3 pitchers the Phillies should target as minor league depth this season

The Phillies still need to add pitching depth for the 2024 season, and we found three veteran hurlers who could fill that role.

Carlos Carrasco is just one of the pitchers the Philadelphia Phillies should target as minor league depth this season
Carlos Carrasco is just one of the pitchers the Philadelphia Phillies should target as minor league depth this season / Jim McIsaac/GettyImages
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Matt Barnes

Matt Barnes is a former first-round draft pick in 2011 (19th overall) for the Boston Red Sox. Although he came up as a starter through the Red Sox farm system, he found greater success in a bullpen role. He made his major league debut in 2014 and was a significant arm out of Boston's bullpen from 2015 to 2022, appearing in 429 games.

A World Series champion on the Red Sox 2018 ball club, Barnes had his best season in 2021. He was selected to his only All-Star game in a season that saw him record 24 saves and a 3.79 ERA in 60 games and 54 2/3 innings pitched. After signing an $18.75 million contract to stay in Boston mid-season, Barnes took a dreadful turn and was later traded to the Miami Marlins in January 2023. The downturn continued in Miami as Barnes appeared in only 24 games with a bloated 5.48 ERA.

Could Caleb Cotham and the Phillies pitching coaches find a way to fix Matt Barnes? The 33-year-old right-hander is a free agent for the first time and will likely have to settle for a minor league contract after seeing his star fade in recent years.

According to Baseball Savant, Barnes relies on three pitches: a knuckle curve, a 93.4 mph four-seam fastball, and a split-finger. While his curve has regressed a bit from its former glory, hitters destroyed Barnes' four-seamer in 2023, hitting a scorching .395 against the pitch.

Maybe a tweak to his fastball will be all it takes to make Matt Barnes an effective reliever again. If Barnes figures things out, perhaps we could see him return to a ninth-inning role.