Dodgers Team News

Dodgers News: Evan Phillips Reflects on Being Cut From Orioles Early in Career

As the Los Angeles Dodgers visit Baltimore, the Orioles are reminded of a painful decision they likely still regret.

Evan Phillips, who grew up rooting for the Orioles and played three seasons in Baltimore, almost saw his Major League career come to an end when the Orioles cut him after a 44-game, 7.36 ERA stint.

“Not only was I getting released by one of the worst teams in baseball,” Phillips said, “But I’m getting cut from my childhood dream. This is being ripped from my hands. This is everything I had ever wanted, and it was gone. … It was really hard to deal with.”

(Via The Athletic)

Phillips took a walk in Tampa Bay, only playing one MLB game before the Dodgers picked him up.

As Phillips continued to work on his sweeper, which Baltimore pitching coach Chris Holt taught him, he became more reliable as a closer. In 2021, Phillips played seven games for the Dodgers with a 3.48 ERA. In 2022, Phillips broke out and held a 1.14 ERA in 64 different innings, establishing himself among the great closers in today’s game.

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts consistently expresses his appreciation for Phillips’ ability to take over late in games.

“He commands a strike zone, he has different weapons to get guys out, and he is completely neutral,” Roberts said back in June. “I don’t need information to know that he’s always the best option. And so now with that, it’s: When do you deploy that silver bullet that you have?”

(Via The New York Times)

Phillips, who now says he wasn’t ready when he made his debut in Baltimore as a 23-year-old, doesn’t hold anything against his hometown organization.

“I’ve already expelled that emotion about my time in Baltimore and where I’m at now,” Phillips said.

(Via The Athletic)

Now, Phillips is playing a major role on a team that currently sits atop the NL West division. Considered one of the best closers in baseball, Phillips has come a long way since being cut by Baltimore in 2020.

Phillips has yet to see any time against Baltimore as the 28-year-old pitched in both Saturday and Sunday’s games against the New York Mets. However, there is a chance that he takes the mound in Wednesday’s game in what would be a tremendous symbol of his resurging career.

Photo Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

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Patrick Warren

Patrick Warren is a recent graduate of the University of Southern California who works to cover the Los Angeles Dodgers with Dodgers Nation. Warren is originally from Chattanooga, TN and is currently based out of Buffalo, NY.

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