Phillies: Recapping the bullpen trades made on Friday
The Phillies have the worst bullpen ERA in baseball, but they finally added three new arms in two trades.
To be frank, the Phillies’ bullpen has been horrific this season. Many of the arms, although most of them young fresh faces, have been getting constantly hit around. Even to make it to the expanded playoffs you need a strong bullpen.
The only reliable arm has been Jose Alvarez, who is most likely down for a couple of games following an injury in Thursday’s doubleheader.
Aside from Alvarez, only one other Phillies relief pitcher, Blake Parker, has an ERA below 4.00.
Without question, they needed a few arms. General manager Matt Klentak got to work and pull off two trades on Friday, one a minor move and the other a four-player deal.
At around noon on Friday, Ken Rosenthal reported that the Phillies had acquired RHP David Hale from the Yankees in exchange for minor league RHP Addison Russ.
Hale, 32, a Princeton graduate, has a 3.00 earned run average in 5 appearances this season with the Yankees. Drafted and developed as a starter in the minors, as well as with the Rockies in 2015, Hale is capable of going multiple innings. In 25 total appearances over the past two seasons, he has gone multiple-innings 16 times, while only allowing two home runs.
With an unproven bullpen, and many double-headers, it would be very helpful if Hale can last multiple innings each time out.
The Yankees added Addison Russ to their farm system. Russ, although very effective throughout the minors, will be 26 in October and has never pitched past Double AA. In this type of season, a veteran RP is much more valuable, especially in the Phillies’ dire situation.
The Phillies also made a big deal with the Boston Red Sox
In the second trade of the day, Philadelphia acquired two strong relief arms in Brandon Workman and Heath Hembree from the Red Sox, in exchange for Nick Pivetta and Connor Seabold, as reported by Jim Sailsbury.
The Red Sox are also sending money in order for them to stay under the luxury tax. Both Hembree and Workman were a part of the Red Sox 2018 World Series championship.
Workman, a free agent following this season, was drafted by the Phillies in the third round of the 2007 MLB Draft, but did not sign. He was phenomenal last year with 10 wins out of the bullpen while posting an elite 1.88 earned run average and 16 saves in 71.2 innings – all career-bests. He can provide a serious boost to the bullpen in the late innings of a ball game.
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Hembree, who will be under contract through 2021, owns a career 3.60 earned run average. If you take out his appearance where he was hit hard by Philadelphia a couple of games ago, Hembree has a 1.86 earned run average in 10 games.
Everyone in Philadelphia knows the deal with Pivetta and is probably happy he’s gone. Praised for his electric stuff, Pivetta could never put it together during his time in Philadelphia. Seabold, a 2017 3rd Round Pick, was impressive in the Arizona Fall League last year. However, only projects as a backend of the rotation starter.
The Phillies made a big upgrade on Friday that should help win now
Again, the Phillies added two more veteran arms, this time with deep postseason experience, a good move for what they gave up.
Some more positives surrounding the bullpen include Ranger Suarez and David Robertson getting work in at the alternate training site. Although they shouldn’t really count on Robertson at his age and his injury, he spent a lot of his career managed by Girardi. Suarez, however, was very effective last season in relief.
Entering today as the worst bullpen in baseball, the Phillies could get a major enhancement with these three new additions. Couple that with Suarez and Robertson returning, and the Phillies have a chance to make some noise in the remaining 39 games this year.