The minor league contract signing of Jeff Hoffman
If the Strahm signing was so-called underrated, then the inking of Jeff Hoffman to a minor league contract after the start of the 2023 season feels like a lottery win for the Phillies. After all, they wouldn’t have had the opportunity to bring him into the organization if the Minnesota Twins hadn’t released him in April. Nevertheless, the rest has been history now that Hoffman is a part of the Phillies.
As a former first-round pick of the Toronto Blue Jays back in the 2014 MLB Draft, Hoffman failed to find his footing in the major leagues until his semi-breakout season last year with the Cincinnati Reds. In 2022, it was his first and only season in which he sported an ERA below four, but at the same time, still possessed a WHIP above the 1.4 range as he struggled with control and command at times. Nevertheless, the Phillies took a gamble on Hoffman, which has now certainly paid off tremendously for the ballclub.
After being selected to the 40-man roster at the beginning of May, Hoffman took full advantage of the opportunity and has run away with it. He is probably the Phillies’ biggest surprise of the year as he would go on to have a career year, posting a strong 5-2 record with 11 holds, along with an impressive 2.41 ERA and a 0.92 WHIP, with 69 strikeouts in just 52.1 innings pitched. Together with Strahm, Kimbrel and Alvarado, they have helped anchor the Phillies’ shutdown bullpen for much of the 2023 season.