Phillies.com speculates manager Charlie Manuel could name his Saturday starter as early as today, and the choice appears to be between Ryan Franklin and Gavin Floyd.
Franklin hasn’t been used as a starter this season, but told MLB.com he has "80 to 90 pitches right now." Manuel feels that Franklin can go only three to five innings.
To repeat, that’s three to five innings.
The 33-year-old right-hander (pictured right during a great moment in Phillies history) pitched two innings of shutout relief last night, but allowed two hits and two walks. Since his two abominations on May 23 and 27, he’s pitched a little better, lowering his ERA to 4.40. Opponents are hitting .267 against him, but he’s lived up to his reputation as a home run machine, giving up over two home runs per game for the Phils, second only to this next guy.
Ideally, Gavin Floyd would spend the rest of the season in Triple-A where he can regain his poise in a low-pressure environment. With the big club, his composure resembled that of a wet spaghetti noodle.
However, it’s very likely he will be recalled for four reasons: Reason 1: He was up with the club before as a starter. Reason 2: He’s been outstanding since his demotion. Reason 3: Saturday would fall right in line with his turn in the rotation. Actually, he gets an extra day having pitched on Sunday. Reason 4: The Phillies honestly believe they can still make it work with Gavin Floyd this season.
Thing is, Floyd was a complete mess when he left. I remeber it vividly, like it was only two weeks ago. His final outing was a four-inning, seven-run performance against the Dodgers to elevate his ERA firmly above 7.00. Few pitchers in baseball have been worse than Floyd, and very few have surrendered homers at his rate.
Matchup-wise, the Phillies are better off with a right-hander, so scratch Eude Brito from the list. The D-Rays are hitting just .235 against them.
So what do you think? Franklin? Floyd? Frying pan over the head?