As injury replacements are starting to be named for next week’s All-Star Game, manager Dave Roberts is trying his best to get one of his relief pitchers in the game.
The most consistent pitcher to come out of the bullpen for the Dodgers this season has been Evan Phillips. Whenever the Dodgers have needed to put an end to an offensive threat, Phillips has been Roberts’ favorite reliever to go to.
Despite being ninth in the National League in saves, Roberts told the Orange County Register that the usage of Phillips in important situations should be evidence to send him to Seattle.
“We could’ve easily made Evan the dedicated closer to accrue saves,” Roberts said, “But what he’s done to buy into our team and pitch in highest-leverage (situations) every time he’s out there has been, I would argue, more valuable than a closer. He’s facing the toughest part of the lineup every time he’s out there.
“A closer, you could face the bottom (of the lineup), it could be a three-run lead. Every time (Phillips) is out there, it’s the highest-leverage (situation).”via Orange County Register
Even though he doesn’t have the typical closer numbers to be selected for the All-Star game, Phillips still has some of the best stats in the NL.
He has been placed in the most high-leverage situations in the Dodgers bullpen, and Phillips has been brought in with the game on the line 17 times this season.
Despite all of the nerve-wrecking situations he has been in, Phillips has a 2.57 ERA — and it was sub-2 before his struggles on Tuesday night in his third consecutive day of pitching.
Ideally, Roberts wanted Phillips to replace the injured Clayton Kershaw on the roster. Unfortunately, Pirates closer David Bednar got the nod, instead.
The Dodgers still have four more games to play to get Phillips to join Mookie Betts, Freddie Freeman, Will Smith and J.D. Martinez in Seattle for this year’s All-Star game.
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