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Thursday, June 28, 2007

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A footnote about Weathers, who was also mentioned in the previous thread. His Type-A free agent status complicated matters and made his return to the Reds a virtual lock. That's how I remember it. In other words, it wasn't as simple as just plucking him from the free agent pool.

But if you listened to Gillick during last night's game no deal is pending as "too many clubs are in the race and won't give up pitching....." geez, I never thought I would be longing for a return to Lee Thomas days...

I would like to see that guy a Phillie too.

To make room, Joe must go. He should never have arrived.

Saw a rumor that Shea Hillenbrand will be designated for assignment Friday by the Angels - he plays 3B, if I'm not mistaken.
He would definitely be an upgrade over what we currently have at the hot corner.

I'm not blaming the loss on the umpire, because it was clearly the bullpen's fault, but he was pinching the corners all night then after the rain delay the strike zone was the side of a bard...bad umpiring pisses me off, especially when the calls are so obviously wrong.

Geary is bad, and he's been getting worse as the season goes on. Sanches is a "AAAA" pitcher as some of you like to put it. Zagurski is fun to root for, but the kid is in over his head (I hope J.C. Romero is ready soon), Mesa needs his outright release, and Madson is a headcase just like his buddy Gavin Floyd.

The Reds suck, but we're in serious danger of losing the series. This is yet another reason the Phils will not make the playoffs, they don't take advantage of weaker competition.

Crazy Jon- Shea Hillenbrand would not be an upgrade over the current Dobbs/Nunez platoon. I can't stand Nunez, but I think I would dislike Shea even more.

Ottawa pitching staff update: Zach Segovia has been terrible, accumulating a 1-9 record with a 6.05 era, 1.64 whip, and has more walks (28) than strikeouts (22). Eude Brito is sucking too with a 7.86 era, 2.01 whip, and again more walks (18) than k's (14). Future closer hopeful Joe Bisenius has been getting rocked as well to the tune of a 6.48 era and 1.92 whip, this guy at least has drawn even on the walks/k's racking up 17 a piece. Fabio Castro remains wild with 11 walks in 15 innings, but has since been demoted to Reading where he's pitching much better. Scrap heap pickup Rich Bauer is showing why Texas didn't even want him with a 7.36 era, 2.12 whip, and yet again more walks (22) than k's (21). Someone please hire a new Ottawa pitching coach! On a positive note, Matt Smith has pitched well- 2.60 era and a 1.15 whip.

GM - you're updtate is a bit out of date on at least one point - Segovia was demoted to Reading a week or so ago and had a good start for them. Nevertheless he was terrible before then!

... and isn't Matt Smith on the DL?

Oops, my bad. I was just trying to show how crappy our Triple A potential call-ups are.

Crazy Jon: Hillenbrand cannot hit RHP and he's awful with the glove. Would he be an upgrade over Nunez? Yes, anyone would. But not much of one.

Jason: Weathers was one of about 30 bullpen guys who changed teams over the offseason. Not all of them were type A and quite a few of them could've helped this team. But most Beerleaguers continue to say Gillick did the best he could.

Carson: None of the guys you mentioned is a quality prospect. Bisenius and Castro might be halfway decent middle relievers (or LOOGY in Castro's case) but that's about it. The two quality guys from the higher levels are Happ & Kendrick.

Clout,
Does Brennan King have any majors potenntial? I liked what I saw of him in the spring and he seems to put up decent numbers?

Generally, bulpen is today's topic, but specifically, Geary should be a main focus. Was it smoke and mirrors last season? I'm inclined to say "yes." No stuff and everything is grooved. Geary is a candidate for an off-season non-tender.

This team has long been using precious roster spots on players that do not belong in MLB. Position players such as Nunez and Barajas aside, I volunteer that Sanches, Hernandez and Mesa should go to make room for J.A. and J.D.(love the initials as first names).

Oh yeah, that's three pitchers gone and only two coming up - Bring Coste, too!!!! With the two new rookies, that's six starters, one of which will have to head south again shortly after the weekend series and wait for Eaton to get hurt.

That leaves in the 'pen: Alfonseca, Condrey (who should go next when either Myers or Gordon come back), Geary, Madson and Zagurski (who also isn't quite ready, but he gets the "lefty exemption").

