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Tuesday, June 19, 2007

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Jason planed this automated thing perfectly, as last night's game only deserves an generic thread header.

Thoughts & Observations:

*I know some fans are happy with the Phils, because they've played winning baseball since that horrendous start to the season. I on the other hand am not content with just playing winning baseball. I want smart baseball, consistent baseball, and that all leads to winning. I'm tired of losing games that should be won (althought we totally got outplayed last night).

*Abe Nunez is weak. The man's swing is ugly, I call it the flail-and-bail. That approach works for an Ichiro or Chone Figgins, but Nunez isn't fast. He's a groundball double play waiting to happen. And why the hell is he always hacking at the first pitch?

*Ryan Howard is a disappointment this season. I wasn't expecting #'s like '06, but he's bad this year. Sure you can tell me his OPS is around .900, and that he's getting walks and still popping the ball, but I point to his horrible strikeout every 3rd plate appearance and crappy batting average, wondering how many more runs this team would score if Howard made more contact that would lead to some singles, doubles, or even sacrifice flies.

*Wes Helms sucks. I was right, whoever said he did't was wrong.

*Gas-Can Geary is back to igniting fires, 5.06 era on the season and a 11.12 era in June. One of our thought to be reliable relievers sucks this season.

*Cole is still awesome in my book, but his homeruns surrendered are almost cause for alarm (MLB leading 17).

*Pat Burrell is awful!

*Charlie Manuel is not mentally fit to manage.

*Jayson Werth has one of the longest slowest swings I've ever seen.

*The Phils seem to give up 10+ runs a lot.

*The 1st inning set the tone for the ballgame last night. Top of the 1st runners on 1st and 3rd with one out Ryan Howard k's (of course he does) and we do not score. Bottom of the 1st Tribe scores 2, end of story, game over.

I looks as if Howard is almost totally confused about what he wants to do at the plate....when he bombs one, it's like he gets lucky and his strength overcomes his inbalance. He's half the hitter he was last year. When he went the other way two nights ago, that was a thing of beauty. But usually, his appearances are quite awkward.

"I want smart baseball, consistent baseball, and that all leads to winning."

Absolutely, Carson. I think we all do. And therein lies the problem.

We should just all put on our Phillies hats and Pat Burrell T-shirts and join Freddy's Frailties in right field and eat Schmitters and just be happy to be part of the Phillies family. We'd all be so much happier and carefree.

Goosebumps, I tell you. Gooseeffingbumps with this team.

Let me throw a changeup here and make a positive comment. This team can win the division, but not by sitting still. Here's what MUST happen for the Phillies to make the playoffs:

1. Myers, Gracia and Gordon come back with full health. If any one of them can't (and that's a sure bet), Gillick MUST trade for a quality setup/closer to free Myers up for the rotation OR a decent 5th starter to allow him to stay in the pen. I love Kyle Kendrick but there's no way he can go the season as a reliable option.

2. Howard will not repeat his MVP season. That means other spots must contribute. The team is getting below average offense from the corner outfielders. At third, the worst player in baseball at that position is the starter. At least one of those 3 weak spots MUST be upgraded.

There is time, the Mets ridiculous rotation will revert closer to their career norms. The Braves are short on pitching for the first time in memory. The Marlins have had a plague of injuries, losing three-fifths of their good young rotation. So it can be done. But if the actions listed above AREN'T taken by Gillick, this team will have squandered another opportunity. Those things MUST be done.

Back to the black cloud of negativity, the Phailies seem to be headed toward a rocky path. What are the chances that Kendrick gets smoked tonight? With the way things are going, I'd say it's a given.

On the other hand...if Kendrick can hang in like last week....

Clout, I completely agree. Burrell is a mess, and we're stuck with him. But he doesn't have to start. Charlie needs to start working Bourn into the picture and Gillick needs to see what outfielders are available. Unlike you, I'm still high on Victorino because of his overall performance. His on base skills are average and his power is getting better within recent weeks, and I love his speed and defense. 3rd base is the glaring hole. Helms and Nunez has been nothing short of horrible. We need a real 3rd baseman pronto to help balance the lineup.

I know this probably isn't popular, but I'm in favor of getting Tomo Ohka (just released by Toronto) to fill the 5th starter void. This was we're not rushing prospects (Kendrick, Happ) and we have a guy who won't be great but will probably give us 5-6 innings of 5 era ball every 5th day.

