Phillies: A Pitching Disaster Waiting to Happen?
For years the Philadelphia Phillies have been searching for a viable pitching rotation.
In 2007 the club made several moves to help the bullpen, but those moves seemed to help the starting rotation. Once Brett Myers was moved to the bullpen and named the closer, it appeared that the rotation began to find its stride.
The club decided to call up Kyle Kendrick from Reading (AA) to fill Myers' spot in the rotation. Kendrick was a big surprise, going 10-4 with a 3.47 ERA. Coupled with All-star Cole Hamels and the ever-young Jamie Moyer, the Phillies' rotation stabalized and led them to the division crown.
After an off season of searching for a starter to take the place of Freddie Garcia—one large bust that the Chicago White Sox still owe the Phillies for—the Phillies decided to promote within and bring Myers back to the rotation after trading for "Lights Out" closer Brad Lidge.
The media assumed that Hamels would be the No. 1 and Myers would be the No. 2—makes sense since Hamels, who went 15-5 with a 3.39 ERA, was one of the most dominant pitchers in 2007. However, the Phillies believed Hamels was not a No. 1 and named Myers the No. 1.
From the start of the season, Myers has struggled. He went 3-9 with a 5.84 ERA through the first three months of the season before the Phils sent Myers down to Lehigh Valley (AAA).
Now, the club is left with a hole in the rotation. And, the Phillies hope to find another gem in the rough like Kendrick. The club called up J.A Happ to fill in for Myers while he gets back on track.
It appears that the Phillies are pressing the issue with Myers. He has never been a dominant starting pitcher. Last year, it appeared Myers would be more dominant as a closer than anything else. But with such a small market for starting pitchers, the Phillies feel that Myers still has potential to be dominant.
That said, they need to do something about his situation. He still has some market value and can possibly make a move at the deadline to help push them to the division title again. Also, with Tom Gordon starting to fall apart there appears to be some room in a very good bullpen for Myers to potentially be a set up man for Brad Lidge.
As of right now, the team is slipping from the lead and needs some of their pitchers to step up and win. The Marlins have been on their heels all season, and their division rivals, the Mets, are starting to surge behind interim manager Jerry Manuel.
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