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Phillies to move Corey Knebel out of closer’s role


Corey Knebel will not be the Phillies’ closer for the time being. (Photo by Brandon Sloter/Icon Sportswire)

Before Wednesday’s series finale against the Marlins, Rob Thomson said that the Phillies are moving Corey Knebel out of the closer’s role. In the interim, the team is going with a “closer by committee strategy.”

“First of all, I wanted to make sure that he was healthy,” Thomson said. “He looked me in the eye and said he was. I just discussed the situation with him and suggested that for the near future, we put him in spots where he can breath a little because he’s not throwing the ball where he wants to and he knows that. And he was very professional about it and he wants the ball. He’s a competitor. He wants that ninth inning and I want him to have that ninth inning as well. Hopefully with a couple outings, we’ll get him back.”

If there is a save situation during Wednesday’s game, it’s unlikely Seranthony Domínguez will get the ball as he’s pitched on back-to-back days. Thomson said prior to Tuesday’s game that he’s comfortable using Domínguez in a back-to-back situation, but still prefers to be conscientious of his workload given this is his first full season after recovering from Tommy John surgery.

“It’s always in the back of the mind, the injury,” Thomson said about Domínguez. “So we still have to be a little bit careful with him. He seems to be rebounding very well.”

As the Phillies wait for Knebel to regain both his confidence and command, they’ll search for stability in the ninth inning any way they can find it. Domínguez could certainly be an option, but he will not be the only one who will get the chance to close out games for the Phillies.

Spring Training in June

The Phillies switched up their pregame routine on Tuesday. Instead of taking batting practice on the field, Phillies pitchers, mostly relievers, participated in pitcher fielding practice (PFPs), which is something you’d usually see on the backfields at spring training in Clearwater.

Thomson said he discussed it with the players six days ago.

“In case we had a sloppy game on Monday, I didn’t want them to think I was hitting them over the head.

“A lot of times you do all this work in spring training. … Once the season starts, you tend to get away from that. Me, as a development guy, I really think those things, you have to keep track of that and keep on that from time to time.”

Notes

  • Zach Eflin (right knee soreness) reported feeling much better today. The Phillies felt comfortable enough to list him as Sunday’s probable starter against the Nationals, but he’ll see a doctor on Wednesday as a precaution. Eflin was removed from Tuesday’s game after experiencing some discomfort in his surgically repaired knee.
  • Nick Maton (right shoulder sprain) threw on Wednesday and took swings in the batting cages. Johan Camargo (right-knee strain) went through a full workout for a second-consecutive day.

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Steve

    June 16, 2022 at 11:37 am

    GOOD MOVE. GLAD TO SEE IT.
    IF THIS CLUB IS MOVING FORWARD
    WE SHOULD SEE A 4 GAME SWEEP IN DC
    OR AT WORSE 3/1 I’ll BE WATCHING.

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