Philer Up!: The Pen has some openings…


When it comes down to Spring Training it’s always about the seasoned vets getting their timing back. It’s about the kids who will likely never see past Triple-A getting their chance against big league pitching. It’s also about position battles. The biggest one is the race for the corner outfield positions.

Yeah, I could talk about that but everyone else is. I figured I should check out the race for the bullpen openings. Obviously, Pap has the ninth and Mike Adams has the eighth. From there you could fill-in Bastardo and Durbin. It’s wide-open after that.

Last year’s Phils team started with 12 pitchers on the opening day roster. They had 5 starters (Doc, Lee, Cole, Blanton and Worley) and 7 relievers (Pap, Savery, Bastardo, Stutes, Kendrick, Herndon and everyone’s favorite Chad Qualls).

Sometimes teams carry 13 pitchers, but with the Phils outfield situation I think they will carry an extra outfielder instead. So who grabs the last 3 spots in the pen?

Here are few of the options…

Phillippe Aumont 

Aumont had good stuff when he came up. He had 14 stikeouts in 14 innings last season for the Phils in 18 games. He also had some control issues with 9 walks. He is 0-0 with 0.00 era in two games so far this spring. In 2 innings, he has 2 strikeouts and has given up one hit. Reports are that he has stood out the most so far. He is playing for Team Canada in the WBC.

Justin De Fratus.

De Fratus actually began with the Phils last the year, though he was on the disabled list. He threw the ball decent when he returned from his injury. He had a 3.38 era in 10.2 innings for the Phils. He has gotten hit around so far this spring. In 3 games, he is 1-0 with 11.25 era. He  has given up 6 hits and 5 runs (all earned) in 4 innings. He also has walked 3 and struck-out NONE. Not helping his cause at all.

Jake Diekman.

I love this kids stuff. Maybe, he finally knows where he is throwing the ball. He had 3.95 era with the Phils last season. He had 35 strikeouts in 27 innings, but he also walked 20 batters.  In 3 games, he has a 0-1 record with a 4.50 era thus far in spring training. He has given up 3 hits and 2 runs (both earned) in 4 innings. The bright side, he has 7 strikeouts and ZERO walks. Control!!

 Jeremy Horst.

Horst quietly had a solid year for the Phils last season. He was 2-0 with 1.15 era in 32 games. In 31.1 innings, he had 41 strikeouts while only walking 14. Batters only hit .193 against him. This spring he is 0-0 with 17.18 era. He has given up 7 runs (all earned) and 3 bombs in 3.2 innings pitched. Maybe, he is working on things? Yikes…

Michael Stutes

This dude’s slider was nasty two years ago, when he went 6-2 with 3.63 era in 62 innings for the Phils. Batters hit .218 against him. Last year, he missed most of the season with shoulder surgery. So far this spring he seems to be out of whack. He is 0-0 with 13.50 era. He has given up 3 runs (all earned) in 2 innings. He has walked 2 and struck out none.

Ethan Martin

Martin came over to the Phils in the Victorino deal with the Dodgers. The former first round pick in 2008, pitched well for the Reading Phils last year. He was 5-0 with 3.18 era after joining them. Overall, he was 13-6 with 3.48 era in Double-A.  Batters hit .212 off of him last season. He is 0-0 with o.oo era in 2 innings pitched so far this spring. Could be a Dark Horse.


One response

  1. The good news is that they have what appears to be quality options. Chad Qualls wasn’t the root of the problem last year. The root of the problem was that due to injury (Contreras, DeFratus, Stutes, and Herndon) and less than expected performance (Bastardo) they were forced to use Qualls in key situations.

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