Could Victor Arano be the Phillies’ bullpen savior?

Quick, if I asked you what Victor Arano’s career ERA was, what would you guess?

4.2? 3.5? 3.9? 3.2? Have your answers ready?

2.65. That’s right. Since being called up in 2017, Victor Arano has a 2.65 ERA with the Phillies. Success in the majors is nothing new for a pitcher who has often been slept on.

Acquired by the Phils back in 2014 in a trade that sent Roberto Hernandez to the Dodgers. Then just 19-years old, Arano was assigned to the Clearwater Threshers but didn’t pitch for the remainder of the season. In 2015, he pitched his way to a 4-12 record, along with 4.72 ERA in 24 games. A solid starting point.

He split his time in 2016 between Clearwarter and the Fightin Phills, combining for a much-improved 2.26 ERA in 46 relief appearances, garnering MiLB 2016 Philadelphia Organization All Star honors.

In 10.2 IP in 2017, Arano had a 1.69 ERA with 13 strikeouts. He earned his first win on September 16th, throwing 2 perfect innings against the Oakland A’s. He recorded outs against both Matt Chapman and Marcus Semien who are 2 of the best infielders in the game currently.

Somehow in 2018, Victor Arano was hardly noticed, yet his performance deserves more attention. Of every Phillie who played in 2018, Arano recorded the 5th highest bWAR on the team. Of relievers with 45 or more IP, Arano had the lowest ERA with a 2.73.

Arano lost most of 2019 to injury. A shame considering he had one of the greatest relief appearances in Phillies’ history.

On April 14th, Arano was called to the mount in the middle of a 1-1 barn-burner in Miami. The 12th and 13th innings would be Arano’s responsibility. Not only did he pitch well, but he was perfection. Six Marlins came to the plate and ALL SIX went down on strikes.

That 14-inning Sunday win showed exactly what Victor Arano can do. Arano throws a high-90’s fastball with a + slider. Arano’s career FIP of 3.20 and K/9 of 9.6 show that even in the peripherals he looks like a 2020 breakout candidate.

The Phillies will need a breakout like that if their bullpen is going to hold together in 2020.

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