Locked On Phillies 1/21: Are fans too down on the 2020 team?

Bryce Harper is entering his second season with the Phillies. (Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire)

On the Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2020 edition of Locked On Phillies, Phillies Nation Editorial Director Tim Kelly previews Tuesday’s Baseball Hall of Fame announcement.

Later in the show, Kelly takes questions from listeners.

Locked On Phillies is a daily Phillies podcast hosted by Tim Kelly that’s part of the Locked On Podcast Network. You can listen to and download Locked On Phillies on the new podcasting app Himalaya, as well as Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts and Spotify.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Jaron B

    January 21, 2020 at 8:53 am

    On one hand, the Phillies have health again but that’s no guarantee to stick. If it doesn’t, we did improve slightly in rotation (Wheeler, Nola should return to form and Arrietta should see an improvement after finally pitching w/o that bone spur – noticed it for years I think, which could’ve been grounds for release & void) and offense (by subtracting an avg of 90 OPS+ for three players making too much for that production). The intangible is Girardi and his staff. The question is what happens should half our bullpen, one starter and one key offensive player are lost for most of the season? This is where Girardi will shine brighter than Kap, IMHO. So instead of a 73-win pace after injuries, I’d say we have an 82-win pace. We started the year 33-22 before McCutchen went down. Add 53 wins to that instead of the 48 we did, and we get to 86 (would’ve been tied with Mets). If injuries are drastically reduced, we could easily win another 3-6 (89-92 wins). So worst-case looks better (last year it was 82-84 but we ended up at 81). If healthy (or if not), the key month will be coming out of the all-star break with most games at home the second half of July. This is followed by slightly more games at home thru 9/10 and against teams they should be mostly good against, esp’ly at home. Going 31-20 or 30-21 in the late july thru mid-sept time-frame will go a long way towards boosting confidence. Focusing on depth is important and should we go down, Girardi will find someone and with his reputation and the skills of he and his staff, I think we can, in any scenario including worst-case, find suitable internal replacements and contend for the 2nd WC. also, Lest we forget that we won the season series against the Braves (14-11 overall record against them and held our own after McCutchen’s injury: 1gm under after that occurred) and the Nats, a wild-card team, won it all in the postseason.

    C: Realmuto, Knapp (and others w/ Andrew doing better under Girardi, a former catcher himself)
    1B: Hoskins (should improve thanks to Dillon and a philosophy that fits him)
    2B: Segura (he’s on my hustle watch list but his best season was at 2B w/ DBacks)
    SS: Gregorious (rapport with Girardi as coach, bounced back after return from TJS)
    3B: Kingery (should be good to man the hot corner and then provide value on the bench when Bohm comes up)
    RF: Harper (should improve AVG in lower leverage situations but had a great start to his 13-yr deal)
    LF: McCutchen (should be good to go after surgery, his loss left hole in clubhouse and in batting order)
    CF: Hasley (burst onto the scene)

    July deadline: this is when the Phils may be able to find a lefty in the rotation to supplement the additions made and return of several key players injured in ‘pen (pen is balanced with at least 2-3 lefties on roster plus the mental prep by Pivetta or Velasquez should one not make the rotation). Even if we just have Howard and Irvin, I’m looking forward to them earning a spot. Hard to add in July but it’s happened before (Keuchel last year, Smyly as well; Pedro Martinez in 2009). Pressure’s on, Klentak & McPhail (and to some extent Middleton).

    Key: June draft – must continue the approach where we draft college players that can make an impact in 2-3 years along with some HS. Also must get some talent from the Hispanic leagues. Developing is important and shuffling players in the minors (trading some of our mid-level guys for at least one better mid-level and/ or higher-level player from other teams’ farms) won’t necessarily be a bad move for the team.

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