July 19, 2009 8:00 PM

Not Innocuous

Pirates vs. Phillies

As a result of the postponement of Saturday night's game, the Phillies made some seemingly innocuous adjustments to their pitching probables for the week. The probables are, as follows:

Monday: Rodrigo Lopez
Tuesday: Joe Blanton (rained out on Saturday- threw only 24 pitches)
Wednesday: Jamie Moyer (five days rest)
Thursday: Cole Hamels (left Friday's game early, due to rain- threw 68 pitches- five days rest)
Friday: J.A. Happ (four days rest)
Saturday: Rodrigo Lopez (four days rest)
Sunday: Joe Blanton (four days rest)

There are a number of things we can deduce from these adjustments:
-Joe Blanton has been too effective, recently, for the Phillies to skip his start.
-The Phillies' upcoming, game-a-day, schedule was not conducive to skipping any starters (Moyer?) in the rotation.
-Despite Hamels' rain-shortened appearance, they did not want to bring the southpaw back early. They also chose to pitch Moyer on one extra day's rest, rather than starting Hamels on his regular day, and giving Moyer two extra days' rest. As a result, Hamels will not have to pitch in Wednesday's afternoon game, which is usually a good thing.
-The Phillies don't want Rodrigo Lopez to wait any longer to make his third Phillies start. They want to evaluate Lopez' ability at the MLB level, before Pedro Martinez arrives on the scene to replace him.
-Slotting Lopez into the third slot in the rotation indicates that the Phils project Pedro Martinez as their third starter in the postseason. (Martinez will take Lopez' place in August.) Joe Blanton will be in the fourth spot during the playoffs. Jamie Moyer will watch the postseason from the stands, utilizing tickets graciously provided by the Phillies' organization.
-J.A. Happ continues pitching on the same day as Roy Halladay, who is, temporarily, still with Toronto. Happ will be included in The Halladay Deal, with each respective hurler being seamlessly inserted into their new club's rotation.
-Roy Halladay will be slotted as the #2 in the Phillies' rotation, as a result of #1 starter Cole Hamels' postseason pedigree.
-The Phillies have determined that Happ's strong results in 2009 are a mirage. The Phils have examined Happ's BABIP and LOB %, as well as various proprietary statistics that have not yet fallen into the public consciousness, in coming to this conclusion.
-As a result of the inclusion of J.A. Happ in The Halladay Deal, the Phillies will be able to keep northpaw prospect Kyle Drabek in their organization. Drabek's sub-zero FIP performance in 2014 will be in a Phillies' uniform. (The MLB Phillies, if that wasn't clear.)

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