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Dodgers News: Pundit Believes Evan Phillips is LA’s ‘Best Kept Secret’

Arguably the biggest surprise of the Dodgers’ 2022 season was the play of RHP Evan Phillips. While Phillips was decent during the 2021 season, to the tune of a 3.48 ERA in seven appearances with the Dodgers, he was great in that year’s postseason, and took that momentum into 2022.

Last year, Phillips was one of the best relievers in all of baseball, going 7-3 with a 1.14 ERA and 0.76 WHIP in 63 dominant innings out of the pen. He even coined the nickname ‘Fireman Phillips’, for his ability to get the Dodgers out of some sticky situations.

While Dodger fans know about the dominance of Phillips, Zachary D. Rymer of Bleacher Report doesn’t think much of the rest of the baseball world does. That’s why he picked him as the Dodgers’ “best kept secret” in his article picking one from every team. Here’s his reasoning.

“Evan Phillips played for three different organizations in 2021, as he started with the Baltimore Orioles and then went to the Tampa Bay Rays before the Dodgers claimed him on waivers. In other words, he wasn’t exactly a hot commodity.

“Which is to say that nobody could have expected Phillips to lead all relievers with a 367 ERA+ in 2022. He owed that to a sweeper that drew whiffs at a 42.5 percent clip and which generally paired well with a new cutter. Both pitches held hitters to averages in the .160s.

“Phillips frankly should have been closing games long before Craig Kimbrel lost the job late last year. With the job now seemingly his to lose, it’s that much easier to imagine him on the National League All-Star team.”

While Rymer makes a ton of great points, I don’t exactly agree that the closer job is Phillips’ to lose. I think that the Dodgers love having the luxury of bringing in Phillips in any situation, which is why he likely won’t be a full-time closer this season.

However, he still should make a case for the All-Star team, as he’s as dominant as any reliever in baseball. He’ll likely get a good amount of save opportunities this season, but he’s also going to make his fair share of appearances when runners are on in the sixth, seventh or eighth inning.

I would assume that Phillips is much more of a household name today than he was at this time last year, but if not, let’s hope it stays that way. It’s kind of fun having him fly under the radar as one of baseball’s best relievers.

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Noah Camras

Noah is an Editor for Dodgers Nation. He graduated from USC in 2022 with a B.A. in Journalism and minor in Sports Media Studies. He's been a Dodger fan his whole life, and his all-time favorite Dodgers are Matt Kemp and Russell Martin.

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