PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Pitchers and catchers are already doing their thing down in Clearwater, Florida. The skipper has been down there since Feb. 1. And even though position players weren’t due to arrive for another four days, almost the whole Philadelphia Phillies team has already shown up.
“They’re raring to go, they’ve done a lot of work in the offseason,” manager Rob Thomson said Friday morning on CBS News Philadelphia.
Over a video call from Clearwater with our anchors, Thomson talked about the changes the team made this offseason, adding a few key players like shortstop Trea Turner and a slate of new bullpen arms.
But he stopped short of making any promise that we’d get back to the World Series after the Phillies fell in 6 games to the Houston Astros in October.
“We’re in a really tough division, and all the teams really in our division have improved,” Thomson said. “Atlanta’s always good…even Miami’s improved. But I think we’ve really improved, and our guys are really excited for the season. I think they got a taste of it last year and they’re hungry to get back there again.”
To echo what Janelle says in the video above – come on Rob, we want a parade! Especially after the Eagles’ rough Super Bowl loss, the city’s third sports championship defeat in three months.
Besides Turner — who Thomson said was the best free-agent shortstop on the market this offseason — the Phillies added hard-throwing reliever Gregory Soto, starting pitcher Taijuan Walker, former Red Sox lefty Matt Strahm and eight-time All-Star Craig Kimbrel.
“Anything can happen, but I really like our club,” Thomson said. “They love to play for each other, they play with a lot of excitement, they work hard, they play hard, but they have a lot of fun doing it.”
When could Bryce Harper come back?
Bryce Harper underwent Tommy John surgery in November, and he’s on track to return as expected in the 2023 season.
“We’re still shooting for the All-Star break, but he’s doing very well, he’s a quick healer,” Thomson said. The team is looking at who can fill the void, possibly Darick Hall.
Rating Rob’s looks
Jim and Janelle also couldn’t help but ask Thomson about a recent beauty app that rated him the second-most-attractive MLB manager.
Thomson said his wife heard about that ranking and concluded every other manager must have been tied for first. Ouch!
You can watch the full interview in the video above.
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