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Tuesday, January 09, 2007

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Last year the Mets went into the season with allot of questions with there team, this is the year things break our way. I'm excited.

Maybe Gillick is building a Goon squad. Minor League mascots, and Groundskeepers will be quaking in their boots!

"more mystery than a book-of-the-month club" is a good way of putting it; it also applies to all of Gillick's off-season acquisitions other than Freddy Garcia. The Phillies have no way of knowing what they'll get from K. Garcia, Werth, Eaton, or Helms. This is a team which had glaring weaknesses in its bench and bullpen last year, and these two areas have managed to get worse instead of better. Gillick's idea of a solution for right- and left-hand hitting reserve outfielders are two guys who didn't even play in the major leagues last year. Regardless of how it ends up working out, I don't think it's much of a stretch to day he could have done *much* better. All this guy does is add question marks to the roster. This is the way fringe operations with tiny budgets operate. It's really kind of sad.

Well, considering the shockingly poor performance of Alex Gonzalez and Abe Nunez, aren’t we due for a little bit of a break from the baseball gods? I mean damn, Inning Endy Chavez turned in a real strong season for the Muts after being the only player in the league that could come to the plate with one out and no one on and still hit into a double play when he was a Phil!

Any chance of Urbina getting work release?

RSB -

The biggest weakness of last years team was the starting pitching. The offense scored the most runs in the NL.

This years starting rotation, compared to last years, are light years apart.

The improved rotation improves the bullpen. I suspect that we will see a couple young guys break camp as relievers. As for a veteran lefty presence, I think that's defined by Mr. Moyer.

Is anyone really surprised by this? Typical Phillies. Werth, Eaton, Helms, Garcia....career backups with the chance to play everyday with the Phillies. These guys were born to wear the red pinstripes.

Maybe the lesson that Gillick has taken from the Eagles' turnaround this season is to get more guys named Garcia.

Garcia absolutely sucks. Unless my best and most trusted scout assured me the guy has a new approach or swing, i wouldn't get anywhere near him.

Now, it's weird, I feel as negatively towards this signing (and all the other moves since Garcia/Helms/Eaton) as anyone, yet I still have a lot of hope for the season. The major reason is that the biggest additions between '06 and '07 actually came DURING the '06 season, in the form of Cole Hamels and Jamie Moyer. There is no question that if the Floyd/Madson debacle hadn't occured, this team would have won the wild card.

Now, there are certainly question marks this year, and Jason is right to point out Vic and Helms as two of the biggest. If Vic stuggled to post a .720 OPS while in CF, in what be a problem, but mitigated by the fact that he was a good defender at a crucial defensive spot. But RF? I am concerned that we are probably talking about 30 run difference (= to about 3 wins) between Abreu/Delluci and Vic/Werth/Garcia/Some other stiff.

Also, catcher is a big question mark. I think that aside from stabilizing the rotation, the offensive improvement from Lieby/Fassano => Coste was the number one reason for the late season surge. We basically went from a below average cathcer to an all-star. If Coste/Ruiz come back to earth, and Vic gets exposed i don't see this team leading the league in runs scored next year. That being said, because of the additions of Garcia/Moyer/Hamels, they may not have to.

Ha!

timr... that is inspired!

check this baseball card of Karim out...looks like Jose Canseco

http://www.baseball-almanac.com/players/player.php?p=garcika01

"The improved rotation improves the bullpen." Joe, I'm sorry; I don't buy that *at all*. You're saying the relievers' performance will improve contigent on them being used less, and I don't think there's any way of knowing that. There's also no guarantee all five members of the rotation will perform as they've done in the past or remain healthy for the entire season. This is just one reason why it's important to have a strong bullpen, as nothing is certain in baseball.

I think all you need to know about Karim Garcia is how many teams have quickly dumped him, which would be *a lot*. Who represents the Phillies' speed off the bench, by the way? Nunez?

I have to agree with you, kdon, about RF. I was all for trading Abreu (as I believe you know), but I did not really believe he would be replaced with some kind of monstrous Victorino/Werth/Garcia combination.

The *only* reason I am excited about the Phillies' chances is because the rest of the league is just as mediocre. They have a fairly strong rotation and a (literally) half-decent offense. But I don't see this team getting to 90 wins.

