The Philadelphia Phillies bullpen has been shaky this season. Many of the relievers have suffered injuries that have landed them on the disabled list. Due to all of the injuries, most of the bullpen is made up of rookies.
During the offseason, the Phillies signed Mike Adams. He was supposed to be the eighth-inning setup guy for Jonathan Papelbon. Adams had done that for 28 games, but is now suffering from a shoulder injury that may eventually require surgery. The rookies have been filling in and it has been a roller coaster.
Philippe Aumont joined the team after Spring Training. He was supposed to help the Phillies’ bullpen. That did not work out in their favor as Aumont has had more downs than ups. He has an ERA of 4.19 and has been sent down to the minor leagues to work on his mechanics.
Meanwhile, Joe Savery is a left-handed pitcher in the bullpen. Although he is 28-years old, he has spent a lot of his career in the minor leagues. He has only given up eight hits with five strikeouts. Savery could be a candidate for late innings, although left-handers are only used for one or two batters. Jake Diekman is also a left-hander and has not had a very successful season with an ERA of 4.50. He is only 26, so maybe in time he will develop.
Justin De Frautus has been another disappointment with an ERA of 5.09 over 17.2 innings. The Phillies need a pitcher who will give them a chance to keep them in the game or make sure they can keep their lead, and De Frautus needs to learn that quickly.
The veteran in the bullpen is Antonio Bastardo, who has been with the Phillies organization since 2006. He came up to the bigs in 2009 and has been unstable through his career. This season seems to be his time to shine in the eighth inning as no one else seems capable of doing the job. Bastardo has an ERA of 2.78 in 39 games in 2013 with 34 strikeouts and two rogue two saves. It seems as if he is becoming a little more reliable as the season moves along, which the Phillies need if they want to continue to win games.
The Phillies are trying to make a playoff push. If they want to be contenders, their bullpen has to help. They have to get it together soon or moves have to be made.