By the way, assuming Lieber and Garcia are both done for the season and Gillick won't/can't make a move (two reasonable assumptions), is Kendrick up for good???

David Weathers did NOT change teams over the offseason. He remained a Red.

anyway, the bullpen is fine. caught this little gem from the inquirer this morning:

"After throwing yesterday, closer Brett Myers (shoulder) allowed that he probably won't return until after the All-Star break July 9-12. "We're playing OK, and it's not like we're dying in the bullpen."

as for geary, i posed a question yesterday asking if geary was the recipient of a season-long streak of luck last season. after all, it was a pretty unexpected performance then, and what we're seeing now is probably what we should have gotten all along.

Geary is half the pticher he was last year. Last year he threw hard and had location. This year, he tosses meatballs and falls behind. His role was what it should have been last year...leader of the bullpen when Phils were down. Maybe he threw too much last year.
That being said, he unfortunately needs to be in the pen...that just sums up how poor the pen is.
I just wonder what this staff would look like with Rick Peterson as opposed to Rich Dubee. For all the hell Manuel gets (and most of it is deserved), Dubee just skates by. There have been zero success stories under Dubee.

P O'Neil: Weathers was a FREE AGENT who was signed by his current team. He was AVAILABLE in the offseason. But, yeah, Gillick really couldn't have done better.

I'm in my second year as a Beerleaguer, but have discovered that my agreement with other posters has changed over time. The biggest change has been my appreciation of clout. Right now, me and clout are sharing the same thought groove on this team. In a nutshell, the blame falls totally on Gillick for doing a piss poor job in building a bullpen. You can look at almost every problem with this team and a arrow points to Gillick.

I used to think that clout was too pessimistic, now I find that I may be even more pessimistic than clout. I'm now inclined for a complete overhaul at the end of the year. I'd fire the GM, Cholly, Dubee, the rest of the coaches and the minor league gurus. Let's get some younger guys with some passion and vision take over these roles.

Reed: Brennan King is a non-prospect. He's 27-year-old organization filler who was cut by 2 prior teams. It took him 4 years to master AA, his K/BB ratio is dreadful and 3B is his only position.

Clout,
Preesh the update.

On a thread-related note:
FireRichDubee.com

Tom Goodman has a great write-up of last night on swingandmiss.blogspot.com.

Geary has apparently allowed 8 of his last 15 inherited runners to score. Please stop using him to put out a fire already.

I liked Goodman's line about pulling Moyer, too:

"Some might argue that Charlie Manuel once again pulled a starter too early, but you won't find much support for that notion here this time. Jamie Moyer was done this night and if he didn't know it, his manager did. Moyer's tendency isn't simply to run out of gas, chugging and lurching along. He just stops dead."

Clout- I know the guys I listed, with the exception of Bisenius, aren't prospects, but it's still very disheartening to look at the pitching lines of our Ottawa staff.

Non Phillies related news- in yesterday's slugfest between the A's and Indians, every player on each team got at least 1 hit with the exception of the Tribe's Barfield...that's a lot of hitting.

Also, Roger Clemens falls to 1-3 and his era baloons up to 5.32...greedy arrogant a-hole.

Just correcting your statement that he was one of 30 that changed teams.

@ Lake Fred: The reason we probably won't get the complete overhaul that we need is that we're blessed with some absolute gems. Clearly I'm not the first to make this point, but if we want to go down the pessimistic road, let's do it all the way.

Cholly, Gillick and Dubee need to go, that much is obvious. But they won't because with the big three of Rollings, Utley and Howard, we'll be competitive most of the season. Throw in new fan favorite Hamels, as well as Vic and borderline guys that always play well with Philly fans like Dobbs, and what we've got is a team that can win on any given night. CBP will continue to be close to sold out through out the summer, or at least until football comes back. All of that adds up to a situation where the ownership feels no pressure to spend on improvements. At this point, Gillick et al. have so thoroughly destroyed our farm system that the only way our big 3 are going to sniff the WS is with a combination of FA spending and shrewd movement, all of which won't happen.

