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2024 Phils’ New Year’s Resolutions: Four Goals for the Phillies Nation

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The Phillies have been close enough to glory the last two seasons that they could practically taste it. Neither ended the way they hoped — with 2023 ending in particularly gutting fashion — but with the new year comes new opportunities for a team hopeful to parade down Broad Street for the third time in franchise history.

With that in mind, here’s a non-exhaustive list of four 2024 New Year’s resolutions that’ll help the club get there.

1 — Add, or extend, a starter

The Phillies’ pursuit of Yoshinobu Yamamoto may have fallen short, but the club reportedly remains in on frontline starting pitching, including Blake Snell and Jordan Montgomery. (The preference here would be Montgomery, but it’d be hard to complain with the reigning National League Cy Young Award winner.)

It still seems like Dave Dombrowski and co. will be more opportunistic than aggressive as it pertains to the big fish still available, so unless the market for either of those two arms craters (which it may; it’s already January), the Phillies may be a long shot. Enter: Shōta Imanaga, who projects as a solid No. 3 or No. 4 starter, is unlikely to cost nine figures and would be another step in the Phillies’ efforts to establish themselves in the Japanese market.

If they can’t win out on anyone, the Phillies would be wise to pivot to a Zack Wheeler extension, reportedly the “No. 1 priority” for the rest of the offseason. Really, they should do that anyway.

2 — Stop chasing

Easier said than done, of course. But if there’s one thing culprit for the Phillies’ NLCS offensive ineptitude after Games 1 and 2, it was lack of discipline at the plate — and chasing was a season-long theme as well. They hired two new assistant coaches who the club hopes can help with those issues.

The answer probably isn’t a major change to the lineup — the everyday starters seem pretty much set, and it would be hard to upgrade all that much anyway — but whatever that answer is, it would behoove Nick Castellanos, J.T. Realmuto, Trea Turner and the rest of the Phillies to find it.

3 — New Year, new April/May

The Phillies have found a new formula to reach the postseason, and they seem committed to the bit: Stink in April and May, dig themselves into a huge hole that’s a few more weeks of bad baseball from insurmountable, catch fire in June to make up for it and roll from there.

News flash: It’s not sustainable, and they really shouldn’t do that again.

In 2022, they started 21-29 through the end of May, then went on an eight-game winning streak that nearly correlated exactly with Rob Thomson’s promotion to interim manager and played .589 ball from June on out. In 2023, they started a slightly-better 25-32 through June 2, then won six straight to start a 105-game stretch with a .619 winning percentage.

It’s fun, for sure. But it’s hard to rely on those clips once again in 2024, and at the very least, a half-respectable first two months of the season would make the final one a whole lot less stressful.

4 — Don’t be like the Eagles

If the Phillies take resolution No. 3 to heart, they’ll start the season 46-12 as the clear-cut best team in the league and position themselves as the favorites to win the whole thing. That, though, is where the similarities between them and their Sports Complex neighbor Eagles should stop.

Each of the past two seasons, the Phillies have played their best baseball in the second half. Even if they hit somewhat of a lull in September as they’ve geared up for the postseason, August has been their second-best month of each season (after only June, of course), and they’ve used their second-half surges to get to the Fall Classic, or to the brink of it.

There are ways to follow that trend in 2024. A signing of Imanaga, for instance, would allow for a six-man rotation and keep the starters fresh for the second half and postseason. Point is: Yet another crushing Philadelphia loss to Arizona on Sunday has the Eagles at rock bottom just two weeks before the playoffs, and the existence of the NFC South might be the only thing saving them from a first-round exit. It’s antithetical to the formula the Phillies have established, and it would be good for the baseball team to keep it that way.






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