Monday, December 24, 2012

The Phillies Offseason Part 3: Pitching

Now that the Phillies have addressed some of their needs, a fine run and catch centerfielder in Ben Revere (his throwing arm, unfortunately is reminiscent of former Phillie Juan Pierre), and a stopgap third baseman, Michael Young, who should do fine filling in until young prospect Cody Asche is ready, especially if he is motivated to prove his final year in Texas an aberration, it is time to address the pitching staff. In reality, unless GM Ruben Amaro has a magic trick up his sleeve, the staff is virtually finalized. The biggest needs were a reliable eight inning setup man, and the Phillies signed the man who has been the best in the majors at that role for the past 6 years in Mike Adams. with Adams controlling the eighth inning and closer Jonathan Papelbon holding down the ninth, the remainder of the relief corps can be manned by young arms in the organization (of which there are plenty) and gain experience in less stressful situations. Antonio Bastardo and Jeremy Horst are the front runners for the lefty specialist roles, with Jake Diekman (he of the outstanding stuff and questionable control) in the mix. From the right side, rocket armed B.J. Rosenberg, Phillippe Aumont, Michael Schwimmer, and 2011 sensation Michael Stutes should all compete for the remaining spots in the seven member relief corps.  September call up, soft-tossing Tyler Cloyd will compete for a spot in the rotation,  and failing to earn that, may be slotted into the long-man sixth starter slot ably manned by Kyle Kendrick in past years.

The rotation should be filled by returning aces Cole Hamels, Cliff Lee and Roy Halladay , who will comeback as an equally effective, if modified style pitcher (no one will work harder, and he has remade himself before), along with the aforementioned Kyle Kendrick, and recently signed former Washington Nationals lefthander John Lannan who will be highly motivated to prove the Nationals made a mistake in dropping him from their rotation last year.  Should any of these falter, the Phillies have Cloyd, Jonathan Petitbone, and Ethan Martin (acquired last year in the Shane Victorino trade) being groomed at Triple A Lehigh Valley. Pitching should once again be the strength of the 2013 Phillies.


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