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Friday, January 19, 2007

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i would go so far as to say that werth is one of the big keys to this season. if he somehow emerges into a dellucci type player, I feel alot better about their outfield. mind you, i'm not TRYING to kid myself, i've just gotten pretty good at doing it automatically.

Agreed completely. I was having the same thought actually. We're going to find out very eary how much the team misses the big-number offense Dellucci contributed. Werth is the only candidate with a chance to make up the difference.

Trot Nixon signed with the Indians for 1 year, $3 million. That seems like a steal compared to most of the stiffs that makes up the Phillies bench.

I cannot wait to see Joe Bisenius in spring training (among the other obvious fan faves). I hope he is the real deal.

Drop the hammer, JoeB!

One question I would like answered about Werth is the status of his injured wrist. When the Phils signed him, Amaro said his wrist was only about 75%.

It supposedly has magically healed in the last 6 weeks? I doubt it.

Coste is going to hit Werth's wrist by mistake with a bat.
Ooops, sorry Jason. My bad.

I really can't believe that Coste is getting the shaft like this, it's just not smart on the Phils behalf. I'm not saying Coste is amazing or anything, but I would have to think he'd be a very useful bench player.

How fascinating that it's the lower-rated sports-talk station that produces the revealing interview. Kudos to 950 for trying to elicit actual information instead of spilling Buffalo sauce on their microphones.

gr, Jason: There is absolutely nothing in werth's history either majors or minors that suggests his bat can equal Dellucci's even if he is healthy. he couldn't hit .300 at the major league level if you spotted him ball one. He might match Dellucci's HR power (although I doubt it), but be happy if he hits .250.

Looks like the bench is going to be filled with a bunch of dregs again to start the season . . . Nunez, Werth, Garcia?, Dobbs, Barajas.

Not a potent PH bat among the bunch. Really limits Charlie's choices late in games.

Worth would be an adequate outfield reserve if he were healthy but that hasn't been the case since the end of '04.

i also can't wait to see bisenius. if he could give us an '04 madson year the pen will be fine.

I don't care what Gillick has to say any longer. Trot Nixon has just signed with the Indians 1 year 3 million. Gillick's a joke.

Gillick has made some good moves, some moves that are neither here nor there, and bad moves...basically he's your typical GM.

I agree Jeltz

Trott for 1 year @ 3 million is exactly the kind of signing that would have made sense. And would have made trading Rowand easier.

Bid swing and a miss on that one.

This belongs on the last thread, but nobody would see it there, so let's examine the statement about guys carrying extra weight having more injuries. Yeah, like that fatso Ken Griffey Jr., right? Or all those muscular speedsters who miss time with hamstring pulls, not to mention the sort of injuries that have nothing to do with "wear and tear," like the Rowand crashes. Baseball isn't as demanding as other sports. Sure, extra weight is a reason to worry late in a guy's career, and it cuts short many -- see Mo Vaughn and Cecil Fielder for evidence. But I would argue that at what, 26, Brett Myers is nowhere near that point, and he won't be with the Phillies when he is. Obviously, the pounding on the knees matters more with everyday players than a starting pitcher, who appears in only 34 games a season.

By the way, the major injury that affected notable Phillies chowhound John Kruk was cancer. He was no gazelle out there, but it wasn't his knees that gave out... in short, this is a completely bogus argument.

As, by the way, is the qualifier that Myers is "slightly better than above average." Check the list of the top 28 starters -- there are many teams with NO pitchers on that list. He's a weak No. 1, but the stats said he's better than most No. 2 pitchers in baseball. That's better than "slightly better than above average" in my view. My only complaint about him is that he's falling in love with strikeouts, which lead to short outings. He needs to learn either a better hammer pitch or a way to coax weakly hit balls earlier in the count. In either case, his fastball is not the answer.

When it comes to evaluating pitchers, you guys kill me. Most of the minor leaguers you tout will never be the equal of Madson, let alone Myers, but now that they've been three years out of Scranton, who needs 'em, right?

Clout: I don't believe he can make up the difference either, but let's just say he has a better chance than Karim Garcia, Greg Dobbs and Randall Simon.

Alright, how about "almost certainly superior to slightly better than above average"?

LOL, we need some baseball games.

Any chance that the slighting of Coste that is going on, openly in the media by the front office, is a way to get CC to come out and play with a chip on his shoulder (or at the very least to show up to ST with the mindset that he needs to earn his spot)?

It's funny because last year we kept speculating about "why aren't we giving Coste a shot at 3B?" and "why is Manual so closed minded to not try and use CC in the field?" Maybe this is PG's way of "hinting" to Cholly that Coste needs to be thought of as more than just a back-up catcher while at the same time incenting Coste to be ready to play in the field a little bit. Wishful thinking?

Alby: Regarding Myers and the ridiculous overrating of minor leaguers by some here, great post! Right on the money, as usual.

I didn't even know Craig Wilson was out there. I wish Jody Mac had gotten around to asking Gillick: if Wilson and Trot Nixon were out there as *considerably* stronger bench options than the refuse you dug out of gopher holes all winter, then why were they not among the dozens and dozens of names linked to the Phillies' interest this off-season? Seriously - who would make this a stronger team, Trot Nixon or Karim Garcia? Wilson or Jayson Werth? I don't even get the sense that the Phillies had these players in mind. Why?

off the subject, but an interesting nugget on espn.com which lists David Montgomery as a potential successor to Bud Selig:

3. David Montgomery
Phillies fans aren't especially high on Montgomery, a genuinely nice man who has developed a reputation as too cautious and tradition-bound since taking over for Bill Giles as club president in 1997. But Montgomery has served on every ownership committee imaginable, and he is highly regarded among his peers for a thoughtful, evenhanded approach.

