Rube's Atomic Durbin. - Harry How
Welcome back fungible bullpen arm.
The Phillies have signed Chad Durbin to a one year contract with $1.1mm in guaranteed money and $350K in incentives, per Jerry Crasnick.That means that Schwimer, Aumont, DeFratus, Stutes, Diekman, Kendrick, Cloyd/Lannan (AKA loser of 5th Starter job), Savery, Rosenberg, et al are competing for, likely, 3 spots.
I have fond memories of Chad Durbin. He's a solid, if thoroughly unspectacular, middle reliever. The Phillies at the moment have a log jam of middle relievers, which, on the surface, makes this look like a weird signing. Here's the thing though, most of those arms are bullpen only guys and the #6 starter right now is Tyler Cloyd with #7 being Pettibone (a guy they may want to spend the season in Allentown developing). Durbin hasn't started in years, but in the event of injuries and weird scheduling, having an extra, reliable arm for the bullpen games is a benefit.
Durbin had his best 3 season run while with the Phillies, sporting a 3.62 ERA and 7.5 K/9 (high by Durbin standards), although he did walk 4.3 per 9 (par for the course by Durbin standards). Durbin was part of a great (if overperforming) bullpen in 2008 as he had a career year working long relief. Make no mistake here though Durbin is being brought in as a mentor. Should he manage to outperform his FIP and xFIP again it's a bonus, but should he end up with an ERA and FIP about equal near 5.00, so be it. By all accounts Durbin's a good clubhouse influence and anything the kids can learn from him will be to their benefit.
So continues Ruben's winter of Excitement. How do you feel about this? Who should get those final 3 jobs? After signing Mike Adams, did we really need Durbin? I wonder what Scott Eyre's up to these days?