The Phillies should have an improved bullpen this season as they made several noteworthy acquisitions this winter to bolster the young core.
The Philadelphia Phillies will head into spring training with high hopes and some new faces in the bullpen. New acquisitions, familiar faces and young talent with all head to Clearwater with one goal come February 13th.
Pitchers Who Are Locks
It was a tale of two halves for the 28-year-old righty from Venezuela. Gomez showed glimpses of brilliance before the All-Star break, including a very respectable 2.59 ERA to go along with 24 saves. However, it all went off the rails in the second half:
Split W L W-L% ERA G GS GF CG SHO SV IP H R ER HR BB IBB SO HBP BK WP BF WHIP SO9 SO/W 1st Half 3 2 .600 2.59 39 0 37 0 0 24 41.2 36 12 12 3 10 1 26 1 0 0 166 1.104 5.6 2.60 2nd Half 0 3 .000 8.33 31 0 22 0 0 13 27.0 42 26 25 3 12 1 21 1 0 3 131 2.000 7.0 1.75
As shown above, Gomez’s second half was worse in nearly every category and was concerning to say the least. Gomez will still enter 2017 with a solidified job, however, the competition for the closer role is wide open
The journeyman side-slinger joins the Phillies after two seasons in Houston. Neshek, 36, brings with him a career 2.93 ERA in 423 appearances. Neshek should have little problem making the roster and should bring nice trade value come the deadline.
Benoit is an interesting case.
He was horrendous for Seattle, posting a 5.18 ERA in just 24.1 innings of work. However, a change of scenery (and country) brought out the best in the 15 year veteran. In 23.1 innings with Toronto, the 39-year-old posted an astounding 0.38 era, allowing just one earned run in 25 appearances.
Given his veteran status and second half performance, Benoit should break camp with the Phils while possibly serving as the team’s primary closer.
Neris was impressive in 2016 and will look to expand on that this season. The right-handed Dominican punched out 102 batters in just over 80 innings of work while posting a WHIP of 1.108. Look for Neris to compete for a late inning set up role, however, with veterans in front of him, he may see himself relegated to more of a bridge role.