Rich Schultz/Getty Images
To make a long story short, the Phillies bullpen has been atrocious except for Jonathan Papelbon, Jeremy Horst and Raul Valdes (who is now on the DL). Everyone else, well, there is a lot of improvement to be made.
Papelbon is one of the highest-paid players on this team; Charlie Manuel has to use him for more than three outs if the Phillies are in trouble late in games. Simple as that. Four outs, five outs, even six outs. If you pay a player that kind of money, he should be able to pitch more than three outs
Charlie Manuel has given the media more excuses about why he doesn't like to use his closer in non-save situations. If your team makes that kind of investment in a closer, he needs to be used for more than 70 innings in a season, which amounts to between 4-5% of the innings Phillies' pitchers throw in a given season.
Charlie also needs to stop leaving inexpierenced pitchers in the game in pressure situations in games that matter. If a guy (Aumont) walks two hitters and hits another, take him out. If he walks two guys to lead off any inning, take him out.
The way Manuel and his staff have handled these young arms has been baffling. Charlie is also known to overuse the hot hand, leading to an inevitable collapse. A bullpen pitcher cannot pitch five games in a row, never. Especially if he is a rookie.
Leave the innings to guys who have pitched well this season, or guys with more than a few weeks of major league experience. If they do not come through, so be it, but rookie pitchers have no place to be pitching in games when a playoff spot is on the line.