By far, the biggest letdown so far is Roy Halladay. Halladay has been a proven commodity for years now, both as a Blue Jay and Phillie. He's pitches deep into games, throws complete game shutouts. And he NEVER. EVER. misses a start. But that will change now with a strain in his shoulder. 6-8 weeks without the Doc, the Phillies ace and leader.
Vance Worley is due to come back to the lineup soon. So the Phillies will put a proven ace on the DL, and depend on Vance Worley to play the way he did in his rookie season. If he can do that, the Phillies will be able to survive in the absence of Halladay. Will they be in first place? No, probably not. But they can stay within striking distance.
And as for the field players? Utley and Howard? Who knows what we'll get? Utley is a Phillies player through and through. He works his butt off, and doesn't complain. But his knees just can't keep up with his spirit anymore. So Utley will be back. That much we know. But how long will we have Utley? no one knows. And how good will his play be? Again, there is no way to know. It's a gamble, but one the Phillies are stuck taking.
And Ryan Howard is much the same way. Yes, a player can come back from an Achilles injury. But as this season has shown, Ryan Howard has been the keystone for the Phillies offense for th past half decade. And the offense is struggling without him. So will he be back this season? Yes. Will he be the player he's been in the past? All Phillies fans can do is hope.
Any sports season can be destroyed by injury. Rarely does a team have to deal with this much. The Phillies have the potential to be a good team, even a team who can make deep playoff run. But Phillies fans need to hope that the team is still in the playoff hunt once everyone gets healthy again. Because this is an aging team, and they are running out of chances.