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Friday, March 23, 2007

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Congrats Jason. You continue to lead the charge for Phillies blogs. I'm just honored to have a link on your site (honestly). Getting mentioned in Sports Illustrated is hot-sh*t!

Jason, Congrats!

Carson, to continue from the previous thread, I believe Gillick was prevented from signing on of(or slaries similar to) the FA relievers you mentioned.

I think Montgomery wants the payroll at 95MM or less. Period. I also don't think they'll increase it much going forward, which doesn't bode well for their long-term competitiveness.

That's actually something I'm quite concerned about. Three things make me so. One - an arbitrary, ownership imposed, salary cap, making it difficult to keep their best players, two - the dearth of legitimate,position playing prospects (I'll use clout's definition) in the minor league system, particularly power hitting outfielders, and three - the inability of the franchise to get fair value (or legitimate prospects that add long-term value) when they trade players (see Abreu, Cormier, Padilla, etc.).

AWH: You've summed up this franchise in a nutshell. Perfect.

And this from Paul Hagen DN column:

"Scouts in Florida are buzzing about how well non-roster righthander Rick White, who hasn't allowed a run in 10 innings, is throwing for the Astros. Yes, that's the same Rick White who ended last season with the Phillies."

What a talent scout that Gillick is.


I'm not ready to jump on the Rick White lovefest just yet, even at these dire bullpen moments of late March. As a non-roster invitee, maybe Weird Beard would have been worth a shot, but I thought they should be setting the bar higher than White. Turns out, they may be setting it even lower.

AWH - You have been on a roll lately with your comments but please hold back on the Rick White train.

He got released last year from the REDS which once the Phillies signed him I believe was his 9th or 10th different team. If he was that good someone would have seen it unless he was in Mexico recently and found some good jumping beans (or HGH).

The Babe (Burrell) is hitting a solid .189 after his 0-4 3K performance yesterday. 3 for his last 29. Concerned I am.

Jason, exactly my point.

I guess I'm just in a mood this morning, but after reading Salisbury's column in the Inky this morning, this quote from the straight shooting Assistant gm (it will be lower case from now on when I refer to Amaro) drove me crazy:

"Amaro was asked whether Garcia ever had a similar problem with the White Sox.

"I don't know that I'm at liberty to say that," he said, citing health-privacy laws."

Garcia said no, but was there something that the Phils ignored? Ugh!

Jason, I was just going for laughs on the flip-flop thing. I wasn't really attacking your stance on the deal. Hope is was a little humorous at least.

Best of luck and as you know, I'm a huge Beerleaguer fan.

JB, my point was simply that it wouldn't have cost them much to bring him to camp and see what he still had. Instead we got Alfredo Simon (gone) and Jim Ed Warden (likely gone). That was what I was referring to.

Enrico. I loved it - I would have never thought you were truly attacking me.

But I did sort of flip-flop on the Abreu trade, didn't I? Having to defend my position on that deal was a little like John Kerry on the Iraq war.

Jason, I can't find the link to vote on the poll, where is it? Bottom left?

AWH - you're right, amaro's comments were of the stomach-churningly evasive type usually only expressed by backtracking political demagogues and . . . erm . . . MLB executives. This man has no idea of how to speak to the media without inducing panic. None. It furthers my theory that there are in fact two distinct groups within the phillies top brass - gillick, his one or two guys along with the coaches and manuel, and the phillies old guard and their bright shiny new penny, Amaro jr.

I'm not saying gillick is doing everything right, but he does at least avoid the massive publicity faux-pas that amaro manages every time. god help us all when amaro takes over.

But the Mets do have a few weapons of mass destruction.

Yellow cake? Ryan Howard ate it!

I looked in SI for the blurb where you threw the perfect game against Governor Mifflin High School, but couldn't find anything. But Rick Reilly called you out. Don't get me started on him...

Well done, JW. Time for me to vote.

