Rosenthal: Klentak Might Need Deep Playoff Run to Save Job
The Phillies are in the final week of the 2020 regular season and if the season was to end today, they would be back in the playoffs for the first time since 2011.
But while they currently occupy the No. 7 seed in the NL field, they are no sure bet to clinch a post-season berth, thanks in part to one of the worst bullpens in modern history.
The team currently has a 7.15 bullpen ERA and WHIP of 1.847. In 167.1 innings they have managed to give up more runs (144) than the starting rotation (131), who has thrown 275.1 innings this season.
That bullpen was built by current general manager Matt Klentak and while the team might make the playoffs if might not be enough to save his job, even though he is under contract until 2022.
According to MLB insider Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, Klentak might need a deep run in the playoffs to save his job.
The Phillies rank seventh in payroll, according to Cot’s Baseball Contracts, yet for the second straight season are hovering around .500 despite fielding rosters that included catcher J.T. Realmuto, right fielder Bryce Harper and right-hander Aaron Nola. A deep run in the postseason might save Klentak, but how would that even be possible when the team’s bullpen is the worst in the majors?
While the offense and the starting rotation have done their part to make this a playoff team, the bullpen the past two seasons was totally not equipped to pitch at this level. Sure Klentak made a couple of in season tweaks to the pen, adding Brandon Workman, Heath Hembree and David Hale at the trade deadline. However in the five offseasons he has had to add talent to the bullpen, he has whiffed.
He signed right-handed relief pitchers Pat Neshek to a 2 years/$16.25 million contract. Tommy Hunter to a 2 year/$18 million contract and David Robertson to 2 Year/$23 million contract.
That trio spent plenty of time on the injures list, so this season, Klentak went with a ton of unknowns and it could end up costing him his job.