Bailey Falter: The Ace The Phillies Didn’t Know They Have
The Philadelphia Phillies’ season up to this point has been a roller coaster of sorts. They started the season 21-29 which prompted the firing of then-manager Joe Girardi. Philadelphia then had to deal with the loss of last year’s NL MVP, Bryce Harper, who was placed on the 60-day IL with a broken wrist. The pitching staff has also taken a hit with Zach Eflin missing the entire season through mid-September and Zack Wheeler being placed on the 15 DL back on Aug. 22. Despite all this, the Phillies find themselves 16 games over .500 and right in the thick of a battle with San Diego for the second NL wild-card spot. There are many different reasons that could be credited for the Phillies’ success in 2022, but one of the biggest reasons is something that no one, not even the most loyal Phillies fan, could have expected. That being the emergence of Bailey Falter.
Falter who began the season at the AAA level with Lehigh Valley was called up after the news broke of Wheeler being placed on the 15 DL, and while he had some pretty big shoes to fill, it’s safe to say he’s been more than up to the task. Over his last seven starts, he has a record of 5-0 with an ERA of 2.45 to go along with a WHIP of 0.92.
The other important thing to note is that of those seven starts, five of them were quality starts. Falter is not only eating up innings for a depleted pitching staff, but he’s doing so in a manner that gives his team the chance to win, illustrated by his last five starts resulting in victories. Falter now boasts a 5-3 record with a 3.68 ERA on the season, and while those numbers may not jump off the screen, the thing he has brought to this team is consistency. For a Phillies rotation that is seemingly always dealing with injuries, having someone that they can rely on to give them six innings of good baseball is practically worth its weight in gold.
In fact, the Phillies value this consistency so much that the team recently decided against sending Falter to the bullpen upon Wheeler’s return, opting to give Noah Syndergaard the demotion instead. I think it is pretty safe to say that not many Phillies fans expected this when Falter was initially called up. But since arriving, he has done everything asked of him and then some. He may not be the flashiest pitcher or have stats that make you do a double take, but he simply just gets outs and eats up innings for a Phillies team that desperately needs it. While his future with the team is still a bit unclear, at the absolute worst he provides much needed depth to this rotation as they attempt to make a final push for the playoffs and that second wild-card spot.