Jamie Moyer and Kyle Kendrick are making the competition for the 5th starters spot a bit complicated. Both have performed well. And yesterday against the Orioles in his first “A” game start, Moyer made the decision even more complex by pitching 5 innings of one run ball. If the race remains close throughout the next few weeks, odds are that Moyer will get the nod based on experience and payroll and Kendrick will begin the year in the pen. But, as happened with Chan Ho Park and JA Happ last season, the roles could be flipped if Moyer falters.
Then today against the Yankees, Cole Hamels ran into a few complications of his own. Hamels has pitched well this spring…that is, until today. Giving up 6 earned runs over just 4 innings, Hamels got spanked by the Yanks. That brings his spring ERA to 4.91, which is not too awful. Plus, these games do not count anyway. Should we be worried about Hamels after one bad outing? Probably not. If it stretches into 2 or 3 bad outings, then we’ll talk.
What is not so complicated now is the Opening Day pitching roster. Having sent lefty Mike Zagurski to the minors, there are exactly 12 healthy pitchers remaining: Starters Roy Halladay, Hamels, Joe Blanton, J.A. Happ and Kendrick or Moyer. The pen will be Ryan Madson, Danys Baez, Chad Durbin, Jose Contreras, David Herndon, Antonio Bastardo and then either Kendrick or Moyer. If the Phillies pick up another piece along the way, this can change, but odds are this will be the pitching staff. Of course, once Brad Lidge and JC Romero are ready, more changes will be made.
On the offensive end, there was an odd standout performance today. Hawaiian born 3rd/4th string catcher, Dane Sardinha, previously of the Tigers, went 2 for 4 against the Yankees with 4 RBI on a 3-run double and a solo homer. The unlikely performance came from a guy who hit .097 with the Tigers in 2009 and was arrested for a DUI in Clearwater, FL last month. Like Tiger Woods, I suppose he is making his case for forgiveness ;o)
Those four runs today helped the Phillies to the 9-7 9th inning comeback win over the Yanks. Wilson Valdez, another non-roster invitee like Sardinha, knocked a 2-run homer for the walk-off win. Next up: Tampa Bay on Tuesday and the Braves on Wednesday…
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Photo by Jenn