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Tuesday, June 26, 2007

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Jason,
I too am worried. It all comes down to our SP's...we need quality outings each day. 90 degrees at CBP worries me.

Need the boys to step up and put some numbers on the board...hopefully lots of crooked ones.

Thinking about the weekend series makes me feel ill. If they split, I am doing cartwheels.

As Clout likes to say, CBP will play like a phone booth. It's basically anyone's game when that occurs.

I'm betting Cholly starts Burrell against the kid tonight.

I heard the Phillies are going to sign back Kevin Stocker!

and i'm betting Burrell go 0-3 with two strikeouts and a walk, and that's being generous.

Tim, Is his third out a two-hop grounder to short?

yeah, and it will be with the bases juiced, so it will turn an inning ending double play for the Reds. It's just way too predictable anymore.

Actually what you are calling for Burrell can be said for Nunez also.

True, but atleast he is batting 50 points higher than Burrell.

I'm thinking Cholly goes to Bourn tonight because he always plays the hot hand and if the Phils take tonight, Burrell will be in tomorrow.

Baily will make Pat "The Guesser" look like the has been he is.

The Phillies have scored 382 runs, more than any other team in the NL. Pat Burrell has also sat the last two games, incapable of doing anything that should draw more ire.

Let's ignore this, though, and continue to hate on Burrell, because he, not the fact that the Phillies have given up 389 runs (2nd most in the NL), is the reason the Phillies are only 3 games over .500.

My bet is that Bourn starts in left. We'll soon see. We'll also soon see if the Phils are going to be able to hang in with the Mets. It could be an entirely different story at this time next week. The headlines are saying, the Phillies could be in first place after this weekend. Or, they could be 7-8 games out.

Look out for Junior Griffey in this series. He's experiencing a renaissance this season and he's been on a homerun tear. Also, the third game is the one they probably have to look out for, with Harangutang starting. All caution aside, it's hard to imagine the Phils won't win 2 of 3 from Cincy, but I have a feeling the Mets will be up for the series in Philly. I can't see the Phils winning more than 2 from them.

He's a huge part of the reason they are who they are, who are you kidding?

Jeremy - I agree that Burrell isn't the sole reason this team is losing. But you think that sitting the last two games makes him "incapable of doing anything that should draw more ire" ???

How about the 80k (before taxes) he is collecting each game for riding the pine? That doesn't bother you at all? The highest paid player on the team HAS to produce at a higher level than this.

The problem with PtBB at this point is we are much better served with Coste as the last man off the bench, not PtBB.

Money doesn't win games, Mofo, and it doesn't lose them. This money was committed five years ago. Frankly, the team would be better off if they could find an injury that would put Burrell on the DL and allow them to send him to the minors to "rehabilitate" it. But resenting him for what he's earning? It's your life; if you want to give yourself agita, be my guest, but forgive those of us who'd rather focus on moves that are both possible and potentially helpful. Obsessing over Burrell is neither.

Hey guys, was looking at the All-Star voting and was thinking it's a shame that Rollins might not get to play in front of a rather large family contingent in the Bay Area. (About 30 or so always sit a few rows behind my company's Giants seats.) Anyone think J-Roll has a 30-30 season this year? He's projecting to 28 HR and 30 SB, but he usually heats up in the 2nd half ...

Hate to say it, but the Phils have absolutely no chance of hanging with the Mets. It is really all about the Mets playing to their potential and it looks like Mets have finally shaken off their June doldrums this past weekend against the A's.

I was so hoping the Mets would still be in a flunk for the 4-game series and that the Phils might be able to take 3 of 4. I am less hopeful now.

As much as we have bitched about Burrell the past few days, he is pretty far down on the list of why the Phils are only 3 games above .500.

He doesn't seem to be running much, but I'm expecting a big year, followed by a demand to be traded to a contender. He'll rightly conclude that he's paid his dues here. We should be able to get a promising young SS and a good young 3B/OF/P (take your choice) in return.

I don't blame Burrell on a personal level. I blame the Phillies for completely mismanaging a team and a payroll. If one can't criticize the moves that have brought this team to be what it is, than how can one address (and avoid) similar problems in the future? Our "possible and potentially helpful moves" available right now are deeply affected by the fact that we are wasting $13,000,000 on a benched player. It would be nice to have $4-5 million in the pocket right about now, no? Unfortunately for us, the future of the Phillies DOES depend on what we do with Burrell.

Alby- "Money doesn't win games, Mofo, and it doesn't lose them. This money was committed five years ago."

While that might be true, the problem is that because of the money and the way this ownership operates, that's $13 -14 million that they won't spend to improve the team in other ways. So Burrell is not only hurting this team when he plays, he is hurting them because that's a lot of $$ that could be used to improve this team that is sitting on the bench.

