There is no denying that the Phillies have underachieved this season in regards to winning ballgames. The National League East is one of the most wide-open divisions in all of baseball, and the Phillies just can't seem to catch up to the 1st place New York Mets.
The Phillies biggest issue has been the bullpen finishing games. So far this season, the Phillies have had 38 save opportunities, and they have blown 21 of them. The Phillies have more blown saves than they do saves. Most recently, the team has blown saves in 6 of their last 7 games. Blowing saves is going to happen to every team, but to blow 55.3% of save opportunities is unacceptable for a team looking to make a Postseason push for the first time in a decade.
There will likely be one of the game's best closers available on the trade market this month as the Trade Deadline approaches. Craig Kimbrell has been lights out in 2021 with 20 saves on 22 save opportunities while only allowing 2 earned runs all season. Kimbrell has posted a 0.59 ERA with 52 strikeouts on 112 batters faced. The 33 year-old Kimbrell is having the best season of his career, and many teams trying to make a playoff run will be in the mix for the Cubs Closer. If the Phillies can add a much needed boost to the end of the bullpen, they will easily be capable to make a run in the second half of the season.
The Phillies have shown interest in Kimbrell in the past, so they are a team who will check in on his availability.
Jean Segura, who has debatably been the Phillies best player this season, is set to return for the Phillies tonight to provide a spark offensively. The Phillies will also look to get Didi Gregorius back soon, as he has looked very good in his rehab assignments over the past week. He will add a much needed Lefty bat to the Phillies lineup to help produce some more runs. The combination of a healthy Didi and an arm like Kimbrell being added to the team at the same time could lead to great results for the Phillies.
- Mike Devlin