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The Phillies need a new closer: Felske Files Episode 105

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Jeanmar Gomez appears to be out as the Phillies’ closer. Who should take his place after his blown save on Sunday?

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MLB: Washington Nationals at Philadelphia Phillies Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

The carriage that carried Jeanmar Gomez to 37 saves in 2016 has officially turned into a pumpkin.

When manager Pete Mackanin named Gomez as the team’s closer to start the regular season back at the start of spring training, It was an eyebrow-raising move. Most people could see Gomez did not have the type of swing-and-miss stuff a closer should possess, but it was clear Mackanin wanted to be loyal to the player who pitched over his head for five out of the six months of last season.

But that sixth month was a doozy, a 19.13 ERA in 12 appearances last September. It appeared as if the regression the mean had finally arrived and that the team would go with a different arm to lock things down.

And now, after one nearly-blown save on Opening Day and a terrible blown save on Sunday against the Washington Nationals, it appears as if Mackanin is ready to make a change in the back of the bullpen.

On Episode 105 of The Felske Files, hosts John Stolnis and Justin Klugh talk about Gomez’ troubles as closer and which reliever should replace him? Should it be Hector Neris, the youngster who burst onto the scene as one of the best relief pitchers in baseball last season? Or Joaquin Benoit, the aged veteran who has great stuff but has never really been a full-time closer before himself?

Also on this podcast:

  • The Phillies set all kinds of records with a 12-run, 1st inning barrage on Saturday night
  • Aaron Nola pitched brilliantly on Saturday after being staked to a 12-run lead
  • Which was the more important development on Saturday... the offense or Nola?
  • Have the Phils narrowed the gap on the Nats a little bit? If so, by how much?
  • Jeremy Hellickson had to be pulled from Sunday’s start... is there reason for concern?
  • Is Vince Velasquez the most maddening pitcher in baseball right now?
  • Bryce Harper really, really likes Philadelphia, guys. He said so himself.
  • GM Matt Klentak implies the Phils are ready to spend big as soon as the window for contention opens
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