With the Philadelphia Phillies in desperate need of starting pitching at the trade deadline, the team struck a deal for starter Kyle Gibson. The pitcher came to Philadelphia in a trade that included closer Ian Kennedy and saw Spencer Howard sent to the Texas Rangers in return.
Gibson, in his half season with the Phillies, did exactly what the franchise was hoping he would do: Stabilize the rotation. In fact, the rotation was in such dire straits that they turned their then-closer Ranger Suárez into a starter.
Despite his career of producing and performing like a fourth starter, Gibson was an All-Star in 2021 for his first half performance. Expectedly, he came back to earth in the second half, but still pitched well enough to validate the trade.
In 113 innings pitched with the Rangers, Gibson compiled a 2.87 ERA with a 1.177 WHIP. During his time with the Phillies, the starter threw 69 innings with a 5.09 ERA and 1,290 WHIP. Quite the splits indeed.
However, Gibson had been blown up in a few starts near the end of the season that inflated his ERA significantly. Overall, the trade deadline acquisition did his part in helping Philadelphia find innings, and in most cases, kept the team in games.
The Phillies understood who they were getting in Gibson when they traded for him. His career 4.45 ERA meant his first half performance was due for regression. But just like his first half was unlikely indicative of future performance, so too was his second half performance.
Gibson had seven starts with the Phillies in which he went at least 6.0 innings pitched and gave up fewer than four earned runs. Considering he had just 12 starts for Philadelphia, that is impressive. His second half ERA was bloated due to a game on Aug. 11 in which he gave up 6 earned runs in 4.1 IP against the Dodgers and the Sept. 26 game against Miami in which he gave up 8 earned runs in just 5.1 innings pitched.
Aside from those two outings, the veteran pitched like a middle of the rotation starter on a team in contention for the postseason.
Gibson will be back for the 2022 season. It is likely that the Phillies will add to their rotation this winter, perhaps even with a big splash move. Regardless, Gibson will likely lineup as next season's fourth starter, or at least that should be the plan.
If Gibson can replicate the season he had with Philadelphia this year in 2022, then he will be more than serviceable in the role.
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