Philadelphia Phillies: Are no laughing matter after Jake Arrieta deal
With the signing of a new ace in Philadelphia, the Phillies have made it clear that they are no joke. The Jake Arrieta deal puts the rest of the National League on notice, making it clear that the Philadelphia Phillies are going to fight for a playoff spot in 2018.
The NL East has some tough hombres in the Washington Nationals and New York Mets. However, the Nats have struggled to win playoff series over the past six seasons. Washington has been knocked out in the divisional series round four of the past six campaigns and even with elite players like Bryce Harper, Daniel Murphy, Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg.
It’s clear that they need more help from complementary pieces on their roster. It’s not clear whether or not Harper and Murphy will remain in the nation’s capital beyond this season. With D.C. fans expecting the Nats to take the next step additional pressure is on them heading into the regular season of 2018.
The Mets have suffered a ton of injuries over the past two years alone, specifically to their rotation. Noah Syndergaard, Matt Harvey and Jacob deGrom have missed significant time due to an injury of some kind. It remains to be seen how they will respond to a normal workload in 2018, especially with there being questions about their bullpen stability.
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There’s no doubt other teams in the NL have questions. Can the Los Angeles Dodgers reach another LCS with yet another high quality starting pitcher leaving town? Are the Arizona D-backs and Colorado Rockies going to receive big contributions from young arms? Will the Chicago Cubs and St. Louis Cardinals have enough offense to shadow potential pitching woes in 2018?
However, regardless of the issues or questions other teams might have entering the opening week of the regular season, the Arrieta deal makes the Phillies a team that can reasonably fight for a wild card spot this year.
Philadelphia should have an improved offense with Carlos Santana, Rhys Hoskins and Jorge Alfaro joining the squad for a full season based on paper
The pitching staff had plenty of arms in the pen. Mark Leiter, Jr., Tommy Hunter, Pat Neshek, Hector Neris and Adam Morgan are headlining a deep relief core.
The rotation now includes a formidable 1-2 combo in Arrieta and Aaron Nola with Ben Lively, Vince Velasquez, Nick Pivetta and others competing for the last three spots.
The 2018 season will include plenty of growing pains. This season will not be perfect, but the Philadelphia Phillies will remain feisty and they will make you remember them one way or another.