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A rumor circulated at the end of Spring Training that the Phillies and
Giants were discussing a deal that would bring left handed relief
pitcher Steve Kline to the Phillies for possibly Wes Helms. Helms was
then traded to the Marlins and the lack of depth in the Phillies bullpen continued.
As it turned out, the Giants released Steve Kline at the end of Spring
training and the Phillies were able to sign him to a minor league deal.
In 2007, Kline 4.70 ERA in 46 innings and the 35 year old veteran could
prove to be a viable option for the Phillies.
This is a good signing for Pat Gillick’s team as it is a low risk high
reward situation. If Kline does well the Phillies bullpen will be that
much stronger. If he falters, they have not spent a lot of time or
money on him and can pursue other options. Chances are Kline will be
serviceable but not the entire solution to what ails the pen.
Kline will begin his tenure with the Phillies as a minor leaguer and if
the team likes what it sees, they will recall the southpaw. He will
report to Triple-A Lehigh Valley next week.
Seanez pitched in a career high 73 games last year with the Dodgers
where he had a 3.79 ERA. Hopefully the Spring is not an indication of
what he has to offer and he can repeat his performance of a year ago.
Most Phillies fans who feel snake bitten after after acquisitions like
Freddie Garcia may be skeptical about Seanez’s health. The Phillies
hired an additional doctor so we will see if it pays off in this case.
Phillies fans may remember Seanez as he pitched for the Braves and was
effective when healthy. Again, sounds like he will fit right in to this
staff. Hopefully this is a short term solution!
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Buck Martinez on “Baseball This Morning” on XM Radio discussed opening day and
referred to Tom Gordon as the biggest “code red” of the day. He shares
the concerns that Phillies fans have that Tom Gordon may not be what he
Gordon gave up 5 earned runs and allowed 5 of the 6 batters he faced
to reach base. The question is whether or not Gordon has passed his
prime or if he just is not prepared for the season. Either way, the
Phillies are in trouble in the back end of their bullpen and need help.
Brad Lidge returns on Saturday but also has question marks and Ryan
Madson was less than stellar yesterday and had a fastball that was only
hitting 87 miles per hour.
Wes Helms seems to be the only trade bait the Phillies have but
there is little or no demand for him. Although it is a spilled milk
issue, why again did the Phillies not go after more bullpen help during
the off season?
The Phillies have the best 1 to 8 line up in the National League and
may have the best bench. The problem is pitching wins championships!
The Phillies are weak in their rotation and weak in their bullpen.
Until they step up in both, wins and losses will be determined by how
well mediocre pitchers perform on a given day.