Jeremy Hellickson, Charlie Morton, Vincent Velasquez, Peter Bourjos, David Hernandez
The key to the Phillies offseason was their trading of Giles. Giles was a premium option as a closer, but the Phillies are a far way from being a team that is in the position to have a stud closer. They won’t be winning much, and in trading Giles they took advantage and boosted their farm system while adding a potential starter this year in Velasquez. The rest of their moves are stop gap types and place fillers. This is another team looking to shuffle young talent in while the cheap vets hold down spots in their progression.
Projected Playoff Lineup
- Peter Bourjos
- Cesar Hernandez
- Odubel Herrera
- Maikel Franco
- Ryan Howard/Darin Ruf
- Cameron Rupp
- Freddy Galvis
- Tyler Goeddel
The Phillies are finally to the point of their rebuild where we are starting to see the future core. Between Hernandez. Herrera, Franco, Galvis and Goeddel they have five opening day starters with an average age of 24. Hernandez, Herrera, and Franco are positioned 2-4 in the lineup and if all goes well they could be up towards the top for the future. Galvis and Goeddel are guys who are better known for their speed and defense, but given their youth they can earn trust in the lineup, especially Galvis who looked good at times in his rookie year last year. Other names to watch as they may make an appearance this year are catcher Jorge Alfaro, and infielder JP Crawford.
With Nola on top of the rotation, it resembles the lineup in the way that the upside of the future is finally poking its head out. Nola posted a 3.59 ERA with 7.8 K/9 rate last year as a 21-year old rookie. He should only be improving from here and has the chance to be an ace for the next 5-10 years. Velasquez is only 23 and came in the Giles trade from the Astros. The Stros looked at his future as being a guy who can hold down the back end of a rotation. Given that the Phillies rotation is much less complete, Velasquez will be given every chance to start, and move up their rotation and become a name for the future of the Phillies. However, it is assumed in the worst case he will be a strong back end option that they can build with. Hellickson and Morton are good to eat innings, which is big given that the young guns may need starts off. Mark Appel is another young name who may emerge, but that more than likely will not happen until closer to August.
In the Giles trade the Phillies showed how much they currently care about investing in their pen. Their pen features a plethora of veteran arms, most with little background, and while they may get a lot of innings with the young arms, they also may shuffle around the pen to see who can fit with them moving forward.
At the end of the day the expectations should be low in Philadelphia. They have no chance of the playoffs, but given their lineup, this is the year when they need to see optimism. Franco and Nola are the two with the most breakout potential, and Hernandez and Herrera can be supplanted as solid everyday starters. As long as the young names can take a step forward, the record won’t matter this year.
4th in the NL East