Tag: David Herndon

How David Herndon Is Killing the Philadelphia Phillies

No, David Herndon isn’t one of the main reasons the Phillies have disappointed thus far in 2010.

Not even close.

Obviously he doesn’t deserve the same amount of heat that teammates like Shane Victorino and Brad Lidge have been getting. But that doesn’t mean Herndon should be getting a free pass.

It’s safe to say that Herndon, the 24-year-old rookie sinker-baller, hasn’t exactly been a positive addition to the bullpen this season.

Not just because opponents are hitting a ridiculous .343 against him. Not just because he’s allowed nine out of his 14 inherited base runners to score since May 14.

But also because he is in part preventing the Phillies from giving some of their minor league prospects a shot in the majors. Herndon has hand-tied the Phillies.

How? Well, entering 2010, Herndon was out of options.

In other words, the Phillies could not send him to the minor leagues. They’d have to keep him on their 25-man roster all season (barring injury, of course) or be forced to offer him back to his former club, the Los Angeles Angels.

With the Angels’ Double-A affiliate last year, Herndon had a 3.03 ERA and a 1.29 WHIP in 50 games.

The young righty impressed the Phillies in Spring Training this season with a 1.42 ERA in 10 games. But he hasn’t been anywhere near as effective with the big club in 2010, despite pitching in 32 games so far.

It’s hard to imagine Herndon would have remained on the Phillies staff this long if he actually had minor-league options. The thing is, the Phillies have some fairly decent arms at Double and Triple-A that could have replaced Herndon already in the pen.

How about Drew Carpenter? The 25-year-old righty has been biding his time at Triple-A since 2008 and has amassed an 18-14 record and a 3.43 ERA overall with Lehigh Valley.

How about Vance Worley? The 22-year-old right-hander was 9-4 with a 3.03 ERA in the minors this season before pitching in one game for the big club on July 24.

OK. Both Carpenter and Worley are starting pitchers, so maybe the Phillies wouldn’t want to use them in the Citizens Bank Park bullpen.

But what about Scott Mathieson? He’s been the Phillies’ best “feel good” story since 33-year-old rookie Chris Coste made his major-league debut in 2006.

Mathieson made eight starts for the Phils four seasons ago before suffering through a string of severe injuries, including one that required Tommy John Surgery at the end of ’06.

It’s taken the 26-year-old Mathieson a long time to rise back through the minor leagues, but he’s now having a fantastic season as the IronPigs’ closer, posting a 2.85 ERA and 20 saves. He’s allowed only 34 hits in 47 innings, striking out 61 while walking just 17.

Mathieson, like Worley, has pitched in just one major-league game so far in 2010.

What about journeyman Nelson Figueroa? He actually did better than Herndon when given a chance with the Phillies this year, posting a 3.46 ERA and a .220 opponent batting average in 13 games.

Houston claimed Nelson off waivers once the Phillies designated him for assignment July 15.

Of course, there’s no guarantee any of those guys would have pitched much better than Herndon has. They might have been even worse. But we don’t know. And one of the main reasons we don’t know about any of them is because Herndon has been occupying a spot in the bullpen all season.

The Phillies like Herndon’s ability as a sinker-baller, but so far in 2010 the righthander has proven to be nothing more than a useful arm in “mop-up duty”—slightly more effective than Danys Baez.

Offering David Herndon back to the Angels might not be such a horrible thing. He hasn’t made the most of his generous four-month opportunity with the Phillies in the bigs, so it’s time to see if any of the Phils’ minor-league hurlers can do any better.

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Philadelphia Phillies Continue Division Skid: Who Ya Gonna Call?

The Phils were desperate for one of two things before they left San Francisco: a win or a day off. They got both—just in time to settle down for a nine inning nap.

After last night’s 9-1 slaughter by the Mets, Charlie took the podium. Usually he recites the team stats, but last night he shifted his hat with a nervous smile and said, “Hey, does anyone have the phone number for Pedro Martinez?”

Actually he didn’t say that, but I dreamed of him mumbling it and ending with a slight stutter on P-P-P-Pedro as if he was selling a Chia Pet.

Hey that’s an idea—a Jayson Werth Chia Pet giveaway. It would grow like mad because Jayson gets his energy from his hair. If that’s really the case, I wish he would’ve shared some locks with his teammates.

What’s the problem? Last week Shane Victorino broke the air speed velocity of the English Swallow by going from first to home on a single. But last night he couldn’t beat a badly jostled ball by Rod Barajas from home to first.

Can you say, “Benchwarmer?”

Even that high-priced pony Ryan Howard is struggling—again.

My dad sent me some calculations. Now, I don’t put a lot of faith into the old man’s figures because the guy can hardly see his calculator through his scratchy lenses, but this is what he said: Howard is paid $41,000 for each at-bat. And based on the average umpire’s salary, the guy behind the plate gets only $9 to call Ryan out on strikes.

But the guy who bought the $5 beer would have called it a ball and the man eating the dollar dog said he could’ve hit that pitch.

My husband said Ryan’s contract isn’t worth the gas that passes from his ass.

But the bats weren’t the only things that smelled. Kyle Kendrick gave up four earned runs on three homers in five innings.

Here’s a hint: those numbers didn’t work for Kyle, so don’t play them in the lottery.

And no one’s said anything about seventh inning wonder, Danys Baez. After a one-two-three sixth, he took the mound in the seventh and almost pitched for the cycle.

He hit the first batter, then allowed an RBI double, a walk, a stolen base, and a two-RBI triple before Charlie Manuel threw little Davey Herndon to the lions.

Herndon couldn’t hold Angel Pagen on third to keep the earned runs for Baez to three, but he was able to minimize the damage so Brad Lidge could make his first major league appearance in 2010.

Before the game, nobody would obligate to saying if or when Lidge would return. But they didn’t have a choice when Ryan Madson broke his toe while Dancing with the Chairs after his blown save on Wednesday.

How do you explain that one? I miscued my Polka kick?

Brad was busy. He gave up a dinger on his third pitch to the anti-Phil, Rod Barajas. Then three batters, two hits, and .1 innings are all it took to give Lidge a nasty ERA.

My husband now calls him Bad Lidge. And my child summed up the game’s intensity: “Mom, our dog has fleas.” So my Yorkie got a bath while the Phils tried to recover from one.

What happened to those exciting games? The ones where Carlos Ruiz assisted the team with a strike-out/throw-out double play. Or when Shane reached over the wall and brought down a snow cone. Or when Juan Castro glove-tossed a ball from the ground to Chase Utley who bare-handed the catch and fired to first for a double play? When’s the last time we saw a double steal, a simple stolen base, or a streaker?

What happened to the team that was so exciting they inspired the old man ball-girl to field a live ball in another team’s stadium?

What’s happened to the real Philadelphia Phillies?

Help, it’s Freaky Friday! The Mets are looking like the Phillies are supposed to and the Phils are performing the way everyone said the Mets should. And for the first time since the new millennium, the Phils are behind the Nationals in the NL East.

Someone, somewhere is finding a way to pin this on the liberals.

But could it really be the Jimmy Rollins curse? When Jimmy’s hitting the Phils are winning. Well, we won’t know tonight. With ol’ Roy Halladay taking the mound, it’ll take a shutout to keep the Phils from getting the win. But stranger things have happened.

Like Jamie Moyer up against Johan Santana on Sunday. Now, if Jamie throws an 80 mph pitch, can it rightly be called a “fast” ball?

We’ll find out tomorrow.

See you at the ballpark.

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