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Tuesday, March 21, 2006

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One of the things I'll be interested to see - and a real mark of how gillick is going to serve us - is how he uses players like roberson and Tejeda in a trade. To my mind, these guys don't sweeten a deal (that's how wade seemed to use them) but who grab you more prospects that you like. I always despaired at how wade would through prospects at a major-leaguer and never seemed to get much else (Lidle always struck me as a good example of this kind of trade). so we were always trading for now but not getting any possibilities for the future.

Agreed, though only Roberson and Tejeda have ANY positive value on this list. The other guys, we will have to eat salary to move.

I would love to see us deal from relative depth and package Roberson with Tejeda in exchange for a top-level 3B or C prospect, two positions where we have older players with expiring contracts, and no short-term depth in the minors. (Before you say the words Ruiz or Jaramillo, let me point out the following: if Ruiz was a viable prospect as a starting catcher, he would have received more playing time than the Phils have granted him. And Jaramillo may prove to be a solid long-run option, but he played at low-Single A last year, and is not ready to step in 2007).

i agree with all five of those, though i would add david bell to the list. seriously. what does david bell bring to the team besides zero personallity, no leadership, mediocore defense, and occasional hitting (as long as it isn't against a right hander). we should have traded him instead of polanco.

the complication in my mind with tejeda is tom gordon. having signed flash for 3 years with the guarentee that he'll close (and a heavy salary year in year two) essentially blocks tejeda from ever becoming a closer. in my mind, this would have been his future. with his velocity and demeanor, that really is the best place for him. obviously, he needs to get the ball over the plate, but realistically, he's not as promising a starter as he is a reliever (that fastball has no movement). half of me says "don't trade carlos silva again" while the other half of me says "deal him, we already had ugeth urbina once and that was a bust move in this park." i'm with you jason. i think you deal him, unless he goes to scranton and never walks a soul. then you really have to think about finding a place for him somehow.

thing is, tho, if history is any indication, all will not go well with the bullpen committee. soemthing will blow up. contol issues aside with tejeda, the phils need all the swagger they can put together with their pitching staff. none of these guys have ever won much of anything. they need as many bad asses as they can find.

This would be a good time for the Phillies to decide whether Tejeda's future is in the bullpen or as a starter. If bullpen, then they need to make him a closer or setup man in Scranton. Not a bad idea considering the age of Gordon and Rhodes.

How come no one is up in arms that Wily Mo Pena was available and we didnt move on it?

I agree with Oisin. How about that Carlos Silva and Punto for renting Milton for one season. Silva is a stud now and we sure could use him here.

RT and and Roberson should be staying here for now. Roberson on balance probably benefits from some time in the minors, and we need to give gillick's scouting network (that is, scouting of other teams and their minor prospects) time to get up to speed. Doubtless, we'll have time and injuries to give roberson some time in the show before trading deadlines. We benefit having them here as back-up, and I would hope that gillick is doing the beane thing of evaluating in the first half of the season, then making the trades.

Anyone looking for frenchy though, trade him, trade him now!

I also questioned the logic of bringing in an overpriced veteran like Franklin, when I think they have a better option in Tejeda. Yes, he walked too many batters, but he showed guts and the ability to bear down and pitch out of trouble. He still is only 23 years old and has good stuff. Opponents hit .218 against him. He never really was given a chance this spring to win a starting job. I would not trade Tejeda. I agree with the rest of the list and would give away Cormier and Tomas Perez to anyone willing to take on their salaries.

I disagree with the notion that Tejada and Roberson ought to be considered as trade bait. The Phillies confound me on the issue of Tejada, I have no comprehension of why they have little to no regard for someone who really was impressive last season. He doesn't fit in coming out of spring training, true. His decision to opt for the WBC was daft, in a word. However, I for one would *greatly* prefer to see him getting a chance to start over some latent mediocrity like Cory Lidle - and if the Phils want to cite Tejada for 'inconsistency', how can they defend Lidle? Realistically, of course, there's no one in the organization who will ever see it that way...in any case, he's someone who is worth holding onto. His potential exceeds anyone on that pitching staff right now except Madson and Myers. I don't care if Gillick got reports that he was 'lucky', I know what I saw last year and the stats back it up. It'd be a mistake and a half for them to send this guy packing because he has no role at the moment.

