Philadelphia Phillies

Philadelphia Phillies Fantasy Baseball Daily Bullpen Updates and Closer Depth Chart

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PHIJeanmar GomezHector NerisJoaquin BenoitHector Neris3/1/17

Previous updates:

March 1, 2017
Philadelphia Phillies — Jeanmar Gomez wouldn’t be our choice to close in Philadelphia, but he’ll start the season as the ninth inning guy in Pete Mackanin’s bullpen. There’s a chance he’ll be fine, of course — he saved 37 games last year and was quite good for much of the season despite paltry strikeout totals. But he faltered down the stretch, and then the Phillies couldn’t find a taker for him in the offseason, and there’s probably a good reason for that. We expect Hector Neris, who struck out 102 batters last year and spent the winter adding a third pitch, or maybe even the recently-signed Joaquin Benoit, to take the job at some point during the year.

Starting 2017 hierarchy: Gomez | Neris | Benoit.
Holds candidates: Neris, Benoit, Edubray Ramos, Pat Neshek.

October 1, 2016
Philadelphia Phillies — Michael Mariot pitched the seventh inning with the Phillies down, and gave up a couple runs in the process. It’s hard to see how anybody but Hector Neris gets any final save chances this year — that is, if the Phillies can somehow grab a lead over the Mets.

Updated hierarchy: *Gomez | Neris | Mariot.

September 30, 2016
Philadelphia Phillies — Jeanmar Gomez entered Thursday’s game with the score tied in the eighth inning and gave up four runs on three hits, taking the loss. We don’t know whether Michael Mariot or Hector Neris is the better bet to close in Philadelphia’s final series, but it would be hard to believe Gomez sees another save chance this season.

Hierarchy remains: *Gomez | Mariot | Neris.

September 25, 2016
Philadelphia Phillies — With Jeanmar Gomez getting a break from closing, Michael Mariot got the call in the ninth inning on Saturday.  He gave up a lead-off homer to the first batter he faced, and walked a couple batters, but was still able to convert the save chance.  Hector Neris pitched the eighth inning ahead of Mariot and gave up a run on a hit and two walks.  Neither pitcher was particularly impressive, so we will move Mariot ahead of Neris for now based on how manager Pete Mackanin used them yesterday. Cue the bad Mariot jokes on twitter.

Updated hierarchy: *Gomez | Mariot | Neris.
* = closer-by-committee

September 24, 2016
Philadelphia Phillies — The Phillies made the confusing announcement that although Jeanmar Gomez will be the closer for the rest of the season, he will get a “break” for the next few save chances — in favor of Hector Neris, Edubray Ramos, or even lefthander Joely Rodriguez. We’ll call this a committee for now, but Neris is a strong candidate for what few saves remain for Philadelphia.

Updated hierarchy: *Gomez | Neris | Ramos.
* = closer-by-committee

September 23, 2016
Philadelphia Phillies — While the Phillies are out of it and there’s not much time left in the season, manager Pete Mackanin is about to make a change that will impact the fantasy baseball playoffs. Mackanin is expected to announce Friday that he’s removing Jeanmar Gomez from the closer’s role, handing the job over to Hector Neris. Gomez has a 16.20 ERA in September, but the numbers have been even worse over the last four games: 1.2 IP, 8 ER (including 2 ER to blow the save Thursday). His ERA was under 3.00 at the end of August and now sits at 4.28 just three weeks later. Good riddance.

Hierarchy remains (for now): Gomez | Neris | Ramos.

September 21, 2016
Philadelphia Phillies — It’s been awhile since we’ve updated you on the Phillies’ bullpen, but the final days of the season have become more interesting. Jeanmar Gomez entered Tuesday’s ninth inning with a 7-3 lead and retired two of the first three batters. However, an infield single, walk, wild pitch and double made it 7-6 and paved the way for Michael Mariot to earn his first career save. After the game, manager Pete Mackanin hinted that he is considering a change in closer. With the season long out of reach and Gomez struggling mightily of late, don’t be surprised if “potential closer” Hector Neris gets the first crack at saves soon, with Edubray Ramos also likely to get at least one chance before the season ends.

Hierarchy remains: Gomez | Neris | Ramos.

July 7, 2016
Philadelphia Phillies — Edubray Ramos has pitched in three straight close seventh innings, including a Wednesday appearance with a tied score. As Philly’s closer of the future, his role could continue to grow in the second half of the season — especially if the team trades Jeanmar Gomez before he hits arbitration. For his part, David Hernandez has allowed 13 earned runs over his last nine appearances (9.2 IP).

Updated hierarchy: Gomez | Neris | Ramos.

June 30, 2016
Philadelphia Phillies — Just a few days removed from entering a game in the fourth inning, Brett Oberholtzer was called on in the tenth to earn his first career save. Jeanmar Gomez and Hector Neris had already pitched, and David Hernandez was coming off a lengthy outing on Tuesday. Although Oberholtzer doesn’t project to make a difference going forward, Edubray Ramos is a name worth watching. Pete Mackanin has already described him as a future closer, and he could get a shot if Gomez is traded next month.

