There's a lot to discuss, so I'll start with the obvious.
From a note I received via e-mail from a member of the Philadelphia media: There’s speculation Jim Thome could be headed for Tommy John surgery.
If it’s true, Ryan Howard isn’t going anywhere (but stranger things have happened).
At once, I’m breathing a sigh of relief and letting out a gasp that Thome’s future is in serious doubt.
Pitchers bounce back from Tommy John and actually add velocity, but what about someone like Thome, a power hitter with an ailing back? I’m not so sure. I assumed he’d be shot by 2008, but the Indians guessed right with 2005.
If Tommy John is needed, the future is now for RyHo, his job in Philadelphia looks secure through at least next season. The 25-year-old has delivered big hits in his brief time with the Phils, and appears ready to play at this level.
I’m saddened about Thome, even though I’ve never been much of a fan. He’s a tremendous over-swinger who’s easily stumped, but a healthy Thome would still be an improvement over the inexperienced Howard, especially against tough, savvy pitchers like the big three of Houston.
Next issue: Bobby Abreu and the vanished post. I wrote a scathing indictment of Abreu’s lack of hustle last night in the second, lazing after a fly ball and letting it drop for a hit. The run scored on an RBI double the next play.
The post was juiced with a lot of caffeine and venom, bashing the right-fielder to play the game like the game’s elite would play it – with fire, passion and urgency. For the reader comments, check below.
Why’d I delete it, you ask?
It wasn’t my style.
Plus, the entire offense deserves blame for being swept, not just Abreu. One homer and four XBH all series. They had chances, but froze. Tom Goodman has a good take on Swing and a Miss.
Berks County Karnack
I’ve been called a lot of things, but Berks County Karnack was never one of them.
Tom Goyne at Balls Sticks & Stuff has taken notice of my recent hot streak of predictions, including the sweep of the Padres and sweep at the hands of the Astros. Currently, my pick to win the division – Atlanta – is sitting in first and starting to distance themselves from the pack. When it comes to the Bravos, it's always an easy pick.
I don’t want to get in the habit of picking Phils games, but for one more, here’s my take on tonight’s contest with the Rockies:
You know you're a bad team if you have Byung-Hyun Kim in the starting rotation. He’s 2-8 with a 5.28 ERA. I thought he would be more of a home run guy with his goofy submarine garbage, but he’s not all that bad – and actually hasn’t been over his career.
It's easy to think the Phils should roll, but Tejeda could get bombed just as easily – maybe easier – in that pitcher hell. Is anyone surprised at these numbers against Kim:
Lifetime vs. Kim
Abreu (2-4, 1 HR)
Rollins (3-10, 1 2B)
There’s something about Kim that reminds me of the type of pitchers the Phils tend to struggle against. Kaz Ishii is one of those guys. And Jae Seo. I can’t put my finger on it.
I’m picking the Rockies in a high-scoring heartbreaker, with Tejeda getting rocked by the Rox.
If this comes true, I’m heading down to Philadelphia Park.