Another player that the Phillies brought back to the ballclub this offseason was reliever Dylan Covey, as he was inked to a one-year, $850,000 deal. Last season, Covey was claimed off waivers from the Los Angeles Dodgers in May to help bolster the bullpen.
His tenure with the Phillies didn’t start out the way he expected when he was used sparingly while struggling in his first 10 appearances for the ballclub. Covey amassed a gaudy 6.35 ERA, along with a 1.65 WHIP, giving up 12 earned runs including three home runs with 14 strikeouts in just 17 innings.
However, he turned things around drastically in the second half when he got the opportunity to pitch in more games. In the end, he compiled an impressive 1.64 ERA while giving up only four earned runs in 22 innings of work in his final 18 games of the season.
But what's more intriguing for Covey was the fact that even when he was struggling mightily at the start, the Phillies didn't designate him for assignment. They instead had sent pitchers like Yunior Marté and Andrew Bellatti back down to the minors, as well as designating Andrew Vasquez for assignment, while keeping Covey on the major league roster through it all.
As a result, they must see something promising in his ability to keep him cemented on the roster, which means we will likely see him as part of the 2024 Opening Day roster as well. However, the Phillies better hope they get the second-half version of Covey because if the first-half version shows up (which was more reflective of his typical performance in MLB to date), the leash this time will definitely be a lot shorter with some top pitching prospects waiting impatiently for their chance this year.