Philadelphia Phillies’ Andrew McCutchen gestures after hitting an RBI double during the sixth inning … [+] of the team’s baseball game against the Milwaukee Brewers on Friday, May 24, 2019, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Aaron Gash)
Plenty of postmortems were performed on the Philadelphia Phillies following a disappointing 2019 season.
Hopes were high even before the Phillies signed free agent outfielder Bryce Harper to a 13-year, $335-million contract during spring training. However, they limped home to an 81-81 finish.
The good news was that the Phillies had their first non-losing season since also going 81-81 in 2012, ending a string of five straight National League East titles. The bad news was that the .500 record left the Phillies in fourth place and trailing the division-winning Atlanta Braves by 16 games.
The Phillies missing the postseason for the eighth straight season cost second-year manager Gabe Kapler his job. Now, Philadelphia looks for former New York Yankees manager Joe Girardi to get it over the hump and into the playoffs after spending the past two seasons working as an analyst for Fox and MLB Network.
One Phillies player who is optimistic about 2020 is left fielder Andrew McCutchen. He believes there will be more stability as, beside Harper, the Phillies also added McCutchen, All-Star catcher J.T. Realmuto and shortstop Jean Segura to the lineup last season.
“It’s tough when you change teams for the first time in your career, tougher than a lot of people think,” McCutchen said. “You’re getting to know all new teammates. You’re entering a completely different