Results tagged ‘ Jamie Moyer ’
Is this a surprise? Not really. Martinez basically said he would be starting following Game 2 yesterday.
“First of all, we think he’s very healthy,” Charlie Manuel said. “The first thing you’re going to ask me is about the weather. He has pitched in cold weather. He pitched in Boston and also pitched a playoff game against us when I was in Cleveland where he came in with a bad arm. He went about five or six innings in a playoff game, and it was cold that night.
“He’s says he’s ready and up for it.”
Manuel said the Phillies will hold back Joe Blanton because it gives them a stronger bullpen. That indicates to me that J.A. Happ, who Manuel said is OK after suffering a bruised left leg yesterday, will be the Game 4 starter. Of course, that could change. I mean, I never thought Manuel would use both Blanton and Happ yesterday.
“We feel like Blanton’s a horse,” Manuel said.
But I have one concern about Martinez, other the fact it’s going to be ridiculously cold tomorrow night and I wonder how he will handle it. He has thrown just four innnings since Sept. 19. Martinez said yesterday his biggest obstacle would be the layoff, not the weather. I agree.
“I feel like Pedro is capable of going anywhere from 85 to 100 pitches,” Manuel said. “And I think he can get you into the sixth or seventh inning if his command is good. … Pedro is in very good shape, a lot better shape than last year. He’s throwing quite a bit better. He keeps himself ready to go. He throws a lot on the side, and he’s ready to pitch.”
If he’s not ready to pitch, the Phillies could be down 2-1 in the best-of-five series facing elimination Sunday. Regardless, with Pedro on the mound Game 3 is an event. I’m looking forward to it.
Heidi Hamels gave birth to a son, Caleb Michael Hamels, at 9 a.m. this morning. Congrats to Heidi and Cole. No word on when Hamels will rejoin the team.
Ruben Amaro Jr. said Jamie Moyer has been in the hospital since Wednesday with some type of blood infection. Amaro said Moyer is OK, but could spend another night in the hospital.
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 Myers, Tyler 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.”
Phillies doctor Michael Ciccotti said a MRI today revealed two torn tendons in the groin, plus a torn lower abdominal muscle.
“Given the fact that much of what a pitcher generates velocity-wise is from their legs, and given the fact that has he injured two of those adductor tendons and also his lower abdominal muscle, it’s not the type of injury that you can really treat non-operatively to get back and pitch at the level he would want to be pitching at,” Ciccotti said. “It’s really best treated surgically.”
Ciccotti said the goal is to have Moyer ready to pitch by Spring Training. He said 90 to 95 percent of people who have this surgery return to pre-injury level. Of course, Moyer is 46, which could play a factor in his recovery, but Ciccotti sounded optimistic Moyer could recover successfully.
“Jamie has all the qualities you need to get back in terms of focus and dedication to a rehab program,” he said.
Moyer is 12-10 with a 4.94 ERA this season. He was 1-0 with a 1.93 ERA (four earned runs in 18 2/3 innings) in five relief appearances.
I said at the time that I thought the Phillies were hoping he simply would be better than Jamie Moyer, whose 5.47 ERA was the second-highest in baseball. If Martinez wasn’t, the Phillies always could release him because they only guaranteed him about $900,000.
His salary has been a bargain to this point. Martinez went a combined 17-15 with a 4.75 ERA the previous three seasons with the Mets. He is 5-0 with a 2.87 ERA in seven starts with the Phillies, and 3-0 with a 1.66 ERA in his last three — despite the fact he had not pitched since last season and had one rehab start and two regular-season starts shortened because of rain. Like Rich Dubee said last week, Martinez has not had a lot of mound time.
But Martinez allowed six hits and two walks and struck out seven in eight scoreless innings last night in a 1-0 victory over the Mets. He threw 130 pitches. It was the first time he had thrown 130 pitches since May 1, 2001. It was just the 21st time he had thrown that many pitches in his career.
I had heard people say they hoped Martinez pitched well with the Phillies because he is good for baseball. I was not completely certain what they meant. Was it because he is one of the greatest pitchers in baseball history? Of course, but I learned it was more than that. He is a rare player who is bigger than the game. He is larger than life. I remember during his press conference after his first start last month at Wrigley Field. Somebody asked him if he could recapture his Cy Young magic and help this team win.
“I’ve been there,” he said. “For this club, what I’m lacking right now, I might give them at the end. Experience. A cold-blooded person that doesn’t matter how big the game is. I’m going to stand right there. And if anybody fails, they can always count on the old goat to go out there and kind of stand up. I might do that.”
You have to be a little bit of a bad a– to say that and mean it. Most players are uber conservative in what they say publicly, which is understandable. They’re superstitious to a degree. They know how quickly things can turn. Martinez knows those things, too. He has struggled, but he remains supremely confident and unafraid to speak from the heart. He believes when he is healthy, he is a cold-blooded killer on the mound. You say stuff like that then back it up? That is why he is good for baseball.
