Philadelphia Phillies

Philadelphia Phillies Fantasy Baseball Daily Bullpen Updates and Closer Depth Chart

Closer1st in line2nd in line2020 CloserUpdated
PHIDavid RobertsonSeranthony DominguezHector NerisDavid Robertson2/21/19

* = closer-by-committee

Previous updates:

February 21, 2019
Philadelphia Phillies – The Phillies were among the more maddening bullpens for fantasy owners in 2018, as nine different pitchers logged saves, including five who managed to tally three or more. But the addition of David Robertson likely stabilizes the 9th inning for now, allowing Gabe Kapler to deploy the likes of Seranthony Dominguez and Hector Neris earlier in the game. Beyond those three, there’s a logjam of qualified guys in camp, and it’s likely to be a spring training battle for the remaining slots, with newcomers Juan Nicasio, Jose Alvarez, and James Pazos competing with holdovers Pat Neshek, Victor Arano, Tommy Hunter, Adam Morgan, and Edubray Ramos.

Starting 2019 hierarchy: Robertson | Dominguez | Neris.
Holds candidates: Dominguez, Neris, Neshek.

September 30, 2018
Philadelphia Phillies — Seranthony Dominguez pitched a scoreless ninth for his 15th save of the season.  The rookie right-hander had an up and down season but finished strong with five straight scoreless appearances and will likely be in the mix for saves in 2019 for the Phillies.

Updated hierarchy: *Dominguez | Neris | Neshek.
* = closer-by-committee

September 22, 2018
Philadelphia Phillies — The Phillies bullpen fell apart last night, with Pat Neshek giving up four runs and taking the loss. Seranthony Dominguez pitched a scoreless 6th inning, and his use in the late innings has not been consistent. The guy to watch here is Hector Neris, who pitched the 9th inning last night and has only allowed four earned runs in the last 15 innings, including a scoreless August. His overall numbers are not great, but if you are chasing saves in the playoffs, Neris may sneak one or two for you. He got the last save opportunity, and in this wide open committee, that’s as good a sign as any.

Updated hierarchy: *Hunter | Neshek | Neris.
* = closer-by-committee

September 19, 2018
Philadelphia Phillies — On this episode of “It’s Always a Committee in Philadelphia,” four different relievers kept the Mets scoreless over the final 3.1 innings, with Hector Neris ultimately recording his 11th save of the season. Pat Neshek recorded the final out of the sixth inning to keep the Phillies trailing by just two. After the Phillies took the lead in the bottom half of the frame, Seranthony Dominguez and Tommy Hunter pitched the seventh and eighth innings, respectively. Neshek has been the best of the bunch lately, as he hasn’t allowed an earned run over his last seven appearances, but the next save chance could go to any of the aforementioned arms.

Hierarchy remains: *Hunter | Neshek | Dominguez.
* = closer-by-committee

September 16, 2018
Philadelphia Phillies — Pat Neshek pitched a perfect 9th inning yesterday for the save, although Tommy Hunter had arguably the tougher task as he faced the 3-4-5 hitters for the Marlins in the 8th inning.  Neshek and Hunter should both continue to see save chances down the stretch for the Phillies.

Hierarchy remains: *Hunter | Neshek | Dominguez.
* = closer-by-committee

September 8, 2018
Philadelphia Phillies — Seranthony Dominguez pitched the 8th inning of a one-run game and Tommy Hunter pitched a perfect 9th to earn his fourth save of the year. Dominguez hasn’t gotten a save since August 16th, while both Hunter and Pat Neshek have two saves in that time. Dominguez hasn’t been bad over the last few weeks, but he appears to have fallen out of favor for now. Since August 15, Hunter has held opponents to a .088 batting average en route to a 1.64 ERA in 11.0 IP. This should remain a committee for the rest of the season with Hunter and Neshek as the current best bets for saves as the Phillies fight for a playoff spot.

Updated hierarchy: *Hunter | Neshek | Dominguez.
* = closer-by-committee

August 30, 2018
Philadelphia Phillies — The Phillies bullpen continues to be unpredictable. Wednesday night, Victor Arano and Hector Neris split the sixth, Seranthony Dominguez earned the win in the seventh, and Pat Neshek and Luis Avilan tried and failed to get an out in the eighth. Naturally, this left Tommy Hunter to pitch two scoreless innings for his third save of the season.

Hierarchy remains: *Dominguez | Neshek | Neris.
* = closer-by-committee

August 30, 2018
Philadelphia Phillies — The Phillies bullpen continues to be unpredictable. Wednesday night, Victor Arano and Hector Neris split the sixth, Seranthony Dominguez earned the win in the seventh, and Pat Neshek and Luis Avilan tried and failed to get an out in the eighth. Naturally, this left Tommy Hunter to pitch two scoreless innings for his third save of the season.

