23 Takes for the 2023 Phillies: The Revenge Tour
The Philadelphia Phillies kick off their anticipated 2023 season on March 30th vs. Jacob deGrom and the Texas Rangers.
Coming off an unforgettable run to Game 6 of the World Series, the Phillies have re-tooled their roster, upgraded all around the diamond, and have set their goals for a season that is bound to be as special as they come. A 22-29 team heading into June of 2022, the Phillies now look to defend their National League title in the gauntlet of the NL East.
23 Takes for the 2023 Phillies
1. Alec Bohm Leads the Team in Batting Average
This time last year was a rough time for Alec Bohm. Bohm got sent down to Triple-A at the end of the 2021 season after hitting under .200 and was the main trade piece in the offseason for a team that had an excess of infielders. Bohm wasn’t a lock to even make the Opening Day roster in camp last year, and now he enters 2023 determined and motivated.
Bohm has been rumored to have put on over 15 pounds of muscle in the offseason, and a recent video of Bohm in Clearwater shows the third-baseman pulling the ball to left field with way more power than we’ve ever seen. Alec hit .280 in 2022 and held an average of .300+ for over three months of the season. Bohm has never been more confident, which leads me to believe we see the best season of the 26-year-old’s career in 2023.
2. Bryson Stott Hits Above .280
There’s not a single player that I’m more excited to watch in 2023 than Bryson Stott.
Stott struggled to begin the 2022 season, hitting below .100 at one point and being sent down to AAA just a few weeks into the season. After a re-tool in Triple-A, followed by the firing of Joe Girardi, the Phillies rookie finally found his footing at the plate.
Stott hit .279/.330/.405 in the last 53 games of the regular season with 16 XBH. He notched a wRC+ of 106 while hitting .287 in the month of August with 27 hits, six doubles, 7 RBIs, and four stolen bases. Bryson Stott really found himself at the plate over the last three months of the season, and this season is going to be the true start of a special career for the 2nd baseman.
3. Connor Brogdon Finishes With A Sub-3 ERA
The Phillies head into 2023 with the best bullpen to start a season that I can remember. They bring back Seranthony Dominguez and Jose Alvarado as their top two guys, while they acquired Matt Strahm, Gregory Soto, and Craig Kimbrel this offseason. Guys like Andrew Bellatti and Bailey Falter return to the team as well, along with Brogdon, who showed many signs of dominance in 2022.
Brogdon finished the year with a 3.27 ERA and two saves while racking up 50 strikeouts and a 1.25 WHIP. Brogdon’s ERA was mainly tanked due to a 9 in April, but the right-hander had a three-month stretch from May-July without going over a 2.10. With tons of insurance in front of him and weight off his shoulders this upcoming season, Brogdon is bound for a big year in a bullpen that will make noise around the league.
4. Nick Castellanos Records a .900+ OPS
I know, I know. You all hate Nick Castellanos. I don’t really get it, but it’s whatever. Everyone in this city needs to always play their absolute best, or they become the villain, nothing new.
Nick Castellanos’ first year in Philadelphia was one of his worst seasons over the last few years, slashing just .263/.305/.389 with 13 HRs and 62 RBIs. It’s understandable why fans tended to be upset with Casty throughout 2022, after a 34 HR, 100 RBI season in 2021 with Cincinnati.
Castellanos’ approach really took a major hit last season, but I don’t believe that will return. Pros know the mistakes they make, and Castellanos has certainly been working all off-season to get back to his 2021 self. Even when he struggled at the plate, his glove was on full display all throughout the playoffs, making three crucial plays to save three separate games on the Phillies’ magical run to the World Series.
I don’t have much else to say about Nick. Just know the bounce-back season is coming.
5. Darick Hall is the Opening Day Designated Hitter
The Phillies’ biggest issue heading into the 2023 season is their temporary DH until Bryce Harper comes back.
Losing the face of your franchise is never easy, and starting off a season without him is always a little harder. The Phillies do have options, including Darick Hall, who was an absolute righty-killer in 2022. Hall slugged .565 against righties in 2022, compared to .083 against lefties. The only concern with Hall is the Phillies not wanting a guy who can only play half of the games. If Darick Hall can figure out his swing against left-handed arms, he’s the no-doubt top guy for the DH spot in 2023, especially with deGrom likely to take the hill on Opening Day for the Rangers.
6. Garrett Stubbs Sees a Significant Boost in Playing Time
The Phillies finally have a backup catcher that they can trust on a frequent basis.
