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Do the Philadelphia Phillies Have a Defined Ace?

The Philadelphia Phillies rotation just got better with the acquisition of Taijuan Walker. But do they have a defined ace that sits atop the rotation?

The Philadelphia Phillies tweaked their starting rotation before the 2023 regular season.

Welcome Taijuan Walker.

They already have three solid starters in Aaron Nola, Zack Wheeler and Ranger Suarez.

All three played a large role in the Phillies advancing to the World Series for the first time since 2009.

But do the Phillies have an ace? If so, who is it?



Does it even need to be defined?

All good questions.

Both pitchers are capable of 20-win seasons and Cy Young candidacy. If that happens, being labeled as a No. 1 or No. 2 starter really doesn’t matter.

Nola finished with a 3.25 ERA in the regular season with 205 innings pitched and he placed fourth in Cy Young voting. Nola came in third in 2018.

To be fair, Nola finished 11-13 because he failed to receive enough consistent run support.

Wheeler went 12-7 with a 2.82 ERA in 153 innings, but suffered some forearm soreness down the stretch.

Wheeler didn’t finish in the top five in Cy Young voting, most likely because of the number of innings pitched.

Suarez (10-7, 3.65 ERA in 155 1/3 innings) developed remarkably quick and is poised for an even bigger season in ’23. He’s still likely a No. 3 starter for now.

Even if Nola starts on Opening Day, Wheeler could wind up winning the Cy Young next season.

It’s a good situation to be in for the Phillies.

If these four pitchers produce, the Phillies will probably be playing in the postseason for the second consecutive season. And that’s what matters most.

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