By Sally Fahey
The Phillies did finish fourth in the National League in reliever fWAR this season.
But this crew has been inconsistent all season.
The Phillies’ reliever ERA this season was 4.24, which finished 23rd among all MLB teams.
The Phillies reliever xFIP was slightly better, but not by much (3.97).
They picked up Corey Knebel from the Dodgers and slid him into the closer role, where he picked up 12 saves. But he was hurt in early August and shouldn’t be returning. Brad Hand was another offseason pickup, but he’s been hurt and I can tell you Phillies fans are not excited for his return.
The key to this bullpen will be the duo of Jose Alvarado and Seranthony Dominguez, who combined for 2.6 fWAR this season.
Alvarado is a menace. He posted a 38% strikeout rate and a 56% ground-ball rate this season. His 2.53 xERA, 1.91 FIP and 2.16 xFIP show he’s due for plenty of positive regression and his 3.18 ERA was driven by a .340 BABIP.
Dominguez has a monster fastball. It travels 98 mph on average and ranks above the 75th percentile in spin rate. But he gets hit hard often (46.2% hard-hit rate, 4th percentile) and needs to avoid barrels to be effective.