NEWS NOW: The Phillies Might Begin The Season Without A Crucial Reliever

The Phillies Might Begin The Season Without A Crucial Reliever

According to reports from yesterday, Orion Kerkering might not be available for the Philadelphia Phillies to begin the season. Kerkering’s final appearance in a spring training game occurred on March 1. Since then, Kerkering has not pitched because of illness. Rob Thomson, the manager of the Phillies, said the squad will exercise extreme caution. Thomson reports that Kerkering is scheduled to make his pitching debut this week at the Phillies spring training complex. The group believes Kerkering’s absence will be brief. Consequently, a bullpen slot may open up on the opening day roster. If so, there will be three bullpen places available on the roster on opening day.

The Phillies May Be Without A Key Reliever To Start The Season

Bullpen Options As The Phillies May Be Without Kerkering To Start

Notably, none of the pitchers on this list were part of the team’s anticipated 26-man roster on opening day. Every pitcher on this list is a member of the Phillies’ 40-man roster at the moment. Candidates Andrew Bellatti and José Ruiz aren’t on the Phillies 40-man roster right now. It is improbable that a non-roster invitee will make the opening day roster because the Phillies have a complete 40-man roster. It’s still possible that Kerkering will be prepared by the time the regular season begins. By competing for the two bullpen spots that are now open, these guys may also be able to secure a spot on the 26-man roster.

Connor Brogdon

Connor Brogdon has made five appearances at spring training with a 3.18 ERA and two strikeouts. Brogdon finished the regular season of the previous year with a 2-1 record, 4.03 ERA, 108 ERA+, and 26 strikeouts. The fact that Brogdon has no minor league alternatives left should not be overlooked. This implies that Brogdon will eventually be designated for assignment unless he makes the opening day roster by default. Choosing between the two or three open bullpen spots is made more difficult by Brogdon’s lack of choices.

Nick Nelson

Nick Nelson has made five appearances in spring with a 2-0 record, 6.23 ERA, and two strikeouts. Nelson played in one big league game and won it during the previous season. Nelson had a 7-3 record, a 3.83 ERA, and 92 strikeouts in 25 appearances—all starts—in the minor minors the previous season. Nelson had a 3-2 record, an 82 ERA+, a 4.85 ERA, and 69 strikeouts in 2022. There are still minor league options available to Nelson. Nelson has the lowest chance of being chosen out of all of these if the position opens up.

Ortiz, Luis F.

Luis F. Ortiz has made seven appearances, with a 0-2 record, a 3.38 ERA, and five strikeouts. During the previous season, Ortiz recorded a 3.32 ERA, 132 ERA+, and 16 strikeouts in 14 games. In addition, Ortiz only recorded one save in the prior campaign. At Triple-A Lehigh Valley last season, Ortiz recorded a 4-1 record with 45 strikeouts and a 4.60 ERA in 33 appearances. There are still minor league options available to Ortiz. The Texas Rangers selected Ortiz in the first round of the 2014 MLB Draft. Ortiz being on the starting lineup on opening day would not be shocking.

Turnbull, Spencer

Spencer Turnbull, the only contender on this list who did not play for the Phillies during the previous season, had three appearances this spring. Turnbull has seven strikeouts and a 3.60 ERA over those three innings. Turnbull finished the previous season with a 1-4 record, 7.26 ERA, 61 ERA+, and 24 strikeouts in seven games against the Detroit Tigers. Turnbull’s injury kept him out of the 2022 season. Turnbull, in contrast to the other contenders, still has alternatives, but he would have to accept being optioned. Turnbull pitched a no-hitter for the Tigers in the 2021 season.

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