Hierarchy remains: *Dominguez | Neshek | Neris.
* = closer-by-committee

August 27, 2018
Philadelphia Phillies – Seranthony Dominguez bounced back with a clean 9th inning on Sunday, though it’s notable that it came in a game that the Phillies were winning by five. The team’s use of Hector Neris going forward also bears watching, as he has been probably the best relief pitcher in baseball since returning from the minors (6.2 IP, 15 Ks, 4 baserunners, 0 ERs). Look for the Phillies — three games back in the division and entering a crucial stretch — to ride their hottest arms in the weeks ahead.

Updated hierarchy: *Dominguez | Neshek | Neris.
* = closer-by-committee

August 26, 2018
Philadelphia Phillies — Seranthony Dominguez started the 8th inning with the Phillies up 1, and it did not go well for the young right-hander.  Dominguez only recorded one out and loaded the bases before getting pulled for Victor Arano.  Arano came on and allowed all three inherited runners to score.  Including yesterday’s outing, Dominguez has now given up runs in half of his eight appearances in the month of August.  He has also been charged with three blown saves, and that doesn’t even include yesterday since Arano got credited with that blown save.  Pat Neshek might be a better source of saves moving forward and watch out for our old friend Hector Neris, who has struck out 12 of the 20 batters he has faced since getting called back up.

Hierarchy remains: *Dominguez | Neshek | Arano.
* = closer-by-committee

August 24, 2018
Philadelphia Phillies — All of a sudden, Pat Neshek has racked up four saves, including one Thursday against the Nationals with a clean ninth inning. He should continue to compete for opportunities in the weeks ahead with Seranthony Dominguez, who has allowed five earned runs in his last seven appearances.

Updated hierarchy: *Dominguez | Neshek | Arano.
* = closer-by-committee

August 18, 2018
Philadelphia Phillies — Seranthony Dominugez earned a break following two straight nights of work, which left the door open for Pat Neshek to record his third save of the year after Victor Arano pitched against the top of the Mets order in the eighth.

Hierarchy remains: *Dominguez | Arano | Neshek.
* = closer-by-committee

August 17, 2018
Philadelphia Phillies — It’s not often we discuss the bullpen of a team who lost by 20 runs, but old friend Hector Neris made his return in as low-leverage a situation you can get in Game 1 of a doubleheader on Thursday, with the Phillies down 15-4 in the sixth inning, right before the position players took the hill. Neris mowed down a Mets offense — one that was clearly on fire — striking out the side in order. He may break into the hierarchy before long, but let’s see some high-leverage looks first. In the nightcap, Seranthony Dominguez nailed down the save.

Hierarchy remains: *Dominguez | Arano | Neshek.
* = closer-by-committee

August 15, 2018
Philadelphia Phillies – Hector Neris is back with the Phillies for the third different time this season. Will the third time be the charm? Gabe Kapler seems to think so, saying that he won’t hesitate to use Neris in a tight spot. We’ll certainly hesitate to put Neris back in the hierarchy right away, though Kapler’s confidence in Neris is not unfounded. In 19 appearances at Lehigh Valley, Neris did not allow a home run, posted a 1.45 ERA and allowed just 17 baserunners in 18.2 IP.

Hierarchy remains: *Dominguez | Arano | Neshek.
* = closer-by-committee

August 8, 2018
Philadelphia Phillies – Seranthony Dominguez earned a night off after throwing 29 pitches over the last two days, which led to Pat Neshek earning his second save of the season on Tuesday. Victor Arano preserved the Phillies’ lead by getting out of an inherited jam in the eighth inning.

Hierarchy remains: *Dominguez | Arano | Neshek.
* = closer-by-committee

August 6, 2018
Philadelphia Phillies – The Phillies used Seranthony Dominguez in the 7th inning yesterday against the heart of the order, which meant a save chance two innings later for Tommy Hunter, who converted.

Hierarchy remains: *Dominguez | Arano | Neshek.
* = closer-by-committee

July 14, 2018
Philadelphia Phillies – As the vulture save watch predicted, Seranthony Dominguez was given a night off. However, Gabe Kapler chose to use Victor Arano in the 8th inning and Pat Neshek in the 9th to close out a 2-0 win. Neshek became the ninth Phillies player to record a save this year, which ties a franchise record. Neshek has been excellent in his five appearances this year and will continue to get late-inning looks.

Updated hierarchy: *Dominguez | Arano | Neshek.
* = closer-by-committee

July 10, 2018
Philadelphia Phillies – It was an eventful doubleheader for Victor Arano. In game 1, the righty threw five pitches, the last of which was hit over the wall for a walkoff home run, but the Phillies went right back to him to get the final out of a 2-run game in the nightcap, and he earned his third save of the year. Arano now appears the second-most-likely candidate to receive save chances in Gabe Kapler’s anything-goes bullpen. (For his part, committee-leader Seranthony Dominguez threw two scoreless innings in game one and likely wasn’t available for game 2.)

