Phillies: Addressing 14 pitching worries for the 2019 campaign

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With his new batterymate, a healthy Arrieta is dependable. Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images.

With four teams expecting an up-and-down 2019, Phillies fans are fretting unnecessarily about shortcomings, but they are not alone because supporters of the other three organizations are reacting the same way.


First half:

Since each Philadelphia Phillies hurler will have a difficult outing at an overall average of once every five opportunities, the faithful will have concerns if they focus on a subpar performance alone. Realistically, management anticipates a 20 percent failure rate and bases their evaluation accordingly.


“Do not build up obstacles in your imagination. Difficulties must be studied and dealt with, but they must not be magnified by fear.” – Norman Vincent Peale

As for the 14 worries, each pitcher including Nick Pivetta will –if he hasn’t already– give you pause. Because peaks and valleys are the norm during a full 162, every player will eventually disappoint you or scare the bejesus out of you. Wait till September!

Beginning with the rotation, the Fightins have five hurlers you shouldn’t dread before pitch one. Basically, fans should have a reasonable expectation of the club being in each game because every starter can –for the most part– limit the opposition to four runs. And the offense can outscore their rivals, slumps permitting.

As for the relief corps, four solid arms are currently available, plus three more are on the IL (injured list). And they usually get the job done, even though they can make you nervous, but that’s probably you more than them: just a wild guess.

In April, franchises are evaluating their 40-man rosters and have earmarked money for July to plug any holes due to injury or ineffectiveness. This three-month period allows for a slumping hitter to bounce back or a struggling moundsman to recapture his mojo. Obviously, some don’t have a spectacular first month.

Barring an unforeseen event by another organization, trades are uncommon during the season’s first nine weeks. And because their reputation is at stake, a general manager like Matt Klentak must find out what he has this year from his regulars, starters and relievers.

Usually, when clubs judge their pitchers, they expect four of every five chances to be acceptable: good or so-so. To illustrate, a reliever with five one-inning appearances can allow a three-run homer in one contest and no runs in the other four for a 5.40 ERA to the displeasure of many locals questioning his usage.

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