You can also include Larry Shenk in the Phils "old guard" camp, too. Ever read his blog? Divorced from reality.

They're probably not allowed to discuss a player's health without their consent, maybe? I agree with Oisin, say what you will about Gillick's actions, but at least he doesn't give the rabid philly media rediculous quotes like that to fight over.

Way to go Jason (and the regular contributors that make this site so damn valuable)!!! Let's just hope that the votes aren't being cast by the same individuals keeping Sanjaya around on American Idol - unless, of course, Beerleaguer is the Sanjaya of the Phillies Blog World.

I love the Karim Garcia comment, too. With some of the decisions and moves made by Gillick, you almost have to wonder if the Phillie's allied front has been infiltrated by the enemy and there is some espionage at hand.

Sanjaya... oh god, I think I'm gonna cry!

WP: Can't say enough about the readers here. It's the perfect group.

from rotoworld:

Miguel Ojeda remains the favorite to back up Gerald Laird, but the Rangers are reportedly shopping for catching help.

The Dallas Morning News speculates that the Rangers could be interested in Chris Coste of the Phillies or Jose Molina of the Angels.

Is anyone else mildly pleased/surprised by K. Garcia's spring training performance? I know it's such a small sample size so it probably has no predictive value, but he has been hitting.

fun Karim Garcia fact: in 2004, he hit .302/.362/.465 for the Mets in ST. in the regular season, .234/.272/.401.

I know that DavThom will rant on my post but Coste will get the Phils nothing of value in a trade. Seriously.

Coste was a nice story last year and probably will have a role on this team again as a bench player but this talk of him as valuable trade material is ridiculous.

Garcia is a classic example of veteran retread Phils acquire on the cheap. He will hit .250 +/- about 10 points on his average, spot power, and below average defense. Absolutely nothing to get excited about here.

Just hope that if Garcia really struggles that the Phils don't keep him on their roster until June/July. If Garcia really struggles (.200 AVG or so), I want the Phils to cut him by early to mid May.

MG: You're right on Coste's trade value. His age is against him. But I sure hope the Phils keep him. Without him, it looks to be one of the worst benchs in the league.

It may already be the worst. I picked up the SI over lunch. Phillies bench according to SI: Werth, Nunez, Garcia. Worst by far according to their PVR rankings. The sight of Garcia in big print made me cringe.

Then I looked on the right page and saw "Beerleaguer" and was happy again.

I think you could get a minor league arm for Coste. Teams need backup catchers and Coste is as good or better than many. Todd Pratt, Damian Miller, Gary Bennett are still in the league.

I think Ron Calloway has been a surprise this spring. He may give the Phils a better option than Randal Simon, Chris Roberson, Joe Thurston , ... if needed for a brief stretch due to injury.

MG: .250??? Garcia's a career .241 hitter. in his last MLB season he hit .229. (and it's not like he was great in Japan: .249/.302/.412 for the Orix Buffaloes last year.)

if he hits .250 (let alone .250+10), it'll be a miracle.

MG: To me Garcia's biggest problem is a hideously bad K/BB ratio. So if he hits .250 (his lifetime BA is .241, his OB will be .260. You will get the occasional HR and he still has a decent OF arm, but he was truly awful in 2004 and I don't know that playing in Mexico has improved him.

Coste will have zero trade value, until he proves that last year was not a fluke. If he comes out and hits .300+ again, he will have a reasonable trade value, given his extremely low salary and long term salary position.

ae - Believe I don't have high expectations at all for Garcia but an average of .240-.250 is not exactly setting the bar high.

Clout - The K/BB ratio and Garcia's horrendous OBP percentage is really what makes me cringe when they mention a possible platoon of Garcia/Werth in RF is Rowand is moved. At Werth plays solid defense and might turn out to give you some decent offensive in spots.

Jason, congradulations on the SI mention.

