What a strange spring training this has been already. For those that have followed the Phillies in the past, there were always things to watch and analyze over the 7-8 weeks the team was set up in Clearwater. Most of the time, those things revolved around things that could make up the difference between their making the playoffs or watching yet again from the sidelines.
So far, the thing we’ve seen most of the interest in has revolved around whether or not their top prospect can break camp with the team as a 19 year old pitching phenom. It’s great at first. The air of mystery that surrounds the decision is pretty much the only thing that needs to be decided before the team heads to Arlington to begin the season. That leaves other issues ignored, pushed to the side for a later date. Here at The Good Phight, we will not let those issues be forgotten. We’re here to shed a light on those things that you care most about. So, instead of the beginnings to Painter Fatigue, let’s shine a light on those issues that might end up being difference makers.
Have all the extensions come at the expense of the wardrobe budget?
Of late, the team has been focusing on locking up its core of the roster to extensions that will not only keep them in Philadelphia for the foreseeable future, but also provide the team with the desired cost certainty. It puts their current luxury tax bill still shy of the second round of penalties, but still in the part where the team has to pay some kind of tax the following season.
There is concern, though, that the cost of signing these players may mean they have to skimp in other place that might affect the team. For example, look at this picture of three-fourths of the team’s desired infield.
What do you think they're chatting about? pic.twitter.com/eLaLuf6Ua3— Philadelphia Phillies (@Phillies) February 17, 2023
Some may get (justifiably) excited at the notion of these players picking each other’s brains about the season to come, but for me, I’m beginning to wonder about that luxury tax bill. The paperwork for last season’s venture past the first threshold had come due in the past few weeks and from the looks of this picture, the team is struggling to clothe their team.
You see a team trying to make sure their core is together for a run not only this season, but next. I see a team unable to make sure their athletes are not properly attired. What’s next, paying a $1 for something out of the clubhouse soda machine?
I’m not totally sure Bryson Stott knows the positions of baseball
Baseball is famous for its nines. Nine innings in a game, nine positions on the field, nine positions in the lineup, nine runs if the opposing team forfeits a game. Sometimes, though, even the professionals aren’t sure of where they are.
By this point in their careers, each player should know where the major positions are on the field. The new shift banning rules may solidify those positions a little more than they were the past few seasons, where playing third base might end up making a play in short right field.
Bryson Stott fielding grounders at second base. Before the Phillies got Trea Turner, manager Rob Thomson asked Bryson which position he would prefer to play— John Clark (@JClarkNBCS) February 17, 2023
“Big leagues.” pic.twitter.com/uIWz4s2fAp
There are nine positions that someone must occupy while the team is on defense. “Big leagues” is not one of them. This has to concern the team a bit if one of the players they are counting on is hazy on the concept of what constitutes a defensive position. Looks like some whiteboard work might be in order.
Are there new rules this year?
One thing we haven’t heard much about is the new rules coming to the game. They are rumored to be happening, but as far as actually seeing them in practice, there has been very little information spread about for fans to digest.
For example, the pitch clock. Long lauded by the commissioner as the only way to combat slow, plodding baseball games, have you heard anything about what they’re going to implement? Has there been any news about what the adjustments are that need to be made by pitchers and hitters alike?
Same goes for the new bases. Did you know that the bases are going to be bigger this year? Of course you didn’t! It’s been rumored to be true, but the best way to confirm that would be if people got together and shared a picture comparing the new base with the older version. That way, we could see it with our own eyes and
make fun of it see how it could potentially impact the way basestealers are going to impact the game once more.
There are so many other things that we’ll try and keep an eye on as the spring progresses. You’ll get nothing but the best from us here at The Good Phight. If this is any indication, you’ll see us covering the big stories for you.