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Monday, July 24, 2006

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Bell is hot. Hallelujah. Now's the time to trade him, please.

Someone's got to get Hamels to pitch inside more. He's leaving his fastball right out over the plate. He changes speeds well enough, but there's the location isn't there consistently.

That pitch to Pratt looked like it arrived right where Lieberthal was set up for it.

Am I reading this right? 10 Ks through 4 innings?!? Wow!

I guess you can't argue with his location on the 10 K's (so far), though. It's really assuring to see that Hamels can be dominant so early in his career.

Well...that's a weird outing. Five and a third innings, seven runs, twelve strikeouts. Sounds almost hard to do. Hamels is still a work in progress, but the positive signs are surely there. He tends to lose it in a hurry. A catcher with more presence could probably help a good deal. Look at how well Hudson and Pratt work together. Not one single pitch is in the middle of the plate. Lieberthal has no such game plan. Put down fingers, let them fall where they may. It's hard to see a silver lining when it all tastes so bitter, but those 12 K's count for something. He needs to concentrate more on working in and out, up and down - but one senses he doesn't have all that far to go to get there. The stuff, and the command, is definitely there.

2nd and 3rd with no outs, 6th inning, down 5 runs, burrell and rowand on the bench and uncle charlie pinch hits abe freakin' nunez...and he delivers with a ground out to the pitcher.

can't we get rid of this manager now...

RSB: There are many things we can criticize Lieberthal for. Young Cole Hamels lack of command ain't one of them.

Reading carefully as always, Clout. I finished my last post by saying that Hamels' command was definitely there. You don't strike out twelve in a game without it. What I'm criticizing Lieberthal for is not establishing a better game plan with his pitcher, intimating for him to get the ball inside, or to work in and out. Hamels gets hurt because he throws too many balls in the middle of the strike zone instead of varying elevation or lateral location. If I can see that, the catcher should be able to as well and call a better damn game.

According to ESPN.com: The White Sox are close to trading for Nationals outfielder Alfonso Soriano. The deal is said to include White Sox pitcher Brandon McCarthy.

rollins 0 for 6. nice.

Prior to tonight, Rollins had been tearing the cover off the ball since the all-star break. Of course, not a word was uttered about that.

RSB, can you here me sighing? the man is batting below 260. he has the same batting average as your favorite player, pat burrell. tearing the cover off the ball? i'm so glad he hit the ball well for a week and raised his average 10 points. maybe its not his fault his manager keeps running him out there as a leadoff man and his organization seems to have no clue in terms of other options, but its getting old. very very old.

Sorry RSB but rollins has been hitting only .295 since the break..not exactly tearing the cover off the ball since these days the league average is like .275 for players...he still is not a leadoff hitter and i really hope the next manager has some balls to put mr. Jelly Roll at the bottom of the order where he belongs.

Sorry RSB but rollins has been hitting only .295 since the break..not exactly tearing the cover off the ball since these days the league average is like .275 for players...he still is not a leadoff hitter and i really hope the next manager has some balls to put mr. Jelly Roll at the bottom of the order where he belongs.

hey JW sorry but i hit the post button twice again....i wish someone could post the possible free agents for next year. It would nice to see where gillick is going to spend the almost $20 million he'll have to play with next year.

Zach, Bell has zero trade value. Get used to it. RSB, the catcher is not responsible for young pitchers throwing the ball down the middle of the plate. All young pitchers do it, especially when they start to tire. The question is why did Manuel leave him out there to hang so long? And why was White the first arm out of the pen?

There's no $20 million to play with... I thought I read that the owners want to finally turn a profit at CBP... and will do so by cutting payroll. Anyone else remember this?

For the record, Rollins was 13 for 38 before tonight's game with 7 runs, 2 doubles, a triple, and 2 homers in eight games since the break. Maybe if I was busy concentrating on his weaknesses like everyone else, I'd be content only to notice when he does something wrong.

The catcher is not ultimately responsible for the pitcher throwing the ball down the middle of the plate. But he could at least show some veteran presence and establish a plan to pitch inside or work the corners. Contrast our hero's immobile figure with the animated Todd Pratt. Every pitch, Pratt was setting up all over the damn place, he was holding his glove over his head when he wanted the ball high, he had it nearly on the ground when he wanted it low. And he was getting results. The pitches were jamming, cutting, they were swung through or hit weakly. For five innings, he and Hudson were working over the Phillies' lineup to near-perfection. He had a plan.

I have no friggin' idea why people are suddenly leaping to Mike Lieberthal's defense here. Have I violated some sort of unwritten faux pas by suggesting a catcher may possibly have an impact on the performance of the pitcher?

AG, Here are some of the bigger name free agents next year.

3b - Aubrey Huff, Shea Hillenbrand
C - Rod Barajas, Bengie Molina, A.J. Pierzynski
P - Mark Mulder, Andy Petitte, Mark Redman, Bary Zito, Tony Armas Jr, Roger Clemens, Greg Maddux, Jason Marquis, Mike Mussina, Vicente Padilla, Jason Schmidt
OF - Carlos Lee, Alfonso Sorianso, Torri Hunter, Gary Matthews Jr

And Phils have 12 free agents themselves: Lidle, Wolf, Dellucci, Fultz, Cormier, Bell, Lieby, Rhodes, Santana, Wolf, Franklin, and White. So, there will be big turnover on this roster next year, regardless of trades.
So, Gillick will have a big say in the offseason on at least how 1/2 of the roster is shaped.

So, there should be money for free agent signings, but don't count on payroll being $90M next year though.

