Tag: David Herndon

david herndon getty

Blue Jays claim David Herndon off waivers from Phillies


Losing their manager to the Red Sox hasn’t kept the Blue Jays from being incredibly active on the waiver wire. Yesterday they claimed catcher Bobby Wilson from the Angels and today they claimed right-hander David Herndon from the Phillies.

Herndon had some success in Philadelphia in 2010 and 2011, logging 109 total innings with a 3.79 ERA, but underwent Tommy John elbow surgery in June and won’t be ready for game action for at least another seven or eight months.

Herndon is 27 years old and didn’t have a ton of upside even before the surgery, but if healthy he could be a solid middle reliever.

Phillies’ David Herndon undergoes Tommy John surgery

david herndon getty

From Todd Zolecki of MLB.com comes word that Phillies reliever David Herndon underwent Tommy John reconstructive elbow surgery on Tuesday.

The 26-year-old right-hander claimed a spot in the Philadelphia bullpen this spring by fanning 14 batters in 16 1/3 Grapefruit League innings but strained his flexor pronator muscle at the end of April and hasn’t been off the disabled list since. He can now be ruled out through the first few months of the 2013 season.

Herndon registered a solid 3.32 ERA in 57 innings of relief last season. He owns a 3.85 career ERA.

Sore elbow sends Phillies starter Vance Worley to DL

Vance Worley

Yesterday the Phillies announced that Vance Worley wouldn’t be making his scheduled start today because of a sore elbow and now they’ve placed him on the disabled list with inflammation.

Kyle Kendrick will step into Worley’s rotation spot beginning tonight versus the Cubs and the Phillies called up left-handed reliever Joe Savery to take his spot on the roster.

Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, and Cole Hamels understandably get all the attention, but Worley had picked up right where he left off last season with a 3.07 ERA and 45/15 K/BB ratio in 44 innings spread over seven starts. He’s thrown 189 total innings as a big leaguer, posting a 2.91 ERA and 176/65 K/BB ratio.

And now the 24-year-old right-hander joins Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, Jim Thome, Laynce Nix, Michael Martinez, Michael Stutes, and David Herndon on an overflowing disabled list.

When it comes to bullpen use in Philly, the tail wags the dog

Charlie Manuel Reuters

Twice this past week we’ve watched the Phillies lose in walkoff fashion while their best relief pitcher, Jonathan Papelbon, sat on the bench.  It’s maddening, really, but that’s what has passed for conventional bullpen usage in this day and age: you do not use your closer in a tie game on the road.

Why?  Nothing to be saved! And the closer is there to save games! Never mind that by, you know, not allowing game-ending hits, a game is likewise saved. There’s no statistic called a “save” for that situation, you see, so it doesn’t count.

That’s not an exaggeration. Charlie Manuel, asked about that policy, put it in pretty stark terms last night:

“I’m not supposed to use him … I don’t get a chance to use him. We’re not supposed to use him. We’re not going to burn him out early in the season when we can’t get to him … We never do that.  It’s just not the way it is. Papelbon is in the ninth inning for a save. When we ever have a lead, when we start the ninth inning, he’s gonna save.”

“Can’t get to him?”  “We’re not supposed to use him?”  I’ve never seen such a clear instance of the tail wagging the dog.  It’s your team, Cholly!  You can do anything you want!

I don’t mean to pick on Manuel here, because just about every manager does this.  As Matt Gelb notes in his story from last night, it has become almost unheard of for managers to deploy their closer in anything other than save situations. The teams who get great bullpen work overall get it because they have some awesome relief pitcher who, by accident of seniority and contract, is not officially the team’s closer. Ryan Madson in Philly last year. David Robertson in New York pre-Mariano injury. Jonny Venters in Atlanta.

But Philly doesn’t have that. Not anymore.  They have the most highly paid reliever in baseball history sitting on his keister while people like David Herndon, Antonio Bastardo, Brian Sanches and Michael Schwimer blow games.

