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Who Is The Phillies' Closer? Fantasy Baseball Saves Candidates for 2023

Seranthony Dominguez - Fantasy Baseball Rankings, Closers, Saves, Draft Sleepers. Waiver Wire

The closer role can be tricky at times for MLB teams that aren't as resourceful or can't afford higher-end relievers, but the Philadelphia Phillies are not one of those teams. Despite the subtractions of Corey Knebel, who remains on the market, and David Robertson, who joined the Mets' bullpen over the offseason, the Phillies have a barrage of internal options to fill the closing role.

For a team like the Phillies, which loads up overpowering relievers, it isn't too difficult of a task to plug in a random reliever on a given day. While Knebel, D-Rob, and Seranthony Dominguez led the pack in saves last season (two of those three pitchers aren't on the active roster), the Phillies did their due diligence this offseason by luring in two potential closing candidates.

Gregory Soto and Craig Kimbrel, who are among the best relievers in the game, were brought in over the offseason to bolster an already potent Phillies bullpen. They will only serve one year in the bullpen since they are signed to one-year deals, but mixing and matching could get interesting, at least for 2023.

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Who will close out the most games for the Phillies in 2023?

Four-Man Rotation

The Phillies will have the luxury of employing a four-man rotation for the closing job. As per Fangraphs Roster Resource, there are four active relievers as part of the committee. Dominguez, Kimbrel, Soto, and Jose Alvarado are all competitors for the closing label.

This season will be a collective effort of four pitchers that are all capable of closing out games for any other team. This isn't necessarily a simple task for the manager, Rob Thompson, as each reliever has something pointing in their direction. Having such depth in your 'pen is inherently a good thing, but unless one of the four goes untouched for the first half of the season, there won't be a favorite to rack up the most saves.

Rationale

Kimbrel is the most appealing closer, especially if we isolate his 394 career saves. He certainly has the most experience as a closer, but his dependability could be a concern considering his lackluster performance in the Dodgers' bullpen last season.

Craig Kimbrel 2022 Pitching Line: 63 G, 3.75 ERA, 60 IP, 22 SV, 72 SO, 28 BB, 1.317 WHIP

Kimbrel still managed to compile 22 saves, but his middling caliber of play could be a result of his advanced age. Although, his stuff still induces a chunk of missed bats, which is keeping him in the closing conversation.

Soto would rank second in terms of career saves, and logged 30 saves with the Tigers last season. The southpaw was on full display last season in part of a breakout campaign, which prompted the Phillies to snag him in the offseason. He composed a 3.28 ERA (3.59 FIP) with 60 strikeouts and shouldn't get any less attention from fantasy managers than Kimbrel.

Alvarez and Dominguez will compete just as hard for a sizeable portion of save opportunities, despite the fact that they don't have much history closing out games. They've pitched well enough over the past few seasons to earn them a shot at some save opportunities.



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