3) The Phillies are paying for not adding enough quality minor league depth
Injuries are impossible to plan for. The Ranger Suarez injury was not one anyone saw coming, and the Rhys Hoskins injury was even more surprising and crushing. Hoskins was a mostly durable player before tearing his ACL and being ruled out for the entire 2023 season. That kind of thing is impossible to plan for.
While injuries are impossible to plan for, you have to try your best to predict that they might happen by stockpiling as much talent as possible at the AAA level. The Phillies have done a nice job improving their minor league system with some solid prospects to get excited about, but the talent that can play right now in the majors is hard to spot.
The trade to acquire Gregory Soto from the Tigers was a good one if you replaced the depth you lost in the deal. Matt Vierling didn't exactly light the world on fire, but he was good enough to earn some starts in the World Series. Nick Maton played sparingly, but was effective when his number was called. Both of these players had the ability to play just about anywhere on the diamond.
In the Soto deal they did get Kody Clemens back, but Clemens had a .505 OPS in 56 games last season with Detroit. Relying on him for any substantial period of time, which they had to do when both Hoskins and Darik Hall went down with injury, is something that probably shouldn't have happened.
I like Gregory Soto and think he has been and will be a good reliever for the duration of the time he's under team control, but if the Phillies weren't going to replenish the depth, I would've just preferred they sign a free agent.
As I previously mentioned, the outfield depth was weak, and the bench in general was not great. Signing Josh Harrison has done just about nothing for the on-field production, which should've been expected considering he wasn't very good in 2022 either.
The Phillies now are relying on Cristopher Sanchez to take the ball every fifth day. He's been awesome so far, but how long is that going to last? The Bailey Falter experiment didn't work. They're already trying to catch up, it's hard to rely on a guy with such a small track record to succeed in huge games.
Had the Phillies added more talent in the upper minors, even with some veterans inking minors deals, the team would look better. Most don't work out, but a good amount of players who sign minor league deals do find some sort of role.
The Phillies have very little organizational depth ready to contribute at the big league level. It was evident all offseason, and has been evident this season.