The Phillies have a top-10 bullpen in all of baseball. You read that correctly. As of July 13th, the Phillies’ bullpen has recorded a 2.6 fWAR. That’s good for 9th in all of baseball.
Since Joe Girardi was fired on June 3rd, the Phillies’ bullpen has a 3.12 ERA, 6th in baseball (3rd in the NL). Even though Rob Thomson has done a solid job since becoming interim manager, let’s instead acknowledge the Phillies relievers that have brought them to this point.
Jose Alvarado was actually at Triple-A when Girardi was fired. He didn’t come back to the majors until June 12th. He immediately gave up two runs to the Diamondbacks in a 13-1 trouncing.
Since that day, Alvarado has been golden. He hasn’t allowed a single ER and only one unearned run. In 11 IP, Alvarado has struck out 20 while walking six. He’s still giving out free passes at a high rate but he’s limited damage. Opponents are hitting just .150 against him in that span.
His biggest asset has been the increased usage of his cutter.
On the season, opposing batters have hit .135 against the pitch and slugged just .167. He only threw the cutter 16.7% last season. This season, he’s thrown it 39.2% of the time—more than double.
He might not throw it 100 MPH like his sinker, but he’s shown better control with the cutter. It’s slowly becoming an ELITE pitch.
Guess who’s shown why he was the number 1 overall draft pick?
Mark Appel finally gave up his first run against the Blue Jays on Tuesday. The way he did it was admirable, however. Appel pitched three innings in a bullpen game against the dangerous Blue Jays. Lourdes Gurriel Jr. (hitting .305) and Matt Chapman had back-to-back doubles after Appel had gone 2.2 IP (the longest outing in the majors).
Appel has recorded a 1.29 ERA in 7IP since graduating from the minors for the first time.
Ok, hear me out. Nick Nelson hasn’t been the best reliever but he’s provided the Phillies multiple quality innings when no one else could. He has a 4.19 ERA on the season but his last 12 IP have been delectable.
In that time span, Nelson has appeared in six games for the Phillies. He’s allowed just two ER while striking out 13. He’s proving to be a nice pick-up from the Yankees’ scrap pile.
He deserves some props.
With a 1.91 ERA, Seranthony Dominguez has been dominant all season. Since the 2nd week of May, he’s been even better. Since May 8th, Seranthony has a 1.14 ERA. In 23.2 IP, he’s struck out 26 and walked just 6.
His fastball has averaged 98 MPH. His sinker, which he’s using way more than any other season, has been his bread and butter. Opponents are hitting .158 against the pitch. I could gush all day about Seranthony but I’ll let him show out on the field instead.
Photo Credit: AP Photo/Matt Slocum