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Sunday, June 24, 2007

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clout is correct. With Lieber finished, so are the the Phillies.

So much for having six starters. The desperation move of Myers to the pen, and their reluctance to move him back to the rotation, has now cost the Phillies dearly.

This is a direct result of management's refusal to spend a few extra of the Bucks' bucks on relief pitchers in the offseason, and Gillick's inability to trade for any.

And, if Borowski is to be believed, and, based on this ownership group's track record (Liar, Liar), his version is probably true, they pathetically attempted to nickle and dime him.

While he is not the total solution, had he been on the roster Myers would probably still be in the rotation and the season would be salvageable.

Not any more.

I hope the casual fans who go to the Bank wake up and realize how mediocre to poorly (and I'm being generous) the baseball operation of this team is run. Maybe they'll finally stay away and send a message to the The Walking Sphincter, The Puppet, Seattle Stew, liar, liar (he get's small caps from now on becasue he's small), and this sphincter licking ownership group.

MG had a great point on the last thread about Lieber's conditioning. Did the wear and tear of carrying all that extra weight around contributr to his injury? While one can never be sure, the answer is: probably.

Doughnut Boy's apathy and arrogance about his weight have now cost him any chance at a multi-year deal this offseason. Instead of another 3 year deal at $21 million (yes, I believe he'd get it because of the dearth of pitching), he'll probably only get a one year deal with incentives, and maybe an option. It probably cost him $10-20 million.

Have another doughnut, Jon?

Chicago Tribune reports that White Sox have decided to trade Buehrle. I rate the Phils chances of trading for him at 1%, the Braves 15% and the Mets 25%.

if we manage to get buehrle, its solely a makeup move for the garcia trade.

which means, it won't happen.

i for one welcome our new nodoz overlords, and the human rain delay, steve trachsel.

of course, if we manage to get trachsel, we will have by far the best hitting pitching staff in the NL.

(how's that for a silver lining?)

Is it me, or with each day does our manager seem to continue to call our general manager out?

I think this is the one issue that fans and the skipper agree on. Nothing was done about the most obvious hole in the off-season (the 'pen).

From today's Inky:

"The team that fills their holes is who's going to win this division," Manuel said. "Five hundred baseball usually doesn't get you into first place. We've got to stay close. We're getting Myers and Gordon back. That definitely makes our bullpen stronger. Then we need to tighten up our starting pitching."

I just hope that we don't look back on our Assistant GM's announcement yesterday and say "June 23, the day the '07 Phils season ended." You could get a sense during the pregame radio show that the AGM was making reference to Lieber's problem with his (loosely quoted) "we might have to do something about starting pitching depending on Lieber's foot" comments when a caller asked what he felt like the team needed to work on. I just wish he had come out and said "You know, I'm about to announce that Lieber's on the DL" instead of shading it with the fans until he could get in front of the press.

Lieber has been obese during his tenure in Philly but he has looked (to my eyes at least) 20 pounds lighter this year. While I would love to blame him for being out of shape (and he is no Jamie Moyer in setting a positive example) I think his injury is a nothing more than bad luck.

In yesterday's Inquirer, Phillies beat writer Todd Zolecki responded to the following reader's question: "(w)ill Chris Coste ever get another chance to play?", saying, in part, "I would love to see Coste up here. They could use his bat, and pitchers last season indicated they would love throwing to him . . ."
link:
http://www.philly.com/inquirer/ask/todd_zolecki/8147592.html

Today, Coste's value, both as a handler of pitchers, and as a clutch hitter, was independently reported in two separate stories by R Phillies beat writer Mike Drago in the Reading Eagle.

