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Tuesday, November 28, 2006


Talk about a band-aid. He'd make a great DH.

he belongs in the AL.

I mentioned Piazza as soon as Soriano signed and I still think it will happen - I agreed with J - he is a big right handed bat. He can protect howard for at least half teh season. Bring Ruiz in late in games or Piazza late in games if Ruiz starts. Always good to have 3 quality catchers.

Hope he signs eventhough I have never been a fan of him personally.

His CERA is awesome. Want better pitching get a better catcher. I understand he can't throw runners out but the guy knows the league and can handle a pitching staff pretty good. I vote for this signing. Atleast he won't hurt the Phillies.

I meant bring in Piazza as a pinch hitter late obviously...

With all the talk of adding a 3rd catcher earlier, I actually like Piazza being added. He is probably the single best RH FA bat that could bat 5th. If Coste can be a super sub and backup 3B and 3rd catcher I like it. Otherwise it does force us to carry 3 catchers. Of course I agree he belongs as a DH but apparently no one wants him for that.

If we are putting Helms out there, then obviously offensive prowess might be more valued then defensive ability. And SD got plenty of production with their catching trio while covering defensive liabilities late in game.

Also if Burrell stays then we might be looking at Rowand Helms or Victorino as of now as a 8 hitter with Piazza starting.

If Burrell goes then it really depends on what we get back or replace through FA in the OF.

Piazza as DH in AL? Last year, totally. This year, a little less. It's not as if the DH opens up the door for a whole new career. He's 38, and is limited in what he can do. Plus, it's looking like Oakland is the only opening, which is another unkind situation for a hitter. CBP would be a fun last leg for him, and I think fans would have fun watching it.

I have no problem with the Phils landing Piazza and keeping three catchers on their roster. Piazza could back up first and be a huge bat off the bench late in games. Also, in case Ruiz or Coste went down, or started to struggle, he would give the Phillies a viable major league ready catcher who could step into a larger role in the spur of the moment.

CERA-Piazza's Catchers ERA

He played a caught a total of 200 games. 99 and 101.

Also would like to point out his fielding pct.

I know he sucks at throwing runners out. IMO, its better the have the player not get on base then to worry he is going to steal. You can't steal if your not on base.

Did I mention .304 with RISP, .288 2-out RISP, .360 with bases loaded with 14 HR.

If Piazza does sign with the Phils, I think he gets the lionshare of starts at C. Good or bad.

It would be interesting though to see what catcher veteran pitchers like Moyer and Lieber would prefer behind home.

Don't kind yourself about Piazza's defensive though. He is horrible behind the plate now.

i know its off topic but I got to ask just one question...can someone please explain to me why Entertainment Tonite and THe Insider insist on having a story about Anna Nichole Smith every single nite???

Ok back to this thread...i am all in on Piazza. Although I would guess this will not happen since we've asked for Piazza for years now but the Phillies haven't shown interest before. For all you Coste lovers (especially Mr. Coste himself who posts on here as Davthome) the guy will never hit over .300 again so lets go with the young pudgy midget in Ruiz and Old HOF'er in Piazza. I think Coste still should make the team and the 3rd catcher and can serve as a backup 3rd base option if Helms and Nunez have been pinch hit for already.

Hot stove update, i read on that the Phils are targeting experienced relievers rather than a bat for the remainder of the offseason. I'm not sure who is left on the FA front so i'm guessing Gillick might be looking at trades for relievers.

Dude-I hear you on the ET/Insider comment same story every nite is annoying.

"Did I mention .304 with RISP, .288 2-out RISP, .360 with bases loaded with 14 HR."

...and here's why RISP stats are worthless:

Piazza bases loaded, 2004-2006: .185/.313/.222, one XBH (a double, in 2005)

Piazza 2-out RISP, 2004-2006:

Piazza RISP, 2004-2006:
.254/.385/.395, 64 strikeouts in 397 PA

gee, almost like he's trying to draw a walk instead of getting a clutch hit!

and obviously I'm being more than a little sarcastic. I think Piazza might be a good fit, as long as it's a short-term, moderately-priced deal. let's not kid ourselves though, about what he is: a solid offensive player who can hit lefties, and not the baseball Jesus.

the term "championship caliber addition" is perfect for this possible acquisition. he'd be the best bench bat in baseball when not starting.

there is an article on i read today that says they hve no interest in him. i can't find it right now though. i would have loved this last year and would still love it this year.

