The Phillies need to upgrade their bullpen before it’s too late
Through the first three games of the season the Phillies bullpen has been, as many expected, a total disaster. The team opted for youth in the shortened season, allowing Francisco Liriano and Anthony Swarzak to walk away before the season started.
In their first game the Phillies saw rookie Ramon Rosso blow a solid start from Aaron Nola, allowing two inherited runners to score with two wild pitches and a double.
On Sunday after Vince Velasquez failed to pitch past the third inning, the bullpen was put to the test and crumbled. Cole Irvin gave up a run and was pulled in the fifth for Reggie McClain. His first pitch was served up as a three run home run, giving Irvin four earned runs allowed on the day.
Nick Pivetta, who lost the fifth starter’s job to Vince Velasquez, allowed two runs and gave up two walks in three and a third innings.
Hector Neris came in and got the last two outs, but it didn’t ease the pain of knowing two games against the Marlins were lost because of the bullpen.
With the trade deadline on August 31, the Phillies have a couple of weeks to stay in the hunt and keep an eye out for a veteran reliever or two. Here are three guys they might be able to trade for.
Are the Phillies due for a reunion with Ken Giles at the MLB trade deadline?
For the last couple of years there have been Phillies trade rumors circling around former top pitching prospect Ken Giles. The Phillies enjoyed the yearly years of 100 Mile Giles, but he came up a couple years too late to join the powerhouse Phillies teams that could have used his arm.
Philadelphia traded Giles to the Astros prior to the 2016 season for Mark Appel, Harold Arauz, Thomas Eshelman, Brett Oberholtzer and Vince Velasquez. That trade has not turned out well for the Phillies with Velasquez being the only player still with the organization.
Appel, once considered the next transcendent pitching prospect, has retired after a couple of rough years in the minor leagues. Eshelman is now with the Orioles and Arauz is in the Cardinals system. Oberholtzer, a veteran pitcher, appeared in only 26 games for the Phillies and is no longer in baseball.
As for Giles, he’s had a rollercoaster career since leaving the Phillies. His first year with Houston was disastrous with a 4.11 ERA, but he came back the next year to save 34 games with a 2.30 ERA.
An on-field incident with his manager essentially ended Giles’ tenure with the Astros, who shipped him to Toronto for Roberto Osuna.
Since going to Toronto Giles has found himself, holding a 2.44 ERA and earning 38 saves. He’s re-established himself as one of the best closers in baseball and with the Blue Jays not expected to make a deep playoff run, Giles will likely be on the trade block once again.
Giles is earning $3.5 million with his adjusted salary this year and will be a free agent after the 2020 season. he could be a re-sign candidate for the Phillies even if they don’t acquire him at the trade deadline, but adding his big arm to the rotation this season could be a game-changer.