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The Phillies added a lot of velocity to their bullpen this offseason and rightfully so. They needed more bat-missers in high-leverage situations. Beyond having the majors’ highest ERA, WHIP, opponents’ batting average, OBP and slugging percentage, the Phillies’ 2020 bullpen ranked 27th in strikeouts.
With Archie Bradley, Jose Alvarado and a full season of Connor Brogdon, the strikeout rate should rise. Something that would make it even better is a unique look, a pitcher similar to Pat Neshek or Darren O’Day, who signed a one-year contract with the Yankees worth less than $2.5 million.
Having different looks in a bullpen is important. If you have exclusively hard-throwing right-handers who go fastball-slider, you won’t disrupt your opponent’s timing as much as if the next reliever contrasts the last. Think of a hitter facing a finesse righty after seeing three 97 mph two-seamers from the lefty Alvarado in his previous at-bat.
O’Day would have been a good fit in that regard and there are still a few relievers left who’d give the Phillies’ bullpen some more diversity in delivery and stuff.
RHP Sergio Romo (38 in March)
Romo’s rookie year was 2008, and he played a pivotal role on those three Giants World Series teams. He’s pitched for four teams since, spending the last season and a half with the Twins.
He’s remained effective with that trademark frisbee slider and, somehow, avoided a serious arm injury despite throwing it about 60% of the time. In the last two seasons, he has a 3.59 ERA and low 1.12 WHIP with more than a strikeout per inning.
Romo has a slingshot-like, low-three-quarters delivery. A right-handed hitter usually knows what’s coming, but that slider is tough to lay off of low-and-away or hit with much authority.