The Philadelphia Phillies are going to have a lot of competition for bullpen jobs this spring

Blogged under Bloglockers,Front Page,General,Positional Previews for Season by chinmusic on Tuesday 14 February 2012 at 5:16 pm

The Phillies are going to need some pitchers to really step up in the bullpen and give them solid work bridging the gap from the starters to the set-up man. Here is a look at the Phillies’ bullpen as of right now:

Closer: Jonathan Papelbon: The Phillies signed 31-year old righty Jonathan Papelbon to close for them, and I really like the move. He pitched in 63 games (0 starts) for the Red Sox last year and he was 4-1 with 31 saves, a 2.94 ERA and a 0.93 WHIP. Papelbon has now pitched in 396 games (3 starts) in his first 7 years in the majors and he is 23-19 with 219 saves, a 2.33 ERA and a 1.02 WHIP. He has been one of the best closers’ in all of baseball since he entered the majors, and I don’t see that changing any time soon.

Set-Up Man: Antonio Bastardo: 26-year old lefty Antonio Bastardo will likely be the Phillies’ set-up man in 2012. He pitched in 64 games (0 starts) for the Phillies last year and he was 6-1 with 8 saves, a 2.64 ERA and a 0.93 WHIP. Bastardo has now pitched in 95 games (5 starts) in his first three years in the majors and he is 10-4 with 8 saves, a 3.86 ERA and a 1.17 WHIP. Bastardo has outstanding stuff and I think he’s going to do a good job in his new role for the Phillies.

Righties: Chad Qualls: 33-year old Chad Qualls had a nice comeback year for the Padres last year. He pitched in 77 games (0 starts) for the Padres last year and he was 6-8 with a 3.51 ERA and a 1.25 WHIP. Qualls has now pitched in 537 games (0 starts) in his first 8 years in the majors and he is 38-34 with 51 saves, a 3.78 ERA and a 1.27 WHIP. Qualls could wind up being the set-up man for the Phillies in 2012 if Bastardo falters in the role.

Brian Sanches: 33-year old Brian Sanches pitched in 39 games (2 starts) for the Marlins last year and he was 4-1 with a 3.94 ERA and a 1.43 WHIP. Sanches has now pitched in 189 games (2 starts) in his first six years in the majors and he is 13-6 with a 3.58 ERA and a 1.38 WHIP. I think he can really help the Phillies in 2012 as he has really pitched well lately in the majors.

Michael Stutes: 25-year old Michael Stutes really had a solid year for the Phillies as a rookie last year. He pitched in 57 games (0 starts) for the Phillies last year and he was 6-2 with a 3.63 ERA and a 1.24 WHIP. I look for Stutes to have another solid year in 2012 for the Phillies.

David Herndon: 26-year old David Herndon has turned himself into a pretty decent reliever. He pitched in 45 games (0 starts) for the Phillies last year and he was 1-4 with 1 save, a 3.32 ERA and a 1.37 WHIP. Herndon has now pitched in 92 games (0 starts) in his first two years with the Phillies and he is 2-7 with 1 save, a 3.70 ERA and a 1.48 WHIP.

Jose Contreras: 40-year old Jose Contreras is going to get off to a late start this year as he continues to recover from elbow surgery. Contreras pitched in 17 games (0 starts) for the Phillies last year and he was 0-0 with 5 saves, a 3.86 ERA and a 1.36 WHIP. He has now pitched in 84 games (0 starts) in his first two years with the Phillies and he is 6-4 with 9 saves, a 3.44 ERA and a 1.25 WHIP. Contreras has now pitched in 275 games (175 starts) in his first 9 years in the majors and he is 77-67 with 9 saves, a 4.54 ERA and a 1.36 WHIP. Contreras has really reinvented himself in Philly as a nasty reliever.

Justin DeFratus: 24-year old Justin DeFratus will be a longshot to make the Phillies out of spring training, but he looked really solid last year. He pitched in 5 games (0 starts) for the Phillies last year and he was 1-0 with a 2.25 ERA and a 1.00 WHIP. He also pitched in 51 games (0 starts) in AA+AAA-ball last year and he was 6-3 with 15 saves, a 2.99 ERA and a 1.17 WHIP. I think he will pitch for the Phillies at some point in 2012.

Lefties: Dontrelle Willis: 30-year old Dontrelle Willis is going to get a big shot in spring training to re-invent himself as a reliever. Willis pitched in 13 games (all starts) for the Reds last year and he was 1-6 with a 5.00 ERA and a 1.52 WHIP. Willis has now pitched in 205 games (202 starts) in his first 9 years in the show and he is 72-69 with a 4.17 ERA and a 1.43 WHIP. Willis is really tough on lefty batters, so he might excel in his new role for the Phillies in 2012.

Jeremy Horst: 26-year old Jeremy Horst came to the Phillies over the winter in a deal with the Reds (for infielder Wilson Valdez). Horst pitched in 12 games (0 starts) for the Reds last year in his first taste of the majors and he was 0-0 with a 2.93 ERA and a 1.57 WHIP. He also pitched in 36 games (0 starts) in AAA-ball for the Reds last year and he was 1-4 with a 2.81 ERA and a 1.07 WHIP.

Raul Valdes: 34-year old Raul Valdes pitched in 13 games (0 starts) for the Yankees & Cardinals last year and he was 0-1 with a 3.00 ERA and a 1.67 WHIP. He has now pitched in 51 games (1 start) in his first two years in the majors and he is 3-4 with 1 save, a 4.58 ERA and a 1.50 WHIP.

Jon Savery: 26-year old Jon Savery pitched in 4 games (0 starts) for the Phillies last year and he was 0-0 with a 0.00 ERA and a 0.38 WHIP. He also pitched in 25 games (0 starts) in A+AA+AAA-ball last year and he was 5-0 with 2 saves, a 1.50 ERA and a 1.06 WHIP. He will have a decent shot of making the Phillies’ pitching staff with a strong spring.

David Purcey: 29-year old David Purcey pitched in 33 games (0 starts) for the A’s, Tigers and Blue Jays last year in which he was 1-2 with a 5.61 ERA and a 1.78 WHIP. He has now pitched in 87 games (21 starts) in his first four years in the majors and he is 6-12 with 1 save, a 5.38 ERA and a 1.56 WHIP. Purcey will be a longshot to make the team this spring.

Pat Misch: 30-year old Pat Misch had a rough year for the Mets in 2011. He pitched in 6 games (0 starts) for the Mets last year and he was 1-0 with a 10.29 ERA and a 2.14 WHIP. Misch has now pitched in 78 games (24 starts) in his first six years in the majors and he is 4-15 with a 4.80 ERA and a 1.42 WHIP.

PROJECTED GRADE FOR THE PHILLIES BULLPEN IN 2012: B-

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