It is frustrating to see these options slip through our fingers, but at least Gillick is sticking with his word -- he said what he cared about was starting pitching, and at this point we have a better rotation situation than almost anyone in the NL. By all indications we'll trade our extra starter for something substantial either before or shortly into the season; so this offseason can't really be judged until that's happened (or has failed to happen).

"Phillies fans aren't especially high on Montgomery"

Hahahaha. Can't wait to hear the comments relating to this.

I wouldn't let Montgomery be the President of my flag football team.

MLB seems to have a thing for conservative owners who have been around forever but whose teams never win. I've got news, though: Montgomery's just the most visible ownership figurehead. The ones you never hear about are even more conservative.

This isn't the first time I've seen Gillick has mentioned Bisenius's name in accordance with being a 'surprise' in spring training. I get the sense that they're expecting him to make the team.

From Ken Rosenthal

A scout writes from Venezuela:

"...And don't be surprised if Randall Simon re-emerges as a bat off the bench. He can hit, especially against right-handed pitching..."

I wouldn't let Montgomery be President of the Hair Club for Men.

RSB - I'm surprised we didn't move on wilson, but judging from that interview they're setting versatility as the key to the bench. As for Trot - I thought we were looking at him for a platoon in right, but I can only imagine that it came down to playing time. Me, I'd have got him and made space for him in terms of at-bats and games - not something that could necessarily be done with wilson.

I think werth could still surprise us. My fave quick assessment tool, fangraphs, reveals something awful interesting - take a look at this link comparing werth and delluci, but look at the numbers comparing what each guy was doing at age 23-25. Werth is ticking over nicely until the wrist injury in 2005 messes him up. He's also better in power and walks department from 23-25 than delluci (altho a warning note - obp was not so consistent). Everything was trending upwards nicely until that injury.

Werth is hitting 28 this year, prime baseball years, and if that wrist holds up we could be getting some good production from him. If he was doing as well if not better than Delluci at the same age, is it that much of a stretch to think he could go some way to putting up delluci's numbers?

Thanks for the link Jason. That was good stuff. Jody Mac is great, the most knowledgable host in Philly by a long shot (although Jolowitz (sp?) is close)

I really can;t believe they are going to make the exact same mistake with Coste this year that they did last year. As it stands now, not only do I think he will be the best bat of the bench, but he is a way better option than Barajas.

I still think he will make the team though. Assuming that Werth, Barajas, and Nunez are locks to make the bench, that still means Coste is in competition with Garcia, Dobbs, Bourn, Roberson, Simon, Sandoval, etc. for at least TWO spots.

No matter what, the bench will suck however. Nixon was so obvious, but I resigned myself to Gillick's blind spot for those kind of players a long time ago.

I think that I'm leaning towards te camp that thinks that Gillick is trying to light a fire under Coste's asz (curse filtersuck , jason), and prevent a sophomore slump.

Look, if they were really concerned about Coste's making the team, he would be playing winter ball, he wouldnt be doing media junkets and promos with the big team.

Alby, you seem think that because "skinny" guys get injuries, it somehow refutes the notion that overweight players are at greater risk to break down. It's a pretty silly argument.

We all know any player and every player CAN get injured. You site facts that prove this. Fine. What you don't come to the table with is anything other than your OPINION and a couple of anecdotes. To wit, what does Kruk's cancer as an individual have to do with the athletic population as a whole?

Do you know of any sports medicine studies that support what you wrote? You must is you're calling it a bogus argument. If it's available online please post the link so we can all take a look at it.

and as for the comment about baseballe being an easy game to play, yeh sure, One Baseball game is less intense than 1 Football game.

Now, 162 Baseball games, comapred to 16 Football games? Totally differnt, and I'd wager that Baseball is harder on your body.

Atlanta presents a great opportunity for Wilson. He wouldn't have had that here. One could make a reasonable case that Atlanta has done as much to improve their position in a week as Gillick has done in four months. Typical Schuerholz.

Why are we giving Nunez a given on making the team. Hes good field and no hit. If Cost or Dobbs gets a chance to play third its possible we get rid of Nunez (trade him)
sounds good to me.

I would disagree with that assertion Joe, but it would be hard to prove either way. Surely, Bo knows.

I would love nothing more than if the Phils just straight-up cut No-Hit Nunez's lame ass.

It'll bring back joy close to what I experienced when I heard David Bell had been traded.

>Surely, Bo knows.

and Deion...

fljerry, if Nunez goes, the next shortstop AND 2B on the depth chart would be Sandoval. Nunez is not here as a backup 3B, he is here as the standard futility infielder.

Unfortunately, Abe is in. Check out Phillies.com and see the articles surrounding the team (the one about Coste says specifically that Nunez is "in" automatically). As futile as he was, he WILL be on the roster.

BREAKING RUMORS>>..

Well Kinda...in an article on ESPN.com Jerry Crasnick lists Dave Montgomery (yes that one) as a potential candidate to replace Bud Selig in 2009. My eyes are bleeding after reading that.

Here's the link.
http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/hotstove06/columns/story?columnist=crasnick_jerry&id=2735979&lpos=spotlight&lid=tab2pos1

Nunez is guaranteed to make the team. Primary backup at 3B, SS, and 2B. Plus, he is making $2.5 million this year.

