For the first time in a very long time the Phillies, and their fans, have serious expectations. After a magical run that started with a change at manager and ended in Game 6 of the World Series, President Dave Dombrowski wasted no time looking to capitalize on the current window. And with the approval of ownership, he added a wealth of talent, including one of the best in the game in Trea Turner.
"I think the vision is to have really great players playing here, no matter how you acquire them", Managing Partner John Middleton told the WIP Morning Show. "The goal is to create a team 50, 100 years from now, when people ask the question, what are the greatest teams to ever play baseball, the Phillies are in that conversation."
On paper, the 2023 roster is one of the best in franchise history, but nothing is won on paper.
What's most unfortunate is the divison they play in. Place the Phillies in the NL or AL Central and they're sitting pretty, but the NL East is the best division in baseball. It houses an Atlanta team who knows how to build a great roster from scratch and a New York Mets franchise whose owner has the deepest of pockets.
Should the expectation be to finish first in the East, or just to simply get into the dance? Every team shoots for first, but if last October was any indication, a wildcard may pan out better.
Starting the 2023 campaign without several key players (Bryce Harper, Rhys Hoskins, Ranger Suarez, and Andrew Painter) could certainly result in a bumpy April, but the Major League Baseball season is about attrition. Every team will suffer, and battle through injuries, slumps, fundamental mistakes. After 162, the standings won't lie.
My prediction: 90-72, second place in NL East. Postseason? All about matchups.
Follow Jon Johnson on Twitter @JonJohnsonWIP
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