Last Tuesday (April 28th), the MLB came out with a plan for the now over one month delay of this season. This past week, multiple sources came out with the rest of the plan.
The plan includes the second spring training starting on June 10th, and Opening Day on July first. All teams would play in their home stadiums without fans if this plan goes through. The World Series would be sometime in mid-November. The season length is the only thing not confirmed with this plan. Most people have said somewhere around 100 games, opposed to the normal number of 162. Now this plan isn’t final, and there will most likely be changes, but this is what the MLB wants to do as of now.
Now that you understand the plan, what would the Phillies new division look like? With the plan, teams wouldn’t play in their normal five team divisions. To minimize travel, there would be three divisions. The Eastern Division, Central Division, and Western Division. Each division would have 10 teams. Every team except the Atlanta Braves would play in the same region as they normally would. Because Atlanta is closer to the teams in the Central Division, they were moved there. Anyway, the Phillies division would include, the Washington Nationals, the New York Mets, the Miami Marlins, the New York Yankees, the Boston Red Sox, the Tampa Bay Rays, the Toronto Blue Jays, the Baltimore Orioles, and the Pittsburgh Pirates. So with the Braves being moved to the central, the MLB would move the Pirates into the east, because they are closer to the teams in the Eastern Division.
Now on to how this new plan could affect the Phillies. To start, it could help in some ways. Last year the Phillies had more injuries then they’ve had in a long time. A shorter season definitely could keep more players healthy like a David Robertson, Seranthony Dominguez, or an Andrew McCutchen. Second of all, the past two seasons, the Phillies have been their best in the first half of the past two seasons, collapsing in August and September. So with a new better manager, a healthier team, and a shorter season, why don’t I think the Phillies can make a playoff run this year? Because of the new division. With a 10 team division, there’s more good teams to contend with. Sure, taking the Braves out of the division is good, but now we have the Yankees, the Rays (who many forget won 91 games last season), the Red Sox, and the Mets and Nationals will still be in the mix right with the Phils. With all these teams to contend with, I don’t think the Phillies would stand a chance. I don’t think the Phillies are better than any of these teams except for the Marlins (who the Phils had a losing record to last season), the Pirates, and the Orioles. You could debate that they’re better than the Mets and Red Sox, but I think they’re about the same.
The point is, I think the Phillies are still a barely above .500 team. At least two teams are going to finish ahead of the Phillies if this plan is used this season, and maybe more. But do you have more faith in this team than I do? Let me know either down below in the comments, or on my Instagram @philliesnews_ on my post about this article.