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Thursday, April 19, 2007

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Jason, you forgot to mention the good points from last nights game. We discovered that Cole Hamels is a more effective PH than our buddy Abe Nunez. Get King Cole a 1B glove!!

hope its nothing serious with howard . moving helms to 1B, recalling coste, and platooning nunez/coste at 3B seems the least invasive move to make if howard is temporarily DL'd. it'd probably even improve the defense. of course, a major shakeup couldn't hurt the team at this point, but utley at 1B and nunez full-time at 2B is not something i want to see.

"It just goes to show that if they’re not good enough for the Phillies bullpen ..."

my thinking exactly....!

my question--who do you recall if you send down matt smith, who clearly needs some time in AAA to work on his command? bisenius again?

I wonder if Cole could play first. I bet he could.

My thoughts on the Myers to the bullpen move. I agree that it was done to add some value to Lieber in preparation for a trade. My only hope is that every Lieber start from now on end with him being yanked after 1 inning for Myers. Teach his candy-ass to cry about not being a starter.

JW, although I said it jokingly, Hamels does seem to be one of the guys on this team who would do anything asked of him. Since we have a history of a black hole at 7-8-9 anyway, give him a start at 1B, why not? At 3-10, who are you going to upset?

i think it was amazing that eaton got hit in the hand with a linedrive and didn't snap in half.

matt smith's appearance was really pathetic. he doesn't belong on a major league roster right now. in fact, if he weren't a lefty, he wouldn't be on one.

it was almost funny to listen to the nats fans discover the phils' ERAs with each new pitcher into the game: 7.50, 13.50, 6.95, 9.95. "who are these guys?" wish we knew.

@Willard

Well... mostly losing your now best Starting Pitcher to injury from playing First Base... That would be something to lose...

Oh happy days. We managed to hang onto the Minnesota Twins 10th best prospect (only because the other 29 teams passed on him).

No one is mentioning the mangers move in the 7th. Taking out Smith before the pinch hitter for the Nats was announced, giving them an extra player.

Venture a guess what that player did in the 13th??

It's brutal and getting worse every day.

no, curt, 29 other teams didn't pass on him. the Red Sox and Diamondbacks both claimed him before we did, but couldn't find a spot for him on their ML rosters.

there's a lot of bad things going on in Philliesland the last few days, but managing to get a talented, if raw, pitcher like Durbin on your AAA roster isn't one of them.

Helms to 1st, Coste to 3rd makes the most sense to me. Or Burrell to first and we can insert that power hitting top OF prospect _______ in there for him...Doh, we don't have any of those.

regarding the myers move to the pen, perhaps flash is hurt.

Helms to 1st, Dobbs at 3rd. This offense is already horrible, putting Nunez in the lineup is suicide!

Coste needs to be recalled so he can show he should be Ruiz's backup and then to hell with Barajas.

I say we just put Coste on first. Didn't he sub for Ryno a couple days last season and actually do good?

The sh*tfest needs to stop. I can't take an entire season of this, and neither can the fanbase. They'll show up for a while, but before long it will like like the 10,000 fan crowds at the spacious Vet soon...you'll hear nothing but crickets and boos.

Thanks for the clarification, ae. Two teams were interested but not interested enough to find room for him on their 40 man rosters. Sure, it was a worthwhile pickup, but only because the Phils farm system is another disaster area.

From philly.com: So in his mind Manuel doesn't need to be concerned, even after a 3-10 start?

"No, not at all," Gillick said.

Alright, enough about the manager, then. I can't *fathom* how he's still at the helm, but man... since you're staying, can you change the effing lineup a bit?

If Howard is DL'd?

1. Rollins SS
2. Dobbs 3B, he hit in spring training -- give him a chance, please.
3. Burrell LF, keep it up, fella.
4. Utley 2B/1B, stop pressing. Everyone loves everything about you.
5. Helms/Coste 1B, get Coste the hell out of Ottawa, please.
6. Rowand CF
7. Ruiz C, and please stop swinging first pitch.
8. Victorino
9. Cole Hamels. Everyday.

And for the record, all these moves, all of them? Could they not have been tried and made during effing spring training? It's infuriating.

But what do I know, I'm just a diehard fan on the brink of burning his Phillies hat.

