Phillies general manager Matt Klentak made several moves to sure up the bullpen, but that won’t change how Pete Mackanin manages the ninth inning
Pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training on Tuesday and the Phillies have already made some news regarding the bullpen.
In an interview with MLB Network Radio Phillies manager Pete Mackanin named his closer heading into the season.
Despite the positive signs from Hector Neris and Edubray Ramos, and the additions of Joaquin Benoit and Pat Neshek, Mackanin is sticking with Jeanmar Gomez in the ninth inning.
Through the first months of last season, Gomez looked like an All-Star and a potential trade deadline chip. March and April were especially kind to the Venezuelan reliever, who held a 1.80 ERA with 17 saves through his first 25 games.
Fatigue caught up to Gomez down the stretch and caused the wheels to fall off on his second season in Philadelphia.
Mackanin has done multiple things by naming Gomez the closer before the entire team arrives in Clearwater. First, he gives the 29-year-old a vote of confidence after a rocky second half of the season. Second, a fire is lit under Hector Neris that could push him in the fight for the job once Gomez departs for the World Baseball Classic.
For now, fans can expect to see a combination of Neshek and Ramos in the seventh, Neris and Benoit in the eighth, and Gomez in the ninth.