Posted by Pat Gallen, Fri, October 05, 2012 09:49 AM Comments: 43
Quick thoughts on 2012 with the relief pitchers up next. Coming up, position players. Click here for the starting rotation. Phillies Nation will also have a more thorough breakdown of each player coming later this month.
-Let’s begin with the highest paid relief pitcher on the team, and in baseball, Jonathan Papelbon. I’ve struggled with what to think about his season, but much more negative stands out for me. I guess that’s because the Phillies were not a winning ballclub, so the negatives overshadow the positives.
Focusing on Papelbon, you can’t help but notice his inabilities in non-save situations. His 3.90 ERA in those games with four losses, some of them crushing, were tough to swallow. No pitcher is going to be perfect, but he was asked to keep games tied or close and couldn’t do it some of the time. In normal save situations, he was one of the best relief pitchers in baseball, sporting a 0.87 WHIP and a 1.49 ERA. Papelbon was able to save 39 games this year, so he did more right than wrong. But when you’re the highest paid guy that anchors an overall subpar bullpen, failures stand out. He’s gotta’ be a little better next year.
-I’m really excited about the youthful explosion in the pen this season. Players that maybe wouldn’t have been utilized had it been a “normal” Phillies season saw plenty of action, which can only serve them well for the near future. Let’s start with the lefties:
-Jeremy Horst, Jake Diekman, and Antonio Bastardo could provide the Phillies a stable of quality left-handed pitchers for a long time. Horst was perhaps the Phillies best relief pitcher this season. His minuscule 1.15 ERA stands out, as does his 11.5 K/9 rate. Horst still needs to work on walks, but he looks like an absolute steal in the trade with Cincinnati for Wilson Valdez.