Last season will be infamously remembered by the Philly faithful as one marred and utterly decimated by poor pitching. In the hands of the Phillies 2020 pitching staff, especially that of the bullpen, no lead was ever safe and each game was seemingly bound to get messy. But could Trevor Bauer be the cure the Phillies are looking for?
The starting rotation wasn’t without their hiccups. Featuring an uninspired trio of Jake Arrieta, Zach Eflin, and Vince Velasquez to round out the rotation, the Phillies struggled to limit offenses on a nightly basis, expectedly. And, again, I know the bullpen did them ZERO favors, but the Phillies starting rotation left a lot to be desired and the Phillies should be eager to bolster that aspect of the roster.
One way to do so- perhaps the easiest and most obvious way as well- would be to make a play at Reds pitcher and 2020 NL Cy Young candidate Trevor Bauer.
In a shortened, virus-impacted season, Bauer was nothing short of phenomenal. Bauer, 29, allowed just 14 earned runs in 73 innings of work, finishing the season with an otherworldly 1.73 ERA(!). The hard-throwing right-hander posted nine quality starts in eleven outings and his efforts went a long way towards helping Cincinnati secure a playoff spot. Additionally, Bauer was also one of just three pitchers to record 100+ strikeouts this season.
A season for the record books, the veteran starter couldn’t have picked a better time for it, as he will undoubtedly be cashing in this winter. As one would imagine after such a highly-effective campaign, the market for Bauer is expected to be robust and a bidding war seems like the likely outcome. A bidding war that the Phillies should be intentional about winning.
Boasting a starting rotation that posted a modest 4.08 ERA last season, the Phillies could certainly stand to improve in that area. Acquiring Bauer would allow the Phils to pencil him in as the number one or even number two pitcher in between Aaron Nola and Zack Wheeler for years to come. Impeded by poor pitching for the better half of the last five or so years, signing Bauer would shore up a major Phillies flaw and once again make them the competitive ball club they long to be.
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