New Blood Has Paid Off

Sometimes the moves work.

Sometimes they don't.

Brad Lidge has been one of baseball's best off-season moves this year. Maybe the best.

The Phillies have seven newcomers on their 2008 roster, and so far they have done their jobs fairly well: Brad Lidge, Chad Durbin, Rudy Seanez, Geoff Jenkins, Pedro Feliz, Eric Bruntlett and So Taguchi. Nobody has been better than Lidge, who has solidified the back of the bullpen and appears a lock to make the National League all-star team. But throw Durbin and Seanez in there, too. They've helped make the Phillies bullpen the best in the National League, which is a huge reason why they open tonight's three-game series agaisnt the Florida Marlins with a four-game lead in the NL East.

Feliz has played outstanding defense and has had some big hits. Jenkins has been swinging a better bat lately and certainly has done what he has been asked to do (despite a graphic in the paper that incorrectly gave him a down error for his performance). Bruntlett filled in nicely for Jimmy Rollins. Taguchi really has been the only disappointment, although Charlie Manuel defended the job he has done the other day.

But it's funny how baseball works. The same group that brought in those seven for $17.29 million is the same group that brought in Freddy Garcia, Adam Eaton, Wes HelmsRod Barajas, Antonio Alfonseca, Jayson Werth and Greg Dobbs for $24.86 million before 2007. Only Eaton, Werth and Dobbs remain with the team, and only recently has Eaton looked like the pitcher they had hoped he would be.

"A lot of ways you get lucky," assistant general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said. "When you make moves, you bank on what people have done in the past. We got Garcia last year, and he was arguably one of the best starting pitchers in baseball the last month and a half of the [2006] season. You have to base your information off what you see, what you're scouts are saying, and how people have performed. That's the only reason why we acquired guys like Feliz and Jenkins. They had a certain track record, and we thought they could help us."


Pitching match ups for this week's series against the Marlins.

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