The Phillies are shuffling up their bullpen. It’s about time, since the Phillies bullpen has been notably struggling for a while. In doing so, Hector Neris will be relieved of his closer role. Additionally, Jose Alvarado will take on the new role. Hector Neris has been the team’s primary option in save opportunities but he’s been tagged for six runs scored over his past five outings. Furthermore, Neris blew a one-run lead in the ninth inning of Nationals series. This isn’t a new problem just one that had no viable solution, at the time. Girardi is hoping that Alvardo could be that solution.
A Struggling Phillies Bullpen
The Phillies bullpen has blown 12 save opportunities, the third-highest number in the Majors. To be fair, the Phillies have dealt with their fair share of injuries. Two of those injuries included Seranthony Dominguez (Tommy John), JoJo Romero (Tommy John). Furthermore, free agent acquisition Archie Bradley missed 37 games ending with an uncharacteristically-low 17.4 percent strikeout rate and uncharacteristically-high 15.9 percent walk rate. Then, Brandon Kintzler is also unavailable due to injury (neck strain), listed for 17 days.
Alvarado will replace a struggling Hector Neris
Jose Alvarado is accending to his new role as closer. The pitcher has had some notable control issues, this season but Girardi hopes Alvardo will find some consistency.The new closer, has a four-pitch arsenal. Impressively, his four-seam fastball can reach 100-plus mph. According to MLB, Alvarado is 5-0 with a 2.70 ERA. Additionally the bullpen man has two saves in 29 appearances this season. Jose has struck out 36 in 26 2/3 innings. Unfortunately, he has also walked 23. Recently, Alvarado has pitched five scoreless innings, striking out eight and allowing only one hit and one walk. Out of the two, Alvarado seems like the more effective option. At this point, it is better to try something, anything rather than sticking with a losing option.
Now, the Phillies have a losing streak of four games, dropped seven of their past 10 and fallen behind the Nationals in the division. All of which, is not good news.