Greg Dobbs to Third, Wes Helms to First. Bring up Coste from AAA to see if he can produce as a back-up catcher again.

last night was like a battle of mediocrity. the longer the game lasted the more painful it seemed.

after the mets game, before all the charlie/eskin stuff and before the myers to the pen shat, i said i was as frustrated as i've been since cbp opened.

i am now back to a pre-cbp state of mind. this team, especially now with howard out, has zero chance of making the playoffs.

they might as well be the 76ers to me - playing for nothing. the only question i ask myself now is "do i trust PG to trade the right pieces to make this a contending team for next year?"

every single player that won't be a part of the team next year needs to be traded for value. can he get back a gio gonzalez type prospect for garcia? can he get anything at all for lieber and rowand? if i'm burrell there is no way i don't waive my no trade clause now. if PG can't get quality big league pieces for the players they have to trade there is no way all the holes get filled in free agency. it'd be too much money - the holes are too big.

I was there last night, and it was as bad in person as it was on tv. Not a whole lot of people there, but the Phils were well represented.

ci, not mediocrity, it was 2 bad teams. The difference is that one was expected to compete for the division as the team to beat, the other was picked as a last place club.

Question: There are a ton of Washington area readers here, and my analytic data confirms it. Can any of you recommend a Philadelphia sports hangout in DC I can solicit for some ad revenue?

gee...happy we depleted the bench so early on the MVP had to play after f**ing up his knee, really hope you didn't just blow this guy's entire career CM. You know, sometimes when you have knee damage, and you keep putting weight on, the damage can be irrerversible. Let gdamn Ryan Madson play first base. I don't care. He shouldn't have been out there, period. Were 3-10, why in god's name would we risk making a guy play through an injury?


And you know whose fault this is. Pat Gillick. Its PG's fault. He gave up on this team and they came back last year and played hard. They came up short but they tried. And then this year , the management goes out and get's them yes, a good pitcher, and no one else. No one else to help them. I don't think the ownership hired Giles for any other reason than to rebuild this ball club, not to put together a winner. He said as much himself last year. And this organization thinks so inside the box, and is so stubborn and uninventive, they figured this offseason, let's not spend alot of money and bring in the few pieces we have missing (Oh wow, two RP, an OF and a 3B who could hit .270 and actually play his damn poistion) No, they came up with that stupid stupid ad campaign, beat the war drum, and then picked up rule V guys and worn out, beaten down, journeyman.


Yeah, I have goosebumps, and now our Best Hitter and the person who should be the face of the organization has a bum knee.

Congratulations Phils, you really came out and proved something to the muts and the rest of the League: that your a predictable organization who hires predictable managers who can demoralize a team in less than three weeks.


It is now time for the Phillies spin machine to start up. What is the over/under on the number of times we hear that “the season would have been better if Howard had not been injured. We’ll get ‘em next year”.

I guess i was just really trying to place blame for happenstance, which isn't fair, especially with Howard hurting himself. Still, thats why you don't ever empty your entire bench.


Hey A-Rod, can you please give Howard and Utley back their Steroids...

In retrospect is this a suprise? One strength starting pitching is really not as good as we thought. Did we really expect much out of Eaton and Krispy Kreme Boy? Myers has great potential but has been an enigma for years. Garcia has been a great pitcher for years but his velocity was dropping even last year. Jamie Moyer has been a dependable pitcher but he is 44 years old. The future ace, Cole Hamels, is still learning to pitch in the majors.
The other strength hitting has 2 players from last year, Burrell and Howard, who were bad at hitting with runners in scoring position.
We knew going into the season that the pen and bench would be weak.
Looking at the facts, is it really a surprise at the way things turned out?

"Is it really a surprise at the way things turned out?"

I've got to admit, I was caught off guard by their 3-10 start actually, the worst in 25 years.

I hate the management of this team, but will someone PLEASE blame the core hitters for consistently not getting it done?!? Last night was yet another example of missed opportunities.

J-Can't think of any Phillies bars down here, but Rhino Bar & Pumphouse (georgetown bar) is a big Eagles bar, as well as Rock Bottom Brewery (in the Ballston section of Arlington).