Let's be honest here, for as bad as this team looks sometimes, if Utley and Howard both get hot and Myers and Gordon come back at 90%, they could still sneak into the playoffs, and really, that might be the worst possible outcome. It would validate all the BS that Gillick has pulled, and would probably stick us with Cholly for another season if not more. Fred's right, we need vision, but we've been getting by enough without it that I'm worried we won't see any for some time.

p O'Neil: Thanks. It would be more accurate to say one of 30 bullpen guys who changed teams or signed as free agents.

JTS

I don't think you can blame Gillick for destroying the farm system, it wasn't great when he got here.

My recollection (please correct me if I am wrong) is that 3-4 years ago the Phillies had quite a stacked farm system (relative at least to the barren years before) but Ed Wade traded a lot away.

Saying that how many of those 'prospects' traded away would be on the team today, or at least of any use?

Anyone know when Myers will be making his rehab start in Reading? I heard last night that it was going to be Friday, but now they're pushing it back.

Am I wrong, or did Geary pitch two nights ago when the Phils were up 11-4? Then, he comes in the next night with men on at a pivotal point in the game. I know the 'pen is horrible, but what happened to "defining roles?" I found that interesting.

First time post here. I saw the comment of how bad Dubee is. We have a great pitching coach at the AA in Tommy Filer? I think its no coincidence that most of out call ups are coming from the AA level. Why can't he replace Dubee? Or even the pitching coach in AAA?

BeerLeaguer veterans know how I feel about Manuel and that I wanted him fired 2+ seasons ago, but to some degree I understand how he remains manager (after all they do have a winning record is all 2+ of his seasons). It is beyond me though how Rich "Roll a Fat" Dubee is still the pitching coach. The major downfall of the Phillies the past few seasons has been pitching. I know it's not all Dubee's fault, but really, what good is he? It's time to cut him loose and try a new guy out and see if he can offer some usefull tidbits to our pitching staff.

They used to have player/managers, can't Moyer be the player/pitching coach?

R. Billingsly,

I like it. Just the thinking-outside-the-box this organization is incapable of.

There are coaching issues, and there are talent issues. Even Dave Duncan couldn't make a silk purse out of these sows.

Remember that Myers and Hamels are the first pitchers developed by the Phillies in 50 -- 50! -- years who might actually do something special in this league. That's not just bad luck.

Clout could you please post, list, and rate from A to F the 30 bullpen guys who changed teams?

I would like to learn from you.

Thanks.

to everyone calling for manuel's job because the bullpen blew it again last night, please explain what the right move would have been. he has exactly one quality reliever who just happens to be a reclaimation project that worked out and a fistful of pitchers on the DL. his two best starters are both lefties, one a kid, the other old enough to be his father. his two biggest offseason acquisitions look like trash. i am amazed that this team is 3.5 games out of first place. manuel deserves some credit for his clubhouse management. even bill conlin realizes this:
http://www.philly.com/philly/sports/phillies/20070628_Bill_Conlin___Theres_been_no_better_crisis_manager_in_07.html

as for gillick, that appears to be a much different story. his best offseason move might be greg dobbs. that has to be a joke.

Our Triple AAA and AA Minor League ball clubs are Ed Wade doing the Gang of Seven Ownership Group's Fault.

There is lost of blame to go around, where I respectful disagree with my esteemed collegues is where the blame is directed.

I place the blame solidly with
1. David Montgomery General Partner
2. Claire S. Betz
3. Alexander K. Buck
4. Alexander K. Buck
5. J. Mahlon Buck, Jr.
6. William C. Buck
7. John S. Middleton
8. Bill Giles
9. Ed Wade
10. Rich "my pitchers light um up" Dubee

I believe Gillick was and is the savior of the franchise, that was about to go off a cliff for a decade due to Ownership and Wade's mis-management of contracts, and the minor league via the draft and refusing to pay above slot (which had changed under Gillick).

I want a new manager but noone could be keeping the clubhouse in better shape than Charlie Manuel.

My opinion is that we need to throw our bile and stale beer at the top 10 on the list.


