Roy Halladay will be the last star to return for the Philadelphia Phillies. Will it be too late by then? Is there any hope for a remedy?
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CAP-SIZE HINDSIGHT: 5-0 Outcome
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That would be the first name and the surname of the 8th-inning set-up man. The alternative is for every member of the rotation to always pitch 8 complete, and even Doc cannot do that. That would overwork them, and they would get hit during the 8th in half of their performances. However, Rube Amaro cannot swap for that endgame arm unless the team rebounds.
Antonio Bastardo needs to re-earn that role, because he hasn’t recovered from his September meltdown. The aces can be penciled in for 7 frames on most nights, and the bottom of the staff can handle 6 innings consistently. Generally, the manager needs 3–if not 4–backend hurlers. Cholley Manuel has only one, which is why the problem won’t go away.
Amaro had no choice with the dollars, like all GM’s–even the Yankees. In a world with baseball parity, he had to roll the dice on many jobs, because of the AAV (Average Annual Value) commitments, and a competitive-balance tax that is steep. He was in that situation with Jose Contreras ($2.5M) and Joe Blanton ($8M), which is why there was no money for Roy Oswalt. He, also, had to carry inexpensive contracts, like those of John Mayberry Jr., Bastardo, Michael Stutes and Vance Worley. He had just enough room to sign Chad Qualls at $1.15M, and that left $4-5M for the trading deadline.
Contreras was the reliever for the 8th, but his hoped-for recovery vanished after a couple solid outings. Qualls crashed and burned after a mostly strong April. Stutes, David Herndon and Justin De Fratus ended up in the infirmary. Jake Diekman, Raul Valdes and Jeremy Horst are the options to face left-handed sticks in the 7th or 8th. Michael Schwimer has earned a shot at the 8th, which is not the desired route Cholley would prefer. However, considering the 5 dismal appearances out of Bastardo’s last 9, Schwimer could not be any worse. I would feel less nervous with him, and not have to pray for an exhaling end of the 8th.
He had his CG, SO 3-hitter at The Ted in early May with no free passes and 6 punch outs on 88 bullets. He has toiled 6.2 frames plus in 9 of 16 efforts with 6 monstrosities. However, his ERA is a half run lower at the Bank.
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He has lasted 6.1 innings or more in 7 of 17 attempts with 3 clunkers. At the Ted in early May, his line against the Phils was: 3.2 frames, 8 hits, 4 all-earned runs, 2 walks and 3 strikeouts on 95 wayward darts. That said, he is 6-2 with a 2.89 road ERA.
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Quality number of the pitcher: 1 – 5
Slot on his club: 1 – 5
Ranking is 1 to 5 & 15 for the less adventurous.
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Philadelphia Phillies storyline: Re-signing Hamels? (Horsemen stats)