The Philadelphia Phillies not only broke the second-longest Major playoff drought by making the playoffs for the first time since 2011, but also continued a dramatic playoff ending in a heavy six-game loss to the Houston Astros in the World Series. . None of this could have been foreseen on June 2, when the club sacked manager Joe Girardi 22-29 and promoted bench coach Rob Thomson. With a core team for 2023, expectations will be high.

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Of course, there are plenty of opportunities for Dave Dombrowski and the front office to catch up with the Atlanta Braves and New York Mets, who ended the regular season 14 games ahead of the Phillies. Some of these improvements have already been made for the 2022 season: a trade for Brandon Marsh to give the team a good defensive center fielder, freeing shortstop Didi Gregorius and rookie play Bryson Stott, and seeing how Jose Alvarado and Serantoni Dominguez are turning into a strong bullpen duo.

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One unknown as the team heads into the off-season: Will Bryce Harper have to undergo surgery on Tommy John to fix the elbow injury that limited his DH duties? If so, he could miss the first part of the 2023 season.

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Here’s what’s in store for the unexpected National League champions.