Philadelphia Phillies bullpen continues to be a dumpster fire

Jun 14, 2022; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Philadelphia Phillies relief pitcher Corey Knebel (23) walks off the field after being taken out of the game during the ninth inning against the Miami Marlins at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 14, 2022; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Philadelphia Phillies relief pitcher Corey Knebel (23) walks off the field after being taken out of the game during the ninth inning against the Miami Marlins at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports /
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Death. Taxes. The Philadelphia Phillies bullpen is a disaster.

This year was supposed to be different. The Phillies had invested in their bullpen, adding Corey Knebel as their closer while getting rid of Hector Neris. Jeurys Familia and Brad Hand were brought in as well, adding depth to a relief corps that needed it. For the first time in years, the Phillies were going to have viable options in relief.

Absolutely nothing changes with Philadelphia Phillies bullpen

The more things change, the more they stay the same. Knebel has been shaky at best this season and has now lost his spot as the Phillies’ closer. They are planning on handling the ninth inning as a committee, which only works if the Rays are involved. Otherwise, it is an admission that the final innings are a dumpster fire.

That is certainly the case here. Knebel has been unable to close the door lately, his lack of command costing him the job. Familia has been worse as he has allowed a 54.4% hard hit rate. Jose Alvarado, who was one of the key additions in the 2020-21 offseason, has been a complete disaster. But sure, let’s go with a closer by committee approach…

Chances are, that will not last long. Hand, at least, has lived up to his billing and has been a solid part of the relief corps. A three time All Star as a closer, he led the majors in saves in 2020 and has five seasons with 20 or more saves. He may well be the next in line in the coming days.

It still comes down to whether or not the Phillies can even get a lead to the ninth inning. Knebel may have been a problem, but he was not the only issue in the bullpen. Changes were needed, but once again, the Phillies are rearranging the deck chairs as the Titanic is sinking.

Next. A deep dive into the Phillies awful pitching. dark

The Philadelphia Phillies have removed Corey Knebel from the closer role. While it may be a start, it is not the entire solution to their bullpen woes.