Every player on the Phillies does not have to be a rockstar. In a combination of the chemistry of a winning ball club, players will blend in with the team throughout the regular season and inevitably have their ups and downs. Take Nick Castellanos for example, he had a ‘rockstar’ year in 2021 when he finished up a contract with the Cincinnati Reds, hitting 38 doubles, 34 home runs, and driving in 100 during that season. Last year with the Phillies, a lot of the year it seemed that he struggled to get to that level of play. Castellanos hit 27 doubles, with 13 HR and a paltry 62 RBI. He could have done better, but somehow, he did bang out 138 hits on the season and did add 7 stolen bases, but the Phillies as a team still made it to the World Series.
Castellanos NL Career numbers and overall numbers in his whole career:
|10 Y||10 Y||10 Y||1222||4633||1281||305||181||656||21||.276||.326||.475||.801|
|AL (||AL (||AL (||837||3148||862||208||104||424||11||.274||.324||.459||.783|
|NL (||NL (||NL (||385||1485||419||97||77||232||10||.282||.332||.507||.839|
Is deGrom the answer to the Phillies rotation for 3 years?Embed from Getty Images
So we find ourselves in the Hot Stove portion of the off-season when teams perhaps go free-agent hunting and try to add that missing piece here or there to a baseball team. What is the most pressing need for the Phillies? Well, if you see what the Astros did in the playoffs and World Series, they proved the old adage that ‘great pitching’ wins ballgames. The Phillies had some great pitching in the playoffs, it wasn’t so stellar in the World Series at times though. So here is where the Phillies in this writer’s opinion should be giving a majority share of the focus of this Hot Stove market. Would an addition of a Jacob deGrom catapult the Phillies into the World Series next year? The Astros had a blend of top tier free agent pitching in Justin Verlander, to the lesser known but really good pitchers like Framber Valdez, and players in their bullpen to mow down the competition in the playoffs this past season.
Is Trea Turner going to give the Phils a needed offense boost? His career numbers:
|8 Yr||8 Yr||8 Yr||849||3424||586||1033||191||36||124||434|
We’ve heard that the Phillies are on a quest for a top-dollar shortstop, and that is great as well. A lot of money came off the payroll at the end of the season last year, roughly just under $80M came off the payroll spending so the Phils have some money to spend this off-season.
The free agent market for quality shortstops is chock full this year, a ‘bumper crop’ of free agents that any one of them would seem like a good fit to the Phillies ballclub. Rumored as the front runner is Trea Turner from the LA Dodgers last year, and recently some press has been reporting Xander Bogaerts is also in contention to join the Phillies. Is the addition of one of these top free agents at shortstop going to be enough to propel the Phillies into the playoffs again in ’23 and perhaps a return to the World Series? Does ‘good hitting’ beat ‘good pitching’? These are all great questions, and only playing the games next season and seeing who the Phillies acquire this off-season will tell us the answer. We can sit back and speculate though.Embed from Getty Images
Phillies rookie Bryson Stott had a pretty solid year last year, he seemed to have that ‘clutchness’ about him that the Phillies so needed this year at times. Down the last few weeks of the regular season, it was Stott that seemed to linger in my memory as a player that was ‘coming into his own’ and really exceeding some expectations of a younger rookie player. He seemed to really lift this Phillies team up during many games down the stretch.