If the Phils aren't willing to pick up someone on the bench who costs more than a $1 million, they certainly won't cut a guy making more than double that.

Joe - interesting note on Coste regarding his participation in the Winter Tour.

I hope the Phils recognize the underground following he has and certainly why risk to chance to promote someone is might not make the team? Is Gillick planting the possible seed now to avoid the backlash if he does not make the team?

Can the Phils still be this out of touch?

Regarding Trot Nixon - perhaps he did not want to come to Philly?

Not sure if that was ever addressed in public media but obviously this might not be the top choice to play for alot of players.

"The kind of versatility Werth brings appears to be the top requirement to win a spot on the bench"

Perhaps PG plans on pulling off another "Fabio" by filling a roster spot with one of the Rule 5 pitchers.

"Can the Phils still be this out of touch?"

Bix, most of us regard that as a rhetorical question.

Buy or Sell this move for Jeff?

I buy it - smart man...

Rotoworld:


Jeff Samardzija is giving up football for baseball, FOXSports.com's Ken Rosenthal is reporting.

Samardzija, a wide receiver at Notre Dame, could have been a first-round pick in the NFL draft. However, he was also drafted by the Cubs in the fifth round last year and got a deal potentially worth $7.25 million over five years. That he'll concentrate on baseball makes him one of the Cubs' top pitching prospects. Jan. 19 - 2:08 pm et

Clout/Lake Fred thanks from the last post. Now I really do believe armageddon is on the horizon. But seriously, I dont really pay attention to the hopefuls that the Phils bring in until spring training starts. That being said, I listened to a lot of the ST games last year and Coste performed well. I dont know how these other guys will do, but if they pan out and it costs Coste his spot, I hope he can land with a team that can use him. Even if he is not a Phil, I would still root for the guy, and I would definetely read his books. Coste was such a great story last year, in a year worth of great stories for the Phils.

I dont know how the rest of you feel, but last year, although disapointing, was a very encouraging year for me. I honestly can say I have more hope for the Phils this year than I have had in a long time. Whether that is good or bad, well see, but I hope the exspectations are realized.

guys, Dave Montgomery was listed in the top 5 candidates to replace Bud Selig and NO ONE comments on this? funny

Dude,
RSB said it best in an earlier post:

"MLB seems to have a thing for conservative owners who have been around forever but whose teams never win. I've got news, though: Montgomery's just the most visible ownership figurehead. The ones you never hear about are even more conservative."

I've been letting it fester, but then.......I saw the light.

Make no mistake about it, Montgomery is a holdover of the Giles regime, in fact he is, IMHO, an extension of Giles. Anyone who thinks Giles isn't lurking in the background whispering in Monty's ear needs a serious education about the last 25 years of ownership.

If Monty takes the commish job (unlikely) it may turn out well for the Phils, provided they don't promote someone to take his place from within.

Someone from the outside actually might have some vision of how good this franchise could be, and how they could truly contend every year, and convince ownership to think past the small market mentality they seem to have.

Maybe.....if we're really lucky!

Dude, it was mentioned earlier in the thread and a few people left comments. But what would such a thing actually affect? Nothing would change as far as the rest of the ownership group, which sets the pace - just as nothing changed when Monty "took over" for Bill Giles. Montgomery is only the most visible partner. Such an event would only result in the politics of MLB and the Phillies remaining essentially the same as they've been.

On injuries to fat versus thin players :
I can't talk about position players, but fat pitchers DO have more longevity than any other type (tall, short, thin). This is in part due to selection bias, players who don't "look" good often don't get the calls they deserve.

http://www.hardballtimes.com/main/article/does-size-matter-part-5/

The study shows that, given all postwar pitchers, anyone who is over 21 lb overweight is considered fat. 34.5% of these fat pitchers were still going at age 32, while only 21.7% of thin (underweight) pitchers were, and about 29.1% of tall and short ones. Moreover, if you look at only the fattest of the fat, the rate that make it to their 30's is still higher than other groups.

It's astounding to me that someone as "minor" in the MLB (for lack of a better term) would even get consideration.

This Parker guy is such a Coste fan he wants to read his books... wow. Anyway, that interviewer didn't have a clue. With a weak outfield, awful bullpen, and jokes at third base and catcher, how are we supposed to be the favorite to win our division?

If Monty becoming commissioner would move us even a little closer to this group of jerks and dimwits selling the Phillies, I'm all for it. Otherwise, who cares? The position has devolved into nothing more than a PR front for the owners (and not even all the owners). Maybe it was never anything else, but I can't imagine they'd ever allow anyone to act "in the best interests of the game."

Remember the old saw: baseball is such a great game that even those who run it can't really screw it up. (I'm paraphrasing.)

As I have been saying, consistently, since Coste was the Phillies' final cut out of 2006 ST, in favor of Gillick's fruitless 2006 off-season acquisitions Fasano and Gonzalez, Gillick has never liked Coste, who had been signed by the previous administration as a minor league free agent during the 2005 off-season.

Gillick went with the purchase of Coste's contract on May 21st, after Gonzalez packed it in and retired, at the time, purely to salve Gillick's guilty conscience. Gillick had to feel guilty after what Coste had accomplished in 2006 ST, only to inflict upon Coste the pain toi the gut which was reflected in that pathetic scene in the CBP locker room, during that Red Sox exhibition series before the season began, after Gillick had obtained Dellucci. The press reports of Gillick's role in telling Coste he was cut were well-reported at the time in the Daily News and the Inquirer.

