Creator: Douglas P. DeFelice | Credit: Getty Images Copyright: 2020 Douglas P. DeFelice

The City of Brotherly Love is next on out list as we continue to preview the NL East. Phils fans should be excited for this upcoming season as the team is set to make some noise in a crowded division. With the studs they have in place to go along with a couple of budding starts, Philadelphia may be set for a historic year.

Key Additions: Jose Alvarado, Archie Bradley

Key Subtractions: Brandon Workman, Jake Arrieta, David Robertson

The Phillies didn’t have the season they were hoping for in 2020 and will look to bounce back this year. Their lineup was very good, but the back of Philly’s rotation and bullpen needed work. The roster looks similar for the most part with an almost identical lineup but they made some adjustments to the pitching staff; namely in their relief core. The additions of Bradley and Alvarado should help solidify the late innings and help the Fightin’ Phils come out on top a little more often.

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Alvarado wasn’t his dominant self in 2019 and followed that up with a pedestrian 2020. He’s dealt with a few injuries during that time and will look to bounce back. José is armed with one of the harder fastballs in the league and when he’s right, he’s dominant. Something pitchers need to do in today’s game to be great is to keep the ball in the yard and punch guys out; he does both of those things at an elite level. His HR/9 rate for his career is 0.4 while his K/9 sit at 10.9. Very few pitchers have/will ever match that through their age 25 season while pitching as many innings. If he’s back to being what he was through his first 100 innings or so then he’ll be just what the Phillies need. 

Bradley may end up being the better reliever out of the two. Archie offers up a great HR/9 rate as well; his comes in at 0.8. That’s not as elite as José’s but given the hitter-friendly climate Archie’s pitched in his entire career, it’s pretty darn good. Something Phillies fans will appreciate is how consistently available Bradley. Archie became a full-time reliever in 2017 and had three strait years of throwing 70 innings or more and he would’ve done it again in 2020 if it hadn’t been for Covid-19. It may not seem like much, but the best ability is indeed availability. The additions of these two are exactly what Philadelphia needed. 

ST PETERSBURG, FLORIDA – SEPTEMBER 27: Bryce Harper #3 of the Philadelphia Phillies looks on during the sixth inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field on September 27, 2020 in St Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images)

Something I am keeping an eye on with every team is their young guys. Prospects who might come up or guys who’ve yet to prove themselves will be key for teams looking to win. With a team like Philly, there’s no room for error for the young guns. Alec Bohm came up and made an impact right away. Anyone who watched him at Wichita State and in the Phillies’ farm system probably wasn’t all that surprised. Now, he needs to do it over a full season. Bohm has quickly become a guy the team relies on and I think he’ll answer the call. The other two, Kingery and Howard, I’m not so sure about. Scott Kingery has been disappointing since making his debut while Spencer Howard got his hard during his first stint in the league. I’m more confident in Howard given his pure stuff, but he needs to put it all together sooner rather than later. 

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Outside of the two previously mentioned additions, Philadelphia didn’t do much during the offseason. They did bring back Gregorius and Realmuto but no real major additions. That signals to me that the team really believes in what it has. Why shouldn’t they? The lineup was very stable and the top of their rotation is good enough to go toe-to-toe with almost anyone in the playoffs. With the back of the bullpen looking better, they may be able to make a serous run come October. The first task is to get there are their division is far from a cake walk.

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