Sometime this morning, the NOAA recorded a large gust of hot air emanating from the Philadelphia region. What does this have to do with baseball, you ask? Well, it was likely due to the collective sighs of relief breathed out by the area's Phillies' phans, upon seeing this article in today's Inquirer. Aptly titled "Floyd likely to make Phils' rotation," the article gives us the following nugget:
The 23-year-old Floyd is expected to join Ryan Madson in the rotation this season.
Ryan Franklin is expected to move to the bullpen.
If this is true, let me be the first to thank Gillick for not trying to force anyone's hand here and keep his FA acquisition in the lineup. I'm personally much more comfortable with giving Floyd a chance than in recreating a CBP version of Home Run Derby with Franklin on the mound. Now I know that Floyd struggled mightily last year, but let's remember that he's still only 23, and he seems to have finally gotten the "Kerrigan" mechanics changes out of his head, which anecdotally seemed to cause his prospectdom to drop.
Franklin seems a perfect fit for the long reliever role, which allows Tejeda to go to AAA and start rather than waste away in the bullpen with the big club. It also ends the ridiculous notion of Madson going back into the bullpen just because they didn't have a 7th inning guy. This development, in my humble opinion, shores up both the bullpen and the rotation.
Also, let's compare the Mets' rotation to the Phils', since most analysts, fans, etc. have already conceded the division to them.
Zambrano (not the good one)
Is that a better rotation than that of the Phils? I don't see it. Heilman seems to be stuck in the Ed Wade-era Ryan Madson role, in that he'd obviously help the team more in the rotation, but since he's proven he's valuable in the 'pen, the team is reluctant to switch him.
Granted, a rotation of
is nothing to write home about, but other than Pedro, I'd take any of the Phils' starters over any of the Mets'.
My role for making this Mets comparison is in no way to denigrate the Mets' rotation, but simply to say that I think moving Franklin to the bullpen and having Floyd start is really going to strengthen the Phils overall. A move like this really limits the chances of a Paul Abbott-type situation. And while I have been unimpressed with Gillick's overall moves since taking charge, his penchant to stockpile alternatives (Franklin, Nunez, Gonzalez) is a nice change from what we're used to, even if the alternatives themselves aren't very appealing.