I am convinced that Gillick never intended for Coste to stay with the big club more than a couple of "cup of coffee"weeks, at the longest. But sucessive injuries to Lieberthal, and Fasano, coupled with Ruiz's .150 BA, and Coste's solid play, week-by-week, cutdown-survival-by-cutdown-survival, Coste dodged multiple roster move "bullets" until his 3 for 6 game at Fenway in late June (when he threw out Red Sox burner Coco Crisp from Coste's knees) caused Coste's wonderful 2006 season to evolve, week-by-week.

AS far as I am aware, Gillick has never given Coste any word of unqualified praise -- in any interview of Gillick hat I have ever heard, or read.

Instead, the aging Gillick's idea talent acquisition, more often than not, has been to re-cycle players with whom Gillick was familiar from Gillick's days in Seattle, including, most recently, a third baseman-first baseman who puts Coste's position even more at peril.

As far as some posters above hypothesizing that Gillicks's comments have been made to "light a fire under Coste", or some such thing, Gillick's player moves, so far as they affect Coste's role (or lack thereof) with the team -- speak far more conclusively.

Knowing of Coste's popularity with Phillies fans, the Phillies' PR people are cynically using the guy to promote the team in the off-season -- but make no mistake, Coste's presence on the team's promotional caravan has nothing to do with the fact that Coste will again not get a fair shot from Gillick, come cutdown day.

I only hope that Coste ends up with another National League team, and that Coste comes into CBP and, by his on-field performance, sticks it to Gillick where it will hurt most. And I hope that Coste spares nothing by way of criticism for Gillick in the post-game interview(s). But Coste probably will have too much class to say what should be said abouit Gillick, at that point.

For those Gillick apologists, I say it again. Gillick is over the hill. My prediction: the majority of Gillick's off-season moves will not turn out, and the Phillies will fail to win as many games in 2007 as they did in 2006 -- and there will be no playoff berth.

Dave X: Fascinating stuff. And I bet it applies to fat and/or small position players as well.
This is the same phenomenon that existed when baseball was integrating in the 1950s. The black ballplayers as a group were better than the whites because there was an unspoken limit about how many blacks and Latins a team would have (apart from the two openly racist franchises -- the Phillies and Red Sox -- which wanted none at all). The last 5 guys on the roster were always white.

davthom: Good post, but I'm not convinced this is somehow personal between PG & Coste.

I honestly believe this is related to the same kind of bias that Dave X referenced in his post. Chris Coste doesn't look like a natural athlete. He's kind of clumsy behind the plate (to my eye). His swing is not picture perfect. He's a refugee from Indy ball.

PG, like most old-school GMs, loves athletes who look like athletes. They're strong, run fast and look good in uniform. If they don't have baseball skills, no matter, those can be taught. This bias causes all sorts of people who actually HAVE baseball skills to be overlooked.

I have no idea if Coste can repeat his dream season, but if he's left behind in favor Karim Garcia or Kevin Roberson I think it's because of that athlete bias and not anything personal. Coste was a great story last year and if he can continue the saga that's good for the Phillies. I'm sure PG knows that.

Clout, IMO, you are absolutely correct when you synopsized Gillick's over-riding bias and philosophy in acquiring players as follows: "PG, like most old-school GMs, loves athletes who look like athletes. They're strong, run fast and look good in uniform. If they don't have baseball skills, no matter, those can be taught. This bias causes all sorts of people who actually HAVE baseball skills to be overlooked." CORRECT! That *is* PG, to a "T".

Whether or not Coste *would* have replicated his 2006 numbers over an entire season, one thing *is* certain now -- Coste will never be given that chance with the Phillies.

IMO, Coste should negotiate his release from the Phillies right now, and make a deal with another club (preferably in the NL) as soon as possible. The "handwriting" is not only "on the wall", it has been plastered in "red spray paint" all over Philadelphia during the past week or so. I only hope that Gillick doesn't try to "option" Coste to Ottawa after ST -- that would be the final insult -- one of many from Gillick toward Coste.

Gillick is clearly a lover of athletes. He doesn't make it a secret. He personally scouts athletic players like C.J. Henry and believes Greg Gross can turn them into major league players. It's a wonder this Rios for Myers rumor hasn't happened. And you're both correct on Coste. What else could there be besides awkwardness and pedigree? The pitchers performed better with Coster behind the dish, he hit for power, got on base, took smart ABs ...

If Gillick were to trade Myers, or undervalue Myers, it would probably have more to do with his character and a fear he couldn't win the big one. This is reminiscent of the Padilla situation, and I was dead against that one if you recall.

As for his size, Myers may be carrying extra pounds, but he's still a physical specimen and looks like he belongs there, with good mechanics and good stuff. I'm bothered he's let himself go at such a young age, and doctors would have a difficult time believing it's somehow a good thing, but it takes nothing away from a superior curve ball and everything else he does on the mound.

Weight is a goofy subject. There's good and bad weight. A player like Jimmy Rollins may actually be considered overweight according to a doctor's chart. A good friend of mine competed as an amateur body builder and in his prime was listed at about 20-30 pounds overweight.

I agree that Coste should try and get released. Its the least Gillick can do consider the hard work he put in last season. Unfortunatley, I have to also agree he will not get the playing time he deserves, even as a PH.

