MLB

Kyle Gibson providing Phillies with solid return on investment

Kyle Gibson Phillies
Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Kyle Gibson (44) throws a pitch against the San Diego Padres during the first inning at Petco Park.
Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

Kyle Gibson has provided the Phillies with exactly what they needed: starting-pitching stability.

For a team desperate for depth in the rotation behind Zack Wheeler and the inconsistent Aaron Nola, the Phillies attempted to address just that at the trade deadline by bringing in Gibson and Ian Kennedy from the Texas Rangers for Spencer Howard.

Gibson has lived up to expectations, putting together top-tier stuff over his last four starts with the Phillies, which was headlined by an eight-inning gem in which he allowed just one run, including a stretch in which he retired the final 14 batters he faced in the 7-4 victory.

“That was probably as locked as I’ve felt in a start since before the All-Star break,” Gibson said.

In his four Philadelphia starts, Gibson has put together a quality start in each of them, posting a 2.36 ERA in the process.

“He’s been great,” Phillies manager Joe Girardi said. “He’s thrown the ball extremely well. He’s a complete pitcher. He holds runners, he handles his position, he’s been handling the bat.”

Suddenly the Phillies have one of the better top trios of starters in Major League Baseball, eliminating the uncertainty that has seemingly become an annual tradition in relying on the currently-injured Zach Eflin and Vince Velazquez.

Gibson’s ability to hit the ground running is especially important with the Phillies in the midst of a playoff push; the 33-year-old citing a budding relationship with J.T. Realmuto as a big reason why the transition has been so seamless.

“All day, J.T. and I were on the same page,” Gibson said. “We had a really good plan… I worked in the bullpen this week on setting my sights a little bit different with my eyes and keeping my head on the target a little bit. It was a combination of defense playing really good, offense getting us the lead, and J.T. being spot on with every finger he threw down.”

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