The ones that really got away were pitchers Zach Eflin and David Robertson. Eflin is now with the division-leading Tampa Bay Rays, and has formed a strong one-two punch with Rays’ ace Shane McClanahan. For the season, he has a dazzling 10-4 record, 3.25 ERA, 0.987 WHIP, striking out 105 in just 102.1 innings pitched. He certainly would have looked good along with the Phillies big three of Nola, Wheeler and Walker, and the Phillies probably wouldn’t have to worry about upgrading their starting pitching for the stretch run as a result.
Robertson, on the other hand, has done just as well for the surprisingly disappointing New York Mets. Despite the team’s struggles for the entire season, Robertson has provided the much needed steadiness in their bullpen, pitching to a sparkling 2.06 ERA, 1.02 WHIP, with 46 strikeouts and 13 saves in 36 games. As the Phillies’ closer down the stretch in 2022, the Phillies sure miss his consistency and reliability this year, but luckily Kimbrel has been coming through to ease the pain.
Getting rid of Hand, Syndergaard, Segura and Gibson hasn’t hurt the Phillies one bit, but the dominance of both Eflin and Robertson after leaving town leaves a lot to be desired. Knebel is definitely still available to be picked up if the Phillies really want to get back one of their more reliable relievers from 2022, and perhaps Robertson may even be available by trade, so things could get even better for the Phillies soon if they do the right thing.
4. Overall team grade from the offseason transactions
Overall Grade: B+
Despite quite the huge overhaul of their roster from their 2022 contending team, the Phillies had done quite well overall in addressing their needs during the past offseason. They may have lost some key valuable players in Eflin and Robertson to free agency, but they have provided adequate replacements for them with Walker and Kimbrel to help calm the stormy seas. They could have done much better in terms of their offseason trades, with neither one of them having much impact for the current team, but as the saying goes, sometimes the best trades are the ones you don’t make, so at least the Phillies didn’t end up losing a breakout, dominating player, for now (with Miller pending).
Building upon their current winning stretch, if Turner can turn around his season in the second half, along with some key upgrades at the upcoming trade deadline, look for the Phillies to return to the playoffs this year and be in strong contention perhaps once again for the World Series title.