The Best Show Ever?

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Aaron Nola is a very talented pitcher. He is also someone you can never fully trust on the mound. Yesterday was a familiar experience. Aaron Nola cruised through 3 innings. And the bats did their job and gave him a 5-run lead. But then one bad inning chased Nola from the game and blew the big lead. Every pitcher has bad games. But with Nola, it feels like Deja Vu. Many fans immediately flashed back to his performance in the NLCS Game 2, where they gave him a 4-run lead over the Padres, just for him to blow it a few innings later.

Nola had a hell of a season last year. He finished with a 3.25 ERA and 235 strikeouts. And it was Nola who pitched a gem vs the Astros to clinch the playoffs for them. That carried over into his first two outings in the playoffs vs the Cardinals and Braves. But his last 3 playoff performances were nowhere near as pretty. The Padres hit him around. Then he imploded twice vs the Astros.

It puts the Phillies in a tough spot. Nola is a free agent after this season. He is clearly a talented pitcher. But he continually comes up small. It is not even about yesterday. He will probably bounce back from that disaster and have a very good regular season. But unless he shows up in the playoffs, and does not fall apart like last time, how can the Phillies trust him? Especially with the type of money he is apparently asking for.

Jayson Stark joined The Best Show Ever earlier this week and said the two sides were very far apart because Aaron Nola was asking for true Ace-level money.

“They were really far apart. He is looking for $200 million, maybe a lot more than $200 million. The guys who have gotten that money, they are all former Cy Youngs. Stephen Strasburg. That is not what Aaron Nola has done.  If you look at all the $200 million starters, he is hard to fit… Either this is going to get really expensive, or he has a chance to be elsewhere.”- Jayson Stark

Zack Wheeler has shown you can trust him in big situations. Ranger Suarez has shown you can trust him in big situations. Has Aaron Nola? There are too many examples of Nola falling apart late in years, or last year in the playoffs. Yesterday’s 4th inning collapse could just be a blip on the radar. But stuff like that happens way too much for him. Nola is still a very talented pitcher. But talented does not always mean great. And until he shows that he can be trusted to not implode, it is going to be very hard for the Phillies to trust him with a big contract. Yesterday was a reminder of that.

Meet The 2023 Phillies (Probable) Opening Day Roster

The Philadelphia Phillies open up their season on Thursday at 4:05pm in Texas against the Rangers, as the most anticipated season in over a decade begins in earnest. It’s a year with great expectations, amazing new talent, a difficult division, and incredible moments just waiting to happen. Ahead of the team taking the field, let’s take a look at the players who are projected to – the official opening day roster has not yet been released – be the ones making those moments a reality in Philly this year.

  • Catchers:

  • JT Realmuto

    Realmuto will once again be the starting catcher. BCIB.

  • Garrett Stubbs

    Stubbs played a solid backup to Realmuto last season, and is expected to again this year.

  • Infielders:

  • Darick Hall

    Hall will most likely be the main starting 1st baseman with Rhys Hoskins’ ACL injury.

  • Bryson Stott

    Stott shifts to 2nd for the 2023 season with a new addition at shortstop, he’ll start in the middle for the Phils.

  • Trea Turner

    The Phillies’ biggest offseason addition, and arguably the best shortstop in baseball, Turner starts his tenure as a mainstay in the middle of the Phils’ infield.

  • Alec Bohm

    Bohm had an awesome spring, and the Phillies will be looking for their young starting 3rd baseman to make a big jump this season.

  • Edmundo Sosa

    Sosa is a utility player extraordinaire, who could probably start on some MLB teams. For the Phillies, he’ll be the first infielder off the bench and may even see some outfield time.


  • Josh Harrison

    The wily vet of the infield, Harrison is a defensive specialist who will see a share of innings as either a spot starter or a defensive replacement late in games.

  • Outfielders:

  • Kyle Schwarber

    Schwarber will be starting for the Phils again, whether it’s LF or DH. The NL home run champ from last year is looking for another big year.

  • Brandon Marsh

    With a strong offseason behind him, Marsh looks for an improved year as the Phillies’ everyday starter in center.

  • Nick Castellanos

    With Bryce Harper injured, Nick Castellanos will start in RF for the Phils, and he is looking for a bounce back year from a forgetful 2022.

  • Jake Cave

    Cave had an outstanding spring training, and earned a spot as an outfield depth piece on this roster. He may also DH with Darick Hall starting at 1B.

  • Dalton Guthrie

    Guthrie may not have made this roster without the Rhys Hoskins injury, but the team still has confidence in the young outfielder to be a serviceable defensive backup.

  • Starting Pitchers:

  • Aaron Nola

    Your opening day starter for the 6th straight year.

  • Zack Wheeler

    Wheeler is back for hopefully another dominant season.

  • Taijuan Walker

    Walker comes to Philly from the NY Mets via free agency, and is one of the more underrated offseason acquisitions in all of baseball.

  • Bailey Falter

    With Ranger Suarez’s injury setback, Falter is set to slot into the 4th spot in the rotation to start the season.

  • Matt Strahm

    Strahm, who was signed this offseason as a bullpen piece, will be forced into the 5th starter role due to the Suarez injury. The last time he was a bona fide starter was with the San Diego Padres back in 2019.

  • The Bullpen:

  • Seranthony Dominguez

    Armed with a contract extension, Dominguez has a chance to be the team’s set closer this season.

  • Gregory Soto

    Soto is probably the other guy in contention for the closer role this season after the Phillies traded for him from the Detroit Tigers.

  • Jose Alvarado

    Also extended this offseason, Alvarado looks to build on an outstanding 2022 campaign.

  • Craig Kimbrel

    The long time closer may not close for the Phillies, but he’s still a more than serviceable bullpen arm.

  • Connor Brogdon

    Brogdon is back, and this year he has a mustache. Can’t have a bad year with a mustache.

  • Andrew Bellatti

    Bellatti was the breakout bullpen arm of 2022, and has now solidified his roster spot for 2023.

  • Yunior Marte

    Marte was acquired this offseason from the San Francisco Giants, and he will be pushed into a bullpen role, at least until the starting rotation turns to strength.

  • Andrew Vasquez

    Vasquez is unproven, but had a solid spring and showed off some good stuff. He’s the least proven of this year’s staff.



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