Phillies: Three moves that might help a very bad situation

Gregorius is ready for a big 2020 with bat and glove for the Phillies. Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images.
Gregorius is ready for a big 2020 with bat and glove for the Phillies. Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images. /
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(Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
(Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) /

Move Number Three

Then there’s the matter of the Phillies dreadful bullpen. At the moment, their 40-man squad includes 14 pitchers who are arguably relievers. Some of them were part of the team’s dreadful bullpen crowd from last season.

About five of those 14 pitchers may pitch a significant number of innings for the Phillies this year, and if you passed a list of those five around to Phillies fans, you would get a lot of silence and heads shaking.

Is Victor Arano or JoJo Romero an exception to that statement? Maybe. You have to dig into Romero’s game logs, though, to see that, and assume Arano’s shoulder will be all right next season.

So, we need a reliever who might arguably be as valuable as three other relievers, the need indicated.

And the winner is Trevor Rosenthal. Like Gregorius, Rosenthal is recovering from Tommy John surgery with everything now running smoothly. After a stellar nine games (0.00 ERA, 0.400 WHIP) with the Padres after leaving the Royals this past year, the right-handed flamethrower likely wants more than the $7 million he made under his last full season’s contract in 2019.

It is tempting to say Rosenthal would automatically slide into the closer’s role with the Phillies, and if they signed him, that might very well happen. However, it might as reasonably be expected that, whenever Hector Neris is throwing his splitter well, Rosenthal could set him up. Neris is streaky.

Perhaps it would depend on which batters were coming to the plate in the eighth inning.

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Bottom Line

A Chinese proverb asserts that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. The Phillies have more than three needs, but the absolute minimum number of moves needed this off season for them to compete with the Braves and now-wealthy Mets in the NL East is three. If the team could make the three changes suggested here, get a little lucky with the back end of their rotation and the rest of a bullpen that includes Neris and Rosenthal, they might do something they haven’t for nine years now.

The Phillies could barely make the playoffs.