You're right, Carson. Few will agree with you about getting Ohka. However, I am one of the few who does agree. I know he has pitched horribly but he has been decent in the past & he would be an insurance policy in case Kendrick doesn't work out (as we all seem to agree is likely). And, even if Kendrick does continue to pitch well, they can always stash Ohka in the bullpen, where he'd be better than guys like Mesa, Rosario, and maybe even Geary. The way I see it, there's no risk. If Ohka pitches a couple of games & he sucks, you waive him again.

Also, J.C. Romero, a lefty reliever, was just let go by Boston. He'd be another guy I'd have in my sights.

Waiver wire fodder isn't really the ideal solution for the Phillies' problems, but sometimes those kinds of transactions can work out. Besides, I just don't see the Phillies having the ammunition to trade for the type of top starter or reliever that they really need.

Back to the black cloud of negativity, the Phailies seem to be...

I'm sorry but that's got to be the weakest nickname I've heard in a while.

here's a couple ideas:
1) to echo what carson said, pick up Tomo Okha as a 5th starter. he's more than capable, and that would allow us to drop Sanches to AAA where he belongs
2) pick up JC romero to help out the bullpen. he was having a pretty good year (3.15 ERA) until Boston and their loaded bullpen waived him. he would be a great asset and can get lefties out consistently. our current bullpen consists of 1 lefty (!) who was in single A a couple months ago. i mean, are you serious???

Romero is pretty worthless. he had a seemingly good 3.15 ERA, but that masked a horrendous 1.95 WHIP, .308 opponent batting average, .928 opponent OPS, and 4.95 BB/9 rate.

Ohka would not be the end of the world as a fifth starter; there's a pretty good chance he could put up an ERA in the 4.5-5 range, which is acceptable. I don't know how he'd work as a reliever; he actually did very well in a few relief innings in 2005 (7 2/3 IP, 1 run). I'd much rather see Gillick sign Ohka to a minimum contract than trade for a washed-up bum like Trachsel. and I do agree with BAP that he would be a definite improvement as mop-up guy, if Gillick somehow managed to swing for a good replacement starter.

Good stuff here. I think Carson's analysis was spot on the mark.

I'm tired of people saying that Beerleaguer is full of negative people. The people who write here are true to the bone Phillies fans that want to see excellence in their team. All this stupid stuff that happens, like to Borowski medical brouhaha, Howard's K's, Burrell's foot, Manuel's brain, Hamel's long ball gifts, No Hit Nuni, etc., etc. It just goes on and on. This is the stuff we're negative about. We need to win these last two games in Cleveland. Gillick needs to get us some better players for this stretch run.

can we all just agree that you at least need ONE more lefty in this pen??
who is sick of facing teams that can counter howard and utley in every late-inning situation with a different lefty who seems unhittable? why can't we have that flexibility??

I'll just take one win out of the next two against the best home team in baseball.
That way, the Phils would finish over .500 in interleague play for the first time in a long time (perhaps ever).

Crazy Jon - Yeah. I would be satisfied if the Phils could scrap out a win tonight to split the final two games. Phils catch a breather after this series when they play the Cards and Reds for 6 games.

"that's gotta be the weakest nickname..."


What are you jealous cause you didn't think of it? How many different ways can you play on the Phillies name? The Phollies?

....unless of course, you mean 'weak' in a good way....because that's exactly the idea behind the nickname. Get it? Well, probably not.

Zack's bitter and unimaginative post got me thinking...

Nicknames for the Phils;

Philadelphia Phaillies
Philadelphia Phutiles
Philadelphia Phollies
Philadelphia Sillies (nothing new)
Philadephia Phorlorns
Philadephia Phruitlesses (this may be a stretch, but apt no les)

feel free to add your own nicknames for Philadelphia's lovable losers....

For all the complaining about Burrell, Howard, and the others, the offense (even accounting for CBP) hasn't been the problem. For the past few years, the problem has, and is now, pitching. We're 5th in the majors, tops in the NL, in runs scored. We also have the 5th worst team ERA in the major leagues.

It may be fun to whine about Burrell, Barajas, or Nunez, but this team's problem is simple : pitching. That being said, it would be stupid to mortgage the future on any reliever.