In one story, Drago reported on Zack Zegolvia's "smoothest performance" of the season last night, in which Zegovia went seven innings, giving up just one unearned run, on four hits and four walks as the Phillies topped the Altoona Curve (Pirates AA) 3-1. In the game story, Drago wrote: "Segovia got some help on both sides of the ball from catcher Chris Coste and shortstop Michael Garciaparra.
Coste pulled an off-speed pitch from Curve (35-36) starter Dewon Brazelton into left for a two-run single in the first. He also gave Segovia a mental boost behind the dish.
“I’ve really struggled with my slider recently,” Segovia said. “It was good to throw a couple and get some swings and misses early. And then Coste, the way Coste kept putting it down, I saw that he had confidence. That gave me a little more confidence. He continued to go to it. It felt good. And then I fed off of it, trying to locate the fastball whenever I needed it, and that’s what got me through the seven innings.” link:
http://www.readingeagle.com/Article.aspx?id=47186

In the second article, about how Mike Costanzo's hitting has greatly improved, literally all since Coste's arrival in Reading, and Costanzo's simultaneous move to the 3 hole, Drago wrote in today's Reading Eagle: "Hitting third, (Costanzo has) generally had veteran Chris Coste behind him, something that would benefit any batter."

http://www.readingeagle.com/Article.aspx?id=47187

Coste's value to the Phillies as a clutch hitter was clearly demonstrated by his performance with the big club last year -- except to Pat Gillick. Coste continues his clutch hitting, and now has 26 RBIs in 23 games with the R Phillies and a .295 BA.

If Phillies management persists in its belief that the team is better served with PG's boys Barajas, Werth and Helms (and their fat PG-given contracts), than by having Coste on the 25-man roster, then the Phillies and Coste would be best-served by using Coste in a trade package to address starting pitching, the bullpen, or a decedent-hitting backup corner outfielder.

I simply don't believe that the rest of MLB is as blind to Coste's value as Gillick continues to be. Keeping Coste around on the 40-man, in the minors, as "insurance", surely is not the highest and best use of Coste as a player asset -- and benefits neither Coste himself -- nor the Phillies as a team.





I'm not sure what kind of value Coste has as a tradeable commodity. I don't think Ken Williams or another GM reads the Reading Eagle to keep up to date to how he's doing in AA. Sure, he should be on the phils bench, but I don't see a trade involving him turning this team around.

RSB, sorry I couldn't be there to help defend your position yesterday; I'm actually closer to your view than you might think. I think we agree that what plagues this team is filling holes by signing free agents -- that is, guys like LIeber and Gordon are not true difference makers, just mid-level replacements for prospects who aren't there in the pipeline. And signing them costs you more draft picks who perpetuate the problem. But I think you misunderstand the situation the team is in. Two years ago the core was over 30; it is now under 30. The difference between the Phillies and Cleveland, Florida, Oakland et al is that they have done a poor job in unloading veterans approaching free agency for talent. We have nobody left from the Rolen and Schilling trades; is that a problem of philosophy, or a problem or performance, in this case, scouting? I'd say the latter. The only difference between those trades and the Abreu trade is that we all recognized immediately that we got no true prospects back for Abreu.

On the Lieber front, I hope nobody ever again talks about six starters being too many. At this stage of the season, I think it's easier to get a usable reliever than a usable starter; "trusting the organization" be damned, their only chance is returning Myers to the rotation and trading Bourn for a reliever. They might get by with Kendrick and assorted prospects and retreads for a fifth starter. What other choice do they have?

P O'Neill -- If MLB front office people don't read the Reading Eagle -- and we disagree about that, because MLB front offices' sources are plural -- at least some MLB front office people read Beerleager.

One thing we do know -- other MLB teams have had interest in trading for Coste this year. See, e.g., the following report in the Dallas Morning News, about the Texas Rangers' interest in Coste: "(T)he club (Rangers) has talked to other clubs with extra catching, notably Philadelphia (Chris Coste) and the Los Angeles Angels (Jose Molina)." link: http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/spt/baseball/rangers/stories/032307dnsporangbriefs.35dade2.html

DavThom, you're probably doomed to disappointment, but at this point, with the pitching staff decimated, I think trading Barajas has become a viable option. But probably not to Gillick.

