Already with the worst starting rotation ERA in all of baseball, GM Ruben Amaro Jr. was searching for help. It has been reported he has been knocking on every door of every potential trade candidate (Jake Peavy, Brandon Webb, Roy Halladay, Doug Davis, Erik Bedard, Cliff Lee, Aaron Harang, Brad Penny, Jason Marquis, Chris Young, Roy Oswalt, Zach Duke, and Jon Garland). Now with Brett Myers likely out for the season, and hopefully done as a Phillie (my personal opinion), Amaro must step up his efforts of landing a starting pitcher sooner rather than later. The Phils are in 2nd place, only slightly behind the NL East leading Mets, who have problems of their own. Now is not the time to be cheap, suck it up and add more to the team record payroll. Internal short-term candidates include Andrew Carpenter, Kyle Kendrick, Carlos Carrasco, Antonio Bastardo, Chan Ho Park, and Rodrigo Lopez.
Carpenter- still young at 24, but seems to not have what it takes to consistently retire big league hitters. Maybe I’m selling him short, but he does not inspire confidence. He’s had mixed success in the minors- 28-18 record, 3.72 ERA, and 1.30 WHIP.
Kendrick- helped the Phils into the playoffs in ’07 and started last season off well, but then became entirely too hittable and a bit mental too. He’s having an up and down experience at Triple A Lehigh Valley right now as he’s working on his secondary pitches. ’09 #’s- 4-3 record, 4.35 ERA, and 1.47 WHIP.
Carrasco- the prize possession of the Phils farm system for the past few years has fallen apart recently with the Iron Pigs. Currently 0-6 with an ugly 5.81 ERA and 1.46 WHIP.
Bastardo- a name that is gaining buzz as a prospect as he continues to pitch well at every level. He’d be my interim solution to fill the rotation void. Minor league career #’s- 17-9 record, 2.62 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, 257.2 ip, and 296 k.
Ho Park- should not even be an option, end of story.
Lopez- the MLB veteran hasn’t pitched in the bigs since ’07 and is currently getting hit around worse than KK at Lehigh Valley.
Peavy- wants to stay in the NL and on the West Coast, and has the power to make that a reality. Last time I checked the Phils are on the right side of the Unite States. Still, Peavy would certainly fill Myers shoes and then some, but would take a large package of prospects to land.
Webb- the D’backs suck, but I find it hard to believe they’d be willing to move Webb, who is still injured by the way.
Halladay- is my favorite pitcher in baseball, he’s a workhorse and a true gunslinger on the mound. The Blue Jays are actually competitive this year, and it’s doubtful they’re going to dump him regardless of the booty in return.
Davis- could probably be had on the cheap, and would help our dilapidated rotation, but he’s certainly more of the Blanton acquisition ilk than the Sabathia.
Bedard- always a health risk, but always gives his team a chance to win when he’s on the mound. Seattle is in need of everything, so I could actually see this trade coming to fruition. Of course that would be 4 lefties in the rotation (Bedard, Hamels, Happ, and Moyer).
Lee- last year’s AL Cy Young is back to pitching well again for Cleveland after a rough start. The Indians would want a bundle for him and if I were GM, I wouldn’t be willing to give them what likely will be their demands for a half season fix.
Harang- the Reds are still in contention in the NL Central, so this seems to be a moot point (or as Joey from Friends would say, “A moo point, you know a cow’s opinion.”)
Penny- the BoSox have tons of starting pitching and with Smoltz almost ready to comeback and Clay Buchholz pitching well in the minors, Penny seems to be the odd man out. He isn’t the Brad Penny of old and has suffered through a rough season thus far (5.96 ERA), but I’d like him more than almost any of our internal options.
Marquis- a groundball pitcher that could easily be had from Colorado as a salary dump. If given the choice between him and Penny, I’d choose Marquis (4.45 ERA). Not to mention, he swings a decent stick and would be our 2nd best pinch-hitting option behind Stairs.
Young- at 6’10” he’d be the Phils tallest pitcher ever, and when healthy he does give you quality starts. It’s the “when healthy” part that is worrisome. Career 3.80 ERA and 1.20 WHIP.
Oswalt- I'd steer clear of him because of the pricetag to acquire him and the fact that I think he's beginning a steady downward trend (ERA's: '07-3.18, '08-3.54, '09-4.62).
Duke- is having a tremendous rebound season with Pittsburgh, and the Buccos would be foolish to trade away yet another good player and get marginal ones in return.
Garland- always a reliable 4th/5th starter type, much like what we have in Blanton, but I can't see his high whip (1.55) translating well at the CIT.
Ain’t Nothing But a GM Thing:
I suggest heavily targeting Peavy, Davis, Bedard, Marquis, and Penny. Phils quite possibly may need two from that list to make it back to the playoffs this season.
*Over on More Hardball, I wonder who has the best outfield in Major League Baseball.
*JA Happ vs. Ross Detwiler tonight in Philly if weather permits. Both are, as Wheels would say, "good looking young lefties".