Hierarchy remains: Gomez | Neris | Hernandez.

May 15, 2016
Philadelphia Phillies – David Hernandez benefited from an incredible double play to end the game and picked up his first save of the season.  Jeanmar Gomez and Hector Neris were both unavailable after appearing in two straight and three of the past four.

Hierarchy remains: Gomez | Neris | Hernandez.

May 2, 2016
Philadelphia Phillies – Jeanmar Gomez had pitched in four of the five previous games, so he got the day off on Sunday and Hector Neris picked up his first career save for the surprisingly decent Phillies. Neris remains a good candidate for holds going forward.

Hierarchy remains: Gomez | Neris | Hernandez.

April 29, 2016
Philadelphia Phillies — Hector Neris, who has been among the biggest surprises in any bullpen this season (13 IP, 1 ER, 20 Ks) needed a night off after pitching two games in a row. Despite the need for a bridge to closer Jeanmar Gomez, the Phillies still stayed away from veteran David Hernandez, instead allowing Elvis Araujo and Dalier Hinojosa to navigate the eighth inning. Much of what Hernandez has done this year has been positive — he has 16 strikeouts in just 9.1 innings. But he’s also had two particularly tough outings, and yesterday is an indication that he needs to do a little more if he’s ever going to push Gomez for the closer role again.

Updated hierarchy: Gomez | Neris | Hernandez.

April 27, 2016
Philadelphia Phillies — Hector Neris pitched a clean eighth inning on Tuesday to lower his ERA to 0.75. Not only is he second on the Phillies with four holds, but he is also second among all MLB relievers with 20 strikeouts. The team believes that Neris is one of its best relievers, and that means he should be getting more high-leverage chances as the season progresses.

Updated hierarchy: Gomez | Hernandez | Neris.

April 22, 2016
Philadelphia Phillies — The Phillies called up former A’s closer Andrew Bailey from the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs (book your workplace visit from Hambone or Chris P. Bacon here!) on Wednesday. You may see some speculative pickups in your leagues, but it’s too early to tell whether Bailey can bounce back from his late spring struggles and factor into manager Pete Mackanin’s late-inning plans.

Hierarchy remains: Gomez | Hernandez | Hinojosa.

April 13, 2016
Philadelphia Phillies – Jeanmar Gomez is now 3-for-3 in save opportunities this season and has yet to give up a run. Pete Mackanin doesn’t want to jinx Gomez, but we’re taking away the asterisk and giving Gomez the full-time gig.

Hierarchy remains: Gomez | Hernandez | Hinojosa.

April 11, 2016
Philadelphia Phillies – Jeanmar Gomez solidified his position at the top of the Phillies committee on Sunday, posting another easy save against the Mets. Though Pete Mackanin hasn’t officially named him the closer yet, Gomez is now in a position where he can expect to be used as the closer until he blows a save, and even then, he might get another shot after the two successful outings this weekend.

Hierarchy remains: *Gomez | Hernandez | Hinojosa.
* = closer-by-committee

April 10, 2016
Philadelphia Phillies — The Phillies won their first game of the season on Saturday, and it was Jeanmar Gomez who picked up the save.  He only needed six pitches to retire the Mets in order.  David Hernandez pitched a perfect 8th inning with two strikeouts.  Meanwhile, Dalier Hinojosa came on in the 6th inning on Friday.  Gomez should get the next save opportunity based on his strong performance last night and we will move Hernandez back ahead of Hinojosa for now.

Updated hierarchy: *Gomez | Hernandez | Hinojosa.
* = closer-by-committee

April 8, 2016
Philadelphia Phillies — The Phillies are now 0-3 after Thursday’s loss, and although there was no save chance, the closer situation became even murkier. After the game, manager Pete Mackanin said he was thinking about using Jeanmar Gomez in a save opportunity: “I was thinking about Gomez. We’re auditioning. We’ve got to find out. It’s a daily question. Why not Gomez? Let’s see what he can do.” Later he called the situation “up for grabs” and a “toss-up.” This kind of uncertainty is not what fantasy managers want to hear. Either way, it could be worth snatching up the new leader in the majors’ most volatile committee.

Updated hierarchy: *Gomez | Hinojosa | Hernandez.
* = closer-by-committee

April 7, 2016
Philadelphia Phillies – For the second straight game the Philadelphia bullpen could not close out a one-run game. This time it was Dalier Hinojosa who blew a 9th-inning lead, loading the bases before allowing a walk-off double. After the game, Pete Mackanin said he might go back to Hinojosa, but also praised Jeanmar Gomez and David Hernandez, leaving little clarity in what is quickly becoming the majors’ most volatile bullpen. Don’t be surprised if Hernandez or Gomez gets the next save opportunity.

