The Phillies have stripped Jeanmar Gomez of the closer role today, deciding to go with Joaquin Benoit moving forward. What is the fantasy impact of the move?
The Phillies surprisingly named Jeanmar Gomez the team’s closer early this spring, even though Gomez struggled mightily over the second half of the 2016 season. Gomez deserves credit for his success last season, but it was clear that MLB figured him out by season’s end.
Those troubles surfaced once again to begin this season as Gomez has given up five runs and two homers over only three innings of work. This clearly forced the Phillies’ hand and manager Pete Mackanin had no choice but to make a move. The move to take Gomez out of the role may not surprise some, but the candidate to take his place may.
Joaquin Benoit is the next in line and the 16-year veteran will look to get his first look at a majority of SV chances since 2014. After looking washed up with Seattle the first half of the 2016 season to the tune of 5.18 ERA, he went through a rebirth with the Blue Jays over the second half the season.
He parlayed his 0.38 ERA over 23 innings with the Jays to another one-year deal with the Phillies this offseason. Where it looked he would contend for a late inning job. Benoit is continuing that late season success so far in 2017, posting three scoreless innings while striking out four and only surrendering one hit.
He is still running the fastball up there at 94 mph and still features his marquee split/change at 84 mph. That has been his bread and butter duo for years now and he is not going to change that. Benoit has battled his fair share of injuries over the years, he will turn 40-years-old this season, so he does carry some baggage.
But, the second half success from 2016 and now so far this season, seems to be enough to make him a waiver wire add. The Phillies have a solid rotation and lineup which should offer plenty of SV chances, so those owners looking for SV help, he shapes up to be a good addition.
Most would agree that Hector Neris is still the best Phillies’ RP, but he will continue to stay in his set-up capacity. It remains to be seen what capacity Gomez fills now, he could slide into a set-up role or be moved out of high leverage situation for the time being, but he should be dropped.