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Wednesday, May 10, 2006


You're right, it's about time our Phils have to worry about their jobs a little bit.

Next up: catcher reshuffling.

It's pretty exciting move and I think your take on Gillick is right on. I just hope Madson's confidence isn't too messed up.

I think Madson will be more focused on pitching and less focused on his own batting average, which is what he and Myers appear to talk about most in the dugout.

my only question - why do something like this when you've just won 9 straight?

Outstanding!! I can't say enough good things about this move! This is what we need another enthusiastic young player.

I am really getting excited about our direction in the past couple of weeks.

I'm amazed it actually happened.

Also, I'm now kind of hoping Ruiz sticks with the big league club and something is done to put Fasano or Lieby out of their misery.

Finally, I hope we make a trade for a terrific young 3B. Once we lock that position up, this team is truly solid. It's really too bad the Marte train went by without us getting on. And too bad that Blalock may not be available for what we're willing to offer.

I'd put Santana on waivers; if somebody wants him, let them take him. There's guys in Scranton better than him anyway.

It may be earlier than I would have brought up Hamels considering they've been doing fine without him the last week or so, but I like putting all the chips on the table and raising the ante for the Mets and the Central wild card contenders.

Are any other long-time fans having any trouble getting over the idea the Phillies actually have depth in their rotation? If any issues come up with the current 5, they have Madson and by July (from what I read) Wolf to insert if necessary. Not to mention by September, you have guys like Gio Gonzalez who could be brought in. My point being even the journeyman (Lidle) and the potential bust (Floyd) are better than the journeymen and potential busts they've trotted out in the past.

"my only question - why do something like this when you've just won 9 straight?"

My question to you, is how long do you wait for a sub-par pitcher to finally hurt you, if you have a pitcher who is better waiting for a chance?

The offence and marginal competition are making this win streak (Mets excepted) not Madson.

Would you rather wait until we are out of the running to field the best possible team?

This also will be a boost to Floyd's confidence for his start tomorrow night. With the Hamels thing ironed out, and Madson going to the pen, he knows he's keeping his job. Now go win us one.

With the winning streak, the Mets in town, licking their wounds and looking to come back strong, and well, the awful pitching we got out of Madson, I think the timing couldn't be better. Notice we're not smelling the desperation that accompanied a lot of Wade's moves. This is a move that a confident team makes, and confidence has been sorely lacking in these parts.

Why do this with a nine game streak? Because they are still 18-14, three games back, and according to Baseball Prospectus, only have a 12% chance of making the playoffs today. It will take 92+ wins for the wild card alone this year. Put the pedal to the metal. Throw the Braves down the well, catch the Mets, and throw them down the well, too...

This is not a personal attack, btw.

I will be impressed if Gillick cuts Fasano when Lieberthal comes back. It probably won't be the fan-friendly move, but it'll be hte smart one.

That will depend on the play of Ruiz. Keep in mind we've only seen him for two games so far.

If it's true that 'no plan is set in stone', I'd like it explained how David Bell, Sal Fasano, and Gavin Floyd remain on the roster.

If you buy the idea that the Phillies aren't in a position to be patient with Madson, it doesn't compute that Gavin Floyd, as raw and undependable as they come, is still in the rotation. I understand that Madson got the axe because he's been a reliever and Floyd hasn't. But if it were me, I would've sent Floyd packing and picked up another reliever if the bullpen was such an issue.

It's a gutsy move, but I'm not convinced it's the right move. For one thing, it certainly contradicts the organization's previous concerns about Hamels having very limited professional experience. Of course I'm rooting hard for Hamels to win games now that he's with the big club, and hope everything works out, but from where I stand, I have to shake my head a little and wonder if it's the right move, right now. The Cole Hamels situation is *hype* - not that Hamels doesn't have credentials, not that I'm saying he's not legit - but there is major hype involved, and hype by definition focuses on the immediate and clouds the bigger picture.

"If it's true that 'no plan is set in stone', I'd like it explained how David Bell, Sal Fasano, and Gavin Floyd remain on the roster."

