As Pedro Martinez continues his personal tour around the Phillies minor league system, the question still remains: Where does baseball’s winningest pitcher fit in with the big club when he’s ready?
Most experts believe that JA Happ would be relegated to the bullpen and Martinez would take his spot every fifth day. But here’s the problem with that idea: It doesn’t make the Phillies a better team. Happ may never win any Cy Young Awards or put up the career numbers that Martinez has. But in 2009, Happ definitely gives the Phillies a better chance to win. Does that mean Martinez should head to the bullpen? Not exactly.
Martinez should still take the ball on a regular basis. But its not Happ’s spot that he should be taking, but rather the spot of Jamie Moyer. Sure the ageless wonder leads the Phils with 10 wins, but he 5.55 ERA is almost a run higher than any of the other four. That is what happens when the team scores in droves when he takes the hill. It’s the same reason Rodrigo Lopez picked 3 wins in his first 4 starts. Even I could notch a few wins if I was provided as much run support as Moyer.
Moyer is the only hurler in the rotation that scares the entire fan base when he takes the hill. If the umpire doesn’t give him the corners, then open up another beer because its gonna be a long night. Not to discredit everything the Souderton product has accomplished over his career—as I am a fan from nearby North Penn myself—but right now, he is the weakest link in the chain.
But Moyer doesn’t exactly fit in the bullpen, you say? I know. That’s why the Phillies should cut ties with him altogether. He had a nice run and from everything I know, he’s one hell of a guy. But he doesn’t figure to get a start in the postseason, so let’s just cut it off now.
Is Pedro better than Moyer? That question is yet to be answered. Is Pedro better than Happ? That answer is clear: no. Not in 2009, anyway.