Phillies 2016 Grades: Bullpen

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Aug 19, 2016; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Phillies relief pitcher Hector Neris (50) prior to action against the St. Louis Cardinals at Citizens Bank Park. The St. Louis Cardinals won 4-3 in the eleventh inning. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 19, 2016; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Phillies relief pitcher Hector Neris (50) prior to action against the St. Louis Cardinals at Citizens Bank Park. The St. Louis Cardinals won 4-3 in the eleventh inning. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports /
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Aug 19, 2016; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Phillies relief pitcher Jeanmar Gomez (46) pitches against the St. Louis Cardinals during the ninth inning at Citizens Bank Park. The St. Louis Cardinals won 4-3 in the eleventh inning. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 19, 2016; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Phillies relief pitcher Jeanmar Gomez (46) pitches against the St. Louis Cardinals during the ninth inning at Citizens Bank Park. The St. Louis Cardinals won 4-3 in the eleventh inning. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports /

JEANMAR GOMEZ

The performance of the 28-year old right-hander has to be judged from the perspective of what was expected of him entering the 2016 season.

Gomez has been a reliever who had been counted on in the 6th-8th inning role over the last few seasons since being switched to a full-time bullpen role.

This was this 7th big league campaign. He began with the Cleveland Indians, moved on to the Pittsburgh Pirates, and came to the Phillies as a free agent in January of 2015.

Back at the beginning of this season, Gomez appeared to be on track to again fill this same role. However, when others failed to take advantage of opportunities to close for the Phillies, manager Pete Mackanin game Gomez a shot.

For the bulk of the season, Gomez succeeded in that closer role. He has registered 37 Saves, tied for 7th in all of Major League Baseball.

More from That Balls Outta Here

Gomez seems to have worn down under the weight of the role and his overall usage this season.

From the beginning of the year through August 13th, when he registered his 30th Save against the Colorado Rockies, Gomez had a 2.52 ERA and had allowed 49 hits in 53.2 innings with a 37/14 K:BB ratio.

Those numbers are not the usual types of overpowering numbers that teams like from their closer. However, while Gomez didn’t dominate the opposition, he was getting the necessary outs at the key moments.

The day after registering his 30th, Gomez earned his 31st Save, but the Rockies scored twice on him in that game. It began a horrendous season-ending stretch.

Beginning on August 14th through now, Gomez has allowed 26 hits over 14.2 innings with a 9/6 K:BB ratio and has allowed multiple runs a half-dozen times.

Gomez has pitched in 69 games this year, many of them high-leverage, game on the line situations. That is four more games than a year ago, which in turn was 24 more than he had ever pitched previously in his career.

The Phillies have milked a lot out of Gomez’ right arm over these last two seasons. He has one more year left before he can become a free agent.

In my opinion, Gomez was always miscast as the closer, and he should return to his 7th inning role in the 2017 season. Use him properly, and keep him to a 60-65 game usage level, and there is no reason that you shouldn’t expect him at age 29 to turn in a solid season again.

GRADE: B

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