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2015 Phillies Player Preview: The Rest of the Bullpen

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The good, the bad and the oh so ugly: the back end of the Phillies' bullpen.

Phillies' Manager Ryne Sandberg interviews potential bullpen candidates.
Phillies' Manager Ryne Sandberg interviews potential bullpen candidates.
Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

The bullpen. No, not the top of the bullpen, the fun, exciting, flashy part.

Not Jonathan Papelbon. Not Ken Giles. Not Jake Diekman. Today, we're going to take a look at the rest of the bullpen. Which isn't great.

As currently projected, the back end of the Phillies' bullpen looks to include some of the following dudes:

Justin de Fratus, RHP, who is pretty actually okay;

Andy Oliver, LHP, a Rule V pick who might actually stick;

Jeanmar Gomez, RHP, who, I mean, meh;

Jeff Francoeur, RHP, who am I kidding;

a pitching machine, WHP, uh guys;

some used tires, WTF, hey come on;

12-pounder Napoleon, BAM, guys let me out;

and a partridge in a pear tree, BHP, *whimpering sounds*!

...

Whew. That's ... let me catch my breath here... that's quite the lineup. While de Fratus looks good for some solid innings, with a career K/9 of 8.1 and FIP of 3.52, Oliver and Gomez are wild cards. Oliver, who has over 500 innings at AAA is a prototypical journeyman, though he does strike out a ton of hitters, with a K/9 of 9.4. As a top-100 prospect in 2011 and presently a Rule V guy, he has a strong chance of being kept on the big club, even if his numbers start to slip. Gomez, by contrast, has nearly 350 ML innings, though with a much less impressive 5.2 K/9 and a decidedly unnerving 4.55 FIP. Never a top prospect,  Gomez will have to shine to stick in Philadelphia, or, better yet, become a trade candidate.

As for the rest of the bullpen, Jeff Francoeur does have 7.1IP in AAA, with a K/9 of 6.1 (meaning he has five strikeouts), but is otherwise not a serious candidate to be anything but an emergency reliever. The rest of that junk up there has as much chance of sticking with the big club as the nine-pound cheeseburger, though none will be as delicious.

Joking aside, there are a few other possibilities for the 'pen.

Luis Garcia, RHP, has spent the last two seasons with the Phillies, though he's been rather bad, with a combined FIP of 5.41. He has the rather impressively malodorous distinction of having walked more guys than he struck out: 36 to 35. He might make the pen, but chances are good he'll be an MVP on the shuttle bus to LeHigh. Cesar Jimenez, who has parlayed two years of underwhelming stuff into a 2.73 ERA with the Phillies, has a chance to make the club, but will not have a long leash. Finally, Elvis Araujo, who has the best name of the bunch, has had a fine spring, which, couple with his numbers last year at AA Akron, give him an outside shot at making the club.

In reality, though, there are about eighty seven other guys who will be shuttling around in and out of the bullpen like so many flies on a dead horse. Perhaps the horse shouldn't have been standing in front of the Napoleon. What a fun season we're going to have!