Philadelphia Phillies Manager Rob Thomson on an appearance on the 94.1 WIP Morning Show was asked about the team’s closer situation for the postseason.
Thomson says the Phillies will go with a “mix” at closer: “I wouldn’t say that Craig is our lockdown closer. We’ll mix and match a little bit.”
The Phillies bullpen is my biggest concern as they head to the playoffs. They have regularly blown leads as of late.
Craig Kimbrel has held the role of closer for most of the season, but lately, Jose Alvarado has been taking the ball in save situations.
My guess is that those two will form a two-closer committee. The rest of the bullpen makes me nervous.
Jeff Hoffman has emerged as the Phillies 2nd best righty out of the pen behind Kimbrel. Seranthony Dominguez has struggled greatly and I wonder what his role will be.
Left-hander Gregory Soto has been up and down. Can Michael Lorenzen be counted on out of the bullpen? My answer is no. Lefty Matt Strahm has been used a lot this year. He’s done everything that’s been asked of him, hopefully he’s not worn out.
Thomson was asked if Cristopher Sanchez will be in the playoff rotation: “You can bet that Wheeler and Nola are going to be in our rotation, and then we got to figure out the rest of it. [Sanchez] is in the conversation, no doubt about it.”
If not in the rotation, then Sanchez will join the bullpen. Youngster, Orion Kerkering could also have a role in the postseason. He’s gone through 4 levels in the organization this year.
The Phillies will need the bullpen to be effective to have postseason success. I hope that it is up to the challenge.
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