If you wanted to find one place the Philadelphia Phillies could improve this offseason, it was their bullpen.
There is no question the front office saw that as a concern as well.
In the playoff last year, the Phillies seemed to only trust three relievers out of the bullpen.
All of which threw plenty of high-leverage innings in October and November for the Phils.
Then they lost Eflin to the Tampa Bay Rays in free agency.
Making the bullpen an even bigger priority.
So, the Phillies remained aggressive and made a couple of huge moves to address the issue.
The first was signing Craig Kimbrel to a one-year contract.
After leading the Los Angeles Dodgers in saves last season, Kimbrel can still get hitters out.
Notable Phillies bullpen flame throwers:
• Gregory Soto (avg FB: 98.8 mph)
• Jose Alvarado (avg FB: 98.2 mph)
• Seranthony Dominguez (avg FB: 97.8 mph)
• Craig Kimbrel (avg FB: 95.8 mph)
— Danny Vietti (@DannyVietti) January 7, 2023
He threw 60.0 innings with 72 strikeouts and had 22 saved with a 3.75 ERA.
That ERA is not ideal, but a few blow-up outings did the damage.
It seemed likely that Kimbrel would get the first shot at closing for the Phillies.
That was until news broke on Saturday that the Phillies acquired Gregory Soto from the Detroit Tigers.
The hard-throwing lefty has made the all-star game the past two seasons in Detroit.
He will fit in nicely as another southpaw to pair with Alvarado.
José Alvarado and Gregory Soto combined to account for 81% of the 100+ MPH pitches thrown by all LHPs in the 2022 MLB regular season
— Céspedes Family BBQ (@CespedesBBQ) January 7, 2023
Soto has some command issues, but when he is on, he is very tough to hit.
Last season in Detroit the 27-year-old saved 30 games in 33 opportunities.
The new-look Phillies bullpen should do wonders for their team this year.
Soto, Kimbrel, Dominguez, Alvarado, and a few other complimentary pieces are a playoff-caliber bullpen.
Philadelphia is going all in this season, and their offseason supports that.