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Sunday, March 04, 2007

Comments

Oh man, Hamels and the Yankees in spring training! That brings back some great memories!

I agree on Coste, it isn't looking good because neither he nor Dobbs are really outfielders and given the health status of Burrell/Rowand/Werth, you have to think the team wants 5 real OF.

I like Coste as much as the next guy, but we shouldn't forget that he will only be going to AAA and in all likelihood end up on the roster at some point.

The big problem is if Garcia is designated as the #1 PH of the bench. That would be an Offerman/Gonzalez-level disaster.

Jason, interesting post. I'd also thought about a trade of Coste (which, personally, I'd hate to see because I like him in a Phils uniform), but one teamm you didn't metion was the Yankees. Right now they have a bunch of dreck competing to back up Posada, because they didn't bring Fu Man Chu back.

I would not be surprised is a deal like that happens, as Coste would give them a legit backup who can hit a little. Coste is not doing himself any favors in Phils camp right now, as I believe he's hitless and had four LOB yesterday.

I couldn't pull the trigger fast enough on a Lieber-Ruiz deal for Rios! Rios would give us a very good up and coming outfielder, plus it would almost guarantee Coste the back-up catcher spot. In a different scenario, I can also see the point in possibly trading Coste. It will be interesting to see if anything happens with Toronto this spring.

Unless Dobbs' bat calms down in a hurry, I think it's a foregone conclusion that Coste will be traded. If they opt to send him to Ottawa, Coste will inevitably mouth off and rip the organization in his book, resulting in yet more bad PR - if that indeed actually matters to this team. But it's just as likely that it'll be Ruiz, who has many years ahead of him and is a much stronger trading chip. I have to agree that if it were a Rios for Lieber/Ruiz deal, I'd do it.

Gillick absolutely has something up his sleeve that's bound to throw all us beleaguered Beerleaguers for a loop this March.

Sunshine, ST, the Phils on TV, Cole pitching....I can barely contain myself.

RSB, I'm with you on PG having something cooking. I'd love to see Rios in pin stripes but PG won't keep him, Vic, Rowand and Burrell. So there has to be multi-stage plan. I'd much rather see Otsuka come up from Texas then getting Linebrink.

AWH - I know the feeling. I am coming out of my skin.

Jason - nice post. I agreed with you and Jon. Rios would be a great addition to the club. Hope something happens.

The sound of Harry and co. with the sunny green grass in the background is a great way to start a Sunday.

Interesting post as well. The prospect of a big deal like that is exciting as well. Gillick knows his stuff.

I hate to be a pessimistic but there is no way a combination of even Lieber/Ruiz gets Rios.
People seem to forget that the Jays supposedly wanted Myers straight up for Rios back in Jan. That or a stud starting pitching prospect.

Maybe the Jays have lowered their trade demands a bit but I would be shocked if the Phils are able to put together a package for Rios. A trade package of Lieber (where Phils pick up a decent portion of his salary), Ruiz, and 2 good pitching prospects (Happ, Segovia) might be in the ballpark.

Plus, I hate to mention it but Coste has the trade value of a bag of donuts. No team will give anything of substance in return for him.

MG,

I don't think Rios is a 4-for-1 level of player and I doubt you'll find any baseball exec who would trade 4 players of the quality you're talking about for him. I agree they might want something more than Lieber and Ruiz (maybe a swap of mid-level prospects). The guy is good and I'd like to have him in the lineup but an established starting pitcher, an up-and-coming catcher, and 2 above average pitching prospects? He's Alex Rios, not Alex Rodriguez.

And if the Phils did trade Lieber to the Jays, I doubt they pick up much or any of his salary. If you read Stark's article, they tried to sign Meche and Lilly but instead settled for Tomo Ohka, John Thomson, and Victor Zambrano for a grand total of $4.5 million. Bascially, they have probably around $10 million in money earmarked for starting pitchers this season still on the table.

Another trading partner the Phils should look at while they're nearby in Spring Training is the D-Rays. They are loaded with young OFs and in depserate need of starting pitching. The problem I hear is they have very high demands and don't want to take on salary. Crawford is probably out of the question, but Baldelli and BJ Upton (who's days as an infielder are probably over) might be attainable. In this case though, the Phils would almost definitely need to pay a big chunk of Lieber's salary.