I will always be against the Padilla trade. Didn't understand it at the time and never will. Considering the offensive production the phillies had in 06, he probably could have won close to 15 games. Its a shame he was so inconsistent(and still remains to be). I have lived out in chicago for a few years now and got to watch him pitch for the rangers against the sox. He had a no hitter going into the 8th against one of the best offenses in the AL. When he is on, he is a dominant pitcher, and we let him go for nothing. I would much rather have signed him for three years, 33 million, than Adam Eaton.


AWH, you really overestimate my free time if you think I cruise the internet looking for sports injury studies as they relate to baseball. Why don't you show me the ones about fat starting pitchers breaking down at age 26 because of their "beer guts"? Or is that just anecdotal and based on your own observation, too? My point is that a lot of people here don't like Myers for whatever reason, and that those people are letting something other than his performance affect their thinking. If you're so fired up about your conjecture, go ahead and prove it. I'm only interesting in showing that this site has a fairly high number of hysterics among its regular posters, and that they have a tendency to overrate minor-leaguers and fringe players while underrating those getting lots of playing time.

Joe writes, "Now, 162 Baseball games, comapred to 16 Football games? Totally differnt, and I'd wager that Baseball is harder on your body."

You're on, sport. Now look up the average lifespan of an NFL player and get ready to pay up. Your contention is flat-out ridiculous.

DavThom: You are dead on in your analysis of Gillick's treatment of Coste. Even with my lower valuation of the player than yours, it constitutes a disgrace. I agree with you that Gillick, while an improvement over Ed Wade, is a less-than-stellar retread. I suspect he was brought in to keep the seat warm while Amaro is "trained" to take over. Which leads to...

AWH's excellent analysis of the Giles-Montgomery relationship. Unfortunately, Philadelphia is not blessed with the sort of entrepreneurs who could take the $300 million hit of buying the team and the ability to lose $10 million a year to keep it perennially in contention. Frankly, I don't think the Phillies will get out of the perpetual wilderness of chintziness in my lifetime.

J, a guy "letting himself go" at age 26 is a lot different than someone over 40 doing the same. A few weeks of intense training on an exercise bike and that belly would be gone. More than a physical problem, I think those of you who criticize Myers recognize that it signals a lack of seriousness about his job and craft. This fits in with what Joe Kerrigan told my brother last year when they met on a golf course: Myers "doesn't have a ****ing clue."

Joe, probably not the best time to make the football vs. baseball argument, not after the story on the front page of The NEw York Times this week.

Google "NY Times Andre Waters" and I think you might change your mind.

On the "fat" issue, I'm not sure the article in The Hardball Times is really applicable here. As another poster mentioned, this article only goes by height and weight with no distinction between ripped players like Bonds or "fat" players like Wells. Weight does not neccesarily = fat.

The story of Chris Coste in 2006 was a great one, akin to the Jim Morris story (The Rookie) except that Coste was able to to reach a higher level of success and sustain it longer. We as Phillies phans all loved it.

He seems to have had a career year.

Projecting his performance going forward, using his career minor league stats, one could take the position that it's unlikely he'll be able to sustain the 2006 level of success, based on factors such as age, wear and tear on catchers, etc.

This is, I'm sure, what Gillick is looking at, and why he brought in Barajas. He also has the responsibility of putting the best team on the field.

However, in interviews Coste has stated that he changed his hitting approach the last couple of years in order to hit for more power, so as to appeal more to an ML club. Does that factor into it, and even if he regresses a little, can he still hit .290? Who knows?

If he can still hit .290 or better, he'll still, IMO be the best hitting catcher on the team. But will it matter even then? Will Gillick option Ruiz (the future) to keep Coste, or, will he find some way to dispose of Barajas, a career .240 hitter (better lately) whi is also over 30 and presumably in decline? Based on Barajas salary, I'll answer "no" to the second part of the question.

This all leads to the basic question everyone has been either alluding to or discussing, which is:

Will Chris Coste get a legitimate chance to make the team (i.e. simply outperform the others in ST, or does he have to blow them away)?

In short, will Chris Coste get a fair shake from Pat Gillick and Charlie Manuel?

Based on what I've seen and heard:

NO!

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is what we all find so distasteful about Mr. Gillick.

Chris Coste could fall off the face of the earth for all I care. Just some minor-leaguer who got called up and performed well. David Newhan flirted with hitting .400 for the Orioles a couple seasons back after he got called up, in his 30's, and the next season, of course, he did nothing at all. As for Myers, if, as Kerrigan said, he didn't have a ****ing clue, he would've flamed out in the minors. He's not the greatest character guy, probably not the hardest worker, but there's nothing to indicate he's a huge underachiever, clubhouse cancer, or psycho.

"but there's nothing to indicate he's a huge underachiever, clubhouse cancer, or psycho"

This is a joke, right? I think beating your wife in public is indicative of something.

Naaaaaaaaah! He just had a few beers.

"Chris Coste could fall off the face of the earth for all I care. Just some minor-leaguer who got called up and performed well"

Tray, it's not like we all LOVE the guy, we just want team on the field with the best chance of winning.

Simply - if he makes the team better, then he should be on it, regardless of preconceived notions of Gillck and Manuel, who are not always right.

Let me ask you - were the Phils a better team last year with Coste or Fasano in the lineup?

If Gillick is unable to trade Coste in the immediate future, Gillick should at least release the guy before the beginning of ST, and give him a shot at the waiver wire -- my prediction is that at least five teams will enter claims for him.

Where, as Jason reports in the leadoff to this thread, Gillick was asked about Coste, and the team's depth at the catching position, all PG could do was bring up the subject of Jayson Werth, a guy who has not even caught one big league inning since he first started getting major league time back in the year 2002.

