Wheeler Returns from the Injured List, Coonrod Optioned

Zack Wheeler is in the 3rd year of a 5 year, $118 million deal he inked with the Phillies before the 2020 season. So far, he has lived up to the contract. His 2020 campaign, like countless others, was cut short due to the pandemic. 2021 featured a 2nd place finish in the NL CY Young race. 2022? Well, when healthy, Wheeler has been one of the team’s best starting pitchers.

So far, in 23 starts, Zack holds an 11-7 record with a 3.08 ERA. On the year, Wheeler has struck out 148 batters. He has limited baserunners in a variety of ways and is keeping the Phillies in ballgames more times than not. I can not explain how thrilled I am that Wheeler is back, healthy, and ready to go.

Wheeler’s teammate in New York, Noah Syndergaard was moved to the bullpen to create a spot in the rotation. Although some around the industry were surprised it was “Thor” who was bumped from the starting staff and not southpaw Bailey Falter, the Phillies would be foolish to remove Falter, who has been throwing the ball well. Falter is expected to start Saturday’s game at CBP vs the Braves.

Before the Phitins can begin to think about beating the Bravos this weekend, they have to take care of business tonight against the Blue Jays. To make room on the expanded 28-man roster, the club announced that right-hander Sam Coonrod has been optioned to AAA Lehigh Valley. Although I am a fan of Coonrod, it appears he may be the odd man out, at least for the time being. The former Giant -Coonrod- threw in last night’s ballgame, and loaded the bases in the 8th without recording a single out. 

If the Phillies are going to get back to the Postseason for the 1st time since 2011, they are going to need their rotation to step up. After tonight’s game, Ranger Suárez and Aaron Nola are slated to start Thursday, and Friday at home, respectively. The bullpen needs to be held accountable as well. 

Although Kyle Gibson was charged with the loss, giving up 7 earned runs in last night’s 18-11 defeat, Phillies relievers, along with the help from the defense, combined to give up 11 more runs in a game the Phillies should have won. The only pitcher to not allow a run, both earned and unearned, in last night’s contest was backup catcher Garrett Stubbs… Not a great sign for a team that has lost 5 consecutive games. The Phillies will look to snap their 5 game losing streak tonight and will hope to avoid the sweep against a potent Toronto offense.

KEYS TO THE GAME:

  • Limit Baserunners
  • Get Gausman out Early

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