Philadelphia Phillies 2021 player grades: Starting rotation

Aug 25, 2021; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Zack Wheeler (45) throws a pitch against the Tampa Bay Rays during the first inning at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 25, 2021; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Zack Wheeler (45) throws a pitch against the Tampa Bay Rays during the first inning at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports /
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Phillies Matt Moore
Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Matt Moore (48) Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports /

Philadelphia Phillies LHP Matt Moore

Matt Moore joined the Phillies as a candidate for the back of the rotation, signing a one-year deal during the off-season, after most recently pitching in Japan. He was in and out of the rotation throughout the season, starting three games in April, six games between June and July and four games later in August.

Moore missed time in April, being placed on the COVID-19 injured list, and was also sidelined for a month, from late May into June, with a back injury. He pitched in 24 games overall, with a 6.55 ERA and 1.704 WHIP in his 13 starts, where he recorded 51 strikeouts in 56 1/3 innings.

The southpaw went five or more innings in only four games, with his best outing coming on August 14, when he struck out eight and walked two in six innings of no-hit baseball against the Cincinnati Reds. He kept the games close in half of his starts, despite giving up runs in all but two games, however, he did not provide good length or effectiveness overall.

2021 grade: D

Philadelphia Phillies RHP Kyle Gibson

Kyle Gibson looked like a needed addition for the team’s playoff push, when he was acquired from the Texas Rangers at the trade deadline. He had a 1.98 ERA through his first 16 starts with the Rangers, although he’d given up 16 runs (15 earned) in 17 1/3 innings, in three straight losses, before the trade.

Gibson had a solid month of August with the Phillies, giving up seven runs in 32 2/3 innings, across five starts, while posting a 4-1 record. The outlier was his lone relief appearance, where he followed a pair of openers and gave up six runs in 4 1/3 innings against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

September saw a turn for the worse for Gibson, as he gave up 27 runs (26 earned) in 32 innings, going 0-4 in decisions. He did have 39 strikeouts, up from 19 strikeouts in his August starts, but his 5.09 ERA and 4-6 record with the Phillies is not what the team needed.

2021 grade: C-

Philadelphia Phillies LHP Ranger Suárez

Ranger Suárez started the season out of the bullpen and was impressive right away, going 20 1/3 innings without giving up a single earned run, across 11 games. He had a 5-3 record and 1.12 ERA when he was moved to the starting rotation at the beginning of August.

Suárez continued to impress in his new role, posting a 3-2 record, 1.51 ERA and 1.081 WHIP in 12 starts. He gave up multiple runs in just three of those starts and slowly increased the length of his outings, pitching six or more innings in his final five starts. His best outing came on September 25 against the Pittsburgh Pirates, when he gave up just four hits in a complete game shutout, while striking out seven.

The southpaw was a refreshing addition to the rotation late in the season and exceeded expectations overall, coming off of a 2020 season where he pitched in just four innings.

2021 grade: A+

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