While much of the talk has been about the Phillies trading for a RH bat, there has also been speculation about the team adding a relief pitcher. Most fans agree that the team needs another hitter. But do the Phils really need another reliever?
The situation: The Phillies' bullpen currently sets up this way: Antonio Bastardo and Juan Perez are the lefties. Drew Carpenter, David Herndon, Brad Lidge, Michael Stutes, and Ryan Madson are the righties. Obviously Carpenter will not be a part of the playoff roster, while Herndon and Perez are probably longshots to pitch for this team in the playoffs. The wild cards, of course, are Jose Contreras, Roy Oswalt and Joe Blanton. The health of these three pitchers could drastically change the look of the bullpen come September/October.
The issues: If the plan is for Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels to start most of the playoff games - and these three guys are consistently going 7-8 innings - do the Phillies need to add more pitching depth? ... If you think Oswalt and/or Blanton is going to come back at full strength, that could push Kyle Kendrick to the bullpen. ... The Phils also could use Vance Worley in the 'pen during the postseason. ... The team currently has four guys with closing experience (albeit Lidge is the only one with an extensive resume). ... The biggest issue might be the second lefty. Can this team really trust Perez in the postseason? What other options are out there?
The stats: The Phillies are 42-4 when leading after six innings, 48-2 when leading after seven innings and 54-1 when leading after eight. Entering Monday's game, their relievers had a 3.49 ERA (eighth best in the NL). They also had been used the least in the league (255 2/3 innings), while Madson, Contreras and Bastardo have combined to convert 30 of 31 save opportunities.