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Sunday, April 08, 2007


Great analysis of Fence-Face. Rowand is living off of reputation he brought into Philly and the epitomized it with "the catch". He's nothing special at all. I'm willing to conceed he's a great clubhouse pressence and he is a balls-to-the-wall player in the outfielder, but he's simply not good. He can't throw worth crap, and he misses catchable balls- yesterday for example. His offense is atrocious...but here we sit watching him k or popup to middle infielders in crucial situations and with a bullpen that blows that is being band-aided together with stellar names like Franciso Rosario and Rick Bauer. This is all very depressing...

I could not agree more about Rowand. I have wondered since his arrival, just what does he bring to the table?
I also think that the Phillies have terribly over valued Lieber and Rowand, otherwise, I think they would have moved them both.
One other point; 24 million bucks for Eaton? Am I missing something here?

no matter how much i dislike Donut Boy Lieber i do not want him traded. Really what do you expect to get for him and rowand? Rowand is the most over rated player i've seen around here. His tiny arms do not allow for him to get extension on pitches and i'm sick of his little bouncers and pop ups to the shortstop. So what can you get for a .240 CF and $7 million donut pitcher? More junk from another team. With the staff looking the way it is right now, I actually think if Lieber sticks around he could be very serviceable as our closer/setup man and starter when Eaton falls apart in the next few starts. Eaton has always been a guy who teases you with a great start every 5 starts but the guy has never been consistent. I'm guessing he'll throw a 2 hitter over 7 innings with 8 k's in an upcoming start but over the longrun of the season, if he gets 25 starts he'll be a 4.75- 5.5 ERA guy which is really not much better than we had last year with Floyd/Madison as the 5th guy.

This lineup has been disfunctional for 6-7 years now and i'm scratching my head trying to figure out what the common theme is dating back to 2002. By the way it wasn't whipping boy Abreu's fault. The only player holdovers are Rollins and Burrell. Despite their deficiencies I really don't believe its their faults. That leads me to the front office aka Monty. From what I've heard on 610 and 950 in the past few weeks it seems like Monty has a very BIG say in the teams moves. The front office is already very crowed with Gillick, Monty Jr. (Amaro), Monty himself, and Dallas. Some insiders have mentioned that having that many people all involved in the decision making can boggle things down and slow down the process. I guess i can agree with that. I really believe they want to win but they want to win by not screwing with the budget and messing up the salary structure of the team. The game has changed over the past few years, placing less emphasis on starting pitching and more on relievers with set roles from the 6-9th innings. Today's starters have the mindset to go 5 good innings and then hand it over to the pen. Phillies have tried to patch together a pen every year and it has been the same crap every year. We need to start drafting and signing non-drafted players and developing them into relievers.

The best player on the softball team. That's how I'd describe the way Rowand looks and plays. That isn't a compliment.

The running theme of lineup dysfunction is most commonly associated with too many Ks. I know many people don't like hearing that because it's a drum Howard Eskin likes beating, but there's a lot of truth to it.

Almost 50 strikeouts so far this season ...

by the way can someone name a few phillies farm hands that they developed and became serviceable relievers for us??? Other than Botalico's few good years and Silva's one year i can't think of any others. Anyone remember Wayne Gomes? The guy had a nasty curve but no other pitches. I saw a guy wearing his throwback jersey on opening day. That was funny.

Rather than watch the game today, I will spend the day I will be looking at the Orioles, Mariners, Blue Jays & Rangers minor & major league rosters to figure out who Gillick might be targeting in his next move since it seems he only deals for players from those teams. I will be doing a full scouting report of those teams to help our great GM in his search for our next move.

Oh yeah I forgot he doesn't realize that there are like 25 other teams out there that he doesn't have ties to which have available talent.

Jason, you just committed a cardinal sin, in saying that strike outs are bad. The stat-heads over at PhilliesPhansPhorum would slay you where you stand for such statement.

Strikeouts are bad- becasue they accomplish nothing! I'm ok with Burrell, Utley, and Howard k'ing 100+ times a season if they put up other great numbers, but in Rowand's case he doesn't do anything all that well offensively.

and before I get verbal darts thrown my way, I have nothing against stats. I love stats, but there is more to the game than just stats.

