The Phillies entered 2023 with new pieces and a strong chance to win the franchise’s third World Series title. However, the Phillies failed to make it back to the Fall Classic after a collapse in the NLCS. Here’s our recap of the Phillies’ 2023 season.
The Phillies offense was once again one of the league’s best, as Philadephia ranked in the top ten in a number of categories, including wOBA (.329 – 6th).
There was no shortage of depth in the Phillies lineup, one that got better defensively when Johan Rojas was summoned to Philadelphia. Nine hitters belted at least 10 home runs in 2023, including Alec Bohm, Brandon Marsh, and Bryson Stott.
Kyle Schwarber continued to be an unorthodox leadoff hitter by yesterday’s standards, as he hit just .197 but also had a .343 OBP and 47 home runs. Trea Turner overcame a slow first half to be a 25-25 player just months after he signed a massive deal. Nick Castellanos hit 29 home runs and found his groove again, while Bryce Harper was one of the game’s best yet again in the second half.
Harper finished 10th in the Majors in OPS (.996) after the All-Star break (min. 200 PA).
Left-hander Jose Alvarado (1.74 ERA, 64 K over 41.1 IP) was electric when healthy, and the likes of Matt Strahm and Craig Kimbrel proved to be mostly successful in their first season with the Phillies.
However, maybe the best story from 2023 was Jeff Hoffman. The former 2014 first-round pick has transformed into a dominant reliever. Hoffman struck out 69 over 52.1 IP and owned a tidy 2.41 ERA (0.92 WHIP).
The numbers from some of Philadelphia’s starters were not as impressive in 2023, at least compared to 2022.
Right-hander Aaron Nola still missed plenty of bats this past season, but a slight spike in BB/9 (2.1) in 2023 and thirteen more home runs resulted in a 4.46 ERA.
Taijuan Walker, meanwhile, won 15 games in his first season with the Phillies but gave up more contact and runs in the second half. The righty did not pitch for the Phillies in the postseason.
The 2023 campaign was also not kind to Andrew Bellatti, a key piece to the Phillies bullpen last year. Bellatti owned a 5.11 ERA over 24.2 Major League innings in 2023, not as great as his 2022 (3.31 ERA, 12.9 K/9 in 54.1 IP).
However, the biggest failure from 2023 was the Phillies’ inability to close out the NLCS against the Diamondbacks. The Phillies entered Game 3 in Arizona with a 2-0 lead and left with a 3-2 lead. However, two straight losses at Citizens Bank Ballpark ended the Phillies’ 2023 campaign.
What to Look For in 2024
The Phillies’ window for contention hasn’t closed by any means, but this team may look quite different — at least on the pitching side of things.
Craig Kimbrel is a free agent, but Philly may opt to not retain the righty after a rough stretch in the NLCS. As for the rotation, Aaron Nola — who was given a qualifying offer — will head to free agency after a very strong postseason run. The veteran righty posted a 2.35 ERA and 23 strikeouts over 23 innings.
Should Nola walk, the Phillies have an early projected rotation of Wheeler, Walker, Ranger Suarez, Cristopher Sanchez, and a potential hole for the fifth spot. Philadelphia could look towards internal options like top prospects Mick Abel or Griff McGarry to take that spot. Andrew Painter would be another option had he not undergone Tommy John surgery this past summer.
Philadelphia is also set to lose 1B Rhys Hoskins, who provided some major power for the Phillies for a number of years. The Phillies’ current lineup in the outfield and Harper at first did work well this past season, which complicates any sort of potential reunion.