It looks like there will be four new faces in the Phillies’ 2012 Opening Day lineup from a year ago.
Chase Utley will most likely start the 2012 campaign on the disabled list — again. The second baseman joins injured first baseman Ryan Howard, meaning the entire right side of the infield has undergone a forced facelift.
“Not a lot of offense, huh?,” GM Ruben Amaro told reporters yesterday. “That strikes at our offense. We’re going to have to pitch the ball and catch the ball like we did last year.”
Freddy Galvis is expected to start in Utley’s place, with John Mayberry Jr., Jim Thome and Laynce Nix taking turns at first base. Raul Ibanez, Wilson Valdez and Ben Francisco — all regulars on Opening Day in 2011 — are gone.
Placido Polanco is also less than 100 percent. Polanco hurt his finger sliding this past weekend, but X-rays came back negative. The 36-year-old missed 40 games last season while dealing with a myriad of elbow injuries.
Yesterday, the Phillies rolled out a lineup featuring Jimmy Rollins, Shane Victorino, Hunter Pence, Thome (DH), Ty Wigginton, Nix, Mayberry, Carlos Ruiz and Galvis. They beat the Tigers 4-3 yesterday, thanks to a two-run triple from Galvis.
No one in the clubhouse is ready to hit the panic button.
“We still have a good team,” Rollins said. “It’s not the same by any means, but I’m not discounting our chances. We didn’t have great teams in 2007 or 2008 and we found a way to win.”
A look at the Phillies’ 2012 projected lineup (in order), with stats and ages.
Jimmy Rollins, SS (age: 33)
.268, 16 HRs, 87 runs
Placido Polanco, 3B (36)
.277, 5 HRs, 50 RBI
Laynce Nix, 1B (31)
.250, 16 HRs, 44 RBI
Hunter Pence, RF (28)
.314, 22 HRs, 97 RBI
Shane Victorino, CF (31)
.279, 17 HRs, 61 RBI
John Mayberry, LF (28)
.273, 15 HRs, 49 RBI
Freddy Galvis, 2B (22)
*.278, 8 HRs, 43 RBI
Carlos Ruiz, C (33)
.283, 6 HRs, 40 RBI
*2011 minor-league stats