The Phillies placed righty reliever Corey Knebel on the 10-day, COVID-related IL on Tuesday and have called up lefty Jeff Singer from AAA Lehigh Valley as a response.
During last night’s come-from-behind 5-4 victory over the Mets, many were wondering why Knebel was absent from the Phillies bullpen heading into the ninth inning with a one-run lead. Manager Joe Girardi cleared the air in the postgame presser.
“He has some flu-like symptoms, I don’t want to alarm anyone,” Girardi said, likely awaiting Knebel’s COVID test results for further clarification. The roster move Tuesday afternoon points towards a positive test, though no word has come out confirming that case.
Knebel is one of the favorites to win Philadelphia’s closer role, competing with the likes of Brad Hand – who earned the save Monday night against New York – Jeurys Familia, and Seranthony Domínguez. Entering the 2022 season, Girardi had plans of letting all four get chances to close games early on using a “closer by committee” style. Whoever gets the hottest out of the four the quickest will likely win the job for good.
Knebel signed a one-year, $10 million contract with Philadelphia on December 1, 2021. In two appearances this season, Knebel has recorded one save, pitching two innings while allowing no runs and striking out three.
Though this IL stint may slightly hurt Knebel’s closer chances early on, the Phillies bullpen was able to shut down New York’s lineup Monday after a shaky start from Ranger Suarez. Three different Phillies relievers allowed just one run over 6.1 innings.
Phillies Called in Backup
Jeff Singer has been added to the active roster, and he will be in the bullpen for the time being. Singer, a 28-year-old lefty who grew up in South Jersey, has spent seven years in the minor leagues and will be putting on a big-league uniform for the first time.
Singer received the big news just moments after arriving at the ballpark for the IronPigs’s game in Worcester, Massachusetts. He has a career 3.20 ERA in 275.1 IP in the minors. He has struck out 322 batters and recorded 42 saves in 204 games.
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