After a very productive week at the Winter Meetings, the Phillies front office has answered many of the questions that fans held heading into the off-season.
The Phillies have addressed the shortstop position, added another starting pitcher, and found a new bullpen member. The club has also lost some members of the 2022 National League championship team, and with all these moves official, it is time to assess where the club currently stands.
Phillies Starting Rotation
Philadelphia will bring back three starting rotation members from last year’s Opening Day roster. Zack Wheeler and Aaron Nola will front the Phillies starting staff, and after the run, these two had in the playoffs, it is safe to say the Phils have one of the best duos in all of baseball.
Ranger Suarez will also return to the Phillies’ starting rotation, likely in the third spot. Suarez was a little up and down during the 2022 regular season, but his efforts in the playoffs reiterated to all why he is such a talented young southpaw. When healthy, Suarez is a strong number 3 for most rotations.
Newly acquired starter Taijuan Walker should slide nicely into the fourth spot of the rotation. Walker could even be the number three on this stuff, but Philadelphia might want to separate the righties and lefties with Suarez in the middle. Taijuan is a nasty pitcher who has some fantastic “stuff.” Walker pitched really well during his time in New York, and the Phils paid him to be even better over the next few seasons with the club.
With the exits of Zach Eflin (Tampa Bay Rays), and Kyle Gibson (Baltimore Orioles), the Phillies will most likely fill the final spot in the rotation with an in-house alternative. Bailey Falter and Cristopher Sanchez are two members of the 40-man roster who make the most sense for the Phils, and Falter pitched really well down the stretch for the Fightins.
There is still a chance that the Phillies will sign a veteran to fill the final spot in their rotation. A reunion with Noah Syndergaard would make a lot of sense for both parties, and Noah was a really important piece to the Phillies’ pitching staff after he joined the team in August.
The Phillies rotation is pretty much set, barring injury. They have the potential to be the best starting rotation in all of baseball.
Zack Wheeler and Aaron Nola both have a chance to win the Cy Young award in the National League. Ranger Suarez will be a candidate to win the Gold Glove award, which he should have been given in 2022. Taijuan Walker has a chance to return to the All-Star game once again, but this time as a Phillie. Between Falter, Sanchez, Painter, McGarry, Syndergaard, or another potential name, the Phillies have assembled a really strong starting 5.
The starting pitching is the best unit the Phillies have, and it will be their strength in 2023. Hoping for health and durability out of this group because if they play to their full capabilities, the Phillies can be dangerous next season.
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Photo Credit: AP Photo/Brynn Anderson