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Sunday, November 05, 2006

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his walk rate is higher than I would like, and he gave up an awful lot of HR this last year. but he's still got a healthy strikeout rate, over 6 per 9...if we're giving him $1.5M-ish (which is what Cincinnati was paying him this year), that's a good deal.

He's interesting in that his K/BB deteriorates year after year, yet his ERA+ hangs in there, year after year. I'd take him, but I'd still like someone younger. Is 33 or 34 too much to ask for?

It seems like Weathers has been around forever. Not a move that you get excited about but a total necessary one if the Phils are going to have a more solid pen next year. Just hope that this is not Gillick's plan if Gordon comes up lame next season for a long stretch.

I'd prefer Borowski, who unlike Weathers has a mostly successful history of closing. Hopefully he'd be better than, say, Todd Worrell if he had to work in the ninth inning.

Oops, I mean Tim Worrell. How quickly we (try to) forget...

Yeah, I'm fine on Weathers, and I think The Good Phight has him as one of the Bingo guys, so he has that going for him.

Ed Wade jokes aside, these moves are okay as long as you don't trade anything of value for them (Polanco, Michaels, etc.). He is a MUCH MUCH better pitcher than Rick White, so if we have to have one official journeyman reliever, I don't mind Weathers. His numbers last year, particularly the HR rate and his BB/K rate are a little scary, but even if he completely falls apart, you aren't out much salary.

I do find it amusing that two weeks into last season, everyone was screaming about getting the AAA guys in there...I guess there is something comforting about veterans.

Doesn't it seem like we trade back and forth with the Reds a lot over relievers?

Maybe I am in the minority, but I do not like Weathers at all. Good teams seem to torch this guy (Phillies included). I think his numbers from last year are deceptive. As pointed out, he walks more than he should, plus he gave up 12 HRs last year. Granted he was in a HR-friendly park, but isn't the CBP HR friendly too? I think the Phillies could do a better job here.

Also, I would take Borowski over him in a heartbeat and not even think twice about it! That is how skeptical I am of Weathers.

weathers would be a solid addition to the pen. he is a consistent reliever, that's hard to find.

borowski has had many ups and downs. and is due for the down.

i just like that gillick is trying to be a major player in the hot stove this season.

For the record, I wouldn't have a problem with Borowski. I'd be happy enough with either one of them.

Borowski would be hard to sign as he wants to be a closer. He wont be gauranteed that in Philly. Weathers pitched in Cincy which is alot like CBP as being Hr friendly. So we could expect the same. Gillick will need to get another good arm in the pen, 2 if Madson is traded.

honestly, this is a good pickup, but only if they get borowski as well. relief pitchers are the most unreliable commodity in baseball. it's foolish to trust one guy to come in and be the man.

Its tough between the two, but I'd edge towards borowski if we could get him in relief. His K/9 are good (except for last year when he was with tampa bay and they sunk to 4.5), and although his whip is higher than weathers, they allow the same number of walks per nine innings (high, both of 'em 4.2 - not something to be proud of). borowski is younger, and since 04 his era and FIP era have trended downwards.

Having said all that, weathers gets more groundballs, and our infield aren't that shabby. Comparing either to Rick White is interesting. I didn't realise just how many groundballs he allows, and his homeruns per game in 05 and 06 are okay. The more I look at what white managed in 06 when at the phillies, when he was at a homerun friendly park, the more its astounding - .74 homeruns per game? last year's nl league average was 1.11? Keep rick white, sez I.


p.s. benjah - spot on.

if weathers has anything left, why wouldn't the pitching starved reds resign him?

tim - because they need to make room for ryan franklin and rheal cormier!

Oisin, I don't think HR rate is a very useful stat for a guy who only pitched 37 innings. He is probably only one or two HRs away from the league average.

White is interesting, in '04 he gave up 15 HR in 79 innings and then in '05 he gave up 3 in 75 IP.

But even when he posts a low HR rate, he gives up a ton of baserunners. He seems like he is always right on the edge of being a terrible, terrible pitcher. If the Phils can sign him for the ML minimum, maybe, but otherwise I would rather have Condrey in there.

Randy Miller mentioned this weekend the Phils were targetting Guillermo Mota for the eighth inning (yikes!) until his latest incident.

Soriano. Helms. Mota. There's something something a little superficial about this list.

Also, Miller said New York, Boston AND San Fran have no interest in Burrell.

