Phillies 2021 Spring Training Preview: Pitching Staff

Aaron Nola #27 of the Philadelphia Phillies (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Aaron Nola #27 of the Philadelphia Phillies (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /
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Vince Velasquez #21 of the Philadelphia Phillies (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /

Vince Velasquez

Now we go into the sad case of Vince Velasquez, who just has never hit his ceiling in Philadelphia. The Phillies acquired Velasquez in a trade involving Ken Giles going to Houston.

Velasquez is the last standing piece of that trade and many fans would like to see him in a new uniform, but since he’s still here, we need to figure out what value he can provide to the Phillies in 2021.

The question has never been about stuff and potential, the question is if he can produce and so far he hasn’t. This past season he had the worst ERA of his career at 5.56.

Now that seems bad but there are a few things that can make this sound a little bit inflated with poor luck. He has a FIP of 4.16 and an xFIP of 4.07, along with this his BABIP was really high at .373, so he was pretty unlucky.

With the signings of Anderson and Moore, it is very much possible the Phillies are fully committing him to a reliever role, which could do him well. In 2020 he ranked in the 81st percentile for Fastball Spin and he averaged 12.18 strikeouts per 9.

Maybe a new role is good for him and will give him some hope, they are paying him $4 million this season so it’s worth seeing if he is worth anything. Let’s see what happens in 2021.

David Hale

David Hale, who was among the 2020 midseason pickups, spent 2019 and part of 2020 with the New York Yankees. After former General Manager Matt Klentak needed to try and save his job, he was desperately traded to the Phillies.

Hale has not had much of an extensive Major League career so far and even spent time in the KBO in 2018. The most amount of innings he’s pitched in a single season is 87 1/3 in 2014 with the Atlanta Braves.

Combining 2019 and 2020 you might actually get some ok numbers, in 54.2 innings he has an ERA+ at 138 and a FIP of 3.46. That is not bad at all for Hale or really any pitcher but the rest of his career doesn’t have promising results.

Overall for his career, he has a 4.23 ERA and a 4.26 FIP in a larger sample size.

The question now is what kind of role will Hale have on the Phillies, well he will probably be on the Major League roster as a long reliever. If a Phillies starter doesn’t last long, Hale will come in and eat some innings so the rest of the bullpen isn’t gassed for the next game.