Chad Durbin became a World Series champion during his first year (2008) with the Philadelphia Phillies. While many of his teammates from that splendid season are gone, Durbin and the Phillies are hoping that a reunion leads to another fall celebration.
The “Durbinator” (which isn’t his branded nickname, but fits well in this space) had a bounce back season with the Atlanta Braves in 2012. He seems easily worth the low-cost risk that general manager Ruben Amaro, Jr. took by signing the free agent to a one-year contract today. Of course, it’s fair to always be suspicious whenever the Braves let a pitcher simply walk away, but possibly the 35-year-old right-hander can play an important middle-inning role in Charlie Manuel’s bullpen once more.
Durbin will be seen mostly during sixth and seventh inning situations this season. Setup men Mike Adams and Antonio Bastardo are slated to handle the eighth frame, while Jonathan Papelbon prepares to climb his dirt stage in the ninth.
Durbin will be able to share cool stories about Brad Lidge, Ryan Madson, J.C. Romero and Scott Eyre with his new relief mates during many spring and summer games. Beyond that type of veteran experience, his encouraging 1.311 WHIP (walks plus hits per innings pitched) mark last season exactly matched his 2010 Phillies’ number.
If this 13-year veteran is able to throw approximately 60 innings and keep his WHIP within the 1.300 range, he’ll be a fine re-addition to the current Phillies’ team.