Phils have what most others don't … rotation depth 

August, 7, 2009
Those who saw Pedro Martinez pitch for Double-A Reading on Wednesday thought he looked better than he has in two years, changing speeds and eye levels and still sitting at 91 mph in the sixth inning. If Pedro indeed can become a quality six-inning starter, and right-hander Scott Mathieson -- who was recently throwing in the high 90s for Double-A Reading -- can become a go-to reliever, these won't be problems down the road for Phillies manager Charlie Manuel. He can work it out.

Cliff Lee


Pedro Martinez


Back in April, there were questions about the world champions' rotation depth. In August, folks are complaining about the Phillies being too deep. Cue the laugh track. Between general manager Ruben Amaro's trade for Cliff Lee and the development of J.A. Happ, no team in either league may be as prepared for the stretch run as the Phillies, a just reward for the team on the planet that plays the hardest. Happ is 8-2 with a 2.74 ERA in 26 appearances, 14 starts. Lee -- who not only was the defending American League Cy Young Award winner but was leading the AL in quality starts when he left Cleveland -- is 2-0 with a 1.13 ERA in two starts since being acquired by the Phillies.

So someone every turn or two skips a start or goes to the bullpen? If Pedro and his 90-91 mph velocity can hold up, Manuel and Amaro can figure something out, because they have what just about no one else has -- depth in the starting rotation.