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Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Please, please, please, use your head

We're going to discuss the Phils' pitching rotation. For all intents and purposes, let's assume today's date is September 7, because the rotation will not change before then. There will be 20 games remaining on September 7. If the Phillies don't touch their rotation, each starter will pitch 4 games over the final 3 weeks of the season. Do you really want Kyle Kendrick having the same effect on the Phils' pennant chances as Cole Hamels? Didn't think so. Here's what they should do:

Kendrick is scheduled to pitch Sunday the 7th against the Mets. Hamels is scheduled to pitch Monday against Florida. Since the Phils are chasing New York, the game Sunday is certainly more important than the game Monday. The Phils have an off-day on Thursday the 4th, so if Charlie Manuel moves Hamels up from Monday to Sunday, Hamels will still be pitching on full rest. I think there's a decent chance that may happen.

However, even if Manuel makes that move, he still has more juggling to do. Assuming Hamels pitches Sunday and Kendrick throws Monday, Kyle Kendrick will be scheduled to pitch September 19th in Miami. Since Kendrick is clearly the Phils' weakest starter, they should push him back one day, and move Joe Blanton up one day (the Sept. 15th off-day assures full rest). This move would allow the rotation to be juggled so that Blanton would pitch on the 24th five days later instead of Kendrick. Then, since they're off the 25th, the Phils can simply skip Kendrick's final start and use Myers-Moyer-Hamels in the final series.

Here's what the rotation will be if they don't touch it, starting Sept. 7:

9/7: Kendrick, 9/8: Hamels, 9/9: Blanton, 9/10: Myers, 9/11: Moyer, 9/12: Kendrick, 9/13: Hamels, 9/14: Blanton, 9/15: OFF, 9/16: Myers, 9/17: Moyer, 9/18: Kendrick, 9/19: Hamels, 9/20: Blanton, 9/21: Myers, 9/22: Moyer, 9/23: Kendrick, 9/24: Hamels, 9/25: OFF, 9/26: Blanton, 9/27: Myers, 9/28: Moyer......Each starter gets 4 more starts.

Here's what the rotation should be if they follow my above plan:

9/7: Hamels, 9/8: Kendrick, 9/9: Blanton, 9/10: Myers, 9/11: Moyer, 9/12: Hamels, 9/13: Kendrick, 9/14: Blanton, 9/15: OFF, 9/16: Myers, 9/17: Moyer, 9/18: Hamels, 9/19: Blanton, 9/20: Kendrick, 9/21: Myers, 9/22: Moyer, 9/23: Hamels, 9/24: Blanton, 9/25: OFF, 9/26: Myers, 9/27: Moyer, 9/28: Hamels......Each starter gets 4 more starts, EXCEPT Hamels and Kendrick. Hamels would get 5 more starts, each on full rest. Kendrick would get 3. There's no reason the Phils shouldn't do this. Yes, Hamels has thrown a bunch of innings, but is 7 more going to kill him? Doubtful.

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