The Phillies have made a move to acquire much-needed starter depth and much-needed bullpen help. They acquired Kyle Gibson and Ian Kennedy and right-handed pitching prospect Hans Crouse from the Texas Rangers. In return, they gave up SP Spencer Howard, as well as RHP Kevin Gowdy, and RHP Josh Gessner.
Gibson started his career with the Twins in 2013 and spent 7 seasons there before signing with the Rangers on a 3-year deal in 2020. In his career, he is 75-77 with a 4.42 ERA. He struggled last year in his first year with the Rangers but has bounced back this year, and is in the midst of a career year. In 2021 he has a 2.87 ERA across 113 innings, with 94 strikeouts. He has had quality starts in 13 of his 19 starts. This was also the first year Gibson has made the All-Star game. Gibson was actually drafted by the Phillies in 2006, but he chose to go to the University of Missouri instead. He would later be drafted by the Twins in 2009.
One concern will be that Kyle Gibson is a heavy groundball pitcher who will be playing with an error-prone infield defense. Alec Bohm has 12, and Didi Gregorius has 11, despite both of them missing time this season. Rhys Hoskins has only 4 errors but is still considered among the worst fielding first basemen in the league.
Ian Kennedy meanwhile has a 2.51 ERA this season, and 16 saves. He spent most of his career as a starter but was shifted to the bullpen with the Royals in 2019. He has only one blown save in 17 chances this season. The Phillies as a team have blown 23 saves, tied for worst in the league.
Hans Crouse is 22, and pitching in AA with a 3.53 ERA this year. He was the Rangers 9th best prospect according to MLB.com’s rankings.
Spencer Howard was once a top prospect for the Phillies, but his early career so far has been marred by a lack of conditioning, making it hard for him to go deep into starts. He has a 5.72 ERA this season and has spent much of it bouncing back and forth from the Minors back to the Majors. Howard is 25 years old and has never thrown more than 112 innings in a single season at any level.
Kevin Gowdy is a former 2016 2nd round pick who has a 4.43 era in High A ball this season. Gowdy underwent Tommy John in 2017. Josh Gessner is a 21-year-old, still playing rookie ball, with 20 innings pitches across two seasons in the Phillies system.
Gowdy was the 2nd round pick from the year the Phil’s took Moniak first. One of the reasons they picked Moniak was to save money to take Gowdy. But Gowdy has dealt with injuries. He’s finally healthy but he’s 23, at Class A, and pitching very meh. So get him out— Pat Egan (@Pat_Egan) July 30, 2021
Gibson is in the 2nd year of a 3-year, $28 million contract. He is owed $7 million on the last year of his deal in 2022. Ian Kennedy meanwhile is in the middle of a one-year deal with the Rangers and will be a free agent at the end of the year.