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Ask Phillies Nation: Which reliever should the Phillies re-sign?

The back end of the Phillies bullpen should look a lot different next year. Héctor Neris, Archie Bradley and Ian Kennedy are all set to become free agents after the 2021 season.

Héctor Neris is scheduled to become a free agent after 2021. (Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire)

Neris, the longest tenured Phillie, lost the closer’s job in June, but has pitched brilliantly in a more flexible high-leverage back end role. Since his ERA skyrocketed to 5.17 after a disastrous outing against San Diego, Neris has only allowed earned runs in two of his last 24 outings. His ERA on the season is down to 3.54.

Bradley signed with a team as a free agent on a one-year, $6 million deal last offseason. He missed time earlier in the year with a left oblique strain and has pitched well since his return. He has a 3.32 ERA since coming back from injury, but has given up five earned runs in his last three outings combined as he deals with shoulder soreness. His 16% strikeout rate is the lowest it has been since 2015. His ERA this season sits at 3.51.

Kennedy was acquired at the trade deadline from the Texas Rangers along with Kyle Gibson and pitching prospect Hans Crouse for Spencer Howard and pitching prospects Kevin Gowdy and Josh Gessner. He was immediately named the Phillies’ new closer and while he has picked up five saves for the Phillies, the 36-year-old has a 6.30 ERA since coming over in the trade. Kennedy was signed as a non-roster invitee by the Rangers last offseason.

Héctor Neris323.543.972.8430.8%10.5%
Archie Bradley293.514.634.3816.0%11.0%0.881.49.294
Ian Kennedy 363.40 4.654.1427.9%7.0%1.911.13.267

* A look at how all three pitchers have performed in 2021. Ian Kennedy’s numbers include his time with Texas. See our Stats Glossary.

If given the opportunity to re-sign one of these three pitchers to a one-year guaranteed contract for 2022, which would you choose?

  • Héctor Neris (48%, 691 Votes)
  • Archie Bradley (28%, 396 Votes)
  • Ian Kennedy (24%, 345 Votes)

Total Voters: 1,432

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  1. Martin Bryant

    August 30, 2021 at 4:06 pm

    Ian Kennedy has better mental toughness. Neris pitched well before the closer’s role and has pitched well after it – but didn’t do well put in when the win was on the line. Not even half of NL hitters have seen Kennedy’s stuff – he’ll get some advantage in the first year from that.

    • WessPhillyGuy

      September 1, 2021 at 10:43 pm

      Didn’t Kennedy close for the Nationals a few years ago? I thought the Padres traded him to the Nats when the Nats closer went down during a playoff push. I might be wrong but I kind of remember how he became a pain in the ass when he moved to the pen after a bad run at Starter. He was a Yankee SP before getting kicked around like a can.

  2. Bob D

    August 30, 2021 at 4:51 pm

    I’m ok with bringing any of these three back, but they should at least attempt to bring in two relievers who will be an upgrade in the bullpen. With Coonrod, Brogdon, Romero, Dominguez, and several others already in the fold they have a good base for the 2022 bullpen. With some trades and free agent signings I don’t see why they can’t bring in an upgraded bullpen. FYI: bullpens from year to year is a crap shoot. Load up with at least 8-10 bullpen pitchers but improve they quality of who is available and they should do good.
    IMO the improvements from 2020 to 2021 were much better than the 2019 to 2020 improvements. But that was only a step in the right direction and they need to make another step forward.

  3. WessPhillyGuy

    September 1, 2021 at 10:36 pm

    Bring Bradley back this was an off year due to not being completely healthy all year. We’ve seen Nevis implode too many times in the past few years and the only reason that he was a closer was due to Dominguez’ injury. He should be a full go out the gate next year and hopefully convince Kennedy to s minor league contract. Seriously though let Nevis walk. I’d like to see if Crouse and his quirkiness can screw up hitters in the NL and be the next Hammer time hero out of nowhere. If the Phillies can move Didi to the AL as a DH and get a 4th starter that would be huge. Regardless We’ve been subject to TNT Nevis through too many bad hits of Spaceman Bill Lee’s Acid and its time to go separate ways. I don’t think Phil Jackson’s Zen movement can cure him.

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