Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Figuring Out This Bullpen

Yesterday's Inquirer had three blurbs all worth a mention:
  1. "The Phillies reassigned the following players to their minor-league camp: outfielders Peter Bergeron and Shawn Garrett, infielders Bobby Scales and Joe Thurston, and righthanders Clay Condrey, Ryan Cameron, Travis Minix and Brian Sanches."

    No real surprises there...Bergeron, Garrett, and Thurston should all provide good depth in the upper level minors this season and it wouldn't be a shock to see one of the bunch reappear on the Phils bench some point this season. I still believe that one of the three relievers (Cameron, Minix, or Sanches) will pitch for the Phils this year...I think I predicted that 2 would pitch for the big club at some point a while back, so I'll even go as far as to stick with that prediction for now.

    I just dug up my old prediction from 1/11/06: "Any one of these guys could, in theory, wind up as real life Phillies in 2006. I think at least one of the 4 relief pitchers mentioned (Cameron, Sanches, Minix, and Lopez) will come north to Philly to start the season and at least 2 will pitch for the Phils over the course of the year. Just a hunch though."

    My prediction is looking real bad in the short-term and more than a little iffy in the long-term - though I'll stubbornly stick by it. Bottom line: when I'm doing the predicting, it's probably best to just let me be and tune me out.

  2. "The Phillies will have a 12-man pitching staff, with five bullpen jobs seemingly locked up by Tom Gordon, Arthur Rhodes, Rheal Cormier, Aaron Fultz and Julio Santana. Geoff Geary seems a strong bet to win a job, and Tejeda and Ricardo Rodriguez could be competing for a long reliever's role. Chris Booker, Aquilino Lopez, Yoel Hernandez and Brito also are in camp.

    The Phillies acquired Rodriguez, who is out of options, in the Vicente Padilla trade, but he has lacked control and indicated that he does not have much interest in being in the bullpen."

    I don't see why Santana has a job locked up, but that's the Phillies for you. In my mind, Geary is a lock (not just my preference, but what I think the Phils are thinking as well) and has been for some time. That leaves Tejeda, Rodriguez, Booker, Lopez, Hernandez, and Brito fighting for the last spot. Brito and Hernandez haven't really been given fair shots, so we can rule them out. Booker is expected to pitch on Thursday for the first time this spring...while it is highly, highly unlikely that he pitches so darn well the team must keep him, it is at least somewhat possible. Realistically though, he's out. Hopefully the Nationals don't want the Rule Fiver back though and the Phils can stash him away in the Red Barons bullpen. The battle is down to Tejeda, Rodriguez, and Lopez. Tejeda and Rodriguez both fit the mold of potential long relievers/spot starter types so they definitely have the edge over my personal favorite, Aquilino Lopez.

    I still say it'll be Rodriguez with Lopez in the Scranton bullpen and Tejeda as the Red Barons number two starter. I'd prefer Lopez on the big club and Rodriguez far away from Philly (with still Tejeda starting in AAA), but the Phillies won't return my calls.

  3. "There is talk among scouts that the Phillies are shopping Cormier. Detroit could be interested."

    If this is true, it is time for the Phillies to say goodbye to Rheal. He has been a good soldier during his tenure here and I genuinely like him as a ballplayer, but he no longer brings any positive contributions out on to the field. Pay off some of that salary and send him packing to Motown - Aquilino Lopez or Yoel Hernandez would be welcomed additions to fill his old job in the pen if called upon.
One thing I failed to mention in yesterday's recap of the Pirates-Phils game - Chase Utley's homerun was off of Pirates starter Zach Duke, a lefthander. This comes a day after the Phillies hammered the best lefthander in all of baseball, Minnesota Twins starter Johan Santana. It's just spring, but it's nice.

Phils-Braves...1:05 this afternoon on ESPN or MLB.TV...Ryan Franklin vs. Kyle Davies with Geary, Cormier, and Tom Gordon all expected to get some innings in as well. Watch it.

Oh yeah...doesn't that Cory Lidle picture from the previous post sort of look like Jim Thome right after a swing? Or am I crazy?


Blogger Robot Dean Martin said...

Go Cubs. haha, just kidding, but being serious.

12:45 AM  
Blogger XXX said...

crazy kids...

12:50 AM  
Anonymous Chinpo said...

I read this in class and laughed out loud. Thanks.

12:26 PM  

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