Right, and it didn't happen, either will getting something useful back for him.

As much as DavThom beats a dead horse to death, Coste would help this team. Unfortunately, with Lieber's injury and the general ineptitude of the Phils pitching staff, they are going to be forced to carry 12 pitchers the rest of the season. I just don't see a roster spot opening up on the bench for Coste unless some (Barajas?) gets injured.

Michael Bourn is in the starting lineup tonight. Unfortunately, so is Jayson Werth. Victorino is on the bench.

Re: Coste. In reading between the lines, Ruben Amaro admitted (on the radio pre-game show) that the most likely outcome for Coste is a September callup, unless Barajas and/or Ruiz are injured.

If not Buehrle, is Contreras or Garland in the mix?

Read somewhere that ChiWS were considering trading any or all of those guys in the right deal.

While we're beating up dead horses, I'll bring this up one more time: wouldn't be nice to have Justin Germano right about now?

With Garcia and Lieber both out for the year (probably), letting Germano get away may turn out to be the worst personnel move of this season. And that's saying something.

Mike H. -- How did the Coste discussion come up on the pre-game with Amaro -- in other words, how was the subject raised with Amaro in the in the interview, and specifically what did Amaro say?

"Is it me, or with each day does our manager seem to continue to call our general manager out?"

It isn't you. I've noticed it, too. What I love is how Gillick stays invisible and Amaro is always on the firing line, issuing statements.

Alby, a good point about the distinction in this current 'core' being a younger one - but it's also a pretty small one. The talent level drops off the table after five players. It still wouldn't seem to justify the team's method of deluding themselves and everyone else that the Phillies are in any position to "win now". They are under intense pressure to win, no question. They are aware of the whole playoff drought, and it is embarrassing for the all-important image of the team they try to schill. But that doesn't excuse the avoidance of the reality at hand: this team is *not* ready to win now - at least not without the unlikely perpetuation of the Mets' struggles - and the more the front office tries to attempt its emergency repairs out of this desperate sense of "We must make the playoffs to get everyone off our backs; We must make the playoffs while out future Hall of Famers are in their prime", it gets *further away and not closer* from having a real chance to sustain a successful team.

But let's look on the bright side. Clay Condrey is back!

The thing that really frustrates me with the Gillick regime so far has been the general inability (through trades, FA signings, etc). to identify useful talent to supplement the core of this team. With a couple of exceptions (e.g., Moyer), Gillick has made poor move after poor move. In fact, I would be as bold to say that this team had played .500 ball in spite of Gillick's awful moves.

It has been incredibly frustrating to watch this year given the considerable struggles of the Braves/Mets. If Gillick had signed an adequate closer or acquired a solid starter, this team would be in first place right now given their offensive output so far.


Contrary to some other posters on this site, I do believe the Phils would have been able to think the Phils

RSB & Alby - You bring up an interesting point about Amaro being the bag man so far for the Gillick administration. It is going to be really fascinating this offseason to see what happens when Gillick can no longer hide behind the "well he was an Ed Wade player" with the exception of Burrell.

It would truly be fitting if Gillick stays on as GM through '08 and then Amaro is named as full-time GM in '09 for his dedication/hard work as a PR bullshitter/yes-man for the Phils.

My transcription services are rather expensive, but for you, davthom, I'd transcribe Chris Coste's book and translate it into Japanese and Swahili... ;-)

On Saturdays, someone from the front office takes calls from the phans, moderated by Jim Jackson. One fan called in and took the position you usually do here. I don't remember word by word, but Amaro admitted he's a fan favorite, that on the depth chart, he's third at catcher in the organization, and if we can find a spot for him, he will be given every consideration.

The other thing I've been thinking about lately is Stark's quote from an NL executive about Utley and Howard. I almost think (and we'll chalk this up to the Philly negativity) that it was our management making the comment to see if other teams would start intentionally walking Chase so that Ryan would have a man on base to work with.