Good GMs can discern the mid level player from the replacement level. Gillick has not proven to me he can do this, and therefore has had a lot of problems building a bench and a bullpen. As an AL GM, I also don't think he values the importance of pinch hitting in the NL game. The only thing that surprises me about this move is that Garcia doesn't somehow have connections to Gillick through Toronto, Seattle, or Baltimore.

Shaping up to be another disappointing offseason by Gillick. Probably better than last season (which besides the Gordon signing was horrendous) but Gillick has done a poor job again of putting together the bullpen and the bench.

Since Rollins never hits in April and the bullpen is going to be a work in progress, Phils are placing are a big strain on their to staring pitching to get them out to a good start. Keep your fingers crossed.

Most frustrarting thing is if the Phils only spent another $10 million or so early this offseason they could have acquired a decent veteran setup guy and a LH-bat to platoon with Victorino in RF.

While not earth-shattering those two moves would have gone a long way to solidying this team and increases their chances of having a good start in April & May.

Great post Jason. The hot stove seems to be cooling off. Mardi Gras will be over before ST starts. At least football gives us something to get excited about at this time of year. I'm not excited about Garcia....or Werth...or Eaton!

I forgot to mention Barajas among Gillick's off-season acquisitions. He isn't so much of question mark, but the signing *itself* is a question mark.

It's hard to believe Gillick was apparently ready to shell out $90 million to Soriano five or six short weeks ago. If the ownership group was squeezing him, why was this ever considered? I am not quite cynical enough to believe it was a mere ruse, and that they didn't really have any intention of signing him. In the meantime, Gillick can't be bothered to pursue any significant additions to the offense (I am not convinced that Wes Helms is an upgrade from David Bell), not to mention a bullpen as threadbare as Charlie Manuel's scalp?

MG, I agree that as a longtime ALer, Gillick evidently does not comprehend just how important a versatile bench is for an NL team. Here he's replacing one DH (Dellucci) with another (Garcia). He's done a good job in assembling a competitive rotation, but he has not impressed me with anything else he has done since taking over as GM.

Hi everyone, the Phillies just signed me to play left field. Pay no attention to my .320 career slug%, I'm great in the clubhouse and cheap.

the Karim signing is a minor league deal, and I can't imagine him beating out Bourn for an outfiled spot. Maybe he does hit, maybe he doesn't. I am not that impressed with Tucker or Ledee. So, the Ottawa OF is looking better, makes me want to take a road trip to the Canadian Capital.

I agree RSB, I can't see how the Phillies were a serious contender for Lee, Soriano, or Ramirez. Maybe those deals were contigent on trading Burrell, but several reports said they could keep Burrell AND sign a big bat. It's possible that Garcia (the good one!) and his $10M contract took up some of this room, but it shouldn't be prohibitive.

It really is interesting, essentially Garcia is taking up Abreu's role in the salary structure. Would we rather have:

A) Rotation of Hamels/Myers/Lieber/Moyer/Eaton with Abreu in RF and Gonzalez and Floyd still in the minors or

B) Rotation of
Hamels/Myers/Garcia/Moyer/Eaton with Vic/Werth/Garcia in RF with Matt Smith and CJ Henry in the minors.

I wouldn't automatically pick option A because I like the pitching depth we have now, but it is certainly debatable. I said I would revisit the Abreu trade once I saw where the $13M went. Getting Eaton and Garcia is nice, but there has to be some concern about RF.

BTW, RSB, when the Phils traded Abreu, who did you think they would put in right?

I can see Garcia edging Bourn if they want him to get more time in Ottawa. The minor league deal part makes no difference. Jose Offerman was a minor league signing.

I actually went to two Orix games this past season when I was in Japan, and well... in the games I saw, all Karim Garcia did, in eight plate appearances -- literally -- was ground out, strike out, and hit one home run.

Which is approximately what they expected out of him. Pull, pull, pull.

I'm actually working on some Perl scripts to parse the 2006 Japanese season game logs and come up with more detailed stats for another project, but I'd be inclined to agree with the "isn't going to break camp with the Phillies" diagnosis. I mean, Orix was a legitimately terrible team this year, with barely anyone on the team even breaking an 800 OPS, and he wasn't even the best hitter out of that. His 13 home runs did lead the team... only because aging sluggers Kazuhiro Kiyohara and Nori Nakamura spent large parts of the season injured.

But to be fair, I'm not an Orix fan (or a Karim Garcia fan) and mostly ignored their existence this year to actually watch teams that didn't suck.

