The name of this website is We Should Be GM’s, so I’m going to play GM today and fix some of the Phillies problems.
1st- release Miguel Cairo. We’ll quickly find out he’s unwanted by the other 29 MLB teams, much like the unemployed Geoff Jenkins. I’m confident/comfortable saying that Cairo is currently one of the worst players in the majors, bottom 5 easily. Call up Lehigh Valley Iron Pig righthanded batter Mike Cervenak. Cervenak had 13 at bats last season with the Phils, and is currently batting .316 with 22 rbi and a .824 OPS at Triple A. Lifetime minor league line of .297/.814 with 151 homeruns. He can play 1st and 3rd base, but more importantly offers a bigger threat at the plate than Cairo. Jason Donald and John Mayberry Jr. still appear to need further minor league seasoning before their debuts.
2nd- demote Chan Ho Park to the bullpen. Aside from his 6 inning gem against the Mets last week and last night's start against the Dodgers, he’s been absolutely horrible. He hasn’t been an effective starting pitcher for nearly a decade, but just as recently as last season was very good in relief. Until JC Romero returns from suspension, he could pitch 7th inning setup along with Chad Durbin and Clay Condrey. JA Happ has pitched well out of the bullpen this year, but his value is in the rotation. He’s 26 years old, and could become a reliable member of the starting staff for the next few years (Myers, Blanton, and Moyer are on borrowed time).
3rd- drop J-Roll. Corey covered this subject well yesterday, and I agree that right now he needs to be down in the lineup because he’s absolutely killing the offensive attack from the leadoff spot.
4th- option Jack Taschner to the minors. Taschner was an unneeded addition to the bullpen. Amaro was correct in thinking the Phils needed another reliever; it simply just shouldn’t have been Trashner. Mike Koplove is doing an excellent job for the Lil Piggies with a 0.55 era through 16.1 ip with 19 k, plus he’s a hometown boy...give him a chance.
5th- DL Brad Lidge. Lidge is awful right now. If it weren’t for his perfect season in ’08, fans would be calling for his head. Luckily, the Phils haven’t had many save opportunities for Lidge to blow this season. However, if they do happen to get themselves into some tight games late, trusting Lidge would be foolish at this time. Give him 15 days to “get right” and promote Ryan Madson to interim closer and call up Tyler Walker from Triple A where he’s been “lights out” with a 0.00 era through 11 ip. Other possible replacements- Kyle Kendrick, Mike Zagurski, and Gary Majewski.
These are only minor changes. Bottom line, starting pitchers need to give the team a chance, Manuel needs to properly mix-n-match bullpen match-ups and allow starters to extend beyond the 100 pitch count if they're going strong (ex- Myers on Sunday), and Amaro needs to find a quality reliever and righthanded bench player on the trade market.
*Written prior to Manuel dropping Jimmy to 5th in the lineup, Park pitching 6 decent innings, and Lidge locking down a shaky save.