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Phillies GM Pat Gillick answered questions from season ticket holders Tuesday, including questions about the future of third base and catcher, Randy Wolf and whether they will contend for a playoff spot next season.
Question -- Any plans to offer a long term contract to Ryan Howard?
Gillick -- Unlikely this year. No need to.
Question -- Third base and catcher situation in 2007?
Gillick -- Plan on giving Ruiz a chance to play. Need to go outside the organization for third base.
Question -- Does Citizens Bank Park effect the organization's ability to acquire free agent pitching?
Gillick -- Thinks park has played fair this year and is not a factor.
Question -- Are there plans to acquire free agent pitching and resign Randy Wolf after the season?
Gillick -- Pitching is critical, yada, yada (didn't answer either question). Happy with Moyer, Myers, Hamels, and Lieber.
Questions -- A couple of questions regarding Burrell and his status ...
Gillick -- Burrell is not performing. We are trying to figure out what's
wrong. 24 home runs is still significant. Can't answer question if he
will be back next year.
Question -- What is the status of Charlie Manuel?
Gillick -- He's under contract next season and likely will be coming back.
Question/comment -- Lineup strikes out too much. What's being done to address it?
Gillick -- Need more contact hitters and lineup is especially weak 6 through 8 now.
Question -- Minor league/farm?
Gillick -- Ranked 30th last year by Baseball America. Mentioned
improvement based on records of minor league clubs in 2006 versus 2005.
Does not hold scouts accountable since the organization had traded away
Question -- I asked Bob D's question about which minor league pitchers we could expect to see in majors in 2007.
Gillick -- Matt Smith, Brian Sanches, Justin Germano, Brian Mazone (Gillick said he
expected at least one of those four, maybe two) along with Brito.
Question -- How about Victorino in CF and Rowand in RF?
Gillick -- Not a bad idea since Rowand played corner outfield in college and was converted to CF by ChiSox.
Question -- Are you surprised by Abreu's success in NY?
Gillick -- Abreu good player with good supporting cast. Need to change mix in Philly.
Question -- Can Phils contend in 2007?
Gillick -- Phils should be able to take a step forward in 2007 and be in Wild Card race. Will not contend with Mets.
Question -- What are the plans to improve the bench?
Gillick -- Some of the recent acquisitions may play that role next
year. Looking for players that play a few positions for versatility.
Not interested in just "professional hitters." Questioner specifically
asked about free agent Matt Stairs and Gillick said he was the type of
player they would consider.
A few other nonsensical question regarding trades involving Ryan
Zimmerman, Dontrelle Willis, Miguel Cabrera, and Mark Mulder
(questioner didn't know he likely will miss most of next year with
(Editor's note: Excellent group of questions, and thanks to Billy Mac for the update!)
Posted by J. Weitzel at 11:31 PM | Permalink
Where does that leave Coste? Splitting time with Ruiz?
Tuesday, September 12, 2006 at 11:41 PM
Umm, sorry, I'm dying to know...
Tuesday, September 12, 2006 at 11:42 PM
How do we have 'too many strikeouts'? We have holes at the bottom of the lineup, that's not hte same thing.
Tuesday, September 12, 2006 at 11:58 PM
I'm wondering where that leaves Coste AND Lieby. Lieby has made it known he'd accept a part-time role, and acknowledges he's more effective that way, and might be willing to sign for cheap. If that was the case, we'd have 3 catchers...or more likely, Coste wouldn't be brought back?
Also, Victorino is much better in RF. Better Zone Rating/Range (I believe), and a MUCH better arm than Rowand.
Wednesday, September 13, 2006 at 12:20 AM
Mike, Coste's name was not brought up by Gillick -- only Ruiz. I thought the most telling omission was when I asked Gillick about minor league pitchers -- guys like Brito and independent leaguer Mazone were mentioned and no mention at all of Gavin Floyd. I came in a little late and also caught the tail end of a good question about why they didn't try to acquire relief help after the trading deadline with injuries to Gordon and Fultz and Gillick basically said there was no one out there to get. If someone who attended has more on that. Generally it was a positive crowd. There were groans from the crowd when Gillick said Manuel likely would be back. However his tone and body language when he mentioned "Manuel was under contract" certainly was not a ringing endorsement. One of the funny questions was someone asked if the Phils considered picking up the recently released Travis Lee as a late inning defensive replacement for Ryan Howard.
