This will be just the second organization for Maples, who has spent his entire career with the Cubs up until now. Drafted by Chicago in 2011, he made his MLB debut in 2017 and has spent the past five years bouncing between Triple-A and the big leagues. His first four seasons weren’t especially encouraging, as he logged 23 1/3 innings from 2017 to 2020 with a 8.49 ERA. That came with an excellent 32.8% strikeout rate but ghastly 21% walk rate.
Last year, there were signs of improvement, as Maples got his ERA down to 2.59 over 31 1/3 innings. Although he still struck out 28.8% of the batters he faced, he also still walked 18% of them. That tiny ERA was likely deflated by a .203 batting average on balls in play, leading the advanced metrics to be dubious of it. All of xERA, FIP, xFIP and SIERA put him between 4.48 and 4.79.
Despite appearing in the last five seasons, Maples still has less than a year of service time. The 29-year-old can therefore be kept around for years to come if he should crack the big league roster. However, he is out of minor league options, meaning that he would have to hold onto his roster spot or else be exposed to waivers. The Phillies have been notoriously dealing with relief issues for some time, but have made numerous efforts bolster their bullpen for this year. Corey Knebel and Nick Nelson were added prior to the lockout, with Brad Hand and Jeurys Familia being brought aboard after.