Phillies 2016 Grades: Bullpen

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Aug 19, 2016; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Phillies relief pitcher Hector Neris (50) prior to action against the St. Louis Cardinals at Citizens Bank Park. The St. Louis Cardinals won 4-3 in the eleventh inning. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 19, 2016; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Phillies relief pitcher Hector Neris (50) prior to action against the St. Louis Cardinals at Citizens Bank Park. The St. Louis Cardinals won 4-3 in the eleventh inning. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports /
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Apr 18, 2016; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Phillies relief pitcher Araujo (59) pitches during the ninth inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. The Mets won 5-2. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 18, 2016; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Phillies relief pitcher Araujo (59) pitches during the ninth inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. The Mets won 5-2. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports /

ELVIS ARAUJO

A 24-year old lefty who was signed by the club as a free agent in November 2014, Araujo has appeared in 32 games in his second big league season after appearing in 40 a year ago for the Fightin’ Phils.

In that 2015 freshman performance, Araujo was a reliable left-handed option out of the Phils bullpen, but suffered a groin injury that knocked him out for the season in late August.

He was with the club almost from the beginning of the year this season right through June. At that point he was optioned to AAA Lehigh Valley when Vincent Velasquez was activated from a DL stint, and the Phils decided to move Adam Morgan into a lefty bullpen role.

Araujo was brought back in August and began the month with four strong appearances. But on August 16th he was completely dismantled by the Los Angeles Dodgers, who scored six runs off him, though just two of those were earned, on a hit and three walks.

After that performance, Araujo was sent back down in favor of Herrmann, and hasn’t been back to Philly since.

His final 2016 numbers aren’t pretty. Over his 32 games he allowed 35 hits in 27.1 innings with a 29/17 K:BB ratio, registering a 5.60 ERA and a 1.902 WHIP. Ouch.

At just 25 years of age, left-handed, with five years of team control, and a place on the 40-man roster, I would normally make him a favorite for a 2017 bullpen role with the team, at least entering spring training.

However, if the team powers-that-be simply don’t like him, he could find himself removed from that 40-man over the off-season as the Phillies will need to protect a handful of highly considered prospects.

GRADE: F

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