Phillies Mailbag: September Swoon (?), Bullpen and Injuries
We are back once again with the 97.3 ESPN Phillies Mailbag. Each week we take your questions and answer them on The Sports Bash With Mike Gill. Submit your questions anytime to @FrankKlose on Twitter and tune in Tuesday afternoons to hear your questions answered.
If the team chokes again in September and does not make the playoffs will the team give into another re-build and trade as many assets as possible in the off-season to re-stock the farm system or does the team reload again and even, try to add more $$ to payroll ala Trea Turner?
Woah, Greg. Losing three out of four from the Mets while down Seranthony Dominguez, Bryce Harper, Brandon Marsh and Kyle Schwarber is not the end of the season. In fact, I think things will calm down some and the Phillies will be in a good position for the stretch run. But the Phillies have to stay healthy.
The Phillies are in a stretch that hopefully will allow them to win some games, and most importantly: heal. The Phillies need to hold of the San Diego Padres and the Milwaukee Brewers. It's clear the Mets and Braves are in.
The Phillies are facing the Reds while the Brewers face the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Padres match up against AL Central leader the Cleveland Guardians.
The Padres have nine games left against the Dodgers. The Phillies are done with the Mets and have one series left with Atlanta. The Brewers schedule is not terrible, but there are 10 games against the Mets, Cardinals, and Yankees. I think the Phillies can hang in there.
Finally, the Phillies do not need add to their payroll much to add a Trea Turner. They spent almost $30 million Didi Gregorius and Jean Segura this year. I think that means they can add some money should they want.
But I would recommend you not worry about the offseason just yet.
How should we handle closer spot? What would u do?
The addition of David Robertson sure does loom large, doesn't it? The Phillies added their former reliever for this exact scenario. Let's face it: Seranthony Dominguez has not pitched in a few years and he's been throwing plenty of innings. It sounds like there is no structural damage in Dominguez's arm, which is good news.
Until he returns I would manage the bullpen exactly the same but with the next man up. That likely means they will go into series looking at matchups. But instead of Dominguez getting the highest-leverage outs, I would give them to Robertson. Still match Jose Alvarado and Brad Hand against lefties as before.
That probably means more high-leverage outs for Connor Brogdon and Andrew Bellatti, who earned the save Monday night. If Sam Coonrod can give the Phillies something this season, even better. They are probably figuring out still what Coonrod can do; he had an ERA over 9.00 in his rehab assignment. He earned the hold Monday night, protecting a three-run lead.
To me, the underrated loss was Corey Knebel. Knebel was not scored upon in July, and then in just one of his August appearances. That one, of course, was the one in which he allowed five earned runs that might have been the first giveaway that something was wrong.
Hopefully the rest will help gear Dominguez up for the stretch run. These 10 games against the Cincinnati Reds, Pittsburgh Pirates, and Arizona Diamondbacks might just be the right toim eto figure it out.
As soon as Bryce Harper makes his return, Bradley Zimmer stop gap is gone? What is the status of Marsh, and will Darick Hall or Nick Maton end up being sent down.
The Phillies already made one move, sending Darick Hall down to Triple-A. That had less to do with Hall and more to do with Kyle Schwarber, whose injury to his calf makes him better served in the designated hitter spot for now. Unfortunately, there is no room on the diamond for Hall.
I think Bradley Zimmer likely will be designated for assignment, perhaps with the Phillies attempting an outright assignment to Triple-A. When he was claimed by the Phillies, a Fox Sports update called him "unlikely to be claimed" by another team. The Phillies really needed a stopgap.
Brandon Marsh was spotted by Phillies Nation's Destiny Lugardo doing some running and outfield drills yesterday. It would appear his injury is not too serious. It is unclear if he will need a rehab appearance or two before returning, but my guess is it will be a one-for-one Marsh-for-Zimmer swap.
Nick Maton stays. He's the left-handed infield (and now outfield) sub. I think his capable-enough left field adds extra value to Maton. Not to mention he's hitting over the .300 mark with an OPS over the 1.000 mark.
Finally, the return of Bryce Harper will coincide with the rosters expanding on September 1. Unlike the past, the Phillies and other teams can only ask two extra players. I would expect the Phillies to have one extra bat and one extra arm. That could be how they keep Hall's power around down the stretch.