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Sunday, April 29, 2007

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Jason, I'll repost this from the previous thread:

What it boils down to is this team would be better with Coste as the backup, and our genius GM Pat Gillick wasted $2+ million on a catcher that he could have spent on the bullpen.

Bad aquisition.

People need to chill a little on the $2 million backup catcher situation. It's small potatoes compared to two starting pitchers, owed about $20 million this season, who're getting lit up like Christmas trees.

Not to mention the fact that Barajas is dead wood as a pinch hitter in critical late game situations. And Werth-less? Does anyone have confidence in him? How about Nunez from the right side of the plate?

BAD BENCH!!!

Gillick started to shape this team last year and they lost more games than the year before. This year has started out shaky.

Jason, you are right. It is time to start asking whether Gillick has really improved this team.

Jason, maybe it's "small potatoes", but I'll turn it around on you:

Do you think, assuming they had signed someone like Chad Bradford, this team would be better if that $2mm had been spent on the bullpen instead of Barajas?

You can't assume free agents like Bradford want to sign here. If anything, history indicates they don't.

Second, if they would, wouldn't the money the Phillies committed to Eaton (3 years, $24), or Gordon (2 more years, $16 million) allow more flexibility than the one-year, $2.5 million they gave to Barajas?

I'm still not entirely ready to write off Barajas as a waste the way I am with Werth. Right now, the Phillies have a light-hitting, decent defensive backup, just like a dozen other teams.

In the grand scheme of things, I hear your beef with Gillick loud and clear.

ESPN reporting former Phil Josh Hancock killed last night. Thoughts and prayers to the family.

Another tragedy strikes an ex-Phil. As mentioned above, thoughts and prayers go out to his family.

JB, just read you last post. I'm not sure what you meant with: "you have something interesting to say when I don't expect it." I don't know if that means that my ordinary comments are so mind numbingly boring that when I do say something interesting it surprises you. Either way, thanks, I think.

Sad to hear the news about Hankcock. Game is canceled.

AWH: I would like to agree with you on spending the money on the bullpen, but there were not a whole lot of great relievers available. Bradford would have been a good signing, but who knows how that went down. The rest of the guys were either older guys, or young, potential lighting in a bottle types. Pitching was extremely expensive this off season, and relievers are not valuable enough to sink a huge amount of money into. Bradford may be great this year, but what if he is horrible next season and he is owed big money and costing you games (or sitting on the bench).

Middle relief is just too much of a crapshoot to justify spending big money on them. I think the best GM's do one of two things when developing a good middle of the bullpen.
1.) Develop with young players inside the organization.
2.) Rely on cheap veterans in hopes that they will return to prior form.

Neither is prone to very predictable results, but the better of the two is probably promotion from within the organization, assuming that you have enough arms to mix and match when one of your options fails.

Why do people keep harping about Coste? How many games does a backup catcher really make a difference in at this point.

It is like complaining about a leaky faucet when you water tank just blew and is spewing water everywhere in your basement.

People keep harping about Coste because the team's best bat off the bench is playing in Ottawa.

I agree with Jason that the starting pitchers are the bigger worry, but I understand everyone who is baffled that Coste hasn't been called back up yet.

does anyone have the lineup for today. i just heard on the radio that rowand is batting fifth. does that mean werth for burrell?

Parker: So Gillick was right not to add bullpen help?

Phillies line up

Jimmy Rollins SS
Shane Victorino RF
Chase Utley 2B
Ryan Howard 1B
Aaron Rowand CF
Jayson Werth LF
Abraham O. Nunez 3B
Carlos Ruiz C
Jamie Moyer P

Why is Nunez starting?
Why is Nunez hitting ahead of Ruiz?

A bunch of small differences can make one big difference, because a small difference could equal a few wins over the course of the season making the difference between postseason and sitting at home in October.

Werth has actually done decent as a pinch hitter- 4-10 I think.

Dobbs is the one stinking up the place. He should be demoted and the much balleyhooed Chris Coste summoned from Oh Canada! And yes, Coste could make enough small differences to be considered a big difference at the end of the season.

yea wrth if statring in LF

Nunez is starting because Moyer is pitching.