An announcement is expected soon that the Phillies' broadcast crew will change and that Scott Graham, part of the crew since 1991, will not return... Pat Gillick said the Phillies were never in talks with Arizona for catcher Johnny Estrada, who was traded to Milwaukee, and they have no interest in free agent Mike Piazza.

all the way down. talk about conflicting stories. maybe they have no interest in him at $7mil.

Brilliant baseball move or the second coming of Lance Parrish...I hope it is not the latter. I think the A's will grab him, though. The Phils are just being used as leverage in the deal.

I will miss Scott Graham putting one in the win column for the Fightin’ Phils.

Although his prevarications do make me hesitate to say it, I'm still willing to trust Gillick's word over Ken Rosenthal's about who the Phillies are interested in. I love Piazza's bat, but he is a weak, weak catcher. He'd have the pitchers screaming to bring Lieberthal back. If the Phillies are going to bring in another bat to hit behind Howard, it ought to belong to an outfielder.

didn't we go down this road with piazza last year? or, not go down it? as for coste never hitting above .300, Dude, pretty strong ascertation about a guy whose *career* average is above .300. all the guy has done is hit at every stop on every level of the way. sure, he's not your starter, but c'mon he's not a bum.

i found it interesting that gillicks comments about piazza were not in quotes. so who knows.

some of you people don't get it. you come out with this lies like you actually know what your talking about. Bad Catcher. are you nuts. weak weak catcher. are you a moron or something. how does a catcher who has pitchers throw an ERA of 3.48 be a weak catcher. get a clue.

PR, is this really the first time you've heard anyone say that Mike Piazza isn't quite the best defensive catcher who ever played the game? I personally have always liked Piazza as a player. But he couldn't throw Dallas Green out on a stolen base attempt, and I've never heard any compliments paid to his game-calling skills. Maybe that wouldn't matter so much with a largely veteran pitching staff, but in my mind Coste and Ruiz are assets behind the plate and don't hurt you offensively. Why do the Phillies need Piazza? If you're going to go with a one-dimensional bat you might as well stick with Burrell. If Piazza wants to come here and pinch-hit, I'm all for that. But get him the hell away from the catcher's gear.

I don't think we can really look at a pitcher's ERA and judge the catcher's game-calling ability. Roger Clemens is always going to put up amazing numbers, no matter if its Jorge Posada or Brad Ausmus. Floyd's going to get shelled no matter who he pitches to. Piazza's not going to come here and save the pitching staff, unless he brings Peavy with him.

PhillyRocks - CERA, like RISP, is a nearly useless baseball statistic and no way to judge the defensive abilities of a catcher.

That said, Piazza is a terrible defensive catcher by the usual standards. Can't throw and or block pitches well. Not sure on his ability to call a game but heard mixed opinions over the years when he was with the Mets.

Piazza is attractive just because I am not sure you are going to get the same offensive production from Ruiz/Coste this year. Less worried about Coste (although I bet he doesn't show as much power) but I could easy see Ruiz slumping and hitting .220 range with spotty power.

Ruben Amaro, Jr was on with Glen Macnow tonight and said they definitely have interest in much he wouldn't elaborate...or at what price.

well if you liked piazza you would have known his defensive liability was at first base then catcher. CERA is a excellent stat to see how he has done. We are talking 2 different teams here. We are not talking about one staff but 2 different staffs. He wasn't on the Pads in 05. How can you sit there and say how that doesn't matter. RISP stat is bogus because it is 1/6 of a players AB. CERA is with a whole pitching staff. We are not talking about Loaded pitching staffs at that.

Any idea why Amaro Jr. would say that they are "kicking (Piazza's) tires" when Gillick said they are not interested? I was very surprised to hear that on the radio.
As to Coste, I think his average will fluctuate as long as he puts the ball into play. I wouldn't find it strange for him to hit over 300 several more times.

