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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Tony Watson #56 of the San Francisco Giants (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /

Tony Watson

Veteran left-hander Tony Watson joins the list of Phillies pitchers to talk about as he recently signed as a non-roster Invitee. Along with over his 9 years of big-league service time, Watson could bring dependability to the bullpen, but if he makes the roster.

While it may be pretty likely he makes it, it is not a shoo-in like last year would’ve been. Watson will have to compete without a guaranteed 40 man roster spot.

The good news with Watson is that he’s a very solid pitcher for his career including 2020 with an ERA at 2.50, FIP at 4.36, and an xFIP at 4.12.

While 2019 wasn’t great, 2018 was a very good season for him at 2.59 ER, 2.45 FIP, and a 3.09 xFIP. If the Phillies get numbers close to this, Dombrowski is getting a steal at $3 million.

If that’s not the case, then hopefully he just doesn’t make the team in camp or you can just DFA him, not a big deal.

Brandon Kintzler

We wrap this preview up with Brandon Kintzler who signed a NRI deal with the Phillies about 2 weeks ago.

Kintzler gets talked a lot about his 2020 and when you look specifically at his ERA, you can say he deserves that praise however, his 2019 was actually better and more of what the Phillies should be looking for.

In 2020 Kintzler did have a 2.22 ERA but had a FIP of 5.00, and an xFIP of 4.98 so it is really hard to imagine him keeping up with that sort of luck.

In 2019 Kintzler had a higher ERA at 2.68 but had lower FIPs and xFIPs at 3.56, and 4.06. He struck out more batters per 9 at 7.58 compared to 5.18 in 2020. He walked fewer batters too in 2019 at 2.05 per 9 compared to 4.07 in 2020. He even allowed fewer home runs per 9 in 2019 allowing 0.79 compared to 1.11 in 2020.

If the Phillies get a more 2019 version of Kintzler then the Phillies should be really happy with that signing, 2020 seems a lot harder to repeat successfully.

Overall Dave Dombrowski, Sam Fuld, and the rest of the Front Office may have had some questions to ask with the starting rotation signings, we have to give them praise for the bullpen. The Phillies should be much better later in games because of the moves he has made.

The bullpen will have a much higher floor and ceiling in 2021.

More. Phillies 2021 Spring Training Preview: Position Players. light