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Happ to stay in Phillies' rotation, but will Moyer?

Aug 6, 2009, 12:59 PM EDT

After watching J.A. Happ’s brilliant 10-strikeout, complete-game shutout of the Rockies last night, general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. made it very clear this morning that the 26-year-old rookie will remain in the Phillies’ rotation despite Pedro Martinez’s impending arrival.
“Happ’s not going anywhere,” Amaro said. “He’s not going out of the rotation. He deserves to stay in the rotation. He has pitched very well. He’s one of our most effective starters.”
Happ is “not going anywhere” and Cole Hamels, Cliff Lee, and Joe Blanton are obviously safe, so that would seemingly mean that a) Jamie Moyer will lose his spot to Martinez after posting a 5.55 ERA through 21 starts, b) Martinez won’t be joining the rotation after all, or c) the Phillies will go with some sort of six-man rotation. He’s what Amaro said about those three possibilities:
Why can’t we go with a six-man rotation? We still haven’t made a decision, but it’s not out of the realm of possibility that six guys could pitch in our rotation. We haven’t discussed it yet. There are a lot of possibilities. You never what’s going to happen the next week to 10 days. A man could go down right now. There are a lot of things that could happen the next week or so that would change our thinking.
It depends how you utilize [a six-man rotation]. You can be creative and set up the rotation so certain guys go every five days and other guys get pushed back. The fact of the matter is, we’re not there yet. But we are in a situation where we have six starters, and we’ll see how creative we can be.

In other words, the Phillies are in no rush to add Martinez to the mix after three good but not great minor-league rehab starts. Interestingly, all of this would probably be a moot point if not for the 46-year-old Moyer being owed $6.5 million for next season. That makes it tougher for the Phillies to simply ditch him for Martinez, especially if they don’t think that Moyer would take well to even a short-term bullpen role.

  1. mkeryan - Aug 6, 2009 at 5:01 PM

    is it possible a six man would be good for just a little while to keep Happ from eclipsing last season’s pitch total while also giving the old guy and the oft-injured (or at least aggravated) ace some rest?
    At least until or unless their division lead evaporates.

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