3) Phillies fans have already lost their patience with Gregory Soto
While Alvarado pitches brilliantly in relief for the Phillies, Gregory Soto has taken over as the lefty in the bullpen we know is certain to implode. He’s 1-2 with a 5.40 ERA after 15 appearances. He has averaged 6.1 walks per 9 while striking out batters at a rate of 11.5 per 9. We knew this was possible when the Phillies acquired him from the Detroit Tigers over the offseason. We just didn’t anticipate he’d be this awful.
An All-Star for the Tigers in 2021 and 2022, Soto was one of the American League’s better closers during the last two seasons. His 2022 season was a bit unusual, though. Despite saving 30 games and pitching to a 3.28 ERA, he somehow managed to come away as the losing pitcher 11 times.
Less of an anomaly and more of a weakness he can’t seem to shake, Soto has never finished a season with a walk rate lower than the 5.1 per 9 he had last year. Those who are already losing their patience because of all of the free passes better buckle in. It won’t get all that much better than this.
A deeper dive at his season numbers, we do find Soto excelling against lefties. They’re hitting just .111/.273/.111 against him. He has also allowed just a single hit in 7 innings at Citizens Bank Ballpark.
Soto has been a frustrating ball player. Maybe not quite as much as this next pitcher.