Happ back soon, so who goes?by Eric Schwartz
A forgotten man in the Phillies’ rotation is working his way back.
J.A. Happ, on the DL for almost the entire season, is set to make his fourth rehab start on Wednesday. After that he may be heading back to Philadelphia. Bellow is a report from philly.com:
Lefthander J.A. Happ (strained left elbow) said he will make his fourth rehab start Wednesday at double-A Reading.
Happ, who threw 71 pitches in his last start, said he is aiming for 90 to 95 pitches this time around. He said Phillies officials who charted his last outing for Reading told him he averaged 88 m.p.h. with his fastball, an improvement from before.
Happ has been on the disabled list since April 16.
In three rehab outings, Happ has allowed 10 earned runs in 101/3 innings. Opponents are hitting .304 off him.
“Just looking for a little more crispness to the arm,” Happ said.
The issue at hand when Happ does return will be which starter gets sent to the bullpen. Baring any injury, the decision will come down to Joe Blanton, Jamie Moyer and Kyle Kendrick.
Of that group the smart money would be on Kendrick, but would that be the right move?
Kendrick has pitched moderately well, going 4-2 with a 4.48 ERA, and is coming off his finest start of the season, throwing seven innings of one-run ball in a win over the Yankees.
Meanwhile Joe Blanton has continued to struggle. The Phillies most reliable pitcher last season, Blanton has yet to find a groove. He is currently 2-5 with a 6.96 ERA.
Jamie Moyer is the third choice, but I wouldn’t expect the Phillies to do the same thing to Moyer that they did last year when the team acquired Pedro Martinez.Jamie wasn’t too happy about that move the first time.
Plus Moyer’s seven wins and 4.76 ERA are well ahead of Blanton’s numbers.
I still believe Kendrick will be the one shuffled to the ‘pen as his contract is much lighter than Blanton’s, even though he deserves to stay in the rotation. Sadly money usually talks in these situations.
If you were Phillies management, what would you do?