Thanks for the second opinion, Doc.

If the Phils go 4-3 between now and Sunday, I'll be very, very happy. Frankly, I'm expecting 2-5. The Reds can mash, and the pitching matchups favor them. The Phils might need 55-60 runs over those seven games to win 4 of them.

The difference between the optimistic viewpoints a month or so back when the Phils clawed back into this thing (thanks mostly to a Mets implosion more than anything else) and now is purely and simply starting pitching. The same defensive shortcomings are out there every day. The same black holes in the lineup (Nunez, Burrell, Barajas, etc.) are continuing to disappoint. And the same lackluster bull pen hasn't seen one move of note (although I find it humorous how some think Alfonseca is now "lights out").

We started the season with six starters. I think the general concensus would be from top to bottom they were:
1. (ace) - Brett Myers
2. Freddy Garcia
3. Cole Hamels
4. Jamie Moyer
5. Adam Eaton (arguably could flip flop with Moyer)
6. (move to 'pen) - Lieber

Now, option #1 was not only moved to the 'pen, but he's not even contributing there due to overuse. Option #2 never did anything of note with this team and 5 years from now we'll forget his stint in Philly. Option #3 has shown flashes of brilliance and will likely be next year's #1, but has been inconsistent. Options #4 and #5 "are what they are," veterans contributing about what was expected (maybe a little more in Moyer's case). Option #6 complained enough to get back into the rotation, showed signs of life, and will now likely miss the rest of the season.

So much for all of the proposed trade scenarios for our "extra" pitcher coming out of Spring Training.

Alby - Money doesn't win games but the Phils have spent the money allocated to them this offseason very poorly (Barajas, Eaton, Garcia).

Plus, it will limit what the Phils do at the trade deadline because I doubt that they will either eat alot of salary or take a large salary in return. Basically makes them nibble for marginal players (4th outfielder, marginal bullpen arm) instead.

Let's not forget that Burrell was given his contract (and a complete no-trade clause) by Wade. He was given that contract after his monster season of .282/37/116. The fact is the contract he has is not his fault. How he's performing is. The owners won't use his $$ when he is no longer here to improve the team. They didn't with Abreu's $$ except to sign Utley to a much-deserved extension. Burrell won't go anywhere unless HE wants to, so unless somebody comes knocking and he wants to go, he's on the club.

Over the winter, Gillick did nothing to help the areas of the club that needed help. This is well-known and well-documented. No need to discuss that any further. What will happen now? Probably more of the same crap.

I do believe that Howard will get a big deal next year but as far as speding $$ on quality FA's or making great trades, don't bet on that. The owner have the phans right where they want them - filling seats and lining their pockets. I've been talking to a lot of people who are phans of this team who don't blog here. I've said for years the team takes two steps backward to go one step forward.

Should Coste be here? Probably. Should other players not be? Probably. But the team is what it is. Gillick and Company will do nothing to change that.

yo bourn is playing today and hitting 2nd and dobbs is also playing hitting 6 i beieve with victorino hitting 7. a new look tonight.

It's true...

The Phils are only back in this race because of the Mets implosion.

It has nothing to do with playing better baseball. It has nothing to do with having one of the best records in baseball over the past 60 games.

Yes, we're only in the race because other teams lose.

CJ, you'll recall that the Phils' first burst of decent play got them nowhere because the Mets went on a similar burst at the same time. This time they swooned and the Phils took advantage. Or hadn't you noticed that, while the Phils were going 3-3, Atlanta was going 1-5, allowing us to pass them into second place? Sorry it offends your sensibilities, but once you're 8 games behind, unless you run off a long winning streak (in case you missed it, the Phils have done nothing of the sort), you need the team ahead of you to lose if you want to gain ground. Is it the ONLY reason? Of course not. But at this point, the Mets are tied with the wild-card leader; a month ago they had the best record in the NL.

Any thoughts on Hamels' (high) HR rate?

Let's examine this money issue as it pertains to Burrell. Thought experiment: Pretend Burrell had done something at the beginning of this season to void his contract -- he's gone, and the team gets to keep all the money it owes him. What do you think they could have done that would have magically made them better? Signing any of the top free agents would take far more money than Burrell is owed. In fact, if they could find someone to take his contract right now, it wouldn't do a thing to help their situation. Sure, it would be nice if Burrell's contract had run out after last season -- perhaps they could have made a run at Carlos Lee. Or had you forgotten that he was the big free-agent prize among power hitters? Yes, he'd be better than Burrell, though not as a fielder; his OPS currently stands at .844, which is pretty mediocre for a guy making $112 million over 6 years -- a much bigger cash layout than Burrell got, BTW. Then there's the open question of whether they would commit anything like that amount over the next 6 years.

