Entering the spring training, the Phillies bullpen looked to be mostly in place. Brad Lidge was expected to close with Ryan Madson and Jose Contreras as his top set up men.
Kyle Kendrick would fill the long man role while J.C. Romero and presumably Antonio Bastardo would be the lefties. There was one opening which ultimately was filled by 2010 Rule 5 draftee David Herndon.
However an onslaught of injuries opened the door for a few minor league arms and no one took better advantage than Michael Stutes. He has been nothing short of sensational thus far. His strikeout stuff has translated very well to the MLB level as he has struck out 8.7 batters per nine IP. While his 5.6 walks per nine IP is cause for concern he has been able to maintain a 2.38 ERA nonetheless.
Stutes was not the only reliever waiting in the wings though. The Phillies farm system has been doing a very good job developing young impact relievers over the last few years. In the next year or so many of them will be MLB ready. Here are some names to look out for.