Thursday, June 18, 2009

Moyer roughed up by Toronto; Phils need another starter

Press and deploy the Jamie Moyer panic button. The crafty veteran does not have the stuff he had last season, and he's not locating nearly as well. It's late enough in the season to stop attributing his performance as rust or early season struggles. Moyer has lost some type of edge, and unfortunately, it's not likely he can regain it for any extended period of time.

The Phillies need to pull the trigger on a trade and bring in a top of the rotation starter. Maybe they could even coast into the postseason with the five men in the rotation now, but the playoffs are a different animal. Entering postseason play, as well as he's been pitching lately, Joe Blanton is not a number two starter. The team can't afford to keep playing from behind when Moyer takes the hill and gives up three or four in the first two innings. There are just too many questions for this to be a postseason rotation.

Cole Hamels and Blanton have proven themselves as quality playoff starters, although Blanton is a number three at best. Brett Myers may not be back, and even he's questionable as a number two. No one knows how J.A. Happ and Antonio Bastardo will handle the bright lights of the playoffs. I simply do not trust Moyer in a clutch situation anymore. He's a great guy and has a great baseball mind, but is obviously aged and doesn't appear to have the stuff anymore. Even if Moyer gets bumped from the rotation heading into the playoffs, not many Phils fans would be comfortable with a rotation of: Hamels, Blanton, Happ and Bastardo.

Bump any of those guys down in the rotation one spot with an added veteran at the top, and they each look that much better. Happ would be a great number four in the playoffs and Blanton would be back in his element. Not to mention how dominant Hamels and say, a Roy Oswalt or Roy Halladay would be as a one-two punch.

The offense is tremendous, but can only play from behind so much. The Phillies need to make a move and bring another established pitcher in for the second spot in the rotation. Our season may depend on it.

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