Monday, August 10, 2009

Phillies rotation shake-up: Pedro in, Moyer to the bullpen

The Pedro Martinez era is about to begin in Philadelphia! The Phillies have finally announced who there starters will be for the next few games, selecting J.A. Happ for Tuesday, Pedro for Wednesday and Cliff Lee for Thursday. That news means that Jamie Moyer is the odd man out and will be demoted to the bullpen.

Moyer was the clear choice to leave the rotation, but that doesn't make this news any less surprising. The Phillies took a veteran pitcher who has done nothing but start games for two decades and shifted him to the bullpen, where he figures to be completely useless. As you know, Moyer is anything but young and will require a ton of stretching and preparing before he can be ready to pitch, meaning he can't just jump out of the bullpen and enter a game. Likely the Phillies will have to tell Moyer well in advance when he should be ready to pitch, like perhaps every 5th day when Pedro takes the mound.

The Phillies also made another move today, activating Chad Durbin off the disabled list and sending Rodrigo Lopez down to the minors. Durbin will be a welcome addition to the bullpen that has featured a little too much Tyler Walker and Chan Ho Park for my tastes. Yes, I know both have been effective at times, but it always seems like the Phillies are playing with fire when they enter the game.

So, the Pedro era is set to begin on Wednesday. While it took the removal of a pitcher we all like as a person, I am interested to see what Martinez has left in the tank. He has had some promising minor league starts that went well for 4 or 5 innings and then went south quickly, so the bullpen better be ready. It's nice to see that the Phillies made the right decision in keeping Happ in the rotation and bumping Moyer out instead of playing the loyalty card and favoring the veteran. Of course, Moyer better be ready because I have a feeling that he will get another start at some point this season, whether it's due to an injury or Pedro is a bust. I don't think we've seen the last of Old Man Moyer.

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