Hierarchy remains: *Hinojosa | Hernandez | Gomez.
* = closer-by-committee

April 5, 2016
Philadelphia Phillies – Opening day was not kind to David Hernandez. Phillies manager Pete Mackanin tapped Hernandez to hold a one-run lead in the 8th inning. It’s unclear whether Hernandez would have stayed in the game had he pitched well — Phillies beat writers were speculating that Dalier Hinojosa would get the 9th — but it was a moot as Hernandez melted down, giving up 3 earned runs on two walks and a hit, all without recording a single out. Regardless of what the plan was, it seems likely that Hinojosa will get the next opportunity.

Updated hierarchy: *Hinojosa | Hernandez | Gomez.
* = closer-by-committee

April 1, 2016
Philadelphia Phillies — Andrew Bailey is back on the outs in Philly, and (unlike Festus Ezeli) will probably be cut today. Jeanmar Gomez stands to benefit from Bailey’s fall from grace.

Updated hierarchy: *Hernandez | Hinojosa | Gomez.
* = closer-by-committee

March 31, 2016
Philadelphia Phillies – The Phillies bullpen is beginning to take shape after a few cuts, but manager Pete Mackanin is still not ready to declare a closer. He did say, however, that David Hernandez and Dalier Hinojosa are the top candidates at this point. Andrew Bailey is fighting for one of the last remaining spots in the bullpen. For now we will put Hernandez back at the top of the hierarchy, but this is a situation that we will continue to monitor.

Updated hierarchy: *Hernandez | Hinojosa | Bailey.
* = closer-by-committee

March 28, 2016
Philadelphia Phillies – A week after saying that Andrew Bailey had taken the lead in the Philadelphia closer race, Phillies skipper Pete Mackanin said that he needed “to see more out of him,” including better velocity and command. This comes in the wake of two rough outings for Bailey, and while he righted the ship with a clean inning on Sunday, there’s speculation that he could actually start the year in the minors to see if he can regain his form. Injuries have kept David Hernandez from pitching a lot this spring, but Dalier Hinojosa has thrown seven strong innings, allowing just two earned runs and a tidy 7/1 K/BB ratio. This situation is still wide open, with any of the three relievers a possibility to start the season in the 9th inning role.

Hierarchy remains: *Bailey | Hernandez | Hinojosa.
* = closer-by-committee

March 24, 2016
Philadelphia Phillies – Andrew Bailey appears to be the front-runner for the closer’s job, though manager Pete Mackanin has also said that David Hernandez and Dalier Hinojosa are also in the mix. While Edward Mujica is all but a lock to make the roster, the three aforementioned arms are the only ones being considered for the ninth inning at the moment.

Updated hierarchy: *Bailey | Hernandez | Hinojosa.
* = closer-by-committee

March 18, 2016
Philadelphia Phillies – Andrew Bailey has now pitched four scoreless spring innings, allowing just one hit and striking out five. With David Hernandez battling a sore triceps, Bailey may have emerged as the early favorite to close for Philadelphia. Among other possible candidates, Edward Mujica is also having a good spring and may make the team, but hasn’t generated much discussion for the closer spot. Ernesto Frieri, meanwhile, isn’t pitching well.

Updated hierarchy: *Hernandez | Bailey | Mujica.
* = closer-by-committee

March 2, 2016
Philadelphia Phillies – The Phillies traded one of their last valuable assets in Ken Giles during the offseason, leaving them with a hodgepodge of washed-up former closers (David Hernandez! Ernesto Frieri! Andrew Bailey! Edward Mujica!) and not-good-enough-yet youngsters vying for the 9th inning role. Though this is one of the most wide-open races in baseball, beat writers have labeled Hernandez the early favorite, as he was the only reliever to sign a guaranteed major league contract with the Phillies in the offseason. Hernandez got off to a strong start yesterday, firing a perfect inning in his first action of the spring. If he wins the job, his handcuff will probably be whichever former closer listed above can make the roster. If none of them do, Luis Garcia and Jeanmar Gomez are both, uh, kind of OK.

Starting 2016 hierarchy: Hernandez | Garcia | Gomez.
Holds candidates: Garcia, Gomez. 

October 2, 2015
Philadelphia Phillies — As we predicted, Ken Giles got a day off and Luis Garcia grabbed the save against the Mets on Thursday.

Hierarchy remains: Giles | Garcia | Hinojosa.

September 30, 2015
Philadelphia Phillies — While Ken Giles is the only Philadelphia reliever worth having in your lineup at this point, if you’re looking for a couple extra holds this week, Dalier Hinojosa may be an option. A September call-up, Hinojosa has a 1.29 ERA this month, and has lowered his overall ERA to just 0.90 thanks to six straight scoreless appearances. Meanwhile, Jeanmar Gomez has entered a game with his team ahead since Sept. 12.

Updated hierarchy: Giles | Garcia | Hinojosa.

