Could Happ Help the Pen?
But as good as he has been in the rotation, he could be in the bullpen in the postseason. In fact, he could be pitching in some big spots in some big games.
“Happ really has improved as the season has gone on,” Charlie Manuel said after the game. “I like Happ as a starter. I always have. But at the same time, I also see the way our pitching looks. There would be a chance that he could wind up in the back end of our bullpen if we don’t get some things straightened out and (J.C.) Romero doesn’t come back or something. I’m not going to say we’re going to do that, but we’re going to talk about it if we don’t have any lefties.”
Asked if he could see Happ as a ninth-inning guy, Manuel said, “Yeah, probably. You know one of the big things about Happ is? He’s not afraid to throw his secondary pitches. He’s really improved a whole lot. He’s still got a little ways to go yet, but he has really improved as the season goes along.”
And those improvements translate into him being able to shut down a team for an inning?
“Yeah, I think he could do that,” Manuel said. “And I think his experience that he has in the last couple years can allow him to do that, too. He throws strikes, and he definitely is not scared. I’ll talk about that. I don’t know exactly how we set up yet. If we get J.C. Romero back or something … I like Happ as a starter. I always have. He’s got a big future.”
So Happ, who has gone from bullpen to rotation to hot topic of conversation in Roy Halladay trade rumors, could be headed back to the bullpen if the bullpen doesn’t get healthy fast.
“I’m not looking that far ahead,” Happ said. “I have two starts left and I feel I can help us that way. But I want to help us, period. Whatever way that is, that’s what it is.”
Ryan Howard‘s two RBIs pulled him into a first-place tie with Prince Fielder for the Major League-lead with 132.