If that kind of crude disparagement doesn't scream to Coste and his agent that Coste should begin *immediate* efforts to get away from Gillick and his Phillies, I don't know what does.

If the situation is left alone, IMO, Coste will be given far fewer quality ST at bat opportunities (mostly "garbage time" late inning ST ABs)than he was even last year as a career minor leaguer, and then Gillick will again cut Coste at the "eleventh hour", right before Opening Day, thereby leaving Coste with few options at the start of the 2007 season, as clubs will, by then, be "set" coming out of ST.

"Chris Coste could fall off the face of the earth for all I care. Just some minor-leaguer who got called up and performed well"

Tray you took the words out of my mouth. God the whining on Coste drives me crazy. Why didn't Coste make the team last year? Because they decided to go with a veteran bench player over a career minor league player who had a great spring. I feel pretty safe in my thinking that nobody was calling for him to get more at bats when he started 0-12?

Will Coste get a legitimate chance at making the team? Of course he will. If he has a good spring he will make the team. I don't buy the Gillick hates Coste thing. This isn't high school.

With all the bodies added to the OF does anyone think we will still move Rowand at some point? With Vic, Bourn and Roberson all able to play center. Plus a couple of the guys added can play all 3 OF positions.


Malcolm, you say, "Why didn't Coste make the team last year? Because they decided to go with a veteran bench player over a career minor league player who had a great spring."

Sal Fasano "a veteran (major league) bench player?? Fasano was nothing of the kind. Rather, Fasano was a major player aqusition failure by Gillick. Fasano began 2005 at Orioles' AAA Ottawa, and is now a non-roster ST invitee with Toronto, after hitting .143 after going over to the Yankees last summer. Prior to 2005, Fasano hadn't played in the big leagues since 2002, when he played two games (with one AB) for Angels.

That's not my definition of a "veteran major league bench player", Malcolm.

Davthom73

Ok here it goes. The name i've seen mentioned the most on this site with Coste not making the team is Gonzalez. That is a veteran major league bench player. That being said. I would consider Sal Fasano more of a veteran major leaguer then Chris Coste. As Sal is a veteran and had major league experience. Of which most of the major league experience was bench time. I hope that was simple enough. I'm pulling for Coste to have the same season he had last year but i'm not going to kid myself that he should just be given the job. I also don't buy that a man in his 60's is trying to sabotage Coste career.

Malcolm: I don't think anyone posting in this thread has stated that Coste "should just be given" a spot on the Phillies for no reason. If Coste failed to perform in ST, that would be one thing. But the way things stack up now, after Gillick's off-season player acquisitions, Coste clearly is being (or already has been) crowded out -- and that I find offensive, given Coste's contribution to the Phillies' playoff run last year.

However, Gillick has gone out of his way to crowd the Phillies ST roster with new players whom Gillick assuredly will favor over Coste -- Gillick has always favored *his* acquisitions, while often ignoring compelling evidence that guys like Fasano, Gonzalez and Nunez didn't belong. I mean, good defense or not, how many players would have been given the chance Nunez was last season, while Nunez was south of the Mendoza line until mid-September or so.

Like so many other "old school" "in-the-box" conventional "by-the-old-book" baseball executives, Gillick favors the "athlete", over the baseball player.

Gillick's dislike for Coste as a player is evidenced by Gillick's off-season player moves -- where Gillick has brought in people like this guy who played 27 games at third base with Seattle last season, and Jason Werth (a guy who has never caught in the big leagues), as infield and outfield/catching depth, respectively -- all in derogation and disregard of Coste's fine performance of last year.

Gillick doesn't recognize Coste's performance last season because it embarrasses him -- among other things, it brings forth memory of Gillick's Gonzalez and Fasano mistakes.

Call it what you like, the 60-something (is that all he is?) Gillick doesn't want Coste around on Opening Day this year, and has made that fact abundantly clear.

Except for his 2 visits to the DL, Liebethal caught all of Myer's starts in 2006 except one. While on the DL, Ruiz and Fasano split the duties (Coste started one).

With Myer's tendency to unravel when things go awry and show up the ump or an untested catcher like Ruiz or Coste, I'd bet Barajas becomes Brett's "personal catcher".

So DavThom let me get this straight? Your not saying Coste should be given a roster spot. But you are condemning Gillick for bringing in guys to challenge him for that spot? You can't have it both ways. I'm not a big fan Gillick. I agree PG isn't making it easy for Coste to make the team. But I don't see that as a negative.

Here's a true football story illustrating the absudity of signing the "athletic look".

Last spring, the Miami Dolphins were looking to sign an FA quarterback. They looked at Drew Brees and Dante Culpepper. They picked Culpepper because he looked like an NFL athlete. They passed on Drew Brees because he was too short and thin.

On Coste, put me in the "want good things to happen to Coste" column.

VOR, I don't think Myers is that needy to require a personal catcher. Coste showed several times last year while catching Hamels that if the pitcher is fired up, Coste can calm them down. Coste is plenty willing, and has gathered all kinds of experience from catching all kinds of guys with all kinds of personalities in the Indy Leagues.

Gillick's bullshit approach to leaving a player (not necessarily an athlete) off of the roster who I would consider as salty a veteran as there is, to be quite frank, pisses me off. I'd say that Coste is more of a veteran than just about anybody on this roster, and him getting the shaft the way he is can be described as nothing but laughable. Sure, Coste might not be a .300+ hitter who has a quality AB every time up, or pulls through in the clutch all the time for the team in late-inning situations, but Coste beats the hell out of Barajas and the still-unproven Ruiz.

