Friday, March 19, 2010

LOOGY race is down to two: Escalona sent to the minors

As the season draws near, the Phillies bullpen is starting to take shape. With J.C. Romero likely to start the season on the disabled list, the Phillies will have one, and possibly two, spots open for lefties out of the pen. Entering Friday, three pitchers still vied for the LOOGY (Lefty One Out GuY) role: Antonio Bastardo, Sergio Escalona and Mike Zagurski. Well, with the demotion of Escalona to the minors, that race is down to two.

Escalona, who shuttled back and forth from the minors to the Phillies last season, will likely start the year in Double A where he will look to refine his control and get some innings under his belt. At only 25, we will certainly be hearing from him in the future, although he may never be anything more than a serviceable major leaguer.

As for the remaining lefties, Bastardo seems to nearly have a bullpen spot locked up while Zagurski will only make the team if the Phillies decide to start the year with two lefties. With Romero not expected to be out for an extended period of time, Zagurski seems destined for the minors, which is where he probably should be as he continues to recover from Tommy John surgery.

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