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Friday, July 14, 2006

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If you think Willie Randolph will have a hard time keeping the Mets focused, then you are sorely underestimating Willie Randolph. It's not to say they won't have their "what the hell were they thinking" moments, but complacency will not happen under Randolph. If you remember late last season when they were already out of it and everyone thought they had quit, they finished strong with nothing to play for.

Jason: You and I agree on Ruiz short-term: They ought to give him a long look to see what they've got. We disagree long term. I think what they've got is a catcher who'd hit .240 with poor OB but decent power (15 HRs) and good glove over a full season. That's enough to hold a big league job, but not what the Phillies should settle for.

Ruiz is not the future at Catcher, which I don't believe was what you were trying to articulate. He is however (like you said ) the best option this year and can carry the load into next season. He gives up a stop-gap type ability where he will be a very good defensive option, while being a solid bottom of the order type batter. What he has is great plate discipline. Only 31 SO in 215 AB with a .381 OBP is excellent. Being realistic, I can see him hitting around .275 with a .360 OBP in the majors if he can just be patient and hit to all fields. We don't need the homers, so he should have the opportunity to just simply hit what's given to him (like a Johnny Estrada, but obviously that's just a simple comparison with player types and not saying he's nearly as good).

In September, Bourn has got to get a shot with the big league club. Although only through 7 games, he's proving himself in Scranton. He's showing a knack for getting on base even with a few too many strikeouts. I can handle a strikeout if his OBP can be around .380. With the speed and baserunning ability he has, there's really no denying him if he can simply reach base. Maybe then we could see Rollins moved to the No. 6 hole and Utley put at No. 2 to stay (although if we trade Abreu that would change)? I'm not saying Bourn is some uber prospect who should be glittered with praise, but he has potential and is really working his way up the ladder.

So let me get it all straight, because it's a great post to start the second half. Over the course of the next three months, the following should go: Lieber, Lidle, Lieberthal, Fasano, Abreu. That means the rotation from now on is Myers, Wolf, Madson, Hamels, and someone from the minors? I'm down with that - the Phils are sellers, unless the Mets do fall apart and the Phils "go Cleveland" on them. The pieces are in place to start again in 2007.

Nice post. If there is one guy I would love to see the Phils get at catcher it would be Mike Napoli from the Angels. Right-handed hitter with some power who really works the count, walks, and hits for decent average.

Angels are desperate for offense but their GM is unlikely to give up one of their prime young suspects like Napoli. Also wouldn't mind seeing them pry loose Santana from the Angels but again that is highly unlikely.

Maybe the Yanks go after Abreu if they get desperate but I doubt it. Matsui and Sheffield will be back by early Sept. and Cashman really is running the show now. More willing to bet the Yanks tinker around the edges and avoid giving up any of their few good prospects or young players (Cano, Wang).

As for the Red Sox, the whole Abreu rumor is garbage. Nixon is having a good year for the Sox. Abreu's defenes limitations would really get exposed in Fenway in RF. Alot of ground to cover and it is tough to play corner near Pesky's Pole. Plus, Red Sox top pitchers (Beckett, Schilling, Wakefield) are all flyball pitchers. Plus, Epstein is committed to keeping the Sox young arms and there is no way he moves Papelbon or Lester. Sox plan on building around these two kids.

Phils have to get pitching for Abreu. Simple as that. I don't want to see him just traded away for .60 cents on the dollar.

You could include a number of relievers with that group, too, if you wanted to: Gordon, certainly Rhodes and Cormier could help teams like San Diego that have no left-handers in the bullpen.

Yes, I'd want to put some relievers in that group. Rhodes definitely, Frenchy most likely, and Gordon possibly.

I like Mike Napoli, too. I saw him in the High-A California league (the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes) and he can both hit and manage pitching. But, unfortunately, this is the Phillies, and name a non home grown catcher who has done well here in 50 years? (Had to get Lance Parrish off the list) Lieberthal, Daulton, Bo Diaz, Boone...

