As injuries to the Phillies pitching staff mounted, Eude Brito was brought in from Scranton to serve as an additional option out of the bullpen. It took a little over two weeks until the Phillies decided to use him as an option and then, it wasn't in relief, but as a starter against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Brito opened eyes by allowing just three hits and one earned run over five innings of work. Unfortunately for Brito, it still didn't secure him a spot in the rotation and it would be almost two more weeks before he would make his second start for the Phillies, this time in RFK Stadium in Washington. The results weren't as good (4 IP, 6 H, 2 ER), but by the end of the season, Brito would have put up good enough numbers to get his foot well inside the door.
This spring, there aren't a lot of guarantees in the rotation or in the bullpen. There are some jobs definitely open to battle in the bullpen and the starting rotation could see some battles as well, depending on how everybody performs this spring. Right now, Brito appears to be an odd-man-out, but since that isn't written in stone, don't be too surprised if he emerges and finds himself getting consideration for a job with the big league club.
|YEAR / TEAM||W||L||ERA||SV||G||GS||IP||H||R||ER||HR||BB||KO|
|Minor League Totals||30||25||4.00||17||207||35||472.2||442||247||210||40||183||386|
Acquired: Signed by the Phillies as an amateur free agent on July 3, 1998.
Repertoire: Brito features all the basics. Fastball, slider, curve and change-up. While none of them are dominating, Brito is smart enough to mix his pitches well and keep hitters guessing about what he's going to throw and when. As he matured, Brito developed near pinpoint control and uses that control to keep pitches down in the zone and away from hitters. Granted, he sometimes makes mistakes and pays dearly for them, but usually, his control is good enough to make his pitches more effective.
Projection: While he's technically in the mix for a major league job, Brito's chances aren't great, especially in the bullpen, since there are already three other left-handers who are pretty securely placed in the Phillies' bullpen for 2006. They could use a left-hander in the rotation, with the absence of Randy Wolf. Over his minor league career, Brito posted a 3.74 ERA as a reliever and a 4.26 ERA as a starter. Over his last two seasons though, Brito posted a 5.04 ERA in relief and a 4.34 mark as a starter. The Phillies believe that Brito is better suited to pitch as a starter, but certainly haven't ruled out giving him a bullpen job if one of the left-handers fails.
ETA: Brito is likely ready now, as he showed in his audition with the Phillies last season. Keep in mind though that he didn't even have quite one full season at AAA, so sending him back wouldn't be a complete waste. Brito is one of the players who was caught up in the red tape of 9/11 and aged three full years. He would be a much bigger prospect if he were actually only 24 and not 27 coming into the 2006 season.
Comparison: Because Brito has never had a full shot being either a starter or reliever, it's hard to draw direct comparisons. Some scouts believe that he could be developed into a middle-of-the-rotation starter, while others believe that he's destined to be one of those guys who will bounce back and forth between the rotation and bullpen.