Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Relief is on the way: Phillies Sign Veteran Pitcher Rudy Seanez

After yesterday's implosion, the Phillies are getting proactive in fixing their bullpen. The Phillies have signed veteran right-handed reliever Rudy Seanez. Seanez, 39, is not the savior for the bullpen, but rather a solid addition who strikes out batters at a high rate. Seanez spent last season with the Dodgers, who released him after he struggled this spring with a 7.71 ERA.

Seanez, who has played for 8 different teams in his major league career, had a good season last year in LA. He posted a 3.79 ERA and struck out 73 batters in 76 innings. According to Baseball Prospectus, he was mostly used in low leverage situations last season, meaning he came in a lot of games when his team was up or down by 4 or more runs, so that might lead to his overall numbers being slightly inflated. Nevertheless, he is a great acquisition at this time of year to a bullpen that desperately needs help.

While he's not a lefty, the Phillies finally got the impact reliever they had been seeking all spring. The next question, invariably, is who do they get rid of to make room for Seanez? The two likely candidates are Wes Helms and the recently acquired Tim Lahey. Helms could be released or traded, and Lahey would have to be offered back to the Twins. If they can't unload Helms, I would be fine with the Phils quickly jettisoning Lahey, since it wasn't likely he was going to stick around all year anyway.

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