Corey Knebel is out as the Phillies closer “for now”
Corey Knebel is out as the Phillies closer “for now”, according to manager Rob Thomson. The Phillies will handle the ninth inning by committee going forward.
Corey Knebel will be used in lower-leverage ninth-inning situations until he gets his stuff back, Thomson also said. Knebel has struggled to find the strike zone as of recent and has been a huge liability in the 9th inning with the game on the line.
The final straw for Knebel was last night’s gut-wrenching loss to the Marlins. Knebel came into the game in the 9th and couldn’t record a single out, suffering three runs and two walks. He threw 16 total pitches and logged just four strikes.
Corey was brought in from Los Angeles in the offseason, where he thrived as the 8th inning guy. He threw before Kenley Jansen and recorded just a 2.45 ERA throughout the 2021 season.
Knebel is now up to a 3.24 ERA on the year and has recorded just 11 saves in 62 games. He’s logged just 23 strikeouts and has a 1.48 WHIP. He’s allowed 21 hits and 15 runs (9 earned) in just 25 innings pitched, with 16 walks as well. Knebel has walked 6 batters in his last three innings of work.
Seranthony Dominguez and Brad Hand are the two most likely arms to fill the closer role for the time being, and hopefully, the rest of the season. Dominguez is the #1 option, who has dominated in 2022, totaling a 1.88 ERA on the year with 32 strikeouts and a 0.96 WHIP. Hand has logged just a 1.96 ERA on the year, with a 0.7 WAR, good for second-best in the bullpen, just behind Dominguez (1.0).
Up Next for the Phillies
The Phillies take the field at 1:05 today, looking for a crucial series win against the Marlins. Kyle Gibson gets the ball for the Phils.
Mandatory Credit: USA Today Sports