The Phillies started strong in spring training, but are now in the middle of the pack

By Angelina Halas
March 15, 2020

Earlier, the Philadelphia Phillies were in first place in their spring training league, the Grapefruit League, with 13 wins and five losses. However, they are now, as spring training is suspended, in ninth place with 14 wins and 14 losses. 

The Phillies have highly advertised two of their new players, Didi Gregorious (shortstop) and Zach Wheeler (pitcher), along with new manager Joe Girardi

First time Didi Gregorious [left] and Zach Wheeler [right] put on their Phillies jerseys at a press conference. Screenshot from @phillies Instagram.
“It’s only spring training so you can’t get too excited with how they start out,” sports podcaster Joshua Sanchez said. “But, I believe the addition of Joe Girardi being the manager is going to help the Phillies the best.” 

Sanchez continued on to call out what the Phillies need to work on, but also showed some support.

“They still need another pitcher to complement Wheeler and [Aaron] Nola,” Sanchez said. “The bullpen could also use some help. Pitching in baseball is a necessity just like a goaltender in hockey. But other than that, I love Didi [Gregorious] and can’t wait for the Phillies to play on opening day.” 

In previous years, the Phillies have started off strong, winning many games, but then die down, losing harshly. They come back for a bit, just to lose again. 

Furthering his train of thought, Sanchez believes that consistent pitching is what will help the Phillies stay more consistent as a team. He also believes that staying healthy is vital, as losing [Andrew] McCutchen last year really hurt the team. 

Bryce Harper was all the rage last year as he signed his 13-year contract with the Phillies. Philadelphia expected a lot from him, and even though he had his highlights, many fans still believe Harper didn’t deliver his best at all. 

Recently, Harper has been talking about how much he loves Philadelphia, because they hold him “accountable.” Sanchez believes that Harper is much more comfortable with the city now and the city is much more comfortable with him as well. 

In a recent radio interview, Bryce Harper claimed that he would “run through a wall for this city [Philadelphia].” Photo taken last season by Angelina Halas.
“The first year is always tough in any relationship,” Sanchez joked. “He signed a long contract so the city has to be patient. He has 12 more years to deliver a championship to the city. As it gets closer to the end of his contract though, the pressure is going to increase more if he doesn’t deliver.” 

NBC Sports Philadelphia is only broadcasting 10 of the Phillies spring training games this season, potentially affecting fans keeping up with their knowledge of what’s going on. 

“It’s completely bogus,” Sanchez said. “But I think with apps like MLB TV, you can stay up to date with Phillies news.” 

Cabrini softball outfielder Kadirah Williams feels a little different about the subject. 

“I do think it will affect the fans. I’m currently one of those fans being affected,” Williams said. “It’s like we’re going into the season blindfolded because we don’t know what we’re missing during spring training.” 

Williams has high hopes for this season now that the Phillies have “a more polished shortstop [Didi Gregorious] and a better manager [Joe Girardi].” She’s hoping for the Phillies to make the playoffs this year. 

Photo of Phillies new manager Joe Giradi [left] and new shortstop Didi Gregorious [right] at a press conference. Screenshot from @phillies Instagram.
“They honestly just need to remember the little things and stay humble,” Williams said. “The small things are very important in baseball and it’s all about fundamentals.” 

In terms of Bryce Harper’s capabilities, Williams is holding it to a high standard. 

“He did well last season, but I do think he has way more to prove,” Williams said. “I think this season he will be even better. The longer he stays around the better it will get.” 

The Phillies home opener is scheduled for April 2, 2020, but could change due to concerns around the coronavirus. 

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Angelina Halas

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