Another year, another run through the league to ultimately come up wanting more. After coming up short in game seven of the NLCS against the Arizona Diamondbacks, Phillies fans are once again struck with disappointment. While this pattern of losses, so close to a title, has taken a toll on philly sports fans citywide, there is still much to be proud of this season.
Phllies’ Shortstop, Trea Turner had a remarkable comeback in the second half of the season. Just reaching 29 RBI and 8HR from March to June 1st, Trae turned it around with a whopping 47 RBI and 18 HR in the second half of the season.
Representing the Phillies in the 2023 All-star game, right fielder Nick Castellanos exhibited much more plate discipline this season than last. While the rest of the line up was shaky throughout the initial games of the season, Castellanos served as a vital offensive contributor with 29 home runs and 106 run base ins, making history with three home runs in game one of the NLCS against the diamondbacks.
All star first basemen, Bryce Harper had an explosive comeback in the postseason after undergoing surgery on his right elbow and displaying a weak return to play in the majority of the regular season.
Phillies manager Rob Thompson reports to MLB media “If you look at his year, he really didn’t have a Spring Training. He actually started off fairly good [in May] and then there’s a fatigue factor that sets in. And then when the fatigue sets in, sometimes you change your swing. It’s a confidence thing so he’s got to work through all those things. And finally he got it.”
Individual players aside, the team really pulled it together by the end of the season and despite a disappointing final loss, managed an impressive record of 90-72, and a formidable 220 total team home runs.
In his end of season press conference, Thompson again expressed how the Phillies “have a lot to work on” and announced that the Phillies bullpen coach Dave Lundquist and assistant hitting coach Jason Camilli will not return next season.
In the upcoming 2024 season, there is much uncertainty as to what the team will look like. Will starting pitcher Aaron Nola, their longest-tenured player and pending free agent, return? If Nola does leave in free agency, how will the Phillies replace his 200-plus innings per year? Is there room for Rhys Hoskins, the Phillies' second-longest tenured player, to come back? Hoskins is also a pending free agent and missed the 2023 season after he tore his left ACL during spring training.