Philadelphia Phillies: Will Harris Is the missing bullpen piece

(Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images)
(Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images) /

As the Philadelphia Phillies watched free agent after free agent sign with other contending ballclubs, one bullpen arm seems to be overlooked so far this offseason.

It’s no secret that the Philadelphia Phillies are going to need bullpen help. David Robertson is going to miss the entire season, and many of their veteran arms were lost to free agency.

However, there is one pitcher that is being drastically overlooked by MLB ballclubs around the league, and that guy is Will Harris. 

As the offseason began, most relief pitchers flew off the board. Aroldis Chapman resigned with the Yankees, Will Smith and Chris Martin signed with the Braves, Drew Pomeranz reunited with the Padres, and Dellin Betances slipped away from the Phillies’ rumors and signed with the division rival, Mets.

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Will Harris started off his career drastically slow. Aside from his first true season in Arizona in 2013, his first three seasons were simply average. He pitched a mere 99.1 innings, sporting a lackluster 4.26 ERA. From here though, he signed with the Astros on a very friendly deal. Soon enough, he became a key piece in the Astros 2017 World Series run.

In 2015, Harris broke out in a Houston uniform. His stellar 1.90 ERA was key in the Astros’ playoff push before losing to the eventual champion Royals in the divisional round in five games.

Since his breakout year, Harris has not skipped a beat. While in Houston, Harris hurled his way to a 2.36 ERA, and a 0.99 WHIP. Harris was named an all-star in 2016 and then became a World Series champion in 2017. In his most recent season, he was dangerous with his career-best 1.50 ERA in 60 innings.

He may be old, but he has not shown any signs of regression. Throughout his career, he has been more of a specialty type of pitcher, never blowing anyone away with his 91 MPH fastball. However, his speedy cutter and curveball do all of his damage. According to Fangraphs, both his pitches are tops in the league in regards to movement. Harris ranked in the game’s 96th percentile in fastball spin and in its 86th percentile with the curve, per Statcast.

As for money, if the Phillies want to win anything, they need to forget the luxury tax. Harris went into the offseason projected to get about two years, about $15 million contract, which could now be less with time ticking with the calendar changing to 2020.

Next. Remaining free agents that could make sense. dark

The Phillies may need starting pitching, but the bullpen could be the crucial piece if they neglect that need. With Nick Pivetta and Vince Velasquez’s history of getting pulled early, Philadelphia could find themselves utilizing their bullpen a lot this season. Will Harris would only help them in this regard.