The Phillies have to handle a tough division
No division got tougher than the National League East this offseason, that is if you ignore the Miami Marlins. Here’s a look at what the other three teams in the division did.
Braves: Josh Donaldson, Brian McCann
Mets: Robinson Cano, Edwin Diaz, Wilson Ramos, Jed Lowrie, Adeiny Hechavarria, Jeurys Familia, Luis Avilan
Nationals: Patrick Corbin, Brian Dozier, Kyle Barraclough, Yan Gomes, Kurt Suzuki, Wilmer Difo, Trevor Rosenthal, Anibal Sanchez
Everyone other than Miami got much better this offseason despite Washington losing Bryce Harper and the Mets losing Jay Bruce.
Washington is scary once again as Juan Soto and Victor Robles aim to replace Harper’s production in the lineup. Having Trea Turner and Adam Eaton healthy could make their lineup very scary.
What really puts Washington over the top is their starting rotation with the big-three of Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg, and Corbin. Few teams have a better starting-three, which is backed by two experienced arms in Jeremy Hellickson and Sanchez.
There’s always going to be doubt surrounding what the Mets can do simply because they’re the New York Mess. Adding a 36-year-old second baseman coming off a PED suspension to a lineup that’ll be without Yoenis Cespedes for the majority of the season and an injury-prone Wilson Ramos doesn’t sound like a winner to me.
Of course, the Mets have two fantastic starting pitchers headlining the rotation with reigning Cy Young winner Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard.
Atlanta, the defending division champs, will remain a threat despite not making a ton of changes this offseason. They brought Josh Donaldson in early and reunited with Brian McCann, but didn’t do much else. Free agents Dallas Keuchel and Craig Kimbrel would be welcomed additions for Atlanta and could push them over the hump in the division after winning 90 games last season.
With 76 games against members of their division, the Phillies need to establish themselves as the class of the division. The Phillies have 14 of their first 17 games within the division, most of which are at home.