Glad to explain.

Gillick had reportedly tried to trade David Bell and his 4 million contract this offseason and had no success, so they kept him because he was still under contract and had value to the team. So far, Bell has not played himself out of a job, let alone off the roster.

Fasano is doing exactly what I believe he was signed to do, and that's break in pitchers early on, provide a cheap backup with major league experience, and serve as a stop gap in case a young prospect like Ruiz took the next step. Since Lieberthal is on the DL, Fasano still has purpose. Since Ruiz has arrived, I expect him to stay and for Fasano to go when Lieby returns.

Just the fact that Floyd is in the rotation represents more out-of-the-box thinking. Ryan Franklin and Ryan Madson were orginially planned for the rotation, and both are now in the bullpen. Floyd and Hamels were not even on the radar.

Tough decision. Santana had a good year last year and has only thrown 7 IP. Not a fair chance to see if he can help. Geary has pitched better, but has little upside potential and has options remaining. I say option Geary and give Santana at least 25-30 IP to repeat what he did last year. If Santana can't, you can always bring back Geary. As for Ruiz, he does not have the talent to be more than a backup catcher. Still, he might be better than Fasano.

Bell would have played himself out of a job on just about every other major-league team a year ago. I wouldn't say he has done anything this season to suggest he is still worthy of starting 85% of the games at third base, regardless of his salary.

I seriously, significantly, and most emphatically doubt Ruiz will stay with the Phillies instead of Fasano when Lieberthal comes off the DL.

I don't mean to be argumentative, but I would say there's a long way to go before they're all the way 'out of the box'.

Bell has looked creaky at times, but he has a .722 OPS and has hit reasonably well in big situations (in my mind, at least). I know I get really annoyed with bell when he screws up, but I think when you're expecting someone to fail and they do, it just pisses you off. He even has made a few nice plays in the field lately and it seems to me as if his back is bothering him less recently.

Obviously we'd look better with mora or blalock at the hot corner (blalock is likely no longer available), and I wouldn't be surprised if that was our big july deal.

As it is, revamping a roster is a process. Abe Nunez isn't an upgrade over Bell, as sad as that sounds. Give Gillick some time here.

"out of the box" is a subjective term. There's always a more extreme course of action one could take, but that's not always a good thing. The point is our management's mindset has changed, and it's hard to believe that the change isn't for the better.

RickSchu - I think its a good use of our existing resources. At his worst, can hamels be any more unreliable than madson? (given madson's current problems with control and his curve). Stick him in the 5th spot for a couple of games, see how he copes. Madson in turn is reliable enough in the bullpen, and is happy taking his turn wherever. And the bullpen will be at least as good, if not better if madson is in and someone else is out. So we have two areas of potential improvements (rotation and bullpen).

I wouldn't don't give up on floyd just yet - he started this whole run with his pitching, so that earns him some more chances - and you don't send him down or to the bullpen - of the two pitchers he's definitely the one who won't respond to being moved about. Madson is insurance against hamels blowing up or floyd not improving further.

I agree with you - the hamels situation is hyped. but the phillies haven't been generating that hype, and that to me suggests that gillick's judgement isn't being clouded by the his own bull.

"My question to you, is how long do you wait for a sub-par pitcher to finally hurt you, if you have a pitcher who is better waiting for a chance?"

maybe as soon as he has a losing record. despite his poor performances he is still 3-1. and despite giving up 6 early hits on saturday he did manage plenty of GIDPs and got out of every jam. that shows promise.

"Would you rather wait until we are out of the running to field the best possible team?"

no, but it's still just may, not even july. they're 3 games back and there is lots of baseball left to play. something must be said for chemistry. a team that wins 9 straight is doing something right. why change things and possibly bring in a young pitcher too soon?

just for clarification, in no way am i truly questioning the move, i'm as excited as anyone else to see hamels pitch in the majors. but what i am questioning is the timing. afterall, "if it ain't broke..." and 9 straight wins means it ain't broke.

"The point is our management's mindset has changed, and it's hard to believe that the change isn't for the better."

