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Time To Overhaul The Phillies Bullpen

By Christian Wisnewski

The Phillies are a bit of a mess to put it kindly. The reason why is because one party hasn’t held up their end of the bargain; the bullpen. The much maligned part of the Phillies, which management seems to believe is fine, is simply a disaster. Hector Neris is the lone part of the ‘pen that has been reliable. The rest of the bullpen has allowed 32 runs in 10 games this season, which is just flat out inexcusable. How can they fix this mess in such a short amount of time?

Bargain Bin Hunting

The Philles could watch the transactions and DFA market to pick up high upside arms that could help the team. Kelvin Herrera would have been an interesting player to pick up, but the Cubs signed him instead. This is likely the hardest path for the Phillies to find any success because the number of salvageable arms on the wire is quite very low. This method would however match their perceived economic principles.

Fire Up The Trade Machine

This feels like the least likely option simply because of the type of year it is. This season is a sprint where every decision matters. This team is not ready to invest serious prospect capital to get a good reliever, and don’t even have the types of prospects in the system to make that type of trade anyway. Even trading a lower level prospect for a reliever whose contract is up at the end of the season feels bad given this team’s most likely outcome and the need for this organization to develop the young talent in the system. So don’t hold your breath when it comes to Klentak pulling the trigger on a deadline deal on August 31.

Let The Kids Play

Now we’re cooking with gas. This team has a collection of arms they can throw at the wall to solve the bullpen woes. They already DFA’d Trevor Kelly and brought up Connor Brogdon, so it is only a matter of time until they make more moves of this nature. Players like Damon Jones, Garrett Cleavinger, and Connor Seabold are names to keep an eye on that could fill voids in the ‘pen instead of players like Austin Davis and Deolis Guerra. They could also try and sneak some of the prospects lower in the system in to pitch. Someone like Francisco Morales with a great fastball and a slider with massive upside could be a candidate for that.

Do Nothing At All

After the moves this past week this is the second most likely, and even more unfortunate, outcome. In a season this short and with what this team have in the farm system, it feels like a Klentak move. The organization simply does not seem fully committed to winning this season, which is just organizational malpractice with the talent on this roster. They can let the bullpen run its course and finish where they finish, but the reality is, this issue should’ve been addressed in December. If this team finishes poorly enough, they could easily switch gears and focus on securing a high draft pick in 2021, which is rich with college pitching talent.

The Phillies botched this bullpen from the get go and the way this group was handled is a fireable offense on its own. The front office should be ashamed that they’re letting another season go by the wayside and are in Year Two of wasting the core pieces of this roster’s prime all because they’re afraid of getting spurned again by spending money on the bullpen.

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