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Predicting Phillies roster moves in pitching: who makes the team in 2013?
by Scott Butler 10/27/12

Expect the Phillies roster to look quite a bit different in 2013. With open roster spots in several areas, plenty of Phillies players will say their goodbyes over the offseason. We'll take a look at all of the roster slots and forecasting which players will remain with the Phils and which ones will not.

We will analyze the Phillies roster in two parts starting with the pitching. First, here is a list of pitchers who, barring any major trades, are near locks to make the Phillies roster next season.

Phillies pitching roster locks

Roy Halladay
Cliff Lee
Cole Hamels
Kyle Kendrick
Vance Worley
Jonathan Papelbon

The Phillies starting rotation is pretty much set with Halladay, Lee, Hamels, Kendrick, and Worley. Unless something unforeseen happens between now and April 1, those names will remain unchanged. The bullpen is a different story altogether. Jonathan Papelbon is the only reliever we can confidently say right now will sit in the bullpen on Opening Day.

Let's take a look at the comings and goings with the Phillies bullpen.

Phillippe Aumont

Phillippe Aumont showed signs of being a closer in the making during his short time with the Phillies. The 6-foot-7, 23-year-old has a fastball that reaches the upper nineties and has devastating movement on his pitches, evidenced by his 11.98 strikeouts per nine innings at Lehigh Valley and 8.59 K's/9 with the Phillies. Aumont had a 3.68 ERA overall, with all but one of those appearances coming in the eighth inning or later.

but it is not likely he will begin the season on the Phillies roster.

Aumont had a 1.08 ERA over his first nine outings and a 1.59 ERA in his final seven, sandwiched around two games in which he gave up 2 runs. The problem with Aumont, and what might keep him off the big club in the early going, has been his control. He walked 6.9 batters per game at AAA and 9 batters in 14.1 innings with the big club.

Aumont is not a polished product just yet and therefore probably will likely begin the season at AAA. The Phillies definitely have Aumont in their long-term plans, so it would be not be the least bit surprising if we see Aumont in a Phillies uniform by mid-season or possibly even sooner.

Antonio Bastardo

After posting a 2.64 ERA and dominating hitters in 2011, last season was frustrating to say the least for Antonio Bastardo, who lost 5 games and finished with a 4.33 ERA in 2012.

His walk rate was actually similar to 2011 and his strikeouts per nine innings actually increased from 10.9 in 2011 to 14.0 in 2012, but he allowed 2.6 more hits per game. Part of the reason was that his fastball velocity was noticeably down, which is a problem for a pitcher who only features two pitches.

As nauseating as Bastardo was to watch at times, he will pitch for the Phillies next season. He made $505,000 in 2012 and is worth keeping at the roughly $1 million he will make in his first year of arbitration eligibility. If the Phillies use him in less pressurized situations, hopefully he will pitch more like he did in 2011.

Tyler Cloyd

Tyler Cloyd had a remarkable minor league season in 2012. He went 15-1 with a 2.26 ERA in 26 starts at Double A and Triple A. Despite having mediocre stuff, he held his own in the big leagues and showed that he does have some value. Cloyd will probably not be a starter for the Phillies, but he could win a roster spot as a long reliever/spot starter. With a plethora of talented starters in the minors, Cloyd may also be a tradeable piece.

Jose Contreras

The 40-year-old Contreras did well in his time with the Phillies, but he is coming off elbow surgery and made a total of only 34 appearances in 2011 and 2012. The Phillies will almost certainly not take their $2.5 million club option and will buy him out for $500,000.

Justin De Fratus

Justin De Fratus has a great shot at making the team in 2013. The Phillies always loved his potential, and had it not been for an elbow injury that kept him out for most of last season, he might have seen significant time with the Phils already.

The 24-year-old De Fratus has a career 3.11 minor league ERA and is a much more polished pitcher than most of his fellow young relievers. De Fratus had decent control with 9.0 strikeouts per nine innings and 1.95 walks in the minors.

Expect Justin De Fratus to find a spot on the Opening Day roster.

Jake Diekman

Rich Dubee famously said that Jake Diekman has such potential that he would consider quitting as a pitching coach to become Diekman's agent. Diekman showed that he has big time major league stuff by striking out 35 batters in 27 1/3 innings. But Diekman had serious command issues that make Antonio Bastardo look like the master of control, walking 20 batters.

Diekman might make his agent a ton of money down the road, but he is not ready yet and should spend part, if not all of the 2013 season at Lehigh Valley.

Jeremy Horst

Jeremy Horst certainly turned some heads after he was traded from Cincinnati for Wilson Valdez. At age 26, Horst struck out 40 batters in 31 1/3 innings and had a 1.15 ERA overall. Although his career 3.00 minor league ERA suggests he might not be as good as that sparkling ERA, lefties hit just .170 off him and you could argue that he is a better option than Bastardo.

If he pitches well in Spring Training, Horst may have the inside edge on earning a spot as a lefty reliever in the Phillies bullpen.

Josh Lindblom

At the time the Phillies grabbed the 25-year-old Lindblom from the Dodgers in the Shane Victorino trade, it seemed as if they might have received a gracious gift. Lindblom was young, cheap, and his 3.02 ERA seemed to offer the stability the Phillies needed in the bullpen.

Those thoughts quickly faded after he posted a 4.63 ERA in 26 appearances with the Phillies. The 6-foot-4 righty has a fastball in the mid 90's, but he surrendered 13 home runs, which does not bode well with the short porches at Citizens Bank Park.

Although Lindblom did not prove to be the late inning security blanket they had originally hoped, he is still young and has the potential to change minds once again. He should make the team.

BJ Rosenberg

The odds of BJ Rosenberg making the Phillies Opening Day roster are not promising. Rosenberg throws hard, but he has average stuff, a flat fastball, and posted a 6.12 ERA with the Phillies. Unless another team takes him, Rosenberg with begin the season at Lehigh Valley.

Joe Savery

I'm sure you heard the Joe Savery story in which he was drafted as a starter, switched to first base, then switched back to pitching as a left-handed reliever. It is a nice story that unfortunately did not translate into much success. In 19 appearances, most of which were as a long reliever, Savery posted a 5.40 ERA.

It would seem at first glance that Savery has no chance at making the team, but he was effective against lefties, who hit .243 off him with one homer, no walks, and seven strikeouts in 42 plate appearances. It is doubtful that will win Savery a roster spot, but if some of the younger lefty relievers struggle, we might see him from time to time during the season.

Michael Schwimer

Michael Schwimer pitched well in the minors in 2010 and 2011, but his minor league success has not translated to the major league level. Schwimer had a 4.46 ERA in 35 appearances with the Phillies in 2012, but he needs to show more than just a big arm to earn a roster spot with the Phillies in 2013.

He didn't exactly help his own cause when he came just short of filing a grievance against the Phillies for not placing him on the disabled list last season. Schwimer does not seem to work into the Phillies plans next season.

Michael Stutes

Mike Stutes surprised many with a solid rookie season in 2011, but made just six appearances last season before being shut down and undergoing season-ending shoulder surgery. Stutes should make the team at some point next season, but he needs to prove that he is healthy first.

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