Phillies hot stove 2022, a quest for a betterment

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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:

Standard Batting
Year Age Tm G AB H 2B HR RBI SB BA OBP SLG OPS
201927CHC51212682116360.321.356.6461.002
202028CIN60218491114340.225.298.486.784
202129CIN13853116438341003.309.362.576.939
202230PHI1365241382713627.263.305.389.694
10 Y10 Y10 Y12224633128130518165621.276.326.475.801
162 162 162 1626141704024873.276.326.475.801
DET DET DET 837314886220810442411.274.324.459.783
CIN CIN CIN 19874921349481343.284.343.550.893
CHC CHC CHC 51212682116360.321.356.6461.002
PHI PHI PHI 1365241382713627.263.305.389.694
AL (AL (AL (837314886220810442411.274.324.459.783
NL (NL (NL (3851485419977723210.282.332.507.839
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 11/27/2022.

Is deGrom the answer to the Phillies rotation for 3 years? 
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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:

Standard Batting
Year Age Tm G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI Awards
201522WSN2740591011
201623WSN73307531051481340RoY-2
201724WSN98412751172461145
201825WSN1626641031802761973
201926WSN122521961553751957
202027WSN5923346781541241MVP-7
202128TOT1485951071953432877AS,MVP-5
202128WSN96388661251731849
202128LAD5220741701701028
202229LAD16065210119439421100AS,MVP-11,SS
8 Yr8 Yr8 Yr8493424586103319136124434
162 162 162 1626531121973672483
WSN WSN WSN 63725654447691353293306
LAD LAD LAD 21285914226456431128
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 11/27/2022.

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.

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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.

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