The Phillies aren't shy about the fact that they need pitching and left-handers are always a priority. With that in mind, the Phillies plucked lefty Shane Youman off the waiver wire at the expense of the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Youman has yet to distinguish himself as a Major League caliber pitcher with a 3-7 career mark and a 5.13 ERA with the Pirates over parts of two seasons. In the minors, Youman has pitched much better with a career mark of 37-19 and an ERA of 3.36. This past season, Youman pitched in two games against the Phillies, one as a starter and the other as a reliever, and went 0-1, 15.00 in those two games. Still, the Phillies saw something in him that they like and used a waiver claim to get him.
The Phillies will bring Youman into camp and let him fight for a bullpen spot as a second left-hander in the bullpen. J.C. Romero will be the primary left-hander out of the bullpen, but could be used for longer stints if the Phillies can find another situational lefty. Somewhat surprisingly, Youman had a higher opponents against average versus left-handers (.306) than right-handers (.297) last year for Pittsburgh. He'll need to reverse that trend if he's to stick with the club as a left-hander used to get left-handed hitters out in key spots.
As they prepare for the Winter Meetings, the Phillies now have 39 players on their 40 man roster.