Dear Santa, the Phillies were pretty good this year

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Members of the Philadelphia Phillies including Bryce Harper, right, and Kyle Schwarber, second from left, celebrate in the clubhouse after defeating the St. Louis Cardinals to win a National League wild-card baseball playoff series, Saturday, Oct. 8, 2022, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Scott Kane)

Dear Baseball Santa,

There’s no use denying it: the Philadelphia Phillies were good this year. Like not-even-remotely-on-the-naughty-list good this year. Both fans and reporters alike stuck by their side (for the most part) and boy, we were rewarded.

Making it to the World Series after canning Joe Girardi in June 2022 and some key injury issues was a feat. Seeing the city of Philadelphia come together and rally behind Philly Rob and the pinstripe boys did not disappoint.

They even managed to steal Trea Turner and make him a Phillie. But there’s so much more that we want on our Christmas list and now is a great time to ask.

Phillies Contributor Regina Ham’s wish:

Give the injuries to the naughty teams

For this writer, this year I’d love Baseball Santa to give all the injuries to other teams. It’s no shock that the Phillies kept dancing on their own but that dancing sometimes was on crutches. Remember Bryce Harper’s Tommy John surgery? Or go back to June and remember his fractured thumb? Let’s not have those keep happening to key players in 2023, please.

Phillies pitchers notoriously need to stay safe from the injury bug. Aaron Nola is such a key piece of the Phillies’ pitching staff. Keeping him healthy is also a very important piece since he’s one of the best right handed-pitchers in rotation.

That’s the real issue: a healthy bullpen. Between strained right arms, and tearing shoulder capsules (I’m looking at you Corey Knebel and Seranthony Dominguez) there’s no doubt we need to keep an injury bug away from the bullpen. Keeping these guys healthy and our key stars from injury would be the best Christmas gift of all.

Phillies lead writer Matt Watson’s wish:

North Pole to South Philadelphia

The 2022 Phillies season was a hand-delivered gift from Santa Claus himself. A trip to the World Series was all I could ever ask for from the man that resides at the North Pole, but it is time to get a little greedy with my Christmas wish for the 2023 season. 

While I won’t ask Santa Claus to bring the Phillies a World Series trophy, I will ask him to bring the team a piece that will bring them home, the most prized possession in our sport. I wish for Phillies top prospect Andrew Painter to win the National League Rookie of the Year award. It feels like ages since the Phillies had a top pitching prospect pan out. Aaron Nola and Cole Hamels are the last two arms the Phillies successfully developed, and I expect Andrew Painter to join that conversation. 

The kid, and I really mean kid (he’s only 20 years old!) has a lot of talent. Painter rose up the ranks of the top 100 MLB prospects last season and quickly became the Phillies’ #1. President of Baseball Ops Dave Dombrowski and Manager Rob Thomson has clarified that if Painter is pitching well, he will make the team out of Spring Training. 

So Santa, if you’re reading this, all I ask is for Painter to pan out for this team and to bring the first of many pitching awards home with him next season.

Phillies lead writer Alec Kositval’s wish:

Dear Dombrowskiclaus…

I believe I’ve been a good Phillies writer this year. While you’ve already brought some amazing
early Christmas presents, there is just one more on my list.

Liam Hendrik

While the Phillies would have to pull off a trade with the White Sox, Liam Hendriks has been one of the top closers in baseball since 2019. He has a 2.26 ERA in 239 IP since 2019 and 114 saves. He’d instantly
become a true ace out of the bullpen. Hendriks still throws 98 MPH into his mid-30’s. He’s essentially
Billy Wagner from 2005.

With the Mets just deciding to break baseball, the Phillies need another big move and this would be it.
Also if you’ve ever heard Hendriks mic’d up during a game, you KNOW he’d be a perfect fit for

Photo Credit: AP Photo/Scott Kane

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