SportsNation Blog ArchivesSN Blog Archives J.A. Happ

There's an awful quarter of a second right before a batted ball hits a pitcher in the head when everyone realizes what's about to happen and no one -- not even the pitcher himself -- can do anything about it. J.A. Happ experienced that worst-case scenario in Tuesday night's game against the Rays, when a line drive by Desmond Jennings sent him to the hospital. Happ is in stable condition, fortunately, and is likely to be discharged from the hospital Wednesday, but something like this inevitably brings the issue of pitcher safety to the forefront. Helmets or other protective gear may be a tough sell, but it could be worth it the next time a line drive hisses toward a defenseless pitcher.

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At least if Pedro Martinez struggles in his initial starts with the Phillies, he's playing for a fan base famous for its patience and empathy. Yes, this should end well.

There was a time when SportsNation would have taken Martinez over just about any pitcher who ever lived. Asked to pick a starter for an all-time AL All-Star team earlier this season, voters picked Martinez of 2000 vintage ahead of the best of Roger Clemens, Lefty Grove, Jim Palmer and Johan Santana. Of course, there was also a time when a majority of people thought Tracy McGrady was a better leader than Kobe Bryant.

As Martinez makes his Phillies debut against the Cubs Wednesday night, he can't even earn enough popular support to merit his spot in the rotation. And considering SportsNation already thinks he's a borderline, at best, first-ballot Hall of Fame candidate, the next few weeks could make those memories of his best years fade away.


Moyer's ERA and winning percentage are much better in the last month or so. In fact, during July, when the Phillies turned it around, Moyer was 4-1 with a 3.30 ERA. He also won 5 straight starts during June and July. I think any team would want that.

-- UWhusky2
Carol Vessey

Nobody really knows whether Pedro will be effective. Smoltz and Glavine were both effective in their minor league outings but were unable to make it back in the bigs. Give Pedro a few starts and if he doesn't perform no harm done. Moyer has done nothing this year so there is little to be lost by replacing him in the rotation. If Pedro pitches well keep running him out there, if not Moyer is ready to step back in.

-- Carol Vessey

Well [Moyer] has been an starting pitcher for the last 25 years, so of coarse he is gonna feel negative about being put in the pen, the guy deserves better respect after what he did for them last year. We still love you Jamie here in seattle and we hope you come back next year strong as before.

-- nao888

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In a past life, Pedro Martinez was perhaps the most dominant pitcher to have ever played the game. He struck out double-digit batters on a regular basis. He made exceptional hitters look confused and silly. The numbers he put up (in the middle of the so-called "Steroid Era," no less) seem like statistical outliers when compared to his peers.

It's a little sad, then, to see a good outing by Pedro in Double-A praised as indicative that he "still has it." For sure, he may well indeed still be able to get major league batters out -- after all, Jamie Moyer is still doing it -- but there's also the danger of Pedro appearing as an old Willie Mays with the Mets, unable to run down fly balls and letting grounders skip through his legs. That being said, Pedro could be a force out of the bullpen, but it still could be a sad end to one of baseball's greatest pitching careers.

Unfortunately, SportsNation isn't confident that Pedro has anything left in the tank. We'll soon see if he'll be able to prove his doubters wrong.

Hooray. Thank you Ruben. Sad to say this about Moyer, but he should be the one to go to the pen.

-- althemarinerfan

So how about we keep Moyer to make every start against the Marlins... 6 man rotation? Look, it may keep from hurting feelings, but that takes starts away from the other 4 Phillie pitchers and that just doesn't make sense.

-- andrewc2189

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J.P. Ricciardi has another day or two to decide if he wants to keep his ace or be flush with prospects, but for its part, SportsNation isn't sure if the Jays' general manager is Austin Powers or Mike McDermott at the table (come to think of it, among Hollywood card players, John Turturro might be a better fit for the Ricciardi role).

Voters ranked Ricciardi a tepid No. 19 in their GM Power Rankings. That's not Omar Minaya territory or anything quite so disastrous, but it's way down the ladder from the affection SportsNation showed Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. at No. 6. And Amaro is very much in the high-stakes game of dealing for a stud pitcher at the deadline.

Perhaps it's a bluff designed to make Ricciardi nervous, but the Phillies seemed to have turned their attention to Indians ace Cliff Lee after finding the price for Roy Halladay prohibitive. Voters in Pennsylvania remain convinced the Phillies will land either Lee or Halladay, but the rest of the country isn't so sure a deal will get done. Not that many outside Red Sox Nation are convinced the Phillies can't win without a big addition.

Edit: We knew Amaro was a big SportsNation blog fan, but that was an impressive turnaround. We post; he reportedly trades. We feel heady with power).


If the contenders lowball Shapiro, Lee will finish the season in Cleveland. They should have learned their lesson last year. Sabathia's price tag should have included Mat Gamel. The Brewers got away with sending a mediocre LHP with no future in Jackson, damaged goods in Bryson, and two guys that were at least a season away from being big league talent. The Indians will (should) walk away from anyone trying to get Lee at a discount. The worst case scenario is that they deal him at deadline time next year.

-- Ghostsof1948

I don't understand alot of this talk...the only reason we would trade Lee is because we won't pay him after next year....if he is looking for Sabathia or even Zambrano money i think we should get the most that we can for him...i would hold out like Toronto for the best players teams have! We hold all the cards, lee is signed through next year, so we are in no pressure mode.

-- robytooj

if were (the phillies) so worried about not getting rid of drabek then why dont we have him in our rotation already? I mean if were so worried about not dealing him then why aren't we using him since our pitching hasn't been great this year and everyone keeps landing on the dl. i say put him in the deal and lets get hallady who we all know will dominate

-- mblakes03

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