I don't know, kdon. I just figured they were okay at the time with Dellucci and Victorino, and that Gillick (ha) would address the RF position in the off-season. But apparently the guy's a freak for three-headed platoons instead of coming up with real solutions.

I don't think the Phillies got Garcia to stock the Ottawa roster. I'd figure Bourn has a less than 10% chance of making the team - perhaps only if Garcia hits about .126 in ST.

Orix makes a great vacuum cleaner.

Unfortunately, I bet Garcia has a good shot to make this team. Werth may not by healthy to start the season and the Phils' preference for veterans makes Garcia a pretty good candidate to open the season in Philly.

Maybe he contributes, but I see Garcia as pretty much dead weight. Maybe some spot power but is awful defensively, has no speed, and has been never been a great contact hitter. But he has veteran "moxie." Yeah.

RSB writes, "All this guy [Gillick] does is add question marks to the roster."

Well then, maybe now you understand why some of us were so upset at the Abreu trade.

Plus quality -- a guy in the top 20% at his position -- is damn hard to come by in MLB. It should be hoarded, but if a trade is forced, as Schilling and Rolen, or chosen, as Abreu, you must consider what level of talent will replace what's being subtracted. Last season you defended the Abreu trade, reasoning that the team's approach to the game was flawed and that he opitomized it. Some of us disagreed because we thought it imperative to receive some value in return. The lack of talent we see today, and the dumpster diving in response, is a direct result of getting nearly no return on Abreu. Yes, they saved a bunch of money. The problem is that money alone won't make talent available. What good is the money if these dumpster projects are all you can find to spend it on?

Pat Gillick has been on the very short end of two transactions -- trading Padilla for a nobody and Abreu for a LOOGY and three nobodies. How many strikes and you're out...?

Nice post Deanna

Anyone try to get Spring Training Tickets today?

Yanks games sold out quickly. Anyone know of a way to get some tickets and not get bent over?

Pat Gillick is like a big catfish right now--a big bottom feeder.

This guy Karim Garcia didn't have much years ago, what does he have now?

Cripes, might as well have kept Conine!

Garcia was one of my least favorite guys in all of baseball during his years with the Yanks. God, I hope he doesn't make the team.

And yeah, CY, I picked up some tix for the March 17 Yankees game in Clearwater. Glad I got them first thing this morning.

I can forgive Gillick *somewhat* for dumping Padilla and Abreu. Their presence was no longer desired. I will agree that he could have chosen to do so in a more effective manner. I don't want to start arguing about it again. I understand why a lot of people were and are upset by the Abreu trade. I'm more upset *now* than I was then because Gillick apparently has *no plan* to replace Abreu. I thought that trading him would clear the way for other transactions which would make this team stronger. Seeing how that hasn't and apparently isn't going to happen, I am far less inclined to defend Pat Gillick now than I was on July 28. It seemed that there was some kind of master plan at work, or so perhaps I wanted to believe. I have begun to lose faith in Gillick all over again. I don't think this team is an ounce better, or more efficiently run, than it was the day he took over the position from Ed Wade. Wade was too conservative, but at least one could make *sense* out the moves he did make. On the other hand, I find myself confounded and frustrated by Gillick's methodology at nearly every turn. My observation is that this organization is not getting any better with him at the helm.

Jim, I agree with you about Garcia. I've always thought of him as a beefed-up thug who carried himself like he was some big shot when the reality is no one can stand to have him around for more than four months. I'm not the least bit excited at the thought of having him on the Phillies.

First they acquired Freddy Garcia, then Anderson Garcia and now Karim Garcia..... are the Phillies trying to bottle some of Jeff Garcia's magic or does Gillick just like guys named Garcia?
Maybe it helps old Charlie remember everybody's names if they are all the same.

Please, I beg: no more posts about the name Garcia.

What about Jerry Garcia?
"trouble ahead...trouble behind....."

Karim Garcia has a celebrity-status is Mexico. At the WBC last spring, I sat in the left field seats with the Team Mexico fans, and aside from Castillo, he seemed to be the fan favorite (Garcia was Mexico's starting LF). The guys next to me couldn't stop telling me how great Garcia was, although I don't remember him doing much of anything that game. There's also been a lot of coverage on the Mexican news about his signing with the Phils. Still, I'm not sold on the guy.

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