Rosenberg On Record Pace – Phillies Nation

Rosenberg On Record Pace

After three straight solid outings, Rosenberg is struggling once again. Photo: AP

Vance Worley‘s struggles continued last night, as the Vanimal allowed 4 earned in just 4.1 IP. Worley has a 5.92 since July with opposing hitters hitting .342/.407/.490 off of the bespectacled hurler. This story could very easily be “Worley isBeing Hit Hard” but instead focuses on his 6’3″ teammate from Newport News, VA, B.J. Rosenberg. Unfortunately for Rosenberg, he is currently on the wrong side of a record setting pace.

Following the Phillies ‘pen is usually my favorite part of the season. Even in good years, the carousel of names makes things exciting, leading to a few “Who is that”s or “I saw him in Allentown”s each year. For instance, I’ll never forget Les Walrond‘s 2 IP, 4 K performance late in the 2008 season against the Nationals or the Marlins putting a three-spot on Mike Zagurski late in 2010. For 2012? I won’t forget Rosenberg’s unfortunate early June against Baltimore (an Adam Jones walk-off) and Minnesota (Trevor Plouffe with a damaging double).

Rosenberg was of particular interest of mine to follow because he wasn’t expected to be a Phillie. Rosenberg started the year in Double-A as a non-roster invitee with a number of right-handed options in front of him on the depth chart. At 26, it appeared he may stay in the minors for the foreseeable future. After a fast start to his career, injuries limited him to just 20 appearances in 2010. Rosenberg struggled in Double-A in 2010 and 2011 after showing signs of future dominance in a brief 10-game 2009 call-up but seemed to turn the corner in 2012. Equipped with a fastball, slider, and change-up, Rosenberg went 3 for 3 in save opportunities as Reading’s closer to start 2012 with a 1.12 ERA in 8 appearances and has struck-out 63 Triple-A hitters in 54 Triple-A innings as both a starter and a reliever. This should have been Rosenberg’s year.

Yet, Major League hitters thus far are finding a way to take advantage of his 85 MPH slider. In a very small sample-size, FanGraphs captures a very, very slight positive value for his fastball that sits around 94-95 MPH and shows an area of opportunity for improvement in his slider. Since these values are cumulative stats, counted similarly to WAR, a larger sample size would certainly help diagnose what has happened with Rosenberg but the slider seems to be a good place to start. For a strike-out pitcher, like Rosenberg has been in the Minors, Rosenberg has allowed hitters to be particularly patient at the plate, with hitters only chasing 27.3% of pitches outside the strike zone and 59.6% of pitches in the strike zone, all while being in the strike zone only 40.3% of the time.

These things have led Rosenberg to climbing to the of the leader board of a dubious list: Highest ERA for a Phillies reliever this century.

Nate Robertson, 2010: 54.00

Adam Bernero, 2006: 36.00

Doug Nickle, 2000: 13.50

Anderson Garcia, 2007: 13.50

B.J. Rosenberg, 2012: 12.91

Terry Adams, 2005: 12.83

Matt Smith, 2007: 11.25

J.A. Happ, 2007: 11.25

Andrew Carpenter, 2009: 11.12

Thomas Jacquez, 2000: 11.05

Scott Mathieson, 2010: 10.80

Josh Lindblom, 2012: 10.80

Rosenberg has some work to do if he wants to catch Robertson or Benero who “benefit” from their sample sizes being only 2 innings. While Rosenberg has struggled, I have been critical of the Phillies yo-yoing their bullpen arms in recent years, so I appreciate that Rosenberg may be getting an extended opportunity. And with 2012 being a lost season in terms of the playoffs, there is no better way to see if Rosenberg is a Major League pitcher than to let him pitch in the Majors. His Minor League strike-out numbers indicate that he has got a lot of potential to do the same at the Major League level but, in his short time with the Phils this year, he has shown he may need some work on locating pitches and throwing his slider more effectively. I’d be remiss to not mention Rosenberg’s string of three effective outings to start August after his recall, as well.

The tricky part becomes: what do you do with the pitchers in Triple-A who are equally deserving of a shot with the big club, namely Phillippe Aumont, Jake Diekman, and Justin De Fratus, in particular Diekman who, despite not being on the roster or starting the year on the roster, is fifth in the team in relief appearances and has 29 Ks in 21.1 IP? After battling and playing through injury, Aumont has been stellar in his last 10 appearances, notching 15 Ks in 11.2 IP for the IronPigs with a 1.54 ERA, while De Fratus has a 3.55 ERA in 12 appearances with the Pigs. With the Pigs sitting one game behind the Pawtucket Red Sox for the International League Wild Card, it is likely all three may remain on the team through the playoffs should they make them much like last season despite there being an opportunity now to replace Rosenberg or join the team in early September.

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  1. Ryne Duren

    August 18, 2012 at 10:26 am

    hey there ian! i’m not down on rosenberg yet. yea he’s 26 probably should have been his year. yea you’re right . but there’s such a small sample to go on. he doesn’t seem to be in the mold of say zagurski or matheson simply because they threw basically all fastballs. mainly matheson. i don’t know positively what zargurski threw.but you get what i’m saying. this guy has the stuff! he’s just not getting it done.they should keep running him out there. it’s the only way to see if he has it or not, and give me and you and themselves a larger sample. schwimmer seems to have the stuff too but he has his problems. he seemed to be pitching better for a little while there, then boom he has a bad game. i don’t know about him but again keep running him out there. it’s the only way to find out. it just boggles my mind that most of the young relievers who did so well in the minors all of a sudden come up here and struggle? all of them? the exeptions are horst and valdez. but valdez is a vet. but if 95%of all of them are failing them i would lean to the pitching coach. that’s my take.

    on worley they should shut him down and get his arm fixed before he developes bad habits that pitchers do to compensate (see halladay).