I love the idea of Lidle to the Red Sox. The NESN crew on MLB Extra innings last night went on and on about how much they need to shore up the #5 spot in their rotation in the 2nd half of the season. Who better? Lidle is a solid guy who keeps you in games. And with the offense in Boston, he'd probably fair better than in Philly.

I too, want to get rid of Lieber, but nobody's gonna pay full price for him, unless he has excellent starts before the deadline.

The Abreu deal's gonna go like this: Gillick's going to demand Hughes, and Cashman will say no way. That's it. Abreu fits perfectly into Williams' (or Sheffield, can't remember) payroll slot for next year, so there's no problem there. Abreu to the Sox is preposterous for the reason the MG stated, although they have a plethora of pitching prospects to give up.

Abreu is #2 on my list to trade for the following reasons:
1) $20+ million in payroll next year (15 in salary, 5+ in deferred salary....Wade's a genius)
2) refusal to do what's best for the team (i.e. bat 1st or 2nd, come on, somebody tell me his power numbers in the last 162 games warrant a #3 hitter's slot)
3) Overall lax attitude on and off the field

(p.s. Burrell's bad attitude, strikeouts and $13mill price tag got him the #1 spot)

CNN/SI is reporting that the White Sox are shopping either Freddy Garcia or Javier Vasquez for a closer and that Tom Gordon is a prime target. I'd like to keep Gordon, especially given the relatively low cost, but Garcia is tempting, especially if they can get anything else in the deal.

Some second thoughts on the Mets. From everything I've read, they have awesome clubhouse chemistry and leadership, particularly among the Latino players: Delgado, Franco, Beltran, Valentin. It is any surprise that Endy Chavez has suddenly gotten his act together?

A side note: Julio Franco is the National League's best dominoes player, according to ESPN magazine.

The Mets do have a terrific clubhouse chemistry, Willie will not let them become complacent, and the Mets are hungry. They will actually increase the lead they already have built. They will do this by acquiring a new pitcher (Javier Vasquez for Aaron Heilman and a minor league pitcher) and by a much easier schedule than the first half. The west coast road trip to LA, SF and AZ are completed. Mets win the division with around 100 wins. It's a pipe dream to think anyone else in the division is going to close ground on the Mets.

Will, if we're using the criterea of who you would most like to see traded in a perfect world, Bell would be in my #1 spot, closely followed by Lieber, Lieberthal and then Burrell. But speaking in terms of plausible trades, I don't think Burrell even makes the list, except possibly as part of a package deal. Really, who would want to trade a decent prospect for him?

So, Mets fans have apparently declared the rest of the season exhibition ball. Can the players be far behind?

YANKEES AND METS BOTH INQUIRE ABOUT ABREU

This is good if only because of the increased competition for Bobby. It would be a big admission of defeat if Gillick were to trade Abreu to a division rival, especially the Mets, right now.

from the aritcle:
>He prefers to move left fielder Pat Burrell,
>but the market for strikeout-prone, .250
>hitters due $27 million between 2007-08 is
>thin.
----

ouch. very, very, very ouch.

If Abreu isn't traded in the next two weeks, Pat Gillick ought to be dragged right out of his office and thrown out onto Pattison Avenue. There's no excuse, with the competition from so many teams desiring his services guaranteeing a good return. Abreu is not part of the future, period. I want to see that 53 on a pitcher's back in September.

True, but since when has the Phillies brass needed an excuse?

I think that Abreu is generally a bit overrated but I really don't want to see the Phils trade him for the sake of trading him. If Abreu were older or having a down year, then maybe you need to move him.

The past couple of stars who have been traded by the Phils (Rolen, Schilling) have been awful deals where the Phils got little to nothing in return. Don't want to see the same happen with Abreu.

This is a far different situation than Rolen and Schilling, aside from what to me is an obvious fact that Abreu is not nearly in a class with those two players, who were once-in-a-generation special.

