Phillies

Former Phillies all over the 2021 MLB playoffs

Phillies

There are former Phillies all over the 2021 MLB playoffs and several surprising names are in key roles.

Let’s take a look as the Divisional Series continue.

Giants LF/1B Darin Ruf & LHP Jose Alvarez

Ruf was one of the Giants’ best offensive players this season, hitting .271/.385/.519 with 16 home runs in 312 plate appearances. His .904 OPS was second on the team to Brandon Belt, whose injury makes Ruf’s bat even more important.

Ruf did not play in Game 1, a Giants win over the Dodgers, but led off in Game 2 against lefty Julio Urias. 

Alvarez was a rock solid lefty reliever for the Phillies in 2019 and 2020, posting a 3.17 ERA in 75 games before a line drive struck him in the groin and ended his time with the team. 

His success has continued in San Francisco where he had a 2.37 ERA in 67 appearances for Gabe Kapler’s Giants. 

He made just $1.15 million this year.

Red Sox RHP Nick Pivetta & LHP Austin Davis

Pivetta spent the season in the Red Sox rotation, making 30 starts and posting a 4.53 ERA. He made his postseason debut in relief Thursday, pitching 4 2/3 innings after Eduardo Rodriguez recorded just five outs. 

Pivetta gave up three runs, including solo home runs to Randy Arozarena and Nelson Cruz. 

Davis was traded to Boston from Pittsburgh on July 30. He made 19 appearances with a 4.86 ERA for the Red Sox. 

He’s on the playoff roster because he’s held lefties to a .149 batting average in 57 plate appearances this season. 

Rays RHP David Robertson

Robertson pitched for Team USA in the Olympics, making three appearances and winning a Silver Medal. The Rays liked what they saw and signed him in mid-August. 

 

Robertson made 12 appearances with the Rays, 10 of them coming in the eighth inning or later. The longtime setup man has pitched two scoreless innings already in the ALDS against the Red Sox. 

Robertson lasted seven games with the Phillies in 2019 before blowing out his elbow, one of many examples of the team’s bad luck with veteran relievers over the past decade. That injury came after more than 10 years of good health for Robertson. 

White Sox 2B Cesar Hernandez

The Phillies moved on from Hernandez, who had over 3,000 plate appearances with them, after 2019. He signed with Cleveland, where he spent 2020 and most of 2021 before being dealt to the White Sox at the deadline. 

Hernandez led the American League with 20 doubles in the shortened 2020 season. He hit 18 homers with Cleveland before the trade this year. He hasn’t hit in Chicago, though, and as a result has not started either of their two ALDS games against the Astros. 

Braves LHP Drew Smyly

Smyly signed a one-year, $11 million deal with the Braves and went 11-4 with a 4.48 ERA in 29 games (23 starts). 

He lost his spot in Atlanta’s rotation at the end of August after pitching six innings just once in a 10-start span. He pitched well in six relief appearances in September and made the postseason roster as a bullpen piece.

Giants manager Gabe Kapler

Kapler went 161-163 in two seasons as Phillies manager. Joe Girardi replaced him after the 2019 season and he, too, is two games under .500 through two seasons at 110-112.

Kapler led the Giants to a franchise-record 107 wins this season and is a shoe-in for NL Manager of the Year.

Giants pitching coach Andrew Bailey

The Voorhees, NJ native spent a few months with the Phillies in 2016, posting a 6.40 ERA in 33 games. He played next for the Angels, where he ended his playing career and began his coaching career.

Braves pitching coach Rick Kranitz

Kranitz was the Phillies’ pitching coach from 2016 through 2018 before the Kapler-Matt Klentak tandem chose Chris Young over him. Young was elevated from assistant pitching coach to pitching coach and Kranitz was let go. Kranitz quickly joined the Braves’ staff and has presided over three straight division-winning pitching staffs. 

Young lasted one season as Phillies pitching coach before being fired. He’s currently the bullpen coach for David Ross’ Cubs.

Braves catching coach Sal Fasano

Fasano played 50 games with the Phillies in 2006 and is best known here for looking like everyone’s South Philly uncle.

White Sox bench coach Miguel Cairo

Cairo was a longtime journeyman utility infielder who played 27 games for the 2009 Phillies.

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