Opening day is here. While Trea Turner may be what Phillies fans look most forward to seeing, the rotation should not be overlooked. Andrew Painter’s much-anticipated debut has been put on hold while he recovers from an injury. And Ranger Suarez is starting the season on the shelf as well. So we may have to wait a bit to see this rotation in its full glory. But make no mistake, this team’s rotation is going to be great once they get everyone healthy. How great? MLB.com ranked all the rotations in the MLB, and the Phillies came in at 5th on the list, despite the injuries.
It all starts with the 1-2 punch at the front of the rotation. Aaron Nola and Zack Wheeler have both been Cy Young finalists in the past. Nola in a contract year will be looking to ensure himself true Ace money. And Zack Wheeler has been money for the Phillies ever since he signed here. These two are a huge reason why they came in at 5th on MLB.com’s list.
“The Phillies boast one of the best one-two combos in the game in Wheeler and Nola, as either of whom is capable of a Cy Young season. Nola’s entering a contract year and coming off a 2022 in which he posted a career-best 0.96 WHIP in 205 innings. Wheeler’s 149 ERA+ over the past three seasons is the fifth-best in MLB among those with at least 400 innings.”
But the rotation does not fall off there. Ranger Suarez may be hurt now, but anyone who watched him last year, especially in the playoffs, knows he can hold his own with those other guys. Since moving into the starting rotation, Ranger Suarez boasts a 2.72 ERA. Last season he had a 3.62 ERA. And in the playoffs, it went all the way down to a 1.23 ERA. Ranger is legit. He faced the Braves, Padres, and Astros lineups in the playoffs, and he didn’t blink. He sometimes gets overlooked among Nola and Wheeler. But he has more than proven that his name belongs among theirs.
After those 3, they added Taijuan Walker. His signing has gone under the radar a bit. Which is understandable in an offseason where they added Trea Turner. But he is their 4th starter and had an ERA of 3.49 last season.
Walker showed just how good he can be when he pitched for Team Mexico in the World Baseball Classic.
Eight strikeouts in 4 innings, Taijuan Walker put on a show for Team Mexico. #WorldBaseballClassic— World Baseball Classic (@WBCBaseball) March 15, 2023
(MLB x @EstrellaJalisco) pic.twitter.com/YcCePke5tP
Last year the Phillies lacked a 4th starter they could trust in the playoffs. Leading them to overuse Wheeler, Nola, and their bullpen. In Walker, they have a 4th guy they can hand the ball to and trust he can give you solid innings come playoff time.
And then finally the wild card is going to be Andrew Painter. The young phenom is considered the top pitching prospect in all of baseball. Currently, he is on the mend. But that could be a small blessing in disguise. Painter was always going to be on a pitch count. Now he may have more in the tank later in the season.
Here are the 4 rotations that came in above them:
- Max Scherzer
- Justin Verlander
- Kodai Senga
- Carlos Carrasco
- David Peterson
- Jose Quintana
- Corbin Burnes
- Brandon Woodruff
- Freddy Peralta
- Eric Lauer
- Wade Miley
- Adrian Houser
- Max Fried
- Spencer Strider
- Kyle Wright
- Charlie Morton
- Jared Shuster
- Michael Soroka
- Jacob deGrom
- Martín Pérez
- Nathan Eovaldi
- Jon Gray
- Andrew Heaney
- Jake Odorizzi
The Phillies don’t have the 6th guy many of these teams have. Bailey Falter flashed at times last year. But he looked bad in Spring, and he looked worse in the Playoffs. But the Phillies’ top 5 guys could be as good, if not better than any of these other 4 teams. There are many reasons to be excited about the Phillies season. The rotation is definitely one of them. Especially once they get healthy.
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Meet The 2023 Phillies (Probable) Opening Day Roster