Hierarchy remains: *Dominguez | Arano | Ramos.
* = closer-by-committee

July 8, 2018
Philadelphia Phillies — Victor Arano pitched a scoreless ninth on Saturday for his second save in four days. Seranthony Dominguez pitched a scoreless eighth inning ahead of Arano. The Pirates had their 2-3-4 hitters due up in the 8th so the Phillies used Dominguez in that spot and left Arano for the 6-7-8 hitters. Dominguez had been used in a save situation in his last six appearances so this one hold isn’t enough to move him from the top of our committee. However, he will likely see a few more high leverage spots prior to the ninth throughout the rest of the season, and Victor Arano should be in the mix for saves in those situations.

Updated hierarchy *Dominguez | Ramos | Arano.
* = closer-by-committee

July 7, 2018
Philadelphia Phillies — Edubray Ramos was activated from the DL and immediately saw action in the 5th inning last night, getting the last two outs of what was at the time a one-run game en route to earning his third win of the year. Ramos was a top arm in the Phillies bullpen before he got injured, and a solid outing last night puts him right back into the mix in the late innings.

Updated hierarchy *Dominguez | Ramos | Hunter.
* = closer-by-committee

July 5, 2018
Philadelphia Phillies — 23-year-old rookie Victor Arano didn’t quite convert his first save opportunity (June 18), but he made it through two scoreless innings on Wednesday to become the eighth Phillies reliever with a save in 2018. Only five of Arano’s 28 appearances this season have come in late/close situations, but he has good numbers (2.32 ERA, 1.06 WHIP, 9.6 K/9) and could see an increased role going forward.

Hierarchy remains: *Dominguez | Hunter | Neshek.
* = closer-by-committee

July 2, 2018
Philadelphia Phillies — Pat Neshek returned from the disabled list and made his season debut, allowing a single and inducing a groundout in the seventh. Neshek is almost 38, but not many middle relievers can match his success over the past few years, and he should get a chance to re-establish himself in the seventh inning for the Phils.

Updated hierarchy: *Dominguez | Hunter | Neshek.
* = closer-by-committee

July 1, 2018
Philadelphia Phillies – Yesterday, Seranthony Dominguez recorded his seventh save in eight chances.  In other Phillies’ bullpen news, the team leader in saves, Hector Neris, got sent back down to Triple-A after giving up three homers on Friday night.

Updated hierarchy: *Dominguez | Hunter | Morgan.
* = closer-by-committee

June 29, 2018
Philadelphia Phillies – With a 3-run lead entering the 9th, Gabe Kapler opted for Tommy Hunter, but when Hunter proceeded to allow the first two batters to reach base, Seranthony Dominguez started getting loose. After a groundout, Dominguez was summoned, and he would strike out the two batters he faced, locking down the save. Count on Kapler deploying his bullpen in an unusual manner from time to time, but over the past month, Dominguez has 5 saves while the entire rest of the bullpen has 4. He remains the favorite going forward.

Hierarchy remains: *Dominguez | Hunter | Neris.
* = closer-by-committee

June 26, 2018
Philadelphia Phillies — Edubray Ramos was placed on the 10-day DL because of a right shoulder impingement. Gabe Kapler said the move is very much precautionary and that Ramos should spend the minimum amount of time on the DL. That makes room for Hector Neris to make his return to the majors after a pair of outings in Triple-A. He allowed one hit, walked one and struck out two over two innings with Lehigh Valley. If Gabe Kapler is desperate over the next 10 days, don’t be surprised if Neris gets a save chance. In other news, Pat Neshek is close to returning, though there’s no specific timetable in place.

Updated hierarchy: *Dominguez | Hunter | Neris.
* = closer-by-committee

June 24, 2018
Philadelphia Phillies — Seranthony Dominguez returned to the closer’s role on Saturday and responded with a perfect inning, including two strikeouts.  Dominguez is the best reliever that the Phillies have but don’t expect him to be used like a traditional closer.  Manager Gabe Kapler will likely continue to mix and match and that hurts Dominguez’s chances for racking up saves.

Hierarchy remains: *Dominguez | Ramos | Hunter.
* = closer-by-committee

June 21, 2018
Philadelphia PhilliesPhillies fans booed as Adam Morgan (15.75 June ERA) came in with the tying run on second and one out in the ninth, but the lefty retired Matt Carpenter and Tommy Pham to become the seventh different pitcher to earn a save for the team. We won’t add Morgan to the hierarchy at this point, but he could grab more platoon-based save chances down the road.

