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Phillies Gamble by Going with Pedro

On Monday, one MLB veteran saw his career take a turn for the better, while a fellow veteran saw his career take a turn for the worse.

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That was the day that the Philadelphia Phillies announced that Pedro Martinez would be added to the Phillies rotation and Jamie Moyer would be sent to the bullpen.

Martinez, obviously, was delighted that he would have another opportunity to start in the bigs. The 37-year-old, three-time Cy Young Award winner was a free agent heading into the 2009 season, but played for the Dominican Republic in the World Baseball Classic. It was no secret that Martinez was far past his prime, but the Phils needed an extra arm on the staff and he was their guy. Now, in the fifth slot of the rotation, he is not expected to be a lights out pitcher. Solid starts are all that’s expected of him.

Moyer, a 46-year-old lefty, is by no means happy with this decision to send him to the ’pen. Moyer said the following: “I feel a little disheartened, I feel a little bit like I've been misled. I feel like I've played this game long enough that the respect factor should be there.”

Moyer, apparently, was under the notion that he would always remain a starter. He explained that Phillies GM Ruben Amaro, Jr. “kind of parlayed to me that this type of situation would not happen.” Moyer stated that he did not want to be a distraction to the ball club, but a distraction is almost inevitable once comments such as these are made.

Many Phillies fans were surprised and disappointed at Moyer’s comments. It is unlike Moyer, someone who is portrayed throughout baseball as a gentleman who always puts the team first, to make such self-centered remarks. I understand Moyer being upset about a lack of respect that he feels he deserves, but the Number 1 goal of any team in Major League Baseball is to win games and the Phillies felt they would have a better chance of doing that with Pedro in the rotation and Jamie in the bullpen. With Moyer’s 5.47 ERA, that is understandable.

Well, all hard feelings aside, Pedro made his first start as a member of the Phillies on Wednesday night. He recorded a win in a relatively average performance. He went five innings gave up seven hits, three earned runs, and struck out five.

The start was a very Jamie Moyer-like performance, giving Pedro a 5.40 ERA. It won’t be until he gets a few more starts under his belt that we find out exactly what kind of dividends this move will pay. Right now, the Phillies still sit atop of the NL East standings with the hopes of repeating as World Series Champs in full sight.

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