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.


Phillyfan77 said...

I think you have some good points, but how can the Phills sit their starter that has 10 wins this year? He got it done in the World Series last year, and he's continuing the magic this year. I vote for Pedro to the pen. It's what's got to happen.

John said...

Moyer has to go to the pen. 5+ ERAs dont cut it. Let's get serious!

T-Bone said...

Agree that Moyer is the odd man out, and may likely have put up the last consistently good season of his career last year. But I don't see him coming out of the bullpen with those puff balls & his reliance on the umps to expand the corners by 2-3 inches. Don't really need him in that role either. How 'bout asking him to take a few weeks off to rest the old arm, or come up with a ghost injury to put him on the DL for a bit? Pedro is still an unknown quantity until he gets some big league action, so this would buy some time to work him into the rotation -- and see if he can reliably perform there -- while keeping Moyer in reserve in the event Pedro's "comeback" turns out to be more wishful thinking than reality. Moyer is clearly the guy who has to be moved now, but I think putting him in the pen with the "stuff" he's been showing lately is a huge, & unnecessary, risk.

Gorilla said...

A lot of good points.

Do you think Moyer would allow the Phillies to create a phantom injury to buy time for a Pedro assessment?

I have a feeling he could very well say, "I have too much integrity to allow this to happen. I'd rather be released then be a burden to the organization. If I'm healthy enough to pitch I'll take my chances with whatever club picks me up or simply retire."

Even though he's a local boy and loves the city, I was around the clubhouse last year and think he would gracefully step aside and not participate in a dog and pony show.

He's got the ring and doesn't need to hang around for "what if" scenarios.

I know phantom injuries are part of the game, but I think that's for a younger generation. I could very easily see Moyer sling a bag over his shoulder and saunter towards a Souderton sunset on his way out of town.