Phillies Spring Training (Part 1) Relief Pitching

23 Feb

Day 1
Days Till Opening Day (Vs. Astros): 36 Days

I am starting a new series on the Phillies that will run all the way till Opening Day. For every Spring Training day from here untill the Phillies play on Opening Day I will be writing a little blurb about different stories that are going on in camp, or who looks good/bad during the Spring training games.

The Phillies start out their Spring Training schedule tomorrow against the Seminoles of Florida State. They start off their official Grapefruit league games on Saturday against the Yankees with Cole Hamels on the mound.

The first part blog I am going to focus on is relief pitching. They have the locks for positions in the bullpen such as Lidge, Madson, and Jose Contreras. Depending on whether they carry 7 bullpen pitchers (more likely) or 6, there will be spots up for competition. The candidates for the other sports include J.C Romero, Antonio Bastardo, Kyle Kendrick, Danys Baez, David Herndon, Andrew Carpenter, Mike Zagurski, and Scott Mathieson. This list does not include Chad Durbin who is still without a team and there is a report that if other interested teams do not up the offer he will join the Phillies.

If I had to choose the last 4 spots in the bullpen it would be in this order:

J.C Romero – He is an experienced left hander who could regain his form from 2 years ago where he posted a 2.75 ERA in 81 appearences.

Antonio Bastardo – He is another lefty to complement Romero. He also has a strong-arm and the potential to strike batters out if he learns the mentality of a reliever.

Kyle Kendrick – Could be the long reliever that could spot start every once in a while when needed. Basically taking over for David Herndon this year.

Danys Baez – I know he was not good at all last year, but he is an experienced right hander who could have a comeback year. He could right the ship in Spring Training, so we will keep an eye on how he looks.

Wildcards – I believe that newly transferred relief pitcher Andrew Carpenter has the arm to be successful, we will have to keep an eye on him during Spring Training. Also Scott Mathieson has a power arm that if healthy could really help the bullpen from the right side.

Like I mentioned before, I will keep an eye on how all these pitchers are doing in the Spring Training games and let you know who has the inside track to making the final roster come April 1st.

Go Phillies!



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