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Wednesday, June 21, 2006

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I'm from the Reading area, and I can't wait to see Wolfy tonight. Hopefully he'll get me excited, expecially since I plan on seeing the big boys losing on the scoreboard while he's pitching.

Tim Moss was awful, just swung at everything, good power, but no discipline, even worse than Rollins.

Not only is Wolf a badly needed arm, but he's actually a dude who knows how to pitch, something of which we seem to have a perennial paucity. Plus: The return of the Wolf Pack!

I was not suggesting that Lidle be "replaced" by Franklin in the rotation. I'm only suggesting that Franklin, awful as he is, could hardly be worse. He gives up a ton of hits but generally lasts 5-6 innings. Does that sound like anyone to you? Lidle's record is 4-6 with an ERA at 5.00, and people get up in arms like I'm criticizing Sandy friggin' Koufax. Lidle is a BAD pitcher, folks. And Franklin is also a BAD pitcher. I'd just as well see him released, traded for a used jockstrap, or covered under a manhole. But Cory Lidle is just as poor an excuse for an adequate starting pitcher. I don't care that he's 'consistent'. What does that mean? It means you can rely on him to be mediocre at the very best. Great. Again: I am not *advocating* that Franklin be made a starter - Will is right that if he is going to be used at all, it should be as a long reliever - but I remain unconvinced that he would do any worse than Lidle.

The big difference between Franklin and little, is the types of hits they surrender.

CBP is not a great place for a guy like Franklin who when he makes a mistake, that mistake lands 400 feet from homeplate, lidle is a ground ball pitcher, give him a decent D, and he can manage a game. Not even Rowand can catch a ball that lands in the upper deck.

Thats your difference.

I don't see where it matters if runs are given up more frequently via homeruns or screaming singles and doubles. The result is going to be roughly the same. Lidle, that renowned "ground-ball pitcher", is not exactly immune to giving up homers, himself. I don't believe his numbers can be traced to poor defensive support. Like Lieber, he's supposed to be a sinkerball pitcher, but I can't remember a single start of either of theirs this year where they even got a majority of outs on grounders. They leave the ball up and get creamed just like Franklin does.

Since Rowand's defense was brought up again... Anyone notice him misplay that dive on Cano's ball that turned it into a double that scored last night? How about the circle route on Damon's ball? Just saying...At least we didn't have any of those patented overthrows.

If Beerleaguer readers had their way, the Phillies would lead the league in used jock straps, buckets of balls, bags of seeds and pine tar.

And the Phillies would hardly be a worse team for these acquisitions!

Rowand strikes me as a guy who over-rates his defensive abilities. He's clearly of the impression that his arm is superior, although it's just as clear to everyone else that it's below average; and he seems to have an attitude that he can catch anything hit in the air, so why not play a few feet in back of second base? But he is far from the best I've seen going back on balls, and he isn't all that fast. He's good out there, sure, but he could stand to lose some of his cockiness and position himself a little better.

I'm not anticipating that Wolf will be much of a boost to the starting rotation. Even in his prime, he's not much better, if at all, from Lidle or Lieber. He's coming back from an injury and will probably be lesser than he was at his best. I think that when he joins the rotation it will be more of the same.

The best hope for the Phils is for these younger pitchers - Hamels, Myers, Madson, Mathieson and even Floyd - to mature mentally and physically (maybe I mean mechanically). That is where the upside potential is. I can't see the old guard becoming mainstays of this staff. Maybe Gillick can package some of his non-pitching starters (Bell, J-Roll, Burrell or Abreu) in a trade for a real dependable starter who can be a role model for the younger talent.

I hear Smoltz is open to a trade. Surely Schuerholz needs some overpriced, underachieving non-pitchers that he'd be willing to trade away one of the faces of the franchise for.

I emailed the good folks at Baseball Prospectus on Wolf's status, etc. They expected an all-star break return and about 75% effectiveness, whatever that means.

Lidle's not a good #3 starter, that's a given, but really, he's not as horrible as you think. There's a lot to be said for a guy who gives up 3-4 runs per outting consistently. I'd wager that it's better than someone who give up 8 runs a couple times and then tosses a gem, only to return to the 8 runs the next time out.

The point is, the offense going into games that Lidle's pitching not only know that they HAVE to score 5 runs to win, but also that they'll probably only NEED 5 runs to win (not counting the bullpen blowing it).

He would be a decent #4 and an above average #5 starter, and releasing him would be a mistake, getting better pitching in front of him would do wonders for peoples perspectives of him.

Story is that Smoltz and Hudson may become available, the trick is to keep the phillies in it till trade time and for Gavin to keep lighting up AAA

The Braves will never trade a starting pitcher like Smoltz or Hudson to a division rival.

As for Wolf, I wish him the best but I doubt he will give the Phils much this year. Maybe he comes up in August but I don't he will be any kind of difference maker.

I wouldn't release Lidle. Sadly, they don't have anything better. I just yearn for the day when they don't have to send festering mediocrities like him out there all season.

By the way, Franklin's career ERA coming into 2006 was 4.32. Lidle's was 4.52.

Franklin's 2005 ERA was 6.11 playing in SafeCo field in Seattle, a pitcher's dream park.

Lidle's ERA is comparable to a lot of #4 and #5 pitchers across the league.

Uh-oh. The career ERA card is pulled. Prepare to be park factored, RSB.

For all of us waiting on Wolfie, I remind you that it's not like he was all that good before he was hurt. Career Numbers....

65-60 4.14 ERA and 1.31 whip
74-68 4.54 ERA and 1.32 whip

Guess which one is Lidle and which one is Wolf.

Even with the park factor, that would leave the ERA about the same. If Cory Lidle is a better pitcher than Ryan Franklin, it's by a marginal degree. My point here is not to defend Franklin. I just want to get this much straight: Cory Lidle is not a quality pitcher.

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