Oh, wait. Those games weren’t blown. Because they weren’t lost in save situations. How silly of me.

Running down the rosters: Philadelphia Phillies

Cole Hamels, Cliff Lee, Roy Halladay

The Phillies still look like the class of the NL, but while their win totals have increased five years running, it hasn’t resulted in playoff success the last couple of years.

Roy Halladay – R
Cliff Lee – L
Cole Hamels – L
Vance Worley – R
Joe Blanton – R

Jonathan Papelbon – R
Antonio Bastardo – L
Jose Contreras – R
Kyle Kendrick – R
Chad Qualls – R
Michael Stutes – R
Dontrelle Willis – L

SP next in line: Joel Pineiro (R), Kendrick (R), Dave Bush (R) Pat Misch (L)
RP next in line: David Herndon (R), Brian Sanches (R), Michael Schwimer (R), David Purcey (L), Phillippe Aumont (R), Justin De Fratus (R)

The rotation doesn’t look quite so impressive on paper with Worley plugged into Roy Oswalt’s old spot, but then, Worley was quite a bit better than Oswalt last season. The Phillies also have some nice insurance in case Blanton’s arm lets him down again. Pineiro would have been a decent bet as a $3 million-$4 million fourth starter somewhere, so he was a phenomenal pickup on a minor league deal. Kendrick had a 3.14 ERA in his 15 starts last season.

In the bullpen, the Phillies overpaid for Papelbon, but he should be terrific at the end of games. If Contreras is healthy, then there will be just one spot for Willis or Herndon. Herndon had a 3.32 ERA in 57 innings last year, but the Phillies are looking to Willis to give them a second lefty in the pen.

SS Jimmy Rollins – S
3B Placido Polanco – R
2B Chase Utley – L
RF Hunter Pence – R
CF Shane Victorino – S
LF John Mayberry Jr. – R
1B Ty Wigginton – R
C Carlos Ruiz – R

C Brian Schneider – L
1B Jim Thome – L
INF-OF Michael Martinez – S
OF Laynce Nix – L
OF Juan Pierre – L

Disabled list: 1B Ryan Howard (L)
Next in line: C Erik Kratz (R), SS Freddy Galviz (S), INF Kevin Frandsen (R), INF Hector Luna (R), INF Pete Orr (L), OF Domonic Brown (L), OF Scott Podsednik (L), OF Lou Montanez (R)

So much for that typically lefty-heavy Phillies lineup: with Raul Ibanez gone and Howard set to miss the first month or two rehabbing a torn Achilles’ tendon, Utley will be the only lefty playing regularly initially.

The bench, on the other hand, will be dominated by lefties. Nix figures to start against some righties in left field and perhaps at first base. It’s unclear whether it will be Mayberry or Nix who slides between left field and first. Mayberry is the better outfielder of the two, so it’d be best if he’s out there pretty regularly. However, he’s also quite a bit more familiar with first base than Nix is.

Even with Howard out of the mix initially, this year’s offense should be a bit better than last year’s. A full season of Pence will help. Utley and Polanco could be healthier and more productive, though at their ages, it’s far from assured. Mayberry will top Ibanez’s numbers.

The pitching can’t be quite so good again. While none of the trio seems due for a deep decline, Halladay, Lee and Hamels won’t all rate among the NL’s top five starters. No, the Phillies will probably have to settle for just two or the top five or maybe even one. Papelbon may prove to be the NL’s best closer, but he’s replacing a guy in Ryan Madson who had a 2.37 ERA in 60 2/3 innings last year.

It seems safe to pencil the Phillies back into the postseason. Unfortunately, though, that simply isn’t enough. The Phillies are turning into the NL’s version of the Yankees, at least so far as in each year can be summed up as World Series or bust. And I can’t help but get the feeling that one more “bust” might cost Charlie Manuel his job.