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Sunday, March 18, 2007

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Adios amigo...you were horrible!

Nice article on Delaware Online about Bourn. Officials believe he's very close, if not totally ready:

"I think he has a real chance to be on this club," assistant general manager Mike Arbuckle said Saturday. "He's come a long way, just from last year. When he was in camp last spring, he was a little tentative, a little unsure of himself. Now, he knows he belongs."

This is the nicest surprise of spring. I'm also encouraged by Helms.

Eddie S., your right that was Wakefield that gave up that HR to Boone. Kkim did give up a HR late in a playoff game or in the WS, either with the D-backs or the Red Sox. Maybe that is why he is still around, he played on two WS champs.

It was WS against Yankees. He gave up a HR to Tino Martinez to tie game after relieving Schilling and then gave up the game winning HR to Derek Jeter in bottom of the 10th. Either way, equally as unclutch as the Wakefield performance against Boone.

I'd really like to see Bourn make this team. The Phillies play a lot of games in parks with MASSIVE outfields (Nationals, Marlins) and he eats up ground out there. Plus he's a great pinch runner in games as well as someone who will benefit from having Davy Lopes around. If he's the CF of the future, let's get a look at him now.

Simon apparently has great stuff, but apparently can't get it over the plate.

I would have preferred for them to bring Chris Booker back, who they bailed too early on. He pitched well enough for the Nats last year that it looks like he makes their team.

He has a 0.00 ERA in 3 innings of ST.

ahh, a "clutch" knuckleballer, with a 70mph fastball... thats funny.

the knuckleball has got to be the single most unreliable pitch in the game. even if you throw it perfectly, there is no guarantee that it will move the way you expect it to.

AHW: Are you confusing Booker with somebody else? He had a 9.72 ERA with the Nats last year, is 29 years old and has always had a sucky K/BB ratio. The Phils should have no regrets cutting him loose.

Jason: Doubt this happens cause Sledge is doing so well, but a Rowand for Linebrink trade with Bourn starting in CF would be worth rolling the dice, I think. I'm not sure I want him on the bench just getting 2 ABs a week, however. I'd rather see him play everyday in AAA if that's the choice.

clout -

thats one helluva roll of the dice, and i'm not sure that i'd do it.

is rowand committed to going back to the cws? i'd love to sign him long term, but it seems we have a traffic jam in cf.

Clout: I would agree. If the choice is between going to war with Bourn in center field instead of Rowand if it means getting Linebrink, who is terrific, or Rowand in centerfield with the current cast of misfits scrambling to fill the 8th inning and replace Gordon in case of emergency, I'd go with option A. Then I'd shop around for a spare outfielder better than Garcia.

Clout, I am with you on trading Rowand for relief help. If Bourn can't cut it, you can always slide Vic to CF, and backfill RF with a platoon. Rowand's sub .750 OPS should not be hard to get out of RF.

From the Phils game notes, I see Brito is scheduled to pitch today. If he pitches decently over the next 2 weeks, I still say he makes the team. Also Gordon is expected to pitch. Interested to see how he looks.

clout, Booker had a 3.68 ERA with the Nats last year.

AWH: Is there more than one Chris Booker?
http://mlb.mlb.com/team/player.jsp?player_id=407094

clout, Booker gave up 6 runs in 1 inning for the Royals before he went over to the Nats, where he posted a 3.68 ERA in 7.3 innings.

although it's incredibly misleading to suggest that a 3.68 ERA in 7.3 innings means he's a good pitcher.

Rowand for Linebrink...this GM says do it!

Bourn, Victorino, Burrell, and Werth will be adequate enough...plus add Karim and/or Dobbs.

Not much of a difference if you substitute Rowand for Bourn offensively or defensively. Rowand has better power, is a veteran, and has "heart", but we need relief!

Billy Mac, I agree about Brito. He has a 4.35 ERA as a reliever, which seems to indicate he can be effective in limited duty. Also, left handers inly hit .235 against him.

If he's half decent he'll make the squad.

I'm with Clout: If Bourn isn't starting in Philly, he should be starting in AAA. He's too young and green to handle sitting on the bench 80% of the time.

As long as we're weighing outfield shuffles, I'd like to pitch in the opinion that, in the event Burrell can't go, Rowand is less a defensive liability in left than anywhere else. While many posters here criticized the routes he took to fly balls in CF last year (I'll defer to them, since I only attended 3 games, two of them when he was already hurt), I was most distressed by his arm. And the beset place to hide a lousy outfield arm is LF.

Speaking of Burrell, I have long been less critical of him than most Beerleaguers. But I'm starting to wonder seriously whether this guy can be reclaimed. He's not willing to listen to anyone about his hitting approach? WTF? If Barry Bonds won't listen to advice it's one thing; Pat Burrell is not in that class. In every article I've read this spring -- admittedly not a great many, but by several writers -- he comes across as a spoiled, truculent prima donna. At this point, I would predict he's greeted by the worst booing of a home player in many years.

clout, do your homework!

Those stats include one inning in KC. Look at the splits on BB-Ref. He pitched well for the Nats with a .818 WHIP. Anamoly, maybe, even probably, but he would have been a better risk than Simon.

ae: Thanks. I guess the key words were "for the Nats." MLB and other stat services I use list his ERA for the year at 9.37, but obviously that includes his Royals inning. His minor league stats are nothing special either.

AWH: I'm not sure how much you can read into 7 IP while ignoring his bad AL inning. His minor league stats are very unimpressive, especially his 5.5 walks per 9 IP. But I agree Simons was nothing special. I'd prefer neither.

who is more dangerous at first for the Braves, Craig Wilson or Scott Thorman?

Alby, the bullpen will work itself out (trade, etc.), and so will hitters like Rowand, Werth, etc.

Burrell's 'production' the single biggest question mark going into the year.

Juan: Thorman vs. RHP and Wilson vs. LHP.

All Simon did in ST was replicate his minor league performance from last year...so what, exactly, was the point of having him rob innings from pitchers within the organization? Pencil his name next to Ricardo Rodriguez, Chris Booker, and Adam Bernero. Gillick's the guy with the metal detector on the beach, trying to turn up a few dimes, when he could be doing far more productive things with the money he already has to work with.

By coincidence, I just posted a piece at TGP about the possibility of dealing Rowand back to the White Sox--perhaps in a larger trade also involving Lieber, for some package around McDougal and/or Fields--and letting Bourn start the year in CF for the Phils. High-risk, but enormous potential upside. Here's the link for those curious:

http://www.thegoodphight.com/story/2007/3/18/13549/5201

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