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JD Durbin And Clay Condrey Are Last Men Standing

Big doings today, as reported by David Murphy and Todd Zolecki :

Travis Blackley was sent to waivers — a failed Rule V experiment. He started strong this spring, but ran out of steam as last cuts approached. His last appearance came with a plunk of Curtis Granderson — sending him to the 15-day DL — and a walk.

Vic Darensbourg and Gary Knotts were reassigned to AAA Lehigh Valley.

That means meet the new boss … same as the old boss: Clay Condrey, last year’s long man, is this year’s sixth inning guy. And JD Durbin, who did everything he could not to win a spot, is the mop-up guy.

How is this possible? Is there that much hope in JD Durbin? Did they really need to hold onto a right-handed pitcher? Durbin threw away his shot at the 25-man roster yesterday, if he didn’t already last week when his ERA inflated. Durbin isn’t necessarily a lost cause, but right now, he’s not the man for the job — not on a World Series contending club.

Maybe Pat Gillick is firing up the old burner to grab a righty for Wes Helms. I’ll believe it when I see it. I don’t have a problem with Condrey — he’s settled into a groove this spring and has been relatively effective. But Durbin? Come on. Contenders shouldn’t need mop-up pitchers.

Meanwhile, Blackley is bye-bye, and that’s a shame, as he was still workable, unlike Durbin. Darensbourg will likely get a taste of Philadelphia sooner than later as a left-handed specialist.

As it stands, Condrey and Durbin will make the team, as they can’t go into Opening Day with four or five relievers. An 11-man staff means a 14-man bench, which means Chris Snelling, Wes Helms and Rey Olmedo (lest I forget) are challenging for the final spot. If Helms is dealt, Snelling wins. If Helms isn’t dealt, he’s on the roster. Simple as that.

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  1. Gavin

    March 25, 2008 at 9:01 pm

    If the Phillies open the year with JD Durbin and Wes Helms on the roster then Pat Gillick should be laid out on I95 and run over by a Mack Truck. JD Durbin is terrible. he had one decent start last year vs SD and thats it. If there aren’t 100 RP better than him available somewhere in this world then I guess i’m a poor judge of talent. How do you keep JD Durbin over Blackly? God Almighty?!?!?

  2. Lewisauce

    March 26, 2008 at 3:57 am

    I agree with Gavin about the I-95 thing.

    There’s a story on the Phils’ officials Web site saying that “Benson decision must be made soon.” Benson says he’ll be on the 40-man roster, no problem. Ruben Amarro Jr., however, declined to comment.

    Maybe I’m reading too much into this, but I’m a little disturbed at the “declined to comment.” The Benson story closes by noting that he suffered a setback a few days ago with “biceps tendonitis,” and that it is unclear when he’ll be on a mound again. My understanding is that, if the Phils add him to the 40-man, he gets $500K with possible incentive bonuses of up to $5 million. If they don’t and he departs, he gets $100K. Will money play into the decision?

    And if Benson goes, is the sky falling? That means Eaton is No. 5, for better or for (more than likely) worse. That means that in three years, Pat Gillick has found the following starting pitchers: Moyer (46 years old, questionable whether he’ll stay healthy all year) and Eaton (I won’t even get into the misery). The other three pre-date Pat. And don’t forget that this is the guy who decided that Joe Borowski’s physical kept him from becoming a Phillie, but that Freddie Garcia didn’t need a physical.

    Maybe Benson simply can’t be salvaged physically. Maybe the Phils know something we don’t. Maybe I’m preaching the apocalypse too soon. But it’s five days ’til Opening Day, and I’m very, very uneasy about the pitching staff — despite Pat and Co. identifying pitching as priority No. 1 in the off-season. Somebody assuage my fears here. Please.

  3. mick

    March 26, 2008 at 7:10 am

    You should be uneasy–this pitching staff short of Meyers and Hamels is questionable–and I worry about Hamels durability

  4. OZ

    March 26, 2008 at 8:21 am

    Lewisauce – dont’ be too hard on Amaro Jr., he has zero P.R. skills and is even worse as a baseball guy. His mom should have kept the stork and sent him back…

  5. OZ

    March 26, 2008 at 8:24 am

    as for pitchers, if the Phils know something we don’t, then common sense says, go with the exact opposite of what “they know”, i.e., earlier example on Freddy Garcia. i would keep Benson in a heartbeat. as for J.D., i’d put him in scarcely and in no pressure situations & see if we can muddle along. pray for Happ, Bisenius to take the jump in 2 months???

    an early season trade???

  6. Gavin

    March 26, 2008 at 8:59 am

    Do they really think going with a bullpen of 1 LP and keeping JD Durbin will suffice? Thats ludicris. Release Durbin and laet the best LP you have take his place in the pen. Whats it gonna take JD giving up 2 bombs and hitting 3 batters in the 7th inning of a close game to wake their asses up?

  7. mick

    March 26, 2008 at 11:16 am

    You are right on regarding lefties–the Phillies have been looking for lightening in a bottle with Smith,Castro, Zagurski,Happ,Darensbourg and Youman.Smith and Zagurski are hurt –Castro and Happ need seasoning( Blackley as well)–forget Youman. When Romeros arm falls off you may see Darensbourg. A trade has to be in the making—too many good left hand hitters in the NL East

  8. mick

    March 26, 2008 at 11:22 am

    Where is Ray King when we need him? He has been through every city in America

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