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Monday, March 12, 2007

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I really like all the reports I've read about J.A. Haap thus far. He seems to have a very bright future ahead of him in this organization. He could be ready for some time at the end of this season, then an actual spot in the rotation come next year (assuming he continues his progress like he has been).

Also, I posted this last thread, right before Weitzel put this new one up- I just read that Justin Germano is out of minor league options. I was unaware of that. It would be a shame to lose the 24 year old via waivers, as he's had minor league success.

I'll have to check on Germano. I'm not sure that's accurate.

Weitzel- I didn't think that was accurate either, but that's what Phillies.com reported on their site.

Carson: I hope that's wrong. I'm no pollyanna when it comes to prospects, but Germano is one I like. He won't be a star, but projects as a decent 4th or 5th starter. I think he can have a career similar to Bob Tewksbury. He doesn't strike out very many, but he keeps the ball on the ground, doesn't give up many HRs and is a nice fit for CBP. At 24, I think he's close to being major league ready.

Germano did use options when he was with San Diego before going over to the Reds. I think the Phillies need to keep him. He'll never go thru waivers without someone wanting to pick him up. I would like to to see the Phillies not have to have someone from the Rule 5 that needs to remain on the roster all year.

San Diego first called up Germano in 2004, so unless I'm misremembering the rules he is indeed out of options.

What think you of the link in the "Rumors & Notes" sidebar to the following musings from ChicagoSports.com?


Could the White Sox work a deal for pitcher Jon Lieber and center fielder Aaron Rowand? Yes, but it might cost them Joe Crede or Josh Fields—who looks ready to hit at the big-league level—or at the least Mike MacDougal, Rob Mackowiak and prospects.

I agree ae. I;m pretty sure Germano has been on the 40-man roster (and in the minors) in '04, '05, and '06 and hence, out of options.

The only thing I could think of is that for some reason in '05 he *wasn't* on the 40-man, but that seems highly, highly, unlikely.

I agree that we should do something because he won't make it through waiverrs and has value.

"or at the least Mike MacDougal, Rob Mackowiak and prospects."

Hey, maybe we can get Floyd back!!!!

On Liber, B-Pro proposed a trade to Arizona for Chad Tracy and Juan Cruz. The Snakes could use another proven starter and have surplus at 3B and in the pen.

I don't think it makes sense for either side. Crede has nowhere to play for us, and he's at best a marginal improvement over Helms offensively (although much better defensively). my impression of Fields is that the Sox value him very highly and are unlikely to trade him. Mackowiak is mediocre at best, and I doubt would be any more productive than Werth or Dobbs. Macdougal would probably be good, but he's a reliever with a spotty record and all the inherent risks of those kind of players.

that last post was referring to the White Sox rumor obviously...

about the Dbacks, I would probably pull the trigger on that one, even though Cruz looks extremely sketchy (that walk rate is a big warning sign). Tracy has some OF experience and IMO is more likely to be a productive hitter than Helms (or Crede for that matter).

I like Crede and Fields. If we get the Crede w/last year's stats, he's probably more than a "marginal improvement over Helms", especially if you include defense. If they can do a deal and get Crede or Fields and a reliever, that'd be great.

I didn't know we were still looking for a 3rd baseman. I am happy with Helms and what do we do with him if we get Crede or Tracy in a trade? Naturally if we could get rid of Nunez then this trade sounds a lot better.

Bedrosian's, there are two problems with your assumption. Crede's 2006 was by far his best offensive season, and age 28 is generally the time that players peak. IMO it's far more likely that he's a .250/.300/.450/20 HR player, since that's what he's been in three out of four full seasons.

a .750 OPS isn't terrible, but it's certainly no better than league average and no better than Helms' last full season (in 2003) - .261/.330/.450/23 HR. in fact, Helms is probably much better because he can be expected to draw about twice as many walks as Crede, who only managed to take 28 walks in 586 PA last year.

