Series finale here in Arizona, and I thought I'd kick it off by giving you guys a little more info on Stephen Randolph, the lefty reliever the Phillies acquired this morning from the Houston Astros for a player to be named later. . .
It doesn't sound like Randolph is in the big league club's immediate plans. He's pitched well in the minors the past couple of years, but right now he's more of a guy who can help Triple-A Lehigh Valley out. Closer Brad Lidge and short stop Eric Bruntlett both played with him sporadically with the Astros, though he has spent the bulk of his time in the Diamondbacks' rotation.
He's got a fastball, slider and change-up the last two of which are deadly strikeout pitches. Control, however, is what has kept him from becoming a legit big league reliever. He walked 114 batters one year in the minors, and last season walked 17 in 14 appeareances with the Astros. In three big league seasons, he has more walks (136) than strikeouts (134).
But his stuff can be dominant when it is in the strike zone. In 14 2/3 innings in the minors this season, he has struck out 21 and walked 11.
While Randolph is not in the Phillies' immediate plans, keep in mind that control was the knock on J.C. Romero when the Phillies signed him from the Boston Red Sox last season. At 32 years old last season, Romero struck out 42 and walked 40, but is still one of the Phillies' top relievers.
Randolph's got the stuff, which in baseball is half the battle. But I wouldn't count on him stepping into a crucial role for the Phillies in the immediate future, though that is just a preliminary reading on the situation.
Randolph was one of 89 players mentioned in the Mitchell report. He was linked to former clubhouse attendant Kirk Radomski:
From page 206:
Stephen Randolph is a pitcher who spent most of his career in the minor leagues. In 2003 and 2004, he played with the Arizona Diamondbacks, and in 2007 he played with the Houston Astros. Radomski recalled that Chris Donnels referred Randolph to him while Randolph was with the Diamondbacks.414 Radomski said that he spoke to Randolph several times about
human growth hormone and then told Randolph to do some research before using it. Radomski said that he sold Randolph human growth hormone thereafter, in 2003 or 2004. Randolph’s name, with a telephone number, is listed in the address book seized from Radomski’s residence by federal agents. Radomski mailed the package of human growth hormone to the address listed
in his address book.
Today Brett Myers is going against Brandon Webb. It's an intriguing match-up. This is the first time I've seen Webb in person, so I'm anxious to see him in action. This is the toughest pitcher the Phils have faced since Johan Santana, so it will be interesting to see how the bats will respond.
Jimmy Rollins is expected to join the team in San Francisco this weekend, which should be a huge lift to the squad. It's too early to tell if he'll be in the line-up tomorrow night against the Giants.