By Amy McGinnis
No, I didn’t forget a question mark in the title. I’m not asking what’s wrong with our bullpen; I’m going to tell you.
This past October, bullpen coach Mick Billmeyer was moved to the position of “Catching Coach,” which is, I’m pretty sure, the most ridiculous job within the Phillies organization. Rod Nichols, a minor league coach, was promoted to bullpen coach in Philadelphia. It’s been seven months, and I’d say there’s an outstanding chance that Jonathan Papelbon is going to start demanding a 58% raise every 58 days if he continues to be the only reliever showing up. If we can’t get rid of Charlie (despite my wishes on pennies in every fountain in the tri-state area), maybe we could at least replace Nichols.
Let’s take a look at our underwhelming bullpen, and I’d like to note that these guys currently look better on paper than they do in actual performance:
Righties. Mike Adams, our 8th inning guy, announced that he’s having back spasms. This season, he’s had fifteen strikeouts in nineteen innings pitched, and he has a 3.00 ERA. Let’s just hope that it’s not the chronic Roy Oswalt ”it hurts when I’m sitting, standing, walking, pitching, or sleeping” brand of back pain. Phillippe Aumont, with a 1-3 record thus far in 2013, has pitched 11.0 innings and he currently has a 2.45 ERA. Justin De Fratus, who was just called back up to the bigs, has a win under his belt and a 0.00 ERA … after having pitched .1 inning. The ERA looks great, but it’s after having faced just one batter (whom he struck out). Chad Durbin, whose DFA last season led to a party at my house, has pitched 11.2 innings in 2013. His ERA is 6.17, and I’m thinking that he probably justifies that to his friends and family by reminding them that it’s better than Roy Halladay’s. With Aumont and De Fratus for long relief, Adams for the 8th inning, and Papelbon to close, I’d say that Chad Durbin is unnecessary. I’d be glad to send him a one-way bus ticket. Jonathan Papelbon, with seven saves in as many opportunities, has pitched 15.2 innings and has an ERA of 1.15. I hope that we see this version of Paps all season, and that his evil twin stays in hiding.
Lefties. Raul Valdes, after having pitched eighteen innings this season, has a 7.00 ERA. Jeremy Horst has pitched 15.1 innings, and his ERA isn’t much better (it’s 5.51 for those of you keeping track). Antonio Bastardo, despite his performance in Saturday’s game, has been pulling his weight, as he’s pretty accustomed to being the only competent LHP in the bullpen. In 12.1 innings pitched, he has struck out eleven; his ERA is currently 2.19.