Results tagged ‘ Chad Durbin ’

Everybody Scores on Phillies Pen

Jeremy HorstIf a Phillies relief pitcher enters a game with a runner on base there is a very good chance he will allow that runner to score.

The Phillies bullpen has allowed 46.3 percent (25 of 54) of its inherited runners to score, which is the worst mark in baseball. (The Mariners have been the stingiest at just 15.9 percent.) Upon further inspection, the Phillies’ mark is one of the worst in baseball in nearly 40 years. Going back to 1974, the 2013 Phillies’ bullpen has been the second-worst in baseball in allowing inherited runners to score.

  1. 1977 Reds: 48.1 percent (74 of 154)
  2. 2013 Phillies: 46.3 percent (25 of 54)
  3. 1974 Mets: 46.0 percent (63 of 137)
  4. 1992 Phillies: 44.8 percent (73 of 163)
  5. 1974 Expos: 44.2 percent (69 of 156)

The MLB average from 1974 through today is 33 percent. The best Phillies bullpen in that stretch? The 2011 bullpen, which allowed only 25 percent to score.

“I have a big concern about our bullpen,” Charlie Manuel said. “If we can’t hold people how can we win the game? You can say you’ve got to score runs to win, but at the same time how many runs do you have to score?”

Here is how individuals in the Phillies’ bullpen have fared:

  1. Justin De Fratus: 0 percent (0 of 4)
  2. Raul Valdes: 33 percent (1 of 3)
  3. Mike Adams: 40 percent (2 of 5)
  4. Jeremy Horst: 42.9 percent (9 of 21)
  5. Antonio Bastardo: 50 percent (1 of 2)
  6. Jonathan Papelbon: 50 percent (1 of 2)
  7. Chad Durbin: 60 percent (9 of 15)
  8. Phillippe Aumont: 100 percent (2 of 2)

“I think it’s a matter of pounding the zone, being the aggressor,” Durbin said about pitching better with runners on base. “I think we get 1-0 and 2-0 then you have to throw the ball over the plate and all the pressure is on us. So, the success I’ve had in the past with it has been getting ahead with an offspeed pitch or a well-located fastball to put the pressure on them and kind of let our defense get comfortable.”

Everybody Loves Music! (A Break From The 1-3 Start)

Jeremy HorstThe Phillies lost in an awful way yesterday in their homer opener.

A few thoughts: These first four games have been mostly ugly and it is not encouraging at all when compared to the Nationals and Braves. (I predicted this team to finish third in the NL East, but still challenge for a wild card. My third-place prediction looks good, but the Phillies aren’t making me look real good about their chances to win 87-91 games.) That said, it’s just four games. The Phillies have had poor starts in the past. The only difference this time is this team is coming off a down year, not a World Series championship or 102-win season. It’s not like you can say, “They’re fine. They won 100 games last year.” They’re coming off an 81-81 finish.

But take a deep breathe. I read wide-ranging tweets yesterday, everything from releasing or demoting Jeremy Horst (1.15 ERA in 32 appearances last season with left-handers hitting .170 against him) to releasing Chad Durbin (historically a slow starter, his career ERA in April is 1.75 earned runs higher than his career ERA from May through September) to fans drawing concrete conclusions about the offense, bullpen and rotation after just four games.

Let’s reserve judgment a little further down the road.

You know, like next week …

In the meantime, I know many fans enjoy this, but here’s the current Phillies’ at-bat/warm-up music as of today (courtesy of Phillies music director Mark Wyatt):



Contract Details for Young, Durbin, Betancourt and More

Here are some recent contract details for those interested. It’s interesting to look at Delmon Young‘s deal, plus incentives and opt-out clauses for players like Yuniesky Betancourt, Aaron Cook and Juan Cruz:

