Julio Mateo is the best we could do?
This year’s Phillies bullpen is eternally in flux, and has seen yet another change with Ryan Madson going to the 15-day disabled list with a strained right shoulder. The bullpen to start the season consisted of Tom Gordon, Ryan Madson, Antonio Alfonseca, Geoff Geary, Matt Smith, and Clay Condrey. Condrey eventually was sent down (up?) to Ottawa, Gordon hit the disabled list, Madson went on the DL as well, Smith was sent down and THEN put on the disabled list, Francisco Rosario was put in there, Jose Mesa was signed, Geoff Geary kind of flamed out after a terrific 2006 campaign and was sent to Ottawa, JC Romero was given a contract, Mike Zagurski was given an extended cup of coffee before being sent back to the minors, and Brett Myers was put in the bullpen, took a detour to the DL and has since come back. I think Fabio Castro was in there somewhere as well. Whew. And I’m sure I’m missing someone somewhere.
So what does the pen consist of now? Let’s take a look:
- 3-1 38 IP 4.26 ERA 1.66 WHIP
- 14 Ks, 13 BB, .312 opponent batting avg, 3.08 K per 9
He is lucky. Advanced stats show Alfonseca as an even worse pitcher. He sucks and manager Charlie Manuel has started to phase him out, pitching him only 7 times in July. Don’t look for him to be in the ballgame in tight spots down the stretch.
- 0-4 24.1 IP 6.29 ERA 1.68 WHIP
- 16 K, 9 BB, .314 OBA 5.92 K per 9
FILLER FILLER FILLER
- 0-1 13.1 IP 3.38 ERA 1.35 WHIP
- 13 K, 3 BB, .264 OBA 8.78 K per 9
He’s old, he’s been hurt all year, but he’s finally back in the bullpen in a pitching capacity. They’ve pitched him 4 times in July, about 3 or 4 days apart each time, and he’s yet to give up a run. If he’s going to be able to go every other game soon, he could become a key part of this bullpen. Scratch that, it’s almost mandatory for this bullpen to be useful that he be a fairly integral cog.
Jose Mesa (with Phils)
- 0-2 20 IP 3.15 ERA 1.00 WHIP
- 5 K, 8 BB, .176 OBA 2.25 K per 9
He’s an enigma. His season stats are fairly awful if you add in his time spent in Detroit, and his peripherals are SCARY. He strikes no one out, relies completely on his defense, and apparently has one of the luckiest opponent batting averages of anyone in the league. He’s definitely due to hit the wall…and that won’t be pretty.
- 1-2 37 IP 5.35 ERA 1.43 WHIP
- 51 K 18 BB, .245 OBA 12.41 K per 9
Although I’d rather see him in the rotation, he’s obviously in the bullpen for the rest of the season. He’s probably the best reliever we have in there right now, and has been able to let loose (when healthy) on hitters. His May was terrific when he was moved to the bullpen, and he’s now back to hopefully stabilize this pen. He’s definitely a positive.
- 0-0 7.2 IP, 1.17 ERA 1.70 WHIP
- 10 K, 8 BB, .179 OBA 11.74 K per 9
This guy walks on the edge without falling over, allowing WAYYYY too many free passes, and yet somehow keeps his ERA low. Wait, I know how…he’s pitched 14 games for the Phils and has amassed only 7.2 innings. He’s the prototypical lefty specialist. We won’t see him pitch much, and we’ll only see him when a lefty is at the plate in the 7th or 8th innings. One can only hope that he doesn’t keep walking a hitter an inning.
So there you have it, your Philadelphia Phillies bullpen. With two days left until the trade deadline, and then another month of possible waiver-wire moves, this is certainly expected to change. However, the current group has a bunch of oldheads and castoffs and then Brett Myers. You have to respect Pat Gillick for actually outdoing Ed Wade at his own game. He is now the king of finding old relievers.
Tom G from Balls, Sticks & Stuff!!! He guessed that our favorite announcer Chris Wheeler would mention the size of Petco Park during the final 3 games of the Phillies-Padres about 9 times. I counted 10 times throughout the 3 games, putting Tom almost spot on! Congrats Tom, and I hope you like the shirt. And everyone else go get their favorites, courtesy of the Chris Wheeler Glossary and Cole Hamels Facts.com.
Or he’s already hit it:
On Friday, A-Rod will be on deck when the Yankees resume a suspended game against the Orioles in the eighth inning. If he homers in the completion of the suspended game, it would count as being hit on June 28, when the game began. That would make it home run No. 493 — and Wednesday night’s would become No. 500.
Alex, the obvious AL MVP, is having a sick season where he’s putting up a 1.072 OPS as a 3B in a ballpark that gears towards left-handed hitters, not righties. He’s already hit the same amount of homers (35) as he did during the entire 2006 campaign, and is only one double (25) behind last year’s total.
Him hitting home run number 500 at the age of 32 is a tremendous accomplishment, and he could literally retire tomorrow and probably still be a first-ballot Hall of Famer. However, he’s going to continue playing, and will likely have several more years of peak performance. Rodriguez might be the first player to net $30 million in one season, should he resign with the Yankees or opt out of his contract and go out on the free market. I hope I won’t be the only one enjoying watching his career finish out.
After Antonio Alfonseca almost blew the game for the Phillies when he gave up 3 runs in the 9th, Jimmy Rollins smacked a triple to left center and then sprinted home on an errant throw to tie the game back up at 5-5. It took 5 more innings for either team to put anything up on the board, with the Phils squandering a ridiculous chance to score when Chase Utley and Howard were walked to start the bottom of the 10th and then this horrible sequence occurred:
|- A. Rowand popped bunt out to third|
|- M. Bourn grounded out to first, C. Utley to third, R. Howard to second|
|- C. Coste hit for J.C. Romero|
|- C. Coste fouled out to first|
Bunting with a guy hitting as well as Aaron Rowand? Not being able to hit the ball further than 60 feet? Kudos to all involved. Kudos indeed.
And then there was Ryan Howard. He wouldn’t let the Phillies go down to the lowly Washington Nationals…no no no, he smacked a Chris Booker pitch into the 2nd deck in right field to end the game 7-5 in the Phils favor. It was Howard’s 28th bomb of the year and 9th this month. His march towards player of the month of July (357 average, 460 OBP, 771 slugging percentage and 9 homers) continues. This guy is simply on fire, as is much of the rest of the offense. Score one for the good guys!