Who Fills in For Doc? – Phillies Nation

Who Fills in For Doc?

With Roy Halladay likely headed to the the disabled list, the Phillies will have a vacant spot in the rotation that needs to be filled. There are really only three candidates to replace him and our selection may surprise you.

Quick notes: whoever replaces Halladay, as Matt Gelb points out, will have a hard time pitching worse than Halladay has in 2013. Our Eric Seidman pointed out last week that Halladay’s biggest comparable over the last calendar year has been Joe Blanton – unfortunately for Halladay, with his last two outings, that ship has sailed as well.

Finally, for the purposes of this article, Jesse Biddle, despite his strong start, is not included here because, frankly, myself and many others would like to see slightly more out of him in Double-A, and perhaps Triple-A, before considering him for a promotion to MLB but also because his addition would require him being added to the 40-man roster – a move that would be almost wasted should Doc’s expected DL stint last for only 15 days.

http://www.trbimg.com/img-5169fc91/turbine/mc-morgan-adam-jpg-20130413/600/480x600Adam Morgan

Pros: Dynamite secondary pitches, great location on fastball, started the year with two truly great starts (1.29 ERA, 9 Ks in 14 IP against a very good Syracuse club), most complete/polished pitcher of the three available at this time.

Cons: Just 23 years old – why rush? Has struggled in last three starts (6.75 ERA, 3 HR allowed) and has struggled keeping pitch count low. Has only gone past the sixth inning once. Is not on the 40-man roster.

Morgan looked phenomenal in his first to starts of the year against the Syracuse Chiefs, a team hitting .271, made up of Nationals’ prospects. He used sliders and change-ups mixed in with a fastball that climbed in velocity as the game went on and challenged hitters. He was in contention for the spot that went to Jonathan Pettibone received but is not yet on the 40-man roster, which would have been a hindrance. At this point, my only question is his endurance: Morgan has a propensity to pitch long innings and hits 90-100 pitches around the fifth or sixth inning.

Chances of Replacing Halladay: 35%. Morgan is the performance-based favorite, even with the bumps he has hit recently. He’s not on the 40-man roster however, the Phillies are only at 39 right now and Sebastian Valle and Tyson Gillies have played their way to expandability in the early going if they want the extra player cushion.

http://imgick.lehighvalleylive.com/home/lvlive-media//img/lvironpigs_impact/photo/12677512-small.jpgEthan Martin

Pros: On the 40-man roster, over a strikeout per inning pitched right now, bad stats are due for a positive regression

Cons: Are the bad stats due for a positive regression (20 BB in 22.1 IP)? Has not gotten past the fifth inning with the ‘Pigs in 2013.

Chances of Replacing Halladay: 20%. Martin has given up 14 ER in his last three starts, pitching just 13.1 innings. I think Martin still has a lot of great stuff and I would chalk this up to a slow start. Martin is your guy if you believe you need someone to fill in for one or two starts and are tempted to see what he can do against MLB hitters.

http://sports.cbsimg.net/images/baseball/mlb/players/60x80/1995708.jpgTyler Cloyd

Pros: On the 40-man roster, has pitched the best the most recent out of any IronPigs starter (2.40 ERA in last 15 IP)

Cons: 7.65 ERA over first four starts was enough to confirm label many already had in their minds for Cloyd and sealed his fate for most

Cloyd is the best of the three lately – he is coming off back-to-back solid starts against Louisville and Indianapolis. A super slow start cost him a shot at the spot opened up by John Lannan – will it cost him the spot opened up by Halladay?

Chances of Replacing Halladay: 45%. This is probably the safest route for the Phillies. Martin is still raw and Morgan, as brilliant as he has looked, is still very much a work in progress. Cloyd is your guy if you don’t want to Gavin Floyd (adjective) either Morgan or Martin.



  1. Don M

    May 6, 2013 at 10:18 am

    uggghhh this situation is like a punch in the gut

  2. Stuart

    May 6, 2013 at 10:35 am

    I watched the Chiefs every game last year as I worked with their video crew and they have a lot of the same guys back. They are not a good team so having two good games against the Chiefs really is not saying much.

