Amaro: 'Happ's Not Going Anywhere'
Ruben Amaro Jr. ended the speculation this morning at Citizens Bank Park.
Could J.A. Happ really be moved from the rotation?
“Happ’s not going anywhere. He’s not going out of the rotation,” Amaro said. “He deserves to stay in the rotation. He has pitched very well. He’s one of our most effective starters.”
There are six pitchers for the rotation upon Pedro Martinez‘s imminent arrival: Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels, Joe Blanton, Jamie Moyer, Martinez and Happ. Martinez pitched last night, throwing well in Double-A Reading. The Phillies have not decided if Martinez is ready to join the big leagues, although he said last night and again today he is ready. Amaro also came away impressed with what he saw in Reading. He struck out 11 and walked none in six innings. It was just Double-A, but Amaro said those are good numbers anywhere, including Little League.
So who gets bumped if Happ is in? Moyer? Martinez?
“Why can’t we go with a six-man rotation?” Amaro said.
Because the Phillies have three of the next four Mondays off, which means they would be pitching about once a week?
“We still haven’t made a decision, but it’s not out of the realm of possibility that six guys could pitch in our rotation,” Amaro said. “We haven’t discussed it yet. There are a lot of possibilities. You never what’s going to happen the next week to 10 days. A man could go down right now. There are a lot of things that could happen the next week or so that would change our thinking.”
But another problem with a six-man rotation is that means fewer starts for the team’s best pitchers. In this case, that would be Lee, Blanton, Happ and Hamels.
“It depends how you utilize it,” Amaro said. “You can be creative and set up the rotation so certain guys go every five days and other guys get pushed back. The fact of the matter is, we’re not there yet. But we are in a situation where we have six starters, and we’ll see how creative we can be.”
Martinez threw just 82 pitches last night, but Amaro said Martinez’s fastball clocked 90 to 91 mph in the sixth inning last night. It ranged from 86 to 92 throughout the game.
“They had a very long offensive inning in the bottom of the sixth,” Amaro said. “They were planning on him going back out there for the seventh. But after a pitching change and another pitching change (in the bottom of the sixth), they made the right decision by not putting him back out there.
Based on what Amaro saw, he said he thinks Martinez could throw at least 100 pitches in a start.
Right-hander Chad Durbin made a rehab appearance last night with Single-A Clearwater. Amaro said he felt fine physically. He will pitch again Friday. He will rejoin the team Saturday to decide if he is ready to rejoin the team.