Following Tuesday’s one-run loss, some questioned whether Ryne Sandberg pulled the right late-inning levers, with Mario Hollands making his big-league debut and taking the loss in a critical spot in the ninth.
Weitzel: There will be plenty of opportunity to roast Ryne Sandberg this season, and this will be the first of many, many losses attributable to the bullpen. But don’t burn that card on the second game of the season. Give it a rest. Only two of their relievers - Antonio Bastardo, who pitched a perfect eighth, and Jonathan Pabelbon, who is not a lockdown reliever anymore - would make most Opening Day bullpens. The Phils are auditioning the rest, and doing so amidst very modest expectations to compete this season.
Clearly, the Phils thought enough of Mario Hollands to make the unprecedented call to bring him north despite having pitched only 25 games above A-ball. They made this huge deal about it. He’s not on the roster to sit. He’s here to pitch. He’s young and fringe, just like the rest, and they should all be given ample opportunity to succeed or fail so we aren’t wasting our time with the likes of Mike Adams, Chad Durbin and Danys Baez.