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Sunday, January 07, 2007

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Jason: If that's the way the OF shapes up, it's a definite downgrade from '06.

Tim: I never said you loved the bullpen. I wondered how you could be OK with the team, given that bullpen. Obviously, you can't be OK with the team if you're not OK with the bullpen.

AWH: There's no double standard. Koplove is someone who has had 2 full seasons of success at the big league level, something Condrey, Castro & Smith have never done. Yet you are counting on those latter 3. I think taking a chance on Koplove bouncing back is far less of a gamble. For that reason, I also think the Phils should go after Villone.

watching Villone last year w/ that Yanks was painful. It seems like we are still in the hunt for Mike Gonzo...I hope we can land him some how, some way. If we were able to, I'd rather have him close than Flash.
As far as Todd goes, think of it as an upgrade to Randall Simon and it is a minor league deal.

Hollandsworth is still better than Roberson. Remember, he has only been offered a minor league contract. It's sad that this is the best the penny pinching Phils can do to possibly upgrade their bench (barring an unforseen trade).

While it would be awesome to land Gonzalez, the Phils can't sit around and wait for that deal to go through. If it happens, great, but they need a fall back option should it not happen. That fall back should be someone like Ron Villone. What is the harm in possibly ending up with both Gonzalez and Villone in the same pen? Villone makes sense for the Phils pen. He did have an off year last season, but he was decent for the Mariners the previous two years. He is a guy like Cormier, whom isn't lights out, but will get the job done more often than not. The Phils desperately need a veteran left-handed presence on this team. While I like Matt Smith, he and Castro should not be the main left-handers out of the pen.

Great minds think alike: Jim Salisbury urges those worried about Howard to take a chill pill this morning, and makes the Pujols comparison.

Good points on both Hollandsworth and Howard, Jason. If Hollandsworth gets a minor league deal, than i would hope he would actually have to compete for a spot. I would be OK with either Werth or Holl. on the team, but not both.

Good job comparing the outfields from last year...all the offense we gained from the upgrade at 3B will be given away in RF, and maybe more. The team will still hit, but I don't see a repeat of last year's league leading offense.

I think having Vic in the corner will be a nice defensive upgrade (especially over Dellucci), but I don't think it will be enough to offset the loss of OBP and power from Abreu and DD.

The Phils have traditionally had very good OF depth with Michaels, Ledee, Vic, but we are one injury from having a major hole in the corner spot.

Jason, agreed, this is not as good an outfield as we started with last year. If all they're doing is throwing out minor league deals, why not sign every available left handed hitting FA to minor league deals and let them fight it out. McCracken and Terrence Long are both still available. So's Curtis Pride, Michael Tucker, etc. - you get the idea.

God forbid they violate their own salary cap and add someone who will have more impact than Hollandsworth.

clout, I beg to differ. You are applying a double standard if, in your own language the standard is that we can "rely on" or 'count' on a reliever in '07.

Again, based on their recent track records, not ancient history for a relief pitcher, you cannot "rely on" Koplove any more than the other three. If two seasons of major league success at some point in the past is your standard for being able to "rely on" someone, let's sign Kevin Gryboski, or bring back Wayne Gomes. They're only 33.

I disagree that "taking a chance on Koplove bouncing back is far less of a gamble". He's had three seasons of not being able to pitch at that level, so going with Koplove, IMO, is no less risky. Not more, but not less.

As far as Villone is concerned, he's ust as much of a gamble. Effective left handed relievers aren't easy to come by, and if Cashman thought he had anything left he would have re-signed him. If you're going to look at him why not Randy Choate.

No one you bring in is a sure thing, save maybe someone you'd have to trade for like
Gonzalez.

Jason, no one is worried about losing Howard anytime soon. What most of us objected to were the injudicious comments that Amaro made, and the potential damage they could have caused. This team has been a public relations disaster for a long time, and the hiring of Scott Palmer does not appear to have helped very much.

The people who run and post on this sight (forgive me for being master of the obvious) are serious baseball fans, the kind who go to more than one or two games a year. As a matter of fact I just renewed my ticket package.

If we demonstrate some consternation with the Phillies organization and their handling of a situation, though we may overreact slightly, it's generally with good reason.