August 29, 2015
Philadelphia Phillies — Jerome Williams, by all accounts a friendly guy, is nonetheless the very worst pitcher on the very worst team in baseball. On Friday, demoted from the rotation, Jerome pitched a high-leverage eighth to give his beleaguered bullpen a rest, then headed back out for a pressure-free save, newly staked to a six-run lead. That strange feeling, Philadelphia? It’s joy. It’ll pass. Eat Arby’s.

Hierarchy remains: Giles | Garcia | Gomez.

August 20, 2015
Philadelphia Phillies
 — Ken Giles remains the class of the Philadelphia bullpen, but if you are speculating on a handcuff or holds, Luis Garcia may be the next best option. His last three appearances have come in the 8th inning, while Jeanmar Gomez has picked up spots in the 6th and 7th. While it is tough to recommend any Philadelphia reliever besides Giles, if anything happens to him, Garcia has the inside track.

Updated hierarchy: Giles | Garcia | Gomez.

July 29, 2015
Philadelphia Phillies
 — The Phillies finally dealt away Jonathan Papelbon yesterday, clearing the 9th inning for longtime heir apparent Kenneth Giles, who earned his first save of the season last night. Giles first turned heads at the major league level in 2014, when he posted what was one of the best seasons for a reliever in the game (1.18 ERA, 0.79 WHIP, 64 Ks in 45.2 innings). He hasn’t been quite as dominant this year, but early-season nagging injuries may have played a role. We’re guessing he’s already owned if your league is even remotely deep, but if not, he’s a must add. We expect he’ll be the closer in Philadelphia for a good while. Luis Garcia got the 8th on Tuesday, and he’ll join Jeanmar Gomez and occasionally Jake Diekman as the bridge to Giles.

Updated hierarchy: Giles | Gomez | Garcia.

July 28, 2015
Philadelphia Phillies — The Phillies finally dealt away Jonathan Papelbon, clearing the 9th inning for longtime heir apparent Kenneth Giles. Giles first turned heads at the major league level in 2014, when he posted what was one of the best seasons for a reliever in the game (1.18 ERA, 0.79 WHIP, 64 Ks in 45.2 innings). He hasn’t been quite as dominant this year, but early-season nagging injuries may have played a role. We’re guessing he’s already owned if your league is even remotely deep, but if not, he’s a must add. We expect he’ll be the closer in Philadelphia for a good while. Look for Jeanmar Gomez, Jake Diekman, and Luis Garcia to get more looks, holds-wise.

Updated hierarchy: Giles | Gomez | Diekman.

July 25, 2015
Philadelphia Phillies — 17 saves in 17 appearances isn’t the only streak Jonathan Papelbon is working on this season; he’s also managed to whine about wanting a trade every single time he has seen a reporter. The latest rumor has him headed inside the division, to Washington.

Hierarchy remains: Papelbon | Giles | Gomez.

July 23, 2015
Philadelphia Phillies — ESPN’s Jayson Stark is reporting that trade talks about closer Jonathan Papelbon have stalled with the three most likely landing spots (Cubs, Dodgers, Blue Jays). This is bad news for anyone that was speculating on this trade. Ken Giles won’t get a shot while Papelbon is still around, and Papelbon would see more save opportunities with a contender. Philadelphia will still be shopping Papelbon around, and Papelbon himself is still clamoring to get out, but if these reports are true he may be stuck with the Phillies for the rest of the year. At least he got the win yesterday.

Hierarchy remains: Papelbon | Giles | Gomez.

June 21, 2015
Philadelphia Phillies — With set-up man Ken Giles given the night off after pitching in three straight games, right-hander Jeanmar Gomez was called on to pitch the eighth inning in front of Jonathan Papelbon. With a scoreless inning last night, Gomez’s ERA drops to 2.38 ERA on the season. We expect him to play a larger role in the late innings for the rest of the season, especially if Pap is shipped out.

Updated hierarchy: Papelbon | Giles | Gomez.

June 12, 2015
Philadelphia Phillies — You may notice a few dozen pickups of setup man Ken Giles on your preferred fantasy platform. That’s because the Phillies are ramping up trade discussions involving closer Jonathan Papelbon. Papelbon is due to make $8 million more this season, with a $13 million option for 2016 that will vest if he finishes 26 more games this year. The Phillies are reportedly calling contenders to let them know the team will eat some of Papelbon’s salary for this season and next in order to get a better return. The Blue Jays and Cubs reportedly have talked to the Phillies this month, with the Mariners, Rays, and Marlins possibly interested as well.

Hierarchy remains: Papelbon | Giles | Garcia.

May 16, 2015
Philadelphia Phillies — As semi-foretold by yesterday’s Vulture Save Watch, Luis Garcia earned his first big league save, striking out two in two innings of clutch relief.

Hierarchy remains: Papelbon | Giles | Garcia.

April 22, 2015
Philadelphia Phillies – Luis Garcia has been terrific for the Phillies this season and he picked up his second hold of the year on Tuesday. Garcia has not allowed a run since Sept. 10, 2014, and has struck out seven batters in his last six innings of work, including two on Tuesday. With Jake Diekman’s ERA a robust 13.50, Garcia is the safer bet in the seventh inning going forward.

