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.
Looking at the Phillies Outfield
|Left Field||Kyle Schwarber|
|Center Field||Brandon Marsh||Matt Vierling|
|Right Field||Nick Castellanos|
There isn’t much of a change for the Phillies’ outfield heading into 2023. With Bryce Harper missing the first few months of the season, we will see the look in the outfield we got for much of the ’22 campaign. Kyle Schwarber in left field, Brandon Marsh in center field, and Nick Castellanos in right field.
Kyle Schwarber was one of the best players in baseball last season. His 46 homeruns in the regular season got him to the All-Star game and a Silver Slugger award. Kyle has found his home in Philadelphia and is potentially at the top of the lineup.
Brandon Marsh was a really underrated move by the Phillies last season. Trading top-hitting prospect Logan O’Hoppe was not an easy choice; at the time, he was the only top 100 prospect the club had.
But with JT Realmuto on the team, it was the right move. In the end, the Phillies added a dynamic fielder who showed signs of life at the plate. A full off-season with Kevin Long should do Brandon Marsh some good as he returns to the Phillies lineup in 2023.
Everyone needs to take a deep breath on Nick Castellanos. A guy who hits at .270+ batting averages and roughly 35 doubles a season has earned my trust heading into next season. Castellanos struggled at the plate for the first time in his career and won’t have to deal with the pressure of signing with a new club and uprooting his family this Winter. Nick will have a nice long off-season to rest before returning to the diamond in 2023. I have full faith he will be closer to the player the Phillies signed him to be last year.
Matt Vierling was a fantastic role player in 2022 and will have a role in this club next season. Vierling’s ability to play everywhere (which he learned on the fly) and his speed is a dynamic 1-2 punch. Matt should come off the bench for the most part but maybe get starts in center against left-handed hitters. He can prove to be valuable as a late-inning substitution in the outfield or even as a pinch runner.
The Phillies’ outfield possesses a lot of hit-or-miss qualities. On the field, their defense isn’t necessarily the strongest. Brandon Marsh anchors the outfield, but with Kyle Schwarber and Nick Castellanos in the corners, the Phillies’ defense takes a step back. However, 2022 proved that both Kyle and Nick could come up big with their glove when needed, and that little boost is enough to overlook their average body of work.
When it comes to the plate, the same mantra stands. This group strikes out a lot, which can sometimes hurt the lineup. However, these same guys are game-changers when they are in the zone. Kyle Schwarber’s hot June and 46 homeruns last season proves this. Brandon Marsh’s three-run home run in the NLDS against the Braves is a prime example of how the bottom-of-the-lineup guys can get it done too. If Nick Castellanos can return to the guy he has been his whole career, the Phillies lineup will be the best in the game, and you can bet on that.
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Photo Credit: AP Photo/Matt York