Philadelphia Phillies Bullpen Suffers Another Blow: Jose Contreras Hits the DL

Alec Snyder@@alec_snyder62Contributor IIIJune 23, 2011

PHILADELPHIA - JUNE 9: Relief pitcher Jose Contreras #52 of the Philadelphia Phillies throws a pitch during a game against the Chicago Cubs at Citizens Bank Park on June 9, 2011 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Hunter Martin/Getty Images)
Hunter Martin/Getty Images

Thirty-nine-year-old starter-turned-reliever Jose Contreras of the Philadlephia Phillies has hit the disabled list earlier today. According to NBC's, Contreras is headed to the DL due to a right forearm strain.

This isn't the Cuban right-hander's first stint on the DL, either. He spent time on the DL earlier this year (April 25 to May 26 to be exact) with a right flexor pronator strain. Prior to that stint, he was the Phillies closer, but Ryan Madson took his place and has been fantastic since then.

Since the Phillies have only one lefty in the bullpen at the moment in Antonio Bastardo, they have decided to call up 32-year-old left-handed reliever Juan Perez from AAA Lehigh Valley.

Perez, who has not made any big league appearances since 2007 when he was a member of the Pirates, was 0-3 with a 2.58 ERA in 28 appearances with the IronPigs. He also had four saves, and fortunately, he has struck out 41 batters in 30.2 innings. Even better is that he's only allowed left-handed batters to hit .184 against him.

The only problem is that Perez, as a big leaguer, is 0-1 with a 5.17 ERA in 24 appearances. Especially since he was with the Pirates (who, at the time, weren't so good a team), this doesn't show much promise.

Since this is Contreras' second DL stint in three months, does this signify a downward spiral for him? He's still signed through next year with the team, so this could prove to be a problem, especially since he's not too young either.

Here's hoping that Perez can do the job in Contreras' place.