The Philadelphia Phillies got off to a hot start in 2018 before fading over the final two months. This year, they are looking to build on the first part of last year.
For the first four and a half months of the 2018 season, the Philadelphia Phillies were one of he great stories in baseball. After finishing in the basement of the National League East in 2017, they got out to a hot start, leading the division through the trade deadline. The offsesaon acquisitions of Jake Arrieta and Carlos Santana, two prized free agents that had been brought in to help return the Phillies to contention, were doing their part. Aaron Nola had emerged as a viable Cy Young candidate. There were some concerns about the roster, particularly in the bullpen, but the Phillies were seemingly ready to be a part of the postseason.
Everything fell apart over the final two months. After August 12, when the Phillies were sitting at 65-52, tied for first in the division, they cratered. Philadelphia was 15-30 over their final 45 games, not only falling out of the playoff hunt, but being passed by the Nationals for second in the division. A season that had begun with so much promise proved to be a bitter disappointment.
But changes are coming for the 2019 campaign. Ownership has indicated that they have quite a bit of money to spend, to the point of “being stupid” with their offers. Santana is already out the door, allowing Rhys Hoskins to return to first base. Jean Segura and Andrew McCutchen are already on board, two veterans that will provide an upgrade at short and in the outfield. There are still areas of concern, but the Phillies are looking to make sure the roster is ready to withstand a full season.
What lies ahead for the Philadelphia Phillies? Let us begin by taking a look back at last season before looking forward.