What are you talking about PhillyRocks? Comparing one year's CERA to another is a pretty weak stat argument. Like comparing an apple to an orange. They are both fruit but still not too much else in common.

you guys can have fun with phillyrocks and the cera, abcd argument. i'm out of that one.

as for amaro and gillick and piazza, i really think it's shotty reporting. if gillick said those words they'd be in quotes. he said somethng that that author took as being no interest when clearly that blanket statement is wrong.

i'm up all night finishing a paper on the brett myers boston incident. i don't want to blow my own whistle but i believe it is the definitive work on the topic. if anyone is interested in reading it i'll be happy to forward it. (don't all raise your hands at once)

Tim, I'd be interested in seeing that. I'll e-mail you a request.

MG, What are you talking about? That would be 2 seasons with 2 teams. Do I have to give up the whole career. Because over his whole career its around 3.80. Piazza has been a great catcher for pitchers throughout his career. Instead of just dissing me, why don't you counter point me. Are you going to tell me how you watched every Pads game and tell me what you saw. EVERYTHING I have every heard was how he is great with working with pitchers. Don't be ignorant to the fact that is what a good pitcher wants, A catcher who can be trusted. There might not be one catcher who knows this league, knows it's batters and knows its pitchers then Piazza in the NL.
I understand comparing one guys year with another (not really but trying to), but with over 3 teams. What I posted was with the 05 Mets and the 06 Padres. 2 entirely oppposite pitching staffs. Funny how the Mets got worse when he left and the Pads got better when he arrived. Prove me wrong.

If the Phils are indeed interested, Piazza's experience in handling pitchers and knowledge of NL hitters is definitely part of it. The team is coming off a decade of Mike Lieberthal, who was never considered a great handler. If he was, it's news to me, but my impression was it was never one of his strengths. In terms of experience and knowing the other guy's tendencies, it goes without saying. Piazza has 14 seasons on Coste and Ruiz.

I don't really see a whole lot of negative results of having him catch 3-4 times a week for about 2/3rds of the game and Pinch hit the other days. Aside from his poor defense and arm. If Pat stays then Howard Helms Burrell Piazza is probably a little too slow in the middle of the order.

They seem to have the cash to throw at him and I don't see how any more then 2 years could be discussed. It is acquiring a local HOF destined veteran player to a team and it's about as big a realistic splash as there is left to make. It is like crossing the T at Catcher twice, just in case the young guys struggle. Don't know about the whole game calling argument so i'll just let that be.

I think it is a relatively low risk high reward move. It depends on what we would get in trading Pat and/or signing to replace him in left.

thrillhouse26: You've put it in perspective. There are more positives than negatives here, and you've also illustrated how Piazza would fit in. There's room for everyone, including Coste and Ruiz.

Bench if Piazza is added:

Coste (C, 3B, 1B)
Ruiz/Piazza (C, 1B)
Nunez (INF)
Conine (OF, 1B, 3B)
Bourn or Roberson (OF, pinch run)

Although it wouldn't be a bad move, I wouldn't be happy at giving up a draft pick for piazza.

However, if looch's deal is finalised and we offer arb as planned (although there's speculation over at philliesphans that shapiro is indulging in brinkmanship, setting the physical for Thursday and seeing if we definitely offer arb before then), as I understand it, the draft picks we receive would be higher than our own number one draft pick. So it wouldn't be a complete loss.

But I'm still eager to keep ticking over on the youth side. I hope gillick factors in the foregone cost of a draft pick along with piazza's proposed contract and sets it against any offensive boost.

No way he should catch more than 2-3 times a week to start the season. Nor will he, as Gillick has made it plenty clear that Ruiz is the starter this season.

Oisin, I don't like giving up picks either, but we just got one for looch, so we stay put on total picks and gain piazza. Not too shabby.

I don't think CERA is as worthless a stat as RISP avg., but it must be taken in context. Petco is the most extreme pitchers' park in MLB. How did Piazza's CERA compare to the overall Padres ERA? And how many times did he catch Peavy and Young vs. the lesser lights? Once you know that you can make a judgment about his pitch calling skills. My concern about him isn't pitch-calling, it's his total inability to throw anyone out on the basepaths. Still, I'd take a flyer on him because it beefs up the bench, will stir up fan excitement and probably add a couple Ws. Of course, if nothing is done about the bullpen or to add a 6th starter (ideally a swingman), then all of this is moot.

