May 22, 2024

The Philadelphia Phillies’ success in the upcoming 2024 season hinges on several key factors. Their ability to maintain good health will be crucial, as injuries plagued them early in the 2023 season, contributing to their struggles and allowing the Atlanta Braves to establish a significant division lead. While some injuries were carryovers from their 2022 World Series run, such as Bryce Harper’s recovery from Tommy John surgery and Rhys Hoskins’ ACL tear, the team must focus on managing what they can control to avoid similar setbacks this year.

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One potential concern for the Phillies is their defensive performance. Todd Zolecki of highlights the importance of defensive prowess, noting the team’s fluctuating Defensive Runs Saved (DRS) numbers throughout the previous season. Despite a -8 DRS in April and May, they improved to a +12 DRS over the final four months. While injuries played a role, the replacements didn’t deliver as expected, highlighting an area where the team can exert influence.

To address defensive shortcomings, Bryce Harper will transition to first base full-time, with the coaching staff expressing confidence in his abilities at the position. Shortstop Trea Turner is anticipated to provide improved defense from the outset. However, outfielder Nick Castellanos, known for his subpar defensive skills, needs to show improvement. Second baseman Bryson Stott, a Gold Glove finalist last year, is expected to maintain his high defensive standard.

While the Phillies have bolstered their offense and pitching staff, defensive improvements could provide a significant boost as they aim for another deep postseason run.

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