Phillies rumors: Philly will shop for bullpen help in the offseason

Rob Carr

Ruben Amaro will likely turn to the free-agent market for relief help yet again this fall. Manager Charlie Manuel believes the team has been plagued in recent years by its inability to develop young relievers.

The Philadelphia Phillies' bullpen is in shambles. Just two members of the Opening Day relief corps are still on the active roster, and many of the young arms the club hoped would develop into quality relievers have not panned out, meaning that general manager Ruben Amaro will likely look to the free-agent for relief help yet again over the offseason, reports Matt Gelb of the Philly Inquirer.

More Phillies: Against Narrative

The Phillies' need for bullpen help is abundantly clear. The relief corps currently sports the worst earned-run average (4.31) in the National League, and their over four walks per nine (4.2) is easily the worst in baseball.

Mike Adams and Jeremy Horst are out for the year with injuries, Chad Durbin was released in May, Phillippe Aumont has struggled since his demotion to Triple-A, and Antonio Bastardo was just handed a 50-game suspension, leaving the club with Jonathan Papelbon and not a whole lot else.

The club has tried several (relatively) young arms in the bullpen this year -- Justin De Fratus, Jake Diekman, J.C. Ramirez, Luis Garcia -- but none has had much success outside of Diekman or Garcia, who are still well in danger of being devoured by the small-sample-size dragons.

Manager Charlie Manuel has said on numerous occasions that the club's apparent inability to develop young arms into successful relievers is a big issue. Per Gelb, the only two "reliable, homegrown relievers" the Phillies have developed in the last decade are Bastardo and Ryan Madson -- the latter of which is not exactly "reliable" anymore.

The club will (likely) retain Papelbon and Bastardo next season, but beyond that the bullpen picture appears to be pretty wide open.

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