The Philadelphia Phillies are now a .500 team, after a recent winning streak.
Before Wednesday’s games, their record stood at 31-31.
Perhaps it could be even better if they had some reliability in the late innings.
However, as it has been common in the last few seasons, that just hasn’t been the case this year.
Corey Knebel, who was signed over the offseason to be the closer, failed to record an out in his Tuesday outing against the Miami Marlins and was charged with a blown save.
He threw 16 pitches, and only four were in the strike zone.
Knebel has been nursing shoulder tightness recently, but he was throwing hard on Tuesday: he just didn’t have any idea where the ball was going.
Alec Bohm made an error to open the inning, and it all went downhill from there.
Knebel Won’t Close For The Time Being
Matt Gelb, the Phillies’ beat writer for The Athletic, reported that Knebel is being removed from the closer role, at least for the time being.
“Phillies will move Corey Knebel out of closer’s role for now. They’ll handle the ninth by committee, Rob Thomson said,” Gelb tweeted.
Phillies will move Corey Knebel out of closer’s role for now. They’ll handle the ninth by committee, Rob Thomson said.
— Matt Gelb (@MattGelb) June 15, 2022
Thomson talked about using Knebel in lower leverage situations; potentially with the hope of getting him going.
When he is fully healthy and in a groove, Knebel can be a dominant force in any team’s bullpen, but something is clearly wrong right now.
Thomson will probably rotate pitchers in the closer role for the time being.
If Knebel proves he can bounce back, throw strikes, and show his 2021 version, he could eventually get the job back.