The back-end of the Phillies bullpen could use a star, but how should that star be acquired
The Phillies pitching kept them through the first 122 games of season before the entire team collapsed in historic fashion. It was a strength that surprised some, but failed to hold on throughout the 162 game season.
In the first 272 innings (March-June) the Phillies bullpen had a 4.36 ERA. They didn’t waver much in their next 300 innings (July-September) carrying an ERA of 4.01, largely thanks to a 2.55 ERA in July. The success of that month was largely thanks to Seranthony Dominguez giving up only two runs the entire month.
Dominguez sputtered down the stretch and the former starter struggled to pitch in back-to-back games. In 14 appearances with zero days rest, he had an ERA of 6.00 with 10 walks. In 23 games with at least one day of rest, he had a 1.69 ERA with six walks.
Having a young stud like Dominguez in the back of the bullpen is imperative for a team looking to snap their playoff drought. But he can’t do it on his own, and the Phillies are reportedly looking at free agent closer Craig Kimbrel and Mariners star closer Edwin Diaz.
Let’s not focus on the names here, as there are a ton of options in free agency and on the trade market when it comes to adding a veteran reliever for the back of the bullpen. Phillies fans would welcome the signing of Zach Britton, David Robertson, Cody Allen, or Andrew Miller just as much as any Diaz, Alex Colome, or Archie Bradley.
There’s a big difference with these types of acquisitions, but they’re both about cost: Should the Phillies be paying in dollars or prospects for an All-Star closer to pair with Dominguez?
The Phillies have plenty of both to move this offseason with a loaded farm system and an owner desperate to win by spending.