Why does Manuel insist on starting Werth vs. RHP? Is he a complete idiot? If you want to give Burrell a blow, start Bourn. Werth should steal some starts from Vic vs. LHP. Doesn't Manuel ever look at the stats?

Clout: No.

So far, both Eaton and Garcia have been getting rocked at CBP. The thing that baffles me about Eaton is that is control is just so lousy for the first couple of innings. I can't seem to figure out if it is more a mental thing or a delivery issue. Anyone have any thoughts?

i was starting to worry i'd never see a 1-2-3 inning again.

Clout - Great point. I can understanding playing Nunez today with Moyer on the mound. As for Werth, this justs baffles me. Why the hell didn't Cholly play him last night to give Vic a breather? If Burrell needs the day, play Bourn and go with the additional defense.

How many times is Howard going to swing and miss at that pitch?

Wheeler: "It's almost as if they want to take their chances with Werth."

Well, yeah.

as mentioned, why does manuel always hit nunez seventh, ahead of ruiz (or barajas, it which case the move makes more sense). Ruiz is too good to hit eighth on most teams, let alone behind nunez. As Clout stated, why is Werth starting when Bourn could be with a RHP on the mound. And why on earth is he hitting sixth, a full two spots ahead of Ruiz. Why not go 6-8 with Ruiz, Nunez, Werth if Werth must be in the lineup. Also, why does Charlie think sitting our best right handed bat and arguably our second best (Helms - though he is yet to prove it) on the same night against a relatively weak pitcher, as we are coming off a loss. Also, if Burrell is sitting because of defense, which would make sense as Nunez is playing, why not play Bourn in place of Werth, who is either a catcher that can't play outfield or an outfielder that can't catch.

On the Barajas debate, I agree with Jason that this is not the weak part of our bench. It could even be argued that, Coste aside, Barajas is the best backup we've had in years, including Pratt (though Pratt always seemed to incite craziness and energy when he played). The weak parts of our bench are specifically dobbs and werth. Nunez sucks, but he's a capable defender who can play middle infield and third. How many teams have backup middle infielders that can hit? Bourn should be the fifth outfielder on team where he's not behind the clearly inferior Werth on the depth chart. He's great in the fifth outfielder role...pinch hitter to lead off late innings to start a rally, good defense, and pinch running ability. What we is a veteran left handed outfielder that can hit and some sort of utility player that can play some outfield and/or some infield but more importantly can hit, and is right handed. That role should be filled by coste. Werth and Dobbs should be in the minors or independent leagues. What we really need is that Dellucci type off the bench. If only Bernie Williams would have excepted the offer Gillick made in the offseason, we could have a decent bench. Above all, we need to ditch Werth and bring up Coste because we need at least one reliable pinch hitter (do we have any?). We're not losing anything with this move as Bourn can play all three outfield spots as can Victorino (though I assume we wouldn't play left), and Dobbs can at the very least play some left field. Werth is redundant and useless (too easy to say Werth-less). Cut werth and bring up Coste, then start thinking about who we could replace Dobbs with.

Hate to consider where we would be without Moyer, one of the few good moves by Gillick.

The Phils are about to go an entire month without giving Bourn a start. Does that make any sense? Has Victorino had one day off? Does *that* make any sense?

Well. At least Moyer is pitching, so that ought to soothe the anti-Gillick vitriol slightly. The wind looks like it'll work to Moyer's advantage today. I liked the textbook run they put across in the first inning. Agreed with Billy Mac, this is a big game for the Phils, in a position to have a pretty good homestand before hitting the road...too big to have Jayson Werth starting!

Clout: I'm not saying that he took the preferred method, only that he took the option that was available. As much as we all wanted Beseinus to make it, he was not ready. There is no other arm that is ready for service in the majors right now, at least so far. Gillick took the lesser of 3 evils in this case. He has limited resources in the minors, and he didn't want to put money in a sinking market (Relief pitchers). Really Gillick went with a few younger guys and supplemented them with a vets, Alfonseca and Gordon. He acquired Rosario, which is a good young arm.