The team is good with Burrell, Rowand, Victorino and Werth. Beyond them they are shaky. Coste should be decent plus able to play 3B and C with LF. I would like to see a good lefthanded OF like Nixon or the like. But considering the lack of good depth in prospects at the Minor level that play the field, its not a bad signing.

Another totally underwhelming move. Gillick is employing his Hobo-style strategy of picking up players from the scrap heap. A strategy long popular with Phils' GMs dating back to Thomas in the 1980s. Can't wait for Amaro's comments when the Phils sign Hollandsworth.

Hard to believe that when this offseason began, the Phils were talking about acquiring Soriano, Ramirez, or another big-time player. Instead, the only player who is going to clearly make a clear difference on this team is Garcia. Helms might be a pleasant surprise but the Eaton, Barajas, and Werth signings are pretty underwhelming.

At this point, I am starting to lose some faith in Gillick. Looks like his hands are tied by ownership but this looks like Gillick's second crappy offseason in a row. Have to wait until the season begins but I think when the dust settles, only Garcia and Helms acquisitions will turn out to be positive moves for 2007.

Fictional Amaro comment on Hollandsworth signing: "He (Hollandsworth) is a real professional. He will provide some needed experience and pop off the bench. We are happy to have him here."

If Hollandsworth was younger, you could bank on the Matt Kata line "Our scouts have had their eye on him for some time."

If you had to come up with the definition of a journeyman, it'd be Hollandsworthless. What does someone like that bring to a team, even a bench? A pinch-single in every four tries? I'd much rather see the Phillies go with Bourn, who can at least play defense and pinch-run. Hollandsworth's mediocre bat is the best of his eroded skills.

Come on fellas - you guys are hitting the panic button. Alot of transactions will occur between now and the beginning of season, something will happen.

I is highly unlikely we start the season with the 6 starters we have and may pick-up someone like Bernie Williams along the way which I think would be beneficial.

RSB - yes, Bourn is a better option, IMO.

Bix, if Bernie W is willing to come here and platoon/backup, I'm all for it. Still a decent player. Good work wthic. Good guy in clubhouse. Rings to show the younger guys.

But, no one is panicking. We just feel the club can be improved between now and April. Is Hollandsworth really an improvement?

And remember, this is still the Giles/Montgomery ownership group looking over Gillick's shoulder, and with their hands on the checkbook.

Eddie Guardado is still out there. He hasn't had an ERA over 4.00 since '99, and he can close.

Is he a fit, still effective, and would Montgomery open the checkbook?

This team is pretty much set between now and April as far as free agent market. Only other FA pickups might be marginal guys to round out the 40-man roster.

The only real play is via trades at this point. Unforutunately, I think we value Lieber too much. Almost see him as a salary dump. Maybe he gets a reliable veteran for the pen but I am suspect. See more of a journeyman reliever and a B prospect.

One move I wouldn't mind seeing is a trade for a LH-bat for the outfield in spring training. Just about anyone would be an upgrade over Hollandsworth.

AWH - The theme was pretty negative & pessimistic I thought starting with Jason.

Agree that this is a pretty transparent move from Conine and very disappointing but it has not happened even yet.

Hollandsworth would be a mistake, even if it be to a minor league contract. I do know relying on Roberson, Sandoval, and Nunez for pinch-hitting isn't a good thing...they can't hit! If Gillick was looking to go the minor league free agent route he should have jumped on some guys earlier...yeah well, bullpen still sucks too!

We don't need no stinking Hollandsworth!

I never got the hype for this guy. He strikes out way too much, is a defensive liability and just seems like something that we don't need right now. I'd rather see them carry Roberson than this guy.

This deal implies to me a pending Rowand trade for a reliever. If that were to happen, we'd be left with an outfield of LF Burrell, CF Victorino, RF platoon Werth/Hollandsworth, with Bourn off the bench for speed/defense. If that were to happen, obviously the quality of the reliever received in return would determine the value of the trade. The logic behind such a move would be that the team was best last year when Victorino filled in in CF for the injured Rowand. But why they keep looking to sign guys for every conceivable position other than their number one need (bullpen) does indeed baffle even a Giilick fan like me.

