Billy Mays, please don’t go yet! The Philadelphia Phillies still need you! In order for them to repeat as World Champions, they need you to sell something, for old times sake. Here’s the deal.
The Phillies have a couple of problems that desperately need solving. For one, they need an “A-list starter” in Charlie Manuels words. To add to the wish list is a quality reliever that can be relied upon to eat up innings, and throw strikes.
With the skipper calling for some team needs, the general manager, Ruben Amaro Jr. is on the fence about the subject. Amaro has taken this approach in which he states in this comment: “When you have this many teams in the race it’s very thin,” Amaro said. “It’s always thin. Again, there were three teams who got pitching last year. Three teams out of 30. That’s 10 percent. We can say, ‘Pretty please can we have a pitcher?’ but that doesn’t mean one will become available.”
It sounds like Amaro is putting everything he’s got into finding a pitcher for his manager, but does it sound like he is pleased that his manager make his wants public? Not at all.
The truth is that whether Amaro likes it or not, it is his job to find and acquire the player that the team needs to succeed. So this is where Billy Mays comes in.
Billy, could you please explain to Mr. Amaro who he needs to get, and why he needs to find the missing piece to get the Phillies back over the hump and into the play-offs, and ultimately the World Series. Here are the guys that he should look at, and who have been rumored to be available in a trade.
Here are the starter that Amaro should think about, and how Billy will try to sell them to Amaro.
Brad Penny: Penny is 6-3 for the Boston Red Sox, and has an ERA of 4.79 in 82.2 innings pitched. Penny has also given up 44 earned runs and 98 hits over a span of 15 games. Penny has been heavily scouted by the Phils in almost every aspect.
Mays: The Phillies liked what they saw, but getting Penny might be a little harder than expected because Daisuke Matsuzaka is headed to the DL, and John Smoltz did not exactly pitch lights out in his season-debut.
Penny is a right handed pitcher, so it would even out the rotation a little bit, while providing stability. Penny is pitching well so far this year, and the Phillies have shown a massive amount of interest, and have scouted him a lot so far this season. So why would you not have that hard work pay off, and just trade for the guy?
Erick Bedard: Bedard has returned to form after an injury riddled season last year. He has posted a 5-2 record with an 2.47 ERA. Bedard has given up 54 hits, and 18 earned runs over 65.2 innings pitched. If the Phillies could get Bedard, it would really solidify the rotation. Although Bedard is a southpaw, he is a flame thrower, and would take some pressure off of ace Cole Hamels. The down side to acquiring Bedard would be that the Phillies would then have 4 lefties and only 1 righty in the rotation.
Mays: That would likely turn off the Phillies, but here is the upside. The Phillies could possibly send J.A. Happ to the bullpen, and switch him with reliever Chan Ho Park, and see what he has to give for a couple of starts.
Happ has pitched well, but if the Phils want to mix it up and even out the rotation, then they will switch Happ with Park.
Bedard is a good pitcher who could really help out the Phils. He has pitched well so far this year, and would be a staple in the rotation for years. His ERA is low, and he has given up a minimum amount of hits this year.
Cliff Lee: Lee is 4-6 so far this year with an 2.92 ERA. Lee win-loss record do not do him justice. Lee has only allowed 119 hits, and 36 earned runs over 111 innings. He has one complete game, and one shutout already this season. He has also only given up 7 homeruns, so he would perform well, in CBP.
Mays: While Lee will cost a lot of prospects, he is well worth it. He will eat up innings, and give your bullpen some well needed rest, and will get you strikeouts, and will not give up homeruns. He won the Cy Young award last year for a reason, and that is that he finds a way to get batters out. He has a huge confidence level, that will get him through the season, and he will strive in the lights of Philly.
So there Ruben Amaro. Has the late, great Billy Mays convinced you of the strengths of these great pitchers that you have shown interest in, and the importance that you acquire an innings eating starter? I sure hope so, because if not, the Phillies will make the play-offs, but they will not repeat as World Champs.