Lets talk about DURBIN for a few. After seeing JD pitch in person many of times, I know he is legit. His start this year for the AZ Diamondbacks was after pitching 8 total innings in spring training(because the Twins blow). The Twins groomed him as a starter his whole career then He didn't pitch from the end of June 2006 to January 2007 because of doctors orders(bicep). Then he was thrown to the Lions with only 8 innings of work under his belt. Statistically, Durbin has an amazing minor league record. Lets not forget he played in the Futures game and for Team USA'S qualifying team back in 2004. This kid is legit.

Lets talk about DURBIN for a few. After seeing JD pitch in person many of times, I know he is legit. His start this year for the AZ Diamondbacks was after pitching 8 total innings in spring training(because the Twins blow).The Twins groomed him as a starter his whole minor league career then every spring they wanted him to come out of the bullpen. Furthermore, he didn't pitch from the end of June 2006 to January 2007 because of doctors orders(bicep). Then he was thrown to the Lions with only 8 innings of work under his belt. Statistically, Durbin has an amazing minor league record. Lets not forget he played in the Futures game and for Team USA'S qualifying team back in 2004. This kid is legit.

i agree with the posters defending cholly.

yes, he sounds like foghorn leghorn.

he's also managed to get this team to play hard everyday. he wasn'the one who signed this sad assortnment in the pen.

and if cholly's history shows one thing: is second half teams get really, really hot.

if either meyers or gordon com back at near 100%, we've got ourselves a shot at the playoffs.

JTS, I agree with your fine assessment fleshing out my frustration. God must have pity on the poor Phillies fans to bless us with Rollins, Utley and Howard. Utley is simply amazing. Howard's power is awesome. Rollins gets lost in the bright lights thrown off by Utley and Howard, but we are truly blessed with Rollins, too. Sadly, you are right. These guys will win just enough to keep it close to the end, saving Cholly and Gillick's jobs.

Sorry, Joe, Cholly is a nice guy and that's why you like him, but if clout says we lost 14 games due to the bullpen, there are also games lost due to Cholly's poor managerial "strategery".

I will defend Cholly last night but let's not go overboard here. Conlin's article today was a bit ridiculous. Cholly has made a ton of WTF moves this season and will continue to do so.

The reason this team is winning is offense. Pure and simple. They lead the NL with 399 runs and that is absolutely amazing considering:

1. Howard was injured and didn't produce at his normal level for the first 2 months.
2. Burrell and Helms have really been produced at below average levels.
3. Rollis production returned to normal after a scorching start in April.

I scratch my head when I look at this lineup but it is flat out producing. One thing I think that has been overlooked is that Gillick has put together a much better bench this season than last year.

Dobbs has been a real find and even though we bemoan the backup guys (Helms, Barajas, Werth, etc) constantly, they are all solid MLB bench players compared to the jokers on the bench at this time last year (e.g., Fasano, Gonzalez, etc.)

MG: We read the same article on Manuel every two months or so. Usually Sheridan writes them. Sometimes I write them. I'm tired of reading and writing them.

Is anyone else as enraged at Gillick seeming aloofness and inability to get anything done? Granted these guys aren't world-beaters but how can Jocketty trade for Maroth and sign Okha? You mean to tell me that one of these guys isn't a substantial upgrade over Durbin?

Stat of the month - 5.47 (that was the Phils' pitching staff ERA this month). Simply amazing this team has a winning record this month with an ERA that bad. Basically this team either scores 5 or 6 runs or losses with the exception of a solid start from Hamels or Moyer.

All Rich Dubee is good for is smokin' Doobies.

MG: Great question and point, as usual.

Okha's pretty bad. I would've taken a flyer on Maroth and it wouldn't have cost much at all. his BB/K ratio would've fit in too.

the Phils' offer to Ohka required more minor league starts than St. Louis' (4 versus 2, IIRC).

in retrospect they probably should've gone after Maroth, but at the time they didn't know Lieber was done for the season, and Maroth is a flyball pitcher with an ugly BB/K ratio.

honestly, I'm not real broken up about missing out on either of them. (if you think Maroth is going to put up an 0.5 WHIP for the rest of the season, you're crazy.)

MG, good analysis. Good point about the bench. The bench has improved lately with the acquisition of power hitter Pat Burrell to ride the pines with Dobbs, Werth, Nunez/Helms, and Barajas.

ae - Thanks for the info. Guess getting Maroth was hindsight in retrospect to Lieber's injury and Phils thought Kendrick was a better option than Okha. Still, it amazes how this team almost never shows any foresight. Ugh.

