5 Phillies players under the most pressure entering the 2024 season

Which Phillies players need to step up their game right from the get-go in 2024?

Philadelphia Phillies starter Aaron Nola will be under pressure to live up to his new contract
Philadelphia Phillies starter Aaron Nola will be under pressure to live up to his new contract / Elsa/GettyImages
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With spring training officially underway, the Philadelphia Phillies begin their quest to make the postseason this upcoming season. As the players ramp up their activity to get into the best possible game shape, some Phillies players will enter the 2024 season under some added pressure to perform.

Here, we will take a look at five Phillies who will be carrying more weight on their shoulders than expected to step up for the team this season.

Whit Merrifield

It may sound cruel to put the pressure on the Phillies’ newest addition, Whit Merrifield, immediately. After all, he has just started to get his feet wet and acclimatize to his new team, so there shouldn’t be that many expectations of him just yet, right?

Well, actually, there should be because if you look at the main additions the Phillies made during this offseason, Merrifield represents the biggest and only outside signing that the team made that will become a significant part of their everyday roster.

On the good side, Merrifield had a solid season last year with the Toronto Blue Jays. In 145 games, he batted .272 with a .700 OPS, 66 runs scored, 27 doubles, 11 home runs, 67 RBI and 26 stolen bases, leading to the third All-Star selection of his career. More importantly, he played effectively no matter where the Jays placed him in the field and in their batting order.

But because the Phillies’ major league roster appears relatively the same as last year other than the addition of Merrifield, the success of the Phillies’ offseason moves will largely lie on the shoulders of Merrifield’s performance in 2024. Hopefully, with the strong motivation from wanting to play for a winner, he can ultimately help make the Phillies a winner and make their investment a smart one.