How this former Rays ace can help the Phillies

Ryan Sherriff #71 of the Tampa Bay Rays (Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images)
Ryan Sherriff #71 of the Tampa Bay Rays (Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images) /

Ryan Sherriff marks first addition of the 2021-22 Phillies offseason.

Just days after the conclusion of the 2021 World Series, the Philadelphia Phillies have made their first offseason transaction that affects their big-league roster.

The Phillies have claimed left-handed reliever Ryan Sherriff off waivers from the Tampa Bay Rays, according to’s Todd Zolecki. The 31-year-old was among five pitchers the Rays placed on waivers earlier this week, joining right-handers Oliver Drake, Chris Mazza, Cody Reed, and DJ Johnson.

Sherriff, a four-year veteran, went 0-1 with a 5.52 ERA, 1.568 WHIP, and 16-9 strikeouts-to-walks ratio across 16 appearances and 14 2/3 innings this past season for the American League East champions.

The St. Louis Cardinals drafted the California native in the 28th round of the 2011 draft, one year after being selected by the Washington Nationals in the 33rd round. Sherriff debuted on August 27 as a Cardinal, and finished the season going 2-1 with a 3.14 ERA and 1.186 WHIP across 13 appearances and 14 1/3 innings.

During the pandemic-shortened 2020 season, Sherriff impressively went 1-0 with a 0.00 ERA and 0.828 WHIP spanning 9 2/3 innings, all the while recording one save in as many opportunities. He went on to record two shutout innings in as many games opposite the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 2020 World Series, allowing only one walk to his seven overall batters faced.

Sherriff went 1-for-2 in save opportunities in 2021 for the Rays; he finished six games for them in total, helping to their 100-62 record this past season, their first 100-win season in franchise history.

The Phillies combined to use eight left-handed pitchers in 2021:

Ranger Suarez (106 innings pitched, 1.36 ERA)
Matt Moore (73 innings pitched, 6.29 ERA)
Jose Alvarado (55 2/3 innings pitched, 4.20 ERA)
Bailey Falter (33 2/3 innings pitched, 5.61 ERA)
Cristopher Sanchez (12 2/3 innings pitched, 4.97 ERA)
JoJo Romero (9 innings pitched, 7.00 ERA)
Kyle Dohy (1 inning pitched, 0.00 ERA)
Damon Jones (1/3 innings pitched, 0.00 ERA).

Half these pitchers (Alvarado, Dohy, Jones and Romero) were solely used as relievers, a role that Sherriff will likely assume in 2022. Every pitcher except Moore (now a free agent) remains on the active roster.

The Phillies added fellow left-hander Alvarado from the Rays last offseason, and now have done the same with Sherriff. Time will tell if he is just as effective, if not better, for the club next season.

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