The Philadelphia Phillies acquired a bevy of young arms at the trade deadline, but one under-the-radar signing is providing a nice boost to the bullpen.
Left-hander Elvis Araujo, who never pitched about the Double-A level in the minor leagues, is emerging as a dependable force for the Phillies since the All-Star break.
The 6-foot-7 Araujo has not allowed a run or a hit in his last nine appearances dating to July 19. He has struck out 10 and walked only three during the impressive stretch.
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"We're going in baby steps with him and he's responding," Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said. "He's got a lot of confidence right now."
Philadelphia signed the 24-year-old Venezuelan in November and promoted him from Double-A Reading in May despite an unsightly 7.45 ERA in seven apperances. Mackanin cited better control and learning how to pitch as reasons for Araujo's development.
"I think he's starting to figure out that he doesn't need to throw the ball 98 miles an hour in order to locate his pitches, that has a little bit to do with it," Mackanin said. "He's got a good arm, good stuff and hopefully he'll continue to improve."