your picks? I.E. are they $ values or draft picks associated? Rollins will go higher, you can still get Bundy in the draft is how I view it.

        • DiRo says:
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          @Sky: No values, straight keepers that can be kept as long as you like.

          My reasoning is I have a bunch of pitchingwhores in my league, guys who want to assemble the best rotation in hopes every starter gets them 15-30 points a week. So with Bundy, I am trying to give myself and edge in that department. I am already getting offers with him included, thus I think in 2 years i could get a lot more.

          • Sky

            Sky says:
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            Gotcha. Yeah, you can keep him then. I believe in pitchers based on organization and I’m not big on Baltimore. Value wise, Rollins is still going to give you more this year. I’d be inclined to take trades involving him but I’m a Dylan doubter.

  5. Stosh says:
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    How did you manage to write a Phillies Preview and not write about the best story in camp, Domonic Brown? Delmon Young? Who cares about Delmon Young?

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      I wrote/collected the answers to 26 of these from the start of January and it wasn’t always easy to get people to 1) respond in a timely fashion and 2) get these posts out prior to information changing. I did mention Domonic in question 5 as I do think he has sleeper potential but I also wasn’t writing this post when Brown was playing in Spring Training.

      • Stosh says:
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        Oh. That would complicate things. The idea of these Team Previews and questions/answers with the beat writers is a good idea. But, yeah, by the time you guys publish it, some of the info is dated and at times irrelevant. Keep up the good work. @Sky:

        • Sky

          Sky says:
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          Yeah I think there was some confusion back in February about some that were completed but no one knew they were. Hopefully we get it down pat next year. I’m interested in Domonic, FWIW. He could really surprise to start the year.

  6. Birdmann says:
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    I was offered Cargo and ACraig for Miggy and BWallace. 14 team keeper league losing Miggy at the end of the season. 6×6, normal 5 plus XBH, three OF and Two Util. I have Fraiser, Lowrie and Machado to man third after the deal and IDavis is my current 1B. My Of I feel is weak BUp and DJennings are my best. Does it seem fair?

    • Birdmann says:
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      @Birdmann: BLawrie not Lowrie

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      How long can you keep CarGo?

      • Birdmann says:
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        @Sky: three seasons

        • Sky

          Sky says:
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          For that reason I’d say yes. Hate losing Miggy but I like getting CarGo for three years

          • Birdmann says:
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            Th@Sky: thanks

          • Jack Full of Hate says:
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            @Sky: Birdman is a friend of mine, he called me last night about this trade, and I told him to take it. The gamble is worth it and the level of competition in his league is about a 4 on a scale of 1 to 10. My concern is Craig, and will he be a Nelson Cruz or are the injuries past him and he become a Texeria

            • Sky

              Sky says:
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              @Jack Full of Hate: To me, the main thing was Miggy’s value in terms of trade goes down over the course of the season. CarGo for 3 years is a good get for someone that can’t be kept after this year. Overall, Craig could go 25 with a .300 average or he could give those stats prorated over 110 games. He’s still a good get, just don’t like him going above guys like Ike/Rizzo. Overvalued based on history.

              • Jack Full of Hate says:
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                @Sky: Craig is a huge gamble to me. But could be amazing. he got screwed last year when trying to deal McCutchen, last year of service and no one liked DP, and i think he won’t get any better. I played with these guys for 6 years and trades are a joke. Being good in that league kinda hurts you on the trade market and the fact that 3/4 of the league couldn’t beat my dog at fantasy also makes it difficult. You could literally draft a good team, never touch it all year and still finish top five.

                • Sky

                  Sky says:
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                  Sounds like you need a new league!

                  Yeah, I love Craig – wrote him as a sleeper last year under the ONC moniker – but he’s being valued as a top 50 player. Too much risk associated so he’s not worth it in terms of draft day price. It’s why I’m ignoring him and Billy this year in snake drafts and drawing that bullseye on Ike and/or Rizzo.

                  • Jack Full of Hate says:
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                    @Sky: Thats one of the reasons I left. Went on my journey to find better competition. Actually started to hate fantasy because of that league. I packed my bag and was off to see the world, from the back streets of Thailand to the Favellas of Brazil. I will found the ass kicking I need….Fantasy Baseball Fight Club

                    • Sky

                      Sky says:
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                      Ha! Rule #1…

                      Yeah, I have a keeper that broke me into loving fantasy baseball that is now just borderline annoyance for me. I stay because of the friends but it’s so hard to take seriously…it’s H2H for cripes sake.

                  • Jack Full of Hate says:
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                    @Sky: H2H is like a devils 3 some, where, well swords, well…you get the gist of it.

                    I was quite hated in there, one for being an A-Hole( had only two friends in there) two, because I couldn’t trade Miggy for Belt( just a charecterization of the refusal to work with me), and three because I never finished below 3rd except for the season I tanked at the end to get a better draft position the next season. I would literally drop usable talent to help some of them out. Or add/drop the same day to get someone who should be owned name out there. I would try and help people and they would do the opposite. I think they thought I was trying to screw them over when I would never do that. since they were always trying to screw each other, they assumed I am like them. I would offer sweet deals that gave them the better end and they would turn around and trade to some sweet talker that screwed them. I have this thing about trades where if its not mutually beneficial I won’t do it. I literally cancelled one because it would have killed the other guys team. I believe in fair trades for fantasy, I want to win cause I beat you, not because you have a fetish for Tulo. They never understood how I did what i did, my roster was never sexy, just solid and would not play people in bad situations, like pitchers at coors.

                    • Sky

                      Sky says:
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                      @Jack Full of Hate: Join the club. They keep trying to create ‘Sky’ rules in ours. They actually tried to set a transaction cap because I decided to stream catchers for a couple of years. Crap Tues/Wed, backup crap on Thurs, more crap Fri-Sun and then back to backup crap on Mon. It’s getting old fast. And the stupid thing is, everyone does it in their own way but no one is getting called out for it because not everyone finishes near the top each year like my team.

                      I do try and make fair trades. I’ve been boned on some and vice versa. But everyone thinks I’m bad to make trades with because I win so much ‘I must know something they don’t’. Well I do, but that’s not what wins/loses a trade. It’s evaluation. They should look the word up sometime, it might make the world a better place.

                  • Jack Full of Hate says:
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                    @Sky: it’s like looking in a mirror…I knew i liked you for a reason. enjoy the games and brew

                    • Sky

                      Sky says:
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                      Thanks man, it was fun! Caught up with some old workmates and enjoyed the brews. It was fun watching the Ducks win.

                      Haters creating league rules based on one person is ridiculous. If your move is vengeance and not good for the league then its not what you should do.

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