Amaro: 'Happ's Not Going Anywhere'

Thumbnail image for happ 0805b.jpgRuben 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.


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best phils news ive heard in a week.

Thanks for posting that garbage twice fij.

Happ closed that door last night, but they’ll never go six deep. That makes no sense. I’ll wager that Jamie will make a start against the Fish and step aside for a while. It’s the right thing to do.

Joed and Phan: I think you guys don’t know who Pedro is, you only remember who he WAS. This is my answer to your questions on the previous thread:

Pedro would have been the perfect signing if you weren’t going to get Halladay or Lee. Once you decided that you were getting a proper #1, no matter what, then you had to look at the bottom half of the rotation. When he was signed, we had Happ as #3, Moyer #4 and Lopez #5. Obviously Lee pushed Lopez out of the rotation. This left us where we are now. Unless you intended to move Moyer, or had concerns about happ, Pedro is uselesss. Since Happ has removed any concerns (if they existed) and Pedro can’t even get a “quality” start in AA ball, why would you start him?

If you are looking to bring up a pitcher to replacce Moyer, look at some of the kids we have in AAA who are pithcing fabulously (Carpenter 9-2 2.72, Lehr 13-3 3.31) or in AA who are doing equally as good (Stutes, 8-6 3.86, Drabek 7-1 3.42)

Since Pedro isn’t going to be in the rotation in the post season in any case as the #5 starter, don’t start with his experience, maturity, post season record etc. It’s irelevent. We need a 5th starter for between 8-11 starts. We need the best one in the organization. IMHO the correct guy is sitting in the bullpen right now–Lopez

f-i-j, the fact that you prefer Lopez over Martinez tells me all I need to know to end this conversation.
BTW, if the Phillies thought Carpenter was a viable candidate he would have had the opportunity long ago; instead they went with the likes of Bastardo. Drabek is not ready to pitch in the major leagues. He has a MLB ready fastball, but his secondary pitches need plenty of work.

Lopez’s WHIP is 1.60. Someone really wants him in the rotation? Really?

Like I said before, Pedro was obviously working on certain things while he made his rehab starts. That’s what major leaguers do down in the minors. But what do I know, Rodrigo Lopez is an ace and I never even knew it.

Amaro says why can’t we go with a six man rotation? well I say why is it necessary to have Pedro on this team at all? Thank god that he realized that taking Happ out would be the worst idea of them all, we don’t need Pedro Martinez

Obviously the minor leaguers I mentioned aren’t the answer, but they all have better era’s in AA or above then Pedro’s. Pedro is a washed up future HoFer who wants to win one more time. Good for him. However, this team doesn’t need him, and quite possible never did. As for Lopez’s WHIP, what was it before his outing from teh Pen the other night? He was pitching far better tehn Moyer, who will pitch far better then Pedro.

To sum up: I’d rather have anyone pitch for teh Phillies then Pedro. He has done nothing to show me he’s ready to pitch in the majors.

Pedro isn’t a major leaguer in the minors, he’s guy who hasn’t pitched in over a year trying to win a spot on the team. He should be going out and pitching his best every start down there. His bullpen sessions are where he should be working out things.
He’s also no ace. He’s a former Cy Young winner in a previous life time. Right now he’s the same as any other want-to-be big league pitcher

Pedro performance in the past couple years was affected by his health. He is getting back to 100% and in doing so he has to feel his pitches out which is exactly what he is doing. He could no-hit a AA club but he is trying to prepare himself for the bigs. He should only be working on those things in his bullpen sessions? That’s pretty wise. Who is swinging at his stuff in bullpen sessions? Games are where you get game experience Einstein. It’s cool, just keep running Rodrigo out there and see if the bend but don’t break approach keeps working for him. Why am I even still going back and forth with you on this. You couldn’t be any more wrong.

Because Rube, if you go with a 6 man rotation, you’re taking away starts from Hamels, Lee, Blanton, and Happ. Just pick one of Moyer/Martinez like you should, and stop being a vacillating baby about it.

You’ve apparently been out of the country for far too long f-i-j. Piching in a live game is the only way to get feedback. For instance, it is how Pdero figured out that he had to spot his pitches better from the stretch.
Rodrigo Lopez did a nice job holding the fort. He is far from the answer for a team trying to win a division. Get over it already.

COOL BEANS!!! Ruben continues to impress me.

As for Pedro II (I call him that to not confuse him with Pedro Feliz), we won’t know anything of what he’s capable until he starts a game or two. I’m sure I’m preaching to the choir when I say that often time when folks rehab in the minors, they are working on many things at the same time. He was obviously acquired before they knew the Cliff Lee deal was going to go through and they needed some additional pitching insurance.

Every time Amaro says “6-man rotation” my sphincter tightens a little.
Meanwhile, Chuck Manuel isn’t saying anything.

Yeah, Lopez was an admirable fill-in, but that’s all he is, a fill-in. He’s the kind of emergency spot starter that is good for teams to have in a pinch but those guys are a dime a dozen.

