Wassup Sports!?!?!?!?

17 year old Cale's very opinionated view on everything sports.

Posts Tagged ‘Charlie Manuel

The Phillies’ Closer

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Over the past two months, various closer’s role ideas have been thrown around because Brad Lidge has become ineffective. First, it was setup man Ryan Madson, who did not succeed in the high pressure situations. After that, it was back to Lidge, who continued to be inconsistent. Earlier this month, lefty Scott Eyre pitched through the first two outs of the ninth against the Atlanta Braves. After giving up a double to catcher Brian McCann, Eyre was pulled and Lidge recorded the final out.

For a short while, Lidge showed signs of regaining his composure. Although, he again slipped up. This leads to about two weeks ago, where manager Charlie Manuel went into closer by committee mode. Again, Ryan Madson was given opportunities, along with Brett Myers and Lidge. Madson blew a save, Myers didn’t exactly blow anyone away, and Lidge was still inconsistent.

Brad LidgeNow we are here, the day after the Phillies bullpen blew a three run lead over the last two innings. Brad Lidge blew his 11th save of the year, and the Phillies ended up losing the series to Florida. With nine games to go, Philadelphia is almost a lock to make the playoffs. However, their bullpen may be the worst of any team heading into the postseason. 

I have been a preacher this entire season of loyalty to Lidge, especially because what he did for this team last season. Unfortunately, it has gotten to the point that you cannot keep putting him out there. Even worse, the Phillies have nearly zero options to replace him. Going through every possibility, we start at Lidge. Not an option. Ryan Madson hasn’t succeeded in the role, and is better in the eighth inning. Not an option. Left J.C. Romero is still injured with a strained right forearm, and there is no telling for when he would return. Although, Romero would be the most likely choice for Manuel to throw out there, but his injury counts him out. Chan Ho Park would be another great option at this point, but his strained hamstring may keep him out until the NLCS.

The more unlikely candidates are Tyler Walker, Chad Durbin, and Clay Condrey. Walker has closed before, but just doesn’t seem like a shut down guy for the post season. Durbin has received the nickname “Home Run Durbin” this season, which is why he cannot close games. Condrey is also not a shut down pitcher. Even more surprising, I read a column today about the possibility of J.A. Happ closing games. I don’t see that happening, for he doesn’t exactly have electric stuff, and has proven to been a great starter. This all leads me to two names.

Pedro Martinez and Jamie Moyer.

Let me start with Moyer, who is the least likely of the two. Just picture Cole Hamels pitching seven strong innings with his 93 MPH fastball. Then Ryan Madson blows through batters in the eighth with a 97 MPH fastball. Finally, Jamie Moyer comes in and throws…..82 MPH? Moyer would keep batters off balance. After seeing hard heaters all game, Moyer’s change of pace would be interesting to try in the ninth inning.

On the other hand, Pedro Martinez has the perfect mentality of a closer. HePedro Martinezis scared of nothing, and no one while he is on the mound. Not to mention, Martinez is willing to close. He even said so when he signed with the Phillies. Also, at his age Martinez isn’t throwing as hard as he used to. Although, he is starting, and is stretching out his velocity over a hundred pitches. As a closer, Martinez may be able to light the gun up to 95 MPH, and blow batters away again. Even better, Pedro Martinez has tons of big game experience. Right now, he looks like the best option that the Phillies have right now, and if they want to repeat, they need to be able to close games out.


Pitching Overload?

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The Philadelphia Phillies are on a roll. Having won ten straight and extending their division lead to 6.5 games over Atlanta, they seem to be on top of the world with everything in place. Although, the rumors of Roy Halladay are still swirling and recent signing Pedro Martinez is making some people ask questions. Do the Phillies have too much pitching? Where will Pedro pitch?

Right now, the Phillies’ starting rotation consists of Cole Hamels, J.A. Happ, Joe Blanton, Jamie Moyer, and Rodrigo Lopez. When Pedro rehabs, and if he is major league ready, the most likely pitcher to lose his spot is Lopez. Right now though, Lopez is 2-0 with a 2.60 ERA, and the Phillies have won everyone of his starts. There is no way they could remove him from the rotation if he stays on this roll. Next option for replacement would be Jamie Moyer, who has put up less than stellar numbers this season, although he is beginning to come around. Moyer would have to be moved to the bullpen if Martinez entered the rotation, which will just not happen.

Another discussed option is putting Pedro in the bullpen. Martinez was the closer for the Dominican Republic, and during his introductory press conference, stressed that he would do the same. The Phillies already have a closer, Brad Lidge, so Martinez would have to be more of a middle reliever. The feeling is that it would not go over well with Pedro, so that is another risky option.

Another pitcher hoping to comeback with the Phils is starter Brett Myers. He was believed to be lost for the season when he had hip surgery in June, but Myers is ahead of schedule and could return as a reliever. Brett excelled in this role back in 2007, saving 21 games for the Phillies. It is also known that manager Charlie Manuel loves relievers that can come into the game firing. If Myers does come back, who’s roster spot does he take? Eric Bruntlett has been struggling all season, but is a super utility man. Outfielder John Mayberry Jr. has been serviceable for the Phillies this year, but they are carrying five outfielders.

What I believe should happen is if the Phillies have extended their division to lead to about ten games over the second place team, why not use a six-man rotation? It’ll be the dog days of summer by August, and this will allow everyone to be rested for the postseason. With Myers, I believe the Phillies should send down outfielder John Mayberry Jr. He could use some more seasoning down at AAA Lehigh Valley.

Ruben Amaro Jr. has a lot to work out over the next few months, but isn’t the old saying ” If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”?Ruben Amaro Jr.

Phil’s Manuel takes Werth to the All-Star game

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Jayson WerthThe National League’s manager for the 2009 All-Star game, Charlie Manuel, made a controversal decision yesterday. Injured outfielder, Carlos Beltran, had to be replaced on the NL Roster. Manuel had many options, including Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval, who had come in right behind Shane Victorino for the final vote spot. Also, Dodger’s outfielder Matt Kemp seemed deserving. Manuel chose to take Jayson Werth, and outrage many people in Los Angeles and San Francisco.

I don’t understand why this move comes under such scrutiny. Werth’s stats compare pretty evenly with both Sandoval and Kemp’s. Not to mention, Jayson blows them out of the water in the power categories. Of course, Manuel is not the only manager to ever take his own guy to the All-Star game. Many before have been much less deserving than Werth is today.