The Phillies made a trade with the Rays Tuesday morning, sending right-handed reliever Edgar Garcia to Tampa for a player to be named later.
Garcia, 24 years old in two months, made 37 appearances with the Phils last season. He arrived with promise after successful stints at Double A and Triple A and was touted for his slider. As a rookie with the Phillies, he struggled badly with command, allowing 11 home runs and walking 26 in 39 innings. He had a 5.77 ERA and 1.65 WHIP with 45 strikeouts.
The Phillies carried 11 relievers on their opening day roster last month but Garcia was not one of them. They designated Garcia for assignment last Thursday to make room on the 40-man roster for Alec Bohm.
The Phillies' bullpen has been a major concern in 2020, the worst bullpen in baseball to this point. They have a bullpen ERA of 8.77 ERA; the Giants are next-worst at 6.49. The league-average bullpen ERA is 4.41, which would require 51 straight scoreless innings from Phillies relievers.
The Mets series was a step in the right direction, though. Phillies relievers allowed three runs in 9⅔ in that series for a 2.79 ERA. Tommy Hunter picked up five big outs without allowing a run to preserve a one-run lead in the first game. Lefty Jose Alvarez has been the Phils' best reliever, making six scoreless appearances and stranding all three inherited runners.
The Phillies and Rays also matched up for a trade in November when the Phils acquired hard-throwing left-handed reliever Cristopher Sanchez for minor-league infielder Curtis Mead. Sanchez is training at the Phillies' complex in Lehigh.