Billy Mac |
Wednesday, September 13, 2006 at 12:22 AM
The Pads and the Fish have lost tonight. San Fran is winning their game. The Phils have crept back within 2 games of the Wild Card. If the Giants win, they and the Fish will be 1.5 behind San Diego, follwed by the Phils at 2 back. It would be nice to see the Phils take two later on today!
Wednesday, September 13, 2006 at 01:04 AM
Great job, Billy Mac. A tip of the cap. Excellent questions, followed by refreshing, honest answers. That doesn't mean I am thrilled with those answers, but at least question marks are not responded with corporate speak and other silent partner BS.
Mike H. |
Wednesday, September 13, 2006 at 01:23 AM
Interesting observation Billy Mac about Floyd omitted. No mention of Gonzalez, Sergovia, or Happ who all should be on the AAA team next year?
Looks like the Phils will answer the catching question within the organization. Not a bad idea. Ruiz looks like he is ready especially at defense (strong arm also). Coste would make a good backup and Leiberthal would fit in only if they don't carry extra pitchers. My early guess is for Ruiz and Coste to be on the Phils next year. Also note Jaramillo should be in AAA next year and possibly ready if needed for injury. Gillick gives a good and informative answer on the catching question instead of skirting around the question.
I don't understand the pestimistic answer to contending in 2007. They will not contend with the Mets? Give them a chance atleast.
Bob D |
Wednesday, September 13, 2006 at 01:35 AM
I agree Bob, that's the one thing that stood out for me as well. Is the difference between the Mets and the Phillies really that pronounced? I don't see the Mets running away with the division next year. It's been their year. They just don't strike me as a team that's going to succeed like this for years to come, like the Braves. I understand Gillick wants to temper expectations, but it seems a little extreme and bizarre before 2006 even ends to say that the Phillies have no shot at the Mets in '07.
Also, if those are the minor-league pitchers he's considering for next year, all I can say is it's a damn good thing he got Moyer.
Wednesday, September 13, 2006 at 01:48 AM
Cheers for that, billy mac. depressing statements about manuel aside, good to see he's seeing clearly on 6-8 and the need for a third baseman. A worrying statement about the bench though - is he prizing a tomas perez because of his versatility over a decent hitter coming off the bench?
Wednesday, September 13, 2006 at 04:03 AM
Gillick can only be so honest during that type of Q&A sessions, so the answers that were reported will have to do. I like the fact that he said we need to look outside the organization for a 3rd baseman...thank God! I personally have been saying a tandem of Ruiz/Coste next season behind the dish will suffice. Each have plus defensive tools, and Ruiz's minor #'s have been really good, so with playing time I expect him to hit better and possibly become the starter not just part-time catcher...I don't want Lieby back! But if I had to choose between Lieby and Manuel, I'd take the ragged catcher. Manuel may "be under contract" for next season, but I surely hope Gillick thinks about going another direction this offseason in regards to coaching staff.
Drama Queen |
Wednesday, September 13, 2006 at 06:30 AM
i think the possibility of lieby not coming back has more to do with his constant injury problems than anything else. he's good in a part time role when healthy, but that's to be the trick. having an unhealthy backup cather is a waste of a roster spot.
Wednesday, September 13, 2006 at 08:56 AM
Billy Mac did a great job. More info packed in that post than in a normal month's worth. As I was reading Gillick's comments, it was like I was reading the regular contributers to Beerleaguer. Do you think Gillick is a regular reader? He may be one of those contributors that use a phony email address to make comments.
"Burrell is not performing. We are trying to figure out what's wrong. 24 home runs is still significant. Can't answer question if he will be back next year." That doesn't sound like he's a member of the Pat the Bat Fan club like many of the posters on this site.
Great job, Billy Mac. Thank you.
Lake Fred |
Wednesday, September 13, 2006 at 09:07 AM
i wouldn't mind seeing Lieby back as a Power R bat off the bench, backup 1b and emergency catcher.
Wednesday, September 13, 2006 at 09:50 AM
Nice job with the Q&A. I too would like to see Manuel replaced and I agree 100% with RSB that if Gillick was mentioning some of those minor league pitchers, I am damn glad we have Jamie Moyer, even if he will be 44! I am a little troubled by him not addressing the Wolf situation. I would definitely take him over some of those other options. Hell, I'd take Gavin Floyd over some of those options. They better address the pitching staff this off-season!!
Wednesday, September 13, 2006 at 10:07 AM
I think Gillick clearly gets most of his ideas from Beerleaguer; I suggested trading for Conine about a week before it happened.
We may need to step up the complaints about pitching to make sure we get his attention.
