The bulk of the Philadelphia Phillies’ offseason activity both before and after the lockout has been with regard to the bullpen, and that trend continued on Tuesday.
The Phillies have signed right-handed reliever Dillon Maples, according to a report from The Athletic’s Matt Gelb. Maples comes to Philadelphia for his age-30 season after spending the last five years as a Chicago Cub. Scott Lauber of the Philadelphia Inquirer reports that it’s a minor league deal with an invite to spring training.
Far and away the best of those five seasons came last year, when Maples compiled a 2.59 ERA and struck out 11.5 batters per nine innings. There are caveats to both those numbers, however: Maples simultaneously posted a FIP of 4.61 and walked 25 batters in 31.1 innings, a rate of 7.2 per nine.
Maples relies on his slider more than anything else, throwing it 35.8% of the time in 2021, according to Baseball Savant. His four-seam fastball comes in at an average of 95.1 miles per hour, actually a tad slower than his sinker, his third-most-used offering. Maples ranked in the 99th percentile in both fastball and curveball spin last year, according to Savant, but used his curveball the least among his four pitches.
The low-risk deal suggests the Phillies are hopeful he can work with the coaching staff to hone in on his command and allow that promising pure stuff to make him a contributor on a bullpen that could use it.
Tuesday also saw the Phillies make official the signings of Jeurys Familia and Brad Hand, whose deals were reported on Saturday and Monday, respectively. The team designated for assignment Scott Moss, a lefty pitching prospect whom they claimed off waivers from the Cleveland Guardians in November, to make room on the roster.
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