Could the Philadelphia Phillies find themselves atop of the NL East?

(Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
(Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images) /

After a very disappointing finish in the division last year, could the Philadelphia Phillies be in for the most significant rebound in what could be the top division in baseball?

Let’s flashback to March 1st of this year. Around 3 p.m. that day, nearly every Philadelphia Phillies’ fan got a notification on their phone.

Breaking: The Philadelphia Phillies have signed Bryce Harper to a record-breaking 13 year/ $330 million contract. 

Fans immediately bought tickets, merchandise; you name it. Citizens Bank Park was soon to be the most filled stadium in the MLB. The Phillies were destined to make the playoffs for the first time since the 2011 season.

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The Phillies were definitely en route to the playoffs and maybe even a World Series, right?


This same team went from high hopes of a possible World Series run to a .500 record and fourth in the NL East. Sure, the Phillies finished 10th in the MLB in fan attendance, but those sales all came before the season even began.

What Went Wrong?


Just like many Philadelphia teams, the injury bug plagued the Phillies early. McCutchen suffered a controversial and fluke injury and threw the lead-off spot into a frenzy. Without him in the lineup, the Phils never found another leadoff hitter and never found offensive consistency.

David Robertson, Tommy Hunter, Seranthony Dominguez, Adam Morgan, Pat Neshek, and Victor Arano were all supposed to lead the charge late in games. However, these six players combined for a lackluster 89 innings.

This is not to mention the mid-season injuries to Jake Arrieta, Scott Kingery, and Jean Segura, which arguably ruined their hot streaks.

Couldn’t Click

Throughout the entire season, the Phillies seemed to only have one player get hot at a time. When Hoskins was swinging the bat well (for the very short amount of time that he was), Harper wasn’t. Kingery may have been getting hits in what seemed every at-bat, but six other players couldn’t even reach base.

Let’s not forget to mention the Phillies’ pitching staff, who, between the starters and the bullpen, did not seem to have it together throughout the entire season. That in itself could be an entire article.

Inconsistency was the definition of the 2019 Philadelphia Phillies. Sure, they were toying with different lineups each game. However, there was no excuse for how poor and inconsistent they were, especially when it mattered most.


Manager Gabe Kapler and the rest of his staff needed to go, plain and simple. Kapler was presented with a lineup to make the playoffs, and couldn’t even finish top three in the division.

The lack of accountability, the lack of development, and the lack of overall effort gleamed night in and night out of the Phillies’ clubhouse. To make a long story short, it was just flat-out bad.

Turning It Around For 2020

The Philadelphia Phillies will turn things around in 2020.

Newly hired manager Joe Girardi, along with his new staff, will bring the Phillies to the promised land this season. Girardi has a World Series resume and has a track record for “keeping it real” with players and not sugar-coating anything. He fits the mold that a city desperate for a good baseball team needs.

Along with this, new acquisitions Zack Wheeler and Didi Gregorius will look to contribute daily for the Phils. Young guns Alec Bohm and Spencer Howard look to crack the major leagues and make an immediate impact. With a revamped pitching staff and lack of hustle guys like Maikel Franco and Cesar Hernandez not returning in red pinstripes, the Phillies look to reach their potential.

The NL East could arguably be the best and most competitive division in the MLB. However, the Washington Nationals, New York Mets, and Atlanta Braves are all losing a few key players. Coming off a championship season, the Nationals lost marquee free agent Anthony Rendon. Zack Wheeler found his way to Philadelphia. The Braves will be losing Dallas Keuchel and Julio Teheran, while most likely not resigning Josh Donaldson.

Despite the losses, all three teams will still compete. Each team knows what it takes and has the leadership and front office moves to prove it – except for maybe the Mets, who are, in fact, still the Mets.

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However, if the Philadelphia Phillies can find that one needed infielder and a mid-market pitcher to force Vince Velasquez and Nick Pivetta out of the lineup, they will compete with the best of them.