The Phillies are handing the ball to their best available arms by any means necessary, even if they step on some toes.
In the previous thread, a reader noted the irony that two of the starters responsible for burning the bullpen early in the season – Jamie Moyer and Chan Ho Park – are now the ones picking up the pieces in long relief. Conversely, early season mop-up man, J.A. Happ, is the pitcher most responsible for preserving the 'pen since joining the rotation, lasting six or more innings in 11-straight starts, including seven or more in seven of his last 10. Perhaps learning their final lesson from the failed Park rotation experiment, the Phils have become giant hard-asses when it comes to their pitching, and it's working. No obligation, be it financial commitments, verbal agreements, loyalty or popularity, is too great for the Phils to set themselves up with the best shot at winning.
Aside from Park - a decision that had more to do with a sense of duty - their instincts have been sharp. Pedro appears to have something left in the tank after all. The difference in Park, since moving to the ‘pen May 19, is night and day, averaging over 10 strikeouts per nine innings with a 2.57 ERA as a reliever, compared to 5.7 strikeouts and a 7.29 ERA as a starter. As for Moyer, with a pair of double-headers looming, and probably a few more summer squalls, you can see how a 46-year-old junkball reliever might work.
Lately, the success of the entire staff, particularly the starting rotation, is undeniable (ERA under 3.00 in last 31 starts). And if you’re wondering why the Phils haven't taken the same approach with Brad Lidge, recognize the division lead, the lack of true urgency and ask yourself “Who else?”