Did we all forget that Coste is an excellent defensive third baseman??? Even though we have Helms, I would take Coste over Nunez anyday.

Nunez is now the utility man, which is an important duty and a better job for him. He can spot Rollins and Utley, who played too much last season. I'd like the Phils to carry just one futility infielder instead of two like in previous years (Gonzalez, Nunez in 2006; Perez, Martinez in 2005).

We could always use Piazza to play backup at first to give Ryan a rest when he needs it.

At the end of the last thread, George S. made a couple of good points. One was that we treat too many of our players as not being available to trade. The other was to essentially announce that we are not interested in trading Burrell. That would automatically increase his value.

If I was GM, the only untradeable guys I'd list would be Hamels, Howard, Utley and Rollins. Everyone else would be fair game to trade.

As for Piazza, I've never liked him personally. That said, he would be a good bat behind Howard. I would think playing in a hitter's park at the twilight of my career with a team that has the current MVP would be attractive to Piazza. Would he and Burrell troll the bars at night together looking for action?

I love how the stat heads on this site argue the worth or worthlessness of stats. To me, the CERA stat is impressive. In the last few months I've seen practically every stat, including RISP, RBIs, HRs, BA, ERA and Walks trashed at one time or another. You don't select a player based on one stat. It's based on a blend of all stats.

I also would hate to lose Coste in the Piazza-Ruiz-Helms-Nunez Shuffle.

Oh, I forgot, I, too will email Tim for a copy his definitive paper on Myers using my real world work email.

Not entirely sold on Piazza but he would offer insurance if Coste and/or Ruiz turn out to be a bust.

OTOH, if Coste/Ruiz prove themselves, Piazza would have trade deadline value, particularly to an AL team.

What would be so attractive in Oakland for him to opt to sign there?

And i think he's married, Lake Fred.
To a playboy bunny. ( I think)

Maybe we can put her image on a billboard at the 95 BP exit a-la Dutch?

"Would he and Burrell troll the bars at night together looking for action?"

On January 29, 2005, he married Playboy Playmate Alicia Rickter at St. Jude's Catholic Church in Miami, Florida, before 120 guests, including Brande Roderick, Lisa Dergan, Anjelica Bridges, Al Leiter and Detroit Tigers catcher Ivan Rodriguez.

So, this is odd. Found this tidbit in FoxSports rumors:

Phillies OF Pat Burrell could be traded to Texas, according an industry source. The Phillies are looking for either an outfielder or setup man. Brad Wilkerson might be included in the package back to to Philly.

The link doesnt go to an article like it should, but instead goes to Pat's player page, increasing my suspicions that the rumor is bogus or in error. Still, Wilkerson + bullpen arm wouldn't be a bad return for our boy, assuming Wilkerson is actually healthy now.

Barring that, I still think batting Burrell second would solve a lot of his problems.

Wilkerson is brutal. Be a HUGE step down from Burrell. Not to mention he's a lefty.

Which Wilkerson, Clout? Because I'd gladly take 2004 Wilkerson (.255/.374/.498, 32 HR). Like I said, he's battled injuries the last two years, so I have no idea if he;s healthy again, but in regular form he was always a plus walks, plus power guy.

I really like Piazza as a player and would love to see him finish his career in Philly...but, this just isn't the right fit.

For one, if the plan really is to move Burrell and go with a speed outfield, it doesn't make much sense to subtract defense at a key position like C in favor of strengthening a much less important position like LF.

Secondly, assuming Howard will proabably only be sat down once every two weeks at most and Piazza can't really catch more than 2-3 times a week, there is going to be a really bad lineup out there a few times a week if Conine or Helms has to hit 5th.

Thirdly, we already have a slow, RH pinch-hitter in Conine

Fourthly, Helms and Conine and even Utley can back up Howard now, so it's not like back-up 1B is a pressing need.

Finally, I think CERA CAN be a useful stat but it needs to be placed in context. Piazza has a very long career so it should be possible to a long-term evaluation. PR, can you give contextual numbers, such as other CERA for catchers on Piazza's team the last two years as well as go back further than two years.

One thing that is amazing about Piazza's offensive numbers is that he has always played in pitcher's park (LA, FLA, NYM, SD). However, this means that his CERA is influenced by this as well.

