Philadelphia Phillies 2020 Season Preview

Philadelphia+Phillies+2020+Season+Preview

Skyler Hoffner, Centurion Staff

The 2019 Philadelphia Phillies season did not go as the ball club planned after making moves for superstar outfielder Bryce Harper, all-star catcher J.T. Realmuto, outfielder Andrew McCutchen and infielder Jean Segura.

At the end of the 2019 MLB season, the Phillies fell short of many fans expectations and finished the season fourth in the NL East with 81 wins and 81 losses.

Even after a disappointing season the Phillies did improve their record from the prior year and finished with a .500 winning percentage for the first time since the 2012 season.

Ultimately the Fightin’ Phillies missed the MLB playoffs for the eighth straight season, despite spending nearly $400 million in the offseason. Now onto the 2020 MLB offseason where the Phillies have been somewhat quiet but have made some very key acquisitions.

The first offseason signing to the 2020 roster was former New York Mets starting pitcher Zack Wheeler, who signed a five-year, $118 million deal with the Phillies.

After an injury riddled start to Wheeler’s career, Wheeler has emerged as a solid starter over the last two seasons, averaging 30 starts per season while posting a 3.65 ERA and a 3.37 WHIP. Wheeler will slide comfortably right into the no. 2 spot in Phillies starting rotation after ace Aaron Nola.

Many Phillies fans all over will be very pleased to see
organization go out and get a solid top-quality pitcher for the top of the rotation to accompany Nola.

Another top-quality player the Phillies acquired this offseason was former New York Yankees infielder Didi Gregorius who signed a one-year deal worth $14 million. The signing of Gregorius comes after the departures of former Phillies infielders Maikel Franco and Cesar Hernandez.

One of the main reasons the Phillies signed Gregorius is the fact that he will link back up with his former manager Joe Girardi who was the manager of the Yankees and now the current manager of the Phillies.

During the end of the 2018 MLB season Gregorius tore his right UCL after making a throw which ultimately led the infielder to have Tommy John surgery which is mainly common in pitchers.

In Gregorius’s return to the diamond following his Tommy John surgery the infielder wasn’t particularly great, as he posted a .238/.276/.441 slash line in 82 total games. The front office will still be quite happy if Gregorius could recreate something close to his .277/.326/.486 line from the two seasons prior to his elbow injury.

Phillies fans will ultimately see a new and improved infield this upcoming 2020 season, that will consist of Jean Segura, short stop Didi Gregorius, Scott Kingery and first basemen Rhys Hoskins.

The hot topic this offseason since acquiring Gregorius has been what position will Kingery and Segura play. Both players are capable of playing either position but Phillies manager Girardi has to come up with the best scenario for both players.

In an interview with “The Philadelphia Inquirer” Girardi said, “The way I look at it is, you have to put your best team on the field, not your best individual. So, if one guy is much more capable of playing the other position [Segura at second], and there’s not such a big gap at that other position [Kingery is a good third baseman], that’s the move you have to make.”

What Phillies fans should get from this quote is that we will have to wait and see how both players play during the spring to determine who will lineup where in the infield.

Early on in spring training the 2020 Phillies have been scorching hot with a record so far of 8 wins and 4 losses in the Grapefruit league. With all of the main players playing very well to begin the spring which is a very good sign.

Phillies fans can only hope to see this 2020 Phillies squad stay healthy all year long and make a run at the MLB playoffs where the ball club hasn’t been since the 2011 season.