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Who’s Next In Line For The Bullpen?

It’s inevitable that somewhere down the line something won’t work with the bullpen, whether it’s a slump, an injury or some freakish things. We don’t want to necessarily think about it, but this is a marathon.

The Phils have used the same seven relievers all season (the only team in baseball to do so). It’s been said the Phillies are searching for another lefty reliever, and at some point, they’ll likely have to use at least one more. So the big question, of course, is what happens when the bullpen needs that reliever?

Here are the current in-house options for eighth reliever:

Josh Outman
Sitting in AA Reading, Outman was converted to the bullpen and has been somewhat successful there. He carries a 3.69 ERA and has a good K/BB ratio of 53/26. A lefty, Outman is on the short list of probables to fill that final lefty role, but no indication yet that he would be the guy.

Fabio Castro
The 5’7″ lefty was also moved to the bullpen in Reading, and he’s been having a tough time. He’s 4-0, but carries a 4.30 ERA in his 46 innings. His 47/27 K/BB ratio isn’t great, but it’s serviceable. One wonders if he can handle the jump to AAA, unlike last season, where he had a 4.01 ERA and a 47/33 K/BB ratio.

RJ Swindle
Owner of the second-best name in the Phils organization, Swindle is a slow-tossing  lefty reminiscent of current Phils pitcher Jamie Moyer. He is 1-0 with a 2.45 ERA in 14.2 innings. He has struck out 15 and walked four and lefties can’t hit him. He represents the kind of lefty reliever the Phils need, but for some reason he hasn’t been given a shot at the Majors.

James Happ
Happ, who was mowing down hitters in AA Reading, has had an interesting time keeping up with hitters in AAA Lehigh Valley. He’s mixed some rocky starts with some generally great starts, to a tune of a 3.86 ERA in 13 starts. The lefty starter might be first in line if a Phils starter hits the DL, but there is a possibility he could take Clay Condrey’s position as long man. Happ currently has 81 K and 30 BB at Lehigh Valley.

Steve Kline also sits as an option, but he’s been pretty rough (4.84 ERA, .286 AVG). Veteran lefty Stephen Randolph (acquired from Houston), has a 1.80 ERA in 10 games (15 innings). He could be an option if the Phils aren’t eager to bring up a young arm.

So who would you like to see with the club when something hits a fan?

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