Yes, there is one on the current 25-man roster of the Philadelphia Phillies: Phillippe Aumont. However, it is a title he will have to earn, which is highly possible.
By design my articles represent a baseball man’s thinking, the view from the dugout and the GM’s box. Most fans do not consider the budget, prospects on the radar, the organization’s weaknesses, the track record, the competition and the other intangibles. Please go to my author archives or Phillies page for my most recent coverage. Scroll down to Tal’s Handy Links at the bottom. Thank you.
The new summer schedule will allow me to publish the best 3 storylines each week, but there will be an updated calendar included with each feature: These posts involve commentary, polls and stats for the upcoming 7 days.
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The 7th Inning:
With the last 2 frames in the veteran hands of Jonathan Papelbon and Mike Adams, our attention turns to the 3 outs that are available if the starter only finishes 6 innings.
There are 4 hurlers in competition for the lion’s share of opportunities during the 7th. The other 3 are Antonio Bastardo, Mike Stutes and Justin De Fratus. Remember, the situation can change at any time, as we have seen with Bastardo and Stutes during the previous 2 campaigns. That stated, Jeremy Horst and Chad Durbin are also candidates for replacement.
Stutes did not pitch for 5 months, and needs to log some frames at Triple-A Lehigh Valley before returning. He was the odd man out from the 4 arms in the bullpen for the last 3 jobs behind Horst, Aumont and Raul Valdes. Stutes has a save and 2 appearances with more than 3 outs, which means that he is also a backup plan for Horst or Durbin. On the other hand, De Fratus may not have impressed the brain trust in March, but he now has 2 of 4 outings with more than 1 inning, like Stutes.
The Young Guns:
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Currently, Bastardo with some challengers on the depth chart is living up to his expectations. However, after 5 solid months in 2011, he faltered and it took him a year to recover. That experience may lead to fruitful results, or he may revisit that darkness when he faces future adversity. Working the 7th, however, he may not stumble after his next rough patch.
Of all the players who changed teams for Cliff Lee, only Aumont is on the way up. Carlos Carrasco had the most success of the 4 Phillies who went to Cleveland, but he is back at Triple-A. He had 1 season as a five in 2011, had Tommy John surgery, and he just earned his 2nd suspension for throwing at a batter, which he will serve if he makes it back to the show. Seattle traded for 1B Justin Smoak in the Lee swap, but he hasn’t hit more than .234 or 19 homeruns.
Aumont is the plum from the deal with the Mariners, and he has closer potential. He has a plus fastball, a sinker, a curveball and a slider, but his consistency is his biggest problem. He is a solid option for the 7th, can handle the 9th in an away-game tie, and fire the 10th with the score knotted. He can also fill in for Adams or Papelbon.
Under certain circumstances, there is also the possibility of Aumont (6th), Bastardo (7th), Adams (8th) and Papelbon to lock it down.
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This is the 27th storyline for 2013. Check out my recent publication (Then and Now) on the Phillies page or my author archives, where there is an excerpt photo. Also, my new feature is Story-poll. The last one was The Lumber Appraisal.
I will periodically publish the 2013 ERA for the NL East and the MLB 5. Thank you, to all who bookmarked my page.
Philadelphia Phillies storyline: 1 year after (Then and Now)
Philadelphia Phillies story-poll: This side of the ball (The Lumber Appraisal)
Tal Venada (Author Archives)