Monday, June 01, 2009

Now what?

Well, how about a round of applause for the Philadelphia Phillies? Riding their outstanding core group of players and an MVP season from the big off-season pick-up, the defending world champions boast the second fewest losses in baseball. Only Los Angeles has got them beat in the loss column. Project Philadelphia out and the Phillies are on pace to win National League East with around 95 wins. And yet…

Let’s face it, they’ve been successful- but it feels tenuous. I guess we all know that over 162 games numbers and bodies win out- and the Phillies numbers and bodies in their rotation just doesn’t bode well over 110 more games.

As I pointed out when people were screaming for Happ to replace first Park and then Moyer- surplus starting pitching never lasts. The Phillies, in two weeks, have gone from having a surplus rotation option to needing to acquire a top of the rotation arm to have a sane chance at repeating.

And the Phillies have an official starting pitching problem. Now I haven’t been the biggest Brent Myers fan- this era's Kevin Gross. Bottom line: the guy hasn’t been a plus starting pitcher for two months in succession since 2006. And he hasn’t been real effective this year. If the Phillies had to win a game- right now- to save the season he would be my fifth choice to get the ball.

But he is an effective innings eater when healthy- and the rest of the rotation is no great shakes either. The ace has an ERA over five and has been spotty from the get go. Happ is probably the second best guy going right now. Moyer seems to have stabilized as a back of the rotation guy- but we have a surplus of candidates for that role right now.

And that is the worry. Take the Nats out and the Phillies are .500

I’m usually the biggest pro-patience guy going- but honestly, the Phillies need to make a trade. This is not sustainable. Heading into this schedule portion: ten games away, then five series versus the AL East- 28 days of games versus good teams, the rotation does not inspire.

This crew has “expose us” written all over them. I agree with Phillies Nation- .500 month-ish feels way too probable. And they are just another rotation issue away from something like 85-77.

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