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.