Cocks in the Hen House: 04.21.10


“Cocks in the Hen House” is a weekly column by friends of the Chicks that aren’t, well, chicks. Stop by every Wednesday to see what the men-folk have to say about the weeks biggest baseball stories.

By Matt Boutwell (@CMSBMatty)

Ryan Madson. Heathcliff Slocumb. Mitch Williams. Brad Lidge. Steve Bedrosian. All have closed games for the Phillies, and all have blown saves. Some on epic levels (Heck, Joe Carter just called O’Malley about insurance), some just the typical ho-hum regular season blown saves that the diehards hang on to all season and the casual fans forget about. Tuesday night against Atlanta has the potential to be one of those blown saves that lingers for a while, like stomach cramps after a kick to the junk (ask your significant others about this, ladies. They’ll visibly wince). This bullpen is not what anyone would call shut-down, especially with names like Jose Contreras being involved (I trust him like I’d trust Herbert from Family Guy to watch my kids), and a guy like Ryan Madson being out of position in the closer role. Yes, Brad Lidge and that creepy mole will be back soon enough, but does anyone really believe he can come back and be the 2008 Lidge? With payroll maxed out (thank you, Raul Ibanez), bullpen help is going to have to come from 2 places: Lehigh Valley and Reading.

Yes, the farm system. You know, that thing people sometimes forget is just as important to a team as trading for other team’s veterans? There are bullpen answers in the farm system. Phillippe Aumont strikes me as a guy who could energize the bullpen in the same mold Joba Chamberlain did for the Yankees in 2007. Sergio Escalona has found his groove in Double A (one Portland Sea Dog I spoke with this weekend about Escalona called his stuff “deceptive”), and a lefty out of the pen who can get outs is welcome in any bullpen. Brian Gordon and Scott Mathieson are also pitching well right now, and could probably step in if need be.

The fact if the matter is Tuesday night was just one game, but if it’s a harbinger of things to come, Phils fans will want to see the bullpen straightened out quickly. In an era in which trades for “shut-down” relievers can go awry (see Eric Gagne, 2007; Larry Anderson, 1990; Rick Aguilera, 1995 for examples), it’s best if Ruben Amaro and the gang look at their own in-house options to fix the leaks in the pen. Maybe it’s a blip in the radar. Maybe Lidge can help shutter the windows. Maybe I’ll lose 60 pounds and become an underwear model. Regardless, keep your eye on the Reading and Lehigh Valley box scores, and take a look at those pitching lines. Some of those guys may be helping this team uncork champagne in October (or getting death threats from deranged fans).

Matt Boutwell is a Phillies Fan, a radio personality for The Big Jab 96.3 in Portland, ME, and the publisher of TheCMSB.com. You can follow him on Twitter, but only if you have a personality, a sense of humor, and are able to mail him TastyKakes.

Advertisements

One Response

  1. Scott Mathieson >>> Danys Baez

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: