The Future of the Phillies Closer Role

Tuesday night’s loss to Miami recharged a conversation that is all too familiar to Phillies fans. Who is the closer, and why does no one seem to succeed in that role? Well both answers are complicated, so let’s break it down.

Corey Knebel has taken the bulk of 9th inning save situations the Phillies have had so far this year. He has collected 11 saves and he has blown 4. His ERA is now 3.24. In his last 7 games, he’s blown 4 saves, collected a 4.26 ERA and a 2.21 WHIP. None of those stats are good, and change has been due for a while. Last night was just the straw that broke the camels back. Corey walked 2 hitters to load the bases and had watched a single go down the line off the bat of Garrett Cooper that scored the tying run. After he was lifted, his successor allowed 2 more inherited runners to score.

Phillies pitcher Corey Knebel during another rough outing.

So, this morning Rob Thomson announced that Corey would not continue to close games. He expanded, saying that they would try out a few guys in the next few games. One specific candidate looks like the ideal option.

Seranthony Dominguez just came back from Tommy John last year and has been electric. He’s maintained a sub-2 ERA over 25 appearances. He’s been making quick work of opposing hitters. Unlike Knebel, Dominguez has a 4 pitch mix, whereas Knebel has just 2 pitches. It seems like an easy decision, but you never know with this team.

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