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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Gregory Soto

Gregory Soto was actually one of the key acquisitions by the Phillies via trade this past offseason to help bolster their bullpen. Soto was acquired from the Detroit Tigers along with infielder Kody Clemens in exchange for outfielder Matt Vierling, utilityman Nick Maton and catcher Donny Sands. The Phillies believed that Soto would fit in perfectly with the hard-throwing threesome of Domínguez, Alvarado and Craig Kimbrel to form a four-headed monster for the back end of their bullpen that no one else in the league could match.

Unfortunately, it hasn’t really worked out that way so far for Soto, as for the 2023 season, he has struggled to a 3-4 record with a 4.15 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, giving up 20 earned runs, 17 walks and 42 strikeouts in 43.1 innings pitched. Those numbers normally would be respectable for any MLB reliever, but with Soto being a former closer for the Tigers with his electric stuff, he has produced a lot stronger numbers in the past, so he was more or less expected to at least reproduce similar-type numbers in a Phillies uniform.

As a result, Soto will certainly need to step up his game to show the Phillies’ faithful that he still got it, as by having an additional reliable flamethrower in the bullpen, it would put less stress on the Domínguez, Alvarado and Kimbrel threesome down the stretch, keeping them as fresh and effective as possible to be at their absolute best. Otherwise, if they become overworked, the results could potentially be detrimental to the health of the players, along with Phillies’ playoff hopes.