Lake Fred I agree with the Athletic Look that is sadly a Phillies draft ritual. But the Dolphins acquired Culpepper because he had a knee injury. Brees had shoulder surgery which is why he was available. The fear was when looking at the qb position you take the healthy shoulder over the bad knee. Still any way you look at it now it was a bad decision on there part.

For all you who want to write Coste off as a one-year wonder, I ask you to name me anything Coste has done to de-solidify his spot on this team's roster. I'm pretty sure you just can't do it.

And as for that bogus claim that Coste might have all this wear and tear on his body:
Coste played the corner infield positions for most of his minor-league career. He only learned to catch as a necessity to make an Indy League team.

Sure, Coste is an excellent story -- but us Coste pundits feel that he's also an excellent ballplayer. He might not be pretty to watch, but there's no sweeter sound than hearing the praise a guy like Coste deserves.

Sorry, DavThom, you lose me when you complain that younger players were brought in as competition for roster spots, or more specifically for Coste's spot. I've gotta agree with Malcolm, you improve the roster in any way you feel it's possible.

Alby, sorry, but in my book, Jason Werth, the .245 lifetime batting average outfielder guy whom Gillick looks to as the third catcher, is certainly no improvement over Coste as a catcher, or as a hitter. Werth hasn't even caught one major league inning since his first big league time in 2002, didn't play at all in 2006, and hit a mere .234, with only 7 HRs in 102 games and 337 at bats in 2005. And Werth struck out 117 times in those 337 at bats in 2005 -- heck, Werth's another Fasano in the K department! Now I understand why Gillick is so high on the guy -- and at 6'4", I'll bet he looks great in a baseball uniform -- and we know how Gillick likes guys who look good.

As for the newly-acquired third base-first base fella Greg Dobbs (another Gillick guy from Seattle), I'll take Coste and his 2006 performance, any day, over Dobbs, and Dobbs' measley 2 home runs, and .257 BA in 100 lifetime big league games (and 222 at bats) spread out over the three seasons 2004-2006. And Dobbs played as a fielder in only 33 of his 100 big league games.

Its true, Alby and Malcolm, "you improve the roster in any way you feel it's possible" --- but the problem is, Gillick's moves don't improve the Phillies' roster for 2007.

Gillick's importation of guys like Werth and Dobbs, while Gillick basically says publicly that the presence of these guys means that Coste is on the skids, is no account incompetent behavior for a major league GM. There's no other way to put it.

I agree with DavThom. I think that Gillick's 2006-2007 offseason will be defined more by the players he didn't sign/keep on the team than the ones he did.

Malcolm, I have also read that Brees wanted more money than Culpepper, so the Dolphins pulled a Gillick and went with the cheaper guy recovering from an injury.

Add me to the list of posters who are really suspect on the production the Phils will get out of Dobbs, Werth, Barajas, and veterans retreads (Simon, Garcia, etc).

Maybe Gillick thinks it will be a wash overall compared to last season since everyone on the bench besides Dellucci was so horrible.


The Phillies have pretty close to a ‘set’ starting 8. So beyond those 8 you are adding insurance and pinch-hitting. How much should you spend on that out of say, a $90 mil budget?
If PG signs 5-6 fringe players like Werth, Dobbs, Simon, Garcia, etc., at less $1 mil each, how many need to pan out at all for his investment to be a good one? If just one of those guys has a decent year, if just one has a Coste-type season, it ends up being more cost effective and perhaps helps the team more than spending $3 mil on someone like Trot Nixon to play part-time in RF.
It’s the same thing with those scrap-heap reliever signings. You can sign 5 of them for peanuts (1 yr deals) and hope one pans out, or you can sign 1 Foulke or Borowski for $4-5 mil and 3 years and hope it works out. I won’t say that either method is wrong, just different approaches.

As for Coste, he had a quality season in 2006. I like him. But last I looked he was still on the Phillies. He’ll go to ST and try to earn a starting job, or at the least a spot on the roster. I just think some folks are trying to read too much into PG’s statements sometimes. If Coste can help this team in 2007, he’ll be here.
I also find it interesting that many people are crying that they only want Coste to be given a fair shot, yet they would deny guys like Werth or Dobbs or Garcia the same chance. Are their histories any worse than Coste’s was before last season?
If someone like Dobbs tears up ST, would you cut Coste to keep him? Why not?

The argument concerning the demands of baseball vs football are somewhat an apples-oranges debate. First off, the strains of a 162-game baseball season are physical to a degree, but I think the real challenges are in the mental aspects and keeping focus all year. Football has no such challenge.
Comparing the average length of a career can also be misleading, since baseball has guaranteed contracts. Zito or Soriano will be around for the next 8 years no matter how bad they might suck. How long of a career would Mike Hampton have had if the Rockies could have cut him without pay at any time? He would have been out of baseball 5-6 years ago. In the NFL, that just doesn’t happen. When a better player comes along, you’re gone. So careers are shorter.
That said, certainly, as a collision sport, football is much tougher on your body than baseball.

