5 Phillies that need to step up for the ballclub to stand a chance in 2023

Which Phillies players could help the ballclub down the stretch by upping their game pronto?
Baltimore Orioles v Philadelphia Phillies
Baltimore Orioles v Philadelphia Phillies / Tim Nwachukwu/GettyImages
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Aaron Nola

As the de-facto ace of the Phillies pitching staff, Aaron Nola has undoubtedly had a very disappointing season thus far in 2023. It has been bad enough such that it ranks among his worst seasons in his nine-year career with the ballclub. In particular, he was just coming off a spectacular season as well in 2022 in which he finished fourth in NL Cy Young voting, so nobody saw such a regression coming for the usually reliable and consistent number one starter.

For the 2023 season, Nola has compiled a 9-8 record, with a 4.58 ERA, 94 ERA+, 1.14 WHIP, giving up a whopping 26 home runs to lead the league, along with 34 walks and 147 strikeouts in 143.1 innings pitched. But more worrisome has been in his last five starts, in which every game is deemed important for the ballclub from here on out, Nola has gone 1-3 with an ugly 5.64 ERA, 1.29 WHIP, .280 opponents batting average, and had been tagged often by the long ball again, surrendering another eight home runs in the process.

For someone that will be heading towards free agency at the end of the season, Nola’s underwhelming performances aren’t helping the team, as well as himself in the long run. For the Phillies to have any success in the stretch run and the playoffs, they will definitely need Nola to turn things around and become the dominant force he once was to lead the team again to success.