5 Phillies players fighting for their futures heading into the 2024 season

It's still early, but which Phillies players have their future on the line entering 2024?
Philadelphia Phillies outfielders Johan Rojas and Cristian Pache
Philadelphia Phillies outfielders Johan Rojas and Cristian Pache / Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports
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Cristian Pache

Despite being the top-ranked prospect in the Atlanta Braves system as recently as 2020 and 2021, Cristian Pache has been quite the disappointment thus far in his MLB tenure. Not only has he not reached his full potential that was expected of him, he has also failed to secure a full-time gig in the majors now entering his fifth season in the league.

The Phillies picked him up last season from the Oakland Athletics via trade, with hopes he could provide some value defensively in the outfield, along with solid contributions at the plate when given the opportunity.

However, Pache ended up having an injury-plagued season, missing significant chunks of 2023 with a knee injury in late April and elbow irritation in July resulting from a previous injury. In total, he posted a sub-par .238 average with a .736 OPS, along with 12 runs scored, seven doubles, two home runs, and 11 RBI in just 48 games. He fared better defensively by putting up 5 DRS along with a .985 fielding percentage and two outfield assists in 44 total games in the field.

In terms of overall offensive production, Pache lags behind Cave and especially Merrifield in that regard, whereas on defense, Rojas has more or less taken over as the defensive general in the outfield. As a result, since he appears to be a redundancy, Pache will need to give the Phillies a strong reason to keep him rostered for the upcoming season and beyond.

So far this spring, he is off to a solid start with a .267 average and .980 OPS, with three runs scored, two home runs and three RBI in just six games played. If Pache manages to keep that up heading into the season, he should be able to provide decent value as the club’s fourth outfielder. Otherwise, if he falters, his job could be on the line as the season progresses or perhaps even before the start of the season.