The Phillies gave Chad Durbin two months to get going. It didn’t happen. On Friday, the team released the veteran reliever and added lefty Joe Savery to the bullpen.
“Chad was a professional, a great ambassador for baseball,” manager Charlie Manuel said. “But it got down to we wanted to do something with our pitching. We wanted to try to get better.”
Durbin, with a 9.00 ERA in 16 appearances, was an obvious cut. The right-hander was a key member of the Phillies’ World Series-winning team in 2008. He moved on after contributing to another World Series team in 2009 and a division champion in 2010 and returned as a free agent this winter.
“We signed him to give us a veteran presence in a young bullpen,” assistant GM Scott Proefrock said. “Unfortunately he never got into a rhythm and we just decided to go with younger guys. He had a tremendous amount of success here and had a lot to do with the successes this organization has had for the last seven years. We wish him nothing but the best.”
Durbin, 35, returned the sentiment.
“I am grateful for the opportunities the organization gave me this year,” he told Leslie Gudel of Comcast SportsNet. “My lack of production is disappointing on so many levels. Winning was and is the reason to play in Philadelphia. I wish everyone the best the rest of the season.”
The Phillies are on the hook for the remainder of Durbin’s $1.1 million salary.
Manuel said the release of Durbin wasn’t meant to send any messages to a struggling bullpen and an inconsistent team.
“We want to do things to make our bullpen better,” he said.
Savery was 3-1 with a 4.08 ERA in 18 games at Triple A. He allowed just 17 hits in 22 1/3 innings while walking 29 and striking out eight. Savery has been up and down twice this season. The Phillies seem ready to give him more of a look this time.
“He’ll get a chance,” Manuel said. “They say he’s been pitching real well.”