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November Recap: Philadelphia Phillies

With the calendar turning to December, it’s a good time to look back at the month of November for the 2022 National League Champion Philadelphia Phillies.

Roster Moves

The Phillies haven’t made any moves involving their big league club just yet. They did make some minor moves in November, though.

The following players were outrighted to Triple-A:

The following players were activated from the 60-day injured list:

The following players were claimed off waivers:

The following players were signed to minor league contracts:

The organization also added CF Johan Rojas to the 40-man roster, which currently sits at 37 players.

Bryce Harper’s Injury

Bryce Harper underwent successful Tommy John Surgery the day before Thanksgiving. The team’s current outlook on Harper’s 2023 season is for him to be back as the DH around the All-Star Break, with the possibility of returning to the field later in the year.

Even though the team’s official statement on Harper’s return says he’ll be back in the middle of the year, it is possible he returns before that. Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia tweeted that Harper could be back hitting competitively by mid-May:

With that being a possible timeline, Harper could be back with the team before July even begins, but only time will tell. Once Harper begins to take competitive at-bats, there will be a much more accurate understanding of when Harper could return to the big league lineup in 2023.

Harper’s absence won’t be new to the Phillies. He missed time during the 2022 campaign after suffering a broken thumb in late June. He returned in late August. The team went 30-22 while Harper was out.

How the club decides to handle the lineup while Harper is sidelined will likely be similar to how they handled it this year. They could mix and match the DH based on starting pitching matchups. Another possibility is to use the DH as a spot in the lineup to give a player time off from playing in the field.

During an end-of-the-season press conference, President of Baseball Operations Dave Dombrowski was asked if Harper’s unavailability to begin the year would impact how the organization handles the offseason.

He said it could and there would be discussions, but there may be nothing done. He went on to add that they have other players who could be the DH. Kyle Schwarber, Nick Castellanos, Rhys Hoskins, Alec Bohm, and J.T. Realmuto were named as possibilities for that position.

Darick Hall, Matt Vierling, Edmundo Sosa, Nick Maton, and Dalton Guthrie could receive more playing time as manager Rob Thomson shuffles the lineup card around to find the best fits on any given day.

Another important detail to point out is the Phillies are rumored to be looking into the shortstop market this offseason. If they sign someone like Trea Turner or Xander Bogaerts, that would easily add offense to the lineup early in the year as they wait for Harper to return.

End-of-Season Media Availabilities

On November 16th, General Manager Sam Fuld, Dave Dombrowski, and Rob Thomson were made available to the media.

Along with Bryce Harper, there were other topics discussed such as the struggles of Nick Castellanos, whether or not Rhys Hoskins would be back in 2023, the pitching staff moving forward, and the offseason plans and needs.

Dombrowski noted that Nick Castellanos did struggle in 2022, and believes he could turn things around next season. He said Castellanos’ strike zone discipline needs to be improved upon if he wants to have more success. Dombrowski also stated, “he’s always hit and when you look at people that are hitters, they do have a downtime,” in reference to Castellanos.

On the topic of Rhys Hoskins, Dombrowski mentioned that Hoskins is a streaky hitter and isn’t a perfect player. He stated Hoskins isn’t a gold glove first baseman, but he is a hard worker and throughout a long season, players have ups and downs. Dombrowski also said Hoskins is the leading candidate to be the team’s Opening Day first baseman.

When discussing the offseason plans and needs, Dombrowski mentioned a need for starting pitching, the middle infield, and the bullpen.

He said they will be keeping a spot open in the rotation for a young starting pitcher such as Bailey Falter or Cristopher Sanchez, along with the organization’s top three pitching prospects Andrew Painter, Mick Abel, and Griff McGarry. They will also be looking to add another arm or two to the rotation for depth, and want to add to the bullpen.

Throughout the press conference, the subject of the shortstop position came up multiple times. The Phillies have been linked to the shortstop free agent market this winter, but Dombrowski, to no surprise, wouldn’t give a straight answer as to whether or not the Phillies would be targeting one of the four big shortstops available.

Both he and Rob Thomson said they would be comfortable with Edmundo Sosa being the shortstop next season and did not rule out the possibility of bringing Jean Segura back. Thomson also noted that he had a discussion with Bryson Stott about whether he prefers to play shortstop or second base, and Stott answered by saying he just wants to play at the big league level.

The Phillies went over the luxury tax in 2022, and when asked about the possibility of exceeding it again in 2023, Dombrowski had this to say:

“Without any declaration, you’d always like to stay under…and rather not be penalized. We’re open minded to having the best club possible and see where it takes us.”

Other News and Notes

  • The Phillies announced they signed President of Baseball Operations Dave Dombrowski, who was hired in December of 2020, to a 3-year contract extension that will keep him in Philadelphia until 2027.
  • Since it looks as though the Phillies are interested in some players who were tendered a qualifying offer, the penalties for signing one, or multiple, players who were offered the qualifying offer are as follows:
    • If the Phillies sign one player who turned down the qualifying offer, they will forfeit their second and fifth-highest draft picks in the 2023 draft, along with $1 million from their international bonus pool.
    • If they sign multiple players who turned down the qualifying offer, they would forfeit the draft picks and money previously mentioned, along with their third and sixth-highest draft picks remaining.

For a more detailed look into the offseason for the Phillies, click here.

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Featured Photo: Twitter / @Phillies

Bailey Digh

I've been writing for Diamond Digest since July 2022. I'm also currently a contributor for Phillies Nation. You can find me on X @bailey_digh.

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