SAN DIEGO -- Shortly after learning Tuesday that setup man Mike Adams was likely gone for the season with a shoulder injury (see story), Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. admitted he had no solution to fill the void created by Adams and fix the majors’ worst bullpen.
In other words, what you see is what you get with the Phillies’ bullpen.
“I think we’re going to go with what we’ve got right now,” Amaro said. “I view this as an opportunity for the young kids. It’s not ideal for us. But that’s how we have to view it."
While Amaro says he hopes the Phillies can push their way into contention, it sure sounds like they are in a developmental mode, at least in the bullpen.
“Right now, we don’t have any solutions," he said. "If we could find a solution to fill the hole or fill a need, we’ll try. It doesn’t mean we’re not going to try. I’ll be on the lookout for it. But based on the conversations I’ve had with teams already about these particular players who might be in play -- I’m not optimistic about that. A lot of people are looking for bullpen help and naturally demand is very high.
“The asking prices (for relievers) have been -- let’s just say they’re pretty strong, a little too strong for my liking. I’m not going to mortgage the future of our organization for a guy who might be able to help us in the seventh or eighth inning.”
The Phillies entered Tuesday night’s game with a 4.68 bullpen ERA, the worst in the majors.
Jonathan Papelbon remains as closer for now -- he could be dealt if the Phils don’t make a serious run in the next month -- and Antonio Bastardo figures to get most of the eighth-inning work. Getting to those two will be the responsibility of Justin De Fratus, Phillippe Aumont, Jake Diekman, J.C. Ramirez and Joe Savery. Jeremy Horst and Mike Stutes could be back in the picture when they come off the disabled list.
If the Phillies need reinforcements from Triple A they could look to Mauricio Robles, Cesar Jimenez, Raul Valdes or even Carlos Zambrano. The team signed veteran Mike MacDougal to a minor-league deal on Tuesday, but Amaro said he was viewed mostly as Triple A depth. The Cubs designated Carlos Marmol for assignment on Tuesday, but it's difficult to get enthused about a guy with a 5.86 ERA.
So what you see is what you get for now in the Phillies' bullpen.
“I’m particularly interested to see our young guys because they’re important parts of our future,” Amaro said. “I believe they have a lot of ability. It’s whether or not they can do it on a regular basis yet, but they have the ability to do it.”
SAN FRANCISCO — The San Francisco Giants ended Aaron Nola's recent run of success in hanging a 5-4 loss on the Phillies at AT&T Park on Thursday night.
The loss was the Phillies' fifth in a row as they sunk to a season-worst 33 games under .500. They are a majors-worst 43-76.
The Phils are 6-20 against the NL West. They are 19-45 on the road.
The Giants have the second-worst record in the National League at 49-74.
Starting pitching report
Nola entered the game riding a streak in which he had pitched at least six innings and given up two or fewer runs in 10 straight starts. His ERA over that span was a majors-best 1.71.
The righty's outstanding run ended in this one as he was tagged for seven hits and five runs over five innings. He walked three. One of those walks extended the third inning and led to a run and another ended up turning into a run.
Nola is 9-8.
San Francisco right-hander Jeff Samardzija gave up eight hits and four runs over six innings. He walked one, struck out five and gave up two homers. He is 8-12.
Lefty Hoby Milner shined for the Phillies. He got five big outs to keep it a one-run game.
Mark Melancon, Hunter Strickland and Sam Dyson closed it out for the Giants.
At the plate
Cameron Rupp got the Phillies on the board with a long homer to right in the fifth. The Phils rallied for three runs in the sixth to make it a one-run game. Nick Williams led off the inning with a solo homer, Rhys Hoskins singled, Maikel Franco doubled and Hyun Soo Kim had an RBI single. The rally stalled when Tommy Joseph grounded into a double play with a run scoring on the play.
Hoskins had two hits. Freddy Galvis doubled and tripled. He was stranded on base both times.
Jarrett Parker doubled twice against Nola. His double in the fifth drove home two runs. Hunter Pence reached base three times and scored two runs.
In the field
Williams, playing center field in place of Odubel Herrera, made a nice diving catch in the first inning, and Hoskins, learning on the job in left field, ran down a ball in the gap in the third. Second baseman Cesar Hernandez made an eye-popper, as well.
Herrera missed his third straight game with a sore left hamstring. He appears to be headed to the disabled list (see story).
The Phillies added utility man Pedro Florimon from Triple A and designated reliever Pedro Beato for assignment.
Zach Eflin (1-4, 5.76) pitches against Giants lefty Matt Moore (3-12, 5.71) on Friday night.
SAN FRANCISCO — Odubel Herrera missed his third straight game because of a sore left hamstring Thursday night and it sounds as if he's headed to the disabled list.
"It's a day-to-day thing," manager Pete Mackanin said before the game against the San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park. "He might be going on the DL. We're thinking about it."
Herrera, riding a 17-game hitting streak, injured the hamstring late in Monday night's game in San Diego and did not play Tuesday or Wednesday. The Phillies filled out their bench for Thursday night's game by bringing versatile utility man Pedro Florimon up from Triple A. To make room for Florimon on the 40-man roster, the Phillies designated reliever Pedro Beato for assignment.
The Phillies created room for Florimon on the active roster by sending starting pitcher Nick Pivetta to Triple A. That assignment should be brief as he is expected to come back and pitch in Tuesday's doubleheader against Miami (see story).
With Herrera out, Mackanin used rookie Nick Williams in center field. Another rookie, Rhys Hoskins, started in left and Hyun Soo Kim was in right field.
Mackanin said Herrera "still has some tenderness" in the hamstring and he was waiting for an update from the team's medical staff on whether to place the outfielder on the DL.
It sure sounds like that's coming. Stay tuned.