Anybody know much about JC Romero?

Looks like this guy will drive us crazy with the walks and control problems once/if he gets called up.

A few thoughts:

I hope joel is right about Durbin. There is a good chance that Kendrick and Durbin could be upgrades over Lieber and Garcia if they can even manage to do a mediocre job.

JTS is insane to argue that making the playoffs this year "might be the worst possible outcome." Lets not get so caught up in the Cholly bashing that we forget what the goal is here--making the playoffs. (obv. its an eventual WS but playoffs are the first step). If Cholly steers them there, great.

I had to cut out after the sixth inning, so I didn't witness the 'wall' Moyer supposedly hit; but the scenario does recall what happened just ten days previous against Detroit, when Manuel abruptly lifted Adam Eaton in the seventh after a strong outing. Manuel almost *has* to give his starters more rope, regardless of whether they might look spent. The options in the bullpen, particularly when they have to get as many as 8-9 outs in a close game, are just not there.

The Phillies seem to have one of these discouraging games at least once a week. When the 'pen blows it, it hasn't been just one guy, it's been the entire unit blowing it all to hell. It's a damn shame, because one can reasonably say that if they had any kind of bullpen, they'd probably be in first place. I don't know if Geary's problems can be used as evidence that his strong season last year was a total fluke. I don't think it was. He was their most reliable reliever down the stretch, and they've missed that in a big way this year. Also a terrible shame that guys like Smith, Bisenius, and Castro haven't been able to take advantage of the opportunities at hand. Who'd have thought that while everyone else has struggled so mightily, this trio would be languishing in Ottawa? The bullpen has simply been worse than anyone's deepest February fears.

And I don't want to talk about Durbin.

First Mesa...now this:

Indians waived RHP Roberto Hernandez for the purposes of giving him his unconditional release.

No one was willing to take on Hernandez's salary, but he'll be popular after becoming a free agent. Expect him to head back to the NL.

Rk Player 2007 Salary (US$)
1 Pat Burrell $13,250,000
2 Freddy Garcia $10,000,000
3 Jimmy Rollins $8,000,000
4 Jon Lieber $7,833,333
5 Adam Eaton $7,208,333
6 Tom Gordon $7,000,000
7 Jamie Moyer $6,500,000
8 Brett Myers $5,083,333
9 Chase Utley $4,785,714
10 Aaron Rowand $4,350,000
11 Rod Barajas $2,500,000
12 Jose Mesa $2,500,000
13 Wes Helms $2,300,000
14 Abraham O. Nunez $1,925,000
15 J.C. Romero $1,600,000
16 Ryan Madson $1,100,000
17 Ryan Howard $900,000

Top 8 players account for almost $65 million yet Rollins & Moyer are the only ones earning their money.

Some $21 mil is flying around like hot dog wrappers at CBP yesterday before the delay from Lieber & Garcia and $13.25 mil piled high on some lumber in the dugout.

Unfortunately I would love to bust Monty's balls about this but he & Giles purchased the club for 30 mil in 1981 and Forbes magazine valued the club at $457M in April, 2007.

But we still operate as a small market team while Monty & Giles wallpaper their bathrooms with Franklins (not sure who is on the thousand dollar bill).

Sell the damn team to someone who cares about winning PLEEEEEASE!!!!!!!!!

That's $30 million on the DL and your highest paid player benched.

Beerleaguer should petition Mark Cuban.
his email is: mark.cuban@dallasmavs.com

Reed - o no. not roberto horrendez... say it ain't so...

by the way, any news on michael bourn? was it just cramps (guess it's that time of the month...) with him last night, and if so, will he be in the lineup tonight??

I don't think Horrendez wants to come back here, but Mesa said the same thing. Will there be a R. Hernandez and a Y. Hernandez in the pen?

Interesting, albeit somewhat scary, stat from Jayson Stark:

Ryan Howard has had one fascinating year, all right. His box-score line Tuesday against the Reds looked like this: 5 AB, 4 K, 1 HR. Incredibly, that's the third time in the last calendar year that Howard has had a game that included four whiffs and a homer. All the other players in baseball combined have done it twice (Curtis Granderson on April 24, Victor Diaz on May 17). And no one else in the National League has even done that once.