Again I enjoyed reading your analysis. I'm glad the Google search led me over here. Your sited, Chop n' change, 38 Pitches, and Baseball Toaster: Dodger Thoughts are my favorites, and really all I have time for. Yeah, you really should add Baseball Toaster to your sidebar of links Its a really great site for Dodger discussion.

I still have friends who preach their pro-Rowand agenda each and every day, but maybe, in the light of this burgeoning new season and not the blind hope of spring training, we can see why the Padres didn't want to trade a legitimate setup man for Rowand, even if he is the king of Chemistry 101.

Also, as a side note to that Eaton comment someone made above - I imagine I'm not the only one who wishes we had traded for Garcia a few months earlier. If so, we could be enjoying a presumably solid-to-good contract year from Lieber in the no. 5 slot instead of the first of three painful, expensive Adam Eaton years

Catcher Chris Coste was activated off the DL and optioned to triple-A Ottawa.

I would love to watch Milt Thompson's sessions. Lesson 1: Guess what's coming. Lesson 2: How to strand runners. The strikeouts sicken me, as does RyHo's disastrous beginning. I'm almost thinking that they should sign him to a long-term deal now since he is pressing and may be a better bargain. Also, I wonder if his being all over the place this offseason hurt his preparation. We need him and I hope today is the day.

also, if anyone is intersted, I may have tix to the Phils Mets on 4/12 at The Toitlet Bowl in Flushing. The seats are in sec 8, row B (loge Reserved). Please let me know if you are interested..I should be receiving them tomorrow or Tues, but unfort I cannot go.

Howard is worth the same that he always was, 5 bad games don't change a thing. Anyway, back to Capellan, the price can't be too high and I think it's just a travesty that we're not in the mix for him.

Coste still had an option left?

Speaking of options, can anyone recommend a website where you can easily find out how many options a player has remaining? I know you can calculate the options by looking at a player's roster history but it would be nice to be able to easily see that number listed.

I have to think Gillick would have been wise to let Carlos Ruiz be the starting catcher and allow Chris Coste be the backup. Rod Barajas isn't a very good hitter, and his defense will not outshine Ruiz's by much. The millions wasted on Barajas could have been better spent on a reliever such as Jamie Walker or Chad Bradford.

I'm still waiting for "one of the top CFers in the AL" to show up.
If Rowand's ineptitude continues, does Cholly move Vic to CF and Rowand to bench as 4th OF. Probably not.

We sure could use Coste as a pinch hitter - we actually do not have any righties except Werth and he struck out yesterday. Nunez is a switch-hitter but he stinks.

In the "Change'll Do 'Em Good" dept:
Any thoughts on a Madson for Capellan deal?

Anyone see Mike Costanzo yet? He's gonna for right in as the Phillies next 3B. Look at those K's.

Rowand stung the ball in his first two ABs last night, and it was almost startling to even see him hit the ball hard. He just doesn't look like the guy who put up even moderately good numbers for Chicago. And he does seem to have this reputation (at leat among opposition announcers) as a "great centerfielder".

Thing is, I may be even less impressed with Victorino as a right fielder. If you want to dwell on flaws in a player's game, take your pick with Vic. He is one erratic player. I just don't like the OF mix. At this point, I'm in favor of throwing Werth and Bourn out there a bit more often, or even Dobbs, while he's got the hot bat. Bourn hasn't shown that he can be a productive bench player, dating to last September - which is understandable, as he's been used to starting all the games all his life. I still don't see what the Phils lose by *at least* platooning Bourn and Rowand. Rowand against right-handers almost looks like a mismatch anymore.

RSB, exactly what is it that you don't like about Vic as an outfielder?

Bourn may develop into a major-league hitter but hasn't shown anything at the plate yet. OTOH, Vic has been able to sting a few balls down the line for XBs, use his speed to get infield hits, and has even managed to work a few walks. (I know, small sample size).

Reed: I am interested in the tickets. How many and How much?

While Phillies' management may have made assurances to Coste about bringing him back to the big leagues shortly -- although I doubt it -- any such assurances from Gillick are meaningless anyway -- especially where the player receiving the assurances is Coste -- a player Gillck has never respected or given his "due."

In many respects, "optioning" Coste to Ottawa -- and thereby "freezing" him away from other major league clubs which would keep him in the big leagues right now -- was the cruelest "option" that the Phillies could have imposed upon Coste.