I'm one of Pat's biggest defenders, but if we could do Burrell for Wilkerson + bullpen arm and not give up any salary, I would think about it.

This is an instance in which I would definately consult the scouts to find out what happened because Wilkerson looked like he was going to be a stud. Is it just injuries, or are his mechanics different? Is he (ahem) smaller in the two years since more rigorous drug testing policies?

No having seen many Texas games, his drop in production seems hard to figure out.

I would also consider it. Wilkerson wouldn't be the big selling point for me; pitching would be.

Wilkerson was desirable a few years ago and would have been a good fit back when the Phillies needed a center fielder, but his dip in production doesn't seem (ahem) natural.

On a related subject, Jeff Conine and his role next season is a minor issue. He may not break camp and could go in one of those David Dellucci-type late ST trades. If the Phils add Piazza, and keep Burrell for example, it may be worth dangling him for a LH hitter of just about any variety. He could just as easily be released or retire.

maverick: Huh? Wilkerson hasn't been good since '04 and his line that year was .255/.374/.498. Burrell's much-despised '06 line: .258/.388/.502. Plus Wilkerson is lefthanded. Please rejoin reality.

Jason: The Phillies owe Conine $2M for next season. He won't be released and if he's traded I'm guessing the Phils will have to pay part of the contract. I don't think there's much of a market for him now, but that could improve by midseason if he puts up decent numbers off the bench.

Right - the same numbers. For less money. Plus greater range in the outfield. You're right Clout - tell me why we would want that again?

Of course it would be assuming a lot to expect his '04 numbers, but again this is where your scouts are supposed to earn their money. It would be a gamble, but if the front office is determined to move Burrell, that's the kind of return I'd want.

Did anyone see this article on

Apparantly Wes Helms was offered more money by the Yankees, but chose the Phillies instead. Bizarre.

Yeah, I''m going to have to say no on Wilkerson after looking at those numbers. I remember him being a better player in '05, but he was barely average. PtB is a much more valuable offensive player.

And Mav, not that clout needs anyone to speak for him, but considering that he was comparing Wilkerson's CAREER YEAR to Burrel's much maligned campaign, you can't really speak of the "same numbers" Pat has been a much better hitter over the course of his career AND the last two years.

Unless, of course, the point of the "much-maligned" comment was that Burrell's 2006 was unfairly criticized.

I think you guys are missing the point of what I was trying to say. I'm not arguing that PtB is worse than Wilkerson, only that management seems determined to trade him no matter what, in which case Wilkerson+bullpen arm might be the best we could hope for.

I agree with clout and kdon, I don't see the need for Wilkerson. We all act like Burrell is a horrible player. Burrell puts up better than decent power numbers, but we remember him looking at called third strikes while the bases are loaded, but cheer a few games later when he hits a grand slam that accounts for a win. I don't want us trading him for a handful of beans like we did with Abreu and Padilla.

I just don't understand how a guy with such patience can have such a poor command of the strike zone.

still not convinced on the rumours that management are desperate to trade burrell. Although I think that now that the position player market has exploded, gillick would be wise to see what burrell may fetch (as George S said - there's no question that he should be untouchable). And that is in line with what he said a bit back - he'd see what options there might be once soriano and lee got traded ("maybe when those two shoes drop, something might happen.")

Great idea, eat Burrel's contract to sign Piazza. When all is done, it probably cuts $2 or $3 mill. from the payroll to swap a 30 year old for a 38 year old. Not to mention we'd give up 2 or 3 stolen bases a game to every lead-off hitter in the NL East.

Maybe it's just me, but Burrel's contract doesn't look so bad anymore. Plus, who are we kidding, it's the Phillies, we won't get anything worthwhile if we trade him. If unloading Schilling, Rolen, Polanco, Thome or Abreu didn't get us anything that helped long-term, why think Burrel would be any different?

Hmm. Somewhere there's a straw man lying in ruins ...

One area that Piazza would really help out is the bench. That is one area that does not get mentioned alot but it was atrocious last year for the first 3 months.

I still have memories of watching Fasano, Gonzalez, and Nunez phail away in vain in the late innings.

The problem MG is that Piazza is looking for $7M. That is pretty steep for a bench player. If all we wanted was someone to PH and play every once and a while Dellucci would have been a better (and cheaper) option.

