22 games into this shortened season and the Phillies bullpen is on pace to be one of the historically worst bullpens of all-time. GM Matt Klentak, who failed to strengthen the weak bullpen in the offseason, needed to make a move now if the Phillies have any hope of claiming one of the 8 National League play-off spots up for grabs this year. As of right now they're on the outside looking in, not in the playoff picture at all.
Workman was the key to the deal for the Phillies, and he could (and should) take over closer duties from Hector Neris. As Corey Seidman Tweeted, Workman has the lowest opponents' batting average in the majors (.141) since the start of last season among pitchers with at least 75 innings pitched. He saved 16 games for the Red Sox last year, going 10-1 with a 1.88 ERA over 73 games. He's a free agent following the season, so this is a pure rental move by the Phillies.
Hembree, again from another Corey Seidman Tweet, has a fastball that has averaged 94.4 mph the last four seasons and only Zack Wheeler exceeds that mark among current Phillies pitchers. Over the past seven seasons with the Red Sox, he has a 3.70 ERA over 251 games. Hembree is under control through next season, so he already factors into the team's 2021 bullpen plans.
And for my final Corey Seidman Tweet reference, Nick Pivetta's 5.50 ERA over 396 1/3 innings pitched is the highest ERA among any Phillies pitcher with that manny innings logged since 1931. So that's not great. Acquired from the Nationals in 2015 for Jonathan Papelbon, Pivetta showed flashes of brilliance every once in a while, but most of his appearances ended in frustration. He departs the Phillies with a 19-30 record over four seasons, with 92 appearances including 71 starts.
The wild card here is Connor Seabold, one of the Phillies top 25 prospects entering the season. Seabold, a right-hander who projects as a solid middle of the rotation starter, has pitched as high as Double-A and he was a surprise addition to the team's Player Pool in July. Like Addison Russ, traded a few hours before this deal to the Yankees, letting Seabold go could come back to haunt the Phillies.
Arrived During the 2020 Season
- David Hale (rhp) - 8/21/20, Acquired from the New York Yankees for Addison Russ (rhp).
- Brandon Workman (rhp) and Heath Hembree (rhp) - 8/21/20, Acquired from the Boston Red Sox with cash and a player to be named later for Nick Pivetta (rhp) and Connor Seabold (rhp).
- Nick Williams (of) - 8/15/20, Selected off waivers by the Cincinnati Reds.
- Edgar Garcia (rhp) - 8/18/20, Traded to the Tampa Bay Rays for a player to be named later.
- Nick Pivetta (rhp) - 8/21/20, Traded to the Boston Red Sox with Connor Seabold (rhp) for Brandon Workman (rhp), Heath Hembree (rhp), a player to be named later and cash.