Phillies pitching coach Rich Dubee, speaking to the media prior to the Phillies' game against the Braves on Tuesday night, stated that Jamie Moyer remains the favorite to win the 5th starter spot in the Phils' rotation. Obviously, the coaching staff wants to see if Moyer is healthy, can stay healthy and still has endurance to be a starter, but Moyer, MLB's active wins leader, still seems to be the favorite.
Dubee told reporters, regarding Moyer, "I think, for me, Jamie comes in with a big track record. You can't just go away from that. What did he win last year? Twelve? He won 16 the year before. He's got a tremendously long track record of being a winning pitcher. Even when he turned 40."
In many people's minds, the money owed to Moyer ($8.5 million this season) could be a weighing factor also. With Kyle Kendrick as the other pitcher vying for the 5th start spot, set the earn more than $8 million less than Moyer, and willing to do whatever the team wants him to do, Kendrick could find himself as the odd man out once again. Last spring Kendrick competed for the same spot with the likes of "Jay" Happ, Carlos Carrasco and Chan Ho Park. Kendrick spent most of the season with triple A Lehigh Valley.
Last preseason Park and Happ pitched equally solid and Park got the job initially because he was the veteran who the team promised a chance to start, and his salary was higher. So, why not get your money's worth out of a guy like that? This season could come down to a similar outlook...Moyer wants to start, and he's owed more loot. It's quite simple. Kendrick will likely have to pitch lights out this spring to earn any real consideration for beginning the season as a starter over Moyer. In 2 spring games, Kendrick has pitched 5 scoreless innings.
Recently, PhoulBallz reviewed this year's proposed opening day rotation and pitted it against last year's opening day rotation. I felt that the 2010 version of the Phillies pitching staff will be better than the 2009 version of the staff. We've seen the way the Phillies roll, in recent seasons. Phans have grown accustomed to in-season changes in the rotation. Whether it's a trade, demotion, promotion, injury, or some combination of all those listed, the opening day starting rotation won't stick throughout the full season. So, whichever pitcher begins April as a starter shouldn't expect his position to be locked down. He'll still have to execute well and maintain his health in order to hold onto that starting spot.
Two more games are on tap against the Blue Jays on Wednesday. Jamie Moyer is scheduled to start the "B" game, while Cole Hamels takes the mound in the regularly scheduled game. Also, Kyle Drabek is slated to pitch for Toronto in the regular game. Drabek was the key prospect dealt to Toronto in the Roy Halladay deal.
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