Good points all MG, I don't think that's pessimism at all, it's realism.

I could see maybe Ruiz for a bullpen arm with Toronto, or Lieber-Johnson, but nothing more than that.

Anyone not at all excited about Sarge?

Granted, it's early but I'd never thought I'd miss Scott Graham.

I hope that arrangement with three guys in the booth isn't a permanent one. There's no need for it. I think Kalas works well with Andersen. Where is he?

Matthews sounds neither polished nor insightful, but I'm willing to give him more of a chance than five innings...

RSB, I agree. Matthews is no Andersen. He also is no Scott Graham. He comes across very bland and doesn't add much with regard to baseball commentary. Dare I say it, but I'd take Wheels and Harry over having to listen to Sarge all the time. I hope LA will be on TV at least part of every game when the season kicks in.

Werth can't hit

"light-hitting utility type Danny Sandoval doesn’t appear in the mix"...this is Weitzel's version of the game we played the other day (a.k.a. zero-ability butt-jester).

AWH wrote- "Right now they have a bunch of dreck competing to back up Posada, because they didn't bring Fu Man Chu back. " Sal Fasano counts as dreck too my friend.

Enrico- I too an unwhelmed by Sarge. Just doesn't have a very good voice. He may grow on me, but what I hear so far, I dislike.

Rios for Lieber won't happen. Rios for Lieber/Ruiz still probably not enough. Rios for Lieber plus pitching prospect and Christ...oops Chris Coste may get it done.

It's spring training, but Brian Sanches is not a MLB level pitcher, that much is evident.

Carson, good point. I didn't mean to imply Fasano was anything other.

What I sould have written was "beacuse they didn't bring Fasano back EITHER."

Sarge, is too much of a"low-talker", and mono-tone,i mean if he isn't being set-up for a comment you can hardly hear what he is saying, i know its early ....... but no way i could take a three man booth or just wheels and sarge for the whole season!

AWH- just having fun with ya bro. I didn't really think you were implying good old Fu Man Chu was anything better than dreck.

Sanches was great in AAA last year. So far he looks to be a AAAA talent.

From what I'm watching, I'm not hugely impressed with Jim Ed's stuff either.

I'm trying to not get myself all worked up about spring training games. But my comments the other day about Ryan Madson and today about Brian Sanches were based on a previous mindset I had about these two. Brian Sanches looks to me as one of those guys that bounces back and forth between AAA and the majors for a few years then disappears. Madson just seems to have lost confidence in what made him good early in his career. I don't ever expect him to be a closer like some on here, but maybe a good reliever again though...just not now.

Jim Ed seems to have some nice downward movement on his ball, but he can't locate.

I don't know, there are probably a hundred guys like this. I'll give Dubee some time to work with him, but at 27, it's a stretch. He looks like he has to really concentrate just to throw a strike and to repeat his release point. This is just bs scouting based on one spring game, but I'm not impressed.

THe nice thing about guys like Geary and (yes) Condrey are that they seem to know where the ball is going, even if they don't have great stuff.

"Plus, I hate to mention it but Coste has the trade value of a bag of donuts. No team will give anything of substance in return for him."

The donuts would be for lieber, to keep him happy on the flight to Toronto.

And forget Sarge, WTF is "goosebumps"?

Bullpen prediction:

Gordon, Geary, Madson, Alfonseca, Smith, ???, and CASTRO.

It's win now, and Fabio is better than anyone else they have.

Rios/other Trade with Jays: This is total speculation, as is the trade rumor, but Rios missed significant time last season with a staff infection and I'm not sure that he got back to the level he was at before acquiring it. Assuming it was in fact a staff infection, which should not affect baseball playing ability long term, there would be no reason why his value has dropped. If on the other hand, the Jays think that his production was a fluke, or that whatever he was suffering from is having lingering affects on his game, then maybe he is tradeable for the Lieber/Ruiz combo. Phils dont want damaged goods. (I'm not saying he is, but if the Jays have in fact lowered trade demands, it is possible the Myers for Rios trade was just a lot of smoke to get a steal of a trade for a guy they dont believe in long term or is not the same.) All speculation, but since we are thinking outside the box, what the hell.

