The Phillies are in a dilemma that most teams dreamed they were in. They will soon have six very capable starting pitchers once Pedro Martinez is ready. But who will go when he is ready? The Phillies already said that they didn’t sign Martinez to pitch in the bull pen. So he is almost locked in.
Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels, and Joe Blanton are locked in. That leaves Jamie Moyer (who got shelled again last night), JA Happ (who pitches tonight to make his bid to remain in the rotation), and Martinez to battle for the last two spots. Rodrigo Lopez already lost his spot and has joined Chan Ho Park as the other long reliever in the pen.
So the Phillies are stuck. Right now, Moyer seems to be the obvious choice to dump due to his ineffectiveness all season. He has only pitched seven innings twice all year. He has been the bull pen killer. But he is not the kind of pitcher who could be effective in a relief role due to his style of pitching.
Happ has been proven to be human as of late but is still pitching pretty well. He can tighten up his spot in the rotation with a good outing tonight. If he gets beat up by the Rockies, the rumors of him being sent back to the bull pen could be true. The Phillies know he can start but how well he has pitched in the pen this season prior to starting can really help them boost a bull pen that has struggled tremendously all season.
One could only imagine what the Phillies would be going through next month if Brett Myers is ready. The bull pen would be the likely spot for Myers, who is in the last year of his contract. He may become the new bridge to Brad Lidge and could close if something happens to Lidge. His chances at starting are very slim and deciding to do so could cost the Phillies games.