Staring pitching hasn't been the problem. Some so-so starts, for sure, but our problems are our hitters not hitting, and of course, the 'pen. Garcia's velocity was down last year, but he finished well. He was ok in his first outing the other night. Hamels has looked pretty good. Moyer/Lieber/Eaton will hold down the fort. Everyone else has to grow a pair and step up.

I really hope that Howard is not badly hurt. Ryan is a great hitter and a good guy from all accounts. The league needs more guys like him.

If Hayes is right, putting Abe at 2B would be an absolute travesty.

Is there a bigger dropoff in offensive talent than going from Ryan Howard to Abraham Nunez? Bonds to Sandoval?

Since we are doing fixes, I would move Burrell to 1st (if he can play there) and put Bourn in LF. I know this is COnlin's wet dream of a speedy, powerless OF, but I think Bourn is really the only guy who could make a real difference.

Then you go:

J-Roll
Bourn
Burrell
Utley
Helms
Rowand
Vic
Ruiz

If Pat the Bat can't hack it at first, then Coste plays 3rd, Helms moves to 1st.

If they really put Nunez in the everyday lineup, I will officially quit on this team.

I'm thinking of following the D-Rays. Their struggles will remind me of the mid 90s Phils, and they have all sorts of exciting players who could steal a base, hit a HR, or attack an umpire.

Not to be cynical, but maybe we could get a poll going on what team you would adopt after giving up on the Phils. I think the only restriction would be that it can't be a NL team.

3-10 isn't reflective of the available talent. Now that the pressure is off, we can probably anticipate .500 ball the rest of the way.

Kdon:

Red Sox or Orioles (I live in Delaware, so it is close enough).

"Last night’s agonizing loss came courtesy of the top four table setters – Jimmy Rollins, Shane Victorino, Chase Utley and Ryan Howard – who went a combined 2 for 21 with three walks."

Not to rub salt in our own wounds here, but I do feel I should point out that even this quote is a little misleading. The guy on this list who many believe is one of the weak links on this team, and has never been to an All-Star game was 2-5 with a BB and SB.

So actually, the guys we are counting on to carry this team went 0-16 with 2BB... against the (2nd counting us) worst team in the division.

Just for the hell of it, since I am a glutton for punishment (aka Philly sports fan) lets look at the upside of this.

Mad Dog finally threw a couple decent innings, and Eaton looked okay, as did Myers in his first BP appearance.

Ryan ain't hitting any way, let him spend 15 days on the DL. Call up Coste to play first.

When Coste performs, and the team wins a couple games, Ryan comes back feeling less pressure and there is no way they send Coste back if he out-performs the current bunch of bench losers.

I know, I know, but it is still April and I can't bring myself to quit yet.

Wouldn't we all be A's fans historically? I like their kind of ball, too....

I'm down Mike, as long as we call them the Philadelphia Athletics of Oakland.

The San Francisco Baseball Giants could be our rivals.

It will be interesting to see what Gillick can get in return for all the soon-to-be ex-Phillies. Probably only 3-4 guys out there stretching at RFK who are assured to be back next year.

We're allowed to be A's fans. They won more in 50 years than the Sillies have in 100. We should have sent the Phillies packing in 54 and kept the Elephants.

Hey, at least we're still "the team to beat." Unfortunately, we're the team to beat repeatedly.

I like the A's too. Not so much because of Moneyball, but because of the odd facial hair. Even Piazza has gotten on board the scruffy look.

Having the Giants as a rival is much better than the Mets too. If there was one team in baseball that is set up to be simply awful for awhile, it the Giants.

In no uncertain terms, it is never okay to refer to the "Phillies" as the "Sillies," even in these dark times.

@Curt

Do you really think Stand Pat is going to do a complete 180 and become this aggressive leader of a rebuilding effort? Seems unlikely to me. I can see him dumping Burrell and 5M for some B and C prospects, maybe even unloading Garcia if there is a market and he's healthy, but you're not going to get a rapid overhaul of this team, nor do you really need to IMO. This team was just constructed poorly in the offeason, obvious needs were not met, the inaction on the Lieber for reliever front is pretty unforgivable, but the core IS there for success. The philosophy of general management isn't. It's my feeling that the fish stinks from the head down in Philly, and I'm referring to ownership...

