The Phillies made their first move of an offseason that should center around pitching by claiming hard-throwing reliever Robert Stock off waivers Thursday from San Diego.
Stock, who will turn 30 in November, missed the final three months of this past season because of a strained right biceps. The right-hander appeared in 10 games during the season and has a 4.11 ERA with 53 strikeouts in 50⅓ innings over the last two years. It was his velocity — Stock’s fastball sits at 98 mph — that made him an appealing waiver claim.
The Phillies begin the offseason needing to rebuild their starting rotation and bring reinforcements to their bullpen. They are expected to be bidders on Houston ace Gerrit Cole and World Series MVP Stephen Strasburg if he opts out of his contract with the Nationals. And they will be just as busy in the bullpen, which was ravaged last season by injuries.
Tommy Hunter, Pat Neshek, and Juan Nicasio are set to be free agents. David Robertson is expected to miss the entire season after undergoing Tommy John surgery. Adam Morgan, Victor Arano, and Seranthony Dominquez ended the season on the injured list. There is heavy lifting to be done as the Phillies shape their bullpen for 2020. The addition of Stock was a start.