But can he keep it up?
“I know the toughest games are yet to come,” he said that night at Wrigley. “Come September and October, those are the games that I’m really setting my mind for.”
Charlie Manuel sounded a little like Herm Edwards this afternoon at Nationals Park.
We play to win the game.
Brad Lidge, who was pulled in the ninth inning in last night’s 5-3 victory over the Nationals after the loaded the bases with one out, said Phillies manager Charlie Manuel told him that he would be closing the next time the situation presented itself. But Manuel said this afternoon that he simply told Lidge that he wasn’t afraid of putting him in there.
“I’ll just go with how I feel,” Manuel said.
So if there is a save situation tonight, tomorrow night or Friday, it’s not iron clad that Lidge, who is 0-7 with a 7.11 ERA and a Major League-leading 10 blown saves, is closing?
“I’m going to sit down sometime along the way and talk to him or whatever,” Manuel said. “I’m getting kind of tired, if you want to know the truth. Really, I am. And the reason is because I figure I can put him in the game when I want to. I’ve been very loyal to him. I’ve stuck with him. I did everything I think possible to get him going. There’s no way I want to ever lie to him and things like that. Like I told you last night, I don’t do that. I don’t have a history of doing that. I don’t do it. But at the same time, we’re going to win the game. Hey, the best way we can win the game. If Brad’s not out there to close, well then I guess that’s going to be my decision. We are going to play to win the game. Our team definitely is not about the one guy, either. I’m sure he feels that way. Really. It’s very important that we get him straight and right. But at the same time we’re going to play to win the game.”
In other words, if there is a save situation in the future, it could be Lidge, it could be Ryan Madson, it could be Brett Myers.
It sounds like closer by committee to me.
“He’s having an off season,” Manuel said of Lidge. “And we’re at the place where we need to win some games. If we’re going to win our division, we need to win some games. These are very important games and we need to win them, and I guess I’m going to pitch who I think on that night can do the job. When he gets in there and he gets consistent, he can take that job right back. I look at him in the future as being the closer for the Phillies. But right now we’re going to try to win games. My first priority is to win the game.
“Let me tell you something. When I managed in Cleveland I’d go get my pitcher whenever I wanted to. I’d go get my closer. I used to take (Bob) Wickman out of games and he used to get mad. I’d take John Rocker out. I didn’t give a damn. Because you know what? We were trying to win the game. The main thing was we win the game. If you don’t want to win the game or anything I can put whoever I want to out there, but I’m going to try to have the best guy on that night out there pitching that I possibly can have.”
Manuel made it clear he isn’t afraid to use who he wants, either.
“I’m the manager. I kind of go with how I feel and what I think,” he said. “I’ll take the responsibility. You can put it all on me. Really. I’ll take that. … I’ll bring anybody in the game, all right? I don’t care. Really. When you get right down to it, you me to tell you the truth? I’m not afraid or nothing like that. That’s no big deal. He might be in there tonight. He might be. He might not.”
Scott Eyre returned to Philadelphia to see a doctor tomorrow. He has soreness in his left elbow. … Clay Condrey is working out at Citizens Bank Park, and could make a rehab appearance for Double-A Reading. … Jamie Moyer will pitch Saturday against the Mets. Pedro Martinez will pitch Sunday, likely in the second game of a doubleheader. Manuel said Kyle Kendrick likely would pitch the opener Sunday.
They combined to allow just four hits and one run in last night’s 5-1 victory over the Diamondbacks. Martinez pitched three innings, retiring the final eight batters he faced. His night ended early because a severe thunderstorm hit Citizens Bank Park. Moyer, who lost his job to Martinez in the rotation, took his place. He allowed just two hits in six scoreless innings to get the win.
“You never know what you’ll get when you put two old goats out there,” Martinez said with a smile. “It’s a scary combination. You’re not going to see that very often. You might as well enjoy it. I enjoyed it.
“See? See what you get? Two for the price of one.”
Moyer was not nearly in as good a mood when he spoke with reporters, although he said he did not pitch with a chip on his shoulder.
“No, I pitched to get to the end of the game to save the bullpen,” he said.
Moyer has been upset since the Phillies told him that Martinez would take his place in the rotation. He told reporters last week in Chicago that he felt disheartened and misled because of conversations he had with the Phillies during contract negotiations. Asked last night if the past week has been emotional for him, he said he just wanted to talk about the game. Asked if he knows when he could pitch next, he said he just wanted to talk about the game. He later snapped when a reporter asked where he spent his time during the rain delay. (Answers to questions like that help reporters paint a picture where a person was in the moments leading up to a particularly noteworthy performance.)
