The Phillies have claimed left-hander Ryan Sherriff off waivers from the Rays, per a club announcement. Should he stick around, Sherriff will look to help solidify a leaky Phillies ’pen that pitched to a 4.60 ERA (sixth-worst in the bigs) and 4.61 FIP (fourth-worst) in 2021. Sherriff posted a mediocre 5.52 ERA across 14 2/3 innings (16 appearances) this year, albeit with 16 Ks and a 3.65 FIP that suggest he may have suffered from a bit of bad luck. For his career, the lefty has been good for a 3.65 ERA (3.98 FIP) in 44 1/3 innings.
Originally a 2011 28th-rounder of the Cardinals, Sherriff debuted in the majors in 2017, making 18 relief appearances in St. Louis before undergoing Tommy John surgery in the middle of the 2018 season. The Cards released him shortly thereafter, and he landed in Tampa on a minor-league pact shortly thereafter. He didn’t get back to the bigs until midway through the pandemic-shortened 2020 season but put up by far the best numbers of his career when he did, not giving up a single earned run in 9 2/3 innings — albeit while striking out only 2. He also covered two scoreless innings for the Rays in the 2020 World Series.
Though he made the opening day roster, Sherriff spent the season on the Triple-A shuttle, covering nearly twice as many innings for Durham as he did for Tampa. With just over a year in aggregate service time, Sherriff comes with considerable control and could become a mainstay for the Phils if he manages to establish himself in Philadelphia. How he’ll be asked to slot in remains to be seen, but sticking around in the Phillies’ notoriously leaky bullpen should prove a much easier task than it had been at the back end of Tampa’s stable of high-end arms.