I get on here everyday, hoping that I will see that you have written that the big trade has gone down. Well, not today, but maybe tomorrow. Keep up the good work Jason.

Billy H./(Anybody): care to clear up the discrepancy of how David Ortiz came to be a Red Sock. On Baseball reference it says that he was aquired from Mariners for Dave Hollins in 1996. I thought this looked ridiculous, but I didnt know. Billy said he signed as F/A. Anybody know?

Where does Dobs fit in?

Parker: Ortiz was released by the Twins and signed with the Red Sox via free agency.

Is it just me or does kruk seem like the most intelligent guy in the group of announcers?

Oh and Karim Garcia's .250 average in Japan was just put up.

Garcia's bat looks like it has a little life to it this spring, but he's a butcher in the field. There is no question in my mind they'd be a better team with Bourn. The fact that Gillick went after someone as one-dimensional as Garcia in the first place should give one pause as to his ability to put together a roster.

Concerning everyone's alarm over Amaro's quotes - I'm doubly alarmed that he is the one who continually keeps commenting on the state of the team. Where is Gillick? In Toronto? On the squash courts? Scouting American Legion games in Sioux Falls? And not only that, but Amaro actually broke out the phrase 'due diligence' in one of his many irrelevant quotes today. Hide the women and children.

Jason, you know which site got my vote. This is just another milestone in the meteroric rise of the Beerleaguer juggernaut.

JW - Congrats. I just shipped my vote. You deserve it.

I bet the Reading Eagle is putting together its counter-proposal already. Weitzel is big time now.

All of this discussion over Karim Garcia's relative value to this team should be a MAJOR red flag for our "NL East Title Contenders" this year. No doubt this is the worst bench in baseball. There are huge expectations on the SP staff to carry this team, and at this rate, even they will have to overperform for this team to stay CONSISTENTLY competitive.

parker/rev: Although this isn't listed anywhere, my memory is that the reason Ortiz was released wasn't because the Twins thought he couldn't play, it was because he was arbitration eligible and in line for a big jump in salary. In fact, he passed thru waivers and became a free agent because no one wanted to give him arbitration.

yeah I remember that he made it through waivers too, clout.

One of the definite positives of the spring is that the three best high-level prospects - Happ, Bisenius, and Bourn - have all fared well and look like they might be for real.

On the other hand - it's March 23, and this team already looks like it's fighting itself. Do they look like they're having even an ounce of fun on the field? Nice going, Jimmy.

Gillick Alert!!!

PG live on Eskin/WIP today. No time noted but Eskin's show runs from 3-7 PM.
Podcast should also be available on WIP website.

http://tuner1.dc1.sonixtream.com/SOLON/media/tuner/Tuner?aff=610wip&UseSame=true&type=IE

Wes Helms throwin' a little leather around!

congrats J. i'm not an si fan - but that is awesome indeed.

re: Ortiz confusion - you're mixing up two deals. the Ms sent Ortiz to Minnesota as part of the Hollins trade. then the Twins, due to concerns about injury risk and rising salary, released him and the Red Sox signed him as a free agent.

As opening day looms, I pose the following question to the group. Which is more likely by end of the season?
1) Karim Garcia is implicated in a Japanese HGH Ring
2) Alfonseca spends time on the DL with an injury to the sixth finger on his pitching hand
3) Pat Burrell has eye-transplant surgery
4) Rowand is traded for a unicorn (with prior experience as a closer, of course)
5) Leiber detonates a suicide-bomb in the bullpen

terrorism jokes: timely AND classy!

Is anyone watching the game today vs. the Braves on ESPN? Not actually inspiring much faith.

Few observations:
- Gordon is throwing hard and his offspeed looks decent. Problem is that Gordon is really missing his spots at times. Just hope that it is from lack of work rather than Gordon being dinged up and trying to trade off speed for control.

