August 9, 2009 1:24 PM

They Said Pedro Had to Stay in Rehab (Roster Moves Pending...)

Pedro Martinez

Future HOF'er Pedro Martinez has made three rehab starts for the Phillies, but still has no timetable for a return to MLB. Martinez looks ready, or at least ready enough to be better than Jamie Moyer, or Rodrigo Lopez. The Phillies have been waiting as long as possible, just in case some factor outside their control (injury? retirement?) affected their personnel decisions.
With Moyer scheduled to start on Sunday, it wouldn't be surprising to see a decision (and corresponding roster move) made early this week. This could be Moyer's last appearance as a starter for awhile.
Martinez could be inserted into the rotation on Wednesday, with Cliff Lee pitching on Tuesday, his regular day. Martinez, J.A. Happ, Joe Blanton, and Cole Hamels would start Wednesday through Saturday in this scenario. (Blanton, and Hamels would each be pitching with two extra days of rest, while Happ would have three extra days.)
Remember when Jack Taschner pitched so infrequently, that it was almost possible to forget that the Phils were still wasting a roster spot on him? That could be Moyer's next role.
Kyle Kendrick would, likely, be optioned back to the Lehigh Valley (AAA) rotation, to open a roster spot for Martinez.

Chad Durbin will make a rehab appearance in AAA on Sunday, and then may be ready to return to the Phillies. The slow-moving rehabs of his pen-mates (J.C. Romero, Clay Condrey) should give Durbin, a pending free agent, another opportunity with the parent club. Wouldn't expect to see him on the postseason roster, though...
(Would expect Tyler Walker to be DFA'd on Tuesday, opening a spot on the active roster for Durbin. Walker will, probably, pass through waivers, and return to Lehigh Valley.)

J.C. Romero experienced a "setback" in his first rehab appearance, Clearwater (A). Clay Condrey continues to take things slowly, as he recovers from his oblique issues. There's no reason to rush either reliever, with roster spots at a premium, and the starting rotation leaving fewer relief innings available. Might not see either back before Sept. 1st, which should keep Rodrigo Lopez in the Phillies bullpen/organization.

Romero, Condrey, Lopez, Durbin, Scott Eyre, Brett Myers, Scott Mathieson. Assuming Brad Lidge, Ryan Madson, Chan Ho Park, and the fifth starter (Pedro Martinez? J.A. Happ?) in the bullpen, that leaves, likely, three spots left. Who gets them?
Brett Myers' rehab is going well. He, allegedly, dominated un-named, simulated batters on Thursday. Future minor league appearances will dictate whether he can return to the parent club, as a reliever, for September and beyond. If he is healthy, he can be a definite asset/upgrade to the bullpen. If Brad Lidge continues to struggle, Myers could be in the late-inning/closing mix, with Ryan Madson. Expect to see Myers in Philly, when rosters expand.
Scott Mathieson has been dominating in A/AA, as his return from three surgeries continues. His refusal to allow runs, coupled with his mid-90s, whiff-inducing, velocity, has him on the fast track back to MLB. Expect to see him in September, competing for a postseason roster spot.
Barring setbacks, Myers and Mathieson would be huge upgrades, over the more fungible commodities, Durbin and Condrey. The third spot would go to J.C. Romero, or Scott Eyre, if Romero is not healthy.
Myers, Mathieson, Martinez or Happ, a LOOGYfied Romero or Eyre, Madson, and Lidge could be an incredible postseason bullpen.
The Phils wouldn't need an eighth reliever for the postseason, opening a roster spot for...Michael Taylor??

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