Through the first five games of the season, the Phillies have come out to one of their best starts in team history. But following their first loss on Wednesday to the Washington Nationals, perhaps this team might still have some gaps to fill.
The Phillies worked very hard to bolster their roster in all areas and were very successful to say the least. One area that did not get much attention was pitching. The team did not add any starting pitching and made some moves to strengthen the bullpen, but some may say it’s not enough. After newly acquired David Robertson walked in the winning run on Wednesday’s loss, it raised the question if the Phillies should make a call to one big name free agent.
Craig Kimbrel was one name that was tied to the Phillies all winter. The Phillies had “stupid money” to spend, and Kimbrel wanted the max contract that he felt he deserves. He remains unsigned, and I believe that the Phillies should still pass on the All-Star reliever.
A Need For Kimbrel?
This early in the season it is still up for debate about how strong or weak the Phillies pitching staff is. Through the first five games, there has only been one close game to even use as evidence in a debate on this topic. The Phillies lineup is showing very early that it plans to produce from 1-8 in the order and put up runs to give its pitching staff as much breathing room as possible. Not to mention, in the bullpen there is Seranthony Dominquez, Pat Neshek, and David Roberston even though his first outing in Phillies pinstripes did not go as planned. Signing Kimbrel to a large deal has a lot of risk tied to it.
Although Kimbrel is great in the regular season, his performances in the postseason have been subpar. For his career, his regular season ERA is 1.91, but when the postseason rolls around that number jumps to 3.92. Not something you want from a big money closer in the biggest games of the season. Last postseason alone, he pitched in 10 innings and gave up seven earned runs. This Phillies team is building a core that is going to make postseason runs for years to come, and Kimbrel being a liability in October should be a large red flag when discussing signing him to a deal. If the Phillies are going to spend big money in the bullpen, they need to go sign pitchers who will be able to deliver when the pressure is at its highest if they plan to compete for a World Series.