A Younger, Inexperienced Bullpen

I’m sitting in the San Diego airport, getting ready to take the red eye back to Philadelphia. I won’t be in Arizona this week, so you might see fewer posts and tweets until I return Friday. But I figure I should post before I leave because I’ll be out of commission tomorrow.

The biggest thing to happen this weekend — besides the Phillies sweeping the Padres — is Jose Contreras landing on the DL.

The bullpen is 5-2 with a 2.24 ERA this season. Phillies relievers have allowed just one home run and opponents have hit just .210 against them.

It will be interesting to see how they hold up without Contreras. The Phillies’ bullpen looks like this: Ryan Madson, Antonio Bastardo, Danys Baez, Kyle Kendrick, David Herndon, Michael Stutes and Mike Zagurski. Those seven entered the season with a combined 1,005 relief appearances. The projected bullpen on Opening Day had a combined 2,180 relief appearances with Brad Lidge, J.C. Romero, Contreras, Madson, Baez, Kendrick and Bastardo.

This bullpen got young and inexperienced in a hurry.

I’m more than a little curious to see how Stutes pitches. Phillies personnel really liked him in Spring Training. They liked his stuff, but they loved his makeup. He’s got heart.

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When everybody is healthy, we know Lidge, Madson and Contreras can close if Lidge is unavailable. But who closes now if Madson needs a day off? Bastardo got the save today. He’s got great stuff. It might be him.

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The Phillies have not scored more than four runs in 13 consecutive games. They have hit .207/.280/.303 in that span. That is bad, but it’s got to improve. Just like Phillies hitters weren’t that good the first eight games of the season, they’re not this bad in the last 13. … John Mayberry Jr. deserves more playing time. I’m not saying he’s going to save the offense, but it can’t hurt to play him when Raul Ibanez is struggling. … Lots of Phillies fans in San Diego this weekend. If you’re looking to make a Phillies’ road trip in the future, San Diego is highly recommended. My top five Got-To-See-In-The-National-League ballparks: Wrigley Field, AT&T Park, Dodger Stadium, PETCO Park and PNC Park. … Thanks for the restaurant suggestions to those who sent them. Had peanut butter and banana stuffed French toast at Cafe 222 and a good lunch later in the week at Tin Fish. Two thumbs up.

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7 Comments

Hope Contreras heals soon!! If everybody is healthy, this club is just going to be very very good!!

And about the offense: We have been playing some of the best pitching the last 13 games…..Though the padres have some of the worst offense, their pitching (ERA wise) is the BEST in te NL at the moment…..And we swept them! Brewers, Marlins and even Nationals are in the top 7 pitching staffs at the moment….Let’s see how the offense does against Arizonas staff (who are dead last in team ERA) before we complain about our bad offense…How do you think opposing teams feel about their offense when they face us?? :-) Pitching is still winning games this year so far……..

I’m a Stutes fan too, from the one game I saw him pitch in Spring Training, it looked like he had good movement on the ball. Is Charlie leaning toward Madson as the closer?

So the Phillies have not scored more than 4 runs in the last 13 games. This is a problem because……………..?

Hey kunosteijn, did it ever occur to you that the reason some of those teams are near the top in the NL in ERA is BECAUSE they played the Phillies? It’s early, and a small sample at this point, but the Phillies offense has a lot of holes in it.
We’re going to find out if the young arms in the system can handle the heat in the bullpen. I like Stutes and Bastardo a lot, but they ae going to need more from guys like Herndon and Zagurski.

Phils are hitting .200 in their last 14 games.

The injuries continue to pile up for this team. Their record is great so far, but a quick glance at the schedule shows it has been pretty light as it continues against the DBacks this week. They are 2-3 against the good teams so far (Florida and Milwaukee), so May should be interesting as they play Texas, Colorado, Florida, Cincy and the Braves.

I was shocked that Mitchie-poo said on MLB Network last night that he had never heard of Michael Stutes before. He seemed shocked himself because he lives in Philly and follows the Phils closely and has good relations with the FO and the team. The rest of us saw the filthy stuff Stutes had in Florida and were looking forward to his pitching for the Phils this year. He was great last night and should do nicely in Contreras’ place. Madson has the stuff to be a closer if he can establish the first strike on a consistant basis, IMO.

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