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Wednesday, March 29, 2006

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23 is too young to give up on a pitcher as a failure. To do so would be the height of foolishness. While anyone can be foolish at times, it's best not to make a habit of it.

By all indications, Floyd should be an average starter. To quote Baseball Prospectus' article on this year's standings projection, "Replace Ryan Franklin with a league average pitcher, and the Phillies are the unambiguous division favorites."

Well, it might be we have a league average pitcher. Will management make what seems to be the obvious choice?

I'm afraid it's presumptuous to say it's Manuel's decision who will make the team. I think Gillick, as the GM, has far more say on roster decisions, and politics or not, it is understandable that he would not make himself look foolish by banishing his free-agent signing to the bullpen, especially after Franklin himself has had a good spring. If he had amassed a 7.50 ERA, perhaps it's one thing, but Franklin hasn't done anything wrong. He'll be on a short enough leash if Floyd continues to do well, but I'd really be surprised if Floyd makes the rotation, regardless of what appears to be the best thing right this minute. I don't think for one second the Phillies anticipated Floyd making tis team out of spring training when it began, and I don't believe they're about to be shaken from their original plans.

As far as Lopez, I sure was wrong about him being the seventh-inning pitcher all year. The game he blew against Detroit really did him in. I still wouldn't be surprised if he eventually ends up being an effective pitcher someday.

Meanwhile, is there a concern about Lieber? He's had the worst spring of all the starters, and saved his very worst for last. Hopefully it's just the 'dead-arm phase'...

I don't give a rat's posterior what Baseball Prospectus says about 'unambiguous division favorites'. Right- the same way they were favorites the last three years: Atlanta, Atlanta, Atlanta. So much for Prospectus. When will people learn it's not how you look on paper but whether you know how to win??

Perhaps it is presumptuous, but I'm taking Gillick's word at face value. He said he wanted to bring in enough bodies to make Manuel's decisions easier. Whether it actually happens that way, we'll probably never know.

Talk about your thrilling sprint finishes. Madson and floyd turning it on and getting ready to hit regular season running is great. I agree RickSchu - it wasn't in the plans, and whatever they do now will be a mark of how flexible the gillick/manuel era is going to be. Jason is also right - you bring your best 25, and right now floyd and madson and franklin are in that 25. Franklin is not a great pitcher, but right now he IS pitching as well as he can and the numbers are good. Referring back to George S's comments on mad-dog - I'm also pulling for the guy and whatever the decision regarding floyd, Madson has to be in the rotation. he's done his time, and he's a cooler, more experienced head in the rotation - it makes our pitching core better. It's going back on what I said a day ago, but maybe floyd does some bullpen time and some starter time - swap franklin and him about as needs be. (which is akin to what GR said yesterday, somewhere . . .) Just drop the dross. No ric-rod. please.

Rick, right now what ANYONE says is based on how teams look on paper. If it was some hack saying that, it'd be one thing, but Baseball Prospectus is dedicated to coming as close to the truth as possible through hard analysis. "Unambiguous" might be an exaggeration, but I'm inclined to trust them.

In fact, whereas most scribes during this offseason have been forecasting a 3rd place Phillies finish, I think they're starting to be viewed in some circles as a contender for 2006's biggest surprise. Paul White in the most recent issue of USA Today's Sports Weekly named the Phillies the staff pick to mimic the World Series winners of the last few years and make a run at the title, pointing out they share many qualities with those teams (including a scrambled 'pen like both Sox teams).

I never thought Lopez was our savior, but the problem I have with the move is that in case of breakdowns or injuries, we're a bit thin and I think we could use a major league arm like Lopez's in AAA.

Didn't realise but rodriguez has been released, according to Zolecki. He's saying that it's clearing the way for madson to go back to the bullpen. Hope not.

Phillies released Ricardo Rodriguez.

Interesting...

interesting indeed. so, mr. franklin, how do you feel about the occasional 5th, 6th, and 7th inning?

I'm not disavowing Baseball Prospectus wholesale, but *team* projections based on statistical performances to me are useless. They'll always slight a team like the Braves, which time and time again has proven it wins on something more than talent alone. What separated the Braves and Phillies was more than two games in the standings, or a disparate level of telent. The Braves win because they know and do what it takes to win games and, at least for most of the way, the Phillies demonstrated they hadn't the faintest clue despite all their wagners and Thomes and Abreus. That's why the Mets' moves don't impress me. Show me you can score runs when you need them, handle a pitching staff, a roster, show a certain confidence, swagger, call it what you will. When the Phillies are ready to show me more than stats, I'll start believing in them.

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