The Phillies' 2012 season was a major disappointment. The team failed to win the NL East for the first time since 2006 and managed just a .500 record. Long absences from stars Ryan Howard and Chase Utley, bad luck for Cliff Lee, shoulder problems for Roy Halladay and shoddy bullpen work in the first half of 2012 all put the Phillies in a deep hole. The team started to play better in the second half (44-31) as the bullpen improved and Utley and Howard returned to the lineup, but it was too little, too late. During the offseason, general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. plugged some holes at third base, in the outfield and in the bullpen, but he didn't make a major splash in free agency or via a trade. It remains to be seen if those modest moves will help the Phillies compete in the NL East with Washington and Atlanta, two teams that made significant improvements to their already formidable rosters this winter.
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