The Phillies are 29th in baseball in fastball velocity from their relievers, and 13th in the National League in bullpen K/BB ratio. Jeremy Horst, Chad Durbin, Raul Valdes ... come on down and claim your prize.
Phillippe Aumont has been wilder than any of them, but he at least has a plus fastball that he can throw by hitters. It's the only way to explain Aumont's 2.45 ERA despite his 10 walks in 11 innings.
Fun Aumont stat: He's thrown 101 balls on 229 pitches. Only 36 relievers have thrown more balls than Aumont, and 35 have thrown at least 15 more pitches.
The man just can't repeat his delivery. If you watch, his arm angle gets lower and lower as an inning progresses.
As far as Horst ... last night was the second straight game he entered, walked the first batter he faced on four pitches and started the next hitter 2-0. He got out of jams both times, but do you think even he is pleased with how he's pitching?
Phillies relievers not named Papelbon or Adams have really struggled to throw strikes this season, which is mind-boggling considering this unit was set up to hit spots since it didn't have many 90-plus mph fastball guys. Raul Valdes sits in the mid-80s, Chad Durbin is at 87-89 and Horst is averaging 88 this year. They are finesse pitchers who can't throw strikes.
I'd say bring up Jake Diekman to replace Valdes or Horst, but even if he has mid-90s stuff he's also walked 20 guys in 15 innings at Triple-A.
It is a shaky situation that will either improve or just break altogether over the next month. For now, middle relief is a glaring hole on a team that has a lot of them. It just feels like the Phillies need one more effective reliever to even think about contending.