Thursday, August 06, 2009

Save Jamie Moyer Part 2

First and foremost, I would not fret too much over the Phillies seemingly surplus rotation options. Yes, trying to sort between Happ, Moyer and Pedro for the two back end spots is currently trying. Yet, we also collectively agonized over how to get Happ into the rotation back in April (see Save Jamie Moyer Part 1). Almost immediately, Park became an untenable option and Myers got hurt- and the surplus became guys like Lopez and Carpenter pitching every fifth day.

It’ll work itself out. Surplus starting pitching never lasts. Hamels looks ouchy to me- maybe the Phillies shut him down for a pair of turns. Moyer is close to pitching himself out of the rotation. Is Pedro not going to get hurt once the every fifth day grind gets going?

Even then, the Phillies have a pair of double headers in September- which means that is two weeks (half the month) where they are going to need a sixth starter. Plus, as the schedule contracts, a rainout means another double-header instead of searching for an appropriate off day to erase. Philadelphia features a stretch from August 18th through September 13th without a single day off. That is four weeks- and perhaps they can create a few artificial days off by going with a six man rotation. That might not be tenable if the Phillies needed every game- but if this lead over the Marlins stretches out another three games or so...

Since they have no obvious candidates to drop, this is what I would do.

First, postpone Pedro until August 18th. The Pedro experiment isn’t about a fifth starter in September- but to catch lightening in a bottle in October pitching in a potential Game 4 three times. The Phillies can make that assessment off seven starts starting toward the end of August, rather than nine starting now.

Go with a six-man rotation the first three weeks of the month long stretch beginning August 18th- create a few faux days off for the rotation.

Last, restore the five-man rotation for the pair of double headers in mid-September- and use your sixth option as a spot starter.

And that gets you through September 22nd. Everyone gives up one measely start (which again might help some guys) to get Pedro five-six looks.

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