It started with promise, with people pining to see Joe Savery in the bullpen. It ended with Savery wondering where he once against fits in the Phillies organization.
A former pitcher-turned-first-baseman-turned-pitcher, Savery found himself in Triple-A in 2011 as a budding star in the Iron Pigs bullpen. Also a former first round selection, Savery posted a 1.50 ERA between Clearwater, Reading, and Lehigh Valley in ’11, striking out 41 in 36 innings. With the obvious need for a situational left in the majors, it looked like another move forward was coming.
To start 2012, he found himself in the Phillies bullpen, in exactly that role. It just wasn’t as easy as it appeared a year earlier. Between April 9 and June 27, Savery made 17 appearances with the Phillies, just nine of them scoreless. Savery was optioned back to L.V. shortly after a five-run implosion against the Pirates on June 27. He’d return to the big league club for two more games in July, but that would be it. No call came in September.
Savery’s story is an awesome one. A first round pick who couldn’t make it as a pitcher, switched back to full-time hitter who was actually pretty decent, and then back to pitching when he almost-accidentally found his form. Not many athletes are capable of doing what he’s done and making it to the highest level of the game. For that, we give him props.
However, there is still plenty of work to be done and at 27-years old, he’s got a little bit of time left, but not much with this Phillies club. Looking ahead, he’s got a ton of youthful competition in front of him in what looks to be a pretty set bullpen. We’ll see if Savery can do what he’s done before and tweak his game once again.