The Phillies formed one of the best bullpens in all of baseball for the 2023 season
As we slowly approach the 2023 season, the Phillies bullpen is a team highlight for the first time in many, many years.
From having two of the worst bullpens in MLB history in 2020 and 2021 to a rough start to the 2022 season with guys like Jeurys Familia getting crunch-time innings, Dave Dombrowski has founded a core of hard-throwing, situation-ready pitchers who can throw the baseball in any situation.
People have been raving about the Phillies bullpen for a few weeks now, and with the addition of Gregory Soto to the arsenal, MLB Network and other major outlets have had nothing but great things to say about Dombrowski’s work and the potential for the 2023 Phillies bullpen.
MLB Network Praises Phillies Bullpen
For starters, longtime Phillies fans know that hearing a major outlet talk about the strength of the Phillies being their bullpen is like a new universe. The Phillies loaded up on lefties this offseason and now have a Top 5 of Seranthony Dominguez, Jose Alvarado, Gregory Soto, Craig Kimbrel, and Matt Strahm.
The Phillies bullpen, mainly because of Jose Alvarado, Seranthony Dominguez, and Zach Eflin, turned into the best bullpen in all of baseball over the last two months of the season. Jose Alvarado, after being sent down to AAA for command issues and struggling on the mound, Alvarado finished the year with a 3.18, even after throwing an 11.37 ERA in May.
The new additions of Matt Strahm and Gregory Soto bring a huge boost from the left side, something the Phillies didn’t have a lot of options for in 2022. Soto, who’s just 27 years old, throws a sinker at a 45% rate, while Matt Strahm is a 20% slider pitcher. Adding those guys to Jose Alvarado, who throws his sinker at a 54% rate, will be a tough night for hitters, especially with fastball-dominant Seranthony Dominguez in line to come in next.
Although Craig Kimbrel is getting toward the end of his career, there’s still some gas left in the tank. Kimbrel is a career 8x All-Star and logged a 3.75 ERA with the Dodgers in 2022 with a 10.8 K/9. Kimbrel will be a veteran presence in the bullpen that will help a lot of younger pitchers grow, like Connor Brogdon, who will have a big role in 2023 as well.