A Few New Years Resolutions for Phillies Players

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Philadelphia Phillies baseball team owner John Middletown looks on at the introductory press conference for pitcher Aaron Nola, Monday, Nov. 20, 2023, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Chris Szagola)

Happy New Year, Philadelphia! As the Phillies look ahead to the 2024 season, the New Year is the perfect time to look at some resolutions Phillies players have (or should) for the year!

Aaron Nola: Stop Getting Ratio’ed

Now that the debates are over and Aaron Nola is back with the Phillies for the next seven years, it’s time for the top-tier starting pitcher to rebound from his 2023 seasons. His ERA went up from 3.25 in 2022 to 4.46 in 2023, his third-worst season in his nine-year career with the Phillies.

Diving deeper into Nola’s season, the issues lie in his ratios. His BB% increased by over 50% in 2023 to 5.7% from a previously elite 3.6% in 2022. His SO% decreased by four points to 25.5% while he also saw a career-high 4.0% HR% in 2023. He’s striking out batters less while walking more and allowing more home runs. Command.

His command just was not there in 2023. You can argue that the first year under the pitch clock was a part of the issue for Nola, but no matter how you cut it, Nola needs to get back to the precision pitching he brought in 2022.

Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Aaron Nola throws against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the first inning in Game 2 of the baseball NL Championship Series in Philadelphia, Tuesday, Oct. 17, 2023. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

Johan Rojas: Contribute Offensively

Alright, Johan Rojas has a bright future ahead of him. He is great defensively, he is fast, all we need is for him to consistently reach base.

Which, if you were to just look at his regular season numbers from last year, feels pretty easy. He had a .302 batting average paired with a .771 OPS over 59 games played for the Phillies. Hardly anyone really noticed this, however, because he was placed at the bottom of the lineup with any offensive input being looked at as a “bonus” from him as he gave defensive coverage.

And then the postseason happened. All of the offensive bonus went away for the Phillies as the light Rojas failed to hit his weight with a .093 average and a .276 OPS over 13 games. All of a sudden, the nine-hole felt like a black hole for the Phillies, a guaranteed out.

But Rojas knows it.

He’s been working nonstop this offseason to turn it around, and you can expect big things from him in 2024. If he can get on base consistently, given his 14 stolen bases over 59 games, you could have a new team leader in stolen bases by the end of 2024.

Trea Turner: All Settled In, Time to Get to Work

Look, we all know who Trea Turner was when the Phillies signed him. We all know what he is capable of as one of the best offensive shortstops in the game. So, naturally, many were disappointed in his first-half performance in 2023 as he hit a paltry .247 with an 88 OPS+ on the split.

And then, well, we all know what happened. The standing o happened.

After the All-Star Break, Turner looked the part of the hard-hitting shortstop, batting .292 with an OPS of .902. To put that into perspective with the rest of the league, his split OPS+ was at 141, meaning he was 41 points better than the league average.

And boy did he start hitting dingers. Through the All-Star Break, Turner had only 10, roughly 2.5 per month. After the break, Turner had 16. Nine in August, seven in September/October.

Turner has now fully settled into Philly, he knows the fans are behind him, and he’s gotten a taste of Red October. Expect him to show up on Opening Day ready to start the year with a bang.

A few bonus resolutions

Here are a few other resolutions as well that the Phillies’ players are likely to have for 2024:

Nick Castellanos: Meet Scooby Doo.
Bryson Stott: Hit a home run for Braxtyn Grace on Father’s Day (June 16 @ Orioles).
Garrett Stubbs: Leave all the bulletin board material in 2023.
Kyle Schwarber: More schwarbombs.
Alec Bohm/Brandon Marsh: Up on the ante on post-game Daycare shenanigans. I’m thinking add some nerf guns to the mix.

Photo Credit: (AP Photo/Chris Szagola)