Wow, Borowski's K rate skied last year. I would be wary of him because we would be paying for a career year (and at a closers rate) for a guy who pitched a whole bunch of meaningless innings. Weathers is probably cheaper and more likely to be durable and consistent (even if he doesn't have Borowski's ceiling).

IMO, the best thing that can happen to the Phils this offseason is getting "stuck" with Burrell.

David Weathers and Rick White are the same person, baseball-wise.
When examining relievers you need to look at career stats or stats over a set of seasons since their low IP allows for wild fluctuation in a given season.
Over their careers, both White & Weathers allow a HR every 10 IP, which isn't bad. Lifetime NL batting average against is identical: .276.
Weathers K/BB ratio is 6/4 and White is 5/3. White allows slightly more hits per 9, but walks fewer. White lifetime ERA: 4.31. Weathers: 4.37.
They are clones. If they pitch as well as they did last year it would be good to have 2 of them. But keep in mind, unlike Borowski, neither of these can close.

read on MLB Trade Rumors that the Marlins could be looking for a CF this offseason. if that's true, Gillick had better be calling Larry Beinfest every day trying to swing a Rowand trade.

there is a new york article about Aaron Heilman, Lastings Milledge and Henry Owens to the Padres for Jake Peavy. if the padres move peavy could we make a better package than that?

Rowand, but also slashing outfield clones Roberson, Bourn and Golson. I'm not against trading Victorino either.

Jason - yeah, any of our surplus CF-types. I'm not thinking any of the comically unrealistic deals Mets fans keep pushing where they end up with Willis and/or Cabrera, I'm just thinking a young arm or two.

Tim - I have to think the Phils could match that. Madson, one of Rowand/Bourn/Victorino, a minor league arm? Madson is a notch or three or four below Heilman, but I think Milledge's stock has dropped recently and IIRC the Pads need a CF more than a corner OF. looking at Owens' numbers, I think we could come up with someone comparable from our system.

Why Victorino? The only knock i can see against him is that he might not be fit to go a full season as a starter, and hold up like a Rowad could, but hes an ample replacement in either corner or center shuold he be needed.

BTW, anyone catching any of the heat coming off Howard right now in Japan? My God....

Paul, I really like Victorino, but if trading him helps us get pitching or something else we really need, I say go for it.

BTW, talk of the Padres trading Peavy sounds like extremely wishful thinking to me. I don't take seriously any Mets-centered trade rumors I hear...

There is a lot to like about Victorino, but he shouldn't be considered untouchable considering the depth at center field. I'd deal Rowand before the Hawaiian.

JW, Think that Vic has about reached his potential ceiling? If not, he's probably close. Capitalize while the trade value is at a max. Uless he somehow learns to cut down on the K's, he's probably about as good as he's going to get.

I'm still flabbergasted at how Milledge has fallen out of favor with the Mets. From virtually untouchable on the trade market to being left off the playoff roster and being the subject of so much trade speculation. Must be a clubhouse cancer. I'm just glad the Mets' stubborness didn't land them Zito in the middle of last year.

Kdon- Fair point on hr/g depending on number of innings - I bumped up his homeruns by two and he was over the average on his existing numbers of innings pitched. but he does seem to have bought his total number of homeruns down in the last two years - granted, he managed only 3 in pittsburgh. with the high percentage of groundballs, as many hits as he does allow you'd still imagine he gives you a good chance of getting an out with a decent infield, which we have. and I like the fewer number of walks. I want lots of groundballs and fewer bb's out of my relief.

Saviour? not by any means, but I wouldn't be quick to drop the guy if he's still cheap. He seems to be an okay fit for our team and park.

i only commented on the peavy thing becuase he's getting written about, along with bonderman and willis. i don't want somebody like beckett to get traded again and us not at least be in on it. if all three of those guys get moved and we don't get one, i'll be a sad, sad phillies fan.

If they command the money and perform the way Beckett did last year, I won't be so sad.

The depth at CF? I assume you're counting Roberson and Bourn then? In my mind, Victorino is the 4th outfielder. Of course, that assumes Gillick goes out and finds a 3rd outfielder. I know a lot of you guys in the northwest metro area see a lot more of these minor leaguers than the rest of us, but I saw nothing from Bourn or Roberson that conjured a role for them on a playoff team.

Alby: Depth. Meaning, they have a bunch of center fielders, both inexperienced and experienced, and they don't need all of them. That's all I meant by that.