Crede does play very good defense and doesn't strike out much. and his BABIP wasn't particularly high last year, which suggests that 2006 may not have been a fluke. but even if it wasn't, I don't see him ever doing much better than a .800ish OPS, which is about the same ceiling Helms has.

happ is actually 6-6 and has his own blog here: http://jahapp.mlblogs.com/

I like the Helms signing, don't get me wrong, I think he could be a nice little surprise. However, I don't think he solidifies that position per se. If that position can be upgraded with a great glove and 25-30HR who doesn't K a ton guy, i'd do it. His low number of BB's is atrocious.

They might be better off getting Fields and a reliever. Get rid of Nunez, play Helms and Fields, with Fields being the long term answer. Just thinking aloud.

If indeed Germano is out of options, I want him in our 'pen. I don't think he's going to become a dominant starter, but he has the makeup for a 4th/5th starter. He may be useful in relief too because of his ability to induce groundballs.

Crede would be an offensive and defensive improvement over Helms. I'm glad we have Helms because our other option is No-Hit, but Crede would be a welcome addition.

Ae, I agree to an extent. I do think Crede is a significantly better option at 3B, but if he came here, Helms would kind of be useless other than as a PH and RH bat to spell Howard.

I like Tracy more because that allows you to platoon him and Helms (though the possibility of Cholly using a platoon is about as likely as seing Gordon in a tie game!)

Helms has demonstrated an ability to both play 3B and hit, but never at the same time.

What doesn't make sense is the Rowand part. Why create a massive hole (RF) in order to fill a small hole (3B)?

And why would the White Sox trade for Lieber at $7.5M for one season after dealing Garcia? Garcia is a better pitcher, and makes only $2.5M more. I don;t see this as having any chance.

rethinking I guess Crede would be a better option...even I'm right in being pessimistic on his production, his defense would be a big plus (vs Helms).

but kdon, I think you're right that it just doesn't make any sense. although Williams seems to have made a lot of bizarre/contradictory moves in the last couple years. (i.e. trading highly touted pitching prospect Brandon McCarthy shortly after opening up a spot for him by trading Garcia.)

Crede could be used as the everyday 3rd baseman. This would allow Helms to have the role he had in Milwaukee with being used as a 3RD/1ST/PH role. I guess he would fill the fole of Jeff Connie that we are trying to fill with Jason Werth.

Helms off the bench PHing, filling in for Howard now and then would be a big upgrade. I think Kdon makes a great point: We'd upgrade 3B, but have a hole in the OF.

I think Fields would be a better pickup than Crede, although the less likely to be received in a trade, because he could possibly fill the hole in right field (he's working in the Chicago outfield this spring since Crede has his natural third base spot blocked) while eventually become our third baseman of the future if Helms does not work out there.

Re-assigned to minor league camp were catchers Tim Gradoville, Jason Hill, Jason Jaramillo and Lou Marson; infielder Andrew Beattie; outfielders Lou Collier and Greg Golson; and pitchers Jim Crowell, John Ennis, Jeff Farnsworth and Brian Mazone.

Optioned to minor league camp were outfielder Chris Roberson and pitcher Anderson Garcia.

Roberson didn't even last 2 weeks with ML team -- outch.

I thought Roberson was supposed to be the next big thing after his "impressive" winter league play. Which brings us to another "impressive" winter-leaguer, Karim Garcia...

I just read that the Nats are dying to trade Ryan Church. Would anyone be intersted in having him here? And who do you think it would take to get him?

I'd do the Lieber for Tracy/Cruz deal if I knew you could trade Rowand for MacDougal plus Logan and/or Aardsma Don't know if Kenny Williams is THAT much of a risk-taker.. I happen to think that Rowand is a below avg offensive OF with an above average glove and intangibles

Lieber-for-Church rumors have been going around since what, last season? living in DC I've seen a lot of him, and I would jump on that deal - I've always been impressed by his baseball skills (if not his tact in interviews).

FWIW, ZIPS projects him at .271/.356/.468 next year, better than either Rowand or Vic.

ae,

Where are you in the DC area? I'm in Arlington.