Steve Jeltz |
Wednesday, September 13, 2006 at 10:19 AM
A few things I recognize:
Is that we should expect the Phils to start the year with a rotation of Myers, Hammels, Leiber, and Moyer. Wolf is a possibility but if they aquire one pitcher I sense he is the odd guy out. One real good quality starter may give this team the boost it needs. I believe the Phils have the four under contract or have an option for next year. So they will be there next year unless a trade happens.
Next Gillick mentioned Brito and Smith. They will likely replace Rhodes and Fultz. They still may try to resign Fultz or another lefty, but it looks like they will be in the pen.
Also I sense Germano and Mazone will be the Phils #6 and #7 starters for injury or spot starts. We all know a team needs more than the 5 starters over a course of a season. Fortunately for the Phils halfway thru next year some of the better pitching prospects should be close to being ready for the majors. The pitching outlook for the next 3+ years is bright in the minors. Read this link about some of these pitchers written by Allen Ariza http://phillies.scout.com/2/566097.html
Bob D |
Wednesday, September 13, 2006 at 10:58 AM
I will be attending the event tonight (Wednesday) So, any more good questions please pass along. I am curious, was the event Tuesday night for full or partial season ticket holders? The wednesday night event is billed as for full season ticket holders.
Wednesday, September 13, 2006 at 10:59 AM
I don't have a problem with Gillick saying that we can't compete with the Mets next year. Especially witht the Philly fan base, if you lower expectations, the fans will be happier if you are truly a handful of games back from the Mets. If you say you can compete with the Mets and are a handful back, fans will piss and moan that you said you could compete. I like Gillick's tone, he doesn't seem to give you BS answers that Ed Wade would give like if "everyone played to their potential, nobody got injured, and the full moon fell on a Thursday in September, we'd be a World Series team."
Wednesday, September 13, 2006 at 11:04 AM
Longwood, Tuesday's night was also for full season ticket holders. I guess they split it up over two or more days.
Billy Mac |
Wednesday, September 13, 2006 at 11:10 AM
I'd like to see Wolf back next year.
They should hope Lieber pitches well and then move him for whatever they can get at the deadline, and fill his spot with whichever AAA pitcher pitches best.
On a separate note, these double headers are killing us. Although the phils are doing a fine a job beating themselves, they're not being helped at all by mother nature. That 25th makeup game against the Stros that should have been an off-day may come back and bite us. That's a dayoff when the phils could have tweaked the starting rotation to go into those last 6 games.
Wednesday, September 13, 2006 at 11:10 AM
I agree with enrico. Gillick's a quick learner, last year he painted this team as a contender and got burned. Apparently he won't make that mistake again.
Who knows about us competing with the Mets next year. The Sox wouldn't give Pedro a 4 year deal in 2004 because of injury issues. If they were right, he might be due for a big injury in 2007. Also, Glavine's another year older and the Mets other starters consist of Maine and a random assortment. The phils starting 5 in total might be better than theirs next year. Although approaching their productivity at the plate might be harder.
Wednesday, September 13, 2006 at 11:19 AM
excuse me Joe- did you refer to Lieberthal as "a power right-handed bat off the bench", while possibly playing backup 1st? Goodness NO!!!!
Drama Queen |
Wednesday, September 13, 2006 at 11:33 AM
DQ; at the right price, i think that a designated part-time role would suit Lieberthal very well, indeed.
Wednesday, September 13, 2006 at 11:55 AM
Joe- I respect your opinion. But I personally am hoping that this is Lieberthal's final year as a Phillies. He's a good guy, but I just don't think he can be counted on anymore...very injury prone. I'd rather see Coste and Ruiz be the catchers and bench spots go to better hitters with more versatility than Lieby.
Drama Queen |
Wednesday, September 13, 2006 at 12:08 PM
Here's my question: In his answer to the pitching question, he didn't include re-signing Wolf after the season. Did anyone who was there (Billy Mac?) get the sense that he's not looking to do so?
Phils Fan in DC |
Wednesday, September 13, 2006 at 01:30 PM
Actually, the status of Lieberthal is one of the things I'm most curious about in regards to whether the Phillies have any interest in retaining him with some kind of incentive-laden contract, or if they plan to go with Coste/Ruiz, or one or the other and someone else. Obviously Gillick can't answer too directly, but it'd be interesting to get any kind of sense if Lieby's still in their sights. He was hitting the ball very well in August and if you ask me, they've been missing that production since he got hurt again. It's doubtful that he can exclusively be a catcher much longer, so Joe's suggestion as a backup 1B guy/occasional catcher makes sense. I guess the odds are against it, considering how broken down he's been this year, but I do wonder.
