Update [2006-8-20 22:43:59 by dajafi]: Two things: we've always been at war with Eastasia, and the Phils changed their website--as steagles pointed out in the comments--to include the following:
"He's a big prospect for us," Manuel said. "This is by no means us ... losing faith in him. He's definitely a big part of our future."
The news late last night that the Phils had acquired venerable lefty Jamie Moyer to join their starting rotation led many to assume that Scott Mathieson, whom Moyer will replace, would be heading back to AAA to lick the wounds of a 1-4, 7.23 rookie season and help Scranton/Wilkes-Barre in their own playoff push. But while the Phils won't make a roster move until just before Moyer's debut for the club on Tuesday, Mathieson evidently is sticking around:
"I'm a little disappointed in myself," said Mathieson, who is 1-4 with a 7.23 ERA. "But I've got another chance in the bullpen, and I've got to make the most of it."
The important thing for the organization now is that their promising rookie does not lose confidence and continues to work on his offspeed pitches.
"He's a big prospect for us," Manuel said. "This is by no means us demoting him or losing faith in him. He's definitely a big part of our future."
Good call, Phils.
Though it's pretty clear that Mathieson isn't ready to take the ball every fifth day in a major-league playoff race, he's both a big part of the Phillies' long-term plans and, with his high-90s heat, a viable bullpen option right now. For however long Tom Gordon remains on the shelf, Manuel will be mixing and matching back there. Having a Mathieson, who's got the stuff to come out and blow guys away and the stamina to soak up multiple innings in long relief when necessary, will help with that. For the 22 year-old, meanwhile, the experience he's gaining now should pay off down the road. You can also probably make the argument that, with about 150 innings under his belt this year, the lesser workload will be something of a relief.
The Phils as an organization have gotten a lot wrong this year. But this one, I think they got right--both in bringing in Moyer and keeping Mathieson around.