Yes, the Phillies finished near the bottom in every important category in both offense and pitching last year. It was an epic fall from grace for this team, and that is reason enough to believe that the Phillies will not be much better this upcoming season.
ESPN has ranked the Phillies for 2014 just above the Houston Astros for 29th place out of 30 teams right here in this article. That is some serious predicting by them, it's one that I don't believe but we have to look at the reasons that the ESPN pundits put them just near the bottom.
The Phillies allowed a lot of runs to be scored against them in 2013, and they didn't score enough runs. Their run production was 26th out of 30 teams last year, there is not a chance that you'll have a very successful season with numbers that those.
Are the Phillies that bad though?
The team was put through a myriad of changes in 2013, Charlie Manuel was throwing everything but the kitchen sink into this team and had so many players in different positions, it seemed like a varsity tryout at times. The bullpen wasn't reliable and something really bad happened to this team just after the All-Star Break.
Before the All-Star Break last season, the Phillies looked as if they were shaping up. The team closed a terrible 1st half out with something respectable, moving to .500 baseball and going 48-48 after they were down as much as 9.5 games off of first during the first half.
The problem happened when the team returned after the All-Star Break, though Amaro threatened with sounds of breaking up this group, the team did not have many major moves. Perhaps the addition of someone that was a spark plug would have worked, maybe not. The questions now about this team and why they finished so terribly is a case for the record books now, and yes as several players stated, it all comes down to chemistry and how you deal with things.
I don't think the Phillies are as bad as a team as ESPN thinks in this article. They are at least going to finish a .500 team or better. The team will be at full health, and full strength, let's look back at this article a couple months from now and laugh at how ESPN missed the mark on this one, it wouldn't be the first time.