Monday, November 30, 2015

Mike Adams shows rust in 30-pitch appearance

Mike Adams, appearing in a game for the first time in 17 days, threw 30 pitches. He walked three. He could not finish the inning. There were repercussions beyond that.

Mike Adams shows rust in 30-pitch appearance

Phillies reliever Mike Adams. (Alan Diaz/AP)
Phillies reliever Mike Adams. (Alan Diaz/AP)

BOSTON — It was difficult for a blowout to devolve in the eighth inning Monday, but that is what happened when Mike Adams entered in relief for the Phillies.

Adams, appearing in a game for the first time in 17 days, threw 30 pitches. He walked three. He could not finish the inning.

All it did Monday was add another run to the Red Sox bounty. But there were repercussions beyond that. Manager Charlie Manuel said Adams would not be available Tuesday. It was reasonable to wonder if Wednesday was out, too, because Adams has failed to handle a heavy workload.

There were questions as to why Adams was even at Fenway Park.

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Originally, the team's plan called for Adams to face hitters Friday at a controlled session in Clearwater, Fla. Then, Adams was scheduled to appear in a minor-league game Monday with the plan of activating him Wednesday. This is the agenda pitching coach Rich Dubee plotted.

Adams threw to hitters Friday and proclaimed himself fit. Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said, in a statement, that Adams was "a little rusty." That did not dissuade them from activating him Sunday.

During Sunday's loss, Adams briefly warmed in the bullpen. His action Monday came in the final moments of a rout.

"He needs work," Manuel said. "He definitely needs work. The part that was discouraging was 30 pitches. That means that we can’t use him [Tuesday]. He threw some balls that were close and he ended up walking some."

Not only did the Phillies use Adams in this blowout, they also called upon Antonio Bastardo and Justin De Fratus. Both pitchers threw short outings. For De Fratus, it was his second straight day he appeared. That could render him unavailable Tuesday. So if the Phillies hold an eighth-inning lead Tuesday, Bastardo will be asked to protect it on his second consecutive day of work.

In addition, the Phillies will probably not have the services of Mike Stutes and Jeremy Horst — both of whom threw 35 pitches each Monday.

All of this could have been avoided had Adams not pitched in what was effectively a major-league rehab game. If the Phillies stuck to their original plan to activate Adams after his minor-league outing, B.J. Rosenberg would have still been a member of the bullpen Monday. He could have chewed innings after Tyler Cloyd's early exit. The strain on the bullpen would be reduced.

Either way, it did not look right for Adams to shake the rust in this setting.

"He felt like he could pitch," Manuel said.

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