In today’s Inquirer, Bob Ford spectacularly deduced that Phillies pitching could be their downfall this season. Even though has been painfully obvious for the past two seasons, Brett Myers continues to do his best to quiet these calls. He pitched another gem last night and, as he’s done all season, kept his opponent to less than three runs. So of course the problem isn’t with Brett, it’s just the other 4/5 of the rotation that is called into question. As reported by commentors yesterday, Eude Brito will have his chance to defend the honor of Phillies starting pitchers on Saturday against the Dodgers. Last season Eude went 1-2 with a 3.68 in spot starts for the Phils but pitched significantly better at home. The key for him will be to keep the walks to a minumum. This season at Scranton his K/BB ratio is 1.39 while last year with the Phils it was 1.36. Therefore despite good record and ERA, you shouldn’t expect Cole Hamels-like dominance from Brito.
It’s unlikely Eude has the power to single-handedly rescue the Phillies starting corps of pitchers, so what can be done? The odds are high for Gillick to pull off a mid-season trade for a top of the line starter. Dontrelle Willis comes to mind, but the Phils are only one of a dozen teams salavating over that chance. Perhaps you heard the Yankees have been scouting Abreu and Burrell to sustain their depleated outfield. However, the New York Post reports that finding a starting pitcher is Yankees’ No. 1 priority. A deal there might work if Gillick were sure he could trade for and resign Willis and thus would be willing to dump his outfield salary on the Yankees to pay Dontrelle. Along these lines, a three way deal between the Marlins, Yankees and Phillies has been floated but subsequently denied. Abreu’s name has also been kicked around in St. Louis, but I doubt they would part with Chris Carpenter or Mark Mulder or even Jason Marquis who is 7-4 this year. So as discussed by commentors before, it looks as if the Phils will have to wait until the off-season crop of free agents become available and it’s a bit too early to speculate on those guys. For now though with Jon Lieber possibly out three weeks or more, the Phils will just have to make due with their starter by committee scheme.