Is Romero Lost for the Season?

Thumbnail image for j.c. romero.jpgCharlie Manuel
and Rich Dubee had hoped to have a handful of relief pitchers to choose from next week when they selected their postseason roster.

Those pitchers are dropping like flies.

We learned Wednesday that Jamie Moyer is lost for the season because of torn tendons in his left groin. Chan Ho Park suffered a setback yesterday when he left an Instructional League game in Clearwater when he felt something in his right hamstring. No word on how serious it is, but Park flew to Philly last night to be examined today. That does not sound good. The Phillies then announced J.C. Romero still has symptoms in his left forearm and is going to seek a second opinion from orthopedist David Altchek sometime this week in New York.

“I haven’t been counting on him (to pitch in the playoffs),” Manuel said of Romero. “I’ve told you guys before, if you’re not healthy or you’re not well … I’ve got to go with the guys I know who are ready to go and ready to pitch.”

If those three are out for the NLDS — and I have to think they are at this point — that leaves the Phillies with a group that includes Clay Condrey, Chad Durbin, Sergio Escalona, Scott Eyre, Kyle Kendrick, Brad Lidge, Ryan Madson, Brett MyersTyler Walker and either J.A. Happ or Pedro Martinez.

That is 10 pitchers for eight spots, and three of those pitchers — Eyre, Myers and Condrey — are returning from their own injuries. Romero’s troubles could seal Happ’s fate to the bullpen because the Phillies need a healthy lefty in the bullpen. That would leave seven spots for nine pitchers. Could Escalona be one of them? He threw a scoreless inning last night, but is a rookie with just 11 big-league innings under his belt.

“If it comes down to that I’ll trust him,” Manuel said. “You’ve got to go with what you’ve got. That’s basically what I’ve been doing for five years.”


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Personally I think the bigger loss is Chan Ho Park. Romero has hardly pitched all season btwn his suspension and then going on the DL. Park has been terrific since going the pen.

Karen, while Park is a greater loss in one way, ROmero’s loss isn’t that he can’t pitch, but that Happ has to be in the pen and not in the rotation. He’s been the best starter on the team all year (except for Lee’s first 5 games) and we’ll miss hom as the 4th starter in the playoffs. Kendrick, however has surprosed this year and is capable of taking over Park’s role as midle relief.

I think they probably rushed Chan Ho, and now he probably won’t be available for later series if they happen to advance. Too bad, he and Romero would be huge. De-activate Escalona and Walker, and use Happ in the bullpen. It’s the only real choice, as they need a proven lefty. They have to be careful with Eyre as it is.
Magic number is two to guarantee that they stay ahead of the Cardinals.

The make-up of the Bullpen all depends on whose healthy on the eve of the decision deadline. For me, Happ needs to be in the rotation and not the Bullpen UNLESS Eyre cannot go. At that point, you put Happ with Escalona in the Bullpen ( because it’s best to have 2 bullpen Leftys). If Eyre is okay, it’s Eyre and Escalona in the Bullpen as lefty’s. The notion that Escalona is too young and inexperienced is absurd. He’s 24 years old, has closed at Double A and Triple A very successfully ( so he’s used to pressure situations) and has more than held his own at the ML level. At this point, based on health and experiece THIS year, I’d argue that Escalona has had more pitching experience than Romero ( the GNC kid). Happ, technically a rookie, proved the skeptics wrong and made the playoff roster as a bullpen Lefty last year, didn’t he? Besides, Escalona has proven he CAN pitch.

dolfanman: Your conclusion is correct, but your logic is flawed. To say that Escalona “has closed at Double A and Triple A very successfully ( so he’s used to pressure situations)” is ridiculous. How many of those AA games were playoff games in front of 45,000 people on national television. These games over the next month are an entirely different season, and certainly not to be confused with the Toledo Mud Hens or whatever – and not even to be confused with pitching against the Nationals in August.
We’ll see if he has the stomach for it.

Zo……..Any word on the play-off rotation? I heard, from a friend of mine, that it’s set. With Hamels, Lee, Blanton. And Kendrick also making it in. I have no idea where he got his info, though. Couldn’t find anything on the Phillies website.

Never mind. Just heard back from my friend. That was his *educated guess*. He did admit……”This is how rumors get started”. Yeah!

norma: I heard Ruben on WIP this afternoon. He said they haven’t yet sat down to talk about the #4 starter. He said it will depend on whom they play.

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