Phillies experimenting with a new role for Matt Strahm
Matt Strahm could be taking on a bit of a different role for the Phillies this upcoming season.
The Phillies are in need of long-relievers, something that Rob Thomson said on MLB Network last week. Andrew Bellatti, Connor Brogdon, and Matt Strahm were all names that were brought up, along with Nick Nelson, who came into multiple long-inning situations in 2022 but is now dealing with a hamstring injury.
Matt Strahm is set to start today’s split-squad matchup vs. the Blue Jays in Dunedin, and the Phillies’ ultimate goal is to stretch out Strahm to three innings by the end of training camp.
Strahm has started just one game since 2019 but did start 16 games with the San Diego Padres in 2019. The Phillies head into this season with a pretty opposite bullpen from the start of last season…multiple elite left-handers.
Gregory Soto and Jose Alvarado are going to get a lot of your late-inning roles this season, along with Seranthony Dominguez and Connor Brogdon, who has thoroughly impressed since the start of the 2022 playoffs.
Strahm, who has starting experience, seems to be a top candidate to be the long-inning lefty that this team needs and could potentially be ready as an emergency starter, with the current injuries to Andrew Painter and Ranger Suarez, along with the uncertainty of Cristopher Sanchez.
Although most of the names are set in stone for the Phillies bullpen, there are still a few fringe guys that have a chance to sneak their way onto the 26-man. Yunior Marte has been arguably the most impressive pitcher so far in Spring Training and is certainly in the running for the final spot.
Matt Strahm will throw two innings today. With just 13 days til Opening Day, expect to see Strahm once more after today’s split-squad matchup. If all things go according to plan, it seems like he’ll be your long-reliever to at least start the year.