Pedro has stared a few games. In the last one he stared against guys who aren’t even good enough to be in AAA ball, he gave up 4 runs (3 er) in 6 innings. I assume that he was trying to pitch to get the guys out and not just to see if he could put the pitch where he wanted. That is the point of game situations, right Joed? To see if you can get guys out? Yes you learn from mistakes made in games, and you work out the corrections in bullpen sessions and see if they truly work in your next game.

Unlike Myers or other pitchers who are in pitching in teh minors to build up arm stregnth after being hurt, or to ensure that they are healthy enough to pitch again, Pedro claims he’s ready to pitch in teh big leagues. He claims his arm is ready to start. Therefore, his pathetic outing yesterday only shows he’s not anywhere near good enough to be on the Phillies. When he pitches 7+ innings of 2 run ball in AAA talk to me

fij, I won’t talk to you anymore because you are a complete idiot.

f_i_j, he struck out 10, and the point of a minor league start for him is not to see if you can get people out, it’s to work on your location and try your secondary pitches. Because if you can get those right, you can get people out in the majors.

Part of what bother’s me about Pedro is he seemed to dominate for the first 4 innings (9-10 Ks) he fell apart for his final two innings. This just shows he’s not ready to pitch in the big leagues yet, at least not better then the 6 innings Moyer gives us. That is my beef, that he won’t be an upgrade over what (little) we have. If he porves me wrong and starts going deeper into games with quality innings and quality starts (and I mean real quality, not that stupid 6ip and 3er is a quality start BS) then perhaps it’s worth discussing, but right now, there is no reason to change our 5 man rotation

Hamels, Lee, Blanton, and Happ… who’s your number five starter for the last 57 games of the season? Most teams would slap their grandmothers for such a dilemma. Moyer, Martinez, AND Lopez are basically cannon fodder at this point and whatever happens there will not tip the balance of the season either way. Who cares, let them platoon. The bullpen really is the major issue these days; it has got to work through the fourth game of the World Series, and things are pretty shaky now. Obviously it’s not time to bail on Lidge, but you’d be smart to have plan B in the bullpen, so to speak, and Myers and/or Martinez may be realistic alternatives. Myers in top form is a proven commodity, and Martinez seems to still have the velocity to come out of the pen for an inning or so. Moyer or Park for the middle? Park has definitely earned it for this season, Moyer is simply a sentimental choice.

A six-man rotation? Ruben, yer just goofin’ with us.

wmac, the word on Pedro is he takes an inning or so to get going. If this is the case, not a good match for short relief work. Be better, if at all, as long relief in case starter gets bombed

f_i_j, why exactly is that the “word” on Pedro? If you total the first two innings of every start he’s had, you get 5 1/3 IP, 2 ER, 3H, 7K, 0BB for a 3.37 ERA. Sounds like he’s “going” just fine in the first inning or two.

Another great start from Cliff, the bullpen better hold this lead!!! Not a good start, leadoff single for Helton vs. Madson…


Certainly an encouraging outing for Lidge. He was throwing the slider as much as he used to instead of staying away from it, he was putting it where he wanted instead of 2 feet in front of the plate, and it was biting like it did in 2008. Something to build on for him.

Phylan: In all the talk around the different senerios if we got Halladay, etc I recall reading something from one of the writers (not a phan, but either TOdd, Dave, Andy or on espn or fox) that Pedro would not be suited for short relief as his first inning is not his strongest. I just tried to find it with no success. If anyone else remembers seeing this and can provide teh link, that would be great, otherwise, since I can’t provide a source I’ll take the comment back (until I locate the f*cking source).

Great game by Lee. Anyone notice that Rollins missed the cycle by a HR? Kind of funny since he’s been hitting them more often then Howard lately.

Dare we say “Welcome Back bridge and lidge?”

A big relief to hear about Happ! And another big relief to hear Ruben say they may get “creative.” Thinking outside the box is something we rarely see and I will be very impressed if he pulls this off effectively.


Just noticed this tidbit about Durbin: “He will rejoin the team Saturday to decide if he is ready to rejoin the team.” Sounds like it will be an easy decision!😀

It seems to me as though Ruben is over-stepping his bounds as GM. A General Manager’s job is to provide players to the manager. Ruben talks a lot about the rotation and who stays and goes, yet we haven’t heard a peep out of Chuck Manuel – the Manager.
It’s the manager’s job to decide on who pitches and when they pitch. The General Manager should probably make the deals and keep his mouth shut.

Ruben said he thought Pedro could throw 100 pitches. That kind of implies that he could pitch well enough to get to 100 pitches. If Ruben had any doubts about Pedro, he wouldn’t have said that. I’d like to see him pitch.

muleman, the GM is actually often involved in those kinds of decisions. He confers with the manager on how many pitchers versus how many position players to carry on a roster, and decides who to call up and send down from/to the minor league teams. And in this case I think it’s a good idea to let Rube give Manuel the players he works with in the slots that they are best fit to fill. Not that I don’t trust Manuel, but managers tend to let their gut feelings and clunky old baseball “wisdom” get in the way of making objective decisions about players. Not that I’m saying Manuel would do this, but it’s always a factor in this kind of thing.

