Pedro to start Wednesday; Moyer to the pen

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Pedro Martinez is going to be activated before Wednesday’s game against the Cubs, and Jamie Moyer is going to the bullpen.  It’s a move that makes sense in that if anyone was going to lose their job in the rotation it had to be Moyer, who’s getting abused lately and currently has a 5.47 ERA.

I know everyone is going to be watching Pedro, but I’m actually more curious as to how Manuel is going to deploy Moyer.  The impulse — because he’s a veteran with a year left on his contract and no one wants to put him out to pasture yet — would be to use him as a lefty specialist or some other semi-prominent role.  If so, Manuel should avoid this impulse given that, over his career, lefties have actually hit Moyer better than righties (.765 OPS vs. .742 OPS), even though that’s not the case in 2009.

What I’d really like to see is Moyer used as an old-timey swingman, they type of which we just don’t see much anymore in this age of bullpen specialists. Lots of mopup. Lots of use as a longman. A spot start here or there if a particular matchup makes sense or if the Phillies build a bit more of a division lead.  If they do that right — and if Moyer doesn’t simply implode in his new role — Philadelphia could maybe reduce the number of guys in the pen and do some things with its bench that other teams can’t do such as have a pure speed guy hanging around or something.

We’ll see if that happens.  And we’ll see Wednesday if Pedro has anything left in the tank. 

Report: Mariners have interest in Reds’ Jay Bruce

ATLANTA, GA - JUNE 14:  Jay Bruce #32 of the Cincinnati Reds waits to bat prior to hitting a three-run homer in the first inning against the Atlanta Braves at Turner Field on June 14, 2016 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
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ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reports that the Mariners are among the teams that have contacted the Reds about outfielder Jay Bruce. The Mariners enter play Wednesday 51-48, six games out of first place in the AL West and 4.5 games out of the second AL Wild Card slot. Adding an impact bat like Bruce could help in their effort to reach the postseason.

Norichika Aoki and Seth Smith have handled the bulk of the playing time in left field. While Smith has hit well, Aoki has not. Bruce came into Wednesday’s game against the Giants batting .271/.324/.567 with 24 home runs and a league-best 78 RBI.

Bruce can become a free agent after the season if his controlling team declines his $13 million club option for the 2017 season by paying him a $1 million buyout. If he’s traded mid-season, his new team won’t be able to make him a qualifying offer, so the club option may be more enticing than it looks at first glance.

The Padres have homered in 25 consecutive games, tying an NL record

SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA - JULY 16:  Adam Rosales #9 of the San Diego Padres hits an RBI single during the tenth inning of a baseball game against the San Francisco Giants at PETCO Park on July 16, 2016 in San Diego, California.   (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)
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A third-inning two-run home run by Adam Rosales off of R.A. Dickey put the Padres up 2-0, but it also helped the Padres tie a National League record. The Padres have homered in 25 consecutive games, matching the 1998 Braves, the 1994 Tigers, and the 1941 Yankees. The major league record is 27, set by the 2002 Rangers.

The Padres hit three in total on Wednesday in an 8-4 victory against the Blue Jays. One of those dingers was an eighth-inning solo shot by rookie Alex Dickerson, who has now homered in four consecutive games himself. The one he hit on Monday is worth watching, as it got into the upper deck at the Rogers Centre.

As the Padres recently traded Melvin Upton, Jr. to the Jays, Dickerson is likely going to see regular playing time. That’s especially true if he keeps hitting like this.