Amaro’s Pitching Moves Makes Me Sick

June 23, 2009 by  
Filed under Fan News

When Ruben Amaro was appointed general manager of the Philadelphia Phillies shortly after the team’s 2008 World Series victory, he knew the only way his inaugural season would be considered a success was if the Phillies managed to make it back to the World Series. Not an enviable position to be in considering the difficulties involved in repeating, let alone making it back to the World Series two consecutive years in a row.

So far, the only successful move Amaro has made is the signing of Raul Ibanez to replace Pat Burrell. But given former GM, and current Senior Advisor to the GM, Pat Gillick’s ties with the Seattle Mariners, you would have to be fooling yourself if you didn’t think Gillick played a key role in the Phillies decision to sign Ibanez.

When analyzing Amaro’s three off-season moves made to bolster the pitching staff, you would need to give him a big fat F. Amaro never should have resigned Jamie Moyer as he passed over established top of the rotation starters like Derek Lowe, Javier Vazquez and Brad Penny in order to resign the 46-year-old lefty. The Ronnie Paulino for Jack Taschner trade is looking worse by the minute as Taschner continues to struggle, while Paulino is successfully platooning with John Baker down in Florida. And Chan Ho Park has been a colossal bust as a starter and the jury is still out on him as a relief pitcher.

Let’s take a closer look at the players involved.

Jack Taschner has given up 25 hits and 17 walks in just 23 innings. His ERA is a deceiving 4.56,  since many of the runs he has surrendered get charged to other pitchers. Other than Brad Lidge, he is the only regular relief pitcher on the team without a hold, and it’s not for a lack of opportunities.

During Friday’s loss the Orioles, there was no hold on the line. Instead, he was just plain awful to start the 9th inning, surrendering three more runs essentially eliminating any chance of a 9th inning comeback.

Ronnie Paulino was traded for Jack Taschner at the end of spring training after he failed to beat out Chris Coste for the back up catcher position. So far he has been great for the Marlins, in a L-R platoon with John Baker.

Paulino—.290, four HR, 14 RBIs in 100 at-bats

Coste—.250, two HR, seven RBIs in 84 at-bats

Defensively, it’s not even close, as Coste is well below average with three passed balls already, not to mention his penchant for calling the wrong pitch in key late inning situations.

The Chan Ho Park experiment as a starting pitcher ended quickly as he was replaced by J. A. Happ in the rotation, following a string of ineffective starts. Overall he has given up 57 hits and 24 walks in 48.1 innings with a 6.14 ERA. Despite the struggles in the rotation, the South Korean righty has shown signs of life during his few appearances out of the bullpen.

Last but not least, we have Jamie Moyer. He has given up 93 hits and 18 walks in 72.1 innings with a 6.35 ERA in 13 starts. His WHIP is 1.53, highest among the starters. Perhaps what hurts the most is his inability to pitch past the 6th inning.

The Phillies are 36-29 and two games up on the New York Mets. However, the team has lost four in a row at home, and six of their last seven to post a horrific 13-20 home record. The starting rotation is dead last in ERA and next to last in innings pitched. With Brett Myers out for the season and the bullpen on the verge of imploding from overuse, it’s time for Amaro to be proactive and not wait until the trade deadline to make a move for pitching.

The starting pitching market has been analyzed to death so we don’t need to rehash it, but how about another late inning reliever with electric stuff such as San Diego’s Heath Bell. He’s cheap, reliable and can certainly be pried away from the Padres for a top prospect or two. Even a work horse like Arizona’s John Rausch would provide a huge boost to the depleted and overworked bullpen. Despite the surprising start by Clay Condrey, now on the DL, he has shown in his past two outings that he is in way over his head pitching in crucial situations that both Bell and Rausch are better suited for.

Condrey needs to return to his role from last season as a long relief and/or 6th inning guy.

So far, Amaro has not shown the ability to make the right moves. Let’s be honest, Ibanez has turned out to be better than anyone could have imagined, but offense has never been this teams problem. The Phillies’ chance at making it back to the World Series to try to defend the crown now lies in the hands of Amaro.

Will he be as successful as his predecessor Pat Gillick, whose mid-season acquisitions of Joe Blanton, Matt Stairs, and Scott Eyre all played key roles in winning the championship last season.

Or will his moves turn out to backfire like his off-season moves of Moyer, Taschner, and Park?

Article Source: Bleacher Report - Philadelphia Phillies

Speak Your Mind

Tell us what you're thinking...