Did everyone miss the line in Hoffman's piece that Charlie campaigned to keep Coste on the team? It begs two questions:

1.)Is there a rift between Manuel and Gillick and, if so, what is Gillick waiting for to fire Manuel?

and

2.)Can everyone please give Manuel some credit for wanting to keep Coste?

General manager Pat Gillick said X-rays done Wednesday showed nothing was torn and that Howard wouldn't need to have an MRI exam. Gillick also said he didn't think Howard would have to go on the disabled list.

Today's lineups

Phils
1. J Rollins, SS
2. S Victorino, RF
3. C Utley, 2B
4. P Burrell, LF
5. G Dobbs, 1B
6. W Helms, 3B
7. A Rowand, CF
8. C Ruiz, C
9. J Moyer, P

Nats
1. F Lopez, SS
2. R Belliard, 2B
3. R Zimmerman, 3B
4. D Young, 1B
5. A Kearns, RF
6. R Church, CF
7. M Restovich, LF
8. J Flores, C
9. J Patterson, P

" the inaction on the Lieber for reliever front is pretty unforgivable"

Apparently, Lieber had little or no value in the market. There was the Turnbow/Mench trade rumor, but I don't know how serious that was. Would you have wanted junk back? I understand frustration-I'm frustrated, but let's not pretend Lieber wasn't shopped.

Additionally-Besides, J-Roll, Chase, Howard, Hamels and probably Myers (who for the most part aren't going anywhere), what else does this organization have that anybody really wants (right now)?
Burrell is stepping up, but doesn't really have his power stroke. I don't see any team wanting him as a high priced singles/strike out guy.

I can't get enough Victorino high in the lineup these days.

The iron pig is so dead on. If The Black Bull misses any significant time that will be the excuse managment uses for this debacle. Again, I cant believe I am typing the words "Howard Eskin is right"

Lister, you tried to push this "trade Burrell and $5M for B/C prospects" line yesterday, and it's just as ridiculous now as it was then.

first, us paying another team to take Burrell is the height of idiocy. he's only signed through next year, and his salary isn't unreasonable in the current market (just look at Carlos Lee, who's older, a worse defender, and doesn't draw walks).

second, B/C prospects (which, parenthetically, are not what we got in the Abreu trade. John Sickels, for one, only rated Matt Smith a C this year; everyone else from that deal was below that) are not going to help this team. what good is a fringe reliever or a utility infielder going to do for the long-term prospects of this team? the answer is none.

now by all means, if you can get a guy on the Gio Gonzalez level for one of our players, you do it. but another wave of CJ Henrys (and please, don't trot out that "well, he was the Yankees' first round draft choice" argument - it holds no water) is not going to do anything to change this team's prospects this year, next year, five years from now, or ten years from now.

Howard is listed as day-day, not in lineup today, as seen on espn bottomline, some good news

Reality is they are 3-10 with Howard and tied for worst record in baseball how much lower could they go?

"In no uncertain terms, it is never okay to refer to the "Phillies" as the "Sillies," even in these dark times."

i agree, and, also, just snorted coffee out of my nose.

Well you got to figure Utley (big new contract), Howard (cheap stud) and Hamels (cheap stud) are back for sure next year. Rollins and Myers are the two guys who might get us a couple of top talents in return. Garcia, Rowand, Lieber and anyone else who is a FA next year is gone as soon as an offer is received. Burrell too. Vic or Bourn will be back (cheap and potentially competent). The rest are obvious available in the right trade, and 8-10 of them probably don't belong on a ML roster. Gordon and Moyers belong, but it's hard to believe they will have anything left.

Time for Greg Dobbs to turn into Roy Hobbs.

I was totally on board the trade Burrell now train last season, if we could have kept Bobby and moved Pat that would have been great.

But no way do you trade Pat right now. What kind of message does that send to your team in April?

The answer is: "We're going to trade the only guy who is hitting for prospects." or put another way: "we give up, thanks for coming."

yahoo is reporting that howard is day to day and does not have to undergo an MRI...is their report from after the game last night?????

I actually liked the Burrell to 1st base suggestion if Howard hits the DL. Allows Werth/Dobbs/Bourn to get some ab's...anybody but Nunez!

