Hello, Phillies fans. Quite frankly, I am surprised by the Phillies’ indecision in regards to calling up Pedro Martinez. I have given deep thought about the Phillies’ options. There are several conclusions I have reached at the moment:
1) Brad Lidge should not be the closer at this time. Lidge has struggled mightily this season; therefore, it would be wise to put him in a role with more room for error – 6th or 7th inning relief – so he can get some work in until he corrects himself. I thought about the possibility of making Martinez the closer; however, I believe he would be more useful as a starter. After striking out 11 batters in only six innings, I have no desire to see Martinez limited to one or two innings in the majors. I would opt to make Ryan Madson the closer at this time.
2) J.A. Happ should remain in the rotation. Yes, the Phils have already said they will keep Happ in the rotation, and I’m glad! Happ is a good young pitcher that should be rewarded for his excellent performance this season. Kudos to you, Happ! You deserve it!
3) Jamie Moyer should be moved to the bullpen.
Think about it! Moyer is 46 years old. Assuming the Phils wish to insert him into the rotation during the playoffs, it would be wise to have him in the bullpen now and keep him fresh for the playoffs. Furthermore, Moyer has been outperformed by Happ and Blanton this season. You know the Phillies will not move Lee or Hamels to the bullpen (nor should they). Moving Moyer to the bullpen would not only keep him fresh for the playoffs (should the Phillies decide they want him in the rotation by then), but having Moyer in the bullpen also provides Charlie Manuel with yet another lefty in the pen for a lefty-lefty matchup in the games.
I think Moyer would perform well in a relief role. He certainly has the stamina to pitch 2 or 3 innings if he has to. Being a relief pitcher might make his slower pitches more effective as hitters are acclimated to the harder stuff from the starters.
I think the Phillies’ best course of actions at this time would be to name Madson as the closer; call up Martinez and put him in the rotation, and move Moyer into the bullpen. If Martinez and Moyer were to both fail in their roles, they can call up Kyle Drabek in September and insert him into the rotation.
If the Phillies were to follow my train of thought, then this is what I see their rotation looking like:
Another possibility is to swap Blanton and Martinez’s spots in the above rotation.
With the likes of Chan Ho Park and Jamie Moyer in the bullpen, the Phillies should have a strong bullpen capable of pitching several innings and presenting matchup problems in their favor.