Updated hierarchy: Papelbon | Giles | Garcia.

April 9, 2015
Philadelphia Phillies – Ken Giles struggled with his control in his 2015 debut, walking three and giving up a pair of unearned runs. However, the story of the night was Jonathan Papelbon, who bailed out Giles to get a four-out save. Afterwards he had some fun with the press, which included his best Randy Moss impression. All this serves to highlight his rift with the Philadelphia front office, which could lead to a trade if the right buyer comes along.

Hierarchy remains: Papelbon | Giles | Diekman.

March 9, 2015
Philadelphia Phillies – Count us among the folks who can’t wait for Jonathan Papelbon to get his hostile, crotch-grabbing self traded, which would open the door for youngster Ken Giles to ascend to the role he’s destined for. Giles put up a 1.18 ERA last year along with 64 strikeouts in just 45.2 innings. If you’re in a league that drafts any middle relievers at all, he should be one of the first off the board. Jake Diekman is the other power arm in the bullpen; the lefty should gobble up any holds that don’t go Giles’s way.

Starting 2015 hierarchy: Papelbon | Giles | Diekman.
Holds candidates: Giles, Diekman.

September 27, 2014
Philadelphia Phillies — Jonathan Papelbon made his first appearance in Philadelphia since he was suspended for making a lewd gesture after blowing a save a few weeks ago.  As you would expect, fans booed Papelbon when he was announced for the 9th inning, but he was still able to pick up his 39th save of the season.  Papelbon still has at least one year left on his deal, but after his recent actions and the performance of rookie Ken Giles, the Phillies will likely try to trade Papelbon in the off-season.

Updated hierarchy: Papelbon | Giles | Diekman.

September 24, 2014
Philadelphia Phillies — Jonathan Papelbon returned from his seven-game suspension on Tuesday. According to Ryne Sandberg, Papelbon will immediately return to the closer role, which should make for riveting television when the last-place Phillies close their season at home this weekend.

Updated hierarchy: Papelbon | Giles | Diekman.

September 21, 2014
Philadelphia Phillies — Ken Giles pitched a perfect 9th inning last night for his first career save.  Giles will continue to see save chances while closer Jonathan Papelbon is suspended.

Hierarchy remains: Giles | Diekman | De Fratus.

September 15, 2014
Philadelphia Phillies — Jonathan Papelbon’s homage to Michael Jackson has earned him a seven-game suspension, starting tonight in San Diego. Ken Giles is the man to own in the Philly pen for the next week — and perhaps thereafter. The Phillies have tired of Papelbon’s antics, issuing a statement that oozes with contempt, and the team is well aware that his $13 million option for 2016 vests with another five games finished this season.

Updated hierarchy: Giles | Diekman | De Fratus.

September 2, 2014
Philadelphia Phillies — The Phillies ‘pen combined with starter Cole Hamels for the season’s fourth no-hitter, with Jake Diekman, Ken Giles and Jonathan Papelbon not allowing a single base runner in the final three innings.

Hierarchy remains: Papelbon | Giles | Diekman.

August 23, 2014
Philadelphia Phillies — Jake Diekman got the last two outs of the 7th inning last night, protecting a one run lead.  Diekman picked up his 15th hold of the season, and it was his second straight appearance pitching the 7th inning ahead of Ken Giles and Jonathan Papelbon.  Antonio Bastardo, on the other hand, has taken the loss in three of his last four appearances.  Diekman should continue to see time in the later innings for the Phillies.

Updated hierarchy: Papelbon | Giles | Diekman.

August 21, 2014
Philadelphia Phillies — Ken Giles is in some impressive company as the pitcher with the sixth-best K rate in the game this season; naturally, he struck out the side in the eighth on Wednesday.

Hierarchy remains: Papelbon | Giles | Bastardo.

August 5, 2014
Philadelphia Phillies — Jonathan Papelbon was placed on waivers Monday and is expected to clear on Wednesday. That will free him up for a trade, though he will only waive his no-trade clause if he can close elsewhere. Those options are few and far between, but if a trade is worked out, Ken Giles is waiting in the wings.

Hierarchy remains: Papelbon | Giles | Bastardo.

July 30, 2014
Philadelphia Phillies — Jonathan Papelbon certainly isn’t making it any easier on the Phillies, refusing to waive his no-trade clause for any team that won’t promise to let him close. A real stand-up guy, that Paps.

Hierarchy remains: Papelbon | Giles | Bastardo.

July 20, 2014
Philadelphia Phillies – Ken Giles got the ball in the 8th inning last night and picked up his third hold of the season. With Giles continuing to shine in his audition, he’s a great speculative add (as mentioned here) for teams looking for saves. Jonathan Papelbon could be shipped out soon.

Updated hierarchy: Papelbon | Giles | Bastardo.

