There’s a lot of gloom and doom about the Phillies outfield out there and how it compares to the other NL outfields after the loss of Rowand. Rowand is going to be hard to replace, but, at least offensively and compared to the other outfields in their division, I think the Phils are fine. Better than fine.

Here’s a look at how Phils’ outfielder produced offensively last year compared to the other teams in their division, using OPS as the measure:

Left Field

Team

OPS
PHI .904
FLA .844
NYM .815
ATL .789
WAS .712

The Phillies just got more offense out of left field than the other teams in their division. What’s significant is not just that they got more offense, but how much more they got there. Unless Pat Burrell gets hurt, they’re going to get more offense than the other teams in the NL East this year, too. You can write that one down wherever you write things down.

Center Field

Team

OPS
PHI .884
NYM .876
ATL .721
WAS .703
FLA .683

Led by Rowand, the Phils got the most offense from their center fielders in ’07 as well. Led by Beltran, the Mets, playing their home games in a far worse place to hit, weren’t far behind.

No way Victorino outhits Beltran this season. But I like his chances against the other guys in the division.

Right Field

Team

OPS
FLA .792
PHI .791
WAS .781
ATL .775
NYM .724

A monster year by Jeremy Hermida, who hit 296/366/501 while playing right field, helped the Marlins nip the Phils, led by Victorino and Werth, in right.

If you add up what all the Phillies’ players did with the while playing left field, right field and center field for the season, they went 551-for-1903 with 76 home runs and 247 walks. If you calculate the average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage they hit 290/379/480, an OPS of .859. Here’s how that compares to other teams in the division:

All OF

Team

OPS
PHI .859
NYM .806
FLA .773
ATL .762
WAS .732

Those teams don’t all play their games in the same stadium, but it’s not close. The Phillies were just better.

The Phils go into 2008 without Rowand in the picture. Victorino will slide to center and Werth and Jenkins are expected to hold down right field. The Phillies are going to miss Rowand’s bat — he was outstanding in ’07. But here’s how the numbers look if you adjust Victorino’s at-bats as if he had gotten all 649 at-bats for Phillies’ center fielders and produced his same 281/347/423 line and Rowand hadn’t gotten a single at-bat as a center fielder:

 

Team

OPS
PHI .821
NYM .806
FLA .773
ATL .762
WAS .732

Closer. But the Phils still come out on top. If the Phils’ center fielders had hit to Victorino’s .770 OPS from ’07 they still would have been second in the division behind just the Mets. Victorino’s offense is good for a center fielder — it’s not good for a right fielder. While there’s no chance the Phils are going to produce as much offense in center without Rowand it’s just about a sure thing that they’ll get more offense out of right as Victorino/Werth is replaced by Jenkins and Werth.

Could still use a pitcher or four.

Rod Barajas signed with the Blue Jays.

This article says that if Joe Crede proves he’s healthy in spring training there’s a “good chance” the Giants could acquire him for a pitcher. It also suggests that the Giants are no longer interested in Pedro Feliz after offering him a two-year deal, which he rejected.

This looks to the stars of 2013 and reminds that Chase Utley turns 30 in December.

Article about some of the ’08 Triple-A Iron Pigs here.

Livan Herndandez may be close to signing a deal with the Mets.