Phive reasons to be excited for baseball at the Bank in 2023


This week marks the start of the Major League Baseball season. Can the Philadelphia Phillies repeat as the National League Champs or has their time come and gone? Read on for my 5 reasons why you should be excited about the Phillies this season.

1. Trea Turner

When thinking about reasons to be excited about the Phillies, the first one that pops into your mind is obviously Trea Turner. Upgrading from Jean Segura to the best shortstop in the league is a huge improvement. He was already one of the favorites to win the National League MVP before the World Baseball Classic. After setting a tournament record for most home runs, he became the favorite to win the MVP award this year. While Turner was already one of the most feared base stealers last season, one of this year’s rule changes made the bags bigger which will make it even easier for him to steal bases. The Phillies finally found a true leadoff hitter which allows Kyle Schwarber to bat later in the lineup where he belongs as a power hitter.


2. New Bullpen

The difference between the Phillies’ bullpen last season and this season is like night and day. Last season, the Phillies’ bullpen was definitely a weak spot and, in my opinion, one of the worst in baseball. The Phillies’ inability to close out games last year with their bullpen contributed to many of the team’s losses. The addition of Craig Kimbrel gives the Phillies 3 pitchers who could be the closer on most teams. Jose Alvarado, Seranthony Dominguez and Craig Kimbrel all throw 100+ MPH, giving the team a much better chance to close out games this season. The Phillies also bolstered their bullpen by adding All-Star Gregory Soto from a trade with the Tigers and reliever Matt Strahm through free agency. The Phillies’ revamped bullpen is now one of the best and deepest in the league.


3. Starting Rotation

The Phillies already had one of the best one-two punches in the league last year with starting pitchers Aaron Nola and Zack Wheeler. The pair of aces could be relied upon to pitch deep into games, often giving the relievers some much-needed rest. Nola and Wheeler consistently give the team a good chance to win whenever they pitch. Ranger Suarez, coming off a truly dominant postseason performance last year, provides the Phillies a solid third starter again this season. The Phillies also strengthened the rotation by signing former All-Star Taijuan Walker to a four-year, $72 million contract in free agency this offseason. While the debut of 19-year old phenom Andrew Painter will be delayed because of a sprained elbow, he was rated as the best pitching prospect in baseball and will eventually fill out the team’s strong starting rotation.


4. Nick Castellanos

The Phillies fans had high expectations for Nick Castellanos last year, but he didn’t live up to the hype. Prior to joining the Phillies last season, Castellanos was one of the better players in baseball. However, he struggled and was wildly inconsistent throughout most of his first season with the team. Despite his struggles last year, I think Nick Castellanos will have a bounce back year this season, playing like the player he used to be. If he does, the Phillies offense will be the strongest that it has been in years.


5. Bryce Harper Coming Back Sooner Than Expected

Bryce Harper was originally expected to miss half the season as he recovers from elbow surgery. However, the Phillies recently announced that they will not place him on the 60-day injured list, indicating that he has been progressing well and may rejoin the team as early as the end of May or beginning of June. Clearly, getting the two-time NL MVP and last season’s NLCS MVP back earlier than expected is reason for optimism.


This year’s Phillies team may be even better than last year’s. I think that there’s a high probability that the 2023 Phillies will return to the postseason, and they are a strong contender to win the World Series.