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Michael Farber
April 05, 2004
an opposing team's scout sizes up the Phillies
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April 05, 2004

Enemy Lines

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an opposing team's scout sizes up the Phillies

"This is a championship-caliber team, no question. The best news is that Pat Burrell, who is coming off a horrible year, has been working with special assistant Charlie Manuel and looks as if he's regained his mechanics....

Jim Thome's broken right middle finger won't keep him from having another great season....

When Marlon Byrd was in the minors, everyone thought he was going to be a superstar, but he's nowhere near there yet....

The big question is at third, where David Bell has another injury [tendinitis in his right shoulder], and the only decent sub for him is Tomas Perez [five homers, 33 RBIs last year]....

The pitching staff can compete with anyone's. Kevin Millwood can be my Number I starter any day; he's looked great this spring. When Brett Myers gets command of his pitches, he's going to be damn good—better than Randy Wolf....

The bullpen is much improved. Billy Wagner is a huge upgrade from Jose Mesa. In Wagner and Roberto Hernandez they have two great arms. Rheal Cormier was quietly excellent last year."