John Middleton and Dave Dombrowski have set the Phillies up for years of success, but one World Series isn’t Middleton’s ultimate goal
John Middleton’s goal isn’t just to win one World Series.
John Middleton wants to put together one of the greatest teams in baseball history.
John Middleton hired President of Baseball Operations Dave Dombrowski back on December 11th, 2020, following a disappointing end to the Phillies’ 60-game COVID season. A good lineup at the time, which is nothing compared to now, had an epic collapse, led by one of the worst bullpens in baseball history.
Dombrowski got to work right away, and although the 2021 season was nothing to write home about, the Phillies still showed slight progress in the new season. The real deal started after the 2021 campaign, which is when Dombrowski and Middleton went to work.
The club signed Kyle Schwarber and Nick Castellanos, two impact bats that made a big effect on the Phillies’ World Series run in 2022, their first season with the team. Not just on the field but in the clubhouse, Schwarber was proven to be a winner. Although Castellanos didn’t have his best season statistically, his approach heading into the new season sets him up for a head-turning comeback season.
I had high expectations for the Phillies coming into last season. I said before the season that the team would win 90 games and win a playoff series. Did I expect them to finish just two games shy of their first World Series trophy since 2008? Absolutely not. But it’s not just the skill increase that’s set this franchise up for long-term success, it’s the attitude that falls back on the motto of the city of Philadelphia…win.
Bryce Harper has had one goal since he signed his bargain 13-year, $330M deal with the Phillies. Rhys Hoskins and Aaron Nola have been through the depths of hell with this team and finally got to experience playoff baseball in the best sports city in the world. Guys like JT Realmuto and Jean Segura, veterans in this league, got to live playoff baseball for the first time.
The Phillies played their best baseball in October of 2022 because they didn’t have the pressure. An 87-win team that snuck in thanks to the Brewers losing. They had absolutely nothing to lose.
For years, all this franchise heard was, “just get there.” Just break the drought, and let everything play out. That’s exactly what happened in 2022, and in a matter of 8 months, the Phillies have gone from an average baseball team to a bonafide contender for the next decade.
Trea Turner, Gregory Soto, Taijuan Walker, Matt Strahm, and more. Four players that can make a serious impact on a team all joined a Phillies team who lost their aging second baseman and a few back-end pitchers.
Not many people realize how good Trea Turner is. He steals bases, hits home runs, hits for contact, is one of the fastest players in the MLB, and has the attitude of a winner. He’s a proven playoff performer and cares about nothing but winning.
Add that type of player to this already-elite Phillies lineup, and what do you have?
This is the best Phillies roster ever assembled (on paper)
- Trea Turner
- Kyle Schwarber
- Bryce Harper
- JT Realmuto
- Nick Castellanos
- Rhys Hoskins
- Alec Bohm
- Brandon Marsh
- Bryson Stott
- Aaron Nola
- Zack Wheeler
- Ranger Suarez
- Taijuan Walker
- Andrew Painter (when healthy)
- Seranthony Dominguez
- Jose Alvarado
- Gregory Soto
- Matt Strahm
- Craig Kimbrel
- Connor Brogdon
Not everyone made this list, and this list isn’t in any particular order when it comes to the hitters. But this is the best Phillies roster that I’ve ever seen, top to bottom, and I don’t even know if it’s close.
John Middleton said he wants to create one of the best teams in baseball history…he’s on track to do exactly that, and with Dave Dombrowski, a GM who has proved he isn’t afraid to spend money…what’s the limit on this team?
This time last year, Phillies fans across the globe had high hopes, but I don’t think they understood what was being set up. A team that roped in a fanbase that has been lost for over a decade to the most magical playoff run I’ve ever been a part of, the Phillies have the potential to be a genuine dynasty for many years to come.