Should Pedro Stay on Phils Postseason Roster?

Pedro Martinez almost got a start in the NLDS, but cold, snowy weather allowed J.A. Happ to take Pedro's spot. If he's not going to be used, perhaps, someone else would be a better fit for the Phillies in the NLCS against Los Angeles.

It's been two weeks since Pedro Martinez last pitched. In that start, he lasted four innings and was hit for three earned runs by the Houston Astros. Prior to that start, it had been 11 days since Martinez pitched, which was due to a stiff neck.

When Pedro was told he wouldn't be making the Game Three start in the NLDS, he was professional in his response, but continues to reiterate that he wants to help this team to win their second World Series in as many years.

For now, Cole Hamels will start Game One for the Phillies and Cliff Lee, who pitched the clincher Monday night in Colorado, won't come back on short rest to start Game Two. Instead, Lee will start Game Three back in Philly on Sunday. Hamels would come back for Game Five (if necessary), meaning the Phillies need starters for Game Two in Los Angeles and Game Four in Philadelphia.

Happ has faced the Dodgers just once in his career and that was in relief. Joe Blanton is 1-0 with a 2.88 career mark against the Dodgers in four starts, but his ERA at Dodger Stadium is 4.09 in his career. Martinez hasn't faced the Dodgers since 2006 when he made one rough start against them, lasting just five innings and getting shelled for six earned runs. Of course, Pedro first reached the majors with the Dodgers back in 1992 and has pitched 38 games - six starts - in Los Angeles and is 7-7, 2.93 at Dodger Stadium in his career.

Unlike the Colorado Rockies, the Dodgers don't really care if there is a left-hander or a right-hander on the mound. The Dodgers hit .272 against lefties and .270 against righties this season and their power numbers were similar against all pitchers this season as well.

If Charlie Manuel chooses Pedro to start either Game Two or Game Four, it would be unfair to expect him to pitch deep into the game, even though last week, Manuel said he thought Pedro would be able to give him six or seven innings and anywhere from 85-100 pitches in an outing.

Happ and Blanton each pitched in the NLDS, with Happ getting a start and also making a relief appearance. Blanton, who is not accustomed to pitching in relief, made two relief appearances against the Rockies, posting a 4.91 ERA.

While Martinez would do whatever the Phillies ask of him, he's hoping to work as a starter, and his numbers would seem to make him much more of a starting candidate rather than to be used out of the bullpen. In his nine starts this season, opponents hit .350 against Pedro in the first inning of the game. Overall, opponents hit .299 against him the first time that they saw him in a game.

Now, with Chan Ho Park appearing to be healthy, is Pedro Martinez a candidate to be taken off the roster? It's something that the Phillies would have to consider, since the odds of having him pitch effectively against the Dodgers isn't very good because of the long layoff that he's had.

The Phillies would be able to go with Happ and Blanton as starters to fill out their rotation. Martinez may not like the idea, but if he was to stay, the results may not be very good and he may require a quick hook. Perhaps teaming Martinez with, let's say, Happ would give the Phillies a one-two tandem to start one of the games against the Dodgers, but leaving just Martinez to start, with no back-up, wouldn't be in the best interest of the Phillies.

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