The Philadelphia Phillies are looking to improve upon their previous two seasons. The team underwent a tough stretch of futility following their five successive NL East titles from 2007-2011.
Positive signs emerged in in 2018, but the team collapsed down the stretch and finished below .500. 2019 was supposed to be another step forward after signing Bryce Harper, but they finished at 81-81.
That record left the Phillies in fourth place in a tough NL East division. After making some offseason additions, they look primed for another competitive season. Some fans may feel good enough about the 2020 Phillies to place a bet on them. This lottery bonus code will help make the wager more interesting.
Because the 2010s had more lows than highs, the Phillies hope to start off the 2020s even better. Helping them achieve that goal, include some notable offseason acquisitions.
Didi Gregorius blossomed into a formidable offensive player during his time with the New York Yankees. 2019 was a down year for the 30-year-old. He hit .238 with a .276 on-base percentage after returning from Tommy John surgery.
Despite the statistical drop off, Gregorius, enjoyed success in New York. From 2016-2018, he slashed .277/.313/.472. His home run totals increased in each of those three seasons, jumping from 20 to 27.
Defense is another strong aspect of Gregorius’s game although it was effected by the mid-season return from the surgery in 2019. Excluding 2019, he posted a DRS of +4 in his time as a Yankee, indicating that he is an above average defender overall.
Adding Gregorius on a one-year contract, will move Jean Segura off of second base, but give the Phillies a stronger infield defense and another solid left-handed bat to the lineup.
It took Zack Wheeler a while to get going with the New York Mets, but once he got healthy, he flashed tremendous potential. That was no truer than in the second half of 2018. While Jacob deGrom was in the midst of a season where he finished with a 1.70 ERA, but it was Wheeler who out-pitched deGrom in the second half in terms of ERA.
In that span, Wheeler had a 1.68 ERA in 75 innings pitched. While deGrom did pitch 93.2 innings that half, his ERA sat at 1.73.
Wheeler followed that up with a 2019 that was good but not as dominant as that one half. He displayed durability with a career-high 195.1 innings. He also showed control with a career-best 3.90 K/BB ratio. In spite of that, his ERA sat just under 4.00 at 3.96.
Wheeler will be with the Philadelphia Phillies for the next five years, and he should be a good addition to the rotation. With him slotting in behind Aaron Nola, Jake Arrieta can move back to the third spot in the rotation. If anything, the signing strengthens the rotation on paper.
The Phillies looked for a change in leadership when they let Gabe Kapler go after the season. While the trend amongst front offices is to hire a manager who may be more of a ‘yes-man,’ the Phillies went against the trend, hiring the established World-Series-winning manager in Joe Girardi.
Girardi managed the Yankees from 2008-2017. The team had a winning record in every season that he was there, and they made the playoffs six times. They won the 2009 World Series and went to the ALCS three other times in that span.
The experience of Girardi should be a good addition to help the Philadelphia Phillies contend. Additionally, the signings of Gregorius and Wheeler will bolster the lineup and rotation as the team hopes to make the postseason for the first time since 2011.
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