Phillies’ Season Preview


The Phillies are set on the goal of making the postseason

Aiden Stepansky, Writer

As another season approaches for the Philadelphia Phillies, the same goal remains: to make the postseason. The team has the second longest postseason drought in Major League Baseball at 11 years. Last year was another mediocre season, as they finished 82-80 and second in the division.

Philadelphia continues to spend large sums of money on players in hopes of breaking this drought. 

This offseason, they spent big on two key free agents that they hope will add some thump to their already booming lineup. Outfielders Kyle Schwarber and Nick Castellanos were both signed by the team in an effort to become a top offense in the league. Schwarber, who signed for 4 years for $79 million, is a strong left-handed hitter who is known for his power. Castellanos was signed for 5 years for $100 million and is also known for his power. Both were All-Stars in 2021.

The addition of these two great hitters adds to an already star-studded lineup. The team is led by 2021 National League MVP Bryce Harper. Other great hitters on the team include Jean Segura, Rhys Hoskins, and JT Realmuto. The offense should be a strong suit for the Phils this season. They will look to find help from young players like Alec Bohm, Bryson Stott, and Mickey Moniak. The team’s focus on offense overshadows its weak defense.

Signing Castellanos and Schwarber, who are both not elite defensive players, will most likely mean that the team will struggle with their outfield defense. Also, the infield’s defense will not be very strong because of Didi Gregorius’ declining skills at shortstop and Alec Bohm continuing to find his way at 3rd. The team hopes to utilize the new Designated Hitter position in the National League to bolster their offense and compensate for their defensive weaknesses.

The Phillies’s starters

With a pitching staff headed by National League Cy Young runner-up Zack Wheeler, the Phillies hope the pitching will be consistent over the course of the season. All 5 starters return from last season. Aaron Nola looks to bounce back from a rough 2021, while Ranger Suarez hopes to build on his success. Kyle Gibson and Zach Eflin will be leaned on to solidify the back end of the rotation. 

The bullpen has been a struggle for the Phillies the last few years. With one of the worst bullpens in the league last year, the team brought in a few veterans to help fix it. Brad Hand, Jeurys Familia, and Corey Knebel are all seasoned relievers who have seen success in the majors. If the bullpen is successful this season, the team will likely follow. 

By going over the luxury tax for the first time in franchise history, the organization is showing their desire to become a winning team once again and end their postseason drought. Owner John Middleton and President Dave Dombrowski have done their jobs. When asked about the upcoming season, Bryce Harper said,  “We have to go out there and play our game and do the things we can to make sure that we’re trying to win games. We owe that to our fans, we owe that to the city of Philadelphia and we owe that to our ownership. We owe that to ourselves. Get out there and give it our best effort.” Now it is on the players to perform and get the city the championship it desires.

In the first series of the season, the team won 2 out of 3 games against the Oakland Athletics. In the 2nd series, they struggled against the rival Mets and lost 2 out of 3. In the weekend series in Miami afterwards, they struggled and lost 3 out of 4. Only time will tell if the changes made in the offseason will bear fruit and propel this team to the playoffs.