“I think they will fill in the rest of the bullpen holes with minor league talent,” I said to Hot Stove.
“Shut the hell up,” replied the Phillies.
Brad Lidge is claiming he can be ready by Opening Day. Danys Baez is hanging around. Eric Gagne has a tryout for some… kind of… reason. That Ruben Amaro has thought of.
Now Amaro is apparently working on “some things” with righty Jose Contreras. The ambiguity such a statement leaves us wondering what is really going on. Are they playing knock hockey? Searching for safe alternative fuels? Building a ship to circumnavigate the planet?
What they are probably doing is working out a way to fill the empty bullpen chair left behind by the meandering Chan Ho Park, who left the Phillies in hopes of finding a starting position with another World Series contender, because he is crazy. Contreras went 6-13 with a 4.92 ERA last season, and106 K’s. The Phils will be in need of a man who can unhinge his jaw and devour innings at times, and they are assuming the 38-year-old will be capable of such a feat.
Low risk, high reward.
Breathe in, breathe out.
Meanhwhile, the Phillies also continue their crusade through the Atlantic League (AAA level), snatching up another one of its former members: 31-year-old righty, first round draft pick, and ex-Royal, Jason Standridge, who apparently clinched Game Four of the Atlantic League championship with a complete game.
He’s got a fastball, curve, slider and change up; a high enough pitch selection to be given a starter’s role, if need be. Then again, he was dropped by the Marlins organization for underperforming, only to show up in Japan, give up two walks and a balk, and win his first game.
Okay, Ruben, we get it. You’re creative. You’re not letting empty pockets stop you from shopping. Let’s all take a step back, look around, remember that Eric Gagne made friends with human growth hormones, and consider that “high reward” is the tough half of the team philosophy.