2 Phillies players who’ve earned more playing time, 1 who deserves less

Which Phillies players should see more action and which should have their playing time cut back?
Philadelphia Phillies center fielder Johan Rojas
Philadelphia Phillies center fielder Johan Rojas / G Fiume/GettyImages
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Gregory Soto has earned more playing time

After coming to the Phillies in a 2022-23 offseason trade from the Detroit Tigers, Gregory Soto was thought to be a big part of the team’s four-headed monster at the back end of the bullpen for 2023, joining Seranthony Domínguez, José Alvarado and closer Craig Kimbrel. After all, he had been lights out as the Tigers’ shutdown closer and was named an All-Star in each of his two previous seasons.

However, 2023 didn’t turn out as planned for Soto. He struggled to a 4.62 ERA, his highest mark posted since his MLB debut season in 2019. Despite recording 24 holds, he often encountered some adversity whenever he made an appearance, creating some nervous moments for the Phillies and their fans.

Even when spring training rolled around in 2024, Soto’s inconsistencies from last season appeared again. He pitched to a dismal 6.23 ERA with a WHIP close to 2.00 while giving up six runs on 13 hits with four walks and 11 strikeouts in 8 2/3 innings of work. The Phillies would definitely be in for another long season if their big bullpen acquisition from the previous offseason turned into a complete bust.

However, Soto appears to have flipped the switch to start the regular season. It may be just a small sample size, but in six games, he has allowed one run on five hits with five strikeouts to one walk while recording a save in 4 1/3 innings. More importantly, he has shown flashes of dominance last seen back in his Detroit days, which has to be encouraging for the Phillies brass.

The Phillies would be wise to give him more playing time to keep him in a good groove and hopefully carry that success throughout the rest of the season. In addition, he is probably a better option now compared to some of the other arms in the bullpen.