@ AE

I don't think the Phils should move Burrell for all the reasons you specify, but I was responding to the floated idea that only 3-4 of the Phillies are safe from trades. I'm suggesting that this team will NOT be gutted and overhauled because it's neither feasible (the issue of uneven value in the Thome/Abreu trades, which you raise well) nor of current management's nature. Gillick is not going to turn into Ken Williams bc the team is 3-10 and start making incredibly aggressive trades. I defer all things Phillies to you and the rest of the board, but I thought I had a valid point that this team isn't going to be vastly different in '08 from what it is now. The non-core pieces to the puzzle were muffed for the Phils this year and many of them will change, but the idea that you're going to see new stars out there instead of current ones is silly I think.

the info that fljerry posted is also whats on the mlb section of espn.com, guess we have to wait about 15 more minutes till game time for more info

As much as I like to lay the blame for the bullpen situation at Gillick's feet for not getting anyone of consequence in the offseason, can we all acknowledge that there was virtually no market for relief pitching this past winter? For crying out loud, the Braves traded a 32-homer guy (Adam Laroche) to get Mike Gonzalez. Mike Gonzalez!!

Seriously, does anyone think Gillick could have gotten anything of value for Jon Lieber?

Here's the sad thing- even if the Phils win today, I don't give a flying two-fisted flip! One win solves nothing. Hell, even a 3-game winning streak at this point wouldn't even spark my optimism.

This team continues to plod along with a crappy bullpen (even with the addition of are #1 starting pitcher), an offense that can't hit with runners on base, and a manager that isn't a good manager. That's actually why I want Manuel fired. Not because this is ALL his fault, because only a portion of it is his, but I want him fired because he does his job poorly...piss-poor in face. When you do your job poorly, you get fired, whether you're the root of the problem or not. It makes no sense to continue losing with Manuel...he's part of the problem, so rid the team of what you can.

The Braves also got Rafael Soriano for Horacio Ramirez. Horacio Ramirez!!!

Soriano is a better bullpen option than any single Philly. Schuerholz went out and addressed his team's deficiencies, Gillick did not. Maybe he overpaid for Gonzalez, but the idea that getting bullpen arms was impossible just doesn't hold water.

Walker, Bradford, Baez signed by the O's alone...better than Madson/Smith.

Carson the owners gave a hard salary cap to PG. He couldn't have signed any of those RP because it would have cost to much. The O's extremely overpaid for them.

Not to mention the fact that a big bat/right fielder to hit behind Howard was never acquired.

I like Bradford, but otherwise, I dunno and with Gillick's Seattle ties, he couldn't land Soriano tells me something.

Rev, since he had already signed a fifth starter in Eaton would it not have made more sense to spend the money being paid to Garcia on at least 2 quality relievers?

Now if we couldn't get a reliever how were we going to get a big bat too?

1 million to Werth

7.5 million to Eaton

2.5 million to Baraja....I think they could have afforded a relief pitcher.

Remember, not only does he have a hard salary cap to work under, but if he never drafted a guy with another organization he is not allowed by MLB regulations (I assume) to bring him in here.

Seems like a strange rule I know, and why it only applies to him and not the other GMs who can say? But those are the rules.

I wouoldnt trade any of our "name" players. The problems are manager, 3B, bullpen and the bench.

Also, didn't the former batboy turned assistant GM say that the Phillies could still sign a big bat after they had traded for Garcia?

I did think Alou would have been a nice little addition to the OF. Haven't looked at his numbers, but he's consistent, I think. Maybe not a "big bat", but an experienced hitter.

Hey that dude do you think this is a good outfield?

Maybe the team will ante up in Howard's absence and start playing ball. Maybe he'll return in a few days to a team with some new fire. Or maybe the rest of the season will suck.

DK, we have a RFer who can hit a little, steal and has a strong glove and arm. We have CFer who can hit a little less, but never quits on any play (his arms has been disappointing so far though) and a LF who's glove may be below average, but he'll hit around .280, knock 30+ HRs and drive in 100.

You couple that and our SPs with a bullpen that can hold a lead and an above average 3B and we're talking playoffs.

Barajas is a total joke and if PG could swallow his pride and let Coste and Ruiz tag team that position would be fine.

Would I rather have Guerrero, Sizemore and Beltran? Sure, but none of them will be striking guys out in the eighth inning with a 2 run lead.

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