Veteran lefty Scott Eyre wasn't the biggest blip on the Phillies radar of left-handed relievers, but he was the one they were able to come up with. The veteran, who is in his 11th season, has struggled this season and has a 7.19 ERA in 19 appearances and has made two separate trips to the DL. Eyre actually started the season with 9 shutout innings covering 14 appearances and then started the downward spiral.
Always the eternal optimists, the Phillies pointed out that of the nine earned runs that Eyre has allowed this season, six of them came against American League teams. Against National League teams, Eyre has a 3.68 ERA giving some hope that he may be able to help out of the bullpen against NL opponents. Stay tuned for what might happen should the Phillies reach the World Series.
Coming into the season, Eyre had a 4.37 career ERA in 537 Major League games with the White Sox, Blue Jays, Giants and Cubs. Eyre is owed just over $1 million for the remainder of the season and is in the final year of a three-year deal making him eligible for free agency at the end of the season.
To get Eyre, the Phillies had to give up reliever Brian Schlitter. The Phillies drafted Schlitter in the 16th round of the 2007 Draft and he pitched well in the Phillies organization, moving up to High-A Clearwater this season. Last season, Schlitter pitched primarily for Lakewood and had a 3.80 ERA with 3 saves for the BlueClaws. This season with the Threshers he was 4-3 with a 2.22 ERA and six saves in ten opportunities. In 74.1 minor league innings, Schlitter has struck out 80 hitters. Coming into the season, Philly Baseball News had Schlitter ranked as the 63rd best prospect in the organization and he was set to move up the list quickly following his performance at Clearwater this season.
The addition of Eyre should mean that J.A. Happ will be returned to Triple-A Lehigh Valley where he can return to the starting rotation after serving a short time in the Phillies bullpen.