Which relievers will be on the active roster Opening Day?
The Phillies used 29 different pitchers in relief last year, and 34 different pitchers total. That’s the second-most in the National League, and sixth-most in the majors. The other five teams were a combined 122 games under 0.500.
It’s a miracle that the Phillies’ bullpen was ranked in the middle of the league in ERA, with the number of injuries and changes made throughout the year. Even more changes will be made to this year’s bullpen, having to replace nearly 200 innings after the departures of Juan Nicasio, Pat Neshek, and Mike Morin among plenty of others.
Outside of the Zack Wheeler signing, the Phillies made headlines for signing a plethora of veteran relievers to minor league deals. There will be plenty of opportunities for guys to prove themselves, with the Phillies entering into camp with 39 pitchers.
The expectation is that Francisco Liriano, Bud Norris, Drew Storen, and Anthony Swarzak will all make a play for roster spots. However, there are plenty of young arms that want to make names for themselves, and will heavily compete with the veterans for the big league call up.
Adam Morgan and Seranthony Dominguez also have to prove they are healthy and ready to contribute. Losing them last year was a major blow to the bullpen’s ability to create shutdown innings.