Carson: The statement about incentives being largely out of place in the type of agreement Howard signed was interesting to me. It made me think that it is kind of like a Holiday bonus, or is itself making good on an unspoken incentives promise. They did not have to pay him anything, that would be monumentally stupid, but they it was not mandated.

In all honesty, I know the Model Dictator good use some seasoning at Ottawa this season, but think about what he's done every where he's been thus far...he's gotten people out. His minor league #'s are good, his limited MLB exposure was good, his winter league was good, and now his spring training is off to a good start. That's a whole lot of good...put him in the 'pen.

Condrey is changing speeds nicely and has decent movement on his fastball. Right now I'd say he's the leading candidate for the last spot, because he cn go long relief as well.

*that should be- "could use some seasoning"...i got carried away with the "good"'s

Bullpen prediction:

Condrey will have a better season than Alfonseca.

the comment Parker was referring to- *Incentives really don't have a place in the type of contracts that players like Ryan Howard, Shane Victorino, and others sign. These are 1 year pacts agreed upon because the club controls their rights, not a free agent contract.

Alright, does Sarge know anything about baseball? I'm pretty sure he had no idea who Mike Myers was!

kdon, we've had this discussion before. you could be right. Condrey has always pitched well at the MLB level in a RELIEF role. Bust as a starter, but has good #s in the relief innings he's been used.

The Sarge was brought in to make Wheeler look/sound better. Not a good debut in my opinion, but Phillies baseball is enjoyable no matte who is announcing, hell I could watch it on mute if need be.

I'm starting to get a little concerned about the bullpen. Gillick brought all the rule 5's, etc. in in hopes that one would stick. Looks like there's a reason their all in their late 20's and haven't had a cup of coffee yet.

A trade for a reliever is looking more likely every day.

Hey Carson, is Sarge a no-talent...you know what?

Okay, boys nd girls. Who, of the players competing for a spot, impressed you and who didn't? IMO,

Impressed by:
Coste - hit the ball hard, seems to have found his stroke, looked pretty good at first base.
Condrey - changed speeds, threw strikes.
Anderson Garcia - thought he threw well and had good stuff. Nice movement on his pitches. Did not react well when he got squeezed by the umpire.
Segovia - decent stuff but needs more seasoning.

Not impressed by:
Werth - you saw it yourselves.
Sanches - AAAA pitcher.
Warden - just seemed to lack 'something'. If he can't locate he's toast, because he doesn't have the velocity to blow people away.

Two things I like to see on the wrap about the game on phillies.com:

# 1. It scored Pat Burrell, who had walked leading off the second inning and went to third on Wes Helms' single.

and

# 2. Chris Coste doubled in a run in the seventh, scoring Shane Victorino, who had singled.

Why? because for #1, Pat Burrell didn't strike out, and also went from first to third on a single. Is Pat's foot healed?

and #2. Coste got a hit this spring, driving in a run. And again, one of our outfielders went from first to third (and then some) on a double. Victorino's a burner.

What're the odds(with Vic batting 2nd)that the Phils batting order has comparable speed to LA's Furcal and Pierre?

I thought Warden was the next Goose Gossage, didn't the great Jayson Werth thank God just the other day when he didn't have to face Warden in batting practice?

I would say that Rollins is just a shy bit slower than Pierre but i think that Vic could be faster than Furcal(in these types of things, the younger the better right?) so i kind of think its a wash. I think Rollins is a better hitter than Pierre, but theres no way vic has the bat that furcal has.

I think its a wash honestly, the pluses and minuses balance out for me.

I'd give a slight edge to the Phils. Furcal = Rollins but Vic is better than Pierre. His defense, pop, and arm make up for Pierre's stolen bases.

I agree with all your points AWH for the players I saw (Condrey, Coste, Werth, Warden).

Also, considering today's game was a home game on Sunday on TV against the Yankees, I have to assume the lineup today is what you will see on opening day (with Burrell in LF obviously).

Unless something major happens, Barajas will be the #1 cathcer, Burrell will hit 5th and Vic will hit second.