“I didn’t know what to expect,” Moyer said. “Just go out and pitch. Try to pitch the way I’m capable of pitching and rely on my defense.”
Moyer still seems plenty steamed about his demotion.
The bad news for Moyer is that he will remain in the bullpen for the foreseeable future. But the good news is that he is pitching on a team with a chance to win a second World Series, and he’s going to be making $6.5 million this season and next no matter what happens. Whether that’s enough to improve his mood in time remains to be seen.
I’m looking forward to finally seeing the man pitch. I mean, I’ve seen Pedro Martinez pitch before. But I’m curious to see what he brings after not being in the big leagues since September.
Martinez has been an entertaining character since his arrival last month, so if he pitches well it could be fun.
“I might surprise you. I might not,” Martinez said during his introductory news conference at Citizens Bank Park. “But it’s going to be fun. It’s going to be really fun to go out and find out.”
Lots of discussion about Jamie Moyer‘s comments yesterday. I understand his point of view, and I also understand the Phillies’ point of view.
If I’m Moyer I’m looking at it like this: I’ve won a team-high 10 games this season. I’ve won a team-high 40 games since the beginning of the 2007 season. I’ve got a 4.40 ERA in my last 15 starts, which is better than Cole Hamels. My team is in first place. I have not pitched poorly enough in my last 15 starts to warrant a demotion to the bullpen.
If I’m the Phillies I’m looking at it like this: Moyer signed a two-year, $13 million contract to be a starter, but circumstances change. The goal is to make the playoffs and win the World Series. The Phillies owe it to themselves to put the best team on the field, and while Moyer has pitched better since May, he also has been too inconsistent. Martinez is here, and they should see if he gives them a better chance of winning the World Series.
Brad Lidge‘s struggles continue. A leadoff walk last night in the ninth leads to his Major League-leading seventh blown save of the season.
It was Lidge’s first blown save since June 6. He is 0-4 with a 7.29 ERA, which is the highest ERA of any reliever in baseball. His 75 percent saves completion percentage is the third-worst in the Majors.
The theory early in the season is that inflammation in Lidge’s right knee caused him problems. He was 0-3 with a 7.29 ERA and 13 saves in 19 opportunities before he went on the 15-day disabled list in June. Opponents had hit .306 against him. Lidge is 8-for-9 in save opportunities since he returned from the DL. But he also is 0-1 with a 7.31 ERA, and opponents have hit .276 against him.
In short, Moyer is unhappy and feels misled.
“I’m really not happy with this decision that the Phillies have made,” he said, sitting in the stands behind the first-base dugout. “I will take what they’ve asked me to do, but I’m not really excited about the decision that has been made. Ultimately, I’m a little disheartened because this past winter when I was negotiating with the Phillies this was a sore thumb, if you will, about this potentially happening.
“You can’t promise anything in this game, but I really felt that Ruben (Amaro Jr.) parlayed to me that this type of situation would not happen. Actually, even had some discussion with David (Montgomery) with them reassuring me that this type of situation wouldn’t happen. Again, I’m a little disheartend by the way it’s happened, how it’s happened. We’re still in first place. I probably feel like I haven’t contributed as well as I could have, but I think if you go around to the other 24 players on our club they would probably say the same type of thing.
“Whether I like it or not, this is the situation I’m in. I will deal with it. I will deal with it in a respectful way. I’ll be respectful to my teammates. Like I said at the beginning, I do not want to be a distraction and I refuse to be a distraction. It’s about the 25 players that are here. We all have to pick each other up. We all have to support each other. We all have to be professional about what we do. This is job that sometimes you’re in situations that you like or dislike and you have to deal with it. That’s why for me dealing with this like a man and taking whatever they choose to do. I’m an employee here, but I don’t always have to like the situation that I’m in. And that’s OK. Life goes on. But like I said, I feel a little disheartened. I feel a little bit like I’ve been misled. I feel like I’ve played this game long enough that the respect factor should be there.”
Moyer declined to answer questions afterward, and said that was all he had to say about his move to the bullpen.
Amaro said through a Phillies spokesperson that the Phillies re-signed Moyer in the offseaosn with the pretense of him starting, although he said he would not comment on contract negotiations with Moyer.
Pedro Martinez, who took Moyer’s spot in the rotation, was asked if he felt for Moyer.
“I’m a man,” Martinez said. “I’m a human being. So is Jamie. He’s my friend, my teammate, my colleague, whatever you want to call it. Of course, you have to feel. If it happened the same way, if I went to the bullpen, I wouldn’t be happy. It wasn’t my decision. It wasn’t me. I was placed in this position. As a matter of fact, I didn’t know anything until yesterday.”
They moved Jamie Moyer to the bullpen to make room for Martinez in the rotation.