Who (that was a free agent) would have solved the bullpen problems (Existent of perceived)of the Phillies? Name 3 guys that would have solved all the problems. (THis does not assume that the Phillies would sign all three. Just three names, one of which, if the Phillies had signed, would cure all the problems).

I don't know how it can be said that Bisenius was 'not ready'. He's saved nine games in ten chances this month. That sounds 'ready' to me. Whatever Gillick's cautions were here, he dropped the ball. They were ready to sign him, and if they had, Myers would probably still be in the rotation.

Wow. Somehow I confused Bisenius with Borowski. I swear I'm not drinking. Anyway. I'm talking about Joe Borowski. See, their first names are both Joe. Could've happened to anyone.

i am LOVING these abe nunez starts. where can i get my official nunez jersey?

Dang, nice catch by our man Werth. Cabrera looks like he had an accident there with the eye black...

Not sure Burrell gets that one.

Phils need to start swinging the bats against Obermueller. Moyer isn't going to be pitching any shutout here.

pretty sure bourn gets it and looks prettier doing it, though.

It is amazing that Bourn has yet to start a game this season. Adding to that, Vic is 2 for his last 22.

A serious question, then an aside. The question: When should the Phils seriously consider dropping Howard down in the order? May is Tuesday.

The aside: that Wheeler bobblehead graphic was equal parts disturbing and hilarious.

although it should be duly noted that werth made a very adorable hop after that catch.

Jamie is giving the Fish...Goose Eggs!

John - I'm in the hilarious camp.

They should put a little more humor and bits into the telecast, would make it so much better and interesting.

Sarge comes across with an actual personality on that one.

That is what is neat about being at the park - entertainment outside of watching the game.

Parker: So you agree that the cross-your-fingers and hope the Bisenius-Sanches-Matt Smith-Castro with Madson as setup guy plan works?

I'm not inclined to make excuses for Gillick. Here are some names of bullpen arms that changed teams this past winter or were signed as free agents: Bradford, Baer, Dotel, Embree, Fultz, Piniero, Stanton, Springer, J. Williams, Gregg, Speier, Cotts, H. Bell, Colome, Danks, Soriano. That's maybe about 20% of bullpen guys that went to new teams.

I love some of the poitions advanced on here. Brief rundown:

1.) Gillick is stupid for failure to require MRI on Garcia before completing trade, yet when he acts on advice of the medical trainors to not sign Borowski, he dropped the ball. (???)
2.) Borowski and his 9.00 ERA, 1.79 WHIP, has somehow performed better than the man currently filling the position he would have filled (Alfonseca: 0.75 ERA, 1.08 WHIP). By the way, the difference in salary is 3.3 Million dollars. Who do you think is getting paid more???
3.) Chris Coste turned the corner and became a legitimate Major League hitter, as opposed to the career minor league catcher that he has been. Yet, Abraham Nunez (10 years in the Majors) clearly had an abberation season then he batted .280 for the Cardinals?????

It pains me to have to defend Gillick. I dont necessarily agree with everything he has done, however, I try to be objective about the realities of the situation. I'm not saying that any individual has advanced all of these positions, but they have been advance. Based on this, seems that Gillick can really do nothing right. No matter what happens right, there will be something that he didnt do, which makes him stupid, or a moron.

John: soon, I think. This has been going on too long now, with no sign of stopping. They keep talking about Howard working on hitting balls to the opposite field in BP, but I keep seeing the same thing every game: swinging at bad balls, rolling over and pulling outside pitches. The problem is as much mental as it is mechanical, but the guy needs to watch some video or something.

Then again, who would you hit fourth? Burrell only has one homer. Rowand third and Utley fourth? Could work.

Parker: I agree with you on point #1. Your point #2 makes no sense due to the different roles (not to mention thye meaningless of ERA for a guy witrh 12 IP). It's apples and oranges.

On point #3, your linking of Coste to Nunez is bizarre to say the least. Again, apples and oranges. That Nunez's season with the Cards was a statistical outlier was obvious to anyone who pays attention and knew the guy exsisted before he arrived in Philly.

