It is official; Jamie Moyer will be the 5th starter in the Phillies pitching rotation and Kyle Kendrick will start in the pen. This is the move everyone expected, so it is not a big shock. And if Moyer gets roughed up, they can always switch roles.
A few other bullpen pitchers to watch as the season begins will be lefty Antonio Bastardo and righty Jose Contreras. These are the two guys who may make or break the pen in April. Bastardo is filling in for JC Romero who is still recovering from arm surgery, but he expects to be ready before the end of April. Bastardo’s pitching has been up and down this spring and after today, he has an ERA of 6.23. He is young, so consistency will be an issue.
On the other hand, Contreras is a veteran who is nearing the golden years of his career. His pitching has been more down than up. Today against the Astros, he blew a Phillies lead in the 5th,, giving up 3 runs in 2/3 of an inning. The Phillies lost the game by a score of 2-5. His ERA stands at 9.00 for spring, which is pretty awful. Then again, it is spring and these games don’t count. But how will he perform in April based on what we have seen so far? It is not a pleasant thought.
Brad Lidge is still recovering from surgery too so the Phillies need a closer. Ryan Madson has been officially given the job until Lidge returns. Madson did not adjust to the role very well last year, but knowing ahead of time that the job is his may help. I spoke to Ryan in January on the Phillies Cruise and he feels that with more time to adjust and with more practice in the role, he can be successful. He has the stuff to do the job and I think he will be just fine.
Another head-turner in camp today involved Jayson Werth and the Grizzly Adams / Caveman beard. Todd Zolecki of The Zo Zone reports that Werth shaved off the beard! Tiny, helpless screams from beard-loving fans were heard throughout the town but, in his usual nonchalance, Werth went on with his life and paid them no mind. He is such a rebel ;o)
Two more spring games to go before the Phillies head north on Friday morning! Still counting the days…
Werth photo by Jenn