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Qualls Final Piece of Phillies Puzzle?

Jan 31, 2012, 11:59 AM EDT

After opting not to make a serious move to bring back Brad Lidge as a potential setup man, the Phillies went out and signed another veteran in 33-year-old Chad Qualls.

After opting not to make a serious move to bring back Brad Lidge as a potential setup man, the Phillies went out and signed another veteran in 33-year-old Chad Qualls to throw into the mix. From the Phillies:

Qualls, 33, went 6-8 with a 3.51 ERA in a team-high 77 games for the
San Diego Padres last season.  In his final 19 appearances, he posted a
1.96 ERA and held opposing hitters to a .219 batting average.  Qualls
made the eighth-most relief appearances among all major league pitchers
last year.

Over the past seven seasons (2005-11), Qualls has
made more appearances (512) than any other major league pitcher and
ranks second in relief wins (34), trailing only Jesse Crain (38).

His splits really stand out, and as David Murphy of the Daily News writes, it would be wise for Charlie to use him soley against right-handed hitters:

1)
. . .can run through a righty or two or three in a late-and-close
situation. Last year, Qualls held righties to a .218/.255/.282 line with
28 strikeouts and eight walks in 156 at-bats.

2) .
. .should only be used against a lefty if the other options are Michael
Martinez and death. Qualls allowed a .320/.381/.500 line with 15
strikeouts, 12 walks and four home runs in 135 plate appearances against
southpaws last season. In 2010, lefties hit .392/.448/.583 in 135 plate
appearances against him.

I don’t know, everybody is talking about it being a low-risk move that will bring a veteran presence to a bullpen with youngsters like Mike Stutes and Antonio Bastardo, but isn’t that guy you just shoveled out $50 million for a veteran?

Should be interesting to see how the bullpen shapes up during spring training.

What may not be as interesting is watching Qualls pitch at CBP.

If nothing else, the Phillies now have a guy named “Chad” on their team.


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