Furious Gathering of Bullpen Help Continues Exploding


Clearly, Ruben Amaro has speed, rather than endurance, at the forefront of this off season’s signings.  They’ve evolved quickly from notions to rumors to reality, as the Phillies fill openings with outside help or hopeful mainstays.

And now, with Jose Contreras locked up, they turn their contractual fury in an unlikely direction to find skilled, uninjured,  pitching help not currently violating the terms of their parole:

A Met.

J.C. Romero’s removal from the roster marked the first off season move of 2010-11 for the Phillies, who are not allowing much time to pass between transactions, acquisitions, and hats.  But he wasn’t just another bullpen arm, he was the only one (not counting the nomadic Tony Bastard) who preferred to throw left-handed.

So, it was an easy logic gap to jump over: Bastard is ushered into the LOOGY role left behind in Romero’s wake.  With Ruben Amaro’s youth movement in progress, the assimilation of home grown talents filtered nicely into two different strategies.

Of course, in baseball, and namely Ruben Amaro’s baseball, nothing is what it seems.  We could fully expect Ryan Howard to stick around until 2016, only to wake up tomorrow to find out that Ruben had traded him and Citizens Bank Park for a vial of Albert Pujols’ sweat to sprinkle through the locker room during slumps.

But here in the real world, which is for the most part free of mindless exaggerations, we see the Phillies are now supposedly sniffing around the Mets camp in Hisanori Takahashi’s direction.  All we need to know about this guy is that he’s a lefty and that he’s better out of the bullpen (2.04 ERA in 41 appearances) than the rotation (5.04 ERA in 12 starts) to consider him for a Romero replacement.

Man I wish Tony Bastard was really, really good at pitching so that his sweet-ass nickname would catch on.