Monday, December 19, 2016

Uncustomed Heroes of 2016: Phillies

Not too many times I can be semi-optimistic about a fourth-place team, we are.

The Philadelphia Phillies made it to second place for about a month, and gave some players some much-needed days in the sun. Now, it was a tough year to be competitive- not only were the Nationals and Mets working on division runs, but the Marlins were also pretty positive as well. So, by default, the Phillies went to fourth, but this wasn't...especially a truly BAD team.

Tommy Joseph came in at first- he's the first person to consistently play 1st Base after Ryan Howard's...demotion and subsequent release (...I think). He did an admirable job, giving flashbacks of Jim Thome, one of my absolute favorite Philadelphia Phillies that doesn't bare my surname.

Cesar Hernandez made his rookie season in 2014, making most of the starts at 2nd base instead of Chase Utley. This was the first season where he truly excelled at the plate, leading the MLB in triples and sporting a .300 average. For someone I wrote off a few years ago, he did a fairly solid job. Not sure if he's sticking around indefinitely, but he's a nice touch.

Jeanmar Gomez closed the Phils this year, and instead of being some no-name that gets maybe 15 saves and middle-relieves next year, he did a more-than-admirable job, nabbing 37 saves and helping the Phillies win waaay more games than they should have.

Freddy Galvis has been with the team since the 2012 season, and took over at 2nd base when Chase Utley began the season on the DL. Last year he had his first full season, and this season he had his first legitimate MLB season. He's set to start at short again for the Phils, and hopefully he'll have another nice season.

Ryan Howard played his last season as a Philadelphia Phillie in 2016, ten years after his MVP season, five years after his career-altering leg surgery. He'll probably suit up in a DH role somewhere else, or just end his career now. Still, he's still gonna go down as a Philadelphia legend, even after his skid in the 2010's.

Coming Tomorrow- The down-but-not-yet-out Pittsburgh Pirates

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