The Phillies will stitch Adam Bernero into the mosaic known as the starting rotation tonight as the Phils begin a weekend series with Toronto.
What can I tell you about tonight’s starter? Absolutely nothing. Here’s a summary from the free press notes:
• Bernero began the season with Omaha in the Kansas City organization. He pitched well, but was released on June 2 because of a clause in his contract. The Phillies scooped him up on June 5 and assigned him to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, where he went 1-1 with a 1.57 ERA in three starts with the Barons.
• Over his career, he pitched for the Tigers (2000-03), Rockies (2003-04) and Braves (2005). He began last season pitching out of Atlanta’s bullpen and went 3-0 with a 2.42 ERA in his first 20 appearances, but eventually finished with a 6.51 ERA. In five bubble seasons as a half-starter, half-reliever, he’s posted a 5.91 ERA. He last start came in 2004 in Colorado.
In other words, it’s a patch job. He’s had a hot hand in the minors, so maybe they get five decent innings from him and keep themselves in the game tonight.
Wear and tear
The heavily used Phillies relievers are starting to show signs wear. Geoff Geary, Aaron Fultz and Ryan Franklin are each over 40 innings before the all-star break. Fultz and Geary have been shelled recently, but Franklin has been OK, and now there’s word he could actually start Sunday’s game. The Phillies acquired two relievers this week, veteran Rick White and Fabio Castro.
The Phillies will face rookie right-hander Casey Janssen (5-6, 4.76). After a solid start, Janssen has been pounded in his last three starts. No word on tonight’s lineup for the Phillies against this beatable righty. Last night, they snapped a losing streak with two regulars sitting, this time David Bell and Pat Burrell. But Ryan Madson’s near complete-game shutout was the story of the night. After the game, deflector Sal Fasano had this to say:
"It was a big pickup for us because we've been scuffling a little bit. You could tell, there was a lot more life on the field, getting quick outs, and that hasn't happened for a while. Getting a start like this can build momentum."
One way to keep momentum going is for the manager to stick with players that show you something when everyone else does not. For me, that would mean another night of David Dellucci in left, and another chance next week for Madson to build on last night. It would also mean another night on the bench for grim-faced third baseman David Bell, who's killing the team. Even though he's hitting about .150, it's worth seeing whether Abe Nunez can get it together with regular playing time.