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Phillies Notes: Harper, Outfield, NOLA

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Phillies President of Baseball Operations Dave Dombrowski recently appeared on Philadelphia radio station WIP-FM, with Alex Coffey of The Athletic relaying Some from for him comments on me Twitter.

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One major storyline for the Phillies this year revolves around them Bryce Harper. The star player was diagnosed with a torn ulnar collateral ligament in May last year, which prevented him from pitching but allowed him to serve as a designated hitter. His constant presence in the lineup helped the club earn a Wild Card berth and eventually reach the World Series. Then, he finally had Tommy John surgery in November, with the club announcing at the time that they expected him out until the end of the All-Star break.

Everything with that plan still seems fine, with Dombrowski saying Harper’s rehabilitation has gone well up to this point. Harper is expected to start swinging at bats around the end of March and could return to the lineup around the time of the All-Star festivities, as initially expected.

One implication of this situation for Harper is that the Phils will have a designated slot open for the first half but Harper will take over as soon as he is able. The club could theoretically look outside the organization to find another striker to fill the void, but they seemed satisfied enough with internal candidates that Dombrowski would not expect a “major buyout”. He made the list Alec BoomAnd Rhys Hoskins And JT Realmoto as candidates to take over some time in that time period.

Bohm and Hoskins are set to corner in Philly just as they have in previous seasons. However, neither of them are particularly strong defenders. Bohm scored 2,280 2/3 runs at third base in his career but compiled -36 defensive points saved, -11 points above average and -2.8 absolute zone rating. Hoskins, meanwhile, has 4,195 runs at first base with -7 DRS, -12 OAA, despite having a positive 5.4 UZR. Backup hackers Cody ClemensAnd Edmund Sousa And Dalton Guthrie They could get some extra time on the field while Bohm and Hoskins get some DH at-bats. Clemens has played both cornerbacks and second base in the majors to date while Sosa has played the three left positions of first base and Guthrie has played second and third. Realmuto is an excellent fullback but catcher can’t stoop behind the plate every day. Since he’s also a great hitter, it makes sense to use a DH spot to get him into the lineup more frequently.

On the field, he’s a must-have everyday regular Nick CastellanosAnd Kyle Schwarber And Brandon Marsh. Neither Castellanos nor Schwarber are great defenders on the turf, which would make them candidates for HD as well. Even if that happens, Dombrowski is satisfied with the depth they have, Guthrie stated Jake how. Since they’re so picky about their depth options, Dombrowski says they’re “basically set” with the addition that more depth can always be added via a small league deal.

Looking to the future, the Phillies have a lot of unknowns in their rotation since then Aaron Nola He is now in the final year of his contract. “It’s something we’d love to do,” Dombrowski said of the NOLA extension. We want Aaron to stay in the organization for a long time, no doubt. We love it. We love his abilities. I know he loves it in Philadelphia. So that’s something that’s going to be on our minds… It’s never easy to be able to get it done but we’d like to keep Aaron in the organization for a long time.”

NOLA, June 30, is about to start his ninth season in the MLB and so far has a 3.60 ERA through 1,288 1/3 innings pitched. He hit 27.5% of batters facing them while walking 6.5% of them, and kept the ball on the ground 47.9%. Since his 2015 debut, his 29.9 fWAR is the sixth-most in the league. It is not surprising, then, that the club would like to keep him, as he is one of the few aces in the league. Of course, this excellent work also means that it will not come cheap. Some recent free agent trades for excellent starting pitchers have gone into nine-figure territory, with Jacob DeGrum She recently earned $185 million and Carlos Rodon $162 million. It doesn’t seem like anything is particularly close between Nola and the Phillies, but if they really want him back for next year and beyond, that would certainly require adding another massive contract to their books.

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