Wednesday, September 13, 2006 at 01:44 PM
To Longwood, ask Gillick about his future plans for Wolf, Floyd and Lierberthal.
Lake Fred |
Wednesday, September 13, 2006 at 01:48 PM
I think the odds are strongly against it. You got a sense this relationship would end after 2006 even before last season. Some team will sign him to be a full-or-part-time catcher; he shouldn't have to settle for the third string in Philadelphia. Or, he'll just retire.
J. Weitzel |
Wednesday, September 13, 2006 at 01:49 PM
I wish Lieberthal well...well elsewhere.
Drama Queen |
Wednesday, September 13, 2006 at 01:53 PM
How much you want to bet that RyHo holds out in spring training if we dont make an extension offer? Remember his agent asked for a trade BEFORE last season.
That Dude |
Wednesday, September 13, 2006 at 02:01 PM
Phils Fan in DC-- I certainly did not get the sense that Gillick is not looking to resign Wolf. He just avoided the direct question and gave a generic response on how he values starting pitching and will look to improve it, and mentions he likes the pitchers he has. This was probably the most "GM-speak" of his responses.
Also I am just a fan like you guys -- not a journalist, and just posted this as a comment on JW's blog. They are not direct quotes from Gillick, so obviously it is edited as interpreted by me. Although I took written notes, I do ask others who attended the event to add omissions or corrections.
Billy Mac |
Wednesday, September 13, 2006 at 02:02 PM
That Dude, before last season he was seemingly blocked in Philly by Thome. A lot has changed since then. The Phillies will certainly pay him big-time eventually, and I don't see why he'd want to do that with his reputation as such a nice guy and team player.
Wednesday, September 13, 2006 at 02:06 PM
That Dude, I'll take that bet.
Baseball players rarely "hold out" over money like NFL and NBA players. The main exceptions are the high draft picke like our buddy J.D. Drew who demand big bonuses before they've proven anything.
Most young players understand the system and know that eventually the payday is coming. Howard's not dumb and isn't going to make a PR mistake this offseason when he knows he's likely looking at a contract around $200 million in the not too distant future.
Steve Jeltz |
Wednesday, September 13, 2006 at 02:39 PM
christ... the weather looks foul again in GA.
ugh, mother nature is not cooperating with the grand plan to win the WC.
Wednesday, September 13, 2006 at 03:23 PM
Unlike RSB, I don't believe this is a .630 baseball team. As currently constituted, .500 sounds about right. That being the case, it makes no sense at all to retain Lieberthal next year. A Coste/Ruiz platoon is fine for a team that, if it contends at all, will be contending for WC. I'd be surprised if they went with Rowand in CF and Victorino in RF. Your corner outfielders are normally power positions. But, again, if they're non-contenders it won't matter.
If they want to be more than .500 they need an everyday 3B, a sharp upgrade in starting pitching and either a healthy Burrell or a power-hitting replacement.
Wednesday, September 13, 2006 at 03:45 PM
I'm assuming certain things like a third baseman, better choices for the bullpen (including insurance for another Gordon injury) and adequate protection for Howard will be addressed in the off-season. The makings of an above-average starting rotation and offense are already in place. The Phillies almost certainly will project as better than a .500 team going into next season, and if Gillick does his job well enough, there's no reason why he shouldn't be held to the expectation of getting this team to 90 wins.
Wednesday, September 13, 2006 at 03:58 PM
Clout, can't you make a comment without sticking it to someone. It seems to me your comments like "Unlike RSB, I...." just written to be provacative in nature. Are you a nice guy in person?
Lake Fred |
Wednesday, September 13, 2006 at 04:18 PM
Why I think Gillick won't resign Wolf:
He is likely to look to upgrade the rotation with one top SP. He has a tremendous amount of salary room for next year. The top priorities are a 3B and 1 SP.
Bob D |
Wednesday, September 13, 2006 at 04:34 PM
Lake Fred: You'd hate WIP.
Wednesday, September 13, 2006 at 06:42 PM
Clout: What's WIP like?
Lake Fred |
Thursday, September 14, 2006 at 12:04 AM
So if you basically read between the lines, the Phils' will essentially do nothing this offseason except acquire a 3B and some marginal starter pitching/bullpen help. Yeah. Guess they wouldn't be spending much money. At least, David Montgomery and company should be able to afford some more Dom.
Thursday, September 14, 2006 at 12:40 AM
I heard we're going to reacquire David Bell because he's a fan favorite....ha!
Drama Queen |
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