AWH: I fully agree Villone and Koplove are gambles. Where you and I differ is that you're happy to enter the season counting on Smith, Castro & Condrey, who I feel are greater gambles since they have proved nothing. I'm not happy at all to go with those 3 without having a couple vets in reserve.

verdeforce, if you are correct and the Phillies starting OF is Burrell/Victorino/Werth-Hollandsworth, it will be the worst OF in the NL.

Where would you rank the OF with Rowand - 15th out of 16? Victorino played better than him last year making Rowand somewhat redundant. If they could get someone like Mike Gonzalez for Rowand and signed Trot to platoon with Werth, relegating Hollandsworth to the Michael Tucker PH bench slot, they could upgrade the OF and pen.

V: Like everyone else, I can't claim to know Gillick's intentions - but if I read him with any assurance on any one thing, it's that he isn't trading Rowand.

RSB, why is PG not trading Rowand? As for your comment about Gordon being an All-Star last year and questioning my "he's done." comment, I think that after he was injured, he was done. He wasn't as effective when he came back. Cholly pitched him as the closer and he didn't get the job done. Stick a fork in him.

I agree Lake Fred. I don't have a whole lot of confidence in Flash, to be honest. I see the closer position becoming a need sometime in midseason.

I agree Lake Fred. I don't have a whole lot of confidence in Flash, to be honest. I see the closer position becoming a need sometime in midseason.

I don't think Rowand will be traded because a) the outfield is pretty sorry as it is, and b) I sense that Gillick really likes Rowand's grit and brought him here to make a point.

Gordon has shown the ability to bounce back from injuries in the past. He'll have had an entire off-season to rest. I acknowledge that the Phillies aren't secure counting on him to be the closer for a full season, but that's a far cry from believing he's "done". What happened to him in the second half is unfortunate, but I don't see why or how that would necessarily negate the results of what he did in the first half, or why it would be assumed that his physical problems will carry over into the start of the upcoming season.

I agree on Gordon, Lake Fred and Beard. Before being shut down from August 12th to September 7th last season, Gordon's ERA for his four August appearances wes 9.64; Gordon's ERA's for the other months of the 2006 season -- April 0.84, May 2.19, June 2.70, July 4.86, and then, after being hut down for almost a month, September 3.60.

I'm not saying that Gordon won't be able to pitch at all in 2007 -- I am saying that Gordon's 2006 experience shows that he more than likely will not be able to be a regular closer -- in the contemporary deinition of the role.

Obviously, as these numbers show, Gordon's selection to the 2006 All Star team was based on Gordon's performance in April, May and June -- very different numbers than Gordon's July, 4-game-August, and 3.60 September.

I agree that the team needs someone on board at the begining of the year to step in at closer if needed. A trade will be needed to do that to get a good quality guy who doesn't have a bunch of ????? marks to his name.
Garcia - was a great pick up of a young quality major league starter. I still feel Floyd and Gonzalez will do good but this was definitely worth it.
Helms - was a good signing inexpensive and a very good contact hitter who goes well with this lineup. He may surprise many people with his RBI production this year as the hitters in front of him should give him many chances.
Werth - he was actually a good signing even though he didn't play last year. He is considered a bench player for now and has the potential to be better. They shouldn't sign any other player considered a question for bench (Hollandsworth) especially if they trade Rowand.
Eaton - Another question with health but the benifits could be huge. As long as they have another decent pitcher waiting to step in if there is an injury than they should be fine.
Barajas - I don't want to see him start, but it does add a good catcher if there was an injury (and catchers tend to get nicked up). He is good defensively and calls a good game. I like Coste/Ruiz at catcher but they needed to do this to give the team some security at this position.

RSB, maybe I'm a little harsh on Flash when I say that he is "done", but at his age, coming off an injury and showing nothing after coming off his injury, I am skeptical about his ability to perform as a quality closer in 2007.

Here is what scares me: Cholly will not use Gordon much in ST (to save his aged arm for the regular season). The season starts and Cholly inserts Gordon as the closer at every oppurtunity due to Cholly's loyalty to veterans and their position on the depth chart. I fear that Flash will not be up to the task and he'll have a lot of blown saves. The Phillies will have another mediocre spring because the bullpen is not up to the task. We suffer all year as the team struggles to get above .500. Sound familiar? I want a younger live arm closer.

