Phillies hurriedly patch holes with goo at trade deadline

May 17, 2021; Arlington, Texas, USA; Texas Rangers relief pitcher Ian Kennedy (31) pitches against the New York Yankees during the game at Globe Life Field. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
May 17, 2021; Arlington, Texas, USA; Texas Rangers relief pitcher Ian Kennedy (31) pitches against the New York Yankees during the game at Globe Life Field. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports /

Is there anyone out there who hasn’t seen one of those Flex Seal ads on cable TV? No, you didn’t just inadvertently hit the wrong link looking for an article about the Philadelphia Phillies – bear with me. For the few who are ignorant of Flex Seal, the company’s basic products are these really good, gooey substances used to patch holes and cracks in almost anything. They sell a really good tape too.

I’ve used several of their products. They work. But like most things in the universe, they are not eternal fixes. And that brings us back to the Phillies and their maneuvers at the recent MLB trade deadline.

Within minutes of that deadline, they acquired Kyle Gibson, a 33-year-old, career .493 pitcher; Ian Kennedy, a reliever recently used as a closer who’s 36, and Freddy Galvis, an infielder they traded away after the 2017 season. They also picked up a couple of minor leaguers who are probably not quite ready to contribute in South Philadelphia yet.

Will the Phillies last-minute deals at the trade deadline be enough to win the NL East?

In other words, these moves were not the equivalent of Max Scherzer and Trea Turner moving to the Dodgers. They were the Flex Seal moves – not really the additions to guarantee a World Series win.

More Phillies. Finally a move to improve the pitching staff. light

However, this is not to say there weren’t things to admire about them. First, but of secondary importance, was the fact that the Rangers, Pirates, and Orioles were sent players who were definitely not going to make a difference in the Phillies’ effort to run down the first-place Mets in the next two months. (And none of them is named Francisco Morales or Bryson Stott.)

The only alleged MLB player the Phillies gave up was Spencer Howard, who was considered a starter. Howard had some trouble, however, maintaining an MLB velocity for more than a few innings.

More important to the current Phillies effort to catch New York, which will likely involve playing better than .500 baseball for a change, were the ’21 numbers Gibson and Kennedy posted with the Rangers. Gibson made his first All-Star team this year while posting a 2.87 ERA and a 1.177 WHIP, both career bests. Kennedy, who has been a reliever since the beginning of the 2019 season, had a 2.57 ERA with 16 saves in 32 games for the State Cops.

It would be madness for the Phillies not to immediately put Gibson into their struggling rotation and at least consider Kennedy for any closer’s situation.

The most encouraging of Kennedy’s advanced stats may be his home-run-to-flyball ratio (12.8%, down from 31.8% in ’20) and a 92.8% left-on-base figure (up a whopping 37% from last season). The most encouraging of Gibson’s stats is his HR/9 figure this season, 0.72. More prized than a home run hitter in 2021 is a starter who prevents home runs.

Gibson’s other great virtue may be that he is already signed through next season.

Galvis, a stellar defender improperly denied a Gold Glove his entire career, currently has a strained quadriceps and was added to the Phillies 40-man roster. He is expected to be ready to play in a couple of weeks.

In the Philadelphia area, there is likely to be great wailing and gnashing of teeth over these acquisitions as inadequate – more precisely because none of the players, in fact, is named Scherzer or Turner. However, if any of them contributes to the Phillies making the playoffs for the first time in a decade, those complaints will be quickly forgotten and denied.

On paper at least, the Philadelphia Phillies could have done far worse or far less at the trade deadline. They may have turned to Flex Seal solutions – Gibson, Kennedy, and Galvis likely will have short stays in red pinstripes – but they may very well work out for a couple of years.

Next. Girardi scheming to get most out of Phillies. dark

What is needed at the moment are only a couple of months.