Joe Girardi said Wednesday that Archie Bradley is “feeling better already,” but the reliever is still expected to be sidelined for three to four weeks, forcing the Phillies to reconfigure their bullpen in the absence of their key offseason addition.
Bradley was placed on the injured list Sunday after straining the oblique muscle in his left side. Girardi said Wednesday it was a Grade 1 strain. The Phillies signed Bradley in January for $6 million and designated the right-hander as their setup man.
Bradley’s velocity was a tick down this season as his fastball sat at 93 mph after averaging 94.2 mph in 2020 and 95.5 mph in 2019. His first two outings this season were scoreless before he allowed runs in his last two.
“I still think some guys are probably gathering arm strength,” Girardi said. “This little setback is probably not going to help. It might take a little longer, but Archie isn’t a guy who throws 97 or 98 anymore. He’s 94-95, probably, at the max.”
The brunt of Bradley’s workload is expected to be assumed by Connor Brogdon, who is still a rookie despite reaching the majors last summer. The 26-year-old right-hander has not allowed a run this season in his first five outings and has logged 14⅓ straight scoreless innings dating back to last season.
“We would love to have Archie back as soon as possible,” Girardi said. “But some guys just have to step up a little and I think they’re capable of doing that.”
Bradley’s injury created a roster spot for JoJo Romero, who pitched a scoreless inning Tuesday in his 2021 debut. The Phillies will ask Romero, who joined Brogdon as a bright spot in last season’s brutal bullpen, to get pivotal outs. He joins Jose Alvarado, the team’s other setup man, as the only left-handers in the bullpen.
“I could use JoJo all over the place,” Girardi said. “I could use him as an early lefty to come in and get out of a jam. I could use him for multiple innings. With his stuff, JoJo has the ability to get right-handed hitters out, so I don’t worry about that. He’s a guy who could do a little bit of everything.”
Gregg Murphy, the popular broadcaster whose ouster last summer was the cause of distress among Phillies fans, is returning to the broadcast booth.
Murphy is handling the pregame and postgame shows on the team’s radio broadcasts this season on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. He debuted Tuesday in between games of a doubleheader sweep in New York against the Mets. Murphy said he is working for the Phillies as a freelancer.
A longtime local broadcaster, Murphy joined the Phillies TV broadcast in 2012. He spent nine seasons as the sideline reporter before NBC Sports Philadelphia let him go after last season as part of nationwide cuts by parent company NBC Universal. Murphy worked there for 20 years
The radio’s pregame and postgame shows were formerly handled by Jim Jackson, who was let go by the Phillies after last season. Jackson, the TV broadcaster for the Flyers on NBC Sports Philadelphia, also called a few innings of play-by-play during each home game. He has been replaced in that role by Rob Brooks, the team’s broadcasting manager.
The team’s May 27 game in Miami will be aired exclusively on YouTube, which has a deal with MLB to air 21 games this season. ... Zach Eflin starts Thursday afternoon against Jacob deGrom in the series finale. There is rain in the forecast, but if the game is played the Phillies will need a starting pitcher for Saturday as Aaron Nola and Chase Anderson will be on short rest after pitching Tuesday.