Correction: A.J. Pierzynski signed with ChiSox thru 2008. I am fairly sure on the others though. Not exactly a great free agent market, but the Phils have a lot of money coming off the books next year (around $36 M). Granted they will have 11 players to replace.

Lee, Hunter, and Matthews could be interesting OF considerations, and possbibly Barajas. Otherwise, I don't see any of those other FAs coming to Philadelphia.

Looking at Hammels pitch - he seems to fall apart when runners get on. Does anyone know what his stats are (like Batting average) when he pitches from the stretch vs the windup? Maybe he needs to learn this. This may actually make a good subject to post on.

RSB: I don't think everybody is leaping to Lieberthal's defense. You made a silly statement and people are correcting you. Hamels got rocked because he DIDN'T have command. Command is the ability to move the ball around within the strike zone. The catcher can call a great game but if the pitcher can't put the ball where he's supposed to consistently -- and if you've watched Hamels, he can't -- it doesn't matter. And if you think a veteran like Hudson had command last night because of Todd Pratt, well, there's no hope for you.

Mike H. - All i've heard of the payroll was a couple weeks ago when that idiot talked about Myers. He said it would be in the "same range." People have assumed that that means a payroll reduction, which is probably a good guess. Except noone knows how much you can go down and be in the "same range". Right now they're near $90mill. I'd say that they couldn't go below $75mill and still claim to be in the same range (and even that's a stretch).

That would leave them with $15million to sign a C, 3B, at least one SP, and half a bullpen. Not nearly enough, which is why getting rid of a Burrell/Abreu contract might be priority #1 on Gillick's list.

rsb, i think there is hope for you, hang in there...

lieberthal sucks at baseball. he deserves all criticism that comes his way...

rsb, to your point about rollins and people "concentrating on his weaknesses," i would argue that for the most parts, fans over the last few years have focused on his flash, his excellent fielding, and have taken his "hot streaks" as the barometer of his play, and have for the most part ignored the fact that he has been a very poor lead-off hitter for years. the criticism of rollins, and of managment for continuing to hit him first, is well warrented and late.

san diego is looking at buccos 3B joe randa, can't we trade david bell to them now that he is an uber-hitting machine. he has to have some trade value, if joe randa is a commodity.

Lieberthal also caught Myers the night before, and did a fine job I'd say. You can pick at crap all you want, though.

www.mlb4u.com is the best resource i know of for contract information. it has everything.

Tim, great site. Thanks.

I've been gone for a week of family vacation at Walt Disney World in Florida. Disney sells pins with MLB team logos. I saw six teams: Angels, Braves, Mets, Yankees, Red Sox and Cubs. The Phillies get no respect!

Here's the text of part of Dayn Perry's trade article found on FoxSports.com dealing with Abreu:

"OF Bobby Abreu to the Yankees

Normally, the Yankees wouldn't be able to land a talent like Abreu on the trade market, what with their weak farm system and all. However, Abreu's no-trade clause might work in their favor. First, Abreu isn't likely to waive his no-trade provision unless the acquiring team agrees to pick up his $16 million option for 2008. The Yankees are one of the few teams in a position to do that. Second, Abreu maintains a house in the New York area, and that might make him more amenable to approving a trade to the Yanks. That's a great deal of leverage, and it should allow the Yankees to nab Abreu at a nominal cost in terms of young talent (i.e., no need to part with top prospect Philip Hughes).

As for the Yankees' needs, they're manning the outfield corners these days with mid-grade rookie Melky Cabrera and the rapidly declining Bernie Williams, neither of whom are providing adequate production. Hideki Matsui and Gary Sheffield are both slated to return in September, but there are no guarantees they'll adhere to that timetable and perform at a high level once they do return. And let's face it: if there's one thing the Yankees are accustomed to, it's sorting out a roster bottleneck. They can't afford to pass up Abreu and his substantial on-base skills for fear of a playing-time crunch down the road.

If the Bombers are to track down either color of Sox and make the playoffs for the 12th straight year, then they'll need to make an impact addition at the deadline. To that end, Abreu is the best fit.

On the Phillies' end, their run of contention is ending, and, considering how much control Abreu has over the process, they need to take what they can get for him."

Even this article devalues the Phillies.

Ryan Franklin should never, ever pitch.

Clout, it's silly to get into a pointless battle of words here. There's no reason to try to invalidate the comments or observations of someone who's just as serious a fan as you, but who doesn't agree. Just because you don't see something a certain way doesn't make it a "silly statement".

I believe that a catcher with more savvy and presence can *help* reiterate to a pitcher to get the ball in, up, or down. Lieberthal shows no leadership behind the plate. Hudson didn't do what he did because of Pratt's pitch-calling, but there's no way you can tell me that it wasn't helpful. Conversely, how is it that Hamels lacked command? He was striking out the side almost every inning. It's my contention that Hamels wasn't *missing* on location so much as he was throwing balls to bad spots. Lieberthal was not set up inside or off the plate at any point. Myers has been around and he knows enough to work around the edges of the strike zone much better at this point in his career. Hamels does not incorporate this kind of element into his pitching, and it hurts him. He throws too many fat pitches. If you can strike out twelve in five innings, command is not the problem. There's poor location by inadvertance, and then there's poor location by design. I put part of that on Dubee, part of it on Hamels, and part of it on Lieberthal.

It'd be one thing if I were blathering away about useless Alex Rodriguez and Manny Ramirez trade rumors, Clout, but even if I can't claim to be an expert anaylst, I deserve more respect than to be told there's "no hope" for me. That's out of line.

I'm serious. He should never pitch. He comes in with no outs, maybe gets an out and gives up one or two runs, and then is replaced. What's the point????

Joe Crede is a free agent I think.

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