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#pounditFriday, June 14, 2024

Nick Castellanos credits Phillies for 1 big offseason decision

Nick Castellanos high fives teammates

Jun 17, 2022; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; Philadelphia Phillies right fielder Nick Castellanos (8) is congratulated by teammates after scoring a run against the Washington Nationals during the third inning at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

After a brutal ending to their 2023 playoff run, the Philadelphia Phillies took a surprising approach to the offseason that appears to be paying dividends.

The Phillies held a 3-2 lead in the 2023 NLCS with two chances to close the series out at home, but lost back-to-back games to the Arizona Diamondbacks in a stunning turn of events. Despite that, the Phillies did not opt for significant changes in the offseason, and essentially brought back the same group for 2024.

According to outfielder Nick Castellanos, that was the smartest move the Phillies could have made.

“The fact we were able to face adversity together (and) feel losses together, it just makes our bond as a group better,” Castellanos said, via Dan Gelston of The Associated Press. “That’s hats off to ownership and the front office for believing in pieces that were already here.”

After a World Series loss in 2022 and last year’s playoff exit, the Phillies certainly could have opted for a major move. To be fair, they might have tried, as Castellanos himself was rumored to be on the trade block and they were linked to a few top players. Ultimately, the team paid big money to retain free agent starter Aaron Nola, and otherwise focused on depth moves instead of splashy additions.

The Phillies could have had a major reaction to their playoff failure and made significant changes to their core group. They did not, and have baseball’s best record at 37-14 entering play Friday. That does not guarantee playoff success, but for now, it looks like they made the right call.

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