On the subject of Roberson, the Phillies are crazy if they don't start looking at him as a potential upgrade - you heard me - *upgrade* - on Pat Burrell in left field. He has more tools, can do more things, would give the lineup a more dynamic presence. I don't care if he's never played a big league game. I see something there. I'm sick and tired of Burrell's surly, laconic, strikeout-machine, lead-foot routine. I believe I've mentioned before how his pretty year-end stats have failed to impress me. This is the kind of vision organizations like Atlanta and Oakland have, by the way. Sell off the high-priced vet with a reputation and utilize capable players from your system. Burrell is only useful to this team from the standpoint that he provides right-handed balance in the lineup. It doesn't justify tramping him out there year after year to hit his 30 big-deal homers when there might be something *better* they could do with that position. I can't claim definitively that Chris Roberson is going to project to be as solid as his numbers in double-A last season indicated, but I would not bet against it. If he has another strong season this year, it ought to be curtains for Burrell in this town.

Finally, on the subject of Cormier: dream on that someone would actually take this hack in a trade! Just release him and be done with it. Outside of one season, he's been brutal for the Phillies, and I cannot understand why they keep bringing him back. It's clear to anyone with the slightest observational powers that this team would be better suited giving the roster spot to Lopez instead of yet again wasting it on washed-up Frenchy.

Okay, I think I'm done.

Hey guys, I just want to say thanks to you Jason and the rest of the regulars - RickSchu Blues, gr, et.al. Your insights and observations are sharp, provacative and refreshing. It enables me to really keep abreast of what is happening with a team that I've been following since the days of Ashburn and Roberts. Keep it rolling ...

Thanks, bink. Glad you are enjoying our Phillies' rants. To continue the intelligent discussion ...

RickSchu: Not even Chris Roberson's mama is that high on Chris Roberson.

Gavin Floyd pitched well today.

Blocked by Shane Victorino? Who had 17 MLB ABs last year? Whose BB/K ratios in the minors were poor throughout his career? Who has has yet to prove he can hit MLB pitching?

Blocked was probably too strong a word, but I agree with Jason that Victorino and Bourne are more highly regarded by the Phils brass than Roberson. As such, he has players ahead of him. Unfortunately, I don't think Roberson would fetch much in a trade, so I would prefer to hold on to him and let him play everyday and improve at SWB. But Roberson is certainly not an untouchable and unlike 3B and Catcher, outfield is not a concern for this organization.

he sure did, MPN. 5IP, 2H, 2BBs, 5Ks, and no runs or hit batters. Floyd probably gets 2 more starts this spring. say he posts similar numbers in those. is the franklin signing a mistake? or was it the kick in the ass floyd needed? if a few things go their way, the club could all of a sudden be dealing from (relative) strength come mid-season.

Dear Ricardo Rodriguez,
Welcome to the Philadelphia Phillies! Just a few suggestions to allow your stay here, however brief, to be as pleasant and enjoyable as possible. First off, before intimating that one might not want to pitch in our bullpen, one might want to:

a.) have a career that isn't considered a disappointment after playing for four organizations by the age of 25 and

b.) pitch well enough to make the TEAM, let alone the bullpen.

I know, I know. We're a demanding lot here in Philly. It is what it is. But don't take my word for it. Sidle up to Bobby Abreu and ask him. You see, for years the Phillies were in a fix. They needed a leadoff hitter, and they asked Bobby. But Bobby wasn't down with it (something about not wanting to sacrifice his personal stats for the good of the team), and now alot of the fans aren't down with Bobby. So go ask him what you should ... um, on second thought, don't ask Bobby. I know! Go ask Ryan Madson! He dutifully went to the bullpen, and now everyone's pulling for him be a starter. Ryan might advise you to say something like:

a.) "I'll do anything to help this team win." or

b.) "Whatever Skipper wants me to do, I'll do."

