The Philadelphia Phillies will be looking to return to the playoffs in 2023 after their unexpected run to the World Series in 2022. The 87-75 Phillies finished third in the NL East behind the Atlanta Braves and New York Mets, but they rode a hot streak to a National League Championship and a date with the Houston Astros, where they went down 4-2.
The Phillies start 2023 on the road before returning to Citizens Bank Park for their home opener against the Cincinnati Reds on Thursday, April 6. This is the first of three games against the Reds before a three-game series with the Miami Marlins follows. Phillies fans will also see a pair of series against the Colorado Rockies and Seattle Mariners in The City of Brotherly Love before the end of April.
Here are three questions for the Philadelphia Phillies ahead of the 2023 season.
Three Key Questions
Is there a World Series hangover?
Playing into November is a challenge. Loading back up and playing the next spring can also be incredibly difficult for players new to that experience. It doesn’t feel like an extra month of baseball would make that much difference, but history tells us that is not true. The Phillies will have to work hard to come out strong, which is especially important with the new schedule that takes away extra games against the bottom feeders in the NL East and spreads them out against other, more dangerous teams.
Is Trea Turner a legitimate MVP candidate?
The Phillies were set at three of the four infield positions entering the offseason. The one place they could improve in the infield was at shortstop. As luck would have it, this was a boom year for free agents playing short, with four such players commanding nine-figure deals for their signature. The player the Phillies wanted was Turner, and $300 million later, they had their man. The 2022 All-Star had a 121 OPS+ for the Dodgers last season. It has been over a decade (Ryan Howard in 2009) since the Phillies had a player with a 120 OPS+ or more in the lineup.
Is this the year for Alec Bohm?
Keep an eye on Alec Bohm early this season. In 44 games in 2020, he was a monster. In 2021, he looked to be headed out of the Majors. In 2022 it was a mixed bag, where he started slowly, got hot, then leveled off around league average. One noticeable difference for Bohm in 2023 is his size. He has always been tall – a good thing that you can’t do anything to change – but he reported to Spring Training notably thicker. If that extra muscle translates to power – as it should – then maybe Bohm will develop into the power hitter the organization thinks he can be.