July 16, 2014
Philadelphia Phillies – Jonathan Papelbon hasn’t won any friends in Philly by announcing his willingness to waive his no-trade clause to avoid the “mind-boggling” fate of staying on “a losing team.” With the Phillies sinking out of contention, most consider him all but gone, which would open the door for closer of the future Ken Giles — especially if Antonio Bastardo also gets movedTRADE DEADLINE BUY+: Ken Giles. BUY: Antonio Bastardo.

July 8, 2014
Philadelphia Phillies — Ken Giles got his first taste of set-up duty on Monday night, and he was strong in recording four outs against the heart of the Brewers’ order to preserve a 3-2 lead. The heir apparent to Jonathan Papelbon lowered his ERA to 0.77 and continued to make a case for why the Phils should trade Papelbon. While this was Giles’ first high-leverage spot, his previous nine appearances had also been against opponents’ best hitters and it won’t be long before he gets a chance to close out a game for the struggling Phillies.

Updated hierarchy: Papelbon | Bastardo | Giles.

June 18, 2014
Philadelphia Phillies — Jacob Diekman and his 100 MPH fastball have been seeing some high-leverage innings lately, including Tuesday’s eighth. Although Antonio Bastardo would probably be the next choice for saves in the Philly bullpen, Diekman and Ken Giles could play larger roles as the season progresses.

Updated hierarchy: Papelbon | Bastardo | Diekman.

June 9, 2014
Philadelphia Phillies – Mike Adams was placed on the DL with a sore rotator cuff. Justin De Fratus, who is working on a 9-inning scoreless streak, moves up to take his place, but keep an eye on Ken Giles, who was just brought up to take Adams’s place. Giles has electric stuff, and could one day be the Philadelphia closer. With their season in the tank, the Phillies might give him a lengthy audition in the bigs.

Updated hierarchy: Papelbon | Bastardo | De Fratus.

April 15, 2014
Philadelphia Phillies – With both Jonathan Papelbon and Antonio Bastardo unavailable, Jacob Diekman blew the save last night in a wild game against Atlanta that no team seemed to want to win. Before Diekman’s implosion, B.J. Rosenberg made history in the eighth inning when he became the first pitcher in major league history to face three batters and allow three home runs. The Phillies did get some good bullpen news yesterday, however, as Mike Adams is set to be activated off the DL today. He’ll likely slide into the seventh inning for the time being.  Hierarchy change:  Mike Adams to 2nd in line, replacing B.J. Rosenberg.

April 13, 2014
Philadelphia Phillies – Antonio Bastardo pitched a scoreless 8th inning in a tie game last night.  His numbers aren’t very impressive on the young season (6 walks vs only 4 k’s in 6.1 innings) but he has pitched the 8th in each of his last 3 appearances.  If anything happens to Papelbon it looks like Bastardo could get the first shot to close.   Hierarchy change:  Antonio Bastardo to Set-up, B.J. Rosenberg to 2nd in line.

April 10, 2014
Philadelphia Phillies — In a tie game on Wednesday, the Phils called on Jake Diekman in the seventh, and he struck out the side. After Antonio Bastardo came out for the eighth, the Brewers pulled away with three runs, including a two-run triple from even bigger cheater Ryan Braun. Ryne Sandberg has been somewhat inconsistent handing out high-leverage work, but Bastardo would certainly be in the mix if Jonathan Papelbon goes down, or just keeps getting worseHierarchy change: Antonio Bastardo to 2nd in line, replacing Jacob Diekman.

April 6, 2014
Philadelphia Phillies  — Jacob Diekman pitched a scoreless eighth inning yesterday with the Phillies up 2. He picked up his second hold of the season, and it looks like he will be used in the later innings ahead of closer Jonathan Papelbon. Hierarchy change: Jacob Diekman to 2nd in line, replacing Justin De Fratus.

March 13, 2014
Philadelphia Phillies — Decreased velocity and a plummeting strikeout rate drop the pricy Jonathan Papelbon into the bottom half of our rankings. Ranked #16 in our preseason closer rankings.

March 11, 2014
Philadelphia Phillies – This pen will go from bottom-five to top-five if Jonathan Papelbon is to be believed. On Thursday, Mike Adams will face hitters for the first time since his shoulder surgery, and Antonio Bastardo is coming off a 50-game PED suspension, so if the Phils are to see drastic improvement, it will have to start with the likes of B.J. Rosenberg, Justin De Fratus, and Jake Diekman.  Starting 2014 hierarchy: Closer — Jonathan Papelbon; Set-up — B.J. Rosenberg (Mike Adams injured); 2nd in line — Justin De Fratus.

September 9, 2013
Philadelphia Phillies – Despite his relative inexperience, we boldly decided to list B.J. Rosenberg as the Philadelphia set-up man last week, but then got timid after he was given five straight days off, promoting Jacob Diekman after Rosenberg was absent on several nights where an 8th-inning hold was available.  So, of course, with Jonathan Papelbon unavailable yesterday, it was Rosenberg who got the 9th inning vulture save chance.  He converted for his first major league save.  Stick to your guns next time, Monkey!  Hierarchy change: B.J. Rosenberg to Set-up, Jacob Diekman to 2nd in line.

