The Philadelphia Phillies had another underwhelming season in 2020. They finished 29-32 good for a third-place finish in the NL East and another October without postseason baseball. Even though the Phillies made some solid moves this offseason, they didn’t do anything that could propel them over the Mets or Braves.
The Phillies have a very strong lineup heading into 2021. Of course, there are the obvious highlights of Bryce Harper and JT Realmuto but there are also some very underrated pieces as well. Shortstop Didi Gregorius returns on a two-year deal worth $28 million. Gregorius had a solid season for Philadelphia having a .284 AVG, 10 HR, and 40 RBI.
Don’t forget this was a season in which superstars such as Pete Alonso and Kris Bryant struggled throughout. The fact that Gregorius was able to put up these numbers in a COVID shortened season while playing all 60 games proves he is one of the most underrated players in the league. Look for him to have another solid season for the Phillies.
The Phillies’ lineup also has former Pirates superstar Andrew McCutchen and two-time all-star, Jean Segura. Although these names aren’t as flashy as Harper or Realmuto, they should all provide Philadelphia solid seasons at the plate in 2021.
Now, this is where the problems start to arise for the Phillies. Other than ace Aaron Nola, there is nothing to be impressed with about this Phillies rotation. Sure, they also have Zack Wheeler but he hasn’t proven that he could pitch consistently in a 162 game season. During Wheeler’s tenure with the New York Mets, he would be mediocre before the all-star break and spectacular after the all-star break.
Unfortunately for Zack Wheeler, you play 162 games in a full season, not 81. While Wheeler did have a solid year in 2020 it was in a 60 game COVID-19 shortened season. He remains to be Philadelphia’s biggest question mark heading into 2021.
Phillies fans should expect their games to be shootouts if they want to stay competitive in a loaded NL East. Because when Nola or Wheeler isn’t on the mound, Zach Elfin or Vince Valasquez are not going to win you ball games.
The Phillies had one of the worst bullpens in 2020. However, they did make some under-the-radar moves to bolster their pen for next season. I love the signing of closer Archie Bradley as he should be the future closer for years to come.
I also like the signing of veterans Tony Watson and Brandon Kintzler. Both of these guys should add a veteran presence to a Phillies bullpen that blew leads left and right in 2020. Expect the Phillies bullpen to improve but still be one of the weaker parts of the team.
The Philadelphia Phillies have a top ten lineup, a mediocre rotation, and a questionable bullpen. Will it be enough for a postseason berth.
Unfortunately, I just don’t think that the Phillies can compete in a division with the likes of Ronald Acuna Jr, Jacob DeGrom, Francisco Lindor, and Juan Soto. The Phillies will be a competitive team in 2021 but will miss the playoffs for the tenth consecutive season with 83 wins.