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Tuesday, February 13, 2007

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And why aren't we pursuing Ron Villone again?

I want to be the first on that Torii Hunter '08 bandwagon.

No one's signed Ronnie Belliard and his tongue?

Penny and Lieber are the two starters who will command the most offers in ST. It would be a boon to the Phillies if Penny goes elsewhere first. We saw yesterday how Traschel, perhaps the last remaining free agent option, was swept up instantaneously after one of their pitchers went down with an injury. It's a matter of time before the Phillies are dealing from advantage with someone in March.

'their' meaning Baltimore. You knew that, but it just looked wrong.

The trouble with Belliard is he's a Type A free agent, so teams will need to cough up draft pick (I think - I'm always confused about the rule). Otherwise, he would be a nifty little addition to a bench.

There's a topic we haven't discussed much - utility infield. Right now, the Phillies have Nunez and Sandoval. Is that enough? Should the Phillies look for more?

I'd rather go with Dustin Hermanson than Ron Villone, although Hermanson may not be healthy.

Lieber is worth something. He's a veteran starting pitcher that has had plenty of success in the past coming off a down year, but his down year probably would have netted him more than the 7.5 he's owed this season...Marquis?

"There's a topic we haven't discussed much - utility infield. Right now, the Phillies have Nunez and Sandoval. Is that enough? Should the Phillies look for more?"

Are Nunez and Sandoval enough? - Do the Pirates have the inside track on the WS this year? NO WAY are they enough. Unfortunately that is not the biggest glaring weakness of this team. I remember several posts as the off-season was beginning where everyone established the list of priorities with another starting pitcher, protection for Howard and bullpen help seemingly the most repeated. Eaton/Garcia are supposed to take care of SP and I think we're all resigned that Pat B has re-assumend the protection role, by default, however that 'pen is such an elephant in the room that (f)utility infielder has gotten lost in the shuffle. I think that ST showing us where exactly Coste fits into the picture will go a long way to defining that need.

Well, there's Dobbs and Coste, who supposedly can play the corners... as far as the middle of the infield, the Phils are just going to have to keep their fingers crossed that their elite DP combo can play 160 games apiece.

You all know I think Nunez is worthless, besides his defense, afterall I dubbed him "No-Hit", and Danny Sandoval is a no-talent ass-clown...so our utility infielders suck!

*I don't like to sugarcoat.

It might have been nice for the farm system to produce a reasonable backup plan. Tim Moss, Danny Gonzalez, etc. went bust.

I thi9n it depends on Cholly, actually. How much does he value late inning replacement, giving Chase and JRoll a day off, etc.? By "enough" do you mean defensively or offensively? If history is any indication, we could be in trouble, especially if we need any kind of offensive output whatsoever from Sandoval or Nunez. Let's hope Utley and Rollins have been eating their Wheaties.

Sandoval is not a major league talent and I hope he is not on the list of the 25 considred to break camp with the rest of the team, unless he has suddenly learned to hit, run, and field. If Sandoval is currently slated to make it to Philly, I hope they give a chance to Brent Abernathy instead - the former Devil Ray who is a non-roster invitee is a better hitter and fielder.

However, it seems from everything we've read and written that Nunez will become the primary back-up at 2nd and short with Dobbs, Coste, and/or Simon (I don't know why he has fallen off our radar after his great winter) as the likely back-ups for Helms and Howard on the corners. Not terrible, but if Utley or J-Roll experience any injury problems, the Phils will be looking for FAs or trades.

Doesn't Villone want to start? I thought that was the deal. If he's gotten to the point where he's willing to settle to the pen again I could see pursuing him.

But even then he'll probably want a situation where he'd be the 6th starter out of the pen and as long as we have Lieber, Philly wouldn't look like a good fit to him.

I have a question about Burrell. Maybe it's been discussed on this site before, but if so I'm ressurecting it.

The MLBPA just filed a motion to supress/block the 100 names of players who tested positive for steroid use in 2003. 2003 was the year PB fell flat on his face with a Mendoza line average, etc. That led me to think about the following:

I'm not speculating that Pat is on the list of "The 100", BUT, is it possible he went off the juice that year because he knew they would be testing? Is that what led to his precipitous decline in '03, and his subsequent struggles? Was his prior assent 'juice induced'?

Or.....is he just an undisciplined, uncoachable head case?

Just asking.

Scratch Villone off the list. He just signed a minor league deal with the Yankees.

Scratch Villone off the list. He just signed a minor league deal with the Yankees.

Danny Sandoval is a no-talent ass-clown...

