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Here is a picture of a baseball in front of Jose Contreras. As you can see, that's what it is.

Everybody Get on the Phillies, Now

“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.

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