Sorry Mav, but when you say "Right - the same numbers. For less money. Plus greater range in the outfield," it tends to sound like you were saying WIlkerson was the better option.

I never understand this "well, they are going to trade him anyway" crap. The whole point of discussing this is to pose alternate options for the Phillies. IMO, trading Burrell for Wilkerson + arm does not help the team, so I wouldn't do it - I don't give a rat's ass that it is "best we can hope for."

i don't think texas has an arm to make that deal worth it.

to those who emailed for the paper, i'll try to get it out to you tonight. it's 22 pages with a ton of footnotes so it's not that long of a read. it's pretty cool that you guys are interested.

Kdon, I meant that if Wilkerson put up those numbers (the numbers Clout cited in arguing against him) he would be a better option than Burrel; same numbers, cheaper and better defense. I don't see what's wrong with that. Of course, we can't assume that we would magically revert back to 2004 form, and I never claimed that he would.

we could get Haigwood back

Rangers have some interesting young arms. Aside from Haigwood and the oft-lauded Danks and Diamond, both of whom I think are a bit overhyped, I'm partial to Eric Hurley; averaged about a K per inning in 137 IP between A+ and AA, kept his walks down, and led his league in Ks in 2005.

Tim, I hope you've got it all sorted out better than Bill Giles did, at least.

Are you kidding, yet *another* Texas rumor? What gives? I don't see what kind of pitching the Rangers would possibly have to offer, and even though Wilkerson's obviously an improvement on Burrell defensively, he is a somewhat enigmatic strikeout machine. I suppose that if the Phils were to get someone like Piazza, this kind of move would make a little more sense, because then you'd have the right-handed bat in place and it wouldn't matter so much that Wilkerson was a LH hitter. And Wilkerson does have a little speed, so at least he gives the lineup a little dimension. I'm lukewarm to the idea, but not totally against it.

Speaking of Piazza: yes, he'd help the bench, but I don't see him signing here to be a bench player. I think he'll go to the A's if it comes down to playing time over hometown/NL sentiment. The bench is more in need of a capable left-handed bat at this point, moreover.

I thought Sam Donnellon struck a nice parallel in relating Gillick's strategy this off-season to what Lee Thomas did in the '92-'93 winter months, shunning the higher-ticket names in the free-agent market and making small splashes with Jackson, Eisenreich, Andersen, and Incaviglia, a prudent and shrewd formula which addressed a multitude of needs without breaking the bank in trying to address just one. If he can come up with a few more of these lower-profile 'pieces' to the puzzle and give the Phillies a more well-rounded roster, and still have payroll flexibility left over at the next trading deadline and beyond - then perhaps the outcome of this off-season won't be nearly as unproductive as it's been predicted.

again, why would Piazza chose Oakland over Philly? Playing time?

Got it Mav, and I agree that '04 Wilkerson is an improvement over Burrell, but I think the odds of him getting back there are pretty steep.

RSB, I also read that piece, but I don't think there is much of a parralel. The pre-93 Phillies were not that good at all, and I don't think anyone thought they were one piece away from the playoffs. They got lucky that about 10 players had career years. Thomas tried to repeat that formula after '93 and it never worked again.

ALso, Jackson was nothing like Eaton and Inky was nothing like Helms. Both Jackson and INky had been very succesful players but had struggled in recent years. Eaton and Helms have never demonstrated that they are productive regulars.

If there is a secret to the '93 Phillies, it was finding high OBP players like Inky, Hollins, Kruk, Daulton, Morandini, Eisenreich and of course, the dude. I don't think Thomas planned it this way, but he ended up anticipating Moneyball by about a decade.

maverick: You seem to be of the school that if a team "is determined to trade him" then it doesn't matter if we get fair value. You probably thought the Abreu deal was a great trade for the Phillies too.
The biggest problem with this dumb idea is that it Wilkerson is lefthanded. The Phils would like to upgrade protection for Howard with a RIGHTY. Dumping Burrell for a lesser offensive player who hits lefty makes absolutely no sense at all.

It would make sense if we get a right handed bat to hit in front of him (Piazza).

Is anyones esle at least excited that we are going after the same player as the A's?