-This team now has 30 errors this spring training. Granted alot of those have been made by guys likely not to make this team (Danny Sandoval) or play alot but this team look really weak defensively. Only decent defensive starters now at SS with Rollins, CF with Rowand, and RF with Victorino. Don't consider Utley or Barajas more than average. Defensive might even kill this team as much/if not more than the bullpen this year.

In one of the recent threads, someone asked whether Freddy Garcia had to take a physical before the trade. kdon said that yes, it was mandatory.

Well, there's some evidence to the contrary in today's Salisbury article from the Inky:

[excerpt]
Amaro said the Phillies spoke with White Sox medical personnel about Garcia and reviewed the pitcher's health records. The Phillies did not order an MRI or physical exam before the deal.

"We didn't think it was necessary," Amaro said. "We consulted with their medical people, and nothing precluded us from making the deal, especially not with the comfort level we had with [White Sox general manager] Kenny Williams.

"With trades, it's buyer beware. It always has been. We felt comfortable enough with the information gathered from their medical people."

laramie: kdon wrong? Not possible!

MG: Uts and Howard are below average fielders. Always have been, always will be. Burrell is also below average, but in a tiny stadium like CBP, LF is the last place you worry about defense. Helms is a butcher at 3B, but they have Nunez for late-inning defense. Defense is nice, but without a decent bullpen or bench, it's sort of moot.

Agreed Clout but this team is not even average right now defensively. Would go a way to covering up the bullpen a bit.

Gordon was case in point today during the 9th. Would have gotten out of inning if Abernathy hadn't stone-handed a DP ball hit right to him and Nunez let one go under his legs at SS. It was pretty embarrassing even for spring-training.

MG: If Abernathy plays a single inning for the Phils this year, the team won't make the playoffs.

Two other takeaways from today's game: Matt Smith should not go north with the team. Greg Dobbs should. The guy is en fuego. Play him until he cools off.

Helms displayed some pretty slick glovework today. He won't be the second coming of Scott Rolen, but he might not be the preconceived butcher most of us expect.

What is Nunez up to now? 3 or 4 errors? I thought the only thing he brought to the table was his defense? Even that sucks... I am so glad we have him a for late inning replacement...

By the way, when is Charlie gonna start getting pissed at the lack of defense this team is showing? All you ever hear is we need to start playing better defense, over and over and over again, yet it has not begun to take place and the season is what, 9 days away?

Helms is in a real good place. Talk about the dream job, "you mean I have to field better then Bell and hit better then Nunez? Sign me up!"

Utley isn't a great fielder in the laying out for the ground ball up the middle sense, but he does do a good job turning the DP with J-Roll, and his bat will make you forget his glove real quick.

Good work Laramie. I don't mind being corrected when I make a mistake, especially when evidence rather than rhetoric is used.

I was pretty sure all teams had a policy of mandatory physicals, but I was wrong.

If his arm continues to hurt, this may be one more reason to question what the hell Gillick is up to.

yt: I'll be interested to see if you think Helms fields better than Bell once the season begins. For most of his career, Bell was a pretty good fielder.

actually, if fielding percentage is your benchmark (and knowing clout, it most certainly is not), Helms has the better career numbers (.974 to Bell's .965)

Keep in mind that Helms's career stats are not just 3B (a very small number of games played at 3B). If just 3B fielding % is considered, Bell blows Helms out of the water.

Both Bell and Nunez are above average fielders. Based on observation (so susceptible to all sorts of statistical errors and biases, but necessary to use in the void of meaningful defensive statistics), it looks like Utley and Howard really need to improve their agility. Utley doesn't seem like the most coordinated, fluid person in the world; he kind of mentally wills ("Hustle") defensive plays. It looks like Howard has more potential to get better defensively. Having a good defensive 1st bagger is defintely key for an infield defense. Just ask any pitcher playing with good defensive 1st basemen, for example, D. Lee, Minky, Delgado, T. Lee, and Helton. Those guys made everybody else look so good and erased so many throwing errors, in addition to giving the other infielders more confidence to just whip it over into the general locale of first base. when you have to make a perfect throw every time because your 1st baseman is a defensive liability and doesn't have a knack for picking bounced balls, then you're more likely to tighten up more and throw off your mechanics; Howard's defensive is key and he NEEDS desperately to improve.

