Philadelphia Phillies: How does Girardi hiring affect NL East landscape

Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images /

Joe Girardi is the new Philadelphia Phillies manager. How will this hire affect the other teams in the division and who is the favorite?

The Philadelphia Phillies have moved on from their manager of the last two years in Gabe Kapler and opted for an experienced candidate in Joe Girardi. This hiring and another potentially important could play a massive role in restructuring the NL East heading into 2020.

Girardi is an experienced manager- recipient of the NL Manager of the Year award and a World Series champion. He has a reputation for drawing the best performances from his given roster of players. Therefore, he is the perfect fit for the underachieving Phillies of 2019.

The Phillies may not possess the deepest roster in the sport, however, the combination of Rhys Hoskins and Bryce Harper in the middle of the lineup, especially when paired a very productive cast of complementary position players, make become a real force.

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The Phillies’ most clear and present issue has long been their pitching- rotation and bullpen. Aaron Nola was the only starter that held a sub-4 ERA in 2019, as Zach Eflin, Jake Arrieta, and Vince Velazquez were all wildly inconsistent. However, with all that has currently been invested in this current club, one would imagine that improvements to the rotation are on the way during this offseason.

Perhaps Gerrit Cole is not destined for the City of Brotherly Love, yet Zack Wheeler must be a tempting option. First off, this would be a victory for them in that they are taking him away from the division-rival Mets and secondly he is a great pitcher, who would be a very welcome addition to their staff.

The David Robertson contract has ultimately backfired on the Phillies, although the fickle nature of elbow tendons can hardly cause anyone to find fault in the Philadelphia front office. Yet, a bullpen addition would be smart, as to simply build roster depth for a position that will always require it.

Given the pitching staff to win, Girardi can use his years of experience and, with what will in all likelihood be a primarily veteran team, steer them towards a playoff berth.

The Mets, primed to loose Wheeler, and with a potential Noah Syndergaard deal in the works are not likely to be a real playoff threat in 2020. However, the Philadelphia Phillies will have to try and navigate the minefield that comes with having the Braves and Nationals in the division. A Stephen Strasburg or Josh Donaldson’s departure from their respective teams might very well be the advantage that the Girardi-lead Phillies need, however, that is yet to be seen.

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At this juncture, the Nationals and Braves still have an advantage in the NL East. Yet, with an important offseason in store for the entire division, the landscape can be hastily reorganized with relative ease.