The Fifth Job
So where are the Phillies with the fifth spot in their rotation?
“Dead tie,” Charlie Manuel said today.
Maybe because the competition hasn’t started yet.
“It hasn’t even gotten out of the gate,” Rich Dubee said. “I really don’t look at first, maybe even second outings. Repeating a delivery takes time, and a lot of these guys are in brand new shoes, so they’ve got to break those in. But I like what I’ve seen. But they need more reps. They need to go through a lineup two or three times.”
But while the Phillies say nobody has won the competition (or even taken a lead), certainly nobody has put himself in a hole, either. Carlos Carrasco and J.A. Happ, who pitch tomorrow afternoon against the Toronto Blue Jays in Dunedin, each threw two scoreless innings last week. Kyle Kendrick allowed a run in 2 2/3 innings Saturday, and Chan Ho Park allowed a run in three innings today.
This has the potential to be a very close, very competitive race over the next few weeks, which is good for the Phillies because it means, you know, they have talent and depth. But Park’s situation intrigues me. What if Park pitches just a tick better than Happ, Carrasco or Kendrick? Do they give him the job? Or do they put him in the bullpen, and give the job to the person who finished just behind him? Park bypassed the WBC because he wants to start, but the Phillies would benefit from having him in the bullpen because he can pitch multiple innings — which they could use with J.C. Romero serving a 50-game suspension to open the season. In other words, I wonder if Park has to go head and shoulders above the other three pitchers to get into the rotation.
Johan Santana‘s elbow is healed! Healed, the Mets say!
(They better hope so.)