The SportsTalk Shop: Nationals/Phillies Season Outlook & Interviews

We had an opportunity on last week’s “SportsTalk” show to get insights and predictions for both the Washington Nationals

…as well as interviews with some of the Phillies top prospects on spring training performances and their thoughts on opening the season in Triple-A…

 

 

 

For more of these interviews and videos on both of these teams, be sure to watch last week’s “SportTalk” through RCN On-Demand or check out our podcast: rcn.com/rcntv/sports-talk

 

A few more points/observations about both the Nationals and Phillies’ 2017 expectations…

*  Like last year, there are completely different expectations for both teams.  As I predicted (correctly, I might add) at this time last year, I will once again predict the Nationals will win the NL East and the Phillies will improve their win total from last year (I’m looking at 73 victories for 2017).

*  I think both the Phillies and the Nationals have greatly improved their bullpen staff.  After a few years of various question marks, Washington has about as solid a 7-reliever set as anyone in the National League—with both flame throwers and guys who have really good stuff.  Joe Blanton’s addition during spring training gave the Nats a veteran presence who can pitch multiple innings.

The Phillies also increased their depth this offseason with the additions of proven, late-inning guys Pat Neshek and Joaquin Benoit to join youngsters Edubray Ramos and Hector Neris.  While neither Blake Treinen nor Jeanmar Gomez has a solid track record as a closer, both teams have options (and neither team’s pen has the “Papelbon-esque” ego) which could allow for a rather seamless transition if needed.

*  While the rest of the NL East is improved, I think both organizations front offices made solid moves that will keep the Phillies and National ahead of the curve overall in the division.  The Nats should outlast the Mets thanks to Washington’s deeper pitching and more offensive weapons (and New York has more injuries to content with).  Meanwhile, the Phillies’ offseason improvements should give them an opportunity to pass the Marlins this year and give the team a decent shot at finishing third in the division—even if they don’t play .500 ball.

 

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Finally, after a slow start for the spring sports teams (for the ones that play outdoors, anyway), local high school baseball and softball teams finally got a few games in under their belt this past week.  Our cameras recently stopped by the Dieruff/Northampton girls softball game for their thoughts on the season thus far…

 

 

You can catch more local sports interviews on this Thursday’s “SportsTalk” program.

One note for our scholastic sports readers:   I’d like to encourage athletic directors, coaches or parents to pass along outstanding achievements by the student-athletes in the RCN viewing area by emailing me awards, honors or other special accomplishments at rcnsportstalk@rcn.com and we’ll try to highlight those young people both here on our blog and on the television show!

 

Chris Michael About Chris Michael

Chris handles play-by-play for RCN sports events, including baseball, football & basketball games and produces/hosts the station’s 60-minute live call-in show. Among Chris’s other responsibilities include reporting on local news & sports stories, conducting “Take 5” interviews with community and political leaders, producing commercials, voiceovers and promos; and generating blog entries and videos on the internet. Click here to listen to the weekly Sports Talk podcast.

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