Phillies bullpen power rankings going into the 2024 season

Who takes the top spot in our power rankings of Phillies relief pitchers for the upcoming season?

Division Series - Atlanta Braves v Philadelphia Phillies - Game Four
Division Series - Atlanta Braves v Philadelphia Phillies - Game Four / Tim Nwachukwu/GettyImages
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No. 5: Gregory Soto

Gregory Soto appeared to be a candidate to be the Phillies' closer after the club acquired him as part of a trade with the Detroit Tigers in January 2023. He previously succeeded in 48 of his 52 save opportunities with Detroit in 2021 and 2022. However, manager Rob Thomson relied on Craig Kimbrel as the team's primary closer last year.

The Dominican native went 3-4 with a 4.62 ERA and a 1.14 WHIP in 60 1/3 innings over 69 contests last year. His WHIP was the lowest of his career, and his 65 strikeouts were the second-highest of his five years in the major leagues. He saved three games out of six opportunities.

He was satisfactory in the postseason, taking into account his high ERA. Soto had a mixed performance in Game 2 of the Phillies-Marlins Wild Card contest with two hits, an earned run, and two strikeouts in one inning. Against the Diamondbacks, in Game 4 of the NLCS, he surrendered a hit, an earned run, and one walk in 1/3 of an inning.

According to FanGraphs, the reliever is projected for 70 contests by both ZiPS DC and Steamer. Both systems have Soto finishing with three saves and throwing 70 innings in 2024. Steamer has the left-hander finishing with a lower ERA of 3.62 than ZiPS DC's predicted 4.52.

ZiPS DC projects him to finish with 89 strikeouts to Steamer's 80. Steamer gives him a lower FIP of 3.90 to ZiPS DC's 4.31. Soto's predicted WHIP between the system projections are similar: 1.30 in Steamer and 1.33 in ZiPS DC.

His K/9 is 10.28 with Steamer and 11.39 with ZiPS DC. The lefty has a minimally lower BB/9 with Steamer's 4.15 compared to ZiPS DC's 4.21. Steamer projects Soto's K/BB to be 2.48 compared to a slightly elevated ZiPS DC projection of 2.70.

Soto is talented enough that he will secure one of the Phillies bullpen spots. He, Alvarado, and Strahm are the left-handers in the bullpen from last year's roster. Allard is a new addition who also is a lefty who could be used as a reliever and a potential spot starter for Philly.