If the Phillies are going to win in 2020, they’ll need these three players.
The 2019 Phillies season was ravished by injuries from the start and the depth of the team wasn’t good enough to keep the club afloat for 162 games. Even before opening day major pieces such as David Robertson and Tommy Hunter were in the trainers room, and they’d soon be joined by Andrew McCutchen and almost every other pitcher on the roster.
Not only did the Phillies face a rash of injuries, they saw several of their key cogs take some steps back. Aaron Nola wasn’t the Cy Young candidate they needed, but he still kept the Phillies in ballgames. Several other starters such as Vince Velasquez and Nick Pivetta failed to develop under pitching coach Chris Young, pushing the franchise back several years.
If the Phillies are to compete for a playoff spot under Joe Girardi in 2020, they’ll need these three players to bounceback and contribute much more
I don’t think anyone knows what to expect from Jake Arrieta in 2020 after he grinded through bone spurs in his elbow before stepping aside last season.
Arrieta hasn’t been the guy Philadelphia hoped he could be when they signed him in 2018. The drop in velocity and risk of injury was a big reason why he wasn’t signed until spring training.
Now coming off rest and a cleaned up elbow Arrieta will need to be, at the very least, a guy who can get the Phillies through five or six innings giving up minimal damage. He doesn’t have to be the ace or even the number two/three starter for this team, he just has to give them a chance every five days.
If Arrieta can do that, at the very least, the pitching staff will be much improved in 2020.