One difference between the Braves and Phillies is obvious. The Braves rank first in the National League in relief innings pitched. The Phillies are last.
Both teams, though, figure to tweak their bullpens during the final two months, possibly with a move during the August waiver period, but most likely from within.
The Braves, seeking a right-hander to pitch the seventh inning, believe that Peter Moylan could return from back surgery around Sept. 1. They also have two intriguing options at Triple A – Arodys Vizcaino, who recently began working out of the bullpen, and Julio Teheran, who as a starter is 12-1 with a 1.90 ERA.
The Phillies, too, are awaiting the return of an injured reliever — righty Jose Contreras, who has been out since June 20 with a strained right forearm.
The return of Roy Oswalt on Sunday will push righty Kyle Kendrick to the bullpen, and in the post-season — assuming good health — Vance Worley could wind up in the ‘pen as well. Not bad, considering that in 23 combined starts, Kendrick and Worley are 11-4 with a 2.86 ERA.
The return of Contreras would provide a multitude of alternatives for a team that is 33-for-36 in save opportunities with four different closers – Ryan Madson, Antonio Bastardo, Contreras and Brad Lidge.
Lidge earned his first save Thursday, but the Phillies envision him as a potential right-handed specialist due to the effectiveness of his slider. Right-handed hitters are 0-for-8 against him since his return from a shoulder injury.
— Ken Rosenthal