PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – It was a special day for Joe Savery in the first game of yesterday’s doubleheader against the Nationals. The 25-year-old lefthander made his Major League debut in the 4-3, ten-inning loss (see related story). He got one out and gave up a hit in a scoreless appearance in the 7th inning — an inning Brad Lidge finished up, getting the two final outs.
“I felt more comfortable than I thought I would,” he tells KYW Newsradio. “I think getting up in the pen (Monday) night really helped to calm me a little bit. I felt good out there. It was obviously a big situation for the team and Brad did a great job coming in and closing the inning down.”
Hear Matt Leon’s full interview with Joe Savery in this CBS Philly SportsPod…
In college at Rice, Savery excelled on the mound and at the plate.
His first four seasons in the Phillies organization were spent as a starting pitcher, but after he went 1-12 for AAA Lehigh Valley in 2010, Savery switched to the field, starting 2011 in Single-A Clearwater playing the outfield and first base — and hitting .307.
But then he was switched back to the mound, and the bullpen.
“I had to throw in an extra-inning game in Clearwater one night and my arm was working pretty good even though it hadn’t been on the mound much, and I think that probably started the conversations,” he recalls. “(I) threw a few bullpens here and there, and I think the reports from the coaching staff were good. And they sat me down in Reading and said, ‘We want to see what you can still do on the mound.’ And that was part of the agreement coming into the season, so that wasn’t a huge shock to me. And I was fine with it and it has obviously worked out for the best.”
So, could he ever see a day where he does both in the bigs — pitch out of the bullpen and also serve as an extra bat off the bench?
“I doubt it, and certainly not with this team. This is a team that has plenty of lefthanded bats and plenty of very, very good ones. I would obviously love to get in there and have an at-bat or two at some point. But it’s hard enough to be in this league at one position. My focus is on doing that.”
Savery went 5-0 at AA Reading and Lehigh Valley this season out of the bullpen, with a 1.59 ERA.
Reported by Matt Leon, KYW Newsradio 1060