Helms will probably improve as the season progresses unless he's not mentally tough and starts tightening up (a la A-Rod).

If I were a team that needed a catcher, like Colorado or Texas, I'd definitely want to take a look at Coste, a guy who obviously can add value to a team as a backup catcher with a strong work ethic. On the Phils, he's the third catcher, whose role Werth can possibly fill in an emergency.

How many bench guys can we take north? I'd definitely like to see what Dobbs can do against real season pitching.

Since I had the data at hand - career Fielding % at 3B: Helms-0.93568, Bell-0.95388. Keep in mind that Bell has had about 4 times as many chances, as well.

In the season in which Helms saw the most opportunities at 3B (343), he fielded .9446. A comparable season, in terms of chances for Bell (363 in Seattle in 2001) had him field .9614. That incremental 1.68% difference equates into roughly 6 more errors over the season for Helms by splitting the difference in chances (353).

Amazing!!! Amazing!!! Oops I sound like a Muts fan.

Totally, unbelievably amazing that they didn't ask Garcia to take a physical. Talk about not crossing the T's and dotting I's.

These are the people running this baseball team.

CARSON AND CLOUT FOR CO-GMs!

i think utley is an average fielder. not below.

that was the ed wade line on why he could be brought up and then why he couldn't start.

Yo guys, we're down 59% - 36% on the SI poll to the 700level. Come on fella's where's your pride. Get over there and vote.

Clout, they have no choice but to take Smith north. He's the only lefty in the pen - sad but true.

Did anyone hear Gillick on Eskin's show? Was he his normal evasive self? Was he calling in from Nova Scotia? To my mind, he's got a hell of a lot of explaining to do. "Everybody's looking for relievers" doesn't cut it in my book.

Spring training or not, this team has played like total garbage all month and there are deep concerns here. They sure don't look like they're ready to have a rip-roaring April.

RSB, I just listened to the interview on the WIP website: http://www.610wip.com.
The link is on the upper right.

I wouldn't say Gillick was evasive, but Eskin, IMO, was not well prepared (he should have read this site some), and most of the questions we soft tosses. He even asked Gillick to "throw me a bone", begging for info on who the opening day starter would be. It was pretty pathetic. Eskin really didn't ask very tough questions. For someone who has his "rep" of being such a tough guy, it was a pretty lame interview. I guess he's just tough on callers who he can scream at and hang up on.

BTW, I agree that the team has been sloppy. It doesn't, to this point, look like the new coaches are having much of an impct on the defense.

BTW, I agree that the team has been sloppy. It doesn't, to this point, look like the new coaches are having much of an impact on the defense.

Eskin interview as "ok." I agree he asked soft ball questions but he probably had to do that to get Gillick to do interview.

I do alot of market research/consulting and there is always a give-and-take when you interview VPs and C-level executives at a company. Kind of implied and understood. Eskin is usually a pretty good interview but I bet he had to go a little easy on Gillick during the Q&A.

I have been a Phillies fan since 1963. I think the Phils have a good shot to win the division. I tend to get upset when I see you guys criticize Coste and Nunez. I like 'em both; I like Gillick- I love the offense. WE WILL HIT. Pitching-well who has enough pitching? Our starting pitching is pretty good-Inever place much value on Grapefruit League games(i'll be going to the D-Backs/Chisox game tomorrow). I say this because Hamels will be fine. Flash will be fine-just don't overuse him early in the campaign. Moyer-well he is amazing-a pleasure to watch him. The guy who I tend to be hard on is J-Roll. He doesn't seem to get the idea of being a leadoff hitter-I would probably move in the order, but what do I know? I sort of feel sorrt for Mayberry(cholly manuel) because he'll be gone by the end of April if the Phils don't play above .500 ball early. I think, as always, injuries will play a big part in the team's record. The guy I worry about is Pat the Bat. No question, he seemed to be ladies' man early in his career. A big year from Pat- 30 HR, 100 RBI, avg. above .285, and we'll be talking about who starts in the postseason. Peace!