Anyway, I'm iffy on Church. Nats seem to have been wanting to unload him for a little while now. I'd aim higher: Cordero. Not that it would be easy.

how about that? I live right between Georgetown and the GW campus...

you're right that the Nats don't seem to have a lot of confidence in Church, but I tend to chalk that up to incompetent management - they've had no shortage of that. Cordero would be great, that's for sure, but they've been demanding incredible return from Boston. I bet we'd have to offer Hamels to get a reaction (and that's obviously insane).

ae and bedrock, we've got a whole phillies club right here in arlington.

Gameday link for today's game, though Live Boxscore is just as good:

http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/gameday/y2006/gd.html?2007_03_12_houmlb_phimlb_1&brand=mlb

Strikeouts by our #3 and #4 hitters, but Bourn steals his 4th base of the spring.

Sox will not trade fields. They would give us crede(4.5 Mil this year) and a RP(prob 1.5 mil)...and we still wouldn't cover the 7.5 mil on liebers contract which means, more money out of pocket to the sox. Christ why doesn't Jerry Reinsdorf just buy the phillies!

Don't know how useful Germano would be a long-relief guy in the pen but it would be a shame if Phils would lose him on waivers.

Germano is clearly better than some of the other candidates the Phils currently have as emergency starters at T-AAA (Mazone, Brito, etc). Hopefully they can figure something out .

The only reason this has legs is because Floyd was a bust for the Sox. Surprise Surprise! They owe'd us one anyways.

I still think Lieber's contract is the primary reason he is not getting alot of interest. The small-mid market teams just don't want a potential $7.5 million dollar dud.

$7.5 ain't a whole lot of money for a viable SP these days. I thought that price tag is why he IS (allegedly) wanted by teams.

DC guys: any Philies bars down here? I like Rhino for the Eagles, but it's a Red Sox bar for baseball.

Ouch Happ.

Not so encouraging.

Once again, the Phillies offense is still there and putting up runs.

Here is something encouraging from Rollins in the leadoff spot: 3 plate appearances, 3 times on base including two walks.

AE & Bedrosian,

I used to live in Leesburg, VA - we just moved out to Harpers Ferry, West Virginia.

I see with the players optioned and assigned to minor league camps today . . . I didn't see JIM RUSHFORD on that list - looks like he still has a chance to make that roster as a lefthanded hitter. YES!! :)

For what its worth, this article was posted on philly.com:

http://www.philly.com/mld/philly/sports/16888490.htm

Basically it says that Gordon is heading back to Philly for a check-up. They say nothing is wrong, but it reinforces the idea that the Phils really do need to get some adequate bullpen help before the start of the regular season.

Nice to see Matt Smith have two strong innings today. He allowed one hit and fanned four over his two innings of work.

There are a few Phillies fans who ventured to Ramparts in Alexandria for some of the late season games. Otherwise you can't really find the Phils games on at any place consistently down here.

actually, if you go to any of the local sports bars during the week, they'll most likely put on the phils for you if there's a spare tv. i usually went to bailey's, crystal city sports pub, or mr. days and talked to the managers and could usually get the game on somehow. i've also watched them at pour house, because one of the bartender's from philly, as well as finn mccool's, both on the hill. so, a group of fans could get anything done, i'm pretty sure. that's how the rhino bar in georgetown became a home for the eagles games.

Bullpen looks good again!

Funny that so far, the rotation is a step behind the pen. WHat's nice to see is all the Ks.

I'm a solid believer in Geary and Madson, and even Smith, so if Gordon is healthy I think we will be okay. That doesn't mean I wouldn't like to see a stud closer or 8th inning guy, but I'm getting to be more conforatable.

Oh, and Roberson. I wonder if RSB is irate. He should still be starting ahead of Burrell, right?

kdon, i've been comign around to the idea that the most valuable arm out of the pen could be lieber. imagine if he could give you the 6th and the 7th, now you've got 3 or 4 relievers to choose from during the 8th. some would say more choices are not an advantage with charlie pulling the strings, but if lieber really is pitching well and would be amenable to it (which he's probably not), i think it would make more sense then trying to get scott linebrink when we don't exasctly have a surplus of OFs.

also, michael borne really deserves some serious consideration as the 5th OF. if the choice is between him and karim garcia, is that even a choice? why shortchange your own farm system?

sorry! forgot to close my tag. hope this fixes it...

