The Phillies must make these changes to the bullpen

MLB: APR 05 Mets at Phillies
PHILADELPHIA, PA – APRIL 05: Philadelphia Phillies Pitcher Jose Alvarado (46) delivers a pitch during the ninth inning of the Major League Baseball game between the New York Mets and the Philadelphia Phillies on April 5, 2021, at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, PA. (Photo by Gregory Fisher/Icon Sportswire)

The Phillies currently sit 20th in baseball in bullpen ERA. Their collective 4.18 ERA isn’t even the biggest issue. That would be the walks. Their BB/9 rate is FAR and away the worst in all of baseball. The Phillies’ bullpen gives away free bases and is being punished for it.

There’s already been a move addressing one of the Phillies’ biggest offenders. After posting a 6.9 BB/9 and a 2.000 WHIP, Jose Alvarado was sent down to Triple-A.

The Phillies still have 2 other relievers on the roster that should be filtered out. James Norwood has been best remembered for starting the worst Phillies collapse since the mid-90s when they blew a 7-1 9th inning lead against the Mets. He too has a base on balls problem. Norwood has walked 5 batters per 9 IP. On top of that, he’s allowing 11.3 hits per 9 (worse than Alvarado). His 8.16 ERA should be jettisoned quickly.

Andrew Bellatti looked like he found something for the Phillies earlier in the season. He had a 2.19 ERA on May 24th and has had a 9 ERA through his last 4 appearances. He should still be in the organization but the writing seems to be on the wall.

What the Phillies should do

The Phillies’ 10th best prospect (according to MLB.com) has been on fire in minor league bullpens this season. He was even good in Philadelphia. Francisco Morales should be switched out for Andrew Bellatti. Morales has a 0.79 ERA in 22.2 IP so far in the minors in 2022. He’s already been on the team earlier this season and recorded his 1st career save. He needs to be in the majors.

After James Norwood is DFA’d, the Phillies should make a bold move. They should add the 1st overall pick from the 2013 draft to the 40-man roster and call him up. Give Mark Appel a chance in the big leagues. Appel, now 30, has found something as a reliever in 2022. He currently has a 2.11 ERA in 21.1 IP for the IronPigs. He’s even recorded the first 2 saves of his minor league career. His walk rate is even the best of his career since his minor league debut in 2013. It’s time to see if he has the stuff.

Who knows if those changes would work, but you have to try. You can’t sit on your hands while the team flounders. Take a chance. Make a change. And break away.

Photo by Gregory Fisher/Icon Sportswire

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