The Philadelphia Phillies signed the pitcher formally know as Fausto Carmona, AKA Roberto Hernandez, in an attempt to bolster their starting rotation. It is a move that a few years ago would have been a signing to have a sixth or seventh pitcher to look at in Spring Training. Now Ruben Amaro is looking at these long shot pitchers as legitimate options for his starting rotation.
This is another move that makes no sense unless Amaro is still planning on adding a legitimate number 2 or 3 pitcher to this rotation. Ruben keeps calling the Phillies a championship caliber team. When this team truly was at that level they had three legitimate pitchers at the top of their rotation. No one is saying that they need to replace Roy Halladay with another pitcher of his caliber, but when the free agent season opened names like Matt Garza, Ricky Nolasco, Bronson Arroyo, and Ubaldo Jimenez seemed to be the right fit for this team.
The projected rotation now has two aces in Cole Hamels and Cliff Lee, followed by a pitcher without a single inning of major league experience in Miguel Gonzalez, enigmatic Kyle Kendrick who should at best be considered a number 5 pitcher if not a swing man, and Hernandez, a guy who hasn’t had a decent season since 2010 nor a winning season since 2008. Hernandez was 6-13 with a 4.89 ERA and had a 1.338 WHIP. It was the best season he had in three years.
Gonzalez, Kendrick, and Hernandez should be competing for a number 5 spot in this rotation while Amaro should have addressed the 3 and 4 spots. That has not happened. Instead if the season began today, the Phillies will have two top of the rotation pitchers and three guys that no one will no what to expect from start to start.
Ruben Amaro had two primary mentors in Pat Gillick and Ed Wade. Unfortunately Wade is back with the club and Amaro’s decisions look more and more like those of Ed Wade. Anyone else thinking Jon Lieber may be the next pitcher signed? Perhaps for the pitcher formally known as Fausto Carmona’s starts, the Phillies could have the artist formally known as Prince sing the National Anthem. The anthem is bound to last longer than his start will.
Bill Zeltman is the cohost of MTR Morning Throwdown on MTR Radioevery weekday from 7-9am EST. Bill has written nearly 3,000 articles about the Philadelphia Phillies since 2007 and has been following the team avidly since 1980. Bill is the cofounder of MTR Radio and has an MBA in marketing. He is currently pursing a doctorate in Organizational Leadership. Follow Bill on Facebook and Twitter.