Obviously, Garrett Stubbs isn’t anywhere close to JT Realmuto. But the loss of Harper sets up a platoon for the DH, especially with lefties on the mound. Realmuto, now 31 years old, could get some days off of his feet with his bat still in the lineup.
Garrett Stubbs hit .264/.350/.462 off the bench in 2022 with 5 HRs, 16 RBIs, and 28 hits. His defense behind the plate is above average for a backup catcher, and everyone loves a little Stubby here and there. Expect to see some more of Stubbs in 2023.
7. Painter, McGarry, and Abel all make Major League Debuts
The biggest storyline coming into the 2023 season is the rise of the big three prospects…Andrew Painter, Mick Abel, and Griff McGarry.
Andrew Painter has been taking most of the headlines, and rightfully so. Painter is the best pitcher in the minor leagues, and although he’s currently going through a UCL sprain and won’t make the Opening Day roster, Painter will throw meaningful innings for this team at some point in 2023.
Griff McGarry and Mick Abel are two very special players that are hoping to thrive behind the spotlight on Painter. The two righties both got camp invites, along with Painter, and although all three won’t make the 40-man right out of Spring Training, I do expect all of them to make their Major League debut at some point in 2023.
8. Scott Kingery Gets Significant Playing Time in the Majors
Scotty Jetpax…an era of the Phillies that still feels like a fever dream.
Scott Kingery has had one of the weirdest careers I’ve ever seen from a professional baseball player. Kingery came up to the Majors in 2018, playing 147 games for the Phillies and hitting .226. His 2019 season was his best one by far, slashing .258/.315/.474. The young infielder started to find himself all around the field, and before you knew it, his confidence was down the drain, he couldn’t hit a baseball, and he was just another failed prospect in the Phillies organization.
Rob Thomson said he loves Kingery’s game, and with the loss of Matt Vierling and Nick Maton, Kingery has a real shot to make the Opening Day roster. It’s hard to tell if Kingery will make the Opening Day roster with Jake Cave playing so well in Clearwater, but expect Kingery to be up with this team and get some meaningful innings throughout the summer.
- Jake Cave
- Kody Clemens
- Darick Hall
- Scott Kingery
There’s a very good chance that those four guys are battling for two spots…who’s in and who’s out?
9. Trea Turner Goes 20/20
Trea Turner may not go 20/20…he may go 30/30.
We’ve already seen flashes of what Turner can do in Spring Training and he’s played just two games. Stolen bases, hits, runs scored, and more have already been on display down in Clearwater. With the insurance behind him and Turner most likely in the leadoff spot, don’t be surprised if Turner has one of his best seasons yet, especially with the absence of Bryce Harper for the first three months of the season.
10. Phillies Finish With a Top 3 Bullpen in Baseball
- Jose Alvarado
- Seranthony Dominguez
- Gregory Soto
- Matt Strahm
- Craig Kimbrel
- Connor Brogdon
- Andrew Bellatti
- Nick Nelson
- Bailey Falter?
This bullpen is absolutely filthy. I couldn’t tell you the last time I went into a Phillies season being confident with the bullpen. Dave Dombrowski went to work this offseason with both signings and extensions, and we’re going to see how good this unit can be real soon.
Jose Alvarado is already pumping 101 in March. Connor Brogdon just allowed his first hit of the entire Spring on Saturday, March 11th. For the first time in years, the Phillies’ strength of their team may just be their bullpen.
11. Andrew Painter Wins NL Rookie of the Year
I can’t wait for my first bet of the season to be the Andrew Painter ROTY future at +6500. (I’ll be signing up with this link like everyone should be.)
This kid can throw. We’ve already seen him dominate multiple leagues in the minors. He’s the best prospect that’s ever gone through the Phillies organization.
I know, you’re probably sitting here like…why the hell are you betting on Andrew Painter to win ROTY if we don’t have an update on his elbow? For once in Philadelphia, we need to be positive. Painter is going to be healthy by mid-May and come back and show everyone what he’s really about, at least, I hope. What’s $10 these days?
12. Bryce Harper has the best month of his career
The first few months of the season will certainly be weird without Phillies star outfielder Bryce Harper, but Harper knows that this season is his best chance to win a World Series so far throughout his career.
The Phillies are going to be rolling once Harper is back, and he’s going to join in on the fun. At some point this season, I don’t know exactly which month…Bryce Harper is going to have the best month of his entire career. My guess is August.