Like I said, these are only helpful suggestions. However, if your motivation is to get cut from the team so that you can possibly start somewhere else ... Congratulations!

We shouldve picked up Wily Mo. Then you could deal Abreu for a Sp.

gr, I think the Franklin signing was a mistake regardless. There had to be better signings than Franklin for $2.5 Million. I don't see how suddenly this soft tossing , home run serving, 5 ERA + pitcher is going to give you anything different at age 33. But it is encouraging to know we may have depth with Tejeda and perhaps Floyd.

Damn, lots of stuff to respond to. Going backward:

TD--The problem isn't that we're not able to find a replacement for Bobby, it's that we can't find good value in return for him. No way I want Wily Mo in the same lineup as Howard and Burrell.

Roberson--I think he should be given another year in AAA, and be our first option if Victorino disappoints. Then we can see where he is and what we'd get in a trade. And I agree with Jason, no way in HELL Roberson is a third of the player Burrell is. You're talking about a player who had one good season in AA at 26 compared to a guy who just finished 7th in the MVP voting...wow.

Tejeda--We should definitely keep him, unless someone is willing to sell the farm for him. He's invaluable, but probably won't net us much yet, and I think he could have a place on the Phillies permanently soon. If we managed to get a can't-miss 3B prospect for him, I think that'd be a fair deal, considering that Floyd is pitching better.

Rodriguez--Ugh. Just go away, Rodriguez. You have no place here.

Lidle--Lidle has had his moments, especially with the Phillies. I like him, for some reason, and think he'll be a solid middle rotation guy.

Lopez--Aqualung NEEDS to be on the team. And we need to get everyone to call him Aqualung. Excellent nickname.

Franklin--The Franklin signing was a mistake. Period. I cannot imagine the Phillies being better with him than without.

Why do so many people including, apparently, the Phillies themselves disrespect Robinson Tejeda? He is 23 years old!! He has moxie!! He has a great fastball!! He has a wonderful temperament!! And here is the kicker: he plays for a team that desperately needs pitching!!!!!!!!!!!

hey man why you so pissed about Willy. Jesus the guy is a classic underachiever who will never hit higher than .255 and will strike out probably once every 3 ABS. BTW where the funk would the guy be playing we have too many OF's the way it is. If you're such a genius and think trading Abreu is so easy don't you think that Gillick would've pulled the trigger. Before you start throwing out Ridiculous trades give them some thought. I read these things and feel like i'm listening to 610 at 3:00 am on a Sat. Nite and Rob Charry is on. Every moron calls in and just spouts out stupid crap.

Hi my dad is Geoff Geary stop talking bad about him. Some guy posted this message about my daddy.

dude...u want geary as a closer if Gordon can't go...OMG are you sure you're a fan. Jesus ok lets just think about this rationally.

ok the guy is 29 and was never even considered a top 20 prospect by the Phillies organization. Basically he made the team in '04 as the last guy in the pen out of spring training because of Worrell/Cormier and others ineptitudes. He had a 3.7 ERA last year and pitched in mostly unpressurized situations. And when he was in pressure situations he got bombed. The guy barely reaches 90 and has really no other pitches.

check his stats in the minors - NOT impressive and I do not want to see this team with its payroll cuts (even though they raised tickets again) ever think about using this guy as the closer or even as a friggen set-up guy. They're the retards that wouldn't sign Wagner because they were afraid about his age and injury history so what did they do go out and get an old guy who has had not other than injuries his whole career and cut payroll. Friggen part with one of the prized prospects (Floyd and/or Hamels) already and get a real player. Increase the payroll if need be its not hard to do the math if you figure the average person spends about $35 per game (tickets, concessions, parking, etc) and you draw 30,000 per game for 81 games your bringing in approx. $85 mill right there not including tv/radio revenues and MLB's shared revs which should easily bring the teams annual revenues over $120 mil. So whats with this $90 million budget its ridiculous.

