--LHP Jamie Moyer underwent three surgeries in the past 4 1/2 months, an offseason medical drama from which pitchers half his age may be slow to recover. But Moyer, 47, believes he can be ready to make his first regular-season start.
"I'm kind of in a gray area because I've never been in this type of situation before, but I feel comfortable with where I am right now," Moyer told the Wilmington (Del.) News Journal. "My biggest goal is to stay away from any major setbacks. If I do have a setback, then we'll deal with it. But I have to use my eyes and ears and let my body tell me what to do."
In October, Moyer had surgery to repair two torn tendons in his groin. He twice was hospitalized for blood infections related to the surgery, and in November, he underwent a minor procedure to remove an abscess in his groin. Last month, he had arthroscopic surgery on his right knee. Moyer has resumed throwing off flat ground and said he expects to throw from a mound early in spring training.
--LHP J.C. Romero appeared in 51 of the final 82 regular-season games after joining the Phillies in 2007. In 2008, he matched his career-high with 81 appearances, fifth most in the NL. So, Romero was missed last season when a 50-game suspension and a midseason elbow injury limited him to 21 games and forced him to undergo surgery on a flexor tendon in October. But at least the Phillies still were able to lean on Scott Eyre to face the NL's top left-handed hitters in the late innings. Eyre retired this winter, leaving Romero as the Phillies' lone veteran lefty reliever. Romero resumed throwing Jan. 17, according to GM Ruben Amaro Jr., but he'll be closely monitored in spring training. If they can't rely on Romero, the Phillies may be shopping for another lefty.
--SS Jimmy Rollins will be the Phillies' leadoff hitter on opening day in Washington, but Rollins must exhibit more consistency this season from the top spot in the lineup. Last year, Rollins' .296 on-base percentage was the worst of his career and the lowest in the majors among leadoff hitters with at least 350 at-bats. He also saw the fewest pitches (2,580) of any leadoff man. Of course, Rollins also brings unique power to the leadoff spot. Last season, he had the third-most homers and second-most RBIs among leadoff men. And over the past six seasons in the NL, only Albert Pujols has scored more runs (704) than Rollins (676).
--LHP J.A. Happ went 12-4 with a 2.93 ERA and finished second in the NL Rookie of the Year voting last season. But many statistical analysts who study advanced pitching metrics remain unconvinced that Happ is more than a back-of-the-rotation starter on a contending team. To wit: Bill James, the noted statistical analyst who coined the term "sabermetrics," has projected that Happ will go 10-11 with a 4.31 ERA in 188 innings. But although that would represent a drop-off from his rookie-year success, it would remain an acceptable performance for a No. 4 starter in a good rotation.
BY THE NUMBERS
.296 -- SS Jimmy Rollins' on-base percentage last season, lowest among all regular leadoff hitters in the majors.
QUOTE TO NOTE
"Because my age is in front of my name, and because that's all some people talk about -- 'He's not supposed to be doing this' -- that kind of fuels the fire. Not to be disrespectful to people, but I want to show you that I can." -- LHP Jamie Moyer, the oldest player in the majors (47), on whether he can come back from a surgery-filled offseason.
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