Should Phillies pursue Blake Treinen and Kirby Yates?
By Bryce Turner
As the Phillies look to rebuild their bullpen, Blake Treinen and Kirby Yates are two free-agents who could be worth signing.
As the Philadelphia Phillies look to make much-needed improvements to their bullpen, a couple of intriguing free-agent options are Blake Treinen and Kirby Yates. The two right-handed relievers both have closer experience, but have also dealt with recent injuries. They have the potential to provide a one-two punch for the Phillies late in a game, but are they worth the risk?
Treinen’s standout season came in 2018 with the Oakland Athletics, when he posted a 0.78 ERA, 0.834 WHIP, 100 strikeouts and 38 saves in 68 relief appearances, while getting an All-Star nod, finishing sixth place in Cy Young voting, and finishing 15th place in MVP voting.
The right-hander carried his success into the start of 2019, recording a 0.68 ERA and six saves through his first 11 games before injuries became an issue. While Treinen did not miss too much time, a combination of elbow, shoulder, and back injuries likely played a factor in his overall 4.91 ERA and 1.619 WHIP on the year.
Treinen signed a one-year deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers entering the shortened 2020 season, where he started with a 3-1 record and 1.20 ERA through his first 15 games, before slumping in September, with a 0-2 record and 7.59 ERA in 12 appearances.
Overall, he looked good in the postseason, pitching 3 1/3 scoreless innings through the first two rounds, before an up-and-down NLCS. He pitched really well in two of his three World Series games, with two strikeouts in a clean inning during Game 3 and picking up the save in Game 5, where he gave up a hit but struck out two in an inning pitched.
If 2020 is any indication, Treinen’s poor health and performance from 2019 could be behind him. He finished the year with a 3.86 ERA and 1.208 WHIP and has the potential to continue moving in the right direction next season.