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ESPN’s Jayson Stark reports that the Phillies are interested in Doug Brocall and Russ Springer. What are the upsides to the two guys?
A recent piece by Stark connected the Phils to these two, both right-handed relievers with great experience (both broke into the league in 1992).
Brocail, 41, a native of Clearfield, Pa. (west of State College), has a career 3.99 ERA. He throws a low-90s fastball and high-70s curveball, alternating them while mixing in an average slider and changeup at times. Left-handed hitters raked him at a .305 clip last season, but righties were just .200 against him. Moreover, he wasn’t too hot in high-pressure situations.
Springer, 40, you might remember was a Phillie from 1995-96. Since then he’s been up and down, but found some real success the last two seasons in Saint Louis. There, he has posted ERAs of 2.18 and 2.32, respectively, in 76 and 70 games. He also carries a low-90s fastball, but backs that with an excellent cut fastball and an occasional curve. Again, he’s much better against righties (.176) than lefties (.277), but seems to handle high-pressure situations better.
In both cases, you have experienced righties who can still dial it up and pitch in big spots, though I’m not as sure with Brocail. The Phillies lack an experienced right-handed lifetime reliever, and either of these guys would be solid choices. I’d see them falling into the Rudy Seanez role from last season, albeit with a bit more upside. Especially Springer. With either, look for occasional seventh-inning spots, with a chance at eight-inning insurance if Ryan Madson struggles.