Best line going into spring training!!

AWH, Burrell's one of the last guys who would need that kind of 'assistance'...he's got a classic power hitter's build - and when he gets ahold of one, it still goes an awfully long way. His problems stem exclusively from the mechanical and mental aspects of hitting. I am inclined to dismiss your suggestion out of hand.

Anyone here think Lowell would be worth asking about? Any idea what Boston is looking for?

BeanTown is looking for a closer, but we kinda need Flash.

Lowell is good, but we're not going to get him.

Suprised Villone signed with Yanks, he'd have a better shot at making a bullpen elsewhere.

Yeah, I'm no expert, but I dont think that steroids really do much for your ability to make contact, and consequentially, your batting average. It would have a significant impact on your power, however, and I dont see Burrell's power numbers fluctuating. He always hits home runs and cant hit for average. I think RSB nailed it with the mechanical problems and lack of discipline.

Note from earlier: I'm not too familiar with young bullpen arms in the Phils system. Does anyone, familiar with that situation, know if there are any guys that have potential to take the place of some of the dinosaurs that are currently slotted in the bullpen?

I was hoping for Lowell back when third was still a big question mark, but with Helms in town, Lowell would be redundant. he could be a valuable contributor somewhere, between the doubles and the excellent defense.

Well I guess you cant say that a guy that gets about 100 walks a year has discipline problems, and reviewing RSB's comment, he didnt say that. So RSB, sorry to attribute a statement to you that you did not make.

didn't mcguire have a classic power hitters' build? what's what got to do with anything? its a worthwhile question from AWH precisely BECAUSE burrell has started having problems with his body breaking down since 2003. i have no reason to believe he's on the juice, but there's al least reasonable anecdotal evidence from his physical problems that's its not crazy to ask.

didn't mcguire have a classic power hitters' build? what's that got to do with anything? its a worthwhile question from AWH precisely BECAUSE burrell has started having problems with his body breaking down since 2003. i have no reason to believe he's on the juice, but there's al least reasonable anecdotal evidence from his physical problems that's its not crazy to ask.

McGwire had the classic Fantastic Four member's build.

Reserve infielder is pretty far down on the list of needs for this team. Unfortuantely, Nunez makes this team because of his salary ($2.5 million in '07) and because he can play SS or 3B. Still think Nunez is nearly totally useless, especially as a bench player.

As for Sandoval, I highly doubt he makes this team out of spring training. Someone like Dobbs or Abernathy is a better bet and I wouldn't be surprised if the Phils scan the waiver wire to see if anything shakes loose.

It's a classic witch-hunt thing. Any fluctuation of stats combined with any notable year in "baseball steroid history" (or even otherwise) can be attributed to steroids. That's the problem with them; one person uses them and it casts doubt on everybody. But it's honestly just a waste of time to seek out reasons why someone might have been doing it when we'll never know either way; unless said person is, say, the holder of the single-season HR record.

ae: I was thinking Lowell could start and Helms would move to the bench, thereby improving both 3B and the bench.

BB: I'm assuming you don't have Mr. Fantastic in mind.

Don't forget, Zach, that Barry also has a head so big it hardly fits up his ...

Alby: Is that literally or figuratively?

Dan Haren should not be listed under trade candidates. There's no way the A's are trading him.

I suppose it depends on whether he does pilates...

I understand how awful Nunez was offensively last year...awful being the understatement of the year. However, he can't be considered completely useless. He provides the bench with plus defense at two key infield positions and is a switch hitter. I'm not saying he's a good ballplayer but at least he's not Danny Sandoval.

After all bench players are what they are, flawed enough to not play everyday. Nunez' bat is flawed but I can't believe he can be as awful as he was the first half of last year. As long as the bench as a whole compliments itself, I think we'll be ok.

Look on the bright side, at least Alex Gonzalez is no longer in the mix.

From Type-A Belliard to Scrap-Heap Villone to No-Talent Ass-Clown Sandoval to Yoga-Bending Pilates-Buff Barry "Big-Head" Bonds.

High Noon on Thursday can't arrive quickly enough!!

Do you think we could have won enough games to get to the postseason if had Bell the latter half of the year? Bell wasn't outstanding on offense but he was way better than Nunez, and his defense wasn't bad either. Now I'm not pro-Bell by any means, but I'm just wondering.

"Do you think we could have won enough games to get to the postseason if had Bell the latter half of the year?"

No. Nunez struggled to get the ball out of the infield, and at times looked like an AAA player, but he still managed to score some runs and keep the lineup moving down at the bottom of the lineup - 31 runs the final two months. That's pretty good for an eight. I never missed Bell.

