As the trade deadline neared, fans hoped for a blockbuster move out of Dave Dombrowski’s Phillies. While no blockbuster came, the Phillies made a few additions to the team that will help fill a few week spots.
Phillies Reinforce Pitching Depth
On a day where Max Scherzer, Jose Berrios, and Craig Kimbrel all were traded, the Phillies looked for the cheap additions to their pitching staff. In a trade that moved Spencer Howard to the Rangers, the Phillies acquired Kyle Gibson and Ian Kennedy. GIbson, a starter, will reinforce the Phillies’ rotation while Kennedy will assist the beleaguered bullpen.
Gibson, 33, had a strong start to the 2021 season, earning his first career All-Star Game appearance. In hist first 16 starts of the season, ending on July 2nd, Gibson owned a 1.98 ERA, keeping opposing batters to a .202 batting average. Despite struggles against the Tigers in two of his three most recent starts, Gibson currently owns a 2.87 ERA with a 1.177 WHIP on the year. The 33-year old will likely become the Phillies’ number four starting pitcher when Zach Eflin returns from the Injured List.
Gibson uses a large pitch repertoire, six in all. His primary pitch is his sinker, which he uses 34.9% of the time. Primarily located in the low and inside corner of the plate, he mixes his sinker in with a changeup and curveball there as well, which he uses 14% and 9.7% of the time, respectively. He also utilizes an aslider and a cut-fastball on the outside part of the plate (16.8% and 12.3%) while he elevates on the outside with his four-seamer (12.2% of the time).
The other side of the deal with the Rangers, Kennedy is a former starter who has transitioned well to the bullpen. Acting as the Rangers’ closer this season, Kennedy has recorded 16 saves on the season with only one blown save. A 2.51 ERA on the year, Kennedy has struck out 35 batters over 32.1 innings with an impressive 1.052 WHIP.
Kennedy has made five appearances over the month of July, not allowing a single run. In five innings pitched, he has allowed three hits and no walks while striking out four.
Since becoming a reliever, Kennedy has primarily used his four-seam fastball. In fact, he has used it 82.6% of the time this season while sprinkling in a changeup, curveball, and cutter as well.
Kennedy will likely step in as the Phillies’ new closer, allowing Rnager Suarez to shift back into the long-relief role that the Phillies desperately need him in.
Crouse was the Rangers’ ninth-ranked prospect heading into today. A former second round draft pick, Crouse owns a 3.35 ERA this year for the AA Frisco Rough Riders. Crouse has 99+ MPH fastball potential with a strong slider as well. The right-hander has the potential to develop into a future closer for the Phillies.
Oh, and he’ll fit right in in Philadelphia.
What Did the Phillies Give Up?
Spencer Howard, Kevin Gowdy, and Josh Gessner the names going back to the Rangers.
Howard, being the big piece in the trade, was the Phillies’ number one prospect in 2020 before making his MLB debut. Howard has been troubled with injuries in the past and has yet to prove his worth at the major league level. Part of the blame rests on the Phillies, however, as the team has failed to let him develop the past two seasons.
Pitching prospects Kevin Gowdy and Josh Gessner will join Howard on the flight to Arlington as the prospects that round out the deal. Gowdy was drafted in the second round of the 2016 MLB Draft and has only advanced to A+ Jersey Shore. Gessner, meanwhile, an Australian national, joined the Phillies in 2019 and currently sits in the Rookie League.
Phillies Add Freddy Galvis
At exactly 4:00 PM EST, Jon Heyman broke that Freddy Galvis is returning to Philadelphia. Galvis came up with the Phillies before being traded to the Padres in 2017. Since then, he has played for the Padres, Blue Jays, Reds, and Orioles.
The 31-year old middle infielder will be a defensive asset for the Phillies, who have struggled in that area as of late. Offensively, he has a .249/.306/.414 slash line on the year. It remains unclear, however, how Galvis will fit into a crowded middle infield with Gregorius, Segura, and Torreyes.
Galvis is returning from a right quad strain, so manager Joe Girardi has time to figure out his favorite double switch combinations.
The Phillies traded minor league pitcher Tyler Burch to the Orioles for Galvis.
A Deadline in Review
Meanwhile, the Phillies remained under the luxury tax threshold while making a few additions. What this indicates is that Phillies’ ownership either does not believe the team can win the World Series this year OR that they did not want to trade top prospects such as Mick Abel and Bryson Stott.
The big question that remains now for the Phillies is this: did they do enough to win the division?
The Atlanta Braves added an entire outfield plus Richard Rodriguez and Stephen Vogt. The Nationals traded away the kitchen sink. The Mets added Rich Hill, Trevor Williams, and Javier Baez.
While several teams made blockbuster additions at the trade deadline, the Phillies chose to make precise additions at the cost of Spencer Howard and a few prospects. Only time will tell if the Phillies made the right move or if the playoff drought will continue for another year.
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