But hang on. We're not through. According to baseball-reference.com's sensational Play Index, no other player in the last half-century has had three games like that in his career. And the list of men who even did it twice is so entertaining, we felt we had to list them all. So here goes:

Dave Kingman, Reggie Jackson, Rob Deer, Glenn Davis, Jim Thome, Carl Everett, Jeromy Burnitz, Mike Kelly and (we kid you not) Devon White. What -- no Pete Incaviglia?

SirAlden:

I'm not Clout, but here are 17 relief pitchers who either changed teams or were available this off-season & who, if they had come to the Phillies, would have been one of the top 2 or 3 relievers in the Phillies' bullpen. I'm sure I'm forgetting a few, but my list is:

David Weathers
Joe Boroski
Chad Bradford
Aaron Fultz
Octavio Dotel
Alan Embree
Eric Gagne
Steve Kline
Hideki Okajima
David Riske
Justin Speier
Scott Williamson
Brendan Donnelly
Ambiorix Burgos
Heath Bell
Mike Gonzalez
Rafael Soriano

I didn't want this exercise to take more than 10 minutes, so I incuded only top-half-of-the-bullpen type of guys. If I had set the criteria as "Guys who would have been better than Jose Mesa, Brian Sanches & Clay Condrey," my list would have included about 100 names.

Now you know why I blame Gillick. Same could be said for the list of position players ie. Huff, Nixon, etc.

Nixon's hitting .237 with 2HRs.

Tim - this illustrates that while Howard's power number are again going to be tremendous, his overall regression as a hitter this season has been alarming. Howard is a guy who is always going to pound mistakes 450 feet, but he's been an easy out for any pitcher who gets ahead and makes his pitches. It's been dispiriting to observe that Howard hasn't been able to make adjustments in his game plan. If he ever 'gets it' the way Bonds and Pujols do - able to wait for that one good pitch, and not swinging unless they do - he'll break records. But right now the only record it looks he'll break is for single-season strikeouts.

Oh, and fastest to 100 HRs. I shouldn't and I don't mean to overlook that very impressive record. I just know Howard can be better, because I've seen him better.

not to be nit-picky to bay area phan but soriano wasn't a FA, he was traded by seattle to atlanta in the horacio ramirez trade. also, don't give me brandon donnelly and scott williamson as viable late-bullpen contestants.
however, you make a great point, and i'm sure there are dozens more that could be on that list too.

Definitely some names in there that could've been had. Mike Gonzalez was one that's a stretch. How would we have gotten him? He's hurt now, nevertheless. How would phans have felt if we gave Dotel $5mil (Brett Myers salary) and he missed the first month and a half?

RSB - I agree. He still has that awesome power, but he has some awful at bats. Last year, you could count on Howard to come through in clutch situations. But now, late in a game when the other team has brought in their situational lefty, I would so much rather have Utley up there. Howard swings and misses at that same slider across the zone every single time.

RSB - Hold off a little on Howard.

If you look at last year versus this year he is not much different at this time and was actually a little worse in July.

August is when he kicked it into high gear.

June 2007 - AB(94) K(35) HR(9)

June 2006 - AB (100) K (32) HR (9)
July 2006 - AB (86) K (35) HR (8)
August 2006 - AB (112) K (33) HR (14)
Sept 2006 - AB (93) K (30) HR (9)

Hopefully he stays the course and we will be fine.

Tim-

We're along way from this, but what you just explained above reminds me of Burrell and the curveball down and away.

P. O'Neil: I was thinking it, but I wouldn't dare say it

JB's stats reassure me a bit.

I think we split with the Mets. Weekend ends up being a wash. I wish I could say sweep. I think we're in the same boat Monday. Hey, at least we get to bitch about somebody.

Sir Alden: This team needed a scheme. Gillick added garbage and Dobbs. It's been 1 1/2 yrs. Come on. No Gillick on your top ten blames. GMs know what there dealing with before they sign. Maybe Gillick should have asked the right questions during the interview. Gillick uses Manuel to take the hit until management decides to spend cash. Maybe I answered my own comment.

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