Inky wrote: "Nunez' bat is flawed but I can't believe he can be as awful as he was the first half of last year."

Last year No Hit Nuni was very very bad for the first half of the year. For the second half, he was just very bad. In an earlier thread we demonstrated that he hit .211 for the last 20 or so games. It was better than .165, but still very bad.

Big names commonly bandied about: Manny Ramirez, Carlos Zambrano, Dontrelle Willis, Johan Santana, Andruw Jones, Ichiro Suzuki, Adam Dunn, Pat Burrell.


Which name doesn't belong here?

I don't think anyone considers PB a big name. If so, he would have been gone already.

Nunez doesn't help this team offensively in any way. He is a dreadful pinch-hitter (barely north of .200 in his career) with no power and no patience at the plate. A hacker plain and simple. Can't even ask him to bunt or hit&run with any kind of reliability either.

If you looked up definition of hacker in Webster's it would say, see Abraham Nunez.

nunez is thomas perez. next.

wow, I didn't realize he only hit .211 the last twenty games. I guess when you have such low expectations for someone, marginal improvement can seem monumental.

For those clamoring for Abernathy, he cannot play SS (or anything except 2B) and thus cannot be the utility guy. Sandoval should not be on the roster of a contender. If he is, then that team is no contender.

AWH: I would argue that he's an "undisciplined, uncoachable head case," albeit one who's averaged an .841 OPS and 95-100 RBI per season for his career.

"It might have been nice for the farm system to produce a reasonable backup plan."

Good point, Jason. I wonder how many other farm systems have as poor a position player crop as the Phillies. At least they've got some good young arms.

He is a dreadful pinch-hitter (barely north of .200 in his career) with no power and no patience at the plate

I'm no fan of the Noonerz, but to say he has no plate patience is kind of like kicking a crippled dog; there's already enough wrong that the cruelty is entirely gratuitous. Abe last year drew 41 walks against 322 at-bats, which is actually excellent.

It's as if he figured out that never.swinging.ever was his best chance to get on base.

Good point about Abernathy as well. He has as much chance of making the team as Lou Collier, which is to say no chance. I would not count out Sandoval, but only because the manager may want extra depth in the middle infield. It would be a waste of a roster spot though.

A note about Sandoval: He isn't a third baseman. Second and short only.

Inky, where ya at in Louisiana? I beez here too!

Like I stated above- Sandoval=no-talent ass-clown! If we have Nunez, then screw Sandoval. Let's just teach Adam Eaton to play some 2nd and SS since he's going to have to earn that paycheck somehow.

Note from earlier: I'm not too familiar with young bullpen arms in the Phils system. Does anyone, familiar with that situation, know if there are any guys that have potential to take the place of some of the dinosaurs that are currently slotted in the bullpen?

I'd say Joe Bisenius or Mike Zagurski. Both are K machines, while Zags is the older of the two. I'd expect Bisenius to begin the season at AAA but make the Big Club by May or June, with Zags coming up a month or two later after beginning the season at AA.

Inky, I agree completely. Nunez is *not* as bad as the Beerleaguer consensus holds, and his defensive contributions made him at least as valuable as Bell in the second half. If Rollins blew a hamstring and went down for two weeks, they could plug Nunez in at short and lead Victorino off and they would get by okay. He's not a bad utility option.

"It's as if he figured out that never.swinging.ever was his best chance to get on base."

Another classic line with which to head into spring training.

clout, I have never argued that PB has been unproductive, only that he has more potential than he's realized.

As matter of fact, I've argued that the only difference between Burrell '05 and Burrell '06 is his BABIP. Despite the fact that he led the league in call third strikes (he did in '05 also), his BB/K was actually better, and his K/PA was almost identical.

I asked the question about him just to read what everyone else might be thinking.

why doesn't eveyone hop off Nunez's jock. when he hits .280 off the bench and we're on our way to a division crown you will all love him

from Rotoworld:
Phillies agreed to terms with RHP Geoff Geary on a one-year contract, $837,500 contract.

Geary, who had a 2.96 ERA in 91 1/3 IP last season, asked for $925,000 and was offered $750,000 in his first year of arbitration. He'll be a key part of the Philadelphia bullpen again.

Ace: I'm with you on Bisenius, especially if he begins the season pitching like '06, as opposed to '05. But you lost me on Zagurski. He's a 12th round draft pick who was old for the Sally League and didn't put up great stats. I like his career K/IP, but his H/IP isn't so hot. This tells me he's got great stuff but weak command, which makes him hittable when he misses.