  • Delmon Young. $750,000. Plus: $150,000 for 250 plate appearances; $150,000 for 300 plate appearances; $150,000 for 350 plate appearances; $150,000 for 400 plate appearances; $200,000 for 450 plate appearances; $200,000 for 500 plate appearances; $250,000 for 550 plate appearances; $250,000 for 600 plate appearances. Plus: $50,000 for All-Star ($25,000 selection); $100,000 for MVP; $100,000 for World Series MVP; $50,000 for League Championship Series MVP; $50,000 for Gold Glove; $50,000 for Silver Slugger. Plus (for each on active Major League roster): $250,000 for 1 day; $100,000 for 40 days; $100,000 for 80 days; $100,000 for 120 days; $100,000 for 160 days. Plus: $100,000 each for six conditioning thresholds.
  • Chad Durbin. $850,000. Deal includes a $1.5 million club option for 2014 or a $250,000 buyout. Plus: $50,000 for 55 games pitched; $50,000 for 60 games pitched; $50,000 for 65 games pitched; $50,000 for 70 games pitched; $50,000 for 70 innings pitched; $50,000 for 75 innings pitched; $50,000 for 80 innings pitched. Plus: $50,000 for-All Star; $100,000 for World Series MVP; $50,000 for League Championship Series MVP; $100,000 for Rolaids ($75,000-2nd; $50,000-3rd); $25,000 for Gold Glove.
  • Antonio Bastardo. $1.4 million. Plus: $25,000 for All-Star; $50,000 for World Series MVP; $25,000 for League Championship Series MVP; $50,000 for Rolaids ($25,000-2nd; $15,000-3rd).
  • Yuniesky Betancourt. Minor League contract for $18,000 per month. Agreement for Major League contract for $150,000. $900,000 in Majors. Plus: $25,000 for 50 games; $25,000 for 60 games; $25,000 for 70 games; $25,000 for 80 games; $50,000 for 90 games; $50,000 for 100 games; $50,000 for 110 games; $50,000 for 120 games; $100,000 for 130 games; $100,00 for 140 games. Plus: $25,000 for All-Star; $50,000 for MVP; $50,000 for World Series MVP; $25,000 for League Championship Series MVP; $25,000 for Gold Glove. If not on the Major League roster on March 24, player will be released if requested. Major League invitation to Spring Training.
  • Aaron Cook. Minor League contract for $18,000 per month. Agreement for Major League contract for $150,000. $1.625 million in Majors. Plus: $325,000 for 10 games started; $325,000 for 15 games started; $400,000 for 20 games started; $475,000 for 25 games started; $475,000 for 30 games started. Plus: $50,000 for All-Star; $100,000 for World Series MVP; $50,000 for League Championship Series MVP; $100,000 for Rolaids or Cy Young ($75,000-2nd; $50,000-3rd). Major League invitation to Spring Training.
  • Juan Cruz. Minor League contract for $18,500 per month. Agreement for Major League contract for $180,000. $1 million in Majors. Plus (for each as pitcher): $50,000 for 40 games; $50,000 for 45 games; $75,000 for 50 games; $75,000 for 55 games; $100,000 for 60 games; $100,000 for 65 games. Plus: $25,000 for All-Star; $50,000 for World Series MVP; $25,000 for League Championship Series MVP; $50,000 for Rolaids or Cy Young ($25,000-2nd; $15,000-3rd). If not on 25-man roster on June 1, player will be released for spot on another club’s roster. Major League invitation to Spring Training.
  • Zach Collier. $39,900. $490,000 in Majors.
  • Tyson Gillies. $79,900. $490,000 in Majors.
  • Erik Kratz. $208,967. $496,000 in Majors.
  • Darin Ruf. $79,900. $490,000 in Majors.
  • Joe Savery. $168,133. $490,000 in Majors.
  • Matt Tolbert. Minor League contract for $15,000 per month. Agreement for Major League contract for $90,000. $575,000 in Majors.

First full-squad workout is a week from today.

Phillies, Durbin Agree to 1-Year Deal

Phillies to Offer Werth Arbitration, Not DurbinThe Phillies are bringing back a familiar face to fortify their bullpen.

Sources told today the Phillies and right-hander Chad Durbin have agreed to terms on a one-year deal, pending a physical. The deal includes a club option for 2014.

“It gives us some depth,” Ruben Amaro Jr. said. “He was a guy who was out there at a very good price and still available late in the (offseason). He loved Philadelphia and liked being in Philly and we’re hoping to get something done in the next 24 hours or so. … Veteran guy and a quality guy and he can give us something that the young guys may not be able to give us and that’s experience.”

Durbin, 35, pitched for the Phillies from 2008-10, when he helped solidify the middle innings.

He went 4-1 with a 3.10 ERA in 76 appearances last season with the Atlanta Braves. He had a 2.33 ERA from April 18 through the end of the regular season, and carried a 0.83 ERA in 28 appearances against the National League East.

Durbin is expected to join a bullpen that includes closer Jonathan Papelbon, setup man Mike Adams and left-hander Antonio Bastardo. Durbin’s arrival means there likely will be three jobs available in the bullpen, which should make for an interesting competition in Spring Training.