13. Aaron Nola lands a contract extension before Opening Day
Aaron Nola is coming off a great year for the Phillies, and for the first time in his career, got to pitch in the playoffs. Nola showed out, and although he experienced some dead-arm towards the end, the Phillies ace put on a show in multiple big games.
The Phillies want to keep Aaron Nola. Nola wants to stay. Both sides have agreed that they won’t really talk extensions once the season starts, which makes me believe the Phillies will lock up Nola for the future ahead of Opening Day.
14. Aaron Nola Wins Cy-Young, Has Best Season of his Career
If you can’t tell, I’m really high on Aaron Nola this year.
The script is there. Aaron Nola is one of the most underrated pitchers in the entire game, but somehow, many Phillies fans don’t appreciate what he’s brought to his city and organization.
18 wins and a sub-2.5 ERA. 200+ Ks and a Cy-Young trophy for the first time in Aaron Nola’s career.
15. Six Phillies Make All-Star Game
Aaron Nola, Zack Wheeler, Jose Alvarado, Trea Turner, JT Realmuto, Kyle Schwarber
I really want to throw Alec Bohm on this list, but it’s going to be tough to make the ASG over Nolan Arenado.
Speaking of Nolan Arenado…lol
16. Zack Wheeler Throws a No-Hitter
The Phillies have a loaded pitching staff heading into 2023, and it’s time for one of them to enter the history books.
Zack Wheeler is going to throw a no-hitter in 2023. Wheeler threw a fantastic 2022 season, even after entering the year with a shoulder injury, and I think he’s bound to shine in 2023, along with Aaron Nola.
Here’s the real hot take…it’s going to be a Wednesday night game in June. A random Wheeler start. Why? I have no clue. Just wait for it…it’s coming.
17. Trea Turner Hits for the Cycle
How does David Bell still hold this record?
Trea Turner, as we’ve already talked about and everybody already knows, is the most all-around player in baseball. He’s hit for the cycle multiple times in his career, and he’s going to be the one to end the David Bell streak from 19 years ago.
18. Rhys Hoskins and Kyle Schwarber Hit 35+ Home Runs
Kyle Schwarber and Rhys Hoskins both mash homers; we already knew that. Both players were tied with Bryce Harper for the team lead in HRs last postseason.
Schwarber won’t eclipse last year; at least, I don’t think he will. But Rhys Hoskins is on a contract year, and the 1B has insurance in this lineup. You want the real hot take? Rhys Hoskins will finish the year with the most home runs on the team.
19. Phillies Finish 95-67, 2nd in NL East
The Phillies have absolutely no reason to be any worse than they were last year. The 2022 team won 87 games and broke an 11-year playoff drought, and brought us one of the most fun playoff runs in Philadelphia sports history.
Trea Turner is a winning baseball player. The bullpen is significantly better. The Phillies are going to win 95 games in 2023.
20. The Road to the World Series is an EXACT Repeat
The NL Central stinks. The Phillies are going to match up with the St. Louis Cardinals in the Wild Card round, followed by the Atlanta Braves in the divisional round. The San Diego Padres and Phillies will be the final two teams remaining, and the Phillies take them down once again.
21. Rob Thomson Wins Manager of the Year
Rob Thomson got robbed of Manager of the Year in 2022.
I’ll never believe the fact that MOTY in baseball comes down to simply just wins. A 162-game season is a long season, and baseball is the biggest sport where coaching truly matters.
Rob Thomson showed his knowledge of not just the game of baseball in 2022 but this Phillies team in general. With an improved all-around roster and chemistry. in the clubhouse like no other team, expect Thomson to be in the running when the regular season concludes.
22. Phillies Have 3 Gold Glove Finalists AND Winners
- JT Realmuto
- Ranger Suarez
- Trea Turner
JT Realmuto is the BCIB. Ranger Suarez came up 2 innings short of a gold glove in 2022. But Trea Turner is the one that will get interesting in the shortstop race.
Turner has always had an underrated glove, he’s already showcased it in Spring Training. Now a mentor to 2B Bryson Stott, I think Trea will have the best defensive season of his career, which will be capped off with his first-ever Gold Glove.
23. Phillies Beat Astros in a World Series Rematch
Pure vibes? Maybe. I still feel that the Astros are the best team in baseball, but the Phillies get their revenge and win their first World Series since 2008.