I think the Phailies is more than appropriate. Why didn't some Mets thug think of it first?

As soon as I saw that Ohka had been released, I *knew* he was aleady being discussed on Beerleaguer. And sho' nuff. I guess they pretty much have to take a chance there. If Kendrick can't hack it, there really are no other options.

Clout, agreed with your diagnosis, but what are they supposed to do? I can't imagine they have the ability to go out and get what they need at this point. They're stuck with retreads like Ohka and Mesa. The failures of the farm system are manifold; not only can they not add depth from within, but it also ensures that whatever trades they make are from a position of weakness. And it's actually so bad now that they can't make any trades, period.

Since they're not too far out of the picture, I'd say they should shoot for the playoffs this year, but honestly, this team needs a revamp at the end. I'd go through a season of bad baseball in 2008 while the system packs up with better players. Let's get rid of some of the parts that could get us some worth (Rowand, Rollins, maybe Madson, maybe Myers) and invest in the future.

Sadly, a revamp will likely be futile considering this management.

RSB, i can see them parting with Rowand if they don't resign him before season's end..and certainly madson is expendable but Rollins and Myers ARE their future...myers is still young and could still be the ace they thought he was..or go down as one of the best closers in Phils history...

the problem is bullpen bullpen bullpen...it pains me to see these other teams bring guys up that throw gas and get hitters out..im so sick of marginal relievers bein run out there (see: Geary, Hernandez, Madson, Mesa) the teams that go deep in the playoffs can shut you down from the 7th on

Why not throw in Utley & Hamels? They have value. And, before anyone jumps down my throat, yes, this is sarcasm. To be specific, it's sarcasm directed at Malcolm's inclusion of Rollins & Myers on his list.

My favorite quote in today's Daily News comes from Joe Borowski who described his medical examination by Phillies' Dr. Michael Ciccotti:
"My physical was just the doctor pretty much hanging off my arms and not moving me whatsoever."

Obviously, Dr. Ciccotti was able to hang off Freddy Garcia's arms for a much longer period.

Great post J.

Romero and Ohka are both underwhelming, but i'd rather see them bring Romero in as a lefty reliever, instead of trading for a Villone type.

the dilemma the Phils are in regarding rebuilding/retooling/whatever you want to call it is the age of the franchise. take a look: there are no major contributors under 25 except Hamels. with Howard, Utley, and Rollins not far from the age 30, there's no time for this team to trade for prospects unless they're already nearly major league-ready.

in contrast, Atlanta has McCann, Thorman, Johnson, Francoeur, Saltalamacchia, McBride, and James at 25 and under (maybe more I'm not seeing). NY has Wright, Reyes, Milledge, Perez, Pelfrey, and Smith. Florida has Cabrera, Ramirez, Hermedia, Olsen, Sanchez, Nolasco, Pinto, and Tankersley.

They don't really need to "Rebuild" and hardly "retool". They need to add a few pieces here and there, and subtract some of this junk. It's not easy(especially with a lack of top prospects in high minor leagues), but with some effort it can be done.

As much as we need some healthy arms+a new arm, Clout's right: we do need another bat.

Am I the only one who thinks our 2nd biggest problem besides the bullpen is the team doctor? I mean, he hangs off Borowskis arm and declares it unfit and takes a look at Gordon and Garcia and says they are both 100%. Let me guess: Phillies ownership went for the cheapest doctor on the market, and got a guy whose med degree is from Phoenix online.

Here's why I want Tomo Ohka as our 5th starter- he's relatively risk free. All we do is sign him up for league minimum and give him a try.

But I could see Gillick trading for a Steve Trachsel who isn't any better than Ohka, or overpaying for a Matt Morris.

Johnny Goodtimes- don't know Phoenix Online, I've heard they have a highly reputable doctorate program.

*Thanks man, this thread needed some humor.

ae: Add Josh Johnson, Jeremy Hermidia and Ricky Nolasco to your list of high-quality prospects 25 and under. The Marlins have more than anyone.

ae: Ooops, just noticed that you'd included Nolasco & Hermidia on your list. So cratche that and just add Josh Johnson.

