Moyer's Last Stand?

Thumbnail image for moyer 0513.jpgThe Phillies still have not announced who will pitch this week against the Cubs at Wrigley Field.

Tuesday: TBA
Wednesday: TBA
Thursday: TBA

But the fact the Phillies have not said Pedro Martinez needs another rehab start indicates his next start will be in the Majors. He walked none and struck out 11 in six innings Wednesday in Double-A Reading. Ruben Amaro Jr. came away impressed. If the Phillies felt Martinez needed another rehab start, there would be no reason not to say it.

Why keep it a secret?

So if what I just wrote is accurate (oh, yes, I’ve been wrong before), Martinez could make his Phillies debut this week against the Cubs.

How they make it work is another question.

We know Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels, Joe Blanton and J.A. Happ are in the rotation, which leaves Jamie Moyer or Martinez for the fifth spot or a six-man rotation.

Moyer pitches today against the Marlins. He leads the team with 10 wins, but also has a 5.55 ERA, which is the second-highest ERA in the National League. Moyer’s ERA seems to make this an easy decision — just bump him from the rotation, right? — but it is not that easy.

Moyer is not J.D. Durbin, Eude Brito, Robinson Tejada or Brandon Duckworth. He is not just another pitcher. He has 256 wins in his big-league career. He helped the Phillies win a World Series. He is well respected in the clubhouse, front office and organization. At 46, he also isn’t a good fit for the bullpen.

Plus, he doesn’t deserve to be unceremoniously bounced.

He leads the team in wins. The Phillies have a fairly comfortable lead in the National League East with him in the rotation. And Moyer is 7-5 with a 4.45 ERA (41 earned runs in 83 innings) in 14 starts since late May. Opponents have hit .269 against him. Meanwhile, Hamels is 5-5 with a 4.81 ERA (46 earned runs in 86 innings) in his last 14 starts. Opponents have hit .276 against him.

Moyer has been inconsistent, but he has won. And since May he has put up respectable numbers for a No. 5 starter. Don’t misunderstand me, I’m not saying Moyer is a better pitcher than Hamels. I’m saying Moyer hasn’t pitched poorly enough to be automatically yanked from the rotation simply because Martinez, who hasn’t pitched since last season, has arrived.

But that is the dilemma the Phillies face, if they decide to go with a five-man rotation.

I’m glad I’m not them. This is not an easy decision.


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Wins don’t mean jack Todd!

Understood, but you’re missing my point. The point is that this isn’t an easy decision for the Phillies. Moyer certainly hasn’t pitched great — 11 hits in five innings today certainly doesn’t help his cause — but since late May he has pitched about as well as a No. 5 starter is expected to pitch. That said, today’s start against the Marlins makes it easier to go with Pedro.

     I’m just being flippant. Honestly today’s outing by Moyer ranks among his least offensive in my book, if only because the two hits which the Marlins scored runs 2 and 3 off of were little rainbows into the short outfield. And he certainly isn’t the worst #5 starter in the NL, I agree. I just think if Rube is under the impression that Pedro can provide more value than Jamie as a 5th starter, the fact that Moyer leads the team in wins shouldn’t be something that’s stopping him from testing that theory.
     Actually, I expect Pedro to get roughed up when given the chance, and that he will eventually be bumped back out of the rotation for Moyer, which isn’t such a terrible thing when the rest of the rotation is Hamels/Lee/Blanton/Happ. I do worry somewhat about the playoff rotation (perhaps premature given this Marlins series), since Moyer is obviously the 5th man out and I’m afraid Rube/Charlie will be hesitant to act on that.

I don’t know what Pedro has done to suggest that he may get ‘roughed up’. Any of Pedro’s problems in NY were health related and he is apparenty healthy right now. Pedro has had a knack for getting hitters out without his best stuff throughout his career due to his arsenal of multiple pitches.
I would suggest that Pedro has a better chance of being a factor in the postseason than he does of being demoted. He has to stay healthy, but I am confident in his ability to still get ML hitters out.

That ejection today was disgusting. Totally uncalled for. Got some nice photos though:


I am getting so TIRED of hearing the 256 wins, the respect in the clubhouse and the can’t ” unceremoniously ” dump him EXCUSES for not removing Moyer from the rotation. They are just that, Excuses. The Phillies have given him a contract for THIS year and Next year. That’s respect enough, in my book. It’s about performance , at this point and his performance is best measured by that bloated ERA. Plus, the guy pitches to contact way too often and throws only like 80 mph . Sorry, Jamie. Take a seat on the Bench, a trip to the DL ( wink/wink). It’s not about overly solicitious loyalty to ONE guy. It’s about putting the BEST 5 pitchers in a ML Rotation to try to defend a WS crown.

In a perfect world you’d take the names off the back of the jersey and just look at the players. If that’s the case, you wouldn’t be too thrilled with Cole right now, either. But he’s the WS MVP, so they give him lots of room.
It’s similar to the way they treat Chase. His work ethic allows him to fight through slumps while other guys (Rollins, Ruiz) get benched or moved in the lineup.
It’s called human nature, and it occurs in baseball too.

Todd, thanks for laying it all out there for us to see. You know Charlie better than any of us. The team is losing focus and they got killed by avery focused team this weekend. I think it’e good for the race to tighten up a little, even for the Phils to fall to 2nd place. This team doesn’t play well when they are far ahead. Complacency, lack of urgency, laziness, whatever it is, they seem to play with NO passion. That team that led baseball in come from behind victories is LONG GONE. They don’t have it anymore because they don’t need it. I hope that talk Charlie had with them lit a fire under them, or else they can kiss WSC II good-bye!

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