The Philadelphia Phillies improved drastically last season. They finished in third place in the NL East with a 80-82 record. Philadelphia didn’t have a true super star last season. They traded for catcher J.T. Realmuto and signed outfielder Bryce Harper to a 13-year $330 million contract this offseason.
This team could be the favorite to win the NL East this season. I don’t think they are ready to win the National League yet. The Phillies have not made it to the playoffs since the 2011 season. They last won the World Series in 2008 against the Tampa Bay Rays in five games.
In 2009, they lost to the New York Yankees in six games. Gabe Kapler was a very good manager last season for Philadelphia and he will look to be even better in his second season at the helm.
J.T. Realmuto will be the starting catcher and Andrew Knapp will be the backup catcher. Mikael Franco will be the starting third baseman, Jean Segura will be the starting shortstop, Cesar Hernandez will be the starting second baseman, and Rhys Hoskins will be the starting first baseman.
Andrew McCutchen will be the starting left fielder. Odubel Herrera or Nick Williams will be the starting center fielder. Bryce Harper will be the starting right fielder.
Scott Kingery, Mitch Walding, and Roman Quinn will be some of the key back ups on this team.
The starting rotation is one of the strengths of this baseball team. Aaron Nola will be the number one ace. It will be rounded out by Jake Arrieta, Nick Pivetta, Zach Eflin, and Vince Velasquez. Jared Eickhoff will also make some starts at some point throughout the regular season.
The biggest problem with the Phillies last season was the bullpen. David Robertson will be the closer and he is an upgrade. Seranthony Dominguez, Hector Neris, Pat Neshek, Tommy Hunter, and Adam Morgan will be some of the key pitchers coming out of the bullpen for Philadelphia.
The Philadelphia Phillies have began spring training games and Opening Day for them will be on Thursday, March 28 against the Atlanta Braves.