Phillies Heading Into Opening Day

Leeeeettttt’s gooooooooo! I am so damn pumped thinking about this roller coaster ride we are all about to experience watching the Phils over 162. I always get asked about my favorite team to break down on Brodes Media… and there’s something about dissecting baseball decisions everyday that snowball into the next night.

Their explosive lineup is the major talking point, but I feel that speaks for itself. I’m going to look at some other story lines.

Edit: Mickey Moniak broke his hand and will be out 4-6 weeks after getting hit by a pitch in Spring Training. Slashing .371/.371/.914 with a 1.286 OPS and 5 homers… Kid played tremendous ball and looked different than any other time we saw him. He’s faced a ton of adversity to this point in his career so I’m interested to see his response.

Alec Bohm & Bryson Stott make the 40 man roster.

Dave Dombrowski gets it. He just full on understands how to run an organization so I trust his thought process. I wonder how they play these two.

Bryson Stott had an electric Spring hitting .419 and rocking a 1.094 OPS. My favorite part about his approach is the calmness at the plate. He’ll work counts and grind at bats as if he’s been in the Majors for 12 years!

I’ll go back to an AB he had with bases loaded. In what world is a top prospect, looking for a roster spot in the bigs, working a beautiful count to walk and score a run. You’d think he’d possibly look for something to smash, forcing an uncharacteristic strike out or pop up. NOPE. EARNED A DAMN WALK BABY!! What a pro.

With Alec Bohm, Kevin Long is a crucial part of a turn around season at the dish. I did see a couple swings that stood out to me in a positive way, but I’m not ready to commit by any means.

Here’s a couple thoughts on this scenario:

1. Bryson Stott deserves to play every single day. Can he play SS and Bohm go to third while Didi takes a night off? Sure. Is Joe Girardi willing to sit a vet if Didi provides that lefty pop with his bat? I don’t anticipate a .209 Didi this season. Just like JT Realmuto last year, I’m sensing they were both more banged up than perceived.

2. Is the left side of the infield better than we are giving them credit for if Stott and Didi make the standard, basic MLB plays defensively compared to Bohm giving other teams extra outs? If so, you HAVE to keep it that way!

3. I feel Bohm has talent to succeed at the plate in this league. Would it be more beneficial to play every day in the minors to get reps? Well what about the DH? It’s probably better to get Bryce, JT, Castellanos, Schwarb off their feet more than focus on Bohm’s development when it’s GO MODE. Can he play 1b? That’s an option when Rhys is DHing, but how many games is that going to be when fitting everyone else into the DH rotation as well? #InDaveITrust

What version of the Top 2 starters are we getting?

GREAT question Brodes!

Thank you!

Aaron Nola’s fastball command sometimes makes me cringe. He’ll be up in the count with 2 strikes on a hitter and a flat pitch leaks right over the heart of the plate. It seems to be more about how timely these mistakes are more so than Nola being an absolute disaster as a whole.

So here’s my question:

Do they have enough fire power offensively to make up for that issue? If the Phils are up 2-0 in the 6th and Nola walks 1, allows a single, and with a 1-2 count allows a 3-run bomb…… Will it be as deflating with an offense that can come back the next half inning to tie things up?

I don’t expect a 4.63 ERA and I don’t expect Nola to EVER give us the 2018 version of himself either. He has to give us something in the middle though.

I had a great discussion with Ben Verlander about this, as well as the Phillies’ ceiling, and he reminded everyone to keep a fair expectation with NL ERAs this year since the universal DH is in play. Numbers are going to go through the roof considering you’re no longer pitching to guys who can’t hit.

Full Show Here:

What about Zack Wheeler? He’s had a slow start to Spring Training and a cautious approach due to discomfort early on.

I want to note that I’m extremely optimistic about the Phils making the postseason and winning 87,88 games or so.

I believe in Zack Wheeler. I just think it’s also fair to point out that last year was so insanely good by him. Is that REALLY what he is every single season? Maybe the answer is yes and I sure hope so. Injuries in New York were always an issue which limited what he can do.

I wonder with allllllllll of those innings in 2021, will there be a dip? If he is NL Cy Young worthy or “just” an extremely solid pitcher, the Phils will be in great shape when he’s on the mound regardless.

What about the bullpen?

The last few years the back end has been so historical painful there’s NO WAY it continues…… Right? At some point it’ll need to even out!

I LOVE Knebel and his breaking ball is lethal. If Seranthony Dominguez can return and stay available utilizing that slider then we’re in business! In terms of Familia, Hand, Alvarado: They’re going to have their moments of great outings with a mixture of blowups and location issues. It’s a big jump from the De Los Santos of the world though.

Hand’s velocity is down a couple ticks, but that should change as the season gets going. I have faith that he’s been around long enough to find ways to be effective even at this state of his career.

It was inevitable that whatever reliever put on a Phillies uniform, no matter their track record, was going to suck over the last 2 years.

It’s time for that to change! #InDaveITrust

My Preferred Lineup:

This has changed 4,204 times since the 2 free agent signings.

Kyle Schwarber

JT Realmuto (wouldn’t mind Jean)

Bryce Harper

Nick Castellanos

Rhys Hoskins

Didi Gregorius

Jean Segura

Bryson Stott

Matt Vierling (Was Mickey Moniak)

Can’t wait for 3 o’clock at Citizen’s Bank Park!!