Managers and head coaches in sports these days seem to love having too many quality players to fill one position. Having Donovan McNabb, Kevin Kolb, and Michael Vick is a "good problem to have," Andy Reid says even when most educated fans know the Birds are silently trying to do all they can to rid themselves of one of the three. Similarly, with both Jamie Moyer and Kyle Kendrick looking fairly sharp this spring, the Phillies are going to have a tough decision to make on who their fifth starter will be. Paul Hagen dubbed this "The Jamie Problem."
The Phillies have said the fifth spot in the rotation is Jamie Moyer's to lose, as it should be. Gramps has earned that benefit. But this is isn't little league baseball we're talking about here. The guy who will help you the most to win right now should be on your Major League team.
It's not a bad problem to have per se -- unless you're Moyer or Kendrick, perhaps. Both clearly want to start.
There appears to be three options. Either Moyer starts with Kendrick to the pen, vice versa, or -- as Paul Hagen suggests as an option this morning, trade one of them. Moyer would likely be the man to go.
They could trade Moyer. That would be a dignified solution for all
concerned. And, yes, there are probably a number of teams that would be
interested, especially if the Phillies picked up a good part of the
salary and didn't ask for much in return.
There are still a few weeks left before opening day and both Moyer and Kendrick will get more work in, making a push for their own candidacy. But if it were up to me, I'd certainly opt to keep both pitchers for much needed depth. If that's the case, I agree that Moyer makes more sense to start.
The trade option, however, is an interesting one. Would you be down to part ways with Moyer? I like having a legit sixth man waiting in the wings in case of emergency too much to just let one of them go for "not much in return."
Bottom line: put the best 25 man roster together even if it means one guy may not be one-hundred percent happy about when he pitches.