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The Bullpen & What I Don't Want to See Done.

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  • The Bullpen & What I Don't Want to See Done.

    I was reading a blog today that's run by somebody who I've felt has a good feel of the Phillies - both at the major and minor league levels.

    Today, he brought up the bullpen situation (and we all know it hasn't been pretty).
    ERA           4.40   25th
    Losses         19    27th
    Blown Saves    14    14th
    Blown Ties     19    ----
    Groundball %  39.6%  29th
    HR per 9 IP   1.12   28th
    Brutal. But in reality, some of this could be attributed to the starters not being quite so good this year and exposing the pen. Ruben's idea was to have at least 3 lockdown starters go 7+ with only an inning or so needed to get to Papelbon. But that hasn't been the case nearly as often as expected. Add in that the offense was not producing early on and these young pitchers were put into quite a few high-leverage situations.

    Relief pitchers for the majority are very volatile from year to year. One can pitch to the tune of a 2.50 ERA one season only to see it inflate to 4.00 the next.

    Which is why I was floored when the blogger suggested that the Phils go after Mike Adams of the Rangers this off-season in a multi-year deal upwards of $15M.

    Adams has been highly effective the past three years - he has a 1.88 ERA from 2010-2012. But he just turned 34 last month and is finishing up this season on a one-year $4.4M deal. The Phillies have had interest in the past in Adams, as recently as last year's trade deadline before they traded for Hunter Pence.

    But regardless of how good he's been, I'm highly against spending $16M on two guys at the back of the bullpen (Papelbon & Adams).

    I'd rather go a different route if it came to going after a free agent for the pen.

    Clay Hensley will turn 33 at the end of the month. He's earning $750K with the Giants this season after making $1.5M in 2011. The Giants got a deal because while with the Marlins, they tried getting creative by making him a starter which inflated his ERA almost 2 full runs.

    This is what Hensley's done in the bullpen the past three years...
    Year  ERA  WHIP   HR
    ---- ----  ----   --
    2010 2.16  1.107   3
    2011 3.51  1.286   2
    2012 3.35  1.463   2
    I purposely put a HR column because he's shown that he doesn't get killed by the longball. Qualls and Bastardo alone have allowed 13 shots to go over the wall this year. Qualls should never have been signed here in the first place, and if Amaro had any analytical sense whatsoever, he would not have done it. Qualls averages 7 HRs allowed per season and that's not something you want from a supposed late-inning pitcher.

    I don't mind a veteran or two to come to Philly to give the bullpen depth. But with the volatility of said pitchers, I'd much rather do it with cheaper options. IF Adams were to come here and fail, his contract becomes that much more of a burden - something this team should be trying to avoid. As poorly as the majority of the current pen has been, don't be surprised to see a couple bounce right back to expectations next season. Relievers for the most part are failed starters - no sense investing high dollars into that.
    "Chuckie doesn't take on 2-0. Chuckie's hackin'." - Chuck Carr two days prior to being released by the Milwaukee Brewers

  • #2
    I agree that a high priced 34 year old set up man is a bad idea. Since the Phils don't want to spend money like the Yankees, they want to get younger while remaining in the playoff hunt. That's going to be a tricky proposition, but signing a 34 year old set up man to a big contract isn't going to help the goal I'm suggesting they set. Going the way the blog suggests means going all in for the next few seasons and being left with few young players worth a darn when the current crop gets too old (and it's at least starting to happen with Utley's knees). If it gets you another ring or two, you could live with it, but otherwise, you'll really regret it when the whole team gets old at the same time--back to the post Wheeze Kids days.
    Seen on a bumper sticker: If only closed minds came with closed mouths.
    Some minds are like concrete--thoroughly mixed up and permanently set.
    A Lincoln: I don't think much of a man who is not wiser today than he was yesterday.


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