Mike Adams can give the Philadelphia Phillies stability in their bullpen. In a 2012 season where the bullpen posted a 4.89 ERA in the 8th inning (the only team worse was the Houston Astros) and also allowed an MLB high 24 8th inning home runs. It’s clear that the Phils need something to change.
Adams has a career 2.28 ERA, and over the last three seasons has totaled 97 holds. Last year in Mike Adams’ worst season in his career he recorded 27 holds, a 3.27 ERA with 7.74 K/9. In other words, in Mike Adams’ worst season he was better than any other player the Phillies marched out in the 8th inning in 2012.
Adams comes with inherent risk. First, he is coming off of surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome, which required one of the ribs by his right collar bone be removed so that it would no longer pinch the blood vessels and nerves in his neck. Any time you sign a player coming off surgery there are inherent risks.
In the Phillies case I think these risks are justified. At his best Mike Adams is on of the top 8th inning relievers over the last three or four years. When you combine that upside with the dominant season that Jonathon Papelbon had as closer, and the potential for a reliable 8th and 9th inning is high.
The Phillies disappointed fans last season. Two of their star hitters started the year on the DL, their best pitcher (Roy Halladay) had a come back to earth season and Cliff Lee did not win a game until June. Despite all of this the Phillies finished .500.
The Philadelphia Phillies came out on the wrong side of 12 games where they went into the 8th inning with a lead. The Phillies finished seven games behind the St. Louis Cardinals for the last wild card spot. Do the math.