The Philadelphia Phillies have finally activated relief pitcher Jose Contreras from the disabled list, and he is set to make his first action of the 2012 season soon. To make room for Contreras on the 25-man roster, left-handed reliever Joe Savery was sent down to Triple-A Lehigh Valley.
Contreras is 40 years old and coming off an elbow injury in 2011 that limited him last year and in spring training this season. He is entering the final season of a two-year deal he signed after ’10, a contract that includes an option for 2012. Contreras was 0-0 with a 3.86 ERA in 14 innings in 2011, serving briefly as the team’s closer (5-for-5 on saves) before he was placed on the DL.
He was 6-4 with a 3.39 ERA in 56.2 innings in 2010, posting a 9.1 K/9 rate that was the highest since his rookie season in 2003. Contreras pitched primarily in the seventh inning that season, although he’s experienced enough that he can pitch in the seventh, in the eighth as a setup man, and even as a closer if necessary.
Savery was a surprise addition to the 25-man Opening Day roster, and he will assuredly see action again in ’12 next time there is an injury on the bullpen. Savery is an interesting story; he was the team’s first-round choice in 2007, made it all the way to Triple-A in 2010 as a pitcher before struggling, and then trying to reinvent himself as a hitter. Savery then transitioned back to being a relief pitcher, and he saw brief MLB action in 2011, and made the team this spring. He has pitched just 2.1 innings thus far this season, allowing one run on one hit (a home run). Savery has a 1.80 ERA in five major league innings.