The Phillies obviously hope Durbin helps them on the mound, but they also might welcome his positive presence and potential influence on the team’s younger relief pitchers. Durbin was a popular player in the Phillies clubhouse during his three seasons, and known as a good guy that fit in seamlessly with other Phillies relievers like Brad Lidge, Ryan Madson, J.C. Romero and Scott Eyre.

Durbin went 11-7 with a 3.62 ERA in his three seasons with the Phillies, when they won a World Series championship, two National League pennants and three division titles.

Durbin, Polanco and Other Odds and Ends

Tonight is the Philadelphia Sportswriter Association banquet in Cherry Hill. Ruben Amaro Jr., Roy Halladay, Shane Victorino and Charlie Manuel are in attendance. The four spoke before the dinner and ceremonies.

Here are a few highlights from Amaro, who talked about the makeup of the team:

  • On the door being closed on Chad Durbin, who remains a free agent: “I would say that we’re probably not going to resign him.” Amaro does not appear to be bluffing, either. Amaro said the Phillies could carry 11 or 12 pitchers in the bullpen. They have a healthy handful of pitchers who should be able to fill out those one or two open spots. And remember, if Joe Blanton remains with the team and everybody in the rotation is healthy to open the season, Kyle Kendrick could take Durbin’s role.
  • On if he has any offers on the table to any remaining free agents: “No. Right now, like I’ve said before, I think we’re pretty comfortable with where we are coming into spring. We have some decisions to make. But I think that we’re — I never like to say we’re pretty well set — but I think we kind of have to go with what we’ve got and start to make assessments as to what we may need as we go through the spring. It will be interesting to see some of the competition. We’ve talked about the right field situation and the bench and also the bullpen, and those are kind of the three things that I’m curious to see how they shake out there. I think we’ll have competition in all three of those areas.”
  • On his confidence of getting a contract with Charlie Manuel, who is entering the final year of his deal: “We’ve been working at Charlie’s contract since December. We’re hoping we can get something done. And just like any other negotiation we like to keep it quiet. But I think Charlie knows exactly how we feel about him. We know how he feels about us. Hopefully we can continue the relationship.”
  • On Placido Polanco, who had offseason surgery on his left elbow: “He’s fine. I haven’t heard anything to the contrary. He should be 100 percent.”
  • On if this is the best team he has taken to Spring Training: “I guess on paper it probably is just because of the pitching. As I’ve said before, acquring pitching is pretty tough. And for us to have the starting pitching, at least on paper, those projected five guys are as good a pitching staff as I think we’ve ever had. At least since I’ve been here.”
  • On the fifth starter: “Right now it’s Joe.”
  • On if it’s an open competition in right field: “Oh, yeah. Oh, it’s open. Wide open.”
  • He repeated he is not looking for a right-handed bat at this time.
  • He repeated he is not looking for middle relief at this time.
  • It’s official. The Phillies have signed Jason Grilli to a Minor League deal. He will not be in big-league camp.


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Blanton Is Likely Staying

blanton throwing.jpg

Just a few weeks ago it seemed like Joe Blanton would be pitching elsewhere in 2011.

But asked this morning if Blanton will be with the team this season, Ruben Amaro Jr. said, “I expect that to happen. Those things can change obviously. It’s not etched in stone. But we’re not forced to trade Joe. There’s nothing forcing us to do anything either way. And I’m not comfortable doing it. I don’t want to trade anybody. I like our club.” That is following comments Amaro made Tuesday to Ken Rosenthal: “He’s going to pitch for the Phillies, probably for the entire season.”

Amaro said he is uncomfortable trading Blanton because he likes the depth he provides. Should the Phillies trade Blanton and Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, Roy Oswalt or Cole Hamels suffer an injury, Kyle Kendrick and Vance Worley likely would be the team’s fourth and fifth starters. But with Blanton in the fold the Phillies have one of the best No. 5 starters in baseball.

The Phillies had shopped Blanton since they signed Lee to a $120 million contract in December because they need to create payroll flexibility. Blanton will make $17 million over the next two seasons. But teams that had been looking for starting pitching no longer are looking, which probably is the biggest reason Amaro is planning to keep Blanton. The Brewers acquired Zack Greinke and Shaun Marcum. The Rangers signed Brandon Webb. The Tigers signed Brad Penny. The Nationals just acquired Tom Gorzelanny. There simply are few places for Blanton to land at this point, especially if teams are unwilling to take on most of his salary.


