Bullish on the Phillies
I was ecstatic when the Phils hired Dave Dombrowski to be president of baseball operations. His track record was outstanding at building championship teams, and I couldn’t wait to see what he would do in his first offseason here.
Dombrowski was relatively quiet for a while. But then he re-signed catcher J.T. Realmuto and shortstop Didi Gregorius, two of the club’s better offensive performers in 2020. The return to the fold of Realmuto, baseball’s best catcher, was especially a huge relief.
Under the radar, Dombrowski also added relief pitchers like Archie Bradley and starting pitchers like lefty Matt Moore. There was a clear emphasis on boosting velocity, too. Now the Phillies suddenly have a bunch of relievers in camp who can throw hard and strike people out. Some won’t make the team, but now at least there’s depth.
And Dombrowski was able to rebuild the bullpen without any splashy free-agent contracts eating up the payroll.
One of the reasons I’m bullish on the Phils is because I don’t think too many people are expecting much. That works to their advantage. In the NL East race, they’re considered well behind the Braves and Mets (who had a huge offseason), so the pressure is kind of off.
I think they could surprise a few people.