Whether Coste is a legit major league hitter remains to be seen. Unlike Nunez, he had a small sample size, which makes it harder to form a firm conclusion. But he showed enough to warrant further MLB playing time.

RSB: This drives me crazy. When Howard began playing every day he constantly drove balls the opposite way. I recall distinctly reading a story in the DN that the Phils wanted him to pull more because they thought he'd hit more HRs. Now they want him to go back to the opposite way?

Let's get Bourn in left field, pronto.

clout: I don't see why it has to be one or the other. Howard was doing it all last year, pulling inside pitches and going with outside pitches. He hit .300 because he had very few chinks in his armor. This year, he's an easy out because he's just not showing good plate coverage.

To his credit, I think Borowski has actually converted 9 of his 10 saves. A few bad games really inflated his ERA. As for today's game, we ought to be doing a lot better against Obermueller.

dare i mention that Moyer is working up a little "Kevin Millwood" magic, or are we all too superstitious...

Jamie's pitch count not a problem so far.

parker, you are in left field defending nunez. even if you didn't have years of statistical evidence backing proving it, you could just watch him and see how much he utterly and completely sucks. and the coste comparison is just illogical, for all the reasons clout pointed out.

I'm getting just a little tired of these weak little slap attempts by Victorino.

Man, a run here would be sweet.

Nolan Ryan threw a game like Jamie Moyer has been throwing when he was 44 and 4 months old. That's a couple months younger than Jamie is now.

Honestly Clout, I don't think the setup man is a problem. In fact it may be the strongest part of the bullpen right now.

List: Dotel (DL: he would be great help), (Danks: starting for the Sox), (Fultz: time was up here) (Embree: 1.69 WHIP, .369 BAA), (J. Williams: would that be Jerome "DL" Williams), (Soriano: has been on the DL, although has WHIP under 1), (Piniero: 1.66 WHIP, .282 BAA), Colomne: 14 BB, 10 K).

THe only guy that would have been worth the money is Cotts, who is making about $100,000 more than Alfonseca. THe rest are being paid at least $1,600,000.00 more than Alfonseca, and are not pitching near as well.

Bathtub, in no way am I defending Nunez, quite the opposite, I am saying that the same evidence that you use (Which I agree with), to say Nunez is an abberation, is equally applicable to Coste. I think that a career minor league catcher who has one good season in the MLB, is much less likely to reproduce the same season, than a 10 year veteran of the MLB.

My point is not that Nunez is a good player, but that the people who defend Coste, yet bash Nunez are hypocritical.

What about all the people who the Orioles signed, do you not like them going forward more than Alfonseca? Alfonseca hasn't been good in about six years - I really don't think he ends the season with an ERA under 1 and an opposing batting average of .190. In fact, I don't think he ends the season anywhere close to those numbers.

There you go. Howard is just screwed up right now, and it's mostly in his head.

This would be a good spot to extend the streak, Aaron.

One word for Howard's April: Garbage.

Agreed, Tray. Jamie Walker would have looked great here. A left-handed semi-veteran pitcher who has had a history of success. You could also make arguments for Baez and Bradford, hell even Williamson before he got hurt.

Why is it that the Phils never address the pen right away? They always wait and have to settle for what is left on the scrap heap.

I've casually seen a few comments across some Phillies blogs and forums that mention Burrell's horrendous season when talking about Howard. The problem I see, though, is that Howard isn't pressing or getting in his own head. He seems to just continue to make the same mistakes.

I'm about tired of seeing our players getting hit! Thankfully Jayson Werth came through!

WERTH! WHAT A PLAYER!

but parker, nunez has lots of MLB records for us to look and say, "that guy sucks" whereas coste has very little in the way of evidence for us to say either way at this point. so you can take nunez, a known poor player, or coste, who can't really be any worse, can he?

Hey hey! Guess who's player of the game! (other than you-know-who.)

About time we broke through against this journeyman.

Werth--thank you. Smart, patient at-bat, and a huge 2-out bases-loaded hit.

John - Howard's strikeout on that horrible pitch is the definition of a hitter who's pressing. You couldn't spell it out any more clearly.

Wey Hey, great hit by Werth.

