Happ to stay in Phillies' rotation, but will Moyer?

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After watching J.A. Happ’s brilliant 10-strikeout, complete-game shutout of the Rockies last night, general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. made it very clear this morning that the 26-year-old rookie will remain in the Phillies’ rotation despite Pedro Martinez’s impending arrival.
“Happ’s not going anywhere,” Amaro said. “He’s not going out of the rotation. He deserves to stay in the rotation. He has pitched very well. He’s one of our most effective starters.”
Happ is “not going anywhere” and Cole Hamels, Cliff Lee, and Joe Blanton are obviously safe, so that would seemingly mean that a) Jamie Moyer will lose his spot to Martinez after posting a 5.55 ERA through 21 starts, b) Martinez won’t be joining the rotation after all, or c) the Phillies will go with some sort of six-man rotation. He’s what Amaro said about those three possibilities:
Why can’t we go with a six-man rotation? We still haven’t made a decision, but it’s not out of the realm of possibility that six guys could pitch in our rotation. We haven’t discussed it yet. There are a lot of possibilities. You never what’s going to happen the next week to 10 days. A man could go down right now. There are a lot of things that could happen the next week or so that would change our thinking.
It depends how you utilize [a six-man rotation]. You can be creative and set up the rotation so certain guys go every five days and other guys get pushed back. The fact of the matter is, we’re not there yet. But we are in a situation where we have six starters, and we’ll see how creative we can be.

In other words, the Phillies are in no rush to add Martinez to the mix after three good but not great minor-league rehab starts. Interestingly, all of this would probably be a moot point if not for the 46-year-old Moyer being owed $6.5 million for next season. That makes it tougher for the Phillies to simply ditch him for Martinez, especially if they don’t think that Moyer would take well to even a short-term bullpen role.

Mitt Romney’s sons are trying to buy a stake in the Yankees

TAMPA, FL - AUGUST 30:  Tagg Romney son of Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney gives an interview during the final day of the Republican National Convention at the Tampa Bay Times Forum on August 30, 2012 in Tampa, Florida. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney was nominated as the Republican presidential candidate during the RNC which will conclude today.  (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
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Mitt Romney built his professional life in Massachusetts and was once the governor of the state. As such, it is not surprising that he has long identified as a Red Sox fan. So this has to be troubling to him from a fan’s perspective. From Jon Heyman:

The Romney family is bidding to buy a small stake in the Yankees months after their try for the Marlins stalled. If the deal goes through, it is expected to be $25 million to $30 million per percentage point and thought to be interested in one or two percentage points. The Yankees are valued around $3 billion or more.

The effort is being led by Mitt’s son Tagg, one of his brothers and their business partners. Mitt’s spokesman tells Jon Heyman that he has nothing to do with it personally. Tagg Romney is reported to have been planning a bid for controlling interest in the Marlins, but that has fallen through.

I find this interesting insofar as the M.O. for the Steinbrenners has, for years, been to buy out minority shareholders in the Yankees, not seek more. Indeed, when George Steinbrenner bought the Yankees back in 1973 he held just a bare controlling interest and there were a ton of silent partners, most of which were back in Ohio and knew Steinbrenner from his shipping business. I’ve personally gotten to know some of them over the years as there are a handful of them in Columbus and I crossed paths with them in my legal career. They have almost all been bought out in the past couple of decades. They still get season tickets and World Series rings and stuff. You can tell them by their personalized Yankees plates and the fact that, within the first ten minutes of meeting them, they will tell you that they once owned a piece of the Yankees but got pushed out.

In light of all of that it’s interesting that the Steinbrenners are once again accepting bids for small stakes in the team. Especially from someone whose interest in controlling the Marlins suggests that they do not consider it to be a mere vanity investment. Makes me wonder what the Steinbrenners’ long term plans are.

Max Scherzer still can’t throw fastballs

WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 13: Max Scherzer #31 of the Washington Nationals works against the Los Angeles Dodgers in the fifth inning during game five of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park on October 13, 2016 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
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The Nationals will be many people’s favorites in the NL East this season. Not everything is looking great, however. For example, their ace — defending NL Cy Young winner Max Scherzer — can’t even throw fastballs right now.

The reason: the stress fracture he suffered last August is still causing him problems and Scherzer is unable to use his fastball grip without feeling pain in his right ring finger. He will throw a bullpen session tomorrow, but will only use his secondary stuff.

Scherzer has not been ruled out for Opening Day — the fact that he is throwing some means that his timetable isn’t totally on hold — but you have to figure, at some point, not being able to air things out and use his heater will lead to some problems in his spring training routine.