June 22, 2019.
Jose Barrios took the mound for the Minnesota Twins against the Kansas City Royals. The young ace went 7 innings and was brought out for the 8th. He didn’t record an out and the Royals would tie the game 3-3.
In the 10th inning, the Twins would score 2 runs to take a 5-3 lead. Blake Parker would come in to shut the door. He hit Alex Gordon to start the inning but followed up with 2 strikeouts and a pop up to record his 10th save of the season.
That was the last save Parker had with the Minnesota Twins. A month later on July 23rd, Parker would have his worst outing of the season against the Yankees, allowing 4 ER and recording only 1 out. His ERA spiked from 3.25 to 4.21.
Parker was designated for assignment the next day. On the 29th, he was granted free agency and on the 30th he signed with the Philadelphia Phillies.
Parker signing with the Phillies meant he’d be reunited fellow reliever Mike Morin who was bought from the Twins on July 20th.
Since the 2 Twins relievers changed over to red pinstripes, the Phillies bullpen has performed significantly better.
Before Blake Parker made his Phillies debut, the bullpen had one of the worst ERA’s in the majors. Their 4.84 ERA ranked 24th in the MLB and 12th in the National League.
Since Blake Parker made his first appearance on August 1st, the Phillies bullpen has been one of the best in baseball. The bullpen’s 3.70 ERA ranks 5th in the MLB and 2nd in the NL during that stretch.
The Twins castoffs, Parker and Mike Morin, have been a big part of that.
In 10 appearances with the Phillies, Parker has had just one blemish when he allowed 3 ER in an inning in Arizona. Outside of that outing, he’s allowed just 1 ER in 9.2 IP. In his 10.2 IP with the Phillies, he’s only given up 6 hits and 1 walk while striking out 15.
Mike Morin has been just as good, if not better.
Morin played a major part in the Phillies walkoff win against the Pirates. He tossed 2 scoreless to allow Sean Rodriguez to walk it off in the 11th, giving him the W.
Those 2 innings brought Morin’s season ERA to 3.12 and his Phillies ERA to 3.06. That number should even be better considering Gabe Kapler left him in too long against the White Sox.
In the ultimate 10-5 loss, Morin was called upon for the 7th inning. He gave up an ER on a double and a single. Usually, that would be it for a reliever. Instead, he was sent out for the 8th and was tagged with a 3-run homer by Eloy Jimenez.
Without that inning, Morin has a 1.62 ERA with the Phillies. Outside of his rookie year, Morin is having his best statistical season. His career 4.37 ERA doesn’t seem to match his role as potential setup man.
Both Parker and Morin are controllable for assets for the 2020 season. If they both return, they could see time in prominent spots in the bullpen.
Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Alec Kostival graduated from La Salle University with a degree in communication with a focus in mass media and journalism. He covered high school sports for the Chestnut Hill Local. He has interned with the Reading Fightin Phils and the Philadelphia Eagles.