Wondering About Oswalt, Bullpen Issues, and Why Call Up a .105-Hitting Catcher?

Posted by Frank Klose


Courtesy longbeachstate.com

As the Phillies get ready to take on the Mets, there is certainly a lot going on behind the scenes, and plenty of questions as well.

How will the Phillies deal with the loss of Oswalt, already down a starting pitcher?
The Phillies called up Vance Worley to take Joe Blanton's start today.   Worley is getting the start over Kyle Kendrick.   Why?  Well, Kendrick has had mostly success in the bullpen this far (mostly), and just pitched two innings the other day.   They may also hope to keep Kendrick handy in case they need a starter to replace Roy Oswalt.

The Phillies say they should know soon when Oswalt will pitch again, but thanks to off days yesterday and Monday, they have a little flexibility.   The starting rotation projects as follows:

Friday – Worley
Saturday – Halladay
Sunday – Lee
Monday – OFF
Tuesday – Hamels
Wednesday – Worley
Thursday – Halladay
Friday 5/6 – Lee
Saturday 5/7 – Starter Needed

If Oswalt is not ready to start by Saturday, then the Phillies will be forced to use Kendrick or someone from the Minor leagues.   This gives Kendrick a few days he can still pitch out of the bullpen until they realize they need that, especially since they are short a man in the bullpen.

Why send out a pitcher in Zagurski to carry the third catcher?
Ruben Amaro Jr. has said that they only need the catcher for a few days to back up Schneider while Carlos Ruiz is sore.   It is probably no coincidence that J.C. Romero is eligible to come off of the disabled list on Tuesday.  Sardinha can help the Phillies get through the weekend, and Romero will take that roster spot, which was his before going to Zagurski and now Sardinha.

Why call up Dane Sardinha, hitting .105 instead of Erik Kratz, hitting. 333?
The Phillies likely are calling up Sardinha due to his prior experience handling the Phillies current pitching staff.  Sardinha probably will not play much when he is here, if at all.  When the Phillies need to send out Sardinha, he will have to pass through waivers before he can report to AAA Lehigh Valley, and could be claimed.  Maybe they feel he has a better shot at staying in the system than Kratz.

Speaking of Kratz, this was his moment of fame in the baseball world as he withstood Prince Fielder:


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