With Kyle Kendrick being sent down to the minors recently, there's an open spot this Saturday for a starting pitcher, so the Phillies need to figure out their plan of attack quickly.
In Kendrick's stead, they brought up Andrew Carpenter, but General Manager Ruben Amaro, Jr. made it very clear that they see Carpenter as a bullpen pitcher. Ruben did say Carpenter could have an outside chance to start Saturday, but that really just means he's there last resort.
Then, in typical Amaro fashion, he hinted that there could be something bigger in the works rather than just picking a name out of a hat to start Saturday.
"Happ is a possibility (to start Saturday)," Amaro said, per CSNPhilly.com. "We would consider him, and we have other balls in the air."
"Other balls in the air," of course, means Amaro is currently in talks for a pitcher. Who that pitcher is or what the Phillies would have to give up for him is obviously not known at this point, but I don't think it's likely Amaro brings in a high-priced starter, despite his view of the team as "buyers" at the deadline.
"I view us as buyers and I view us as a team that's still going to be a contending team, but it depends on the guys in the clubhouse," Amaro said. "It's up to them to make it happen—as they have in the past.
"If we continue to play the way we are playing I don't know if there's a trade we can make to make us a playoff contender. We have to play better baseball or we're not going to get anywhere. It’s really up to the guys swinging the bats and catching the baseballs and making the pitches. I can get Cy Young and Mariano Rivera and it wouldn't matter. The team has to play better."
Wow, way to say what we're all thinking, Ruben.
That mini-rant, as well as the fact that Happ was recently yanked after only three innings of his most recent Triple-A start, all points to Happ taking the mound on Saturday and likely staying in that spot through the season, at least.
And in some good news for Phillies fans (if there is much to be found these days), Happ looked great in his last outing (3IP, 0ER/R, 3H, 3SO, 0BB) , so it's likely he's finally healthy and ready to show some of the stuff he had last season that had him as a runner-up for Rookie of the Year
It is likely that Amaro moves Kendrick and perhaps another guy for some more bullpen help, or perhaps a low-end starter, but even that doesn't seem likely anymore with the way the Phillies have been playing.
Like Amaro said, there's no reason to make moves to improve this team in the short-term when they're not willing to improve with what they already have.
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