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Thursday July 22, 2010 3:21 pm

Philadelphia Phillies J.A. Happ: Trade Bait or Keeper?




Posted by Adrien Griffin Categories: Athletes, Injuries, MLB,

J.A. HappJ.A. Happ is all over the place lately. The Phillies will likely lose 47-year-old starter Jamie Moyer to the disabled list with an elbow injury, and Happ seems to be the most likely candidate to replace him, but Happ’s name has been linked with several other teams that he’s been shopped to, including the Houston Astros, because the Phillies have shown interest in Roy Oswalt and are willing to part with last year’s NL Rookie of the Year runner up.

Happ’s 2009 season was incredible. He finished with a 12-4 record, which was the second-best win-loss percentage in the National League. His three complete games were third and two shutouts were first. He threw 166 innings, owned a WHIP of 1.235, and struck out 119 on the way. His ERA finished at 2.93, which was eighth in the NL. He finished only behind Marlins outfielder Chris Coghlan in NL Rookie of the Year voting.

Happ actually made his MLB debut in 2007, making an off-start for the Phillies in which he went four innings and gave up five runs on seven hits; three of which were home runs. In 2008, he came back to make eight appearances, including four starts. In 2010, Happ has only made two starts. In 10 1/3 innings he’s allowed nine hits and eight walks but has not given up any earned runs. He also has five strikeouts.

The Phillies really have something in Happ. Whether they want to use him as a replacement for Moyer down the stretch or as trade bait to lure a more established starting pitcher is to be determined. Still, Happ’s potential can see him move up near the top of any rotation in baseball. He’s only 27-years-old, so there’s still a lot of time for him to grow and learn, but right now, he’s already one of the best young pitchers in the game.

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