For the Philadelphia Phillies faithful, missing the 2020 playoffs was squarely on the MLB-worst relief corps. Clearly, this is a must-fix shortcoming for the organization to end their postseason drought of nine seasons because the locals don’t want to see or hear a full 162 replay summed up in three words. And now pitching!
Costwise and talentwise, replacing the entire pen is not a realistic goal because free agents JT Realmuto and Didi Gregorius could re-up to reprise their 2020 roles. And the Phillies also need a rotation piece due to a departure. So, the front office has those openings to plug, as they compete for solid relievers.
IN OTHER WORDS:
“What we need is more people who specialize in the impossible.” - Theodore Roethke
In ‘21, games played and attendance will depend on the pandemic in April especially after losses of $100-120 million per deep-pocketed franchise. And wealthy spenders are reluctant due to 2021’s financial uncertainty over the offseason and into March, so this will affect offers and trade-based decisions.
Though some will question certain moves, be aware of the pitfalls. To illustrate, some hurlers dropped 2-5 mph off their fastball due to lacking the adrenaline they have with a rooting home crowd or jeering away spectators. And 2020’s stats could also be deceptive due to only 60 contests and interrupted winter routines.
Despite fans’ beliefs, most bullpens have only 3-5 solid arms out of eight. The others are middle relievers who appear in low-stress situations: mop-up duty, long relief, extra innings, and frames before the sixth. By comparison, all stats are not equal.