Injuries and inconsistency have plagued the Phillies bullpen this season. Here are five relievers who they could acquire at the deadline.
The narrative surrounding the Phillies’ pitching staff has been completely turned on its head this year. Coming into the season, most expected the bullpen to be the strength of the team while the rotation was a question mark. A month and a half later, the complete opposite has happened.
Philadelphia’s rotation has been strong. Aaron Nola and Jake Arrieta have been dominant at the top while Nick Pivetta and Vince Velasquez have been strong in the middle. Even Zach Eflin has done well since taking over for the injured Ben Lively.
Meanwhile, the bullpen has been more of a rough patch this year. They rank 17th in Fangraphs wins above replacement (fWAR). Their ERA of 3.29 actually ranks seventh, but their 3.89 fielding-independent pitching (FIP) and 4.19 expected FIP (xFIP) indicate their ERA is better than it should be.
Injuries have forced the team to rely on their minor-league depth early with Mark Leiter, Pat Neshek, Tommy Hunter, Adam Morgan, and Victor Arano all spending time on the disabled list. Combine that with Hector Neris’s inconsistency closing games, and there certainly could be a need for an upgrade when the July trade deadline rolls around. If this team is serious about making a playoff push, they will need a stable bullpen.
In the event the Phillies do trade for a reliever, here are five potential options the club can explore.