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The Dickinsonian

The student news site of Dickinson College.

The Dickinsonian

The student news site of Dickinson College.

The Dickinsonian

Phillies are fighting this pre-season


The Philadelphia Phillies had a very successful season last year. They finished second in a strong NL East and easily could’ve made the World Series. However, they are currently 9-14 with opening day approaching quickly. 


As a Phillies fan, I’m concerned.

The Phillies had a great season last year and many fans are drawing comparisons between this season and the World Series winning seasons of 1980 and 2008, but facts don’t lie. You can believe in superstitions all you want, but losing 2-11 to the Pittsburgh Pirates and continuing to lose does not give me confidence in this team. 


Sure, it’s spring training and the Phillies are just warming up, but this does not look like the winning team we saw last year whose spring training record was 16-15. 


During the offseason, the Phillies decided to not bring back their homegrown first baseman Rhys Hoskins, but signed Whit Merrifield.


After watching Merrifield play in pre-season games, it is clear that he is a versatile player. Although he may not start because the Phillies already have a solid lineup, Merrifield is useful against left handed pitchers, and is a good addition to the already strong team. 


Looking at the batting line up, Merrifield could step in for Johan Rojas. Rojas is a fast and talented defensive player in center field, but struggles mightily at the plate. He admits his swing needs work, and said that is what he is focusing on this pre-season, but I have not seen much improvement. 


Jake Cave is also headed to the Colorado Rockies, which is an unfortunate loss. Although not a star player, I enjoyed watching Cave play. He was a good addition to the team’s morale and the bench. 


Although the players are healthy, I am concerned about the potential lingering issues. Brandon Marsh’s knee surgery worries me. Last year we saw Bryce Harper, who just came back from Tommy John(TJ) surgery, get hit in the recovering elbow at first base. I’m glad Harper is well, but anything can happen when it comes to injuries. 


Zach Wheeler’s contract was renewed, which keeps a strong, experienced pitcher in the rotation. 


As contracts were being negotiated, star player Harper wanted in on the action too. Harper already has eight years left in his 13-year contract, however he wants more. Harper wants to keep playing for Philly, which has its pros and cons. The pro is that he is loved by fans and has become the face of the team and brand. Harper is good publicity and contributes to many Philly based charities. 


The main concern of fans is Harper’s age. Although Harper is the MVP of the team, even after a remarkably quick TJ recovery, he will be 39 at the end of his contract. I’ve heard people say that Harper is a superhuman, but even pro-athletes age. 


Early in the pre-season the Phillies were hot, winning four and tying three out of their first 10 games, but an illness swept through the team and knocked the Phils out of their groove. They have not been the same. 


I’m definitely excited to see where this season will take. The Phillies and I will stay positive and have “High Hopes,” even after this brutal spring training

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