Phillies need to add a shutdown left-handed reliever

A view of the Philadelphia Phillies bullpen (Photo by Hunter Martin/Getty Images)
A view of the Philadelphia Phillies bullpen (Photo by Hunter Martin/Getty Images) /
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The first and last-place teams in the NL East are separated by just five games. That’s it. Every game against the Braves, Mets, Nationals and Marlins means a lot for the Phillies and the numbers listed below won’t cut it.

Phillies RPs vs. NL East LHHs

  • 5.46 ERA
  • 6.17 FIP
  • 25 K/22 BB
  • 5 HR allowed

Here is a list of the NL East’s best lefty bats with their career OPS against righties and lefties, respectively, in parentheses.

  • Juan Soto (.987 vs. .889)
  • Freddie Freeman (.938 vs. .784)
  • Kyle Schwarber (.852 vs. 656)
  • Michael Conforto (.878 vs. .716)
  • Jeff McNeil (.888 vs. .813)
  • Dominic Smith (.798 vs. .734)
  • Corey Dickerson (.852 vs. .715)

Soto hits so well against lefties that you can’t expect to get him out just because you go left-lefty on him, but his career OPS against lefties is still almost 100 points lower than it is against righties.

Dickerson’s OPS drops over 130 points against lefties, Freeman’s and Conforto’s drop over 150 and Schwarber’s drops almost 200. Smith and McNeil have more even splits, but like almost all lefty swingers, they hit significantly better against righties.

Having the luxury of deploying dominant bullpen southpaws against them is a game-changer. The Phillies will likely have to go outside the organization to find one and address their lack of left-handed relief depth.

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