Honestly how many wins do you think both of them will have in their major league career. I would estimate about combined probably 40 before injuries take them into the Phillies Pitcher Oblivion with other overhyped prospects like Combs, Green, Service, and so many others i can't even mention them cause you'll all throw up.

Hey Jr. Geary,
Most people, including myself, believe your dad has pitched well and has earned a spot in the Phillies bullpen.

All I'm saying is Roberson could be, by all rights, better for this baseball team over the next several seasons than Pat Burrell. Please, spare me the MVP rankings. Is he as good now? No, but it's impossible to tell. I just believe he could have as much of an impact. People get carried away with power, but there are plenty more things that go into winning ballgames than occasional homeruns. I would rather have a guy with extra-base power and speed than a brick-legged, sneering slugger in the lineup. Perhaps it's just my preference, but I think it wouldn't hurt people to keep their minds open.

Two things:
1. How about moving some of these guys to the Nats for Soriano? Then we can have him pout on his cell phone to his agent instead of playing left or 3B or anywhere but 2B.
2. Props to Tom Goodman for using the great word 'moxie' in describing Tejada. Bonus points to anyone who knows where the term comes from.

Of the 5 players listed, the Phillies have no use for 3 of them: Rodriguez, Cormier and Perez. They should not be taking up valuable roster spots, so either trade them for whatever you can get, or cut them loose and move on. The sooner, the better.

I don't understand what you gain by trading Tejeda unless you are getting a sure-fire solution to a problem in return. Tejeda is the kind of pitching prospect that teams are trying to ACQUIRE, not ship out. He has stuff, attitude (moxie was mentioned), and is young. Put him in AAA and he will be up with the big club in no time.
Trade Roberson if you can get something in return. The problem with players like him is that he has no real future with the Phillies, and yet the only way to really increase his trade value is to get him some playing time in the majors.
The Phillies should be bringing Aqualung north, along with Rhodes, Gordon, Fultz and Geary. I'm personally not too high on Santana, but he'll go north as well. Add in the 5 starters and you have 11 pitchers, not 12. Early in the year you do not need 12. Give the extra slot to Roberson. If you insist on 12, then bring up Tejeda.

In my mind, the key to the Phillies' season will rest with the level of patience Gillick shows to players who start slow. If he follows Wade and Manuel from last season, the Phillies will be in trouble. They allowed struggling veterans to take their damn sweet time getting straightened out while the team lost games. Most of those veterans NEVER straightened out. This was the reason in my opinion that the Phillies missed the playoffs. CM, you cannot conduct spring training in May, ok?
If Gordon, Lieberthal, Franklin, or Nunez, etc., falter out of the gate, how long will Gillick allow Manuel to keep putting them out there regularly before he makes a move (trade, benching, callup)?
Is Gillick overly patient in this regard or does he move when he sees a problem? I don't know.

What about this, if Floyd continues to pitch well, put Robinson Tejeda in Scranton and make him the closer there. Let him grow into the role. If he thrives perhaps he can compete for the set-up role with the big club next year and make him the closer apparent a la Mariano to Wetteland. Just a thought.

As for Roberson being better than Burrell over the next three years.... Um... Well... Never mind.

tejeda is also blocked at closer in AAA by yoel hernandez. right now, RT is a man without a country. the franklin signing, well, don't get me started. he is, however, healthy, which in this case might eventually turn out to be a curse. don't forget, he got moved to the bullpen in seattle and threw a fit. alls i'm saying is that floyd has probably benefitted this spring from not being counted on. he needs time to prove himself in a non-deliver situation after a full year of regression. he shouldn't get a call to the majors until all his stuff comes back, especially his velocity. check his stats, he's never been a heavy strikeout pitcher, he needs everything working.