I still don't see why Vic is a 4th outfielder. If Rowand is good enough to be a starting CF, Vic sure as hell is as well.

Bourn simply needs more time before passing judgement on him. Didnt he move from High A to the bigs last year?

Roberson is a big fat Meh! Yes, he's quick, but thats about it. Unless he has a miraculous improvement, i don't even see a point in him taking up a roster spot.

The point about needing a third outfielder... I don't know if I'm unhappy with a Rowand/Vic/Burrell starting outfield, as long as we upgrade third.

alby: Roberson is a good speed-good field-no hit borderline prospect who might, but probably won't, make it as a 5th outfielder some day.
Bourn, 3 years younger, has far more potential. He has no power and likely isn't much more than a .260-.270 hitter at the MLB level, but if he can maintain his OB (.350 at Reading, .368 at Scranton) he can be an everyday CF because he can steal bases and has a good glove. He can be a nice leadoff hitter someday.
Victorino is not an everyday player, although a nice 4th outfielder. If he ever learned strike zone judgment and how to steal bases he could change that, but at age 26, that's unlikely.

This implication that the line between the Phillies and a National League playoff birth will be decided by some arbitrary marker like whether or not Michael Bourn is on the roster is a little extreme. I’m more inclined to say bullpen or starting pitching will decide the outcome as it usually does.

Jason i agree 100% with you. the phil's will score a ton of runs no matter what they do at third or in center/right field. if they have the exact same starting 8 they finished 06 with and a healthy schmidt, zito, mulder or mussina they will make the playoffs.

If we pick up Weathers, Gillick has to go out to go buy a padded outdoor bench swing for Flash, Beard and Weathers to sit and rock in during the games. You don't want these old geazers sitting on a hard wooden bench in the bullpen. With their poor circulation, their leg muscles would calcify during the early innings. They'd have to rough it on the road.

Clout,

again, i dont see why Victorino shouldnt be a starting Outfielder. He hit .287 in over 400 at bats. His prior season in the bigs, where he only got 100 AB's, can be discounted as he may not have been mature enough.

Yes, he strikes out too much, and needs to learn to steal bases, but his OBP was .346, which isnt exactly shabby.

He's been exposed plenty, and he's hitting near .300 over the last two years with the phils.

It simply doesnt make sense to keep him in reserve. He should be an everyday player.

Victorino is a good player, but he still strikes me best served as a fourth outfielder. He can do a lot of things well, and he's sure exciting, but has some holes in his game. Wait, that sounds exactly like Rowand...

and reading clout's post again, he argued that Bourn might be a good starter if he could put up a .350 OBP: Earth to Clout, thats what Vic is doing.

and... Vic has a mucho better arm than Rowand.

But, Rowand leads the league in the ever popular "hurting yourself by running into stuff" metric.

btw - the filtering on posts sucks.

I agree with Joe about Vic over Bourn, though not for any reasons like batting average. Bourn has exactly one good season under his belt and that was '04 when he was a 22yo in A ball. He is two years younger, but doesn't have anything close to the track record. Bourn has awesome speed and is more of a prototypical leadoff guy, but overall, Vic's power puts him ahead.

And if you are concerned with Ks, Bourn K'd 102 times in 487 ABs at three different levels in '06 and 123 in '05 at Reading. That is unacceptable for a guy who has no power. He is already 25 and definately needs more seasoning at AAA. The guy lays down a couple bunts in one game and people get excited...the dude has 160 ABs above AA!!!

Despite the physical difference, Rowand and Vic are actually pretty similar players...moderate speed, plus defense, sub-par plate discipline, very good power for CF...except Vic is about $4.5M cheaper, two years younger and doesn't get hurt.

Victorino doesn't steal bases, but the kid can fly for extra bags. Moderate speed is more like what Abraham Nunez has to me.

Your completely right Jason...as a physical ability, Vic has GREAT speed. I was speaking only about ability to steal bases. In any case, that just strengthens my point.

kdon: Bourn hasn't even turned 24 yet. So he is 2 full years younger than Victorino.

I'm not wild about his strikeouts either, but you notice that they are coming down. His K/BB ratio is 3/2. Victorino's is slightly worse than 2/1.

Bourn may not develop further and he definitely needs a full year in AAA, but I think his potential is far greater than Victorino's.