Mike H. has it pretty much dead on- the pregame host pressed Amaro about just how popular Coste is and what kind of a great story he has. Amaro agreed the whole time.

Which just upset me more. I haven't been extremely worked up about Coste, but after those few games in Florida and his comments, I don't hold him in that high regard. I think Coste is better for the team that Barajas is.

PFDC: That's about two levels of creativity too deep for this front office.

BTW, on the Buerle front, the last Stark column from earlier in the week said it was Atlanta that was pushing very hard to land Buerle. Their thinking (I'm paraphrasing from memory, so FWIW) is that they want a third potentially dominant starter to go with Smoltz and Hudson. In other words, they're looking at what they have to do to win in the playoffs, while the Phils are scrambling to keep even getting there on the table.

Alby, again, I blame it on the Philly in me. As the shirt says "I'm not mad, I'm from Philly."

Rain delay. I won't mention how good a certain player looked after the last time rain delayed a game he played in...

Thanks for the "transcription' Mike H. -- and the followup report, phila fan in dc.

To me, the focus by those such as Amaro upon what a "great story" Coste is, merely demonstrates these folks' collective failures as evaluators of talent. Coste is no longer merely a "great story"-- Coste is a guy who did -- and would again -- make a great performance contribution to the Phillies on the baseball field.

I'm back.

There's a lot to digest so I'll post tomorrow, the biggest news obviously being the Lieber injury. This is a crippling blow. They had enough to get away with one experiment in the rotation (Kendrick - happy to see he did OK second time out), but asking that from two projects and they will be over their head. Still, stranger things have happened, so we'll need to hang in there. Other teams have pushed their young guys to the show early and it worked. It worked with Hamels. Could they do it with Carassco?

To those clamoring for a trade, trade what? The best they will be able to get will be an aging, marginal vet. They will easily be outbid for pitchers most likely to help by Atlanta, New York, even Florida. I wouldn't mortgage what little they have just because they're three back in the standings. From my view, that gap will spread once the Braves, for example, get Buerhle and the Mets get Zambrano.

I agree with many of the above posters, the answer is fairly simple. Either Myers makes his way back to the rotation - unlikely - or the Phillies are done. Either way, the Phillies management needs to start looking at other, previously unthought of options. Myers is coming close to the end of his arbitration years, the whole bullpen mess this year dented his trade value, but it might come back up next year. Young, durable, K-throwing pitchers are extremely valuable in terms of trade, and if the Phils don't have a serious intention of signing him - it'll cost money - they should explore trading him. Rowand is a definite as a trade candidate, this season, if they can get something decent for him they should, seeing as there's an oncoming glut of CFs this winter. No one else can probably bring an adequate return, whether because they're still under our control for a while (Utley/Howard/Hamels) or they're simply not going to bring us much (Bourn/Ruiz/Etc.).

Almost all of our talent in the minors is tied up in pitching right now, with a few hitters that are many years off. Knowing this we should probably plan for the future accordingly.

I still wouldn't move Myers back, even with the Lieber injury. I just don't think it's that simple to go from starter, to reliever, to rehab and back to starter. They made the move and may need to live with it until 2008. If he comes back healthy, he's going to be damn vital to finish the close games Kendrick, Moyer, Eaton, mystery pitcher leave for him.

J- welcome back. You've been missed.

Amaro also answered a question on Myers and shut down the caller quickly with a no. If I remember correctly, he gave his opnion that Myers has been better from the bullpen and is more of an asset there. So it seems as if everyone on the team- from the player to the coaches to the front office- are actually on the same page. Nice to see that... for once.

I also read the Phils picked up Romero. What is everyone's thoughts on that? (Probably discussed in a thread somewhere). I don't have a problem with it, but don't jettison Zagurski back to the minors. He's taken his licks, but let him keep taking licks. This will happen. He basically jumped from Class-A to the majors and showed them something. Keep him around.

