After adding Craig Kimbrel and Gregory Soto among other names, the Phillies bullpen may finally be a strength. And to discuss that, Scott Lauber from The Philadelphia Inquirer joined The Best Show Ever. How did Dave Dombrowski approach rebuilding this pen in the off-season? What should we think of the names that they got? Scott Lauber discussed that and more. Here is some of what he had to say./
On The Phillies Busy Off Season and Remade Bullpen
“When (Dombrowski) is able to pinpoint very specific needs on a roster, he is decisive about how to attack them. They needed a shortstop, and he was quick to pinpoint Trea Turn as their priority, go after him, and sign him. He pinpointed a middle-of-a-rotation starter, and was quick to go after Taijuan Walker, and sign him. The third part was they needed to address the bullpen. They needed to replace the innings that were provided by the trio of Corey Knebel, Brad Hand, and David Robertson…
Kimbrel was a bit of a surprise to me. The way the Phillies run their bullpen, is they don’t designate a closer per se. He has always been a closer throughout his career. They talked to him, and he said look I can get on board with not being the guy. They signed him, and they think they can help him be better at the end of last year with the Dodgers…
The Phillies see Soto as someone who is similar to Jose Alvarado. He is left-handed, and he throws really hard. But command has been an issue. One of the takeaways I have had is They really trust their pitching department. And they believe they can help guys in areas that they need help. With Soto, it is more consistent command. They saw them do it with Alvarado last year, and they think that they can do it with Soto now as well.”
On How The Phillies Viewed Reshaping the Bullpen
“Some of it is definitely looking at the Astros. The Astros were able to throw 3 or 4 guys out there. And they didn’t have the deepest bullpen out there, or at least they didn’t use it that way in the World Series… They used their 4 key guys, and they could all really bring it… All 4 of them could have closed, they had closer type stuff… You used to look at the bullpen and say you have a closer to handle the 9th inning, a couple of set-up guys, and then you fill in the rest of the bullpen. And that is not the way bullpens are built anymore. Now they are built the way the Astros did it. With 3-5 guys who have great stuff and are interchangeable.
So I think it is an acknowledgment that this is what you have to do nowadays. The more of those arms you can stockpile, the better shape you will be in.”