Hierarchy remains: *Dominguez | Ramos | Hunter.
* = closer-by-committee

June 19, 2018
Philadelphia Phillies — Hector Neris, who actually picked up a save last Saturday and had an outside chance to grab the closer’s role again, has been demoted to Triple-A. Neris allowed four runs in his last outing and manager Gabe Kapler wants him to “clear his head.”

Hierarchy remains: *Dominguez | Ramos | Hunter.
* = closer-by-committee

June 18, 2018
Philadelphia Phillies – The Phillies emptied their bullpen in support of an uncharacteristically short start by Aaron Nola, and were seemingly in control when they handed the ball to Hector Neris with a five-run lead in the 9th. But Neris melted down, and with only Edubray Ramos and Jake Thompson left in the pen — and with Ramos having pitched in each of the last two games — Thompson got the ball. Fortunately, he needed just one pitch to pick up his second save of the year. Despite Gabe Kapler’s general bullpen wackiness, we don’t expect Thompson to regularly factor into the 9th very often.

Hierarchy remains: *Dominguez | Ramos | Hunter.
* = closer-by-committee

June 17, 2018
Philadelphia Phillies – The Phillies used their hierarchy in order yesterday, but it was for the sixth, seventh, and eighth innings.  That left the ninth inning to our old friend Hector Neris.  Neris’ last save was on May 21st and he wasn’t exactly pitching well enough to earn another shot as he had given up a run in five of his past seven appearances before yesterday.  However, manager Gabe Kapler went with Neris and he responded with a perfect inning for his tenth save of the season.  The Phillies’ bullpen is the most unpredictable in baseball right now, and seemingly anybody could see a save chance at this point.

Hierarchy remains: *Dominguez | Ramos | Hunter. 
* = closer-by-committee

June 11, 2018
Philadelphia Phillies – Gabe Kapler called upon Tommy Hunter to protect a 4-1 lead in the eighth, and Hunter delivered. The Phillies’ bullpen is still a bit unsettled, but it’s safe to say Hunter is ahead of Hector Neris at this point.

Updated Hierarchy: *Dominguez | Ramos | Hunter. 
* = closer-by-committee

June 11, 2018
Philadelphia Phillies – Bullpen Chaos Theory continued its run of moderate success on Sunday, as Seranthony Dominguez and Luis Garcia combined for 8 of the final 9 outs before Garcia gave way to Tommy Hunter, who needed two pitches to record his first save of the season. This bullpen remains wide open.

Hierarchy remains: *Dominguez | Ramos | Neris. 
* = closer-by-committee

June 7, 2018
Philadelphia Phillies — The Phillies tried to get two innings out of Seranthony Dominguez — even letting him draw a walk against Brandon Morrow in his first plate appearance in seven years of professional baseball — but the 23-year-old followed up his first walk as a hitter with his first walk as a pitcher. After a one-out single, Gabe Kapler called on lefty Adam Morgan, who walked the bases loaded, then got the Cubs down to their final strike before Jason Heyward hit a walk-off grand slam.

Hierarchy remains: *Dominguez | Ramos | Neris.
* = closer-by-committee

June 1, 2018
Philadelphia Phillies — Seranthony Dominguez continued his scoreless start in the major leagues Thursday, securing his second save and making it look easy. He has faced 43 batters to start his career, fanning 15 while allowing just two hits. Wow. He’s the guy to own for the Phillies, who find themselves just one game out of first place in the NL East. Save chances should be plentiful this year.

Hierarchy remains: *Dominguez | Ramos | Neris.
* = closer-by-committee

May 30, 2018
Philadelphia Phillies – Hector Neris got the ball in the eighth inning against the top of the Dodgers’ order, tasked with protecting a four-run lead. It did not go well for Neris, as three hits and one earned run later, he gave way to Tommy Hunter to get out of the inning. The Phillies tacked on two more runs in the top of the ninth, but if they didn’t, Seranthony Dominguez was probably going to get the save chance. Dominguez has been lights out this year, but he has yet to pitch two straight days. Neris has not been good in his last two appearances, and it may do him (and the Phillies) some good if he pitches in lower-leverage spots.

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

May 27, 2018
Philadelphia Phillies – Seranthony Dominguez continued his scoreless streak and also recorded his first win after the Phillies took the lead in the bottom of the eighth.  Who got the call for the save in the ninth?  Luis Garcia, of course.  Garcia pitched a scoreless inning to pick up his first save of the season.  The Phillies are in full committee mode and have a number of options to close out games.

