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Saturday, March 28, 2009

Phillies trade for a lefty reliever...

...Unfortunately, that lefty is Jack Taschner, owner of a gross 1.57 career WHIP.

The Phils traded catcher Ronny Paulino for Taschner, which is not surprising considering the Phillies' catching situation (Carlos Ruiz is the starter, Chris Coste has a good bat as the backup, and Lou Marson is the young, talented minor leaguer who is next in line).

In my most recent post, I expressed my concerns about the Phillies' options for left-handed relievers. This trade shows that the Phils are concerned as well, but Taschner is over 30 years old, and his career OBP-allowed vs. lefties is an unimpressive .349. I would characterize the trade as a positive: they turned a useless catcher for a lefty reliever who has logged 98 innings over the past two seasons.

At the very least, I am glad the Phillies are addressing the possibility of a sole lefty-reliver named Scott Eyre. I don't think Taschner is a great pitcher (or a good pitcher), but the mere fact that he throws with his left hand makes him a commodity for a team like the Phils.

Do not expect great things from Taschner (it seems like he will make the team), but as long as the manager uses him effectively - about which, of course, we will have plenty to comment - the Phils will certainly benefit with a veteran lefty in the pen in place of a rookie-righty.

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