If the rain holds off tonight, and that is a big if, the Phillies will face 33-year old righty Alfredo Simon. Simon’s ties to Philadephia are strong: Simon was actually signed by the Phillies as an amateur free agent in 1999 and traded to Baltimore in 2004 with Ricky Ledee for Felix Rodriguez. Simon signed as a free agent with Texas following the 2006 season before being selected by the Orioles in the Rule 5 draft. Simon was then traded back to Philadelphia. Simon was with the Phillies through March 17, 2007 before he was returned to Texas.
Simon did not make his Major League debut until September 6, 2008 at age 27. After a slow first four years with Baltimore, including spending some time as their closer, Simon became one of the better relievers in the National League with the Reds in 2012. In 2012 and 2013 combined, Simon posted a 2.78 ERA in 148.2 IP with 115 Ks. Not bad. Simon became a starter full-time for the Reds this offseason and has had success: 4-2, 2.89 ERA.
Simon is coming off the worst outing of his season, allowing five runs on eight hits, including three homers, in just three innings to the Rockies. It likely is not a coincidence that his performance has deteriorated after he has been accused of rape. Simon ran into trouble with the law when he was accused, but acquitted of, involuntary manslaughter in 2011 in the Dominican Republic.
Depending on who you read or who you ask, Simon mixes his 93-94 MPH fastballs with a sinker and cutter. Simon had a propensity in his career to rely heavily on the sinker (27.4% in 2009, 27.6% in 2010) but he has since moved to the cutter (20.8% in 2013, 20.6% in 2014) as his preferred secondary pitch.
Simon comes to the plate with a slow delivery and the Phillies should look to run on him. His arm angle is about 65-70 degrees and he has a very late release point which aids him in deceiving batters, particularly with his secondary pitches. Simon also hides the ball well when he comes to the plate as seen below:
Simon’s splits are near identical (810 lefties faced: .252/.332/.432 v. 802 righties faced: .259/.322/.447) so the Phillies really won’t have too large of an advantage even though their line-up should be lefty-heavy.