Ruben Amaro Jr. indicated earlier this week the Phillies are still looking to add pitching depth.
After Cole Hamels and Cliff Lee, the rotation and bullpen are littered with questions marks from Miguel Gonzalez, Jonathan Pettibone and Roberto Hernandez to Jonathan Papelbon, Mike Adams and Brad Lincoln. Even steady Kyle Kendrick was a tale of two pitchers last year and in the end averaged out to be, well, Kyle Kendrick.
Two pitchers the Phillies could and should add to the mix as non-roster invitees: Ryan Madson and Chad Gaudin.
Yes, both would add even more uncertainty, but as the saying goes, if you throw enough, um, crap at the wall...
First, Madson, who hasn't pitched since the 2011 NLDS when Roy Halladay was still one of the best pitchers in the game.
Having to sit out two straight seasons because of injury should leave the Mad Dog with no choice but to accept a spring training invite with a chance of proving himself. And so far this offseason, no team has been strongly linked to Madson except the Phillies — and a reunion between club and pitcher is supposedly a mutual interest.
No reminders are needed as to how valuable Madson was from 2007-11 with the Phils, when he posted a 2.89 ERA, 1.192 WHIP, 3.24 K/BB ratio and 49 saves. At 33, he's still young enough that a bounce-back from Tommy John surgery and his other various setbacks is possible. Worth a shot for sure.
There's also Chad Gaudin, the journeyman right-hander whose solid 2013 campaign in spacious AT&T Park hasn't convinced any club of yet to give him a guaranteed deal.
His splits do indicate he enjoyed the Giants' home grounds in 2013.
At home: 1.69 ERA, 1.146 WHIP, 2.09 K/BB ratio, 0 HR allowed
On road: 4.41 ERA, 1.347 WHIP, 2.33 K/BB ratio, 6 HR allowed
Still, Gaudin offers depth as both a starter and reliever. In 18 appearances out of the bullpen, he posted a 2.05 ERA, 1.239 WHIP and 28 K's in 30.2 innings. He took the ball in 12 starts last season, going 5-1 with a 3.53 ERA.
The way the Phillies' current rotation is constructed, they desparetely need depth, especially after the injury to Adam Morgan, who's likely to miss most of the season. Hamels, Lee, Kendrick, Gonzalez and Hernandez is a formidable top 5, but after Pettibone as the sixth starter, who would be up next? Ethan Martin? Mario Hollands? Sean O'Sullivan? Yikes.
From 2008-12, Gaudin was mediocre but serviceable with six different teams (eight separate stints) and started 43 games over that span. Overall, he had a 4.78 ERA, 1.465 WHIP, 2.04 K/BB ratio with the A's, Cubs, Padres, Yankees, Nationals and Marlins. Who knows, maybe he could turn in one Chad Durbin-esque (2008) year for the Phils.