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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Aaron Nola

Finally, no one will have as much pressure as team co-ace Aaron Nola will have entering the 2024 season. It may seem quite a long time ago, but back in November, Nola was re-signed by the Phillies to a massive seven-year, $172 million deal that will take him through to the 2030 season. After signing such a huge contract, expectations for Nola to deliver in the coming years will now be at an absolute high, as the Phillies sincerely hope they can justify their daring long-term investment.

It was a critical decision for the Phillies because in 2023, Nola actually posted a sub-par season compared to his usual standards. He compiled a 12-9 record with a gaudy 4.46 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, and 202 strikeouts in 193 2/3 innings over 32 starts. But the more worrisome factor was the fact that he gave up some hard contact, including a whopping 32 home runs, which was the most he has surrendered in one season in his career.

With the Phillies putting all their marbles into Nola’s contract this offseason, they didn't recruit any more top-end starters and chose to run it back with the same starting rotation for the 2024 season. Nola could potentially make or break the Phillies’ season, depending on if he can regain his prior dominant form to lead the ballclub once again to success.

If he falters right from the get-go, the contract could turn out to be a huge albatross even before things even get started. But being the big-game pitcher he is, hopefully, the added intensity and contract security will help him thrive. Luckily, he's off to a good start in spring training.