Phillies 2024 Season Preview: RHP Andrew Bellatti

The reliever could stick in the big league bullpen if he lives up to his 2024 projections.
Philadelphia Phillies reliever Andrew Bellatti projects for a strong 2024
Philadelphia Phillies reliever Andrew Bellatti projects for a strong 2024 / Rich Schultz/GettyImages

The next player to be spotlighted in our Philadelphia Phillies 2024 Season Preview series is reliever Andrew Bellatti.

Previous season previews: José Alvarado

We will examine Bellatti's 2023 season and then evaluate projections for the 2024 season using the Steamer and ZiPS projection systems, which can be found on FanGraphs.

Andrew Bellatti 2023 stats and 2024 projections

2023 Stats: 27 G, 24.2 IP, 1-0 record, 0 SV, 5.11 ERA, 1.50 WHIP, 25 SO, 12 BB, 0.1 fWAR

2024 Steamer: 60 G, 60 IP, 3-3 record, 0 SV, 4.42 ERA, 1.35 WHIP, 62 SO, 26 BB, 0.2 fWAR

2024 ZiPS: 50 G, 45 IP, 1-2 record, 5.20 ERA, 1.40 WHIP, 55 SO, 22 BB, -0.2 fWAR

Andrew Bellatti 2024 season preview

Bellatti, 32, heads into 2024 after an up-and-down 2023 campaign. The third-year Phillies reliever entered last season after a career year in 2022. Through April, the right-hander appeared in 10 games before being placed on the injured list with a triceps injury.

After the injury, Bellatti was shuffled back and forth between Triple-A Lehigh Valley and Philadelphia, as he struggled to find a consistent place in the club's bullpen. He saw a drop in his strikeout rate and an increase in his walk and home run rate. The reliever's role in 2024 will depend upon any additions the club may make to the bullpen prior to Opening Day, the overall health of the Phillies' relief corps, and his performance in the spring.

With the departure of Craig Kimbrel, there are currently two reliever spots up for grabs at this point in the offseason. That could all change if the front office adds a relief pitcher between now and Spring Training. For now, Bellatti should have a chance to make the Opening Day roster in a competition for one of the remaining bullpen spots.

Should Bellatti see significant time in the major leagues in 2024 — which is possible — he would likely be used in a middle relief role.

Bellatti projected to spend majority of season with big league club

Steamer is projecting Bellatti to appear in 60 games in 2024. That is likely a high projection. In 2023, only Gregory Soto (69) and Kimbrel (71) appeared more than 60 times out of the Phillies' bullpen. Rob Thomson did go to Bellatti frequently at the beginning of last season before the injury, but the projection seems unlikely considering the righty has never appeared in 60 games in any of his previous four MLB seasons.

Bellatti is projected to have better numbers in some important statistical categories, which could indicate that he's in store for a better 2024 campaign. Steamer is projecting that the 32-year-old's strikeout rate will increase slightly from 22.1 percent to 23.8 percent, and his walk rate will decrease from 10.6 percent to 10 percent.

The Steamer projections also predict a lower ERA in 2024 (4.42) compared to last season (5.11). Both Bellatti's WHIP and FIP are projected to improve as well. For relievers, ERA can be a misleading stat. Examining a pitcher's ability to strikeout hitters and keep men off base are better numbers to use when evaluating a relief pitcher's worth.

If Bellatti can perform somewhere between his 2022 best season and his inconsistent 2023, he can be a valuable middle reliever for a Phillies team that has drastically improved their bullpen. He will not be called on in many high-leverage situations, but for the right-hander to be valuable to the club in 2024, he needs to limit damage when called upon and keep runners off base.

There are many factors that will contribute to Bellatti's role in 2024, but it's likely that he will see some time on the major league roster, and to remain in that role, he'll need to improve on his 2023 season.

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