A lesser team would be severely handicapped by the mounting injuries the Phillies have experienced this past month. Instead, the Phils continue their unabated march toward October.
While Chan Ho Park (hamstring), Pedro Martinez (neck), J.A. Happ (strained oblique), Scott Eyre (loose body), J.C. Romero (forearm), Jack Taschner (back) and Brett Myers (shoulder strain) watch from the sidelines, the Phillies are poised to put an early stamp on the division, thanks in part to an overabundance of at-the-ready pitching. Tyler Walker, credited for the win yesterday, is one such player, caught in the net when Ruben Amaro Jr. went trolling for bargain pitching at the earlier stages of the season. A numbers of veterans, like Mike Koplove, Gary Majewski and others, were eventually tossed back into the drink for one reason or another. But in getting just a few pitchers to stick (Walker, Rodrigo Lopez), after throwing a bunch of stuff at the wall, proved to be well worth the effort for the first-year GM.
The Phillies have been getting notable contributions from several unheralded pitchers, including 24-year-old Sergio Escalona, auditioning for a future situational left-hander role, which could happen as early as this postseason if Eyre and Romero can’t go. Escalona barely registered as a blip on the radar before 2009.
Kyle Kendrick could be headed toward life in the bullpen as well if the Phils decide they’ll get more from him in that capacity, rather than give him another whirl in a padded rotation. The Phils gave the 25-year-old righty ample time to address his issues at Triple-A. In doing so, the Phils turned him from a lost cause into a viable addition to the stretch run, picking up a pair of huge wins Sept. 13 against New York and Friday against Atlanta.
It’s hard to imagine Jamie Moyer’s demotion working better than it has. Earning wins in a pair of rain-shortened starts, he's posted a 3.44 ERA since the All-Star break and is set to pitch tomorrow’s double-header in Florida. Just 1-3 innings shy of 150, which would kick in $250K in performance bonus, it’s possible Moyer could make two more starts after tomorrow should injuries hold Happ and Pedro out of action.
Amaro on Myers: "I don't think he came back too quick. I think probably the change of role and pitching a lot.”
There’s no question this was all too much, too soon for Myers, and I’m not the least bit surprised he's blown out his arm. Keep in mind he’s pitching for his next contract, plus, he’s a competitor and wants to be along for the ride. He has every reason in the world to push himself past the limit. Nope. Not surprised by this. Would have bet money this would happen to be honest.