With Lieber out and the bullpen as thin as it is, I'd say their playoff chances are slim to none, but hey, this is a time where the Phils can see a couple guys and make some decisions. So far, I look at Hamels, Zagurski, Kendrick - all early call-ups - as being OK choices. Is Carassco next? It would be WAY early probably. Something tells me Happ will get smoked ...

JW - good to see you back. I think Romero might turn out to be the best of their Value Village pickups, but I agree that Zagurski isn't the one that ought be exiled to Ottawa.

So let Happ get smoked. Despite the recent success of the premature call-ups, it would be beyond irresponsible to rush Carrasco.

Anyone watching the St. Louis feed online? Who are these *clowns* doing the game? One of them just said, "Let's see if Rowand is running on the full count pitch with two outs. Yep, there he goes..."

Hate to say it, but Ruiz hasn't showed me much since that walk-off homer against the Brewers. His head is coming off the ball something awful.

how come the phillies can NEVER hit kip wells? he's the perfect example of a guy who absolutely sucks against every team except the phils.

Just be glad they didn't trade Ryan Howard for him.

hahahaha good point. it could be worse, i guess...

I'll need to read up on Romero, but you're right, RSB, a minor league deal won't hurt. Looks like he had some control problems in Boston.

So, Phils need a win today to go 3-3 on the road trip to Cleveland and St. Louis. That's a successful road trip if they can convert it.

Also saw Matt Smith is out with elbow tendinitis? Segovia down, Carrasco up. Anything else I missed? (Slumps, trends, controversy). Happ pitches for the Lynx today. They'll need a pitcher Friday? Saturday?

I haven't seen any Phillies news/games - absolutely nothing - since leaving Monday.

So much for Bourn not having any power. That ball is well out in Philly.

hey - maybe michael bourn be playing every day in left field instead of PtB???

I would put Bourn in that lineup and not take him out unless his average goes under Burrell's.

The discussion of Cole's looks on the STL feed was a little disturbing.

Amaro said yesterday that they don't plan to rush Carrasco.

J, the line I saw about pitchers is that they'll need two, Amaro suggesting those starters will come from inside the organization. Zo floated Happ's name for one of the two games.

Argh. Day-game Hamels.

DC Phan: Wow. They'll need to get creative. It could mean someone like Happ, a veteran like Nelson, Durbin, or the patented Phillies June bullpen game like they had with Fultz last season, with Madson starting for three innings and going from there.

Million dollar question: why would any pitcher throw Dobbs a fastball for a strike. He is an easier out than Nunez if you throw him anything offspeed.

Yeah, I was a little surprised when I read that they'd need two, but I guess that makes sense when you're down to Hamels-Moyer-Eaton-Kendrick and you don't have an off day. It also made me long for the days of "We aren't going to buy six Christmas presents."

Phuture Phils went through the list of AAA and AA pitchers that the Phils have. It was extremely bleak if you're trying to find a second pitcher to call up for a spot start. I bounced the 3 inning start off another buddy last night and we seemed to think that's what we'll see during one of this weekend's games.

Memo to mlb.tv people- the broadcast is no longer rain delayed.

I meant to say "to the mlb.tv" people.

I agree 100% RSB. Bourn should be in there everyday, unless mabe a Dontrelle Willis or some kind of lefty like that is on the hill.

Btw, is any Romero deal done?

It's very bleak indeed. I wouldn't have a problem giving Madson a start for three innings one of those games. Maybe he can stretch it even longer. I might go Durbin, Madson. It looks like Durbin settled in some, but he shouldn't be an option on a team with serious playoff aspirations.

Can't you just see the Phils getting shut down by Wells again, and then turn around and get him in a trade? Higher management has loved him in the past.

