The Phillies bullpen has been a disaster all season, and after the debacle that was Monday night’s ninth inning, the team has made some moves to hopefully remedy the situation.
#Phillies make a few roster moves:— Todd Zolecki (@ToddZolecki) August 11, 2020
- RHP Conor Brogdon and Blake Parker join bullpen
- RHP Nick Pivetta optioned
- OF Nick Williams DFA’d
- RHP Trevor Kelley DFA’d
Blake Parker is a veteran who was acquired by the Phillies in August 2019. He appeared in 23 games for the team with moderate success. The team re-signed him to a minor league deal in February.
There are higher hopes for Connor Brogdon, a rookie who was selected by the team in the 2017 amateur draft. He had an impressive showing in the minors last year, and if not for service time concerns, might have started the season with the big league team.
Connor Brogdon, who is rumored to be joining the Phillies bullpen soon, had a ludicrous 2019 campaign.— Alex Carr (@AlexCarrMLB) August 11, 2020
He soared thru three levels of the Minor Leagues (A+-AAA) posting a 2.61 ERA and an impressive 106 punch-outs across 76 innings, while walking just 24 batters.
Of course, for every action, there’s a reaction. To make room for the new relievers, they optioned Nick Pivetta to the minor leagues, and designated Nick Williams and Trevor Kelley for assignment.
None of those demotions were surprising. Kelley didn’t pitch well, but that’s not a shock considering that he was acquired off of waivers this past offseason. The demotions of Williams and Pivetta are much more disappointing since the organization once viewed them as potential building blocks for the future.
Williams had a solid 2018 season, but after the acquisitions of Andrew McCutchen, and Bryce Harper, playing time became scarce. Williams struggled in the limited opportunities he did receive, and he felt like an afterthought heading into this season.
As for Pivetta, this continues the downward spiral he’s been in since the start of the 2019 season. Heading into that season many thought he might be the team’s second best starter. But this is the second straight year he’s been sent to the minors, and after his horrific outing on Monday night, he doesn’t seem to be a viable major league pitcher at this time.
It may be asking too much of Parker and Brogdon to be the saviors of the bullpen. But consider the Phillies’ relievers have a collective ERA of 9.87, it would almost be impossible for them to provide at least a slight upgrade.