Over the next few weeks, Phillies Nation will break down each player on the Phillies roster and grade their 2009 season on a very unofficial 1-10 scale. The players will be chosen in no particular order.
Talk about “out of nowhere.” Clay Condrey fits that title because of how he has made his mark with the Phillies.
Condrey played college ball at McNeese State (have no clue where that is) and was a 94th round pick by the Yankees is the 2006 draft out of Angelina Junior College in Texas (I think I was drafted in the 91st).
Coming over from San Diego in 2006, Condrey was looked at as just a stopgap bullpen filler; someone who could eat innings while the full-timers nursed back to health. Four seasons later, Condrey is an integral part of the ‘pen.
Although he couldn’t make it through a full year because of injuries in 2009, Condrey was stellar when he took the mound. A 3.00 ERA, to go with six wins, made Condrey a seventh inning staple for the Fightin’s. A strained oblique made it half a season for the 33-year old righty, but his contributions were received when healthy.
The guy will never wow you, but he’s one of the few Phillies that finds a way to give a clean performance. Sixteen times Condrey gave an outing in which he allowed no runners to reach base. Not bad for out of nowhere.
His ascent to becoming a steady middleman started in 2008. Through 56 appearances that year, the Beaumont, Texas native finished with a 3.26 ERA. He did allow 85 hits through 69 innings, but he took a definite step forward from his lackluster 2007. Condrey was on his way to being the same old Clay in ’09 before the injuries derailed him. The Phillies believe they have a serviceable and affordable guy that can jump in for a few innings should a starter leave early, or even pitch a high-pressure seventh or eighth inning if need be.
Last season, Condrey made $650,000, an extremely cheap middle reliever nowadays. That number should go up a bit as he enters another year of arbitration, but he has been worth it.
2009 numbers: 45 games, 42 inn., 6-2, 3.00 ERA, 7 holds, 1 save, 1.21 WHIP
Grade: 6.6/10 – When healthy, Clay was one of the more reliable guys in the NL in the bullpen. Injuries took a toll on him, and lowered his grade, however, Condrey was steady when he took to the hill.
Pat Gallen can be reached via email at Pat@Philliesnation.com