Hierarchy remains: *Neris | Ramos | Dominguez.
* = closer-by-committee

May 22, 2018
Philadelphia Phillies – After a few outings in non-save situations, Hector Neris got the 9th inning with a three-run lead on Monday night, converting for his 9th save. Seranthony Dominguez threw a scoreless 8th, allowing his first baserunner of the season but extending his scoreless streak to 7.2 innings to start his career. Since Gabe Kapler started his no-defined-roles approach, it’s been these two — along with Edubray Ramos — who are most often stirring in the bullpen when the Phillies have a lead late in games.

Hierarchy remains: *Neris | Ramos | Dominguez.
* = closer-by-committee

May 20, 2018
Philadelphia Phillies — Seranthony Dominguez has had a very impressive start to his major league career and on Saturday, he recorded his first career save.  Dominguez has not allowed a hit or walk in his first six career appearances, the longest such streak to start a career in major league history.  With Gabe Kapler, you never know who is going to get the next save, but Dominguez certainly deserves to be in the mix.

Hierarchy remains: *Neris | Ramos | Dominguez.
* = closer-by-committee

May 17, 2018
Philadelphia Phillies — Gabe Kapler has declared war on your fantasy team and by-the-book bullpen management, treating the ninth inning of a three-run May matinee like the wild card playoff. Tommy Hunter and Luis Garcia split up the eighth, and after Edubray Ramos struck out the first two guys in the ninth on six pitches, it sure looked like he’d be in line for a second straight save. But Kapler liked Hector Neris’s splitter against lefty Chris Davis, so one groundout later, the Phillies had their win and nobody got the save. For as long as Kapler keeps this up, Phillies relievers will be trading at a discount.

Hierarchy remains: *Neris | Ramos | Dominguez.
* = closer-by-committee

May 14, 2018
Philadelphia Phillies – Two days after Hector Neris blew a save against the Mets, Gabe Kapler declared that the Phillies will no longer have a consistent 9th inning approach. This was Kapler’s initial plan in spring training, but the first six weeks of the season saw Neris in the role; now, it seems that it’ll be full-on chaos theory in Philadelphia going forward. Sure to be in the mix is Edubray Ramos, who go the save on Sunday. Neris is still in, too — he was warming up while Ramos was pitching. Seranthony Dominguez, who pitched a clean 8th and has yet to allow a baserunner in 4 major league innings so far, could get a look. So could Tommy Hunter and Luis Garcia. We’re putting Neris and Ramos at the top for now, with the understanding that, if Kapler keeps his word, the 9th inning could truly belong to almost anyone on any given night.

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

May 12, 2018
Philadelphia Phillies — Tommy Hunter has been excellent since his return from the DL, picking up five holds while bridging the gap to Hector Neris, who has been less than excellent of late. Neris allowed three earned runs to blow yesterday’s save, and he has two blown saves in his last four outings to push his ERA to 5.17. After Friday’s disaster, Gabe Kapler remained confident that Neris would overcome these recent struggles and that he’d be willing to use Neris tonight if necessary. We’ll keep a close eye on this to see if Neris can keep his job or if a committee of Hunter and Luis Garcia will rule the late innings in Philadelphia.

Updated hierarchy: Neris | Hunter | Garcia.

May 11, 2018
Philadelphia Phillies — Introducing Seranthony Dominguez, who will likely be tracked by the Closer Monkey for years to come. The rookie righty recorded his first career hold Thursday and has a perfect inning with one strikeout in each of his first three career appearances. If he does that again, he’ll be the first pitcher to do so in 110 years. He’s worth keeping an eye on.

Hierarchy remains: Neris | Garcia | Hunter.

April 28, 2018
Philadelphia Phillies — Tommy Hunter pitched a clean eighth inning ahead of Hector Neris, and has not given up a run since his return from the DL last week. Until last night, he had not pitched with a lead; his first hold of the year gets him back into the hierarchy.

Updated hierarchy: Neris | Garcia | Hunter.

April 21, 2018
Philadelphia Phillies — Hector Neris picked up his third save last night, with Adam Morgan and Luis Garcia getting him the ball. The roles in the Philadelphia pen seem solid enough to pull the committee asterisk.

Updated hierarchy: Neris | Garcia | Morgan.

April 10, 2018
Philadelphia Phillies – Hector Neris finally got his first save of the season last night, and for Neris’s second straight appearance, it was Luis Garcia who pitched the 8th before him. He’s the most likely to get a save for the Phillies on nights where Neris is unavailable.

Updated hierarchy: Neris | Garcia | Morgan.

March 31, 2018
Philadelphia Phillies — Pat Neshek was placed on the 10-day DL with a right shoulder strain and the Phillies missed him immediately. In his stead the team turned to Luis Garcia to protect a one-run lead in the eighth. Garcia gave up a run, and could have given up another if not for replay review. Despite the blown save, Garcia is likely in line for more late-inning appearances, at least until Neshek and Tommy Hunter return.

