The Cuban Connection of Baez and Contreras on the Phillies this season
The Phillies haven’t thrown open the gates for Spring Training yet, but looking ahead, could the bullpen be the source of the Phillies success or lack of success this season? The acquisitions of Danys Baez and just announced possible signing of Jose Contreras is an indication of the direction the bullpen may be going. Just looking over simple numbers put up by these two pitchers aren’t anything to get excited about.
Contreras was 6-13 with a 4.92 ERA last year with the White Sox and Colorado Rockies as the Phillies seem to have scouted far and wide to come up with this signing. Is this a quality relief pitcher or a relief/starter on occasion should one or more of the starting 5 go south this season? On the surface it looks like the answer is that Contreras will be in the pen. Last year, Contreras started 23 games in 131.2 innings pitched. In 2005, he won 15 games for the White Sox and he’s been in the league for 9 years, this will be 10 for him. A lot of us who follow the Phillies haven’t heard too much of him because he’s been in the American League all except last year’s brief appearance in a Rockies uniform.
Contreras is 38 years old, and Baez is 32, both are originally from Cuba. They will be pitching for the Phillies this season and hopefully they will have a positive impact on the team. A lot of the talk has been on how great the Phillies will be this year, I wouldn't be all that excited yet though as things on paper can look great until you actually start playing and we find out it isn’t all that.