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Monday, April 30, 2007

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Still don't know if Uncle Charlie is gonna cart out Flash in the next save situation.

I'm not sure if Brett is mentally ready to be the closer, but I sure as hell would like to find out. We all have seen the bad Gordon in the month of April, and honestly I don't see him returning to form...he's been this bad since returning from injury in late summer last season. Not to mention, my fantasy team could use a boost in the save column.

I think the biggest thing that the Phillies and Manuel have going for them when it comes to Myers is a) he already has a big contract and b) he's likely to be back in the rotation in 2008 if not earlier. Those two facts make it likely that he's not overly concerned about racking up saves, so they can more easily use him in situations like yesterday's game, instead of being forced to use him only in the 8th or 9th inning.

I do think he'll be back in the rotation next year, but he's on the record saying he's fine being the closer. He's a gamer, I'm sure he's mentally ready. Gordon on the other hand, seems done.

So I think the two conclusions we can make are:

1 - Gordon is not a top-flight closer anymore, nor a reliable reliever anymore. He shouldn't be considered as such until he runs a good string of innings together.

2 - Myers will most likely be back in the rotation by 2008. I love the fireman moniker which IMO would be a great use of his talents this year. Maybe even teach him a bit more about pitching with discipline (not mentally taking a batter or inning off as we've seen him do so often in the last few years).

That leaves me with one obvious question...who becomes our closer in 2008? Or when Gordon's arm officially falls off this year? Bisineus? Hamels?!?

Myers is the 'eighth-inning pitcher'. Occasionally seventh, occasionally tenth/eleventh.

If Eaton continues to roll out an ERA in the sevens, or if/when Garcia admits something is still wrong, it'll be interesting to see if the Phils opt to leave Myers where he is, or bring up Happ or Segovia instead.

I'll maintain my ground that passing on Borowski was a mistake. Results are results. He's healthy enough to lead the league in saves - he's doing the job. If Alfonseca somehow wasn't a risk - or if counting on Tom Gordon wasn't even more of a risk! - I'd love to know why Borowski was considered so much of a risk. Seriously - what were the family doctors telling Gillick about Gordon when Flash was signed that he somehow wasn't considered an 'aging health risk'? What the Phillies were looking for was someone who could set up *or* close if Gordon went down. No one out there this winter fit that bill better than Borowski, aging, 'intimidating' or not. Is Bob Wickman aging and unintimidating? Yes. Health risk? Probably. Does he get the job done? Enough of the time.

My point is that if Borowski were here, he does the job Myers is doing now, and we're not stuck indefinitely with some under-performing starter in the rotation. Myers was cut-and-pasted to try to patch that weakness, but now the rotation looks a lot weaker. I don't think Gillick should be let off the hook for this one. If he signs Borowski and is worried about him possibly being injured, then you have a plan B, or *then* you go to a plan C in Myers. Myers in the bullpen never should have been plan A. It might *look* like a plan B, since they made the move after starting 3-9, but if they'd had any sense, they'd have realized there was little choice but to make it plan A all along.

Frustrating as it's been to watch Gordon struggle, Manuel is probably playing this one right. If/when Flash remasters his curveball, he'll be solid in the closing role for as long as he stays healthy; if/when he gets hurt, Myers steps in, and then hopefully Gordon comes back and contributes as the very solid setup guy he was for the Yankees.

Best-case scenario? Yeah, but not an unrealistic one IMO.

And I agree that Myers is probably back in the rotation for 2008, with Lieber and Garcia both gone.

Wasn't Borowski checked out medically?

BB: Yes, he was. It's hard to imagine why he was considered 'healthy' enough to be signed by one major-league team and not another. Or is it more a case of one team recognizing that there aren't many bullpen options available, and if this one was a risk, then it's a worthwhile one - and one team failing to recognize it?

Did any other team with a known interest in Bororski pass on him for health reasons?

I wasn't harping on this all winter and spring because I didn't know either if Borowski was a real risk. And true, it's only one month. He could go down in flames next week. But then, so could Gordon and Freddy Garcia. But he's looked like someone who absolutely and significantly could have helped this team, at least in April. Since Gillick elected to do very little else to improve the bullpen, Borowski's showing thus far makes him look even worse.

Gordon will likely be remembered for a brilliant three months of closing in 2006. The other two and a half years will probably be subpar. He will go from "Flash" Gordon ... to "Flash in the pan" Gordon.

Borowski's deal was a one year deal with an option year (or buyout). How can Gillick justify signing Gordon to three years, but not signing Borowski to a one year deal. Unless MRI's showed a spleen where an elbow was wuppose to be, a GM has to sign Borowski in a market short of setup guys and closers.

If Gordon doesn't find his curveball on this road trip, I think he's losing his job as closer!

Gordon will likely be remembered for a brilliant three months of closing in 2006. The other two and a half years will probably be subpar. He will go from "Flash" Gordon ... to "Flash in the pan" Gordon.

Borowski's deal was a one year deal with an option year (or buyout). How can Gillick justify signing Gordon to three years, but not signing Borowski to a one year deal. Unless MRI's showed a spleen where an elbow was suppose to be, a GM has to sign Borowski in a market short of setup guys and closers.

If Gordon doesn't find his curveball on this road trip, I think he's losing his job as closer!

Gordon sholud've been the guy to be traded during last year's firesale. He was ailing at that point and I can't remember who wanted a closer (Cards were handling their woes internally)

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