Updated hierarchy: *Neris | Morgan | Garcia.
* = closer-by-committee

March 27, 2018
Philadelphia Phillies – Tommy Hunter, expected to be one of the main set-up men for Hector Neris — or possibly even serve as a 9th inning candidate if Neris gets the Andrew Miller treatment — will do neither for a while, as the Phillies announced that he will start the season on the DL. Pat Neshek and Adam Morgan figure to get the lion’s share of holds while Hunter is out.

Updated hierarchy: *Neris | Neshek | Morgan.
* = closer-by-committee

February 28, 2018
Philadelphia Phillies – Like Mickey Callaway in New York, Philly’s new skipper, Gabe Kapler, has taken off the K-Swiss and suggested that he may employ his best reliever, Hector Neris, all over the place. For his part, Neris is on board with the decision (note: original story source is here, but is paywalled), so there’s a chance that the plan could stick, meaning Tommy Hunter or Pat Neshek could potentially get save chances. Luis Garcia and Adam Morgan round out the Phillies’ top five.

Starting 2018 hierarchy: *Neris | Hunter | Neshek.
* = closer-by-committee
Holds candidates: Hunter | Neshek | Garcia.

September 8, 2017
Philadelphia Phillies – Adam Morgan, who has allowed just two runs over his last 25 innings, has recorded a hold in each of his last three appearances, twice pitching after Edubray Ramos. While the lefty isn’t likely to get a save during the final week, he may be worth an add if you’re looking for holds.

Updated hierarchy: Neris | Garcia | Morgan.

September 8, 2017
Philadelphia Phillies – With Juan Nicasio leaving town as quickly as he’d arrived, the Phillies will likely give Edubray Ramos more looks in the 7th inning. Nicasio may crack the St. Louis hierarchy sooner rather than later, but he hasn’t made an appearance yet.

Updated hierarchy: Neris | Garcia | Ramos.

September 1, 2017
Philadelphia Phillies — Claiming Juan Nicasio from the Pirates while being out of contention is a puzzling move for the Phillies, too. They’re on the hook for the remaining $600,000 and are in line for the top pick in next year’s draft as long as they continue to lose…which will be harder now that they have a better bullpen. There were reports the Phillies may have instead wanted to trade him, but they didn’t do so. By default, Nicasio will likely be a factor for the Phillies in the late innings, if that’s how manager Pete Mackanin chooses to play it.

Updated hierarchy: Neris | Garcia | Nicasio. 

August 13, 2017
Philadelphia Phillies — After Hoby Milner got the first out of the ninth, Luis Garcia came on and recorded the last two outs for his second save of the season.  As we mentioned in the Vulture Save Watch, Hector Neris had pitched a lot recently, and it looks like the Phillies will use Milner and Garcia in the ninth when Neris is not available.

Hierarchy remains: Neris | Garcia | Milner. 

August 10, 2017
Philadelphia Phillies — Not only did Hoby Milner earn his second straight eighth-inning hold on Wednesday, but Pete Mackanin specifically mentioned that Milner would get more late-inning opportunities over the last seven weeks of the season. Luis Garcia hasn’t appeared in a game since picking up his second straight loss on August 4, but given the great season that preceded this week, we’ll wait for confirmation before moving him around.

Updated hierarchy: Neris | Garcia | Milner. 

August 9, 2017
Philadelphia Phillies – While Jesen Therrien may still get a look down the stretch of a lost season, the last couple days suggest that Edubray Ramos will be the most likely seventh-inning option in Philadelphia when the Phillies have a lead. Hoby Milner is one of just two lefties in the Phillies’ bullpen, and he earned an eighth-inning hold on Tuesday against a lefty-heavy Braves lineup. Expect Milner to also get some more late-inning chances as matchups dictate.

Updated hierarchy: Neris | Garcia | Ramos. 

August 1, 2017
Philadelphia Phillies – With Joaquin Benoit gone, the Phillies don’t really have any major league caliber relievers left other than Hector Neris and Luis Garcia, so we’ll take our best guess and give Jesen Therrien the 7th inning job for now. The righty has only been in the bigs for a few days, but he had 9 saves in the minors.

Updated hierarchy: Neris | Garcia | Therrien. 

July 29, 2017
Philadelphia Phillies — Up 8-3 in the eighth inning, the Phillies called on Joaquin Benoit with two outs and the bases loaded. After Benoit induced a flyout, he stayed on for the ninth to earn his second save of the season.

Hierarchy remains: Neris | Garcia | Benoit. 

July 27, 2017
Philadelphia Phillies – The Phillies traded Pat Neshek to Colorado on Wednesday, which means even more chances for Joaquin Benoit and Luis Garcia to get the ball to Hector Neris.

Updated hierarchy: Neris | Garcia | Benoit. 