    • Stuart

      May 6, 2013 at 10:38 am

      Not to mention the Chiefs are doing just as awful this year in last place of their division and the third worst team in Triple A. I would want Cloyd, most major league ready and I think he also has the biggest upside and could actually maybe get going.

  3. Dave P

    May 6, 2013 at 10:50 am

    The player I am most intrigued to see is Adam Morgan. I think they’ll probably go with Tyler Cloyd though.

  4. CS

    May 6, 2013 at 11:24 am

    No thoughts to bringing in someone from outside? IE a unsigned playe or dealing for someone?

  5. Sandy Durso

    May 6, 2013 at 12:10 pm

    How about just pitching Aaron Cook ? Oh wait RAJ didn’ t want to pay an insignificant amount of money to keep him around.

    • schmenkman

      May 6, 2013 at 12:15 pm

      I’m not sure who Aaron Cook would be better than. 7.40 ERA in the minors so far this year, and 5.08, 6.03, and 5.65 in the majors the last 3 years.

      • Ken Bland

        May 6, 2013 at 2:01 pm

        “I’m not sure who Aaron Cook would be better than”

        That’s unbelievable that you aren’t sure.

        I am.


        But the thread’s cool. Liked reading the case for Cloyd, and a little semi first hand perspective of sorts from Stuart.

        All I’ll say is it’ll be interesting. Pettibone’s doing a little plus better than I thought based on ineffective digits and spring, so I’m just watching this one. But Aaron Cook? I’d have looked at Lopez first if I thought that channel on the cable box (This is the Red Flag Showing Career is Past Television Network) was the one to press.

  6. Bart Shart

    May 6, 2013 at 12:29 pm

    This Phillies organization needs to have some mercy on us fans. It is time to rebuild and that means having a fire sale while we can get some talent for our veterans. We should look to sell/trade the following players who could contribute to a contender:

    Jonathan Papelbon
    Cliff Lee
    Chase Utley
    Jimmy Rollins
    Michael Young
    Ryan Howard (if we can unload him)

    We are going no where this year. It really is time to make these moves.

    • Chuck A.

      May 6, 2013 at 12:46 pm

      No. The times to make such moves, if there is need to make them, is at the trade deadline.

      • USC

        May 6, 2013 at 5:44 pm

        Yes and no. Truthfully, the time to trade Lee is now as his value is directly tied to the number of starts made for a club. I’ve been calling the Dodgers for quite some time, so I’ll stick with that assumption.

    • Kyle

      May 6, 2013 at 3:57 pm

      Never trade Chase Utley. I don’t care if it ruins the team, he is the heart of Philly.

  7. bacardipr

    May 6, 2013 at 12:40 pm

    I think we are stuck with Howard. We would have to eat up massive amount of money. It was just a bad contract and not necessarily speaking because its Ryan Howard. Besides with that gimpy ankle his value is further decreased. Moving on i think they will go with Cloyd.

  8. George

    May 6, 2013 at 1:07 pm

    I don’t think anything will be decided until after Halladay’s test results. If he’s going to be out a short time, they’ll probably go with Cloyd, but if Doc is out for more than two or three weeks, it’s possible they try to find someone outside the organization. Some of the front office thinking will also depend on when Lannan is due back. If he requires surgery, the buzzards from other organizations will begin circling, waiting to pick the few tasty morsels off the Phils’ mostly dead roster.

  9. Don M

    May 6, 2013 at 1:14 pm

    Usually very optimistic… I feel like we really are a world away from being true contenders – and having said that, I believe we should be sellers at the deadline this year. I’d bring back Ruiz, because you have to put a capable catcher out there, but i’d give serious thought to dealing Utley, Young, Lee, Papelbon, Adams at the deadline.

    There is no point in paying Utley $10 M a year or so (or whatever his cost would be), for the next 2-3-4 years if we don’t think we’ll be in contention anyway .. and without Halladay, Lee, … our pitching staff won’t be able to carry us as in year’s past. Unload some players IF* you can get a substantial return for them… Next year will be the time to see what Galvis, Brown, Biddle, etc can do

    • Rudy Canoza

      May 6, 2013 at 1:49 pm

      Like the Red Sox last year, they need to unload bad contracts even without substantial return. For example, this is the second consecutive season in which Papelbon has seen a decline in his velocity. This is the year to move him – while he’s still effective. That contract was ugly to begin with, and it gets even worse for a pitcher with declining skills.

