The Philadelphia Phillies will attempt to slug it their way to October baseball.
The Phillies spent no time accumulating offense after their first win since 2011.
They spent $179million on Nick Castellanos, Kyle Schwarber, and Bryce Harper was surrounded by two more powerful bats. J.T., All-Star catcher, makes the lineup strong and long. Realmuto, Rhys Hoskins, Jean Segura and Didi Gregorius.
Manager Joe Girardi stated, “We’ve added lots of offense.” “The organization did a fantastic job.”
Harper, the reigning NL MVP was instrumental in pushing the front office to improve their team’s performance after last season’s 82-80 record. John Middleton, the managing partner of the team, gave Dave Dombrowski permission to go over the luxury tax threshold after Castellanos was not signed a few days after Schwarber had agreed to a $79million, four-year contract.
Middleton stated that Dave is the only GM to have taken three different World Series franchises. He is one of five people who have won two games with two different franchises. He’s a veteran. He is making that judgement.
Scott Boras, agent, said that the Phillies had their “cake” and “frosting” in Schwarber, while Castellanos was his client.
Schwarber won the World Series with the Chicago Cubs. He has also played in the postseason six times in his seven majors seasons. He brings a winning attitude into a clubhouse that desperately needs it. The longest postseason drought in NL history is experienced by the Phillies.
Dombrowski stated, “It was crucial for us.” “I believe we needed someone with this type of experience. It’s possible to talk about it but it’s not the same as experiencing it.
After the lockout, the bullpen received a major overhaul. The Phillies signed lefty Brad Hand and Jeurys Familia, right-handers. Knebel will be the season’s closer. Hand and Familia have both been All-Star closers throughout their careers. Philadelphia’s greatest weakness in the last two seasons was their inability to protect leads, which cost them a playoff berth. The pen is rounded out by lefty Jose Alvarado, right-handers Connor Brogdon and Sam Coonrod.
Zack Wheeler was second in the NL Cy Young Award. Aaron Nola was third in 2018; he was seventh in 2020. These two are a formidable duo, especially if Nola can regain his All-Star form following a disappointing 2021 campaign. It’s a solid starting five with righties Kyle Gibson, Zach Eflin, and lefty Ranger Suarez.
Harper batted.309 with 35 homers, 1.044 OPS and earned his second MVP award. This was his first MVP award in Philly in three seasons. Castellanos slugged.309 for the Reds with 34 homers, 100 RBIs, and a.329 OPS. Schwarber scored 32 homers for both the Nationals and Red Sox. Hoskins hit 27 homers in just 389 at-bats. Realmuto, Gregorius and others have each had multiple 20-homer seasons during their careers. Five Phillies players hit 20 or more in 2009, when the Phillies won the NL pennant. Girardi’s New York Yankees lost the World Series.
The Phillies will have to defend their lineup, as they do not have any regulars who are better suited for designated hitter. Schwarber will be playing left field, while Castellanos will be playing DH. Hoskins (first base), and Gregorius (1st base) have had trouble in the field. Realmuto is the best player in the group, having won a Gold Glove award in 2019.
ROOKIE TO WATCH
Bryson Stott was the 14th overall draft pick for 2019. He came to spring training competing against Gregorius at shortstop, but could end up starting the season as third baseman, instead of Alec Bohm. Stott has been a great player. Bohm is a poor defensive player and suffered a sophomore slump following a strong debut in the 2020 season.