I agree Bourn could probably use a half season of AAA, but if he makes the roster, costing Garcia a spot, that's good for the team.

Who knows with Lieber? I'm no expert on pitching mechanics or style, but Lieber just doesn't *feel* like a bullpen guy, but he could be a Doug Jones type. I am definately in favor of keeping all six unless there is a deal that blows me away. I would rather go with Eaton, but reports were that he needed a couple innings to get his fastball going (not neccesary for Lieber - he is at 81 right out of the gate!).

I really want Church or Wilkerson, so that would have to be my starting point for Lieber.

Who knows with Lieber? I'm no expert on pitching mechanics or style, but Lieber just doesn't *feel* like a bullpen guy, but he could be a Doug Jones type. I am definately in favor of keeping all six unless there is a deal that blows me away. I would rather go with Eaton, but reports were that he needed a couple innings to get his fastball going (not neccesary for Lieber - he is at 81 right out of the gate!).

I really want Church or Wilkerson, so that would have to be my starting point for Lieber.

sorry!

wilkerson Ks alot and has some injuries, but he sure likes hitting in CBP and against the phils.

if you look at Lieber's 2005 inning splits, it would seem to hold up the reliever idea - .587 and .595 opponent OPS in the 1st and 2nd, respectively, and he was only under .700 in one other inning.

now he was not as good early in 2006, especially as he was tagged for a .916 OPS in the first inning. but on his career. he's got a pretty consistent trend of peaking in the 2nd/3rd innings.

as far as trying to predict what Gillick etc. are thinking, it's interesting that when columnists have talked about management's reasons not to use Eaton/Lieber in relief, they specifically say that the problem with Lieber is his inconsistent fielding, not the quality of his stuff in short outings (the problem they cite for Eaton as a reliever).

I just don't see what Garcia brings to this team. A guy who hits .250 with spotty power and no other real attributes shouldn't be making this team.

Hello to all you Philly fans in DC! I live in Ashburn. I like Church's baseball skills but he's considered somewhat of a headcase. Doesn't play hurt is the rap aganst him. Here's a post I made on PhilliesTalk. http://www.philliestalk.com/forums/showthread.php?t=492

Good stuff ae, I would think Lieber's stuff would be okay then, and he seems to have the easy motion and delivery to warm up quickly.

I've heard the fielding stuff too, but that seems like a minor problem. I mean, do we ever look at fielding in evaluating relievers?

I'll live with the Ks on Wilkerson. As long as there are no internal rumors about steroids being responsible for his major drop last year, I think he is still a very valuable player. Good on base skills, solid power and he would be a plus defender in a corner OF spot. Actually, Church has all of this too...man I really want the Phils to get him, but I'm not sure he is a Gillick kind of guy.

I think Church has an appropriate last name...Church. He goes overboard on the religious side, if I remember correctly. Don't know if I'd go out of my way to get him.

Yep, BB, his comments have been discussed here before. The offending quote:

"I said, like, Jewish people, they don't believe in Jesus. Does that mean they're doomed? Jon nodded, like, that's what it meant. My ex-girlfriend! I was like, man, if they only knew. Other religions don't know any better. It's up to us to spread the word," Church said.

What's interesting is that this *is* the Christian position (or, at least, in most Protestant denominations, Catholics are actually more tolerant), that if you don't accept Jesus as the Messiah, you can't get into heaven.

Church may be dumb for saying this so bluntly, but its hardly an uncommon position.

kdon: Why in the world do you think the Rangers would trade Wilkerson for Lieber?

Strong discussion on a few players we haven't talked about much, including Germano.

