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Thursday, March 15, 2007

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There were lots of fly balls to left field under the lights in the first inning... four to be exact, two of which stayed inside the yard.

I saw Kris Benson went down for the year. So I will float the trial balloon. Jon Lieber for Chad Bradford and a minor leaguer? Danny Baez is going to set up Chris Ray this year and Bradford has intriguing numbers and a veteran presence. I doubt the O's would bite, though. Perlazzo and the eternal bobber (Mazzone) would most likely object.

Doesn't look like Hamels rebounded.

I sure hope MG and Randy Miller are wrong on Lieber. If the Phils dump him for whatever they can get, a la Padilla & Abreu, that will be a complete disgrace.

Good thinking, Mike H, but the O's backed up a brinks truck of gold doubloons to Bradford's house, so I doubt they'd look to deal him without getting even one inning back on their investment. Always take into consideration the Kool Aid the Baltimore front office is inclined to drink before the season starts, and the delusion that the AL East is really anything other than a two-horse race.

I notice Coste did not play today and just about everybody else got into game. I also see Nunez went ofer again with a ko. Looks like Coste will be odd man out and we are stuck with no hit Nunez

Bradford won't be going anywhere until June unless he agrees to it. FA have a no-trade clause until then.

That would be a terrible deal anyway. Just put Lieber in the pen if you can't do better than that.

I'm 'privately concerned' about Pat Gillick, myself. Things haven't unraveled so smoothly so far this spring. Lieber is still on the team. Smith and Castro have been mostly brutal. Burrell still can't get the bat off his shoulder. Hamels and Garcia have been lit up. There have been encouraging things - Bourn, Moyer, Wes Helms, Victorino - but I would hope by now that the pennant-fever express has been sufficiently derailed by the exposed flaws in this outfit.

I'm very concerned with the late innings. Isn't there anybody in our pen that can get people out?

I mean we are reverting to old patterns again. The Phils claw back with a 3-run dinger by Werth, then the pen gives it right on back. Same crap as last year.

Something has to give here.

Bisenius could be an option I hope, he's gotten some people out this spring.

guys - spring training games are about as meaningful as pre-season football games, and as about as indicative of season performance as well, which is to say, not at all.

clout, I sure hope they're wrong about Lieber, too. But, based on Gillick's track record so far, I'm not confident he'll get anything for Lieber.

The stories of a Rowand for a reliever trade - translation, a solid 150 game, everyday player with great intangibles for someone who won't itch 100 innings - don't inspire confidence.

Besides, if things don't turn up Gillick wil "get out of Dodge just before things fall apart" to protect his reputation.

St. Patty's Day is tomorrow, meaning it's still spring training...thank god! Because if it were the regular season right now, I'd be scared poopless. Our bullpen sucks! Besides Geary and Bisenius the rest of the candidates are erratic and sub par. Hell, Matt Smith is pitching like a JUGS machine. Over the next 2 weeks, I'd really like to see some pitchers step up and turn in some quality outings.

CArson, I'm concerned but not worried - if that makes sense.

If, IF they (Gillick and his cohorts of straight-shooting assistant GMs) get the deals done they NEED to (Lieber, etc.), and actually get equal value in return, I'll be more positive about things, but as this team stands now, I have my reservations.

Except for an occasional HR Barajas stands to be a black hole in the 8 spot, the rumors of trading an everyday player (Rowand) for only, yes ONLY, relief help bother me because they'll create a production and depth problem in the OF, which, IMO, will have more of a negative effect than not adding a solid reliever like Linebrink. Burrell may still not return to top form at the plate, which means that after the #5 hitter (Helms), the lineup will be inconsistent.

So, let's see what PG & Co. do, but as I detailed in the previous thread (with some assistance from clout) Gillick's trade history is spotty at best. Besides, I'm getting worried HIS 'win now' approach may leave us dissapointed in future years.

I agree with Joe that ST games are pretty meaningless. But that doesn't apply to everyone. I'm not worried about Garcia & Hamels, but one purpose of spring training is to determine whether unproven players can do the job. In other words, the performances of Karim Garcia, Jayson Werth, Joe Bisenius, Fabio Catsro, Matt Smith and Greg Dobbs are the ones to watch. They must show the team that they are capable of handling the roles they're trying for.

Given that, I'm not sure that kdon's philosophy of throwing unproven pitchers into key roles is a wise one. Castro continues to have trouble with command within the strike zone. Matt Smith is looking more like a second lefty, than the go-to guy when the other team's best LH hitter is up in the 8th. If they can't step up before the end of ST, I think the bullpen problem will have to be addressed as it should've been in the first place: By bringing in proven talent.

Gillick deserves a little more leeway regarding free agent relievers. First, they have to want to sign here. Weathers and Borowski were initial targets. Weathers was ruled a Type A, which limited interest, and he signed back with Cincinnati. Borowski failed his physical. Pitchers like Baez took three-year deals. I’m on the fence with bottom-barrel pitchers like Ron Villone, but not having an experienced left-hander could definitely burn them (Cormier is reportedly available, and they should consider it). The best way to get relief this offseason was by trade – which could still happen. But now I see Boston is creeping into the Linebrink/Cordero picture.

Jason, why do you mention Cordero? Do you really think the Nats would trade Cordero in the division?

It makes perfect sense for the Phils - he could be the 8th inning/second closer, and then assume the closer role when Flash's contract is up. However, I don't think the Phils are willing to pay the price, and I don't think the Nats will trade him in the NL East.