Well, I can't say I didn't expect people to think I was a crackpot for the Roberson/Burrell comparison. I feel compelled to offer one last round of defense...I am not biased against Burrell. If he hit 40 homers and was the MVP, I'd be more than happy to eat my words. But I don't think he's as much of an impact player as people seem to think. I've written plenty about him, I won't reiterate. The facts are, of course, that Burrell is coming off a 119-RBI season, has almost 200 HRS in the majors (though has never made an all-star team), and that Roberson hasn't played above double-A. Seems a ridiculous thing to say the Phillies would be better off with the latter over the former, on the surface.

Take a look at the Atlanta Braves' lineup sometime, though. The starting eight is comprised of seven homegrown players; the corner outfielders are Ryan Langerhans and Jeff Francouer. Both these guys came from the low minors to displace veteran outfielders last season and help that team win yet again. I know that Brian Jordan and Raul Mondesi can't be compared to a guy in his prime like Burrell...I'm just saying, look how they constantly turn over their players, use their system, and remain a potent, winning team. Meanwhile, a team like the Phillies hoards their "core" for years on end and get absolutely nowhere with it. They bury players in their system, trade them for middle-aged relievers, and the ones they do promote they tend to absurdly overestimate (i.e. Marlon Byrd). Burrell and Roberson are completely different breeds of offensive players. I look at Burrell's skills and the only things that stand out are homerun power and a strong throwing arm. I look at Roberson and see a switch-hitter with extra-base, 10-20 homerun power, speed, and probably a better and more versatile outfielder, less prone to double-plays, strikeouts and slumps. I see a guy worth projecting as a starting player, not a lifelong reserve or trade bait for younger prospects. Maybe I'm higher on him than even Roberson's mama, as suggested, but I think if the Phillies had a different perspective, they wouldn't be so hamstrung by payroll, wouldn't feel a need to dole out these contracts to flat-footed veterans like Bell and Burrell and Lieberthal if they did any kind of adequate job of developing and furthermore *evaluating* what they do have in their farm system, being resourceful and keeping the overall budget lower so as to allow greater flexibility. I'm sorry, but I will not ever believe that a player of Pat Burrell's overall skills is so vital to the prospects of a team that he can block younger, cheaper players. He is not what I consider not a crucial component of a winning baseball team.

...strike that second 'not' from the last sentence

http://www.thebaseballcube.com/players/R/chris-roberson.shtml

Roberson's minor league walks to strikeout ratio is .44:1 which is partially skewed by his 2003 Lakewood season where he drew 57 walks to only 108 punchouts in 470 AB.

http://www.thebaseballcube.com/players/B/pat-burrell.shtml

Burrell, on the other hand, has a BB/K ratio of .53:1 at the MLB level and was .82:1 in the minor leagues. Burrell's command of the strike zone is much better than Roberson's. And while Burrell may be prone to slumps (what power hitter isn't?) his 22.9 offensive win shares were 14th best in the NL last year and .8 higher than "Clutchly" -- meaning his bat alone won 7.63 games for the Phillies last year.

Full disclosure, I have a hetero man crush on Pat. But the stats say he's far from average.

One more comment ties the Beerleaguer all-time record. Who's going to step up to the plate and break it, and can you remember what news drew the most comments?

cue the jethro.

I would deal 32-year old Abreu to Cleveland for a package including Andy Marte, a 3B with a future. And what the hell is Gillick thinking, bringing back Bell and Cormier, when they should have been released if dreadful single A "prospects" were not obtainable for them? Don't Wade, and now Gillick realize that it is the retention of dregs like these two guys which runs a team down to "also ran" status? If just one of these two butchers could have been replaced by an average-skill addition to the roster last year, the Phillies would have joined the post-season derby.

And bringing in Gordon and Rhodes, two pitchers representing 90% past, 10 % present, and no future, sets the timetable back, even further. Except the Phillies don't have a timetable, just a knee-jerk short-term patching response philosophy to keep them on the periphery of contention.

Robby Bonfire........phillies.mostvaluablenetwork.com

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