All they do is get bargain older free agents that end up outperforming their contracts.

You're right Clout. Am I really that transparant? I DO think the Phillies should try to get as little value back from every deal as possible. I LOVED the Abreu trade. I also thought that Delino DeShields-for-Pedro Martinez deal was AWESOME for the Dodgers. And don't even get me started on the AZ Russ Ortiz signing - that guy can pitch! What a steal!


maverick: Now, now, name-calling is not necessary. I was just commenting on your view that Wilkerson and a bullpen arm would be a good return for Burrell. I didn't call you an idiot even though that was an idiotic statement.

Not sure I agree on your assessment of the '93 team, kdon. The '92 team had a lot of excellent players but there was no depth and a sharp dropoff in talent once you got past Kruk, Daulton, Hollins, Dykstra, Duncan, Morandini, Mulholland, Schilling, Williams. Thomas filled these gaps expertly. The problem in the few years after that was clinging to a lot of these guys who quickly went out of their primes, similar to what the Phillies did in holding onto their Whiz Kids core all through the '50s, thinking it was bound to come together again. The present team similarly has a lot of premium talent and even fewer gaps to fill in.

And once again, I will add that while the high OBP players in the lineup fueled the team's offensive prowess, you *cannot* overlook the value of having five guys in that rotation from game 1 to game 162, each winning ten-plus games apiece - another paralell I draw from that team to the present squad. Without that, the Phils wouldn't have touched first place. I'm not saying we're bound for a repeat of 1993, just that I notice some positive similarities.

I would also argue, by the way, that Eaton has had success as a starting pitcher and is less of a question mark than Jackson, who was coming off three straight subpar, injury-plagued seasons at the time, represented, and that Helms' numbers as a part-timer are very similar to Inky's numbers as a part-timer in '92. If Eaton could go 12-11 and Helms could hit 2O HRs - that'd go a hell of a long way, and I don't see where it's unrealistic to think they could do that. Of course, further drawing on the parallel and getting a pair of solid relievers like Andersen and West would sure be nice, too.

Well, the Abreu trade is a bit of a sore point with me. I actually think you'd be hard-pressed to find someone to argue that it was equal value back: people that support it-or at least consider it a good thing-tend to do so citing the Phillies better play afterward, not joy over receiving Matt Smith and three magic beans.

maverick: If it were Wilkerson & Hurley, then you'd have something. But there is zero chance the Rangers will deal Hurley. They are seeking pitching, not giving it up.

RSB: I always thought '93 was all about Dykstra. Yes, it was due to steroids, but the guy had a .420 OB and .482 SLG out of the LEADOFF spot. Not to mention 37 steals. The guy was an animal. And you're right about Thomas plugging the pitching holes with some iffy guys who panned out well.

Clout, certainly Lenny was a huge factor, but keep in mind that the Phils got off to a 17-5 start in April of '93, while Dykstra struggled mightily out of the gates.

Normally I'd agree with you on Hurley, except that exactly half the Rangers starting lineup has already signed with other teams (DeRosa, Barajas, Lee, and Matthews). Laird slots in for Barajas but other than that they've got some work to do. It might make sense to move Joqian Arias to the OF but I haven't heard any indication that they're doing that.

wilkerson played flag football with my friends and i on the mall at the start of the 05 season. then i asked him ridiculous questions on camera for 5 minutes for the Maximum MLB TV show on TNT/TBS/whatever station. funny dude. but seriously, what's the point? he's a lefthanded pat burrell with as heavy an injury index. he's cheaper, that's it.

My memories of '93 (not looking at stats) were that a different player seemed to step up just about every night. I can remember the Mariano Duncan grand slam on Mother's Day vividly and certainly Eisy played a larger than average sized role on that team. That truly was a TEAM effort and was a result of chemistry, a la the Red Sox a couple of years ago. Unfortunately, there is no real equation or formula for chemistry, but last years 2nd half Phils would be a good start.

clout is right, 1993 was about Dykstra. The 1993 team was lucky wilth their suprise run at the beginning of the season. They ran out of steam as the season wore on, and were fortunate to make it to the WS, which really demoralized the team in losing.

