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Monday, January 30, 2006

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JW: Did you also notice in the Gillick chat that he was inclined to carry 11 pitchers meaning we have 6 bench slots open?

I did. Even with the extra spot, the Phillies have too much utility and still need a power hitter. My belief is Gillick will shop David Bell until spring in order to make Nunez the third baseman, but don't think he'll have much luck.

Yes. I have a feeling that low(er) OBP, high SLG% guys may be the new Moneyball undervalued commodities. As I said before, I really wish we'd have pursued Wes Helms, but we'll see what happens. I just hope we don't carry three catchers now that Piazza is off the table unless Ruiz wins the primary backup slot and Fasano is mainly a bat/1B glove off the bench. You make a compelling argument for Hidalgo.

we should stay away from Aubrey Huff at all costs. his declining numbers suggest he had some "assistance"

Is Hidalgo convinced that his days as a starter are through? This is a guy who hit 44 homers in a season fairly recently. Similar to their inability to sign Piazza, I have a hard time believing Hidalgo would sign for a team with three locked-in outfield slots. If he somehow is willing, it'd be a no-brainer to snatch him up. I don't think it'd be that tough to find a competent backup outfielder with a semblance of power, though. Outcomes of spring training situations usually bring forth a host of candidates, either from within or from elsewhere.

Hidalgo would be a fantastic addition for a number of reasons. First of all, he clearly fills the need for a righty bat with power. Second, if a palatable Abreu deal did emerge--oh, the irony--Hidalgo could step in and play every day, giving better balance (though lower overall performance) to the lineup. Finally, if the team really wanted to protect Howard against lefties, the Phils could slot Burrell at 1b and stick Hidalgo in left field.

I noticed the Kata and 11 relievers comments as well. Before Piazza signed yesterday, my brainwave was to keep three catchers with Piazza as #2 and Ruiz as #3. That's probably inoperative now, as I don't see much use to have Lieby, Fasano and Ruiz all hanging around; neither Fasano nor Ruiz seem to offer enough offense that Manuel would use either as a pinch-hitter. But the move away from 12 pitchers--if they're serious about it--opens up many more possibilities.

I think Hidalgo would be a positive addition to this desperate franchise, as much as Piazza would have been: a sorely-needed power bat off the bench. However, i don't think it has even occurred to Gillick to go after Hidalgo (after all, why bother when we has an "ace" like Matt Kata up his sleeve?), and even if it has, he would probably let the whole world know he was interested, and then hem and haw and wheeze until someone else signed him.

5 Bench Slots: 2 Outfield, 2 Infield, 1 Catcher. We can talk about 6 Bench Slots and one less Relief Pitcher, but I do not believe that will happen especially if they want to keep Booker Rule 5 Drafter around. Any point in carrying 2 Catchers? No. The bats are not that strong, I think our hope is that RUIZ at least gets a look see, but someone has to catch AAA I miss Tank already smartest guy on the team last year getting all kinds of top perfomances from the likes of Floyd and Padilla. Infield will be Nunez + Sandoval or Mata or Perez. One outfield slot will be Victorino. So getting a Righthanded hitting RF and 1B man with POP is logical ---- However having the speed/onbase option who can catch the ball for me - the first guy you put in to pinch run the first guy you put in to get onbase. ---- My nomination *Drum Roll Please* ---- CHRIS ROBERTSON to win this thing some new talent must emerge and after this year there are so many outfielders coming along for the Phillies. MY VOTE IS TO GIVE CHRIS HIS SHOT.

I expect the Phils to carry 12 pitchers -- limiting themselves to 5 bench players. There are too many question marks in that pen.

Of the five bench slots, I only think there is one spot open. Fassano / Ruiz gets the catchers spot. I suspect Fassano. Nunez, Victorino, and sadly Perez (with his $750,000 guaranteed contract) are locks for bench spots.

I would think the Phils would go with 5 outfielders, but if you recall they started last year with 4 outfielders. With 3 everyday outfielders and Victorino who can backup all 3 spots, they may be Ok here. Kata is a possibility as an extra infielder, pinch runner, and emergency outfielder. I also think this bench needs some pop and would welcome someone like Hidalgo. I would like to see Kroeger get a shot.

barring injury there is no chance they only go north with 11 pitchers. Not with this staff. I get the feeling we wil need as many relievers as possible to eat up early blow out losses.

Is Roberson a right-handed hitter? I hate to profess my ignorance, but I've never seen him play. Either way, I agree, he should be a strong candidate for a major-league role until/unless they come up with a better option.

JasonK...so funny it hurts.

Why not Hillenbrand/Koskie from the Blue Jays? Either would be an attractive platoon partner at third with either Bell or Nunez, and both wield serviceable bats off the bench. Hillenbrand, at least, might also be a platoon partner for Howard at 1st.

If I'm Charlie, I'm looking at Bell, Kata, Nunez, and Sandoval, and saying, "Whoever hits best out of the two-hole gets most of the at-bats playing third base."

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