You guys aren’t going to believe this, but Jimmy Rollins told Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer that he expects the Phillies to be good this season.
“We’ll win 100 games,” Rollins said Saturday. “I really plan on going after, what is it, Seatlle won 114 [sic] or something. … We’ll go get somewhere hopefully in that range. But that requires everybody doing their job.”
C’mon, Jimmy. That’s all you got?
Injuries could change everything, especially if more than one of their “big four” goes down for a significant period of time, but I would be downright surprised if the Phillies didn’t finish the regular season with 100 wins. Anything short of a fifth straight division title would and should be a disappointment.
Granted, the 2001 Mariners — who actually won 116 games — were built differently than these Phillies, but they remain an important example that historic dominance during the regular season doesn’t promise anything in October.
Remember Manny Banuelos? He was once a top pitching prospect for the Yankees and then, apparently disappeared from the face of the earth. Or at least it felt like it. Now he’s in the news, however, as the Dodgers have signed him to a minor league contract.
OK, Banuelos didn’t disappear. He was traded to the Braves in 2015, had a cup of coffee with them, pitching pretty ineffectively in seven big league games, was released by Atlanta in the middle of 2016 and then latched on with the Angels. This past season he posted a 4.93 ERA over 95 innings while being used mostly as a reliever at Triple-A Salt Lake.
Banuelos pitched in the Future’s Game in 2009 and was a star in the Arizona Fall League in 2010. He was a top-50 prospect heading into 2011 before falling to Tommy John surgery in 2012. With Atlanta he suffered some bone spur problems and then some elbow issues that never resulted in surgery but which never subsided enough for him to fulfill his potential either. He suffered injuries. A lot of pitchers do.
It’s unrealistic to think that Banuelos will fulfill the promise he had six years ago, but he’s worth a minor league deal to see if the 26-year-old can at least be a serviceable reliever.