If you said to me 6 years ago that Pedro Martinez signed with the Phillies, I would have been ecstatic. It would be the first time the Phillies would have a number 1 starter since Kurt Schilling. If you told me Pedro signed with the Phillies 3 years ago, I would have been mildly pleased knowing we got a pitcher that can throw 7 solid innings and win 15 games. Now that the Phillies signed Pedro at age 37 in 2009, I’m indifferent.
You see, I don’t think he is an upgrade, pitching wise, to the Bastardo or Lopez slot in the rotation. His experience and apparent desire to put his failures with the Mets behind him do give him an added sense of motivation and provides the Phillies with some additional leadership. The knocks on Martinez are that he loves the limelight and could be a thorn to a very tight Phillies locker room. The current Phillies will be happy to allow Martinez the spot light, while they also won’t let him hurt their locker room. They are too proud and tough.
Here’s the problem – I don’t think the Phillies can rely on Pedro to plug the hole in their pitching rotation. He is going to make a few minor league starts to get back to game playing mode and then appear for the Phillies in August. What if Lopez and/or Bastardo have great outings between now and then? What if Martinez falters in his return? There is too much unknown – but the important thing is that the Phillies use the best pitchers, not necessarily the big time name or the one with the biggest paycheck.
An interesting thought I had a few days ago during the Pedro Martinez courting was that with the addition of Pedro, does that mean that JA Happ is now available in a trade with the Toronto Blue Jays for Roy Halladay? I saw this thought a few times in yesterday’s and today’s paper and on Philly.com. This could get interesting – however, I think the current Phillies staff, bolstered by a revived and strong bullpen, could easily provide the necessary fire power to get the Phillies back to the Series.