I understand that Nunez is playing because Moyer is pitchiging. That scenario was proposed by some Beerleaguers before the season started - does Charlie read this blog I wonder? - but no-one has told me why Nunez is hitting above Ruiz. That might be answered now as Nunez has just walked to load the bases and Ruiz is about to hit . . .

parker: I agree the setup man (Myers) is not a problem. But given the choice between adding an arm or moving your best starter to the bullpen, wouldn't the former be the logical way to go? Make all the excuses you want, Gillick failed to fill the team's biggest weakness. And no, I'm not going to list the other 80% of bullpen arms that moved this past offseason. My point is, there were plenty of arms available. Doing nothing was not the best option.

Tray, I like Bradford, but not for $3.16 Mill. I don't like Dannys Baez, he was generally horrible for Atlanta last year (4.53 ERA, 9 Saves, 8 blown saves, 5.88 K/9, 2.29 K/BB) , and was signed for a almost $6 Mill. a year

If Phils can win, that's a 1-game improvement over last two Aprils, 11-13 vs. 10-14.

Clout, like I said, I would like to have acquired a gy for the bullpen, but for the money given up for these guys, it was just not possible. With Gillicks operating budget, no way. You cant sink 4 Million into a one inning middle reliever. The one thing that I would fault him for in this regard is not pulling the trigger on the deal for Turnbow and Mench (assuming that was actually on the table).

Clout: Still one game tomorrow yet? And at least the Phils seem to be on the up at the moment

Parker says, "You cant sink 4 Million into a one inning middle reliever."

Sure you can, there is no cap in baseball.

The Phils choose not to.

Helms would have had that.........

Hell of a job by Moyer, no matter what. This is a Marlins team that leads the league in runs and had had a hit in every single inning of both previous games. And it was a game in which they needed a long, solid outing from a starter. *And* don't forget that Moyer took a shutout into the ninth in his previous start. He's been a life saver.

7+ out of a starter...I'll take that over a no hitter every time.

Moyer for President!

Parker: "I would like to have acquired a gy for the bullpen, but for the money given up for these guys, it was just not possible."

What the heck are you talking about? They said they had the money to sign Garcia AND Soriano. You're saying they couldn't spare $4M for a decent setup guy? You're defending ownership's penny-pinching? Good grief!

can moyer play 3B too??

How many more years could Moyer conceivably pitch?

Suggested line-up change for typical game day:
Rollins - SS
Ruiz - C
Utley - 2B
Rowand - CF
Howard - 1B
Burrell - LF
Helms - 3B
Victorino - RF
PITCHER

Every time you think Jimmy's figuring it out he goes up there hacking away.

Does Flash come in to close?

JB, that's not terrible, but will never happen. Plus, I subscribe to the Weitzel theory of hiding Ruiz in the 8-hole as long as you can. Although I never thought that would mean batting Abe in front of him...

Phils are up three so use Gordon today if Moyer can't go the distance. I would rather have Myers for tomorrow's game against the Braves.

What's amazing to consider is that I recall listening to the radio in my bedroom as a 12 year old kid as Moyer took a no-hit bid into the ninth inning against the Phillies at Veterans Stadium in April 1987 (broken up by Juan Samuel, to my relief). That reels my mind.

Ruiz as the 2-hole hitter? Um, no.

Current headline on ESPN:

"Phils' Moyer has loses no-hitter in the 7th Inning"

It seems since we aren't the Red Sox or the Yankees, the Phils don't even get to go through Grammar Check.

Don't like Myer here...

Moyer was clearly unhappy about being taken out there. He gave a little look on the mound, and another to Milt Thompson when he came into the dugout.

I still think Moyer could throw that stuff up there every other day.

Moyer might have been unhappy but it was the right move by Cholly.

Gotta be tough going from 80 mph fastballs to Myers.

Jacobs up ...

Jamie might have gotten a longer leash had the Phils managed to bring him home last inning. Hope that doesn't come back to hurt 'em.

Unless his spot comes up to hit do you think Myers should pitch the 9th? Or Flash?

Good thing Cholly's managing, & not me...

Would anyone like to see Myers try to complete the 5-out save?

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