Pedro and the Phils

With the Phillies struggling in third place this yer after back-to-back National League Championships, GM Ruben Amaro has been toying around with an old idea:

Pedro Martinez appears to have his sights set on a repeat of 2009, when he joined the Phillies midseason and wound up starting two games for them in the World Series.

…”Pitching is always the issue. Everybody is always looking for the same thing,” Amaro said. “Again, a lot of it depends on how Happ progresses. And we’ve got to get (setup reliever Ryan) Madson back. I like our chances when both of those guys are back.”

…”I don’t know how much he’s been throwing, but what he did here last year, he was great for this team and helped (the Phillies) out a lot,” said Phils catcher Brian Schneider, who caught the righty with the Mets. “I loved working with Petey. But we have enough stuff going on right now that we’re just concentrating on the pitchers that are already here.”

While the Phillies may say they are happy with the pitchers they’ve got on board, I don’t see why they would be. Here are the members of the Phils rotation with their current and rest of season FIPs courtesy of ZiPS:

Roy Halladay: 2.67/2.93
Cole Hamels: 4.55/3.78
Joe Blanton: 5.83/4.30
Jamie Moyer: 4.98/4.83
Kyle Kendrick: 4.81/4.74
J.A. Happ: 4.48 (10 innings)/4.71

There is currently not one starter on the Phillies not named Roy Halladay who has a better FIP than any Mets starting pitcher. Joe Blanton‘s projection for the rest of the year seems generous given his awful pitching, and Cole Hamels has suffered from a nasty combination of homeritis and a career low K/BB.

But what can Pedro Martinez offer the Phillies? Not much, really. He put up a 4.28 FIP last year, but is another year older and hasn’t pitched yet this entire season. Keeping that in mind, here’s what the prognosticators said before the start of the 2010 campaign:

Bill James: 3.67 FIP
Marcel: 4.65 FIP
ZiPS: 4.17 FIP

The algorithm at Bill James’ site must be messed up, because it has Pedro with a 8.90 K/9, even though his last two years were 7.46 and 7.18 (and, again, he’s 38 years old and bound to be rusty). Pedro would most likely sit around the ~4.50 FIP area, which would basically give the Phillies someone a tick better than Kyle Kendrick. Martinez’s ceiling isn’t that high, but his rock bottom can be pretty bad.

Pedro Martinez may give the Phillies an extra 0.5 WAR at best, but he’s unlikely to be the tipping point in the Phillies’ race to make the playoffs. Right now Philadelphia needs Ryan Howard and Chase Utley to right themselves, as the offense has been putrid of late. If the Phillies are going to trade for any starting pitcher, Cliff Lee may be the one guy who can put them above and beyond every team in the National League. They’d be so good I couldn’t imagine anyone ever passing up the opportunity to go Halladay-Lee-Hamels in the starting rotation. Oh, wait…

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Pat Andriola is an Analyst at Bloomberg Sports who formerly worked in Major League Baseball's Labor Relations Department. You can contact him at or follow him on Twitter @tuftspat

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Beer me!
Beer me!

That last line was brilliant!

Larry Smith Jr.

Total agreement, love the last line.