‘Tis the season of joy and hopefulness.
We look back at the year before and dream of wants that lie ahead. This year was full of expectations from the Philadelphia Phillies, coming off of a World Series appearance.
As we know, the Phillies came up short in the NLCS. Now, we look to the 2024 season and think about what the final roster will look like. So far, the Phillies have re-signed Aaron Nola and not done much else. With a few roster spots still open, it only makes sense to share our personal Phillies’ wish lists.
Here’s what the PSN team wants for a Phillies’ Christmas.
There’s currently been a lot of talk about the Phillies and Japanese ace Yoshinobu Yamamoto, no matter how unlikely it might be. Dave Dombrowski has mentioned in interviews that the Phillies had expanded their Asian international scouting team. The Phillies don’t have a ton of history with Asian players but I’m hoping that they start building themselves as a future destination for talent (hello Roki Sasaki).
I’m hoping the Phillies sign either Shintaro Fujinami or Woo Suk Go (I swear not for his name). The high-velocity Fujinami fits into the Phillies’ current bullpen philosophy. He had a disastrous MLB debut in 2023 but if anyone could help with his control issues, it’s the Phillies’ coaching staff. Woo-Suk Go has been one of the best closers in the KBO. He averages just under 95 MPH on his fastball and would be another interesting option for the Phillies out of the bullpen.
Outside of that, I’m hoping for a decent bench bat. Eddie Rosario or Brian Anderson (a .299 hitter in CBP) would be cool with me. Oh, and sign Austin Meadows to a minor league deal with a Spring Training invite.
Now let’s go watch 4 hours of the Phanatic Yule Log on YouTube.
As much as we love Yoshinobu Yamamoto, we must also be realistic about our chances. Other men who aren’t going to be highly sought by other squads would be beneficial to the roster. Finding a righthanded bat should be a priority and guys like Whit Merrifield, Nick Senzel, and Brian Anderson would be solid pieces for the bench. Bench versatility is important and any of those three guys fit the bill.
The best of the three is Merrifield. He’s got fewer strikeouts (check), hit a .272 with a 17.1 strikeout rate, and contributed 26 stolen bases. Playing on the Toronto Blue Jays’…tricky roster we’ll say, only highlighted how key he can be to a team. A very not expected name would be TJ Friedl. He hit .279 with one of the lowest strikeout rates (16.2 percent), has some pop (18 home runs), and can run the bases (27 steals). Sure he’s another left-handed batter (we do have enough) but a good bat is a good bat at the end of the day.
This Christmas season, I want the Phillies to add another high-level starter and a righty-hitting outfielder. Ranger Suarez is as solid of a no. 3 pitcher as there is, but I would still love to see a guy like Yoshinobu Yamamoto, Dylan Cease, or Blake Snell take this team’s rotation from very good to best of the best. Even getting someone like Jordan Montgomery would be nice.
As for the outfield, I’m not 100% board with having Johan Rojas start the season in the minor leagues if the expectation is that he’ll be up by the playoffs anyway. I’d rather him just get more experience vs. MLB pitching, so having a righty in the outfield to be an offensive-minded substitute for Rojas and/or a platoon partner with Brandon Marsh would be nice.
So, I had a dream the other night. In that dream, I got a Twitter notification (Jeff Passan because he’s one of the few big names we can trust right now) saying that Yoshinobu Yamamoto had signed with the Philadelphia Phillies. Now, I’m not saying I’m a prophet or anything, but I have this feeling that Yamamoto will sign with the Phillies, and the Phillies will start the year with a five-man rotation of Wheeler, Nola, Suarez, Yamamoto, and Walker.
You know that toy you had as a kid, maybe it was a stuffed animal or something, that you totally outgrew but still wanted to use? You refused to let your parents throw it away because you just wanted to hold onto it. Rhys Hoskins. He has no real spot on the current roster of this team since Bryce Harper took over first base, but that doesn’t mean we want him to leave. He’s a great clubhouse guy and is one of the few on the Phillies who remember the dark ages. Say what you will, but I’m just not ready to let Hoskins go.
Photo Credit: (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)