  2. Ryne Duren

    August 18, 2012 at 10:42 am

    i’m starting to wonder about the phils talent evaluators. i had made a comment a few months ago about the farm director who left before the season started. i can’t remember his name offhand but. a lot of reporters were saying he left cause of how they were trading prospects and the treatment of d. brown. that was all spectulation. i ran it out there in my comment if i remember, that being the ( nice phils family of an org.) that they project. they let him go, but they let him resign to save face for all, as a professional courtesy. i think the real problem was that a lot of our minor leaguers were not cutting it. how many have we traded and a large majority of them aren’t the stellar players they were touted to be. yea the jury’s still out on a few but you get the picture. now the only question i have regarding my own comment is. how come BB america had most of these players rated so high when it’s obvious that example ( d. Brown) 5 tool player? it’s apparent in two partial seasons and now this year, he’s far from a 5 tooler. do they get their input on these player from the orgs. that have these players or do they have their own scouts? could that be the reason he was let go? or resigned?


    August 18, 2012 at 11:23 am

    If ever there was a year for Phils’ bullpen youth and talent to cut their teeth in the major league, it is 2012. We are going no where this year. Let’s bring up Overbeck and others and let them play. We have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

    And lets let Worley rest for the rest of the year before we ruin his arm. It does not take an Einstein to see that the kid is not right. HE NEEDS SURGERY AND REHABILITATION.
    Amaro, Manuel and the front office are a bunch of dunces.

    ALso, bring up the best Lehigh Valley starter to replace Worley for the rest of the year. WE HAVE NOTHING TO LOSE, DAMN IT !!!!

    • George

      August 18, 2012 at 2:10 pm

      Concerning Worley: He must be the real dunce, not Amaro or Manuel. He claims that his arm is not bothering him at all, and the management pretty much has to go by that. Worley has stated more than once that his velocity is fine and that he’s just not locating his pitches well. Of course, other pitchers have made the same claims just before going on the DL.

      I think even a subtle change in his mechanics would be noticed by the coaching staff, and that if anything was really different, he’d be shut down immediately.

      However, because he’s not right lately, no matter what it’s due to, perhaps it would be the right time to send him down to straighten things out, and bring up a starter like Cloyd for evaluation.

      • Ryne Duren

        August 18, 2012 at 3:35 pm

        yea george you got something there. he must be a dunce like halliday. sometimes these guys ego’s get the best of them. they think they’re helping the team by continuing to play. but as i’m sure you know as well as i , that in the long run it only hurts the team and the player! which brings us to the coaching sttaff once again. he says his velocity is there . but it’s not just like bastardo when he came up he was throwing 96-97, worley was 92-94. bastardo is nowhere near that and worley has been at 88-90 and that’s puching it. who’s he kidding? apparently the coaching staff cuase they must be buying it. can’t they see it?
        like you and bart said bring cloyd up! i’ve been all for that. it’s not like we’re going anywhere for gods sake. if they wanna find out what we need then at least find out what we have. rube said in an article this past week cloyd and ruf are you’re classic overachievers! like we don’t need some. we have a bunch of classic under acheivers lol

  4. David

    August 18, 2012 at 12:15 pm

    You have to see who can pitch and who can’t pitch. In his last few efforts, Rosenberg hasn’t looked like he can pitch. The bullpen has been a major weak spot this year. Horst has been the best of the newcomers. Lindblom has been a disappointment so far but its early. For all his ineffectiveness, how many games has Rosenberg cost the Phillies? It’s not worth focusing on. Either he can pitch at the major league level or he can’t.

  5. Bruce

    August 18, 2012 at 2:15 pm

    None..absolutely NONE of the “young” minor leaguers called up for the Phillies’ bullpen would be on a contending club. Simply because these relievers are not ready to pitch in the majors. They have shown little command of pitches and so little knowledge of how to pitch to hitters’ weaknesses. Everyone knows one can throw a 100 mph fastball and major league hitters can eventually timed it. Pitchers need to have and locate off speed pitches for strikes. Unfortunately, for the called up minor leaguers, they have yet to learn the one important lesson for success: “Location, location, location” !

    The offseason is going to be very interesting as GM Amaro has a idea of the team’s needs and one obvious issue is the BULLPEN. There is that glaring weakness with a 8th inning ‘setup’ reliever. The team does not have a legtimate pitcher for that role. Amaro, no doubt, will be shopping for one with the added revenue from the salary dumps of Blanton, Pence and Victorino.

  6. George

    August 18, 2012 at 2:20 pm

    In your last paragraph, Ian, you asked what should be done about the Phils’ other pitchers, like Aumont, DeFratus, etc.

    The answer to that, in my opinion, is that they can stay in the minors longer than the 26 year old Rosenberg, because they’re a bit younger. Rosenberg needs to be used more regularly so he can be properly evaluated by the staff before the decision is made for them by Rosenberg’s advancing age. 26 isn’t old to us, but it can be for someone who hasn’t made it yet. The others still have more time to show their stuff.

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