So yeah, Mofo, I understand what you're doing -- pissing and moaning, or venting if you prefer. Have fun.

CJ, I know that's supposed to be sarcastic, but your statement is correct. They're *three games over .500*. They're lucky to be in a position to contend, and yes, their chances will revolve around how well the other teams play.

I kind of like the line-up tonight with a right-hander, especially to score runs.

It would be exciting to get Bourn producing and having him, Rollins, Victorino, and Utley on the basebaths.

Put a little more pressure on the pitchers and defense.

Notwithstanding his contract I think Burrell would be good off the bench to pinch-hit.

Get Coste back up and we might have something.

Is there any chance we could get Adam Dunn from the Reds? He'd look nice in left.

I've figured out a shorter way to say what I'm trying to say -- the problem isn't that Burrell sucks, though he does, it's that the Phillies have nobody they could replace him with, and nobody to trade for such a replacement. Money alone won't solve that.

John Salmon: Yeah, his out pitch is a change-up. When he leaves it high in the strike zone, it's very hittable. I'm not sure there's a solution for that, other than using the change-up more sparingly. CBP is a tough environment for fly-ball pitchers, which is why the signing of Eaton was such a mystery. There's a guy who mainly works high in the strike zone and doesn't pitch inside much. That would work in San Diego or LA, where opposite-field HRs are harder to come by. In Philly it's suicidal.

This smells like a classic look-ahead series where the Phillies will find a way to underperform against a team that they should slam around.

One question for the quorum = if you found a taker for Burrell, but you had to pay his entire salary this year and 75% of his salary next year, would you do it?
I would, but we all know that the Phillies would rather pay him and let him rot than pay someone else to take him, he starts to play well again, and it bites them in the tochis.

You might as well go the whole way, Crazy Jon, and put him on irrevocable waivers. That would be the only way around his no-trade clause. I don't think they're worried about him suddenly finding his talent elsewhere so much as reluctant to swallow that much wasted money. They don't seem to realize that the money is already gone.

plus, when Hamels tries to establish his fast ball and come in on righties, he sometimes throws a straight kinda fast meatball over the plate. The hrs seems to be mostly solo shots fortunately.

Alby - I agree with you that Burrell's salary is somewhat reasonable given his production the past 2 years and the current market place. I defended Burrell last year and was against trading him away from nothing this offseason.

However, his production this year is considerably down from the previous 2 years and Burrell is on pace to have his worst season since 2003. Plus, Burrell is one of the worst LFs in the game and brings no pluses on the basepaths.

If Burrell continues to struggle, then is his $14 million salary will be an albatross next season. Guess we have to see but I am not optimistic that Burrell is going to bounce back his horrendous slump the past 2 months.

The answer, Crazy Jon, is No, I would not do that. We know from the Thome situation that, when the Phillies pay another team to take a player, they turn around & cut payroll by a like amount. An argument could be made that, since we're going to have to pay his $14M salary anyhow, and since we're getting 0 return on that investment, paying $10.5M of Burrell's 2008 salary is better seen as freeing up $3.5M, as opposed to spending $10.5M. But, even under that logic, I wouldn't do the deal, because it would be worth $3.5M to see if Burrell can return to his 2005/2006 form.

I do want to be rid of Burrell & I think we're well past the time that we can keep sticking him in the lineup on the theory that he might bounce back to prior form. But 75% of next year's salary is too stiff a cost for a guy who has Burrell's upside.

Not to mention that Gordon is scheduled to make nearly $6 million next year too. That potential $20 million owed to Burrell and Gordon is really going to hamstring Gillick at the trade deadline/this offseason potentially if the Phils are only going to spend $85-$90 million dollars again next year.

the Burrell issue has been flogged to death, gentlemen ... please, for the love of Whitey ...

Ryno!

kendrick pitched like he had a pair in the first.

nice smack by howard.

i wonder: given cole's low workload sunday, is he available tonight for relief?

Don't tell me lineup construction is irrelevant. If Rowand weren't having a great year, Howard's AB would have been a no-brainer intentional walk situation.

I have seen baseball's leave the park pretty quickly, but that shot by Howard was just about as fast as I've seen. Wow!

I like this line-up -- it's dynamic. You had Vic > Dobbs > Ruiz leading off the second. Looks much better than Burrell > Nunez > Barajas. I suspect this could be their lineup in September.

Hats off to Kendrick for showing remarkable poise after allowing the first 3 batters on. He didn't give in, kept throwing his breaking stuff and escaped with only 1 run. Compare that to the 2006 Madson in the same situation. I like this kid's makeup. p O'Neil, what did your fans' Web site say about KK?

