It's hard to believe Geoff Geary was optioned to the minors earlier this season. Today, the right-hander is the seventh most productive reliever in the National League, according to Hardball Times Win Shares.
Geary entered 2006 with a reputation for pitching well only in low-pressure spots, but in the past few weeks, the Phillies have successfully tested him in the later innings of close ballgames. He’s 4-0 with a 3.05 ERA in 38.1 IP, 9th most among NL relievers.
Next to Tom Gordon and possibly Rheal Cormier, the 29-year-old has been the Phillies most effective reliever. He had a career-best 13.2-inning scoreless streak earlier this year, in addition to an 11.2-inning scoreless streak halted Saturday night against the D-Rays.
This is all pretty remarkable considering he was optioned to Scranton earlier this season to make room for Cole Hamels. Geary was on the bubble to even make the team out of spring training, but thanks to injuries to Julio Santana and the ineffectiveness of pitchers like Ryan Franklin, Geary is sliding closer and closer to the set-up role. The seventh inning may already be his. He's got the stuff to earn it - he's one of the best groundball pitchers on the team.
Textbook example of your late-blooming, slow-rising relief pitcher found throughout baseball.