July 24, 2017
Philadelphia Phillies – The Phillies took their usual approach to the 7th and 8th innings on Sunday (Pat Neshek, then Joaquin Benoit), but instead of using Hector Neris for the third straight day, they summoned Luis Garcia for the ninth inning. Against all odds, Garcia has been nails lately, and the Phillies might have been showcasing him to see if they could get someone to trade a prospect for a 30-year-old reliever who has never even been decent before the last month or so. Anyway, we’ll bump Garcia up to 2nd in line with the understanding that if Neris needs a game off in the future, any of three relievers could vulture a save.

Updated hierarchy: Neris | Garcia | Benoit. 

July 10, 2017
Philadelphia Phillies – The Phillies almost never win, which makes it a little harder to say this for certain, but it appears that Hector Neris has reclaimed the 9th inning. That’s where he pitched yesterday — following Pat Neshek and Joaquin Benoit, who got the 7th and 8th, respectively — and the young righty seems to have rediscovered his control and his splitter, posting relatively good numbers over his past six appearances (3.00 ERA, 8 Ks vs 1 BB). We’ll remove his asterisk as we head into the second half.

Updated hierarchy: Neris | Neshek | Benoit.

June 29, 2017
Philadelphia Phillies — As a starter, Ricardo Pinto was the top pitcher in the Phillies’ minor league system in 2015. These days he’s been getting some looks out of the bullpen, and he earned a win Wednesday with three scoreless innings. Pinto could be a name to remember for next season and beyond — just don’t confuse him with the adventure sports photographer, the Portuguese fantasy writer, the Brazilian goalie, or the male model based in France. Wait, are these all the same guy?

Hierarchy remains: *Neris | Neshek | Garcia.
* = closer-by-committee

June 23, 2017
Philadelphia Phillies – The Phillies used Pat Neshek, who has a nifty 15-inning scoreless streak, in the eighth inning Thursday to get out of a jam with a two-run lead. Luis Garcia was warming for the save opportunity, and when the ninth rolled around and the lead became four, Garcia still finished the game with a clean inning. As pointed out by yesterday’s Vulture Save Watch, Hector Neris had pitched in three of the previous four days and needed rest, but Garcia’s usage was enough for the monkey to recognize his growing role for manager Pete Mackanin.

Updated hierarchy: *Neris | Neshek | Garcia.
* = closer-by-committee

June 19, 2017
Philadelphia Phillies – Hector Neris blew another save yesterday, leading to an eventual Phillies loss, and now has just three saves in the past 46 games, and might not get the next save chance. But given recent usage, and the notion that Pat Neshek actually prefers a set-up role, suggested here, it might be Joaquin Benoit that gets the next opportunity. If you’re the type of person who values a save chance every two weeks, then this is a situation to watch closely.

Hierarchy remains: *Neris | Neshek | Benoit.
* = closer-by-committee

June 16, 2017
Philadelphia Phillies – In a tight 1-0 win Thursday, the Phillies turned to Pat Neshek… in the eighth inning (1 H, 1 K, 0 R, 1 W) and Hector Neris in the ninth (1 BB, 2 Ks, 0 R, 1 SV). Don’t sound the alarm, but it’s starting to look like it’s Neris’s job again — and perhaps he never lost it. The Phillies are auditioning Neshek to boost his trade value, but if Neris gets the next save or two for Philly, we’ll remove the asterisk.

Hierarchy remains: *Neris | Neshek | Benoit.
* = closer-by-committee

June 13, 2017
Philadelphia Phillies – A week ago, Pat Neshek bailed out Hector Neris and picked up his first save of the season. With Pete Mackanin saying that Neris needed to work out his splitter and the Phillies looking to showcase Neshek as trade bait, we figured that the veteran would get a few more chances in the 9th inning going forward. The Phillies haven’t had a save opportunity since then, but Neshek has pitched twice, both in the seventh inning. Neris pitched after him on Sunday, and then was ostensibly going to be the 9th inning guy last night, but Joaquin Benoit blew the save. At the very least, Neris seems to have climbed back into the committee lead for the time being.

Updated hierarchy: *Neris | Neshek | Benoit.
* = closer-by-committee

June 9, 2017
Philadelphia Phillies – Pat Neshek is likely to get a bunch of save opportunities between now and the trade deadline but maybe not after that, as the veteran fully expects to be traded to a contender. He’ll be OK with that as long as he doesn’t return to the Astros. While he’s happy in Philly, it is still rebuilding, so holding on to Neshek doesn’t make much sense for the Phillies or him. Stay tuned.