It will be interesting to see how Victorino does next year after his first time thru the league.

joe: Victorino's .348 OB was decent and let's assume he's capable of that every year and Bourne does .350 (although his OB has been consistently higher than that).
Both are very good defensive outfielders, but Victorino has more pop and Bourn can steal bases. Who would you rather have as the starting CF? I say Bourn for 2 reasons: He is faster than Victorino, he steals bases and he's 2 years younger and thus more likely to improve.
And let's keep in mind that Jason is right, this team's fortunes won't rise or fall on Victorino or Bourn. It will rise or fall on whether they do anything to upgrade the rotation and the bullpen.

Thanks everyone for the discussion; I really have no eyes-on data to judge Bourn by, but hearing everybody's take gives me a pretty good idea of where he stands. As for the Roward-Victorino comparison, I would add in that Rowand's arm is below-par and Victorino's is a plus. All in all, I think Vic is the better player, but I still am not sold on him as a 150-game guy. That said, I would not quiver at the thought of starting the season with him as the everyday CF. Jason, my statement about Bourn having no role on a playoff team was geared to the chatter about trading Rowand and/or Victorino, who may be only average but have at least proven themselves in the majors. If Bourn plays a major role, that's a major question mark -- not something you want to see a lot of from a team that intends to contend for the playoffs. As you and many have noted, there are already major question marks at 3B, the bullpen and even the rotation, where I would still maintain that minimum six, more likely seven, starters are needed at the start of the season (one or both of them at AAA) in order to go to war.

Well, so much for Akinori Iwamura taking over the hot corner.

http://www.philly.com/mld/philly/sports/15946212.htm

Jon: Interesting. The Phils don't seem to be doing much at the moment. I also noticed a bunch of minor league free agent pitchers signed yesterday, none with the Phillies. One of them would've been worth signing to a minor league contract: Tim Redding. Redding went 10-14, 3.68 with Houston in 2003 before getting hurt. He had a nice season in AAA last summer and the Nats signed him yesterday.
The Phillies should also look at minor league FA Dennis Tankersley, a failed prospect with good stuff who is pitching well in the Dominican league and had a good AAA season at Memphis.
Redding is 28, Tankersley 27. There's no downside to bringing these guys in.

are we really arguing over rowand vs. victorino? vic is cheaper, still has room for growth, has superior speed and defense. rowand makes more and has more power, but also has more value in a trade because of his name and the "heart/grittyness" it brings with it. trade rowand!

art howe might not be the 3rd base coach for long, as he's interviewing for the rangers bench coach. all my ex's live in texas (padilla, eaton, millwood, tejada, buckholtz, duckworth).

howard continues to mash japan, 4 bombs in 3 games.

Kerry Wood, Orlando Hernandez, Jason Marquis, Tony Armas Jr., Wade Miller, Adam Eaton and Gil Meche are names mentioned if we can't keep wolf.

I think that's really disappointing news about Iwamura. I was really high on him not so much because I thought he was going to instantly be an All-Star player (although I do think he'll do well), but because he represented a different kind of attitude from the front office. when Gillick came in, all the talk was about how he'd get us involved in international signings, etc. instead it's more aging retreads like DeRosa and Helms...fantastic.

This post starts with 37 year old Weathers and winds up arguing the age differences between Bourn, who is 23, and Victorino who is two years older.

I'm bummed that we are not interested in Iwamura. I'm sure that Gillick will trade for Joe Turd to play 3B, and we can complain about it all next year on Beerleaguer.

I wanted to see Iwamura too. It's strange though, every media outlet had the Phillies among the top bidders for Top Gun #1, yet that philly.com article said "they're not interested at all, not even a little bit". It's almost like they wan't to make it sound like they're not interested to drive the posting bid down from the other teams. I hope this is the case.

Anyway it looks like Wes Helms and Abe Nunez at 3rd next year. One can't hit and one can't field. I'm excited.

i read gillick is going all out in effort to land soriano.

lake fred- tell me more about this joe turd fellow, sounds intriguing.

If we know anything about relievers, it's that past performance is no indication of future results. Rhodes had great numbers in 2005; how was he this year? The list of similar Phils acquisitions in this vein is too long and painful for me to replicate it here.

Provided Stormy comes at a cost of $1.5 million or less for no more than two years, fine. But he won't, so please, let some other team overpay for this aging mediocrity. Sign Octavio Dotel, who likely will either dominate or not pitch at all; low risk, high reward.

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