This morning's Denver Post:

"Maligned for never reaching his potential, [Karim] Garcia has dropped 20 pounds, regained his power and will decide today whether to sign a minor-league deal with the Rockies or the Philadelphia Phillies, according to his agent..."

What the &*@#?

what the hell? that is just stupid if true.

Two things - this adds to the possibility that they are going to trade one of the outfielders and PG must read this blog, because he is stocking Garcias like they are going out of style.

No no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Jason,

I just noticed your recent request about card shops in Philadelphia where you can buy Phillies cards. Two comments:

1) I don't know of any that would have that sort of selection. Most shops I know of, to survive, seem to focus on new sets, boxes and packs, as well as autographed memorabilia. Near where I live is Carl's Cards (Havertown, PA), which has a website and is an impressive shop. You might call them.

2) Your better bet is to go to a card show in the area. In case you haven't ever (or recently) gone to one, there are typically one or more dealers who have Phillies cards separated from the rest of their cards that you can look through. For recent players, you should be able to find a lot of cards at any area show (go to Beckett.com, and under the "Collecting Tool" menu, there is a link for "Show Schedule"--doesn't look like there is anything immediately upcoming in Philly in January). For older cards of Phillies, your best bet is the revered "Philly Show" (www.phillyshow.org), one of the best shows in the country (probably THE best after the National). The next Philly Show is in Reading on March 2-4. The show had long been at the Fort Washington Expo Center, but that was torn down, so it has temprorarily moved to Reading.

By the way, for a bunch of players' cards that you can't find elsewhere, look on eBay for the Phillies stadium giveaway set from 2006 ("SGA" is collectors' lingo for stadium giveaway--you might find it listed as such). There were a number of cards in that set, such as Rick White, Fabio Castro, etc. that aren't available elsewhere. Someone on eBay was also selling them singly.

Hope this helps.

Steve

Thank you so much, Steve! You answered all my questions. I will look into the Philly Show pronto.

why is signing edge major leaguers to minor league deals a problem? it looks to me to be restocking the minors with potential upside.

the farm is a bit low on position hands right now, any improvement is a good thing.

Joe,
Signing a career journeyman is not "restocking the minors". What upside do you think Hollandsworth has?

how bout signing Erstad?

I can't believe Karim Garcia is only 31. Seems like he has been around forever.

Rockies signed Alexis Gomez today as a lefty bat off the bench, which could swing Garcia toward the Phillies.

Sign them both, who really cares? I don't see (as mentioned above) how this hurts. We might get some innings out of Todd and a pich hit or two out of Garcia.

The phills really need to start focusing on the pen though.

Reitsma got signed by the Mariners for 1.3 million. I would have taken that, no matter how much people think he sucks, I beleive he has the potential to give valuabel innings out of the pen...

The problem is that signing ten-team rejects like Garcia and Hollandsworth proves to all the world just how deficient the Phillies' farm system is. If these guys were any kind of assets, don't you think at least *one* team might have held on to them for more than six months? It's shameful that the Phils would even bother with names like these.

As Pedro would say, "Who is Karim Garcia?"

RSB: That's exactly right. The farm system is so poor on position players that the team has to sign human garbage like Abernathy, Collier, Hollandsworth, Garcia etc.

I do think, however, that CY, Joe etc. have a point when they say "What difference does it make?" The expense is low and does not inhibit them from signing a player who could actually contribute.

My only fear is that someone within the Phillies organization will actually believe that a Karim Garcia or a Brent Abernathy belongs on the major league team.

Reitsma said in The Seattle Post Intelligencer that he was offered more money elsewhere (perhaps Philly?), but took less to play for the M's because since he grew up in Alberta they were like his home team - damn Canadiens....

I have to disagree with the earlier assessment that Seattle is re-building - they are looking at Erstad and they look like a team trying to spend money, but just finding very few takers. Toronto and Minnesota are in the same shape and those are the 3 most likely destinations for Lieber in my opinion.

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