That does appear to be the truth, and it is a point worth remembering. But it also doesn't make that management's decisions infallible. I tend to agree more with el chico's above sentiment than anything.

Remember, and this came to my mind right after I heard about the move, more Madson in the pen means less Franklin.

Talk about the weakest link.

Hmm, from that angle I could grow to appreciate the move...

"more Madson in the pen means less Franklin."

Actually, probably less Rhodes as well.

The Franklin and Rhodes points are not only valid, but excellent.

Great points Jason. Madson probably takes over as "backup closer" which in turn should help keep Gordon fresh for the dog days and, hopefully, playoff push/run. He faded a bit in the second half with the Yankees last year.

I agree that Bell has been fine thus far. Still, with Baltimore scuffling and Bell's back always a question mark, I wouldn't be shocked to see Gillick deal some of our young pitching for Melvin Mora at some point this summer.

Hoo-boy... a lot of chickens are being counted before they've hatched here. Two rookies in the rotation and another behind the plate. Does anybody really think that's gonna work? Don't get me wrong. I'll be thrilled if it does. But being realistic, you'd have to be satisfied if just one of these three new guys pans out in the end.

I've felt all along that Gillick is really eyeing 2007, and this looks like part of that plan -- find out this year who the keepers are.

Time to weigh in. The Madson move may mean less Rhodes and less Franklin, but I bet it could also mean some Rhodes as a closer when there is a lefty at the plate. Given Gordon's age and health history, using Rhodes once in a while as a spot closer is not a bad idea. To wit: he did it a week ago and earned his first save in a few years. Having a second option as the ninth inning man is not a bad idea. And down the road, having three options for innings seven and eight is also something worth exploring, especially if some of the starters cannot be counted on for more than five or six innings.

As for Floyd, I am a little more optimistic about his after his last start. And I believe the arrival of Hamels, something of a gamble given his health history and lack of experience, will take some of the pressure off Floyd as the youngest member of the rotation. With all eyes on Hamels, Floyd can breath a little easier...until and unless he falters. Then, many of my points will be moot.

this move is about the best 25 man roster gillick can muster. i love this man. i have no doubt that this guy knows what he's doing. i wish he was 20 years younger and could be here forever. i hope madson has the intestinal fortatude to accept this move and thrive. he could be scott shields or dan wheeler. he just needs to embrace that - and throw his damn curve ball more.

We need to remember the Phils will make 2 roster moves. Booker is suppose to be ready soon, if I am not mistaken. I'll bet a trade is in the works of a relief pitcher and possibly a 3rd baseman. Otherwise Geary gets sent down and Santana waived. Fultz could also see himself out.

Gillick's making moves, the Mets are showing their true mediocrity, and even David Bell's hitting a little. No reason why the Phils can't win this thing.

I like Maddy helping/subbing for the aging/inconsistent Rhodes, and I like seeing what Hamels can do before Gillick decides what to do with "Pretty Boy" Floyd. And a little patience is needed to sort out the catchers, but just a little. You sort of know already that Fasano can't help you. Unless he belts a few HR's in the next week I'd let him go.

Amaro said that Booker was claimed by KC on the pregame radio show. As for who to ship to Scranton when Hamels is activated, I would ship Santana out. He flat out sucks this year. I don't even care if they lose him on waivers. In his first game back tonight he let in another run. His ERA has to be around 9! Has he had any decent outtings this year?? As for what to do when Lieberthal comes back, I would ship out Fasano, unless Ruiz is hitting below the Mendoza line. Hopefully he will step it up. I think he is currently 1 for 10. Hopefully Floyd steps it up another notch tomorrow too. I'll take 2 out of 3 during any series.

Thanks Jon, I see Booker was claimed by KC. Fultz preformance tonight didn't help him while Geary 3 shutout innings did. However Santana seems to be the one on the chopping block. The other option is to trade a pitcher for prospects - etc...

I feel the Phils should keep Fasano, even if it means in the minors. They need 3 qualified major league ready catchers available incase of injury. Leiberthal has actually been a pleasant surprise offensively.

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