Having played for nearly one-third of the teams in Major League Baseball, Reyes, a 36-year old journeyman, is reportedly being sought after the Philadelphia Phillies.
From what I’ve seen on Reyes, there’s one thing that makes me cringe at the sight of him wearing the red pinstripes.
He walks too many batters.
In 38 innings of work in 2010, Reyes walked 21 batters. He nearly had more walks than strikeouts (25). He also had 21 walks in 41 innings pitched in 2008.
Now that total isn’t necessarily out of the ordinary, but in a Phillies bullpen that already has control issues, they cannot afford to bring in yet another wild pitcher just as they did last offseason with Danys Baez.
The Phillies’ bullpen was led by J.C. Romero’s 29 walks in 36.2 innings and Chad Durbin’s 27 walks in 68.2 innings of work.
If Philly fans jumped on Durbin and Romero for their control problems, they would do the same with Reyes.
Digging deeper into the numbers, I discovered that 12 of his 21 walks in 2010 came with runners on, and eight of his walks came with runners in scoring position. Over his career, 224 of his 398 walks came with runners on, and 194 of them came with runners in scoring position.
If Reyes does join the Phillies, he would be forced to pitch in Citizens Bank Park, the one stadium that has given him the most trouble over his career.
In seven games at Citizens Bank Park, he has a 12.60 ERA, his highest ERA at any ballpark. He’s also surrendered three home runs, which ranks near the top in home runs allowed in a particular stadium for him.
But there’s always a bright side. At Citi Field, the home of the New York Mets, he has only allowed just three hits in six appearance and has yet to give up a run in the Mets’ new home. However, he managed to blow a save opportunity by walking in a run.
If he blew that save while playing for the Phillies, the Philadelphia faithful would quickly throw him under the bus. He better not do that again if he wants to last in Philly… if he does sign with the club.
Another thing to consider is how his ERA elevates from 3.97 prior to the All-Star break to 4.43 by season’s end. That’s the last thing Philadelphia needs – a pitcher that surrenders more runs down the stretch while the team is in a tight divisional race.
There are better options out on the market than Reyes. Kyle Farnsworth is a cheap option that could potentially be a nice back-end of the bullpen type player. He had a 61:19 strikeout-to-walk ratio, as well.
Kerry Wood is another solid right-hander who finished the season in New York by posting a 0.69 ERA in 26 innings.
J.J. Putz could also fit in nicely with Philadelphia, but he may seek a higher contract than the Phillies would offer to him.