Ryan Madson’s meaty pitch selection brings more fear to the Phillies than irate constituents, still appalled with the team’s decision to start disgraced pitcher Brett Myers in Saturday’s national broadcast.
The Phillies announced more starting rotation skippage in their game notes this morning, scheduling rookie Scott Mathieson for Wednesday’s game and pitcher Myers for Thursday, thus skipping Mad Dog's spot in the rotation.
Madson (7-4, 6.40 ERA) has been an appallingly bad starter, so bad that the Phillies would rather shame themselves by allowing Myers to pitch more than ever rather than hand the ball to Madson, or even the bat boy.
According to the pregame notes, the Phillies have scheduled their pitching only through Myers’ start Thursday, thus leaving the door open for Friday, which could still be Madson or Cory Lidle, depending on how fresh he is after today’s start.
The Phillies could conceivably go with a four-man rotation of Myers, Lidle, Hamels and Mathieson until Jon Lieber returns from the DL, which is looking more like it will happen in the Toronto or San Diego series.
It’s a concept sure to pick up steam the further they fall out of the race. In today’s market, no team wants to be saddled with a veteran closer for more than one year, but demand for dependible stoppers forces teams to pay a devil’s ransom. Gordon will be 41 at the end of his three-year, $18 million deal with the Phils, who could find themselves in rebuilding state as early as next season. In that case, an expensive, old closer is the last thing the Phillies need. Don’t rule out an offbeat approach to the closer situation if Gordon is dealt, such as Mathieson as closer. More teams are getting hip to this type of thinking.
Wait ... this is the Phillies we're talking about. Forget it.
Tigers interested in Abreu?
According to the Detroit News, the Tigers have big interest in our right-fielder, and are willing to fork over the cash money to take on his salary. The Tigers have a bevy of young, promising arms blocked from spots in the majors, and might also be willing to part with veterans Craig Monroe or Omar Infante. The story indicates Pat Gillick would insist on getting Marcus Thames instead, along with young pitching. Gillick said he is not prepared to deal Abreu right now.
Detroit figures to be an ideal trade partner. The Phillies need to leverage this one to the limit. The Tigers are going for it this season and appear ready to pull out all the stops.
In other Abreu trade-related news, the Yankees may be close to trading for Milwaukee outfielder Carlos Lee, according to the Boston Herald. The Yankees have already turned down Kansas City’s offer of Reggie Sanders for pitching prospect Philip Hughes, but a deal for Lee could be right up New York’s alley.