Phillies Mailbag: Voit, Bold Prediction, Team MVP
We are back once again with the 97.3 ESPN Phillies mailbag. Each week we take your questions and answer them on The Sports Bash with Mike Gill. Tune in Tuesday afternoon to hear your question on the air.
Luke Voit just opted out of his minor league deal with the Brewers. Would you take a chance on him?
I can assure you that Luke Voit will not be playing first base for the Phillies. Despite opting out of his deal with the Milwaukee Brewers, Voit agreed to a new contract with the Brewers. He will remain in Milwaukee.
If I were the Phillies, I would actually hold off on acquiring a first baseman. My first priority would be to see what Darick Hall can do in every day action. It is possible that after a while it becomes clear he is more of a platoon player. That's OK if that's who he is. But there is some room to find out.
Further, the Phillies have internal options that include giving Alec Bohm time at first base and giving some opportunities to their infielders Josh Harrison and Edmundo Sosa at third base. Let's also keep in mind the Phillies will give Bryson Stott the same opportunity to show he can hit lefties as well, which might limit their action in the early going.
If the Phillies are going to add, they could also add to the outfield mix and use Kyle Schwarber and Nick Castellanos as designated hitter. Dalton Guthrie is the first one to be the back-up right-handed outfielder. But they could find another.
But I do not think that there is a rush. The July trade deadline might be able to net them a bigger fish, perhaps. A lot also depends on how well Bryce Harper is healing. There could be someone on waivers they think is worthwhile and grab. But I do not think there will be a big move at first base anytime soon.
What's a bold prediction you have for the Phillies for 2023 season?
I don't know how bold this is, but here goes: Matt Strahm will not leave the Phillies starting rotation after Ranger Suárez returns from forearm inflammation.
The Phillies originally signed Strahm to be a starter. However, thanks to the injury to Suárez and with the likes of Andrew Painter not able to help, there is a rotation opportunity, even with Bailey Falter occupying a spot.
Strahm had time as a starter for the San Diego Padres in 2019. He spoke about the back and forth and being on the bubble. I think now with more experience and and a "help the team" attitude he is ready to embrace any role, including stepping into a starter role.
I like what I've seen from him on the mound this Spring. That could translate to something more.
The Phillies signed Strahm to a two-year, $15 million deal. That's good money for a reliever. But if it works out to be for a starting pitcher, they got a bargain.
Who do you think will be the 2023 Phillies MVP?
To me, I think Trea Turner is a really good answer to this question. In fact, I'll go a step further (bold prediction #2): I think he has a shot to be the National League MVP.
I feel like despite Turner being in the league since 2015, he is just really in his prime. Last season he was 11th in the MVP voting, won a Silver Slugger award and was an All-Star for the second time.
The two seasons prior to this, he was top-10 in MVP voting.
This could be his chance. But it's easy to see him really excel on this Phillies team. he's reunited with his hitting coach, Kevin Long and his good friend Bryce Harper. He's going to top a potent lineup with some heavy hitters behind him.
And let's not forget the new MLB rules will likely lead to lots of action on the basepaths for Turner.
We saw the power he has during the World Baseball Classic. Can he hit 30 home runs at Citizens Bank Park and steal 50-60 bases? I sure think he could.
If he does, he will be MVP of the Phillies, and perhaps even the league.