Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Jonathan Papelbon, Mike Adams, Chad Durbin, Antonio Bastardo, Jeremy Horst, Raul Valdes, Phillippe Aumont
The Phillies’ bullpen is the one area that is still unsettled in the lead up to Opening Day.
Although other areas of the roster may still see movement, these moves will likely involve bringing in players that are not currently on the roster. The bullpen, on the other hand, will consist of players currently in camp with the Phillies.
But which players?
Jonathan Papelbon, Mike Adams, Chad Durbin and Antonio Bastardo have long been locks for making the roster, leaving three open bullpen spots.
After the Phillies sent Jake Diekman and Justin De Fratus to minor league camp, four players essentially remained with opportunities for making the Opening day bullpen.
Jeremy Horst, Raul Valdes, Phillippe Aumont and Michael Stutes have survived each cut this far to give themselves a chance for making the roster.
Of these four, Horst appears to have rebounded nicely from early struggles. The left-hander has not given up an earned run or walked a batter since March 10th, lowering his ERA from 12.00 to 5.34 in the process.
The Phillies could keep Horst as a second left-hander behind Bastardo and fill the rest of the bullpen with right-handers. But the left-handed Valdes has also made a strong case for a roster spot as a reliever capable of throwing multiple innings.
Valdes has allowed seven earned runs in 14.1 innings, but has also struck out 17 batters while walking just one. Valdes threw three innings in two of his last three appearances, striking out a combined five batters while not giving up an earned run.
As for the final spot, the prediction is Aumont over Stutes due to slightly better command as of late.
Aumont has walked three batters in his last two appearances while racking up three strikeouts. He has also given up just three hits and two earned runs, while walking a total of three batters in 5.1 innings this spring. Aumont also missed time from camp while playing in the World Baseball Classic.
As for Stutes, five earned runs allowed and four walks issued in his last two appearances could lead to the Phillies starting him at Triple-A this season to get a few more innings under his belt.
A strong final week of camp, however, could still earn him a roster spot.
Name to watch: Michael Stutes