The Philadelphia Phillies are looking to snap a 10 year playoff drought. They haven’t seen postseason action since 2011 but are trying to change that in 2022. However, they have struggled as of late and are aiming to avoid a collapse.
The Phillies will obviously benefit if stars such as Bryce Harper and Aaron Nola perform well. They are also hoping Zack Wheeler will return fairly soon. But the Phillies need someone to step up and become the X-Factor. Let’s take a look at one player who needs to hit their stride down the stretch for the Phillies amid their NL Wild Card race with the Milwaukee Brewers.
Veteran starting pitcher Kyle Gibson is the Phillies X-Factor. One might wonder why his production matters all that much. He’s not a big name at this point in his career.
With Zack Wheeler on the IL, Philadelphia needs another pitcher not named Aaron Nola to catch fire. Nola is a star in his own right, but the ball club needs someone else alongside him. Noah Syndergaard is a steady option as well. And he’s someone you can argue should be highlight in this article.
But Gibson was an All-Star caliber pitcher just a season ago. He has what it takes to excel for this team. And if he finds his rhythm during the regular season and helps the Phillies get into the playoffs, he would be an extremely valuable postseason pitcher.
Phillies pitching rotation
The Phillies pitching is a rather mediocre group overall. Their 3.90 ERA ranks 17th in MLB. They are 10th in WHIP, fourth in home runs allowed, and 12th in batting average against.
Philadelphia has made some key additions to the bullpen. And the offense is going to take care of business. Bryce Harper is an MVP caliber player, Kyle Schwarber is a prolific power hitter, the rest of the lineup is capable.
The Phillies postseason chances will be decided by their starting rotation.
Philadelphia would have a star-studded 1-2 punch if Zach Wheeler is able to return. That would leave Wheeler and Aaron Nola in the front of the rotation.
Noah Syndergaard is a quality number 3 option. He’s not the same ace-level pitcher that he was in New York with the Mets, but Syndergaard will still help win you games.
Ranger Suarez is another solid option. He’s enjoyed an under the radar 2022 campaign.
And then there is Gibson.
Kyle Gibson owns an ERA of well over 4. He’s struck out 114 batters and has a 1.25 WHIP. This is the same pitcher who pitched to the tune of a 2.87 ERA in Texas with the Rangers last season through 19 games. However, he was traded to the Phillies midway through the year and posted a plus-5 ERA with in Philly.
His tenure in Philadelphia has been uninspiring to the say the least. If Gibson can turn back the clock and start pitching well in September, it would work wonders for this Phillies squad.
Can the Phillies survive without Kyle Gibson?
The Phillies will be able to make a postseason run even if Gibson continues to labor. But if he finds success down the stretch, it would change the dynamic of the rotation. It would boost their overall pitching prowess and give the Phillies a tremendous back of the rotation option.
Kyle Gibson needs to step up and help the Phillies in the NL Wild Card race.