We're a couple weeks into spring training and there's no clear sense of which direction the Phillies will go with their bullpen. Does anyone have a clue? Maybe they'll go with someone like Germano over the older Condrey. I'll take your word he's out of options. Could be a tough call for the team since Condrey is out of them, too.

All tight, kdon, I'll take my lumps about Roberson. I thought he could be the kind of player who could help the Phillies, but his bat has spoken otherwise. Bourn, on the other hand, has me kind of excited this time around. Not only do I think he could help the Phillies *now* in a part-time role, but I sense that he's going to be a good everyday player, maybe the next 'core' Phillie.

Great to see Smith and Madson have strong outings today. Not so great to see the news on Gordon, regardless of the 'official' team statements. Why don't the Phillies just have the team doctor in camp...?

The same article that lists Tracy and Cruz for Lieber listed Wilkerson for Lieber. I see Wilkerson as a more likely scenario. Less bounty more of a need for the Rangers.

If it is National/Expo Wilkerson, than yea that trade is unlikely and a steal for us.

But he is coming off shoulder surgery. I thought he had a much worse year than I remembered. If Cat, Sosa and Botts weren't stuck as DH basically than I think it would be feasible. But they need Wilkerson Cruz and Lofton to play the field nearly everyday which is frightening.

My take on Phils pen: Gordon, Geary, Madson, Smith, Alfonseca

Final 2 -- Brito (assuming healthy, otherwise Castro) and Lieber

church is young and made ONE comment about christians vs jews which has been repeated ad nauseum through the blogosphere -- he's not some kind of zealot. i say, let that point die already.

K on Church. I thought there was more to it than that. His view is fairly common, I suppose. He might be a "change of scenery" candidate. He was well thought of by the Nats, but I think they are souring a bit.

thrillhouse: There is zero chance the Rangers will trade Wilkerson for Lieber. None. Wilkerson is 29, a fast, good-fielding, power-hitting outfielder with decent OB (albeit terrible AVG and Ks). Lieber is a 37-year-old back of the rotation starter. Can they use Lieber? You bet. They have no 5th starter. But would they trade Wilkerson for him straight up? Never. The Phils would have to sweeten the offer considerably.

Gagne pitched today without any pain. He said it was the best he's felt in 2 years. Fastball was only 88-91.

Do we root for him to do well so a disgruntled Otsuka can be pried away from the Rangers?

What would it take to get him? Lieber? More?

Interesting tidbit from Ken Mandel @ Phillies MLB site, not sure if this is the norm but sounded like an unusual event:

"Roughly 20 scouts were in attendance for Monday's game, and Aaron Rowand played all 10 innings of Philadelphia's 6-6 tie against Houston. They also stayed to the end and watched Bisenius throw."

Looks like Bisenius could be the handcuff with Rowand or Lieber in a trade.

I like Bisenius, but if it takes him plus Lieber and Rowand to get us a legit corner OF and a major league reliever, I go for it.

Gordon "checkup" news is very unsettling. Probably the first/second most important issue on this team right now.

If Gordon goes down/ineffective this bullpen has no capable closer. Worse, it shifts every remaining guy in the pen into a different role for which they are ill-suited. Madson or Alfonseca closing games is a ready-made disaster.

About Wilkerson I guess I disagree that there would have to be considerably more along with Lieber to get him. I agree it is close to no chance straight up.

I see they have a pressing need for his defense and my underestimation of his season numbers while injured last year as well added to it. If the Tejedas' and whoever struggled in the rotation and Cat or Sosa looked good in the field and at the plate I think there is a chance.

More chance than Rios for Lieber and alot more feasible than Tracy and Cruz for Lieber in my opinion.

Hey clout, if B-Pro can throw out Lieber => Wilkerson, then it isn't insane. I think you confuse your opinion of Wilkerson with his general perception around the league.

I mean the guy has a lifetime 108 OPS+ and is comming off a major injury. You still seem to think it is the start of 2005...go look at his numbers again.

I agree RSB that Bourn is a much better possibility than Roberson...I may disagree with you a lot, but you always own up to mistakes.

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