3 Phillies players heading into the regular season hot, and 2 who are not

Spring training is the time of year when players work off some rust and hone their skills — some look to be in midseason form, while others are still working to get where they want to be.

Philadelphia Phillies designated hitter Kyle Schwarber
Philadelphia Phillies designated hitter Kyle Schwarber / Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports
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Phillies who are hot: Zack Wheeler

If the aforementioned Ranger Suárez had one of the best springs in baseball, then his rotation mate and staff ace, Zack Wheeler, wasn’t too far behind. The Phillies and Wheeler agreed on a three-year extension that will keep the 33-year-old in Philadelphia for the foreseeable future. If spring training is any sign of what’s to come, the Phillies and their fans will continue to sing Wheeler’s praises.

In his four games that he started this spring, the big right-hander threw 14 1/3 innings allowing just two runs on six hits while striking out 14 batters. He had a 1.26 ERA and a WHIP of 0.628. Coming into this season, Wheeler was seen as one of the best arms in the sport and he has been placed in the upper echelon of starters. For the first time in six years, the Phillies will have someone other than Aaron Nola pitch opening day. There isn’t anyone more deserving than Zack Wheeler.

Wheeler came into spring training not content to rest on his laurels. He had been working on a new pitch and showcased it this spring. Adding the new splitter to his repertoire will give him more of an edge against his opposition. With a new pitch in his arsenal and a terrific spring training under his belt, Wheeler looks to guide this pitching staff to an NL East title.