The Nats are bracing for 100 losses this season and have a weak farm system. They'll trade with anyone.

I don't think the issue with Cordero would be the Nats unwillingness to trade, it would be ours. their demands for Cordero have been ridiculous - at least as much as Ricciardi's been demanding for Rios, if not more. and the impression I get from DC papers and Nats blogs is that they're perfectly willing to sit on Cordero if they don't get a huge offer. (look at how they dealt with Soriano.)

O's VP Jim Duquette said the club wants another right-handed bat, but there isn't anything "compelling" available.

I can think of half a contract id be willing to eat to get rid of a player...

mm,
Burrell has already ruled out a trade to Baltimore.

not to mention that paying someone else $13.5M over the next two years to take Burrell would be very, very stupid.

Has anyone found out what is wrong with Burrell's foot?

Beerleaguers,
What do you think of this speculation from Paul Hagen on philly.com? I'd much rather see a low-price, low-profile trade if the Phils seek to obtain a reliever, and Coste is certainly a low price.


And the Rangers still look like a team that could have an excess of bullpen arms. And while they would be reluctant to trade Otsuka, there are already rumblings that they would let go of Rick Bauer or Scott Feldman for a veteran backup catcher. So if the Phillies don't have a spot for Chris Coste when it comes time to set the final roster, would anybody really be surprised to see him go to Texas for a pitcher?

Link

like clout has posted several times, Coste (as much as I like his story and hope he makes the team) has virtually no value to other teams. we could probably trade him for some similar fringe bench player, but that's it. no way does he get a young reliever like Feldman who looks like he has some potential, and even a mediocre journeyman like Bauer may be too much to ask.

Buster Olney in his blog today:
• Cole Hamels realizes he needs to pitch inside more, lest hitters tee off on him, Marcus Hayes writes. Heard from talent evaluators of other teams, by the way, that the Phillies are pushing to trade center fielder Aaron Rowand. Wes Helms thinks he's going to have a good season, writes Todd Zolecki.

Is Bourne showing that much in ST that they really believe he can be the extra OF or are PG & Co. really expect Werth Garcia conmbo to work? This worries me.

the cordero thing actually interests me. if the phil's started with Lieber and Germano and made the money work i think the nationals would at least listen.

in lieber the nats would be getting a guy who would be their best starter this year, and he'll be type a or b so they'll get draft picks when he walks at the end of the year. in germano they're getting a back of the rotation guy who will be cheap for many years and, from my understanding of their rotation, could start right now.

with christian guzman their starting shortstop, maybe they'd even be interested in nunez?

i think it's worth a phone call.

ok - i didn't realize cordero was only 25 and the nat's have him until '09. he's makig $4mil in arbitration this year.

for some reason i thought he was older than that. no way they're moving him for less than a young starting stud.

from the Red Sox, the Nats wanted Clay Buchholz, a 22-year-old with a 93-94 mph fastball that occasionally gets up to 97. he projects as ace material. their second (!) choices were Craig Hansen, another highly-touted 22-year-old, and Michael Bowden, a 19-year-old with a lot of projection. Lieber+Germano is not even close.

the Nats aren't going to be anywhere near competitive this year, so I find it difficult to believe a guy like Lieber (let alone Nunez - are you kidding??) would draw any interest at all.

I posted before I saw yr second comment Tim - you're right, that's the major reason behind their demands.

Do the twins have any bullpen chips to trade...seems like they need a starter and a backup ss?

They have a deep bullpen and the other day Jody Mac said that is where he thought Leiber would go. He also said that the Phils would have to eat some money of Leiber's contract because of there budget restraints. I like that idea more then tradeing Rowand.

Me too, and maybe if we throw in nunez, they might gives us something better in return, even if we still eat 3 mil of liebers contract

Maybe if we all start talking up a twins/phils trade it will make some rumor column...seems to be how this stuff starts half the time anyways...hehe

Still can't believe all the concern about spring training results. Big deal. Only three categories of players I really care about in spring training:

1. Guys coming of a major injury (e.g., Werth) - Not so much about numbers just that they can get out there and actually contribute.

2. Rookies trying to make the team (e.g., Bourn, Bisenius) - A good show particularly later in camp against the regulars shows they might be ready.

3. Bench players - Every team generally goes into the spring training with a couple of openings on their bench. Unfortunately, for the Phils this means we get to watch players like Garcia potentially make the team.

On a personal note - If Garcia does make this team, he automatically becomes my least favorite Phil. Besides being a general creep on the Yanks and starting the infamous bullpen brawl in Fenway with an Red Sox employee, I just see Garcia striking out/flying out alot in a PH hitter role and making at least one or two major gaffes in the field.

Sadly, this happens Garcia will still be on this club well into the summer. Guess, I have to root for Garcia anyways. Ugh.

It is going to be interesting to see if Coste makes this team. Right now I doubt it. Phils are probably better off with Greg "Roy" Hobbs on the 25th roster spot.

If Coste doesn't make the team, he will start the season in Ottawa. I wouldn't trade him though since he will not get anything in return and the Phils will probably have need for him again soon. I just have no confidence in Garcia or Hobbs to really contribute to this team in a meaningful way.

Where is DavThom to defend Coste? Glaringly absent this spring.

One can only assume the Phillies believe Coste would struggle in a role where he'd get limited at bats, as opposed to last season when he was earning regular starts. They may be right. The problem is, Karim Garcia is in rhythm, having played all winter and most of spring. We'll see how he handles a part-time role or less. I’m bracing for bitter disappointment.

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