When the Phillies arrived for spring training, a new mantra was enacted: Be Bold.
So far, so good on the hope from the team’s new manager, Gabe Kapler. At 38-33, the Phillies sit just one game out of a playoff spot and will send Jake Arrieta to the mound on Wednesday with an eye on win No. 39. Last year, the Phillies didn’t win their 39th game until the final day of July.
But if the Phillies are going to truly make a run at a postseason spot this summer, upgrades will be needed. That’s especially the case in a bullpen that’s sprung leaks around stud rookie fireman Seranthony Dominguez.
Hand closing and Dominguez in his current fireman role? No dedicated closer but rather a dominant lefty-righty tandem that’s flanked by pros like Tommy Hunter and Pat Neshek? Anything could go, and benefit the Phillies bullpen.
Long-term security : Hand is under team control from 2018-2020 (including an option year for the 2020 season) at just over $24.5M. For a pitcher of this caliber, it’s a steal of a contract.
I think they’re scared, Mannix said on the Yahoo Sports NBA podcast. I think they’re scared and should be scared to some degree of Kyrie Irving walking in 2019. I know he had a great year, but you know there are people in Cleveland that will tell you that the Knicks should be considered a real threat for Kyrie Irving. Because Kyrie had talked about it, about playing with the Knicks with some players in that Cleveland locker room from what I was told.
You know things can change. Obviously, you go to Boston and you become the face of the franchise. You’re on a winning team. Maybe the mindset has changed significantly?
While all of this is still a full year away, it could have an impact on how business goes down this offseason with both the Celtics and Knicks.
-Boston could choose to move on from Irving this summer, trading the star guard one year after landing him from the Cavaliers. Perhaps a package deal involving Irving and a young wing for Kawhi Leonard of the Spurs?