Romero Agrees to Terms

The new left-hander in the Phillies bullpen is the same as the old left-hander in the Phillies bullpen.

A source confirmed a report that J.C. Romero has agreed to terms on a contract with the Phillies. The deal is pending a physical.

Terms were unknown, but it seems safe to say it falls somewhere in the $1 to $2 million range. The Phillies had agreed earlier this month to a $1.1 million deal with Dennys Reyes before the deal fell through.

I’m not sure how this impacts Chad Durbin‘s chances of rejoining the team, although I’ve got to think it makes things more difficult. But if the Phillies trade Joe Blanton to free up salary, the Phillies could have some wiggle room to bring him back, if the Phillies feel they still need another veteran in the pen.


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Reyes Deal Falls Through

Dennys Reyes agreed Dec. 8 to a $1.1 million contract with the Phillies.

Strangely, the Phillies never announced the deal. It is not unusual for a few days to pass between an agreement and an official announcement because players typically have to fly to Philadelphia for a physical. That is why the Phillies waited until Wednesday to announce they had signed Cliff Lee, who had agreed to terms Monday.

But there will be no Reyes announcement.

“We hit a snag,” said Oscar Suarez, who is Reyes’ agent. “So we just decided to push back.”

Asked if it was health related, Suarez said, “It just didn’t work out. We’re back on the market. I don’t want to get into details why.”

So with Reyes out of the picture, that might open the door for Chad Durbin to return. The Phillies still would like a left-hander, but there aren’t many available. J.C. Romero maybe?


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Winter Meetings: Day 3 (Go Big)


Updated: Reyes agrees to terms

Ruben Amaro Jr. said today he is thinking big.

In more ways than one.

First, he said the Phillies “have examined and tried and have talked about acquiring significant players. Doing trades is tough. Outfielders. Pitchers. Starters. Relievers. We’ve done some things where we’ve tried to shoot for the moon. We’ve laid some groundwork on some of those, but the possibilities of that happening are kind of remote.”

The Phillies are not in the running for Cliff Lee, but several teams have been talking to the Royals about Zack Greinke. reported five teams are seriously pursuing Greinke with three teams on the periphery. said the Phillies have talked to the Royals about Greinke.

Second, the Phillies have reached an agreement with Dennys Reyes, who is listed at 6-foot-3, 250 pounds. A source said tonight Reyes has agreed to a $1.1 million deal with a $.135 million option for 2012.

The Phillies also remain interested in Chad Durbin. In fact, Durbin is in Florida and stopped into the hotel to personally meet with the Phillies and one other team.

“The Durbinator?” Amaro said. “We’re keeping our options open on the Durbinator.”

And that right-handed bat the Phillies need? Giants general manager Brian Sabean said today “there’s nothing going between the Giants and the Phillies with Rowand.”

But the Phillies have had discussions about it. Rowand is owed $24 million over the next two seasons and the Giants would need to eat much of his salary for the Phillies to take him. Rowand played with the Phillies in 2006-07, and they believe he could bounce back offensively moving from cavernous AT&T Park to cozy Citizens Bank Park.


The Rule 5 Draft is tomorrow morning. Amaro said there is a 50-50 chance they take somebody.


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Winter Meetings: Day 2 (Reyes, Sherrill and Others)

reyes 2.jpgRuben Amaro Jr. reiterated today he does not expect the Phillies to make any moves before the conclusion of the Winter Meetings, which end Thursday morning with the Rule 5 Draft.

“That’s subject to change,” he cautioned.

The Phillies were in discussions about a contract with left-hander Dennys Reyes. A source said tonight a deal was not imminent, although reports from St. Louis said Reyes was headed to Philadelphia. A second source said the Phillies and Reyes’ agent had exchanged contract figures last week and met again today. The source also indicated nothing was imminent.

Reyes went 3-1 with a 3.55 ERA in 59 appearances last season with the St. Louis Cardinals. Interestingly, left-handers hit .307 against him last season, while right-handers hit .177, although he has been better in his career against left-handers (.238) than right-handers (.279).

But while the Phillies have interest in Reyes, they also have interest in other relief pitchers. That includes left-hander George Sherrill, who went 2-2 with a 6.69 ERA in 65 appearances last season with the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Phillies have liked Sherrill in the past and think he could rebound. The Phillies also met today with right-hander Chad Durbin‘s agent. The Phillies have indicated they remain interested in bringing him back.