This offseason, the Phillies went out and added a couple free agent relievers into their bullpen. They signed Joaquin Benoit to a one-year, $7.5 million deal and Pat Neshek to a one-year, $6.5 million deal. Both of those veterans should bring experience to a young bullpen.
As for the closer, that spot belongs to Jeanmar Gomez. In the first three months of last season, Gomez was 21-for-23 in saves and was one of the surprises in the National League. But, in the second half of the season, he had 21 strikeouts in 13 games and teams hit .356 against him.
Heading into this season, manager Pete Mackanin has already said Gomez is his closer despite the struggles to end last season and the fact a proven closer (Benoit) is on the team:
"“I want to show Jeanmar the confidence that he deserves after the year he had, even though he had a hiccup at the end.” (h/t Ryan Lawrence, Philly Voice)"
One other reliever to keep an eye on in the Philles bullpen is right-hander Hector Neris. Neris made 79 appearances last season, had a team high 102 strikeouts, and teams only hit .189 in the second half (.120 in the month of September) against him.
If the Phillies are going to have a successful bullpen in 2017, they will have to avoid giving up the long ball (82 home runs allowed in 2016 – second in the National League). If Gomez and Neris can help out Benoit and Neshek, that gives Philadelphia four solid relievers. If not, they could always trade Benoit or Neshek at the July 31 trade deadline.