Phillies Mailbag: Thomson, Starting Staff, Emergency Options
We are back once again with the 97.3 ESPN Phillies Mailbag. We take your questions each week and answer them on The Sports Bash with Mike Gill. Tune in Tuesday afternoons to hear your questions answered.
Do you think The Phillies need to finish strong with a playoff berth for Rob Thomson to get the manager's job for 2023?
The Phillies are 50-28 under interim manager Rob Thomson. That's good for a .641 winning percentage. That is better than the winning percentage of the New York Mets in their dominant 2022 season.
It is really hard to imagine two things: 1) That the Phillies would miss the playoffs at this point, and that 2) Thomson would not be hired permanently by the Phillies.
The Phillies will have to conduct a formal search that meets league rules. That probably will not happen until the offseason. Hopefully for the Phillies, that will come later than sooner.
In the playoffs, is Ranger Suárez more valuable in the bullpen or as a 3rd starter in a potential clincher?
What a pitchers does Philly Rob go with after Zack Wheeler, Aaron Nola? In a three game series?
I think that this is a question that would be best answered by how the Phillies play down the stretch. It might not be that the Phillies do not plan to rank their starters, but I think that where the Phillies are when they clinch will make the difference. That could go down until the last series in Houston at season's end.
When the Phillies head to Houston, if they have a playoff berth locked up, I would expect them to give starts to the like of Bailey Falter and Cristopher Sanchez that week. If the Phillies can do that, they can save Zack Wheeler and Aaron Nola for the playoffs.
But if the Phillies find themselves using Nola and Wheeler in the Houston series trying to secure that victory, then the rotation will be what is left for them to use.
Despite the blowup of Ranger Suárez after the Jean Segura error on Monday night/Tuesday morning, I think he is a strong candidate to be third. But Kyle Gibson has also pitched extremely well.
And while we are used to thinking of three starters for the playoffs, most teams will need four, if not five. Thanks to the lockout, a lot of off days have been eliminated from the schedule. Therefore, the whole pitching staff will have to come into play for most playoff teams.
Who is the “break glass in case of emergency” option, calling up Mick Abel and/or Andrew Painter or see what Cole Hamels has left in the tank?
First, I'll just point out that Cole Hamels is not in baseball shape. While he has stated he hopes to pitch next year, he will not be this year. So that is ruled out.
I think the Phillies would stay away from Mick Abel and Andrew Painter; they might even be shut down in upcoming weeks. There's another name at Double-A Reading that might see the light of day. That is, as you said, "in case of emergency.
Griff McGarry is 23 years old. He just rose to Reading after beginning the season at Class-A Jersey Shore. In seven starts, McGarry has a 2.35 earned run average for the Fightin' Phils.
There is some good news for the Phillies. Bailey Falter has held his own in three starts in a row now (two against the Pittsburgh Pirates and one against the New York Mets). And Cristopher Sanchez gave them a nice start this week. I think they'd see if they can get more out of them first.
And while Zach Eflin will not be a starter again this year, he might be able to help in the bullpen. Seranthony Dominguez is on the mend, as is Zack Wheeler, so hopefully the rest stay healthy and the Phillies can finish strong.