      • Ken Bland

        May 6, 2013 at 2:20 pm

        Once again, we have a discussion here between the message and the reply that isn’t what in my view is topical for today (although the original message was largely vent of frustration, and that’s understandable), but this here replay is about as spot on as it gets. The Red Sox blueprint indeed appears to be right on. People’d be surprised by how little return the Phils guys get anyway, but that’s besides the point, and subject to being wrong anyhow. In Pap’s case, it may wind up further supplemented by what the hell are you trying to close out anyhow, but it is potentially a chance to right a wrong deal.

        Now how Ruben and company assess this, lord knows, but when, and still small chance if it’s time to sell, this consideration oughta remain in the memory bank for execution.

  10. George

    May 6, 2013 at 4:23 pm

    The Red Sox I think are the exception to the rule on trading high priced people. I’d also bear in mind that there’s a lot of season left, that they traded guys who were mostly not that old, that they changed managers (everyone hated their last one), and that they’ve had better than average pitching from guys who weren’t all that good last year.

    I’m not saying that the Phils shouldn’t try to get rid of some high priced veterans. I’m only saying that it’s highly doubtful they’d have the same success that the Sox have had so far.

    • Rudy Canoza

      May 6, 2013 at 5:00 pm

      It’s obviously not possible without a team willing to absorb bad contracts. The Dodgers were spending money foolishly with their ownership change last season, so a perfect storm developed for Boston to unload a lot of dead weight. The Phillies need to explore all options though. Other than Hamels, nobody should be untouchable.

  11. Double Trouble Del

    May 6, 2013 at 7:00 pm

    I have in prior posts advocated a Red Sox-esque salary/contract dump. In retrospect however I have to agree with KB, the return for such a dump will most likely be less than satisfactory especially given that our minor league scouts have sucked ever since Mike Arbuckle left the organization. The Red Sox had minor league talent waiting in the wings unlike our orgainzation. (Also the Red Sox unloaded some BAD club house guys in Crawford and Beckett. None of the Phillies players who would be candidates for a mid-season trade fit that kind of negative bill.) I guess what I am getting at is that not every player on the current roster needs to or should go because 1. there are no players at the minor league level ready to step in and take their place and 2. the team would be unable to replace all of those players with returns from those trades. Unless of course the team is prepared to be really bad for several years.

  12. hk

    May 7, 2013 at 6:37 am

    Since the team has days off on May 13, May 16 and May 23, it seems like they will only need a replacement for Doc 2 times, this Friday in Arizona and May 21 in Miami, before Lannan is scheduled to return. I would hate to see them rush Morgan and start his service time clock and I would hate to see RAJ trade anything of value for a short-term fix. I hope they just ride it out with Cloyd on Friday and go with a 4-man rotation until May 21. By then, they should have a better idea of when Lannan will return and they will also have 12 more games, 11 of which are against teams with winning records, to assess where they stand in regards to their prospects for contending for the playoffs this season. At that point, if Lannan is not ready to return and the team has won 7 or 8 of those 12 games, maybe there will be wisdom in making a trade.

    • George

      May 7, 2013 at 8:23 am

      The Phils rarely use a four man rotation. But I like your ideas here.

    • Ken Bland

      May 7, 2013 at 11:10 am

      Message Boxscore

      Firings Demanded/Recommended 0

      Bad News Overstated 0

      Stupidity 0

      HR – Objectivity, Insightfulness

      Way to look ahead, hk. I can’t offer a supplemental opinion, haven’t looked ahead. I’m just focussed on the week that is, but it’s refreshing to read this considering some of the stuff
      that doesn’t coincide with what I’d care to read. The ballclub’s hangin’ around.

    • Lefty

      May 7, 2013 at 11:36 am

      Great comment hk. RA Jr. scared me a little in that interview with Gregg Murphy before the game last night when he brought up the possibility of a trade. First and foremost is knowing Doc’s status, which may take a while to be determined.

  13. DavidE

    May 7, 2013 at 7:57 pm

    I think the front office generally looks at how the pitcher looks. Worley didn’t have great minor league stats and Pettibone’s numbers weren’t looking good this year eith

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