Do NOT Put JA Happ In The Bullpen!
I have been campaigning for JA Happ all year and tonight, he pitched a 4-hit complete game shut-out against the Rockies in a 7-0 win. It was his second complete game shut-out this year. On top of that, he hit a double in the game as well. What else do the Phillies need from this kid?
With Pedro Martinez lurking in the wings, one of the starters will likely have to go in the pen. Rumor has it that the Phillies will not do that to Jamie Moyer because of his status in the league; Cole Hamels, Cliff Lee and Joe Blanton are locks. So JA Happ appears to be the odd man out when Martinez arrives from his rehab starts, unless they go with a 6-man rotation.
I have the solution. Go with what I am calling a 5 ½ man rotation; you start Lee, Hamels, Blanton, Happ and on day 5, tell Moyer and Martinez that they will get 4-5 innings a piece and rotate who actually “starts” in the 1st inning each time around the rotation. With the advanced ages of these two guys, they will benefit from the shortened starts. This will mean fewer pitches, less fatigue and fewer opportunities for opponents to make adjustments on each of them.
Plus, this gives the Phillies wiggle room if someone gets hurt or if either Moyer or Martinez starts off the game badly. Pull him out and put in the 2nd guy. They will always be on the same 5 day schedule so no worries about messing up their rhythm either. And there will be less stress on the bullpen as they should get used a bit less. Moyer has gone less than six innings four times in his last 7 starts. This rotation solves that problem.
Especially after tonight’s performance, there is NO way the Phillies can justify putting Happ in the pen. They need a solution and here it is. Now if only someone would actually listen….
Ok, more photos! I have posted the non-baseball photos from my San Francisco trip on Facebook. Photo Album #1 contains Alcatraz, the Golden Gate & Bay bridges, the Aquarium and city photos. Photo Album #2 covers the Farallon Islands whale watch, Marine Mammal Sanctuary, Marin Golden Gate National Park, the Pier & Sea Lions in the city, Seal Rock and the San Francisco Zoo. Enjoy!
Photos by Jenn