The Phillies designated tonight's starter, Justin Germano, for assignment two weeks before the season, thinking he couldn't fit with the bullpen. The Padres snagged him and have used him as a starting pitcher since May. He's 6-3 with a 3.55 earned run average.
Preview: I'm glad the Phils face Germano tonight. He was the subject of several articles today, so perhaps it helped shed some light on how careless the Phils had been with him. The Phillies are in the process of shopping for a starter who can basically give them what Germano has given the Padres. But it will probably cost them Michael Bourn or some other combination of good prospects. So, the decision to gamble with designating Germano could end up costing them a decent fifth starter and prospects.
Germano, 24, was a legitimate prospect, at least in the eyes of the Padres, who know good pitching when they see it. The right-hander may not throw 95 mph heat like the Phillies would prefer, but he understands the game, hits his spots and doesn't get into trouble. Instead of keeping him on the roster instead of Joe Bisenius, Clay Condrey and Matt Smith, three relievers they ultimately opened their season with, the Phils unsuccessfully tried passing him through waivers.
For some reason, I thought Germano had an option left – that’s why he became the forgotten man in offseason discussions. I figured the Phils would stash him away in Ottawa until they needed an emergency guy; Germano would have been the logical first choice. When it became clear they weren’t going to keep him, many readers couldn’t understand why the Phils would even deal for him in the first place. Their handling of Germano made no sense on many levels.
Meanwhile, the Phillies will counter with Adam Eaton (8-6, 5.98 ERA). As you can see, the Eaton plan is working beautifully.