In 2007, the Phillies’ opening day roster had 24 players, including six that were expected to be used primarily in relief. Here’s who they were and how their numbers looked at the end of the year:


G

IP

ERA

Ratio
Gordon 44 40.0 4.72 1.33
Geary 57 67.1 4.41 1.44
Madson 38 56.0 3.05 1.27
Smith 9 4.0 11.25 3.75
Alfonseca 61 49.2 5.44 1.85
Condrey 39 50.0 5.04 1.54

Of those six, Madson had a very nice season and Geary and Gordon not quite as nice. Condrey and Alfonseca gave the Phils a lot of innings, but their numbers overall were pretty ugly by the end of the year. Matt Smith was miserably ineffective and proved not to be a factor.

Segovia started the year on the roster but did not pitch in relief. He started the sixth game of the season against Florida and gave up five runs in five innings. It would prove to be his only action of the year.

The Phils played their first game on April 2 and added Joe Bisenius to their roster that same day. Bisenius would pitch just two innings all season. On April 5 they traded for Francisco Rosario.

At the end of the season, these were the ten Phillies who had pitched the most innings in relief and what they had done:


G

IP

ERA

Ratio
Geary 57 67.1 4.41 1.44
Madson 38 56.0 3.05 1.27
Myers 48 53.1 2.87 1.20
Condrey 39 50.0 5.04 1.54
Alfonseca 61 49.2 5.44 1.85
Gordon 44 40.0 4.72 1.33
Mesa 40 39.0 5.54 1.36
Romero 51 36.1 1.24 1.10
Rosario 23 26.1 5.47 1.78
Zagurski 25 21.1 5.91 1.69

Myers, Mesa, Romero, Rosario and Zagurski proved to be the guys who got the most innings in relief despite not being part of the bullpen picture on opening day. Without the contribution that the Phils got in the pen from Romero and Myers, there’s no chance the Phils would have made the playoffs. Myers made his first appearance in relief on April 18. The Phils called up Mike Zagurski on May 25, signed Jose Mesa on June 9 and JC Romero on June 22.

Back to the list of the ten pitchers who got the most innings in relief in 2007. I knew I had some point to make about that. Oh yeah, that list is miserable. Romero great, Myers great, Madson really good. Full stop. Geary did give the Phils a ton of innings and I believe he’s going to be harder to replace than most fans acknowledge. But overall those guys were mostly miserable.

Replacing Myers’ contribution in relief is non-trivial. Ditto for Romero. Unlike Romero, it seems like Madson has a good chance as being as effective as his ’07 self for the Phils.

Still, overall, if you look at the guys who started the year last year side-by-side with the guys who are going to start in the pen this year, I think most would agree that the Phils are going to be better off in the bullpen on opening day.

Here again are the six guys in the pen to start ’07, along side the five guys most think are in the pen to start ’08 as well as the list of candidates for the remaining two spots.


2007

2008
Gordon Gordon
Madson Madson
Geary Lidge
Smith Romero
Alfonseca Chad Durbin
Condrey  
   


Castro
Blackley
Condrey
JD Durbin
Youman
Rosario
Bisenius
Mathieson
Darensbourg
Outman
Happ
Ennis
Segovia
Knotts
Mazone
Holdzkom
Chiavacci

Pick whoever you think is the worst candidate, or the two worst candidates, from that list and I still think the pen that goes into 2008 is better than the pen that went into 2007. The question is how much better and what position they’re in to respond to the issues that arise once the season starts — the Phils had one of the worst pens in the NL last season and a minimal improvement in an area where they were so weak would be disappointing.

Todd Zolecki talks about PECOTA here, which projects the Phils finish third in the NL East this season behind the Braves.

Anderson Garcia was claimed by the Mariners.

If Kris Benson is not on the major league roster by March 25 he can request his release.