September 8, 2013
Philadelphia Phillies – Jacob Diekman finished the 8th inning ahead of Jonathan Papelbon on Saturday.  After a tough stretch in late July and early August, the lefty has only allowed one run in his last 11.2 innings.  Hierarchy change: Jacob Diekman to Set-up, B.J. Rosenberg to 2nd in line.

September 4, 2013
Philadelphia Phillies — After two straight poor outings, Justin De Fratus came on in the fifth inning of Tuesday’s loss to Washington. B.J. Rosenberg, who finished Tuesday’s game, has 10 straight scoreless appearances since coming up in mid-August, and several have come in close eighth innings. Hierarchy change: B.J. Rosenberg to Set-up, replacing Justin De Fratus.

August 6, 2013
Philadelphia Phillies — Antonio Bastardo was handed a 50-game suspension on Monday for his connection to performance-enhancing drugs. Justin De Fratus has been effective since mid-July, not allowing a run in his last six appearances — and the Phils will need him, with Mike Adams out until 2014 after shoulder surgery. Hierarchy change: Justin De Fratus to Set-up, replacing Antonio Bastardo.

July 20, 2013
Philadelphia Phillies – Justin De Fratus gave up 2 more runs on Friday night and his ERA is up to 5.23.  Jacob Diekman, on the other hand, has been pitching well, as he has not allowed a run in his last 5 appearances.  Hierarchy change: Jacob Diekman to 2nd in line, replacing Justin De Fratus.

July 18, 2013
Philadelphia Phillies – With Jonathan Papelbon on the market, the euphonious Antonio Bastardo is just a trade away from closing. TRADE DEADLINE BUY/SELL: BUY Antonio Bastardo.

July 10, 2013
Philadelphia Phillies — As predicted in yesterday’s Vulture Save Watch, Antonio Bastardo earned his second save of the year on Tuesday, allowing Jonathan Papelbon some much-needed rest. With Mike Adams now on the long-term disabled list and Papelbon possibly moving to Detroit or Boston, Bastardo’s value could soon increase dramatically. No hierarchy change.

June 25, 2013
Philadelphia Phillies — Almost any other closer who blew four of his last five save opportunities would be on the Hot Seat, if not looking for new work. Jonathan Papelbon, however, is not your average closer and, in fairness, he was placed in a tough spot on Monday by Charlie Manuel’s decision to let a flagging Cliff Lee start the ninth. With the Phillies bullpen sporting a league-worst 4.68 ERA and 1.50 WHIP, something has to change soon — but that’s more likely to be Papelbon’s trade value than his bullpen role. No hierarchy change.

June 23, 2013
Philadelphia Phillies – Mike Adams is back on the DL.  Antonio Bastardo pitched the 8th inning ahead of Papelbon last night and should continue to be used in that set-up role.  Hierarchy change: Mike Adams to DL, Antonio Bastardo to Set-up, Justin De Fratus to 2nd in line.

June 14, 2013
Philadelphia Phillies – The Philadelphia bullpen hasn’t been a point of strength this season, and it’s been touch-and-go in terms of getting the ball to Jonathan Papelbon, who until last night didn’t have a single save in June.  After Antonio Bastardo got knocked around on Wednesday, blowing the game in the 7th inning and eventually taking the loss, the Phillies went to Mike Adams in the 8th inning on Thursday.  Adams hasn’t been as good since coming off the disabled list, but after last night, he’s probably moved past Bastardo again on the depth chart.  For speculators, the 8th-inning battle in Philly is worth watching, as Papelbon is a candidate to be dealt some time this summer.  Hierarchy change: Mike Adams to Set-up, Antonio Bastardo to 2nd in line.

June 3, 2013
Philadelphia Phillies – Jonathan Papelbon missed the game on Sunday with a bad sinus infection and could be out for an additional day or two.  Antonio Bastardo picked up a shaky save in his absence and will likely share 9th inning duties with Mike Adams if Papelbon needs another day to recover.  Hierarchy change: Antonio Bastardo to Set-up, Mike Adams to 2nd in line.

May 30, 2013
Philadelphia Phillies – Mike Adams had a rocky return from the disabled list on Monday, but was back to his old form on Wednesday, pitching a clean 8th ahead of Jonathan Papelbon.  Hierarchy change: Mike Adams to Set-up, Antonio Bastardo to 2nd in line.  

May 21, 2013
Philadelphia Phillies — Mike Adams was placed on the disabled list with a strained back, retroactive to May 11. He hopes to return by the 27th, but in the meantime, Charlie Manuel has indicated that Justin De Fratus will see more action. Hierarchy change: Mike Adams to DL, Antonio Bastardo to Set-up, Justin De Fratus to 2nd in line.

February 24, 2013
Philadelphia Phillies – Starting 2013 hierarchy: Closer- Jonathan Papelbon, Set-up- Mike Adams, 2nd in line- Antonio Bastardo.