P O'Neil, I think you're overly optimistic. next season, we need a 4th starter, a closer, at least one set-up man, a center/right fielder, and a third baseman. (and that's assuming Moyer doesn't retire.) that's an awful lot of pieces missing for a team that wants to compete - especially one with a (self-imposed) limited budget, very few internal candidates for promotion, and very little in the way of tradeable players.

this season we have a shot, but it would be pretty difficult to turn this team into a perennial contender.

Unenthused as I am about Ohka, I have to agree with Carson. I'd imagine there'd actually be a bunch of teams who will want to scoop him up right smart.

The Phillies have been 'retooling' for years now. One of these years - soon - the reality will hit square in their faces, and then it will be rebuilding. Every season they pray that they can build around some 'core' of five or so elite players, or more accurately pile heaps of garbage around them. It's a desperate, stubborn, avoidant strategy (if you can call it that)which plainly isn't working. They're too terrified of not being able to fill the damn park, so they keep on pretending like the rest of us.

clout, you're right; forgot about Johnson because of his elbow thing.

I'm talking about right now. Next season is a different ballgame.

P, the two are not really mutually exclusive. obviously I agree that we're not far off this season, although if/when the Mets manage to land another starter and outfielder things may look different.

I'm not here to overanalyze everything. I'm just saying they have to get Gordon(wishful thinking) and Myers healthy. Add a competent pitcher and a bat. Not easy to do, but not that hard. They're probably all hurt now anyway, but I would consider trading any of those AA/AAA pitchers in the right deal.


/Mets will land someone big and that'll be it.

If Borowski's numbers as a setup man for the club were 0-3, WHIP 1.53 and ERA 6.33 there is NOT one person on this board. NOT ONE... who would want this guy pitching for the Phillies. NOT ONE.

The only difference? He has 20 saves and an okay K-BB ratio.

Mike Cunningham: A reliever's ERA is a meaningless stat because they pitch so few innings. Borowski has a high ERA because of 2 bad games (out of 29 pitched). What you want from a reliever is 1. To hold the lead or 2. not allow a losing margin to grow higher. That's it. Borowski has been asked to close a game and hold the lead 22 times. He's succeeded 20 times. Nothing else matters. J.C. Romero has an ERA of 3.15 and is total crap.

I'm no huge fan of Borowski, but the fact is, he's better than any reliever in the Phillies bullpen except for Gordon & Myers, and they're hurt.

Cards signed Ohka. according to Ken Rosenthal, they beat us out by offering a shorter minor league assignment (2 AAA starts versus our 4).

@clout --

ERA is not a meaningless stat. Yes he has had 2 bad outings. But he has a 5.14 ERA for the month of June... when supposedly he's been successful. He has given up 12 hits in 7 innings in June. That's WORSE than his season average.

Opponents are hitting over .300 against him.

While he's only given up 3 homeruns on the season, with that many hits he's given up how do you think he would fair pitching at CBP. He's not giving up twice as many or more?

His ratio of Flyballs to Ground balls is 44 to 23? How do you think that translates?

As far as better than the current bullpen?

His WHIP is worse than EVERY single Phillies bullpen guy, save for Alfonseca who is at 1.53.

Of his 25K, 15 came in April. He's had 10 since.

But if you think his 20/22 success rate would have translated the same, I think you'd be fooling yourself.

I've never posted here but I'm a long time reader and comment watcher. I just thought of an analogy for everyone to ponder.

[[ DavThom is to Chris Coste as clout is to Joe Borowski. ]]

Honestly not trying to flame or anything just an observation. Thanks.

Mike Cunningham: Every stat you cited is meaningless with regard to what a relief pitcher is supposed to do: protect the lead or keep the deficit from growing. Because Borowski gave up 10 runs in 1 1/3 innings in 2 games, his ERA & WHIP stats are screwed. He's only thrown 27 innings.

Borowski has pitched in 29 games. He's protected the lead in 25 of them. How does that stack up to the entire Phillies bullpen? Hint: They've blown one-third of their save opps.

Why you continue to defend this bullpen in the face of overwhelming evidence, daily, of its shortcomings, is bizarre.

TBex: That analogy doesn't hold for this reason: I could care less about Borowski. My problem is with Cunningham & kdon & the others here who think this bullpen isn't a problem or that the Phils shouldn't have gone after a guy like Borowski or Dotel or any of the 40 or so relievers who changed teams in the off-season. Feel free to post under however many names you can create.

Boring-owski. Who gives a shite.

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