Also, I was VERY disappointed at Ryan Howard's weight gain. It was the first I had seen him this spring. He obvoisly can still rake, but he risks winding up like Mo Vaughn, bad knees etc, unless he can reverse it.

I take back everyting I said about signing him to a long-term deal, unless it includes a weight clause. What a tub of goo.

No, let's give him that 10 year 200 million dollar deal AWH. We risk offending the black community if we don't.

Carson, indeed, I may have misquoted your statement. I was, however only trying to capture the general idea. I really meant to emphasize that they did not have to pay him anything. Whatever they did pay him was more than required. Therefore, it is like payment for unstated incentives clauses, in that he is essentialy being paid for what he did last year and the year before. He wouldnt be getting paid more if he hit 15 HR last season. If I murdered your point, my deepest sympathies. Vaya con Dios.

kdon: Condrey may have a better season at Ottawa!

Re: Rios trade. One of the things fans fail to do when speculating about trades is look at it from the other team's perspective. Do the Blue Jays view Ruiz the same as Phillies fans? Answer: No. Most scouting reports project Ruiz as a backup or maybe a platoon catcher at best. Those who think the Jays will trade Rios for Lieber and Ruiz need to set aside their emotions and look at it rationally. There is ZERO chance the Jays would do that deal.

Re: Coste. If the Phils carry 11 pitchers, as they should, I think Coste makes the team. They will carry 5 OF (Burrell-Rowand-Vic-Werth and one of Garcia/Bourn/Roberson), 6 INF (Howard-Utley-Rollins-Helms-Nunez and one of Dobbs/Simon) and 3 C (Barajas-Ruiz-Coste).
If the Phils carry 12 pitchers then Coste could be in trouble, as could Dobbs. I guarantee they carry 5 OF no matter what.

kdon: Prediction: If the Phillies regular season lineup has Rollins & Vic batting first and second, 67% of the time Utley bats, there will be no one on base.

Few early observations:

- If Castro is able to put together a couple more strong outings, he definitely makes this team out spring training. Middle relief looks that awful so far.

- Werth looks lost at the plate but people have to remember that he hasn't played organized ball in a over a year. As much as I think Werth is going to struggle, he deserves some time to prove himself.

- While it would be great if this team could get a LH bat to compliment Victorino in RF, I hope that Gillick shores up the bullpen instead. At this point, even a solid veteran would be a significant upgrade.

Prediction: Werth becomes the next whipping boy in Philadelphia this year & takes the heat off Burrell who has a nice year. WerthLESS contacts Alex G. for advice.

clout, it seems to me your 67% prediction assumes JRoll and Vic never get on base independent of each other, that is, they'll get on base in front of Utley at the same time or not at all.

Please advise.

AWH: Good point. Can you run an equation that shows the chances on 2 players who make outs 67% of the time both making outs in the same inning? The other problem, of course, is that Utley may bat leadoff later in the game, guaranteeing no one on base. But you get my point.

Yeah clout, you might want to check the math on that one buddy...if both Vic and J-Roll post an OBP of .333 (and assuming J-Roll leads off the inning), then the odds are as follows:

One man on: 44%
Both on: 11%
No one on: 44%

Obviously those numers go on, i.e 44.4444...

FWIW, if the Phils had two .400 OBP players at the top of the lineup, Utley would hit with no one on only 28% of the time!

Let's see, what's Rickey Henderson up to these days...

well, in 2006, Utley hit with the bases empty about 56.7% of the time (only 37.2% of the time if you omit lead-off PA).

Vic and Rollins had a collective OBP of .338 last year. (and that's with Rollins having his lowest OBP since 2003.) I don't think it's out of line to expect Rollins plus Victorino to have an OBP in the .330-.340 range in 2007, and that means Utley shouldn't get anywhere close to 67%.

interesting how closely that tracks with kdon's quickie statistical analysis, huh? (although it's probably just a coincidence, based on the amount of time he led off innings.)

ae and kdon, thanks for the good work. It will be interesting to see how many are on base for Howard as well.

Did anyone hear that Hamels is predicting 20 wins? Thats pretty awesome.

Clout: It would take more than Ruiz and Lieber certainly, probably a top prospect.

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