Unless there are behind the scenes considerations and firm commitmemnts (ie. a forthcoming trade of Coste to another big league club) -- if I were Coste, I would refuse the Ottawa assignment and attempt to force the Phillies' hand on this right now.

For a guy like Coste, being stuck frozen away on a Phillies' "option" in Ottawa -- "out of major league sight" -- will very shortly mean being "out of major league mind" for him. Given Coste's age, and the current state of his career coming off an excellent 2006 performance, there is no upside for Copste to remain in Ottawa for any significant period -- and therefore -- Coste should try to force Gillick's hand on this.

I think Phillies' fans would back Coste on this stance, and Gillick would risk some bad PR by suspending Coste. Coste should demand to be designated for assignment right now.

Nothing wrong with Victorino as a defender. Just don't think he's an everyday player, particularly as a right fielder. He does a few things okay, but in my estimation his skills are fairly limited.

Remains to be seen if Vic is an everyday OF. With his range and arm, if he can continue to put up credible numbers at the plate, he'd be an adequate everyday CF.

Here come the Coste supporters...Maybe we should start him at 1b for Howard.

...but player's manager CM not likely to write in Vic in CF unless Rowand gets injured.

Perhaps Victorino should also throw a few team BBQs!

BBeard -- Actually, I think Coste would have been on base more often than Howard has been this season -- but enough in response to your dismissive sarcasm -- all I'm saying is that Gillick -- who demonstrated in the off-season that he has no use for Coste -- should let the guy go to another big league club - its that simple. If Gillick can't swing a deal -- a deal the Texas Rangers were interested in around March 22nd - then the least Gillick should do is designate Coste for assignment and allow him to go to another big league club right now -- and yes, there are clubs out there which are interested in Coste.

Davthom, Coste is a bit too mild-mannered to "demand a designation for assignment". Come on now, enough with the pansy sympathetic write-ups for Coste. You're making me like him less and less every time you post some of your waxy poetic BS.

Werth and Helms in the starting lineup instead of Victorino and Dobbs... not sure that I like that, particularly not having Victorino in there.

DavThom, Coste would obviously be the first guy called up in the event of any injury. Why would Gillick voluntarily sacrifice what little positional depth he has? You may be right that Coste has gotten a raw deal, but this fact in itself makes it all the more unlikely that the organization would be given to charity or sympathy towards the welfare of his career. They're going to do what's best for them, and it would *not* work in Coste's favor if he were to go barking about it; it's the kind of thing that might make other teams shy away from him. He's experienced enough to know he'll get another opportunity.

Ace -- now that's a macho handle, isn't it, pal? You said, "Come on now, enough with the pansy sympathetic write-ups for Coste. You're making me like him less and less every time you post some of your waxy poetic BS."

Being concerned with whether you like Coste Ace -- now that's certainly my primary objective whenever I express an opinion on this board.

I couldn't care less what you think.

While I feel bad for Coste, why would you want him traded? I doubt he'd bring back what we need (quality relief pitching), so I'm content with leaving him in AAA and bringing him back when we need him -- which I imagine will be sooner rather than later. The Phils are so thin that it's nice to have something close to reliable waiting in the wings.

Anyone watching this. Trouble with RISP continues...Utley with a called 3rd strike

RSB -- you said "You may be right that Coste has gotten a raw deal, but this fact in itself makes it all the more unlikely that the organization would be given to charity or sympathy towards the welfare of his career. They're going to do what's best for them . . . ".

We agree on that much.

Yeah Howard!

Beautiful! Howard's first two ribbies. What idiot said he should sit today?

Hopefully that double gets the big guy rolling...

BFT #6 wakes up.

Good to see some runs after runners on second and third with no outs.

And Pat continues to get on base, aa real good sign when those start dropping for him

I admit I thought Howard should sit today...hang the idiot tag on me.

Good AB by Helms. Helms and Werth are ok so far.

I thought he should have sat too. Glad to see he didn't! That ball was smoked!

Bench Howard, He needs time to think it out. (Scarcasm laid on thick).

I mean that is seriously like saying, bench Pujols because he suddenly needs to think things out. I'm not bashing on those who thought it was a good idea, but the Howard complaining had gone too far.

