Where Do The Phillies Go From Here?

A Reading Phils' franchise-record 9,953 fans were on hand as Pedro Martinez pitched his third -- and best -- rehab start.

Martinez worked a solid six innings at Double-A Reading Wednesday night, recording 11 strikeouts while walking none. In his best start since signing a one-year deal on July 15, the 37-year-old Martinez allowed three runs and five hits against the New York Yankees' Trenton affiliate.

Overall the future Hall of Famer hurled 60 of his total 82 pitches for strikes.

In his rehab starts Pedro has given up a total of nine hits and seven earned runs in 12 1-3 innings.

Pedro’s strong rehab outing muddied the Phillies’ rotation debate even more, but J.A. Happ’s complete game shutout of the Colorado Rockies Wednesday night stole the spotlight. The Rookie of the Year candidate struck out a career-high 10 batters in nine scoreless innings.

So where do the Phillies go from here?

“Happ's not going anywhere. He deserves to stay in the rotation. He's pitched very well. He's probably been our most effective starter,” general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said Thursday according to ESPN.

Well that clears things up a little. And then Amaro said this about Pedro.

“I think he can get major league hitters out with his stuff. I know it was a Double-A club, but when you have no walks and 11 punch outs, that's good in Little League.”

It looks like this pitching fantasy (what team wouldn’t want to have too many pitchers) could shake out a number of ways. But first lets clear things up. New ace Cliff Lee, old ace Cole Hamels, innings-eater Joe Blanton and Happ aren’t going anywhere.

That leaves just Jamie Moyer. Sure he’s got ten wins, but he also has an ERA of 5.55. That’s not going to cut it come October. So scenario No. 1 is that Pedro knocks Moyer out of the rotation and probably onto the DL for the foreseeable future.

Scenario No. 2 (We feel like Robert Stack from Unsolved Mysteries) is that Pedro comes out of the bullpen. They need him considering that Chad Durbin, Clay Condrey and J.C. Romero are all injured.

Scenario No. 3 and 3.5  are a six-man rotation, or a five and a half man rotation, respectively. The six-man rotation is self-explanatory, but for a five and a half man rotation, we use Moyer or Pedro every other game (they are both getting kind of old). Or Charlie Manuel could split the two over a game. One would pitch the first four or five innings and then the other would come in.

Most teams would love to have this problem. All and all, not a terrible place for the Phillies to stand. 

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