When you play as much baseball as Chad Qualls, chances are, someone is going to notice. Even if that baseball is played for the Padres.
Ruben Amaro isn’t going to stop signing relief pitching options, even if you’re sick of hearing about them or you don’t think he should anymore. By now, I don’t even have to tell you how little regard he actually has for you, personally. It’s close to zero. By which I mean it’s less than zero, but still close.
Chad Qualls is 33 and throws right-handed. He’s achieved marginal success in a few different uniforms, and a lot of people are going to see that he last played in San Diego and start yammering on about Petco Park and how it swallows home runs and barfs them back out as fly balls. Basically, he’s every relief pitcher you’ve ever heard of. And we got ‘im for a measly $1.15 million.
But he’s got that experience and that proven upsided talent and that over thirtiness that Ruben is looking for in any player he signs during the 2012 offseason. So Chad’s in. The trick is, he’s got to make it past Michael Stutes and his glorious, flowing locks for a late inning relief position. Mike’s got the youth with the year of experience under his belt, but Chad’s got the facial hair. This could be a close one.
Thus, the Phillies bullpen gets a little stranger to recognize, but to be fair, it’s been the least recognizable part of the team for years anyway. Without Brad or Mad Dog, we were destined to spend the first week of the season wondering who the hell some of these people are, so let’s enjoy Chad before he’s asked to pitch, makes a mistake, and is naturally hated forever.