The Philadelphia Phillies’ starting rotation is not in as bad of shape as it might seem. Opening day of the MLB Season is only a few days away, and yet, the Phillies are already feeling the effects of wear and tear. No, not from this season, but from a combination of the World Baseball Classic, a long World Series run in 2022, and a shortened offseason. A Phillies’ starting rotation that looked like it could include Aaron Nola, Zack Wheeler, Ranger Suarez, Taijuan Walker, and Andrew Painter, now looks to be destined to be Nola, Wheeler, Walker, Bailey Falter, and Matt Strahm, at least to start the season. These changes come after Ranger Suarez developed some forearm soreness in the World Baseball Classic and Andrew Painter suffered a UCL sprain in spring training, which have, understandably, diminished some of the excitement about the Phillies’ rotation early on in the season. Looking at the numbers, though, there is still reason to be excited about the 5 starters the Phils have to begin the year.

Last year, the Phillies’ starting rotation for the start of the 2022 season included Nola, Wheeler, Suarez, Zach Eflin, and Kyle Gibson, the latter two having less than ideal campaigns and ending the season not in the rotation. Going into the year, here’s how the numbers looked for career ERAs and Innings Pitched for each of those pitchers:

Nola: 3.68 ERA, 1023 IP

Wheeler: 3.51 ERA, 1033 IP

Suarez: 2.64 ERA, 173 IP

Eflin: 4.55 ERA, 583 IP

Gibson: 4.45 ERA, 1336 IP

Now, compare that to this year’s rotation, and the numbers that they come into the season with:

Nola: 3.60 ERA, 1228 IP

Wheeler: 3.42 ERA, 1186 IP

Taijuan Walker: 3.49 ERA, 898 IP

Bailey Falter: 4.36 ERA, 117 IP

Matt Strahm: 3.81 ERA, 304 IP

It’s a very interesting case study, and when you match up the pitchers from each year by spot in the rotation, there’s an argument to be made that each of the options for 2023 are better than their counterparts in 2022. Now, we do have to factor in the wear and tear on Nola and Wheeler as possible reasons for a regression this year, but that is an estimation, not a definite. If you’re worried about the Phillies’ rotation in 2023, well, maybe looking at last year will comfort you as to the ceiling of this team not being significantly affected.

Epic Head To Head Battle Between Carson Wentz and Phillies Pitcher

This story absolutely BLEW OUR MINDS when it came to learning that Carson Wentz and Phillies pitcher for the the PhilliesMatt Strahm, battled it out! Jeff Kurkjian is down in Clearwater, Florida learning all about how the Phillies are going to do this season and meeting some of the new additions to the team.

Matt Strahm

New Player, Who Dis?

Matt Strahm joined the Phillies this offseason when he signed a two-year deal in December. Strahm’s deal, first reported by The Athletic, is worth $15 million over two years. A huge addition to have the left-handed arm either out of the bullpen or within the starting rotation, huge get for the team.

Boston Red Sox v New York Yankees

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – SEPTEMBER 23: Matt Strahm #55 of the Boston Red Sox delivers a pitch in the eighth against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium on September 23, 2022 in the Bronx borough of New York City. The New York Yankees defeated the Boston Red Sox 5-4. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)


Strahm previously played for the Boston Red Sox and the San Diego Padres but also started his career with the team who drafted him, the Kansas City Royals. He was drafted in the 21st round of the 2012 MLB Draft.

He grew up in West Fargo, North Dakota and if you’re a Philly fan, well then maybe you’re familiar with another player from North Dakota but no, not a baseball player, a football player.

NFL Draft

CHICAGO, IL – APRIL 28: (L-R) Carson Wentz of the North Dakota State Bison holds up a jersey with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell after being picked #2 overall by the Philadelphia Eagles during the first round of the 2016 NFL Draft at the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University on April 28, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images)

Oh Boy, Why Are We Bringing This Guy Up?

Well funny enough, I had to ask Matt Strahm about being a North Dakota guy. I unfortunately assumed that they actually grew up together (which is very false, North Dakota is VERY BIG). But despite being a big state, they actually did have a run in with each other at the state championship baseball game.

Matt tells the story perfect, Carson Wentz and Phillies pitcher Matt Strahm head to head!!

  • Here's The Epic Matchup, Wentz vs Strahm

    We did NOT see this story coming!

  • Here's The Full Interview

    Jeff Kurkjian did a lot of chatting with the new Phillies pitcher, check out their full interview on our podcast below.

  • Did You See Jeff's Interview With Charlie Manuel??

    I was shocked when he said this about country music legend, Charley Pride! Check out the interview below.

    Charlie Manuel Didn't Think Charley Pride Would Become A Star

    You have to see this video to believe it! Charlie Manuel at one point in his career was actually roommates with the legendary country star, Charley Pride. They spent time together, according to Manuel, in North Dakota playing minor league baseball together.

  • Former Teammate of Tug McGraw Had Some Amazing Things To Say About Him

    This almost brought us to tears here in Clearwater, very powerful!

    Shocking Story About Tim McGraw's Dad Told By Amazing Teammate

    Jeff Kurkjian is in Clearwater, Florida and had a chance to talk with Dickie Noles, who was teammates with Tim McGraw's dad, Tug McGraw. Both Noles and McGraw played together on the 1980 World Championship Phillies. Mc Graw also played for the New York Mets, here he throwing out the first pitch at a game in Flushing, New York.

  • Thank Ashley Homestore!

    Phillies' Director of Fun & Games