The Phillies lead the National League East after signing Bryce Harper this offseason. Now, what can they do to solidify themselves in the NL?
The Philadelphia Phillies currently lead the National League East in large part due to the acquisitions they made this offseason. Four of their top five performers in WAR are players who were brought in this offseason: JT Realmuto, Bryce Harper, Andrew McCutchen and Jean Segura. On top of that, they just traded for Jay Bruce who has consequently hit three home runs in his first three games with the team.
However, they have also suffered from various injuries. Their bullpen has been destroyed by injuries, losing David Robertson, Adam Morgan and Pat Neshek. The return of this unit should help to shore up their bullpen so they shouldn’t need to acquire a big bullpen arm. More notably, Andrew McCutchen just tore his ACL and will now miss the rest of the season. Despite the Jay Bruce trade, they will still need to add to their outfield, ideally in center field.
5. Neil Walker
The Phillies need more offensive depth and they need it badly. Their infield is essentially Rhys Hoskins, Jean Segura, Cesar Hernandez, Scott Kingery and a struggling Maikel Franco. To further demonstrate the lack of depth they have, the Phillies have the third-worst wOBA from pinch hitters. They are not able to bring quality bats off of the bench.
Enter Neil Walker. Walker has the ability to play first base, second base and third base at solid levels. All the while, he is hitting at a high rate. This year, he is hitting for a .295 batting average. The Phillies would be able to use Walker to come off the bench and be a threat from both sides of the plate.
The versatility that Walker would bring to the Phillies is extremely valued. Teams, now more than ever, are looking for players who can play more than one position and Walker just does that. Having him come off of the bench should allow for the Phillies to manage his innings so that he is able to stay healthy. With the Marlins willing to trade anybody and everybody, the Phillies should bring in some badly-needed infield depth.