The Phillies rotation looks like this for the immediate future:
- Tuesday vs. Cubs: LHP J.A. Happ
- Wednesday vs. Cubs: RHP Pedro Martinez
- Thursday vs. Cubs: LHP Cliff Lee
- Friday vs. Braves: RHP Joe Blanton
- Saturday vs. Braves: LHP Cole Hamels
Martinez went 1-1 with a 5.11 ERA (seven earned runs in 12 1/3 innings) and 16 strikeouts in three rehab starts. The Phillies have not yet made a move to accomodate Martinez on the 25-man roster. That will come before his start Wednesday at Wrigley Field.
“Based on our reports on how Pedro has pitched in his rehab starts, we felt it was time to move him into our rotation,” Charlie Manuel said in a statement. “Jamie was a total professional and team player when we let him know of the decision to move him to the bullpen. He has been and will continue to be a very important part of this team.”
The team is flying to Chicago tonight, which means Martinez, Moyer, Manuel and pitching coach Rich Dubee will be unavailable until tomorrow. But I had a chance to speak with Ruben Amaro Jr. Here is some of what he said:
Q: Why did the team decide to move Moyer to the bullpen to give Martinez a shot?
A: We just felt that Pedro is pitching well enough that he deserves a chance to pitch in the rotation, and we hope it’s an upgrade.
Q: How tough of a decision was this considering how much Moyer has meant to the organization? It’s different moving a guy like Moyer to the bullpen than somebody like Eude Brito or Amaury Telemaco.
A: Clearly, he’s got a lot more of a track record and he’s done a lot more for us than your average pitcher. Jamie has dedicated himself to his starts and to his performance and he will continue to do that, but we are trying to do what we can to win baseball games and win this division. And these are baseball decisions that are made collectively, and we feel it’s for the betterment of our club.
Q: Can Jamie be effective in the bullpen? He’s 46 and hasn’t done that in years.
A: We’ll see. He’s done it before. He hasn’t done it in a long time, but we’ll see how it goes. You’ll have to talk to Dubee and Charlie about what his role is, but we’ll see how effective he can be.
Q: How did Jamie take the news?
A: Extremely professionally. You’ll have to talk to Jamie about it, but I’m sure he wasn’t real happy about it. But at the same time he understands that we’re doing what we possibly can to have success. We just felt it was the right thing to do and he understands it.
Q: What are the realistic expecations for Pedro?
A: We’re going to watch him pitch and hopefully he’s an effective starter for us. I don’t have expectations one way or another, other than we hope he is successful and he helps us win games.
Left-hander J.C. Romero had a MRI today. Amaro said Romero has mid-grade tendinitis that is healing. He will not throw for another week or so, when he will return to Clearwater to begin his rehab.
The Phillies activated right-hander Chad Durbin from the DL. He went on the DL on July 23 with a right latissimus dorsi strain (that’s fancy talk for strained back muscle). The Phillies optioned right-hander Rodrigo Lopez to triple-A Lehigh Valley to make room for Durbin. Lopez had a clause in his contract that stated he must consent to an assignment in the Minor Leagues. He had an option remaining, which is why they were able to option him.
It’s how it happened that bothered Charlie Manuel the most. So he held a 20-minute team meeting following Sunday’s 12-3 loss at Citizens Bank Park.
You can bet Manuel did most of the talking.
“Today’s game got me a little bit,” he said. “I’ll be very honest with you. Today’s game, how we played, things that happened in the game, how we went about it and things. It was not about how we played yesterday or nothing like that, and not because we lost three games in a row.
“I was upset kind of with how he played today. I felt like we lost our composure and we did some things that we usually don’t do, and we didn’t play like we usually play. … We’re not the team that you saw on the field today. I think that we definitely can be much better than that. We are better than that.”
What was said?
“Whatever I said is my business,” Manuel said. “I hope my message was sent.”
This was a bad weekend for the Phillies. They had a chance to step on Florida’s throat. They had a chance to kill its spirit. If the Phillies had taken 2 of 3, they would have had an eight-game lead in the National League East with a little more than a month and a half to play. But now it’s down to 4, giving the Marlins a feeling they could actually upset the Phillies.
That’s the last thing the Phillies wanted.
The Phillies have lost eight of their last 11 games. They’re averaging 2.9 runs per game in that stretch, which is the worst average in the Majors.
Shane Victorino‘s ejection in the seventh inning might have been the most bizarre ejection I’ve ever seen.
I would expect Pedro Martinez to start for the Phillies sometime this week. An announcement could come Monday because I don’t see how the Phillies can wait to announce their pitching probables until Tuesday, when they open a three-game series against the Cubs at Wrigley Field.
Jamie Moyer might get pushed out of the rotation at this point. Signs just point that way.
“When I need to be addressed or spoken to, I’m sure I’ll be spoken to or I’ll be told what’s going on,” Moyer said. “We don’t make the decisions here. We just work here.”