3 Philadelphia Phillies players who have proven we can trust them

Mandatory Credit: Billy Hurst-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Billy Hurst-USA TODAY Sports /
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Philadelphia Phillies
Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports /

Zack Wheeler has become the team’s ace and has fully earned our trust

New York Mets fans were waiting for Zack Wheeler to develop into a Cy Young-worthy pitcher. Injuries got in the way. By the time he was showing the potential to do some serious damage to other teams, he hit free agency, and New York let him go.

The Phillies were fortunate to jump on him. In just two seasons, he has proven his value.

Wheeler’s Cy Young case was strong last season. At 14-10 with a 2.78 ERA, he was the league’s leader in complete games, shutouts, and innings pitched. His 247 strikeouts led the league as well in what resulted as a 7.6 WAR season. And before you go checking, yes, the WAR was another league-leading total for the Cy Young runner-up.

Add in his totals from the shortened 2020 campaign, and Wheeler is 18-12 with a 2.82 ERA as a member of the Phillies. He has been beyond brilliant. Any thoughts as to who the ace of this pitching staff is have died with Wheeler taking the ball and running far away from Aaron Nola.

Starting pitching has not been a strength of the Phillies for the decade-long playoff drought they’re currently enduring. Wheeler is an outlier. With three seasons left to go on his deal, there’s no reason to doubt he’ll be able to continue on as one of the best starters in the game.