J.A. Happ, the young lefty whose ability to get hitters out still has me confused to this day. And yet he was very successful at doing so. Happ has never had overpowering stuff and for his career is only averaging under a strikeout an inning. And yet he still got the job done.
Early into the 2010 season, Happ joined just about every other Phillie on the disabled list. For Happ, it could not have come at a worse time. The lefty was already 1-0 and had not allowed a run in 10.1 innings over two starts. He was well on his way to showing the fans, and himself, that his MLB.com Rooke of the Year Award and his 12-4 record for 2009 was no fluke.
It took nearly half the season for Happ to recover from his injury. Happ didn’t pitch again until July 25th against the Colorado Rockies and lasted 5 innings and gave up three runs.
His next start came in a Houston Astros’ uniform. A move by Ruben Amaro Jr sent Happ to Houston as a major trade piece in acquiring Roy Oswalt for Philadelphia.
Happ only started three games for the Phillies in 2010. His line looked like this: 1-0, 1.76 ERA. 15.1 IP, 12 BB, 9 SO.
For the Astros, Happ pitched adequately enough starting 13 games going 5-4 with a 3.75 ERA striking out 61 in 72 innings. Luckily for Phillies fans, he did wait until he got to Houston to have the worst start of his career. In just his second start as an Astro, Happ lasted only one inning against St. Louis giving up seven runs and throwing 49 pitches.
The Phillies did welcome Happ back to Citizen Bank Park as the opposing pitcher as he faced off against Roy Halladay in late August. Happ came out the victor going 6.1 giving up two runs and five hits.
Happ is still very young in his big league career. I think he is going to be a very good number two or three type pitcher in a rotation. I am still not sure if he possesses any real ace-like qualities. I enjoyed him in Philly, and look forward to seeing pitch again.
It is hard to generate a grade from his short time in a Phillies uniform this past season. He did throw very well but I think he will be most remembered as one of the key pieces that landed Roy Oswalt. So with that in mind…
KIERAN’S GRADE: 9.9/10
PAT GALLEN’S GRADE: 9.2/10 – He brought us a few good seasons and although he dealt with some arm issues, pitched well when he was on the mound. This year, he was able to net us Roy Oswalt. When a deal like that comes along you have to make it. Happ shined in Houston, too. High marks.