The end of the season in 2011 came pretty quick for the Phillies just after the NL Division series started, now there is only less than 6 weeks left to go until pitchers and catchers report for the 2012 season.
Pitching wasn’t the Phillies main issue in 2011, the team didn’t do all that badly during the season on offense, in fact they set the highest total wins mark ever for the team at 102 wins. The previous highest win total for a season at 101 has stood for a long time, having been set in 1976 and then duplicated in 1977.
Was the early exit last year in the playoffs just a case of bad luck then? A team not firing on all cylinders when they hit the playoffs? That could be just what happened to the 2011 Phillies team. They knew all along they were probably a sure thing to make the playoffs, but when the time came around to do something good, there was a lack of offense that led to the early exit for the team.
The last three years have been a great time for players to be on the Phillies. I never though we’d be talking about a time that the Phillies were almost keeping up with the New York Yankees when it came to the topic of payroll. In fact, the Phillies aren’t really keeping up with the Yankees per se, but the Phils have the highest payroll of any National League team for the past few years. The Phillies have a 3 year average of $153.2 million per season in the last three years (acccording to the BR website). The average for the Yankees was much more at $203.5 million dollars per season in average for salaries over the last 3 years.
Cliff Lee made $11M last year, but will jump up to $21.5M this season. The players on the Phillies making $20M or more next year will include, Ryan Howard at $20M, Roy Halladay at $20M, and Cliff Lee at $21.5M. Just these 3 players alone make more than the average payroll of the Florida Marlins in total for the average of the last 3 seasons at just about $53.5M.
Here’s the schedule for 2012 Spring Training info for the Phillies:
Pitchers and Catchers: Feb 19
First full workout: Feb. 24
I suspect, it will start feeling a lot more like Spring towards the middle of February, not that we can complain about the weather in the Philadelphia area this winter at all so far.
Note: This story was updated on Feb. 7 with new info...