Phillies Profile – Joe Savery

In Philadelphia Phillies on April 4, 2012 at 7:35 pm

Over the next 28 days Philly Pressbox ( (@phillypressbox) will be doing a review and analysis of each Phillies player, Manager Charlie Manuel and the coaching staff leading up to Opening Day 2012.  On Day 27 we preview, Joe Savery.

Joe Savery –Savery making the Opening Day roster, as a pitcher, is a dream come true for the former 1st round draft pick, #19 overall, of the Phillies in the 2007 amateur draft out of Rice University. The amazing story is that the lefthanded Savery crashed as a pitcher in the minor leagues. The only reason he was still in baseball is because he was also a great hitter and the Phillies tried to make him a 1st baseman.

Early in his career Savory progressed fairly well. In 2007, right out of college, he posted a 2-3 record at Williamsport in 7 appearances. He was promoted to Clearwater in 2008 and posted a 9-10 record with a 4.13 ERA in 150.1 innings. 2009 saw another promotion, he pitched 21 games at AA Reading and 7 games at AAA Lehigh Valley. His combined totals were 16 wins, 6 loses with a 4.40 ERA with 151.1 innings worked. Although the numbers looked good, Savery’s control was becoming an issue. He walked 77 and struck out 96. The following year, 2010, the wheels came off for Savery. While pitching at Lehigh Valley he posted a 1-12 record with a 4.66 ERA in 127.1 innings. He walked 51 and struck out 67.

The Phillies pulled the plug after the disaster of 2010. Savery was sent back to Clearwater to start over as a 1st baseman. He pitched only 2 innings at Clearwater, but hit .307 with 2 home runs and 25 RBI’s in 52 games. His bat got him promoted to Reading again. At that point the Phillies made the decision for Savory to go back on the hill. He pitched 9 innings at Reading, all in relief, going 1-0 with a 1.00 ERA. He walked “0” batters and struck out 14. His mid-90’s velocity was back! The Phillies quickly promoted him to Lehigh Valley where he pitched 18 games of relief, recorded 2 saves along with 4-0 record and 1.80 ERA. He walked 6 and struck out 26. The 2011 odyssey ended with a call up to the Phillies. He pitched in 4 games for The Fightins, throwing 2.2 innings of scoreless baseball.

What a journey from Class A 1st baseman to a major league pitcher in one season!

Upon being notified that he had made the 2012 Opening day roster the 26 year old said, “There were a number of things that factored into that, I didn’t pitch for 9 months, so I’m sure that helped.

“Being in the infield and having to shorten up my arm motion helped. And the rest was just an act of God.

“I don’t know how to explain it. I’d like to think those things were part of it, but it just doesn’t make sense to me sometimes.”

Savery has been humbled by his experience but realizes that this is just the beginning of his new odyssey. He plans to continue the hard work that got him the call to the big leagues. “I need to get better and learn from these guys and hopefully help them win some games. To make an Opening Day roster, to be there for the romantic side of baseball in this country – to be part of that – I’m really looking forward to that and very thankful.”

Personal Analysis:

We thought that Savery was going to be the guy all along to get the call. The forearm tightness that Antonio Bastardo suffered was just another indication that the Phils would need to bring another lefthanded reliever north with them and Savery was that guy. We expect Savory to get a lot of work as a 7th inning guy and gain experience, unless Bastardo can’t stay healthy and his role expands. He is considered an excellent athlete and a hard working player as shown by his journey. We don’t look for big numbers from Savery; however, we do look for a nice contribution from him. He can also hit, if needed.

Tomorrow we will preview Michael Stutes & Pete Orr.

The series: Day 1, Charlie Manuel. Day 2, The Coaching Staff. Day 3, Roy Halladay. Day 4, Cliff Lee. Day 5, Cole Hamels. Day 6, Vance Worley. Day 7, Joe Blanton. Day 8, Carlos “Chooch” Ruiz. Day 9, Ryan Howard. Day 10, Chase Utley. Day 11, Jimmy Rollins. Day 12, Placido Polanco. Day 13, John Mayberry, Jr. Day 14, Shane Victorino. Day 15, Hunter Pence. Day 16, Brian Schneider. Day 17, Jim Thome. Day 18, Kyle Kendrick. Day 19, Antonio Bastardo. Day 20, Ty Wigginton. Day 21, Chad Qualls. Day 22, Freddy Galvis. Day 23, David Herndon. Day 24, Juan Pierre. Day 25, Laynce Nix, Day 26, Jonathan Papelbon.

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