The apples-oranges idea is true to some degree in the discussion about ‘overweight’ pitchers. When I look, I see most so-called out-of-shape pitchers are starters, not relievers. If you are overweight, I think you can handle throwing 120 pitches and then resting for 4-5 days a lot easier than you can handle throwing 1-2 innings 3 days in a row. Being out of shape effects your recovery time.
Most of the greatest closers, for example, are/were lean, certainly not overweight. Some were large men, but not out of shape. There are exceptions, but very few really. That’s because these pitchers have to be able to throw any time they are needed. It was not just a function of a good or strong arm. It’s also a function of recovery and long term (seasonal) stamina.
When throwing 200 innings is the high end standard for starters, with 4-5 days to rest in between starts, you can have many more overweight pitchers. When 300 IP and 3 days rest were the standard, there were not very many at all (not to confuse big with overweight). Mickey Lolich and who? Luis Tiant? Fernando?


George, how well did that strategy of going with other team's cheap castoffs to fill your bench work last year ?

Glad you have confidence in Karim Garcia, Randall Simon, or Gregg Dobbs as your primary LH bat off bench. As Clout says, we'll see who's right in June.

What do you like better ?

Option A - RF - Vic/Werth ($1 M) CF - Rowand ($4M) C - Ruiz/ Barajas ($3M)

Option B - RF - Nixon/Werth ($4M), CF - Victorino ($500k), C - Ruiz/ Coste ($1M) plus $1.5M for bench help and Rowand as tradeable commodity

George, read this again and think about it:
"If PG signs 5-6 fringe players like Werth, Dobbs, Simon, Garcia, etc., at less $1 mil each, how many need to pan out at all for his investment to be a good one? If just one of those guys has a decent year, if just one has a Coste-type season, it ends up being more cost effective and perhaps helps the team more than spending $3 mil on someone like Trot Nixon to play part-time in RF."

How is the team better with only ONE bench player being productive? If you have 4 poor players and one good player on the bench, not only does it hurt you late in the game, it kills you if you have injuries. Signing a pile of fringe players and hoping one pans out is a fine strategy if you just have one opening to fill on your bench. That's not the case here.

George, let me respond:

"If just one of those guys has a decent year, if just one has a Coste-type season"

A big IF. Looking at stats on the Cube, Dobbs might have the best chance.

"He’ll go to ST and try to earn a starting job"

If you seriously think, after the comments Gillick made in the JMac interview, that Coste will be given the opportunity to start, the I suggest you throw way the crack pipe and get yourself into rehab.

"Are their histories any worse than Coste’s was before last season?"

Define "worse". It's subjective.

IMO, Dobbs - no. Garcia - yes. Simon - yes. Werth - yes. Barajas - yes.

The question I asked in a previous post is:

Will Coste be given a fair chance?

Based on last year - no.

What it boils down to is - do you trust Gillick? Gillick made a mistake last year by keeping Fasano and sending Coste down, (never mind what he did with the rotation at the beginning of the year) a decision that, upon examination, may have coste (pun intended) them the postseason.

While other factors are involved, a fact that cannot be refuted is that the team was 29-21 when Coste had more than one plate appearance/game, 24-32 when Fasano had more than one. In short, with Coste playing full time there was not an offensive black hole in the bottom of the lineup.

So, should I trust Gillick based on last year?

Should you?

What is anyone's problem with either werth (somewhere between the bench and a full-time player) or dobbs? Both are younger than 30. Neither are 'proven veterans'. The former's last season decent season (2004) before trying to play through injury managed an ops of 825, with league average obp and extra power. The latter managed a respectable OPS of 948 with a .393 obp in 28 PA from the bench in 2006. The former's numbers took a dip when injury was a concern but prior to that his numbers were progressing steadily in the right direction. There were no outlying spikes, no suggestion of fluke years. Just decent progression. so with the injury no longer a major issue, its a reasonable gamble.

If billy beane makes these moves, everyone applauds the resourcefulness of taking a chance on both players excelling in a PART TIME/BENCH CAPACITY. But gillick makes them so he's pandering to his old draft preferences and not recognising they're dreck.

I realise coste had a good season last year and has a chance of looking good this year on the basis of his minor league numbers. I'm happy with a level of competition for the bench positions, and I'd put coste, werth and dobbs as having a good chance of nabbing them. I think the simons and the karim garcia's will surprise us if they do well enough to make it.

Gillick has clearly stated that flexibility is key to the bench, and coste has it.

Having said all that can i ask why are we stressing about whether a guy WHO WILL BE 34 THIS SEASON makes the bench? Much has been mentioned that gillick and charlie prefer veterans, and yet if we don't say the word coste, we're stressing about a player who had a VERY GOOD SEASON AT THE AGE OF 33. If his name was a-gon, NONE OF US WOULD BE HAPPY WITH THE GAMBLE OF HIM REPEATING IT.

Sorry to use caps, but this has gone beyond all sense of proportion. Coste has had the very definition of a veteran player's career year. The only reason no-one is talking in those terms is his lack of MLB experience prior to this. Not assuming he will repeat a career year at his age is simply prudent. I have no issue with this. Nor do I have issue of picking up bench players under the age of 30.

Garcia, Simon and Barajas are not pretty, but only one of those has been given a major-league contract. We're all assuming that Garcia and Simon (neither of whose body types fit gillick's preference for athletic-ballplayers) are locks to make the bench. If simon is there I'll be shocked. If garcia makes it I'll be mildly surprised. Neither are what you call favourites either on the basis of past numbers.

and for everyone wondering what pat was going to do with the money scrimped and saved on the bargain basement stock . . . it's been spent on chase, who's locked into a deal for 7 years at about 15 mill a year.

This just in:

Utley - 7years - $85,000,000.

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