Hierarchy remains: *Neshek | Neris | Gomez.
* = closer-by-committee

June 7, 2017
Philadelphia Phillies – Pat Neshek earned his first save since 2015 on Tuesday, closing out a ninth inning that Hector Neris started. This is the second time in three appearances that Neris has started the ninth before giving way to another reliever. Pete Mackanin didn’t want to say whether or not Neshek will begin to close games, but he did mention that Neris needs to figure out his splitter. Given Neris’ recent struggles and Neshek’s terrific numbers (0.82 ERA, 0.77 WHIP, 21 Ks), we’re moving Neshek to the top of the Phillies’ committee for now. Even if Neshek isn’t named the full-time closer, it would make sense for the Phillies to start showing off the 36-year-old reliever to contenders as the trade deadline approaches.

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

June 4, 2017
Philadelphia Phillies – Jeanmar Gomez came in to clean up Hector Neris’ mess in the ninth inning yesterday and retired the only batter he faced for his second save of the season.  Joaquin Benoit has been placed on the disabled list with a sore left knee.  Pat Neshek struck out the side in the eighth inning on Saturday and should take over the set-up duties and could occasionally see save opportunities while Benoit is out.

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

May 26, 2017
Philadelphia Phillies – In his first season with the Phillies, Pat Neshek has impressed. After another scoreless outing Thursday, he’s got a 1.04 ERA and 0.87 WHIP with five holds. He has seemed to occupy the seventh inning pretty often lately, unlike Edubray Ramos (3.66 ERA, 1.63 WHIP), who, before Thursday’s extra-inning win, hadn’t pitched in a win since May 1. He also doesn’t have a hold since April 3.

Updated hierarchy: *Neris | Benoit | Neshek.
* = closer-by-committee

April 30, 2017
Philadelphia Phillies – Just when it looked like Hector Neris may have settled into the closer’s role after converting three straight saves, he blew up on Saturday night.  Neris gave up back-to-back-to-back homers to the first three batters he faced in the ninth inning trying to protect a three run lead.  After the game manager Pete Mackanin stated the obvious that he would “like to have a lights-out closer, but we don’t have one right now.”  Neris should still see most save chances but this slip up could allow Benoit to get back into the conversation.

Hierarchy remains: *Neris | Benoit | Ramos.
* = closer-by-committee

April 21, 2017
Philadelphia Phillies – In his seemingly continuous quest to frustrate fantasy team owners, Phillies manager Pete Mackanin opted to use his newly anointed closer Joaquin Benoit in the eighth inning Thursday to face the 4-5-6 hitters, giving likely closer-of-the-future Hector Neris a shot in the ninth. Neris slammed the door shut for his first save of the year. After the game, Mackanin said, “I was going to use Benoit for the time being. It just occurred to me: It’s nice to have two guys who can close. It was a good opportunity for me to use Neris. He came through very well.” Furthermore, he called Benoit and Neris guys he trusts in the late innings, refused to actually name a closer and then refused to call the situation a closer-by-committee. We’ll do Mackanin’s job for him by calling this a committee and sliding Neris to the top — he’s much younger and better than Benoit — though Benoit may get save chances as Mackanin sees fit.

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

April 17, 2017
Philadelphia Phillies – Joaquin Benoit allowed his first runs of the season on Sunday, blowing the save when Bryce Harper hit a 3-run walkoff against him in Washington. Benoit had been great to this point, allowing only one hit in five innings previously, but given that the wasn’t the person that most people (including us) thought should replace Jeanmar Gomez, another slip-up could cost him the job.

Hierarchy remains: Benoit | Neris | Ramos.

April 10, 2017
Philadelphia Phillies —  After Pete Mackanin was able to talk to Jeanmar Gomez, he announced a change in the Phillies’ closer role. As some writers predicted, Mackanin has settled on the more experienced Joaquin Benoit, electing to leave Hector Neris in his current eighth-inning role.

Updated hierarchy: Benoit | Neris | Ramos.

April 10, 2017
Philadelphia Phillies – After four Phillies pitchers combined to shut out the Nationals for eight innings, Jeanmar Gomez came in and surrendered a three-run, game-tying homer. He earned the win when the Phillies walked off, but after the game, Pete Mackanin told reporters he was going to have a talk with Gomez, saying ominously “I’ll have something for you tomorrow.” We think it’s likely that the Phillies have a new closer by the time they take the field tonight against the Mets, and that Hector Neris is the most likely candidate. Joaquin Benoit is worth an add in deep leagues as well.

Hierarchy remains: Gomez | Neris | Benoit.

April 4, 2017
Philadelphia Phillies — After Jeanmar Gomez (ranked as our #30 preseason closer) gave up a two-run homer in his 2017 debut, manager Pete Mackanin allowed that he was “concerned.” With several superior arms backing Gomez up — Hector Neris, Joaquin Benoit, Edubray Ramos, and Pat Neshek — Mackanin should probably go ahead and act on that concern.

Hierarchy remains: Gomez | Neris | Benoit.

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.