Or Homer Bailey could just be making them look really good.

b_a_p, I don't disagree, but I'm still a little surprise Howard saw something to hit. Conventianal wisdom says you pitch to Rowand (RH) with two outs.

Since coming off the DL, Howard is hitting .308, 10, 28, 1.055 OPS. I would have pitched to Rowand.

i think that homer might be losing his cool a little.

This lineup is putting alot of pressure on the kid. Reds lucky its only 4.

He just walked the pitcher on 4 pitches. Take a pitch, Jimmy.

They had Bailey on the ropes, and jroll swings at the first pitch after Bailey walked the pitcher on 4 pitches. RBI, but still a BAD at bat.

Jimmy's a dumbass for swinging at the first pitch. Don't you learn those things in Little League?

I smell a dinger.

Please note the disciplined approach of Michael Bourn in his 2 ABs against a wild kid with a mid 90s fastball as compared with J-Roll's approach.

WOW!

Chooch!!

wow. that should 1st and 3rd steal *never* happen in the pros.

bye bye bailey.

This Bailey guy is pretty terrible. No wonder the Reds are the worst team in baseball.

holy hell

Hey, do any of you Barajas supporters think he gets home on that steal?

A double steal!?!?!?

Dare I say, fundamental baseball from the Phillies?

Somebody call hell, what's the temperature there?

Been waiting a couple months to see this. Better late than never, I guess.

In Rollins' defense, he was looking fastball and got it. He just has to get that ball in the air.

bourn looks really disruptive on the basepaths.

let's see if kendrick can keep it under control for 5.

This inning is actually giving me GOOSEBUMPS.

Clout: I agree with you on Kendrick's makeup 100 percent. He looks poised and makes good pitches. And Bourn's approach will make him a major league player if he keeps with it.

BTW, Michael Bourn has yet to be caught stealing this year.

Your Conscience: You've made that hell freezing over joke about five times in the last week.

KK just needs to keep pounding the zone now. With this OF, there isn't much room for anything to fall in.

I don't know if you noticed, but on Utley's hard single that scored Bourn, even if Griffey's throw had been dead-on, Bourn would still have scored standing up. Speed kills.

Jimmy is smiling and having fun on that popup from Encarnacion. Kendrick's walking off the mound with this smirk/mouth thing on his face like "Yeah, boy, I know what I'm doing out here..."

Let it be noted that was #8 from our non-power hitting corner OF...

Cholly made all the right moves today. In fact, before the game even started, I wrote an e-mail to my family saying that this is the best lineup card he's filled out all year. I like Bourn in the 2-hole & Vic in the middle of the order. And, for the first time all year, he picked the exact right starting 8. And it only took him 76 games to figure it out.

BAP: I haven't posted five times in the last week let alone used that joke...I'm willing to concede overuse of a cliche when it's warranted but in this case, it's not.

CLOUT !

since you keep pounding people about their bullpen predictions, I think its time for you to eat a little crow:

Vic is good enough to be a starting Corner OF.

Charlie was always more of a late-season bloomer... lol

He could have broke his hand on that Rollins tag...

Impressive work by the Phils so far, they need to make sure they don't let up - especially the pitching.

Welcome to the big leagues Bailey, South Philly style!

Joe -- I'm guessing you're not missing ol' B. Abreu out there.

No matter how well they play this series, I'm not even really watching until they address the pitching. There's no way they can win with three starting pitchers and the awful bullpen.

curt -

i'm not missing bobby, not in the slightest.

If we had Coste, I'd be tempted to "rest" Howard against some of the lefties we're about to see.

OK, perhaps I am dumb, never played the game, but there's two outs in the fourth inning, you're down 5, and the eight hole hitter is up. Change the pitcher? Am I missing something here? Is Jerry Narron a mad genius or what?

If you weren't watching, Tray, Carlos Ruiz just hit a sweet 3-run double.

Conscience: Apologies. Maybe it was someone else who kept posting the joke. I've definitely seen it up here more than a few times.

God does Chase make hitting look easy.

Cards brought Percival up today...1.35 ERA at AAA. Oh well, we got Jose.

KK impressive in going 6 again.

Wow, a 38-year old former all star with a 1. 35 era at AAA!!

KK so far has the Lidle-like line of 6 IP, 3-4 runs in his starts.

This is the right call by Manuel keeping Kendrick in a little longer. Call it on the job training.

uncle charlie letting the kid keep the car out past 6 tonight...

Agreed, but it's sad we have to compliment a major league manager, with a depleted pitching staff, for making it.

HA! Guess not. Looks gassed. Nice night for Kendrick.

Call me excessively negative but, with our bullpen, this 6-run lead still doesn't feel 100% safe to me.

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