I doubt he'll help this season, and if he can't handle AA at age 24, then I doubt he'll ever be able to help. I also haven't seen him on any top Phillies prospects lists.

AWH: Sounds like we agree.

Nice to see Geary done before the glorified running and stretching. I am really interested to see how he performs given that September '06 was probably the best month of his career. (2.20 ERA, 16.1 innings, 17 Ks). The crystal ball guys at Fangraphs give him an above average, but not career, year in 2007.

I'm afraid I will never "love" No-Hit Nunez, just like I would never like David Bell. They sucked so bad for a season or more, that's it's difficult to redeem themselves.

Here's why- basically we had a good run of 3rd basemen since my childhood (Schmidt, Hollins, Rolen), but recently it's been a complete sh*tfest. Bell was astrocious and Nunez can't hit. If he manages to bat .280 from a reserve role this season I'll lay off the Nunez Hate Wagon, but until then, I'll keep on truckin'!

Carson: I realize you're just going for a laugh, but "no-talent ass-clown" is rather harsh, don't you think? Wouldn't you give something valuable to get the cup of coffee in the bigs?

Fred: I haven't done the research -- I'm sneaking in this comment at work as it is -- but I'd bet you that the majority of the players on the roster his .211 over one 20-game stretch or another at some point last year. I'm not saying Nunez was anything approaching good -- he played OK for a stretch there, but that's about as high as my praise goes -- however the improved defense certainly played some role in the improved staff ERA once Bell was gone.

Which brings us to ZT's comment that Bell's defense "wasn't bad." On the contrary, I watched most games last year, and his range had declined to the point that he covered only about as much ground as he could fall over on. he also knocked down a lot of balls he didn't catch and couldn't retrieve in time to make the throw. Other than that, he was fine.

Alby- yes, "no-talent ass-clown" is harsh, and it was intended for laughs, but I also meant it. I'm happy Danny Sandoval was able to get cups of coffee with the Phils the past 2 seasons, but let's not fool ourselves, he indeed does suck. I know I can be crude and people dislike that, but I also keep it real.

Alby, I did the research about 20 threads ago on Nunez and presented it. Here's some facts from last year. Nunez dipped below .200 on May 17th. He only enjoyed 4 days in August above .200. His last day below .200 was after the first game of a double header on Sept. 13th. His high water mark was Sept. 20th at .213. He ended up at .211. To me his batting sucked consistently throughout 2006. You could make a case that he hit better in the spring as his batting average was a lofty .250 on May 3rd. It was downhill from there.

Just look at Nunez's career- .243 hitter with a .631 OPS. I'm sorry but that's not good, in fact it's bad, really stinking bad! His defense is solid, but he's no gold-glover. If he's a reserve then fine, but to trot him out there on a regular basis would be a mistake.

By the way, Nunez's "almighty" fielding % at 3rd last year was a not-so-great .959.

Taking a look at the FA list, is there anybody up there to fill an outfield spot and leadoff? I mean, there's a lot of complaining about Burrell but I think our 5th hitter is sitting up at leadoff right now. I don't know why there's this idea that great speed makes a great leadoff. 25 HRs does not help us at the top, in fact it probably deprives JRoll of an extra 20-30 RBIs..

Jimmy is best suited for leadoff with this current roster. If Victorino became more patient at the plate and learned the art of swiping bases, then he'd be ideal, but until then let Rollins in the 1-hole.

Plus, if Rollins were batting behind Howard, he would end up with far less triples and doubles.

Carson, I agree with you totally on Nunez. He is a horrible hitter, and people seem to think he is more than adequate on defense, whereas the numbers prove he really isn't that great. Maybe his defensive numbers would be better at second base, but either way we are in a load of trouble if he is taking over for Chase on an extended amount of time. The Phils were foolish to offer him a two year deal. I can see possibly taking a chance on him as a reserve for one year, but two years for five million is ridiculous, especially for a team known for not wanting to put money into their reserves.

Jon- the 2 year 5 mil deal to Nunez was horrid! I too understand a 1 year fling, but to guarantee 2 years for a career crap hitter is poor judgment.

Nunez is one of the worst Phillies players of the past 20 years. People act like the Phils had a guy in a wheel chair at 3B before Nunez started playing everyday.

The reason the Phils started pitching improved last season when Nunez started playing everyday was that the Phils replaced Madson and Mathieson in the rotation with Moyer and Lieber. It wasn't like Nunez was covering the entire left-side of the field.

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