Mark: If Burrell hits .285, he will have far more than 30 HR and 100 RBI. Something more like 40+HR and 125 RBI; IF, and that's a big IF, Burrell can hit .285 like you say, he may be looking at an MVP.

mark, very few people who read and post here don't love Coste. Most of us root for him. How can you not love and respect a guy who has the persistence, desire, work ethic and love for the game that he does, who would toil in the minors for years with the hope of getting a shot?

Pat Burrell? We all want him to do well - the team NEEDS him to do well. If we're critical it's because we know he can do better.

Nunez? Well...many of us wish he wasn't such a liability at the plate. But, the truth is, if he were a .280+ hitter, he could probably start at shortstop someplace.

I think we're waaaaay past the pount of hoping Burrell ever fulfills his potential, and just hoping he can even do what he last year. Nothing's changed in his game to suggest he's going to do any better. Helms should be hitting fifth on opening day.

Speaking of Coste, the Dallas Morning News said the Rangers had talked to the Phillies about his availability. They need a backup catcher.

Do Coste and Lieber get you Otsuka?

I just think Abe had a terrible year at the plate(obviously); but I like him as a role player. I guess I see a lot of criticism of Coste- when as you so aptly put-the guy's
persistence is amazing-and look at his batting average last year. Criticism I'm used to-as a Philadelphian-I've booed Clay Dalrymple, John Boozer, Denny Doyle, Roger Freed(1st grand slam at the Vet),even Schmitty(who hasn't booed Mike Schmidt-if I could take it back I would), Ron Reed, Danny Ozark(total buffoon-horibble manager), Len Matuszak, Bob Boone(worst baserunner I've ever seen for a good ballplayer) and countless others. But I'm not used to the blogging criticism which is sort of after the fact and not directly related to being at the game. I'll learn. I think the division race will be tight, and the Phils should be able to compete nicely.

I just think Abe had a terrible year at the plate(obviously); but I like him as a role player. I guess I see a lot of criticism of Coste- when as you so aptly put-the guy's
persistence is amazing-and look at his batting average last year. Criticism I'm used to-as a Philadelphian-I've booed Clay Dalrymple, John Boozer, Denny Doyle, Roger Freed(1st grand slam at the Vet),even Schmitty(who hasn't booed Mike Schmidt-if I could take it back I would), Ron Reed, Danny Ozark(total buffoon-horibble manager), Len Matuszak, Bob Boone(worst baserunner I've ever seen for a good ballplayer) and countless others. But I'm not used to the blogging criticism which is sort of after the fact and not directly related to being at the game. I'll learn. I think the division race will be tight, and the Phils should be able to compete nicely.

sorry-told you I wasn't too bright

I don't think you could get Otsuka for those two. I would make that deal anytime.

Jason, I see that you own beerleaguer.com. Why don't you point it here?

I went to a phils game when i was ten years old(1994) and Eskin gave me a foul ball he caught...

I hear he can be a jerk but i guess he's nice to kids.

Well done J. You deserve the mention. My vote is in.

Myers-vs-Smoltz opening day...bring it on!

http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/news?slug=ap-phillies-injuries&prov=ap&type=lgns

Yahoo threw in a swift mention of Lieber being hurt...

I just voted. Was offline since Friday morning, sorry. Beerleaguer still trailed 700 Level, but was closer. The other two entries barely got any votes. I think the 700 Level should be DQed as I saw threads about the Eagles and Sixers on the blog. I thought this was a Phillies blog competition!

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