Opening Day is right around the corner and the new look Phillies are ready to set sail on their 2019 campaign which figures to be an exciting one. Just a season ago the Phillies finished with an 80-82 record after collapsing post All-Star break. Believe it or not, before the collapse the team was in play for the division title.
With their new additions and stupid money spent, the expectations are high for this ball club. But are they realistic?
A lot of Dingers
The off-season additions that the Phillies made come with a lot of power and considering the hitter’s friendly park that is Citizens Bank, you could be sure that you’ll see that bell ringing in center field quite often.
The Phillies 1-3 hitters from last year are now figured to be their 6-8 guys. The additions of Harper, Realmuto, Segura and McCutchen have completely revamped this Phillies lineup in a big way.
Replacements vs. 2018 Phillies
Harper 34HRS – Williams 17HRS
Realmuto 21HRS – Alfaro 10HRS
Segura 10HRS – Crawford 3HRS
McCutchen 20HRS – Santana 24HRS*
+ 31 difference
McCutchen essentially replaces Santana in the lineup since Hoskins is now at 1B. The switch from Santana to McCutchen is the only one that presents a regression in power while guys like Realmuto, who had to play at Marlins Park, present some upside compared to last year’s numbers. Add those guys to a team already consisting of Hoskins, Herrera, Franco and Williams and you have yourself a lot of dingers.
186 home runs were hit by the Phillies last year which was good enough for 15th in the league. A +31 differential would place them among the top 5.
Aggressive at the Deadline
If this past off-season showed us anything it’s that Klentak and the Phillies brass mean business. The team gave out the largest contract in sports history (at the time) to Harper and traded away the organization’s top prospect, Sixto Sanchez, for an already established All-Star that is on an expiring contract.
Looking at the Phillies current rotation and their surplus of outfielders in both the majors and minors, a trade for a quality starting pitcher around the deadline could most certainly happen. The Phillies were rumored to show interest in guys like Chris Archer and Marcus Stroman, who are both guys that have yet to enter their primes and offer high upside. Be on the look out for them to reengage in those talks in a few more months.
Chris Archer – 3.71ERA 57wins 2x All-Star
Marcus Stroman – 3.91ERA 41wins 1x Gold Glove
It’s a given that the Phillies will contend with the Braves and Nationals for the NL East crown. They now have the hitting and bullpen help to propel them to a division championship. Don’t stop at just the division either.
If Aaron Nola could continue off of his marvelous 2018 campaign as a CY Young candidate and guys like Arrieta and Pivetta step up, the Phillies could be a dangerous team come October with a lineup that figures to be among the league’s best. As mentioned before, Philadelphia will have the ability to add to their pitching rotation near the deadline as well.
NL East Champs
Featured Image: Sports Illustrated
Jordan is the founder of Sports Are Philly and a graduate of Misericordia University.
You can follow him on Twitter @darealjlaw.