Jeremy Horst of the Philadelphia Phillies has his opportunity to shine. Will he be a bullpen fixture or a beer leaguer?
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CAP-SIZE HINDSIGHT: 3-2 Outcome
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The Future Relief Corps:
Firstly, Rube Amaro cannot go into next season with 6 of these young guns, and that includes a spectacular non-stretch-run span through September by them–one or more. He will have to acquire 1 or 2 free agents until this group is ready. Basically, there are 11 hurlers for 4 jobs. From last year Antonio Bastardo, Vance Worley, Mike Stutes and John Mayberry Jr. have not duplicated their success. The NL catches up with unfamiliar personnel after 3-4 months, but it can be sooner or later.
The young denizens beyond the short centerfield fence fall into 4 categories. The first is the most experienced, which includes Bastardo and Josh Lindblom. There are varying degrees of performance from Horst, Jake Diekman, B.J. Rosenberg and Joe Savery. Then, there are the healing warriors: Mike Stutes, David Herndon and Michael Schwimer. Lastly, there are greenest of the bunch, and they are Phillippe Aumont and Justin De Fratus.
Bastardo has lost a little on his fastball, but it is his confidence after facing adversity that he has to overcome. Lindblom hasn’t been here long enough for me to form a strong opinion, but he does struggle attacking the strike zone at times. Horst has been the brightest light on this stage, and he has occasionally worked some of Bastardo’s innings. These 3 have the inside track to be in the ‘pen on opening day.
The next 3 are strong possibilities but have to prove they are healthy. Stutes was sparkling for his first 7 weeks, but only 50-50 during the final 3.5 months, which creates doubt about his control or his need to make adjustments. Herndon was streaky with extended good and bad stretches. Schwimer was excellent in an earlier role, but had difficulty during the 8th before disclosing a sore arm.
De Fratus was successful in low-stress chances during last September, while Aumont has only two appearances so far. Diekman is only a possible lefty specialist until he corrals his location issues. Joe Savery is the longest shot in this weapon’s locker, and B.J. Rosenberg can blow up at any time. Horst has claimed the 2nd southpaw spot, while Rosenberg, Diekman and Savery will probably be at Triple-A Lehigh Valley in April. Baring new developments, there are 8 relievers and 4 seats for the 6th and 7th frames. The good news is that Rube recently said that this is his initial must-fix area after the current campaign.
He is 3-0 with an 0.83 ERA in his last 3 efforts. He has lasted 6.1 innings plus in 8 of 18 outings with 5 debacles.
He is 5-3 with a 3.10 away ERA, which is 0.76 lower than at home. He has toiled 6.1 frames or more in 15 of 25 showings with 5 clunkers. Against the Phils in both parks (2 each), his ledger reads: 2-0, a 2.55 ERA, 24.2 innings, 14 hits, 7 all-earned runs, 12 free passes and 20 strikeouts.
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Starters’ photos, not described otherwise, are in the 1st inning.
Quality number of the pitcher: 1 – 5
Slot on his club: 1 – 5
Ranking is 1 to 5 & 15 for the less adventurous.
*** = Approximately equal to after plus-and-minus computation
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