2 Phillies moving up the depth chart, 2 moving down
By Tim Boyle
Phillies player moving up the depth chart: Matt Strahm
Nobody thought Matt Strahm would be sitting here with 5 starts and a relief appearance owning a team-best ERA among the starters at 2.31 at the end of April. Pinch yourself. This is no dream. Strahm has been the most pleasant surprise of the year for the Phillies even beyond what the Daycare has done at the plate. He has stepped up in place of the injured Ranger Suarez in a huge way. He’s doing it in dominating fashion. Batters have fanned at a rate of 12.3 per 9 innings of work.
The offseason signing of Strahm was a bit underwhelming. An intended relief pitcher to join Jose Alvarado and Gregory Soto in the bullpen with three lefties, he has been an up-and-down pitcher throughout his career. His uninspiring 3.83 ERA in 44.2 relief innings for the Boston Red Sox was good enough to accept the addition but not get too excited.
Strahm is now a reasonable option for the Phillies to keep in the rotation. The health of Taijuan Walker in question and some poor outings from Bailey Falter may have the Phillies thinking twice about moving Strahm back to the bullpen.
Getting length from him every fifth day is unlikely. Who cares? If Strahm can go 5 or 6 innings and help them win games, keep him around. Get the most innings out of him that you can even if it’s not in relief.