October 2, 2012
Philadelphia Phillies – Phillippe Aumont picked up his second save of the season on Monday. Jonathan Papelbon had pitched in two straight and was unavailable. No hierarchy change.

September 14, 2012
Philadelphia Phillies – The Phillies went back to Phillippe Aumont yet again in a close 8th inning, this time after Antonio Bastardo had already pitched the 7th. Although Aumont struggled with his control and was tagged with the loss, all three runs were scored after he was relieved with two outs in favor of lefty Jake Diekman. All signs point to Aumont’s ascension in the Philadelphia pen. Hierarchy change: Phillippe Aumont to Set-up, Antonio Bastardo to 2nd in line.

September 12, 2012
Philadelphia Phillies – Phillippe Aumont pitched the 8th inning ahead of Jonathan Papelbon for the second time this week. Aumont, a 23-year-old prospect who was closing for the Phillies in AAA also picked up a save last week, and may get another chance or two down the stretch. Hierarchy change: Phillippe Aumont to 2nd in line, replacing Josh Lindblom.

September 11, 2012
Philadelphia Phillies – Antonio Bastardo picked up his first save of the season on Monday. As mentioned in yesterday’s Vulture Save Watch, Jonathan Papelbon had pitched in both games of Sunday’s doubleheader. No hierarchy change.

September 4, 2012
Philadelphia Phillies – Jonathan Papelbon threw in the bullpen but that was all manager Charlie Manuel wanted out of his closer after Papelbon had pitched four of the last six days. Right-hander Phillippe Aumont came on in the ninth for his first major league save. Antonio Bastardo had also faced heavy work of late, so Justin De Fratus pitched the eighth for his first hold of the season. No hierarchy change.

August 27, 2012
Philadelphia Phillies – Josh Lindblom picked up a 1.2 inning save on Sunday, as Jonathan Papelbon had the day off after pitching three in a row. Antonio Bastardo has been the 8th inning man lately, so this may have been a match-up play– four of the five hitters Lindblom faced were righties. No hierarchy change.

August 2, 2012
Philadelphia Phillies – The Phillies picked up Josh Lindblom in the Shane Victorino trade, and proved they would use him in tight spots immediately. He was one of three relievers to record an out in the 8th to bridge the gap to Jonathan Papelbon. Hierarchy change: Josh Lindblom to 2nd in line, replacing Jake Diekman.

July 12, 2012
Philadelphia Phillies – Despite the Phillies’ struggles, they’re unlikely to sell off any valuable bullpen assets. Jonathan Papelbon has a long term contract, and they value Antonio Bastardo too highly to move him. TRADE DEADLINE BUY/SELL: None.

June 29, 2012
Philadelphia Phillies – Chad Qualls was sent to the minors on Thursday. Jake Diekman has a 2.08 ERA in June and has been pitching in some higher-leverage late-inning spots as of late, and will move up to take Qualls’s place. Hierarchy change: Jake Diekman to 2nd in line, replacing Chad Qualls.

May 25, 2012
Philadelphia Phillies – Antonio Bastardo pitched the 8th inning on Thursday, and has reclaimed his role as the Phillies set-up man after some struggles early in the season. Hierarchy change: Antonio Bastardo to Set-up, Chad Qualls to 2nd in line.

May 5, 2012
Philadelphia Phillies – Jose Contreras has struggled since returning from the disabled list, and was used early in the game on Friday. Antonio Bastardo was called on in the 7th, and he pitched a clean inning. Hierarchy change: Antonio Bastardo to 2nd in line, replacing Jose Contreras.

April 21, 2012
Philadelphia Phillies – Jose Contreras returned from the disabled list yesterday, pitching the 7th inning ahead of Chad Qualls and Jonathan Papelbon. Contreras should continue to be used in this role, as Antonio Bastardo has settled into a LOOGY role as of late. Hierarchy change: Jose Contreras to 2nd in line, replacing Antonio Bastardo.

April 16, 2012
Philadelphia Phillies – Protecting a 1-run lead in the 8th inning on Sunday, the Phillies went to Chad Qualls over Antonio Bastardo. Philadelphia also used Qualls to protect a 2-run lead in the 8th in their last win, on Thursday. Hierarchy change: Chad Qualls to Set-up, Antonio Bastardo to 2nd in line.

March 20, 2012
Philadelphia Phillies- The Phillies made the biggest bullpen splash in the offseason, signing Jonathan Papelbon in the early days of free agency. Jose Contreras, one of the bullpen holdovers, is hurt and will likely return in late April. Starting 2012 hierarchy: Closer- Jonathan Papelbon, Set-up- Antonio Bastardo, 2nd in line- Chad Qualls.

Nov. 14, 2011
Philadelphia Phillies- The Phillies signed Jonathon Papelbon to a four-year deal. He’ll be their closer for the foreseeable future. Hierarchy change: Jonathon Papelbon to Closer, replacing Ryan Madson.

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