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Monday, February 13, 2006


Playtime GM: David Bell and cash to anyone in return for a case of Yuengling Black & Tan.

Seriously though, lots of people suggest shipping Bell to KC, but do they really need a thirdbaseman? Isn't Teahan the starter there?

I don't want anyone to think that I have got myself some Jonestown-quality KoolAid, but I decided to take a look at the numbers of last year's world champion White Sox pitching staff. Looking at the numbers from 2004, below, you'll see that besides Buehrle and perhaps Garcia (whose numbers were weird, a bad W-L% in Seattle with a low ERA, followed by a good W-L% and bad ERA on the South Side) there pitching staff looked good, but not great. They had to overcome some Gammons-esque "ifs" to win. El Duque was a big question mark, as were Contreras and Garland.

2004 Numbers
Mark Buehrle
16-10 3.89ERA 245.1IP 257H 51BB 165K

Jose Contreras
13-9 5.47ERA 170.1IP 166H 84BB 150K

Fredy Garcia
13-11 3.83ERA 210IP 192H 64BB 184K

Jon Garland
12-11 4.89ERA 217IP 223H 76BB 113K

Orlando Hernandez
8-2 3.30ERA 84.2IP 73H 36BB 84K

So while I agree with JW that I'd sleep much better with a dominant pitcher on the staff, I'm not going to get too worked up about it at present... esp. if it means that we need to give up too much to get a 1A starter. Myers may yet surprise us.

A case of Black & Tan is too steep. I'd take a bag of peanuts.

Tom G: Ever play little league on a team where the coach keeps trotting out his kid, who can't catch, to play third base?

JW - Yes, and that kid was me...Why?

i agree with MPN, ive thought all winter that we shouldnt trade abreu for anything less than a playoff proven (and fairly young) ace for the simple fact that i think this is the season myers makes "the jump" as long as he has the ability to put down the pizza.

the phils can make the playoffs with this pitching staff as currently constructed, it would just be a helluva lot easier with a schilling-type pitcher getting the ball on opening day

UPDATE: I goofed on the information regarding the away Astros series. It has been fixed and added to.

Tom G: Bell is the kid and his dad is the coach in KC.

As a fan, describe your opening-day state of mind having Doug Mankiewicz as your first baseman and David Bell at third.

I got it J-Dub, I was just being a dork...[except for the part about being trotted out to third... my dad did try desperately to play me at third, but it was apparent i had no arm, so i was moved to second]

It might hurt the premise a bit to point out that Wagner blew a couple of those Astro games, despite his front line, fear inducing status.

JW- Everyone knows that we don't have that stud and how good this nucleus would be if we had one. But the fact is,how do we go about it and who would you give up to do it? It's obvious it'll take more than Bobby Abreu.Sayinmg it is one thing pulling it off is another.But I'm all for it.Even if we have to trade more then it is worth.Or "pay more" for that matter.

Joe E:

You develop pitching in your own system. There's no other way to do it. Further down the list is trading for one, and even further down is free agency. If the Phillies want to play the game of buying pitching, they will be burned. With the exception of Gordon, Gillick waived off temptation and said no to the 2006 free agents, and I'm mostly glad for it ...

... except that I'm still not happy with the '06 rotation.

Next option is trading, specifically, trading Bobby. They run the risk of getting burned, but it's a risk I think most fans are willing to take. Names like Contreras, Bedard, Marquis (all mentioned in rumors) are realistic returns, and pitchers I would consider, but I'd rather wait.

You ask what I think they should do? There it is: wait. Be patient. I don't see any team running away with the East. I'm looking at deadline time now as a good leverage spot to deal for pitching ... if they need it. For now, the best thing to do is find out whether the "ifs," as MPN mentioned, can happen. And if they can, they still have Bobby.

Just to not appear a total hypocrite, I've pointed out here and elsewhere that I'd have traded Bobby for a 1C/2 pitcher like Derek Lowe if we'd have also received someone like Joel Guzman or Andy LaRoche in return, but apparently that was never in the cards. #1 starters are becoming as rare of commodities as top notch centers in the NBA.

That comment sank my battleship. Not every Beerleaguer post is a hit. Today's was definitely a miss.

Time to move on and discuss Canada's WBC roster.

Jason, whoa there on the misery of the beerleaguer bested. Your point stands - we will need an intimidating pitcher down the stretch if we're to stand a chance. And I agree with you that the deadline is going to give us leverege on bobby. If Gillick and his team's appraisal of younger pithers is up to scratch, then I hope he's scouring every pitching rich organisation (yes, all two of 'em), looking for the teams that could come close by july and will have pitching to spare, preferably a dominating number two who the phillies think can make the jump. It's still a lot of ifs and buts tho'.

The comment above about developing your own pitching first, then using trades, and as a last resort signing free agents, is sound and I believe correct. In this regard the Phillies really puzzle me.
Where I have trouble is with the fact that for a team apparently so desperate for starting pitching, the Phillies do not seem particularly interested in finding out what their own prospects can really do. There were 4 young potential starters pitching out of the bullpen in 2005. 4. Other than Gavin Floyd, who was not ready, the Phillies still have no idea if any of the other three can succeed as starters. They have never really been given the chance. Madson will finally get a shot in 2006 after being sidetracked for 2 seasons pitching middle relief. Nobody really knows what Tejeda or Brito can do. When is the team intending to find out?
Wouldn't it be better to give them extended looks this season rather than giving Ryan Franklin 30 starts? Put Franklin in long relief to start the season and let Brito or Tejeda have the #5 spot in the rotation until Wolf comes back. Maybe they both get about 8-10 starts or so. Worse case scenario would be that they fail and then you at least know. And if they both fail you put Franklin back in. But if one or more of them blossom, you can potentially avoid trading away all-star caliber talent for a #1 starter or paying through the nose for one next FA period. It gives you options.
And Gillick should not let CM's penchant for overworking his bullpen lead to sidetracking the development of potential starters for short-term bullpen fixes.

I believe Tejeda has earned a very long look as a starter. The Phillies are mismanaging him like they have mismanaged many young pitchers in the past. Steady work, and the belief he will be given an honest shot, might do wonders for him. He more than held his own for most of his appearances last year and a little confidence and support might produce even better results this year. He has a live arm, a fluid delivery and seems impervious to pressure.

Then, there is Franklin.

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