Depth. It is important for an organization to have a backlog of options whether it be for the bullpen or bench. Dave Dombrowski has spent the past number of offseasons adding options for the Phillies should injuries occur or there be a need for change.
One of those depth additions came via trade with the Giants in January 2023, as the Phils added Yunior Marte, a RHP with a wipeout slider and high 90s fastball.
Marte hadn't done much of note with San Fran, as he struggled to find his command and develop any consistency.
So did he find that consistency with the Phillies and go down as another Caleb Cotham success story? Not exactly.
2023 stats: 40 G, 39 1⁄3 IP, 27 R (22 ER), 6 HR, 20.9 K%, 9.3 BB%, 5.03 ERA (4.73 xERA), 0.2 fWAR
Well, he had some good outings. Including a few separate scoreless outing stretches, where Rob Thomson trusted him in the late innings. Marte stayed healthy and was flexible as he was called up and demoted a handful of times. He also added between .4 and .6 mph to his four seam fastball.
He picked up his first career save in 2023 too!
First career save for Yunior Marte ✅ pic.twitter.com/m6YIJO7ntK— Philadelphia Phillies (@Phillies) June 18, 2023
Not every depth piece is going to turn out to be a smashing success and Marte wasn't great.
His walk rate didn’t improve much from previous seasons, nor did his strikeout rate. He got hit harder and more often in 2023 than in past seasons.
In an ideal world, Marte would’ve been able to stick as a low leverage reliever for the 2023 Phillies. It didn’t exactly turn out that way, as he was optioned four separate times to AAA. While in Lehigh Valley, he didn't make many adjustments or improvements as his walk rate shot up two percent.
There just was not much to be excited about on the Marte front in 2023.
Marte will remain in the organization as a depth option and at the time of this writing, remains a candidate for a 2024 Opening Day roster spot.
One could hope a full offseason in the Phillies system and with Caleb Cotham could turn things around, but it is far from a guarantee.