Segovia looks like Padilla to me... I mean physically, not the way he pitches.

Florida announcers aren't bad.

I like how Segovia's around the plate. He looks perfectly relaxed out there, especially in contrast to Olsen.

I don't know if any of us would call it Howard complaining. He looked bad swinging through pitches. He wasn't even fouling off balls. Was that the case with Pujols? It wouldn't have been the end of the world if he had sat to start the game, but obviously the Phils made the right call with Howard delivering in the first. You were right Parker. Congrats.

Did the Marlins take Ramirez out of the game? Did the announcers mention why?

I thought Howard should sit today and still stand by it. One hit doesn't change my mind either. If the Phils would have had an off day tomorrow, then sitting Howard definitely would have been foolish.

I agree RSB. That was a great 1st inning of Zack Segvoia's career. He looks very poised and comfortable out there.

Jon, I agree, he looked bad (Well couldnt actually watch it yesterday, but on radio, sounded bad). I just dont think that you sit your best hitter, ever, unless he is hurt or wants to sit. He just needed to figure it out by seeing more pitches. I just think his timing was off. He was not adjusting to changeups at all. Another thing, career vs. Olsen he is now 4-6 with a HR.

Ramirez is out of the game with an injured right hamstring - severity unknown.

I thought the Phils had a good chance in this game. Phils pounded Olsen last year and knew the Phils would score some runs today. Just have to see what Segovia can give the Phils. I would love 6 innings/3 runs.

when you open 1-4, guys who had a particularly bad start are naturally going to be targets, ie howard and madson. the important thing to remember is that you can make a less-reactionary evaluation when you look at a sample size larger than 5 games! of course, that bodes well for howard and not-so-well for madson, doesn't it?

The 'idiot' comment was self-directed; I also thought he should sit. But he didn't overswing against Olsen, hopefully the beginning of a trend. That kind of big hit might get him going.

Ramirez finished for the day. He pulled up on the grounder to Rollins.

Yes, his numbers are impressive versus Olsen. I actually didn't realize that until his first AB today. Anyway, hopefully Howard starts rolling now. We need our big bats to deliver against the Muts!

I kept thinking Mike Jacobs has an upright batting stance identical to someone from a few years back. I think I figured it out: Jeremy Giambi.

Actually, we may need our big bats yet today! The Fish are making solid contact here in the 2nd.

Actually, we may need our big bats yet today! The Fish are making solid contact here in the 2nd.

Just ready to post before Jacobs HR - Dolphin Canyon is a nice place for a control pitcher to make his 1st ML start!

Ugly play by Werth!

Davthom's post on Coste was hilarious. You'd think Gillick had sent him off to the gulag or something the way he talks about Ottawa. I particularly loved this line:

In many respects, "optioning" Coste to Ottawa -- and thereby "freezing" him away from other major league clubs which would keep him in the big leagues right now -- was the cruelest "option" that the Phillies could have imposed upon Coste.

Just priceless. You should be a sportswriter for the Inquirer, they'd love you. As for today's game, I fully expect Segovia to blow this small lead shortly, but, on a positive note, Werth looks good at the plate. Which is something I know most of us weren't expecting.

the first thing i thought after that Cody Ross double over Werth's head was "Victorino would snagged that easily! I must head to Beerleaguer immediately to register my contempt!"

Werth is 2-2, but I miss Vic's defense.

Got to love the Phillies' ability to cough up comfortable leads quickly.

So THAT's why Werth doesn't play more often. Really lacking in range.

god, talk about "speak of the devil"....

Wow, this got bad fast. First Werth is falling all over the outfield, now a squeeze play...

Why would Werth not even make a throw home there? He was fairly shallow when he made the catch. I recall him making a terrible throw in one of the Atlanta games. Is that because of his wrist, or is it the left wrist?

In any case - Werth has looked solid with the bat but brutal with the glove today. I may have just dissed Victorino, but the Marlins probably don't have this kind of inning with him out there.

Suicide squeeze = something every team's players can execute except for the Phillies.

Nice decision Werth. That is the kind of crap that drives me crazy. Always keep the ball in front of you in the early innings. A little leaguer knows that much.

Control pitcher making his 1st ML start in a pitcher's park. Victorino on bench. Charlie Manuel 4, Phillies 3.

