Phillies: Dual 3-batter strategy for 2020

FORT MYERS, FLORIDA - FEBRUARY 26: Manager Joe Girardi of the Philadelphia Phillies looks on against the Minnesota Twins during a Grapefruit League spring training game at Hammond Stadium on February 26, 2020 in Fort Myers, Florida. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
FORT MYERS, FLORIDA - FEBRUARY 26: Manager Joe Girardi of the Philadelphia Phillies looks on against the Minnesota Twins during a Grapefruit League spring training game at Hammond Stadium on February 26, 2020 in Fort Myers, Florida. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /
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Harper could be warming up for a big 2020 with the Phillies. Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images. /

Run-producing machine:

To complete the Phillies relief corps first, the most important aspect is handling at least three batters. And although that’s difficult to easily reconstruct, facing at least two hitters is doable. So, here’s a list of relievers who pitched to two batters or more per outing.

Phillies bullpen pieces in 2019:

  • Velasquez: 10 of 10 for 100%
  • Pivetta: 17 of 17 for 100%
  • Alvarez: 60 of 67 for 89.6%
  • Suarez: 35 of 37 for 94.6%
  • Morgan: 29 of 40 for 72.5%
  • Dominguez: 26 of 27 for 96.3%
  • Neris: 66 of 68 for 97.1%
  • Total: 243 of 266 for 91.4% (2 hitters or more).

Phillies bullpen pieces in 2018:

  • Arano: 57 of 60 for 95%
  • Hunter: 63 of 65 for 96.9%
  • Robertson: 69 of 69 for 100%

Having a mix of left-handed and right-side bats is a solid weapon when the opposing manager can’t change hurlers to compensate for a balanced lineup. Currently, the Fightins have Harper, Gregorius and Bruce from the left side, while they have right-handed hitters Hoskins and Realmuto.

If a skipper faces a batting order of Realmuto (R), Harper (L), Hoskins (R) and Gregorius (L) with a right-hander, he must pitch to Realmuto and Hoskins to avoid Harper. Or a southpaw will skip Hoskins and handle Harper and Gregorius.

To sum up, the Phils bullpen doesn’t have one-batter specialists, plus they have a balanced lineup to make a comeback in the final three frames. So, while some doubting Thomases are bemoaning the rotation, the pen and the offense, what might 2020 have in store for them? Surprises!