We are a quarter through the Major League Baseball season, and I think it is safe to look back on some of the off-season moves that the Phillies made. Perhaps one of the most impactful was the trade for Gregory Soto.
In a deal with the Detroit Tigers, the Phillies acquired reliever Gregory Soto and infielder Kody Clemens for outfielder Matt Vierling, infielder Nick Maton, and catcher Donny Sands.
Gregory Soto trade already paying dividends
This move is really paying off dividends for the Phillies with Jose Alvarado on the 15-day Injured List.
Soto has become a favorite of manager Rob Thomson and has grown into a high-leverage role in the bullpen. With Jose injured, he has been used as the top lefty out of the ‘pen, and it has given the Phillies a strong insurance policy.
Gregory Soto has a 4.00 earned run average on the season. If you remove his first outing, which was a disaster, his ERA drops to 2.50.
He has 21 strikeouts in his 18 innings of work. He has walked ten batters, which is a much better pace than where he has been in past years.
Former Day Care Members
Matt Vierling and Nick Maton were two beloved members of the Phillies’ daycare last season. Both guys played with a lot of energy, had really key moments, and were overall just appreciated members of the team.
After the Brandon Marsh trade, Matt Vierling became expendable. Nick Maton was blocked behind Bryson Stott and Alec Bohm for starting spots and was most likely going to remain a bench bat for the Phillies.
Matt Vierling has been a starter for the majority of the season for the Tigers. He is slashing .220 / .273 / .317 / .590, showing he has really struggled at the plate.
Nick Maton has been coming off the bench in Detroit and is struggling at the plate as well. Slashing .153 / .246 / .315 / .561 on the season. Maton’s four homeruns, however, have been nice to see in terms of the development of power.
While the jury is still out, I think it is safe to say the Phillies won this deal.
In the end, they dealt two bench players for a top-notch relief pitcher, upgrading a weakness they had in previous seasons.
The Tigers got young players who they will give a chance to develop as big-league players. If either one can improve at the plate, they could prove to be starters for a bad Detroit team. Or, at the very least, become trade pieces for them down the road.
The Tigers were going to end up moving Gregory Soto by this trade deadline anyways. By doing it before the year began, they took a chance on their future.
A contending team like the Phillies took a chance on adding a piece to help put them over the top. So far, Gregory Soto feels like he can be that addition. I think the Phillies have won this trade.
Photo by Scott W. Grau/Icon Sportswire