Today, Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro, Jr. made a very welcome announcement: J. A. Happ will not be removed from the starting rotation to make room for Pedro Martinez. That's some extremely good news, and I feel relieved to hear that.
However, Amaro then made a bizarre statement. "Going with a six-man rotation is not out of the realm of possibility," he said. "There are a lot of permutations. We haven't discussed it yet. You never know what's going to happen in the next week to 10 days. A guy can go down [get injured]."
Why in the world would the Phillies do that? Adding another starting pitcher to the rotation just means that the tough pitchers--Hamels, Lee, and Blanton--would have to wait one additional day to pitch and get fewer starts. It's crazy.
I understand that Moyer has a large, rich contract that's guaranteed for next year, and I completely understand loyalty and going home with the one who brought you to the dance. But the bottom line is defending the World Series championship, and I don't think that the Phillies will get there with Jamie Moyer still in their starting rotation once Pedro Martinez joins the staff.
Cliff Lee had another very strong outing for the Phils today in earning his second win in his first start before the home crowd at The Bank. Lee threw 7 strong innings, gave up 6 hits and 1 run, with 9 strikeouts against a good Colorado team. That's now two very strong performances by Lee, who is proving to be the ace that the Phils hoped he would be. Why add another starter and cut the number of starts for Lee? That would be insane.
C'mon, Ruben. You're smarter than that.