Thats right MG. Even Matthews made that comment on TV, in that situation you have to keep the ball in front of you.

This is exactly the kind of inning that drives Phils' fan crazy. Totally lack of fundamental baseball capped off by the total lack of awareness about the possibility of a suicide squeeze.

Doesn't a freaking coach on the Phil's bench have information on Olsen's bunting skills? Wake the hell up Cholly.

Information on Olsen's bunting skills is not needed = the manager just needs to assume that every team can execute the suicide squeeze, even if his own team cannot.

I have a hunch that Davthom IS Coste.

This team is ssllooppppyy

Exactly. Just because all of your pitchers are incapable of laying down a bunt doesnt mean that other teams didnt fix that in spring training.

eh, while davthom loves to wax poetic on the injustices of the universe, you gotta feel for coste a little. the changing perceptions of players this offseason was really striking. it's funny how pat burrell went from 'worst player ever on the worst contract ever' to 'reasonably priced solid protection for howard,' whereas coste went from late-season spark plug to disposable flotsam, both without stepping into the box this winter.

not saying the guy should be starting or anything and certain acquisitions certainly dimished his value (helms as offensive-minded 3B and barajas as...something). but his penchant for clutch-hitting isn't going to help our bench much from ottawa...

Black Hole Rowand kills another rally.

hey, come on, that 7-8-9 today is murderer's row for opposing pitchers...

I have one word to describe Rod Barajas' swing: Ridiculous. He makes Vicente Padilla's swing seem controlled.

I am not ready to call Barajas a total waste of money just 5 games in, but I have not been impressed so far. His value may be in how he works with the pitching staff, I have read he is really good at that. Ruiz may be a little too young to build that kind of rapport with the staff

Dont. Run. On. Pat!

Burrell is playing his tochis off = would be nice if he could sustain this all season = would be a pleasant surprise.

olsen is walking all of these batters and we are not making him pay!

rowand is pathetic the guy makes me sick and y isn't ruiz playing?

phils should not play in april and just go to may...

hacker - Slang. A person who engages in an activity without talent or skill. Also see Barajas, Rod.

Good teams capitalize on the mistakes of their opponents.
Bad teams do not.

I dunno, Jared. I'm about ready to say Ruiz should be the starting catcher until further notice. The guy has some moxie behind the plate, and he puts his bat on the ball.

But Burrell is reasonably priced and he is solid, and it's good that people are finally starting to realize that. We don't really know what Coste would've brought to the table, and we knew we needed a backup catcher - I tend to think Coste would've been better than Barajas but he's not exactly proven.

Dont get me wrong Rick, I was not saying Barajas should start. I was just saying that bringing him in, rather than Coste, may have been an ok move in the long run. Right now it looks bad, but I think over the course of a season Barajas may bring something that Coste would not.

Barajas is bringing me a headache.

Jared: like what, exactly? Really - if you've got if figured out, tell us. I still don't have the faintest idea why they bothered with Barajas. It's not like they have a young staff that needs pampering.

tray, i'm talking about perceptions before the start of this season, so you have to ignore the great start burrell has laid down so far this year. if he were 3-20 with 14 Ks right now, who would be saying he was solid? point is, i can't recall anybody saying he was reasonably priced and solid when the season ended last year.

as for coste, what you're saying is pretty much what i think the phils' front office would say. but, really, what can the guy do to prove himself beyond what he has shown? so i will say i feel bad for the guy in that regard. i really can't say anything about how he handled the staff, and that might have been his big problem. but there's just no way barajas is an offensive upgrade. look at the guy hack.

Their staff may not be young, but pampering is something they certainly need. With the exception of Moyer, none of these guys know how to pitch. Myers, as seen last night, is still a head case that lets the emotion of the game effect his pitching. Hamels is still young and needs to build on his good start. Eaten is just terrible. And the 5th guy, is a toss up right now. If its Garcia, he needs less help. If its a take your pick minor leaguer, they need a veteran catcher.

Just not enough smart baseball from the Phillies yet again this April. Terrible.

Boy, great defense today. That's three uncredited errors. Segovia hasn't been as bad as his line is going to look.

The management obviously does not believe defense is that important. This team plays putridly in the field and our best center fielder is in right. Ugh.

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