-The Eastern League in Baseball: A Statistical History, 1923-2005

-Baseball in the Classroom: Essays on Teaching the National Pastime

-Jews And Baseball: A History, 1871-1948

-Clemente: The Passion and Grace of Baseball's Last Hero

-Pro Football Prospectus 2006

-Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game


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December 12 2006

With the addition of Freddy Garcia and Adam Eaton and the re-signing of Jamie Moyer the Phillies have strengthened what was a weak rotation last season.  But will it be enough? Their offense seems sure to be down next year, particularly in the outfield where they are going to have a tough time rebounding from the trade of Bobby Abreu and the loss of David Dellucci. 

Here's the offensive output for the top two outfielders from each team in the NL East from last season, using OPS as the measure, for players that got more than 200 at-bats:

Washington   New York
  OPS     OPS
Soriano 911   Beltran 982
Kearns 830   Chavez 779
Florida   Atlanta
  OPS     OPS
Willingham 852   A Jones 894
C Ross 724   M Diaz 839

And if you included the top three Phillies on the list, it would look like this:


Dellucci 899
Burrell 890
Abreu 861

Last year, the Phillies outfielder with the third-highest OPS posted a higher OPS than the second-best outfielder of every other team in the division.  Two of those three guys are gone.  If the guys still left were the ones that had played for the Phillies last year, here's how it would look:


Burrell 890
Victorino 760

In that scenario, the Phillies second-best outfielder is producing less offense than the second-best outfielder of every team in the division except the Fish.

Darren Oliver will be an Angel.  There but for the grade of God go we.

The Nats are trying to reach out to Ryan Church, who may have likeability issues.

The Phillies will invite 19 non-roster players to Spring Training, including their first-round draft pick from last year, Kyle Drabeck.  Five of the 19 are catchers but the biggest opportunity for the players in this group may be for someone who can pitch out of the pen.

It's unlikely, but still possible, that Kevin Mench could return to Milwaukee.  He is apparently a popular guy.

This article laments the lack of good center field options currently available and lists some possibilities for teams looking to trade.  It's a short list.

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