Trademark pending on that nickname by the way. So, with the Phillies optioning the Rec Spec Warrior, Vance Worley, yesterday down to Lehigh Valley, there was room on the roster for one more. Today, the Phillies filled that spot with the ample Mike Zagurski. The 28 year-old (I know, I thought he was 12 too) lefty is no stranger to the Phils’ roster, having been called up to the bigs in 2007, 2010, and then again earlier this year. The Big Zagurski has had varying levels of success in his short time spent in the majors, having pitched only 29.2 innings combined. In those innings of work, Zagurski has compiled 1 win, zero loses, and an ERA of 6.98. Not terrible numbers, but he isn’t going to light the world on fire either. The real question is, what does Mike getting the call up mean for the near future of the Phillies?
For Vance Worley, it could mean that he’ll be back up to the bigs in as little as a few weeks from now. In the past, the Phillies have only used Zagurski in a limited role, always out of the bullpen, and never for very long. When news broke yesterday that Worley was going down to Lehigh, it was reported that the move was made so that the Spectacled One could stretch out his arm and get a few more innings under his belt. With the addition of Zagurski today, that seems like it could be the truth. Further evidence of this can be seen in the fact that Mike Zagurski is left handed, and the Phillies already have two in the pen, Bastardo and Romero. Even if Mikey comes in and blows batters away with nasty stuff, three lefties is unnecessary. Good bye J.C. Romero? Maybe.
As for the starting rotation, the addition of Zagurski doesn’t really answer any questions. The fifth spot occupied by the Vanimal remains vacant. There are two ways that the Phillies could go about dealing with this problem. One solution is a lot more appealing to the fan base, and the other is probably what the Phillies will do. For the sake of suspense, let’s examine what the Phillies probably won’t do. The next game that would be pitched by the caboose of the rotation would be on Saturday against the Pirates. The interesting thing is that Thursday is an off day for the Phils. That would mean that the fifth spot could be skipped and the Phillies could stick with the four aces and still have everyone on five days rest. Not bad right? Don’t get excited, like I said, this is the option that we like, but probably won’t happen. In the past, even when this was an option for the Phillies to do, they opted instead to stick to the rotation no matter what the days off said. It’s not something I blame them for, when you have the best rotation in baseball, you want to make sure they stay healthy. So what we probably have to look forward to is Kyle Kendrick on Saturday. Yay! Who wouldn’t want to have Kendrick pitching instead of Halladay? Everyone, that’s who. With the exception of maybe Kyle’s mother, but she’s probably not that delusional.
So what have we learned here today, children? The Big Zagurski is an awesome nickname, which will probably take the Delaware Valley by storm. We’ll all probably be doing the Vance Dance again very soon. The Phillies will probably stick to a five man rotation. Kyle Kendrick will probably get the ball on Saturday against the Pirates. ”Probably,” more times than not, is the only word you can use when trying to figure out what Ruben and Charlie have up their collective sleeve. They do nothing if not keep us guessing.