This team reminds me more of the 1976-1980 teams, which won consistently over that period. The matchups aren't the same, but there was a solid foundation in certain positions. The infield had a solid left side with Schmidt, Bowa and Cash. This team has a solid right side with Rollins, Utley and Howard. Their outfield was better with Maddox, Luzinski and roll players. This one has Burrell and who? The 1976-1980 team had a better catcher in Bob Boone, ace in Steve Carlton and closer in Tug McGraw, but the overall starting rotation really was a hodgepodge in nos. 3-5. Larry Christianson was no. 2, but he never lived up to his minor league promise. The current rotation, even with its questions holds up well in comparison. If Ruiz/Coste/Piazza? can play decent, that would help, and if Gillick can get the bullpen and outfield fleshed out, this team could compete for a number of years.

If the Phils indeed do sign Piazza, get one high-quality bullpen arm, one mid-quality bullpen arm, and one bullpen arm who can start and is NOT named Ryan Madson, the Phils could have a key signing who won't play an OF position.

Coste deserves the benefit of the doubt. Everybody wrote him off before he went crazy offensively, so let's not be so quick to say he'll never hit above .300 again. It's always a possibility, never an impossibility. Could it be an anamoly? Sure. But optimism outweighs pessimism in my mind.

I doubt the Phils could pry more than one top prospect away for Burrell -- especially since his exact injury status is still unknown. Dealing him "at all costs" might be hurtful for the Phils, considering he's got a full no-trade clause and probably doesn't enjoy having his name thrown around in all kinds of trade discussions. That might piss Burrell off, and he would only approve a deal to a team on the West Coast that's not named the Red Sox or Yankees anyway. Best play it safe if you're PG and just say that it's a possibility that any player can be traded.

Can we toss Burrell money and some young pitching for Texiera? I know they have talked about moving him. That is to much to wish for. Wilkerson doesn't work as a lefthanded hitter.

The reason the 1993 team was so good was the pitching and Nails. Two biggest things though were fans forget about was Tommy Greene and the trade for Danny Jackson. Both those guys had great years and filled out the rotation after Mulholland and Schilling.

This current team doesn't have nearly the rotation that the 1993 team had. Hamels and Myers are solid but I am still not sold on the rest. Phils need to get about 40-45 wins from Lieber, Moyer, and Eaton next year. Just don't see it.

ESPN is reporting that the Phils had a multiyear deal with Borowski and backed out due to shoulder concerns. Link to come in a moment.

I've always been somewhat intimidated about adding my two cents to this blog, as you guys are much more knowledgable than I am. However, I would like to comment about the '93 team. Yes, Dykstra was the catalyst, but it was the pitching that put them over the top. One guy that seems to be constantly overlooked is Tommy Greene. He had a great year and, I thought, great potential. In my opinion his subsequent stream of injuries was just as significant as Dykstra's because I thought he could have been a real ace, even better than Schilling.

I think that this year's team has a more stable nucleus, but the '93 team had better starting pitching and better middle relief.

Oh, and BTW, the '76-80 teams also had much better bullpens than this team does.

Phils backed out of multi-yr signing of Borowski.. shoulder concerns during physical

one yr deals are being discussed by Phils and a few other teams.. This all according to

trade for Teixeira? um, at the risk of stating the obvious, I think we already have a pretty okay first baseman.

I also agree that Dykstra was the catalyst in '93, and see saw the benefit of an opening day 1-through-5 rotation starting 152 out of a possible 162 games - how many times has that happened for the Phils since then? Not too many I would imagine.

In fact, one of the biggest keys to their season was that NOBODY got injured for a significant amount of time - Dykstra played 161 games, Daulton 147, Kruk 150, Hollins 143 and so on. That never happened with that nucleus before or after. (Car accidents, hammate bones, testicular cancer, etc)

What also shouldn't be overlooked is that David West and Larry Andersen provided lights out set-up work during the regular season, each going sub-3.00 ERA. Carter HR aside, Mitch still gave you 43 saves while taking years off you life (and hitting a game winner at 4:40AM), and the Stocker call-up put them over the top, not only providing stellar defense, but hitting .324 down the stretch.

I always thought calling that team a "fluke", while understandable, isn't totally fair, but you can't argue with results I guess.

wow - almost had borowski. i really hope they can get him on a one year deal now. he's the best guy out there right now for the 8th.... arghhh

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