Very few things get me upset to the point where I can’t even talk about them without turning red and getting angry. One of them is currently culminating on a daily basis. I’m holding out hope that all of this build up will be for nothing. If the Phillies remove J.A. Happ from the starting rotation in favor of Pedro Martinez, there could and should be riots.
Happ has been, undoubtedly, the Phillies best starter this year. At 8-2 with a 2.74 ERA and 107 strikeouts, Happ has been arguably the National League Rookie of the Year. J.A. Happ has been nothing short of spectacular.
Many assumed that tonight would be Happ’s last start before being moved to the bullpen. Fittingly, Happ throws a complete game, 4-hit shutout against the Colorado Rockies. The Rockies have been very good lately, going 13-6 since the All-Star break.
Their starter tonight, Jorge De La Rosa has won 9 of his last 10 starts. This was a team on a roll and J.A. Happ simply mowed down. The crowd was terrific tonight. This game had a playoff atmosphere. Not bad for the beginning of August.
Pedro Martinez also started tonight for the Double A Reading Phils. Pedro pitched 6 strong innings, gave up 4 hits, 3 earned runs, 0 walks, and 11 strikeouts. Scouts have been raving about how good Pedro looks, particularly the slot of his arm.
Pedro of his Cy Young years was consistently on top of the ball. Pedro of his Cy Yuck years with the Mets was throwing the ball side-armed. Pedro is once again on top of the ball and has been sporting the command that has made Pedro a hall-o-famer.
Both starters put up excellent numbers tonight in what was to be both of their last starts at their respective positions. After tonight, only one of these guys deserves to be moved from their respective positions and that’s Pedro Martinez.
Pedro was terrific in the World Baseball Classic and has continued this trend until now. Pedro deserves to be called up and put into the Phillies starting rotation. In fact, he should be starting in Chicago next Wednesday; the day after Happ’s next start.
The writing has been on the wall for weeks. Both GM Ruben Amaro and pitching coach Rich Dubee have stated that Blanton and Hamels were safe. Both of them took it a step further and said that Moyer or Pedro have been starters their entire careers and weren’t bullpen candidates either. And that guy we just gave up the farm (system) for who has a Cy Young…well, he’s not going anywhere either. The writing on the wall has said “J.A. Happ, thanks for being our best pitcher and rookie of the year candidate this season, however, enjoy watching Pedro and Moyer from your seat in the outfield.”
J.A. Happ made a different statement tonight. In just one start, Happ has gone from “well-liked” to “loved and adored” by the Philly-faithful. There’s only two ways to solve this. One, send Jamie Moyer to the bullpen. Sure, he leads the team in wins, but he also has the highest ERA and least innings pitched on the team. Two, go with a 6-man rotation. While a 6-man rotation will keep arms fresh, it just isn’t feasible. You can’t risk disrupting the schedule that starters have had their entire careers.
I don’t care that he’s a local guy. Manuel said it best in his post-game press conference: “Happ showed me tonight that he wants to stay in the rotation.” That’s right Charlie. And if he doesn’t, you’re not abiding by your long-standing policy of putting the best possible team on the field. Moyer is the odd-man out.
Brett Clendaniel is 25 and married to an awesome girl named Tashia. Brett has a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration and Marketing. Brett currently works for QBC-TV2 of South Jersey and 1240AM WSNJ. Sports are his passion and Philly teams are what he religiously follows. Brett is also a big fan of the Red Sox and the Cincinnati Bengals. Brett also have great passion for professional wrestling and mixed-martial arts. Brett loves to talk about any of them all the time. “I am flattered to be asked to share my opinions with all of the loyal readers of the Camel Clutch Blog! I hope you enjoy my articles.” Please e-mail him any time with questions, comments, or feedback of any type at [email protected].
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