By Spike Eskin
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Jonathan Papelbon said that the Phillies lacked leadership last season. Phillies general manager thinks Ruben Amaro says that part of that is on Papelbon, and the closer knows it.
“He should have probably taken a better, more effective role in that regard, when those guys [Utley and Howard] weren’t present,” Amaro told the CBS Sports Network on Thursday. “I think he blamed himself a little bit on that, on the leadership thing is concerned. You know it was just a difficult year for us.”
Ryan Howard missed over half of the 2012 season recovering from Achilles surgery. “The surgery has healed, it’s really a matter of him getting his strength and getting his legs underneath him and getting back in shape basically getting in baseball shape,” Amaro said.
The Phillies will not only be counting on their veterans to come back and produce, but some newly acquired veterans as well. Former Rangers infielder Michael Young figures to be the team’s everyday third baseman.
“Michael Young has been one of the best hitters in the American League for a long period of time,” Amaro said. “Whether he’s going to be as productive as he has in the past, kind of remains to be seen, but we know that he’s a good hitter. He’s a great clubhouse guy. He’s a great leader type of a presence on our club”