I think by Ruben making this statement, it makes it easier on Manuel to maintain his relationship with Moyer and the team should Moyer get pulled from his spot. Sometimes you need someone not in the dugout to play the “bad guy”. This is just a guess on my part, but there is alot made of the relationship and respect between Charlie and the players, so perhaps this helps maintain that in what will be a tough move (even though from our perspective as fans, most of us agree to give Pedro a shot in Moyer’s turn rather than Happs).

I wouldn’t for a second believe that Ruben made that statement without some consultation with Chollie and the coaching staff.

That win yesterday reminded me of last year’s playoff baseball. Great pitching, scratching out runs and a big finish by the closer. Lidge threw strikes and got out of there quickly and he finally got his ERA under 7.00.

Time to fillet the Fish.

f_i_j, the basic ingredient missing in Pedro’s minor league starts is ADRENALINE. What you don’t seem to get is that Pedro is 100% healthy. They put him on the DL because his contract demanded that he be on the roster. He never had an injury. His arm is fresh and he is talking and acting like a kid excited to play. I think he lost that in New York. Even when he wasn’t injured, he didn’t have that same fire in his eyes and voice. His fast ball is 90-93. His off-speed pitches are all working for him. He needs to improve location, but remember, this is his spring training. If you don’t want him on the team because of the disruptions his presence on the roster is causing. I see your point. BUT if you think Pedro can’t pitch because of the stats you looked at, joed21 is right about your position on this.

90-93 is a bit generous, although I agree with most of the rest of what you said. I’d say he’d hit 93 once or twice out of 100 pitches. It’s more like 88-90.

I stand by BOTH reasons not to bring him up. Loyer is no ACE \, but he’s a good influence on the kids on the staff and the players love him. Pedro, as excited as he may be, and as motivated as he may be, just pithced to a AA team. HisERA with runners on was 18.00 and with runners in scoring posistion 54 (defiantely CY YOung quality, Jeod). His last two innings he was simply awful. He may have the desire, but not the ability. Not to be in the rotation and not in the Pen. Send him to the beach, eat the million and get on with repeating

Moyer goes on the DL, Then we see what Pedro has left in the tank. Whether you like it or not he is going to get a start or two.

phylan: I think I knew that the GM is involved in player decisions. Duh. What is odd is that the GM is making announcements regarding pitching rotations. I’m not the only one saying that, either.
phan52: From the look of “Chollie’s” press conference the other night, he appeared puzzled when a reporter asked him about Happ’s place in the rotation, as though Amaro hadn’t discussed it with him. That’s the issue.
I still think Rube was speaking out of turn and whether or not he and “Chollie” discussed anything, it’s not the GMs place to make those kind of announcements. It’s just protocol.

Just want to throw my 2 cents in here, tried to read everyones comments over the last 24 hours or so, may have missed something, or it could be my mind is just gone….
1- Martinez was originally put on the DL because he showed sign of sholder sorenes from doing his 2 tryouts for the scouts, this was also a way for them to put him in the minors for further evaluation.
2- IMO, he probably needs 1 more start before being considered to move up.
3- Although minor league pitching isn’t the same as the majors and yes the guys use it to check on location, volocity etc, when they are 1 or 2 minor league starts away they have to pitch as if they were in the majors.
4- The hitters in the majors can hit almost anything, sometimes even when it has good location, a lot of the final eval, is on variations, speed, pitch type, location, to 1 hitter.
5- IMO , also had martinez pitched against the Rockies i think he would have struggled a lot worse than Moyer did, which is why i think he needs at least 1 more start in the minors.
6- What to do with a 6 man starting rotation…. good frickin question…everyone has there own idea of who stays and who goes, in reality it’s up to the men who get the big bucks… as much as we’d all like it to be general concensus on here, hmmm maybe they should try that for a couple of starts…

This whole situation has gotten way out of hand. A 6-man rotation is a recipe for disaster. I’d feel better about a 4-man rotation. Pedro signed a contract that guaranteed him a chance to start. If he can’t hack it any more, he’s willing to go into the pen. That’s why his contract has incentives for relief pitching. Ruben is obliged to force Charlie to start him. Jamie has incentives in his contract too. It wouldn’t be right not to give him a chance to reach those marks. If Jamie skips a start, he is much more likely to get shelled. He needs to pitch to pitch better; that is the inconsistency of Moyer. After he gets shelled, he pitches a gem. He’s due for a gem, so…

Put Mathieson in the five spot.

Mathieson should be a candidate for the bullpen. And who is this guy BJ Rosenberg, who is moving up the minor league ladder?

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