The Philadelphia Phillies had an eventful offseason following their World Series appearance. They had to be busy with Bryce Harper expected to miss a large chunk of the season, and Dave Dombrowski was just that. Some moves were good, some were less good.
The big move made was the Trea Turner signing. Turner hasn't quite hit for the power we expected, but he's hitting .338 and has been solid at the top of the order.
Turner has been good, but most of the offseason additions have not. Here are three the Phillies should be worried about.
1) The Phillies should be concerned with Craig Kimbrel
Craig Kimbrel signed a one-year deal worth $10 million to be a key piece in the Phillies bullpen. Kimbrel had an underwhelming year serving as the Dodgers' closer but was at one point one of the most dominant closers the game of baseball had ever seen. Kimbrel has an extensive track record of success so this felt like a fine signing for one year.
Unfortunately, Kimbrel has gotten off to an abysmal start. His first outing came in Texas and he allowed three runs while walking two and recording only one out. Kimbrel has walked a batter in five of his seven appearances and has walked six overall in just six innings of work.
Walks have always been a concern with Kimbrel. He walked 4.2/9 last season and has walked 3.7/9 in his career. Kimbrel has just always had the stuff to leave the walks on the bases, but at 34 years old, his stuff isn't what it used to be.
Kimbrel's fastball has seen a rapid decline in velocity. In 2021 it averaged 96.5 mph. Last season it was at 95.8. This season it's averaged 95 mph. A 1.5 mph decrease might not seem like a lot, but it is.
Kimbrel ranks in the eighth percentile in average exit velocity, the 10th percentile in hard-hit rate, and the first percentile in chase rate according to baseball savant. He's walking too many, getting hit hard when balls are put in play, and isn't getting the chases he once did.
I expect Kimbrel to be better than he has been, but he won't be the high-leverage guy Dave Dombrowski saw him be in Boston.