Those two were forcing the Phillies' hand, with free agency fast impending. Everyone knew it. The Phillies had no choice and were at a disadvantage when negotiating trade offers. Not so with Abreu. They don't have to trade him. He isn't going to bark even if they lose 125 games, and he isn't going to be a free agent anytime real soon. The Phillies are therefore in a position to deal from an uncustomarily advantageous position, and what's more, it will never be more advantageous than it is right now. Teams aren't desperate to make a playoff push, to get that one difference-making bat in the off-season, when everything is hypothetical, like they are *right now* when they can taste it and know concretely what its needs are. That is why there is no way on earth, in hell, or what have you, that Bobby Abreu should remain a Phillie past the month of July 2006. To borrow a backfired slogan, Now Is The Time.

Abreu would be more valuable to the Phils if he was the leadoff hitter right now. However to trade him for a top pitching prospect and possibly another player/prospect is tempting. It also removes much salary. But they should not just give him away - next year he could be a valuable player for this team.
With Bell and Leiberthal they are done if no trade happens at the end of the year. If they can be traded they will probably be in a package deal with a pitcher.
I agree the Ruiz needs playing time during the rest of the year to see what he can do. There are rumors the Phils may trade a get a catching prospect who is ready to play.

Bobby Abreu should definitely be traded this summer! He is apparently in high demand, therefore if he can bring you the most in return, he is the one to move. A package surrounding Hughes would be nice from the Yanks. Boston also has some good young pitching, especially with regard to potential bullpen arms in Delcarmen and Hansen. Nixon would be a nice throw in as well. The Angels are loaded with prospects (Weaver, Napoli, and McPherson), although I don't know if they would move any of them, and don't rule out the Tigers either. With all those teams interested in Abreu, something has got to give!

Watched Fatty pitch tonight at AT&T Park. Great park but it was ruined by Fatty. So much for him giving the Phils a lift or showing anything that might encourage another team to trade for him.

Anyone who thinks that Giles' recent comments in Pittsburgh about the Myers' incident were merely the isolated meanderings of a 71-year old, who wasn't speaking the Phillies' *real position* on the subject, should take a look at Lieberthal's quote from this morning's newspaper as excerpted below:
"Teammates welcomed Myers back. Phillies assistant general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. described teammates hugging Myers in the clubhouse upon his arrival. A handful of teammates gathered around a TV in the clubhouse when his news conference appeared on ESPN. "I think the players are behind him," catcher Mike Lieberthal said. "From what the players have heard, I'm not sure how much at fault he is. You've got conflicting reports. I think for the most part, players are staying out of that side of things - assuming that he isn't guilty until proven. And really the only thing that matters for us is what Brett does for us on the field. He's always been a good teammate, and we're happy to have him back."
[What about the hole Myers left in an already struggling rotation since Myer's forced absence, as a result of the incident, after his ill-advised start on June 24th? Was that being 'a good teammate? Rather incredibly, the Phillies, organization-wide, apparently still don't "get it", on this Myers' thing. The only statement Lieberthal, or any Phillies player, should make is that what matters now, to the players, is Myer's performance on the field. Here is the Inquirer story link: http://www.philly.com/mld/dailynews/sports/15043404.htm ]


From philly.com: "I think the players are behind (Myers)," catcher Mike Lieberthal said. "From what the players have heard, I'm not sure how much at fault he is."

Wow. Can the Phillies just stop talking about the Boston incident? Every time one of them speaks, it gets a little more obvious that no one has a clue about reality.

"Not sure how much at fault he is."

If he hit a woman, he's at fault. Doesn't matter if she called him a "Big Bird lookin' pluck your eyebrows mother f*cker."

Not sure how much at fault he is.

Isn't there a trade rumor of Lieby to Colorado? Good. Go choke on the high air.

Davthom73--completely agree. I wrote about it this morning. Lieberthal is unreal.

I agree with the majority of the post. It's time to rebuild this team and change the DNA in the clubhouse. Abreu's numbers are great on paper, but he is a liability in the field. It would be great to see Burrell get dumped for some 23 year old with a 96 mph fastball and a sick slider, but it ain't gonna happen.

I also completely agree with getting this rotation young and letting them work thorugh their issues. The Pirates have the youngest rotation in baseball. Guys with lots of potential. McClatchy will screw that up in the 'Burgh, but the Phillies should copy the idea of just putting those guys out there.

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