Phillies.com wrote about this: The Phillies plan to resolve their starter situation by Tuesday, with the candidates remaining J.A. Happ, J.D. Durbin, Carlos Carrasco or the remote possibility of trade. Pitching coach Rich Dubee said Ryan Madson, who started last season, is likely an option. The Phillies need a starter for the second game of Friday's doubleheader against the Mets, then one for Saturday.

is the game really not rain delayed anymore??

Great.. Throw some young kid to the wolves for Friday's second game (fireworks night of all nights) with a packed house... Why can't Cole start the second game? Only the Phillies...

No, I'm a jerk... it is rain delayed again. I guess this is the perfect time for another run.

J- thanks for finding that, I hadn't seen it when I looked there earlier and you saved me from reading about Burrell. With the way he didn't want to listen to Charlie's in the off-season, you'd think the'd have his act together. Such an incredible disapointment.

Mets won, Nats on their way to winning (if Chief breaks down again like last night, I'll be surprised, but then again, I just yelled at the mlb.tv guys...) but the Marlins loose.

J., welcome back, but I disagree about how hard it would be for Myers to return to the rotation. They have to build up his arm either way; it would probably take two extra weeks to get him ready as a starter rather than a reliever, and he could work as a long man in the duration. Of course, this would require creative thinking, and there's none of that around here. More worrisome to me is the idea that they're thinking of converting him permanently. Sorry, I didn't see Rivera/Gagne level performance there, and that's what they'd be paying him (to the poster who talked about his contract, he's signed through 2009, and at big bucks).

This rain delay is a nice way to get caught up on things...

Yes. Romero minor league deal is official. He is working out in the minors. Condrey was purchased today and would seem a likely player to be sent down to make room for Romero. I would also rather have Roberto Hernandez than Sanches. He is also now available from the Indians.

On Romero, anybody tracked down reason why we sent him to the Clearwater?

No reason at all that Hamels would not be slated for the night game Friday. Just to get Madson out of the pen, I would be willing to give him another chance starting.

Madson back to the rotation? Even the idea shows how absolutely desperate the Phils are for pitching.

In my book, the Phils have only two reliable starters (Hamels and Moyer) and not a single dependable option of the pen. Phils might have been able to trend ground until Myers and Gordon returned but I doubt that is the case now.

The next 2 months are going to shape the direction of this franchise through the end of the decade I think. Phils will probably remain in contention for at least the WC and possibly the NL East if the Mets continue to falter.

Gillick is going to carefully have to ascertain the strengths and limitations of this team and decide what to do. The way I see it, the Phils have three options:

1. Muddle along by picking up a marginal veteran starter and hope that Myers/Gordon return to boost the bullpen and the offense can carry this team to a possible playoff berth.

2. Become a seller at the break but with very limited attractive wares besides Rowand and maybe Victorino.

3. Go for a playoff/divisional run if they are close and mortgage whatever prospects the Phils have.

Too early to tell but here is what I want like the Phils to do:

1. Resign Rowand until you get something too good to be true before the trading deadline. Rowand has produced this year, likes playing here, and is a team leader. Plus, he should still produce a high-level over the course of a 3 or 4 year contract.

2. Trade Burrell if at all possible. At this point, I have completely given up on Burrell. The walks aside, Burrell is horrendous and his $14 million salary (and Gordon's $5.5 million for '08) is going to kill this team next year. It is easy to get a corner OF with a .750 OPS who play awful defense for a fraction of the cost.

3. Sort out can pitch and who can't pitch. Give Kendrick an extended shot in the rotation unless he is truly awful. Plus, figure out who will be viable candidates to round out the pen next year (Yoel, Zagurksi, etc).

4. Leave Myers in the pen. Enough yanking him back and forth. Let him finish the year in a comfortable role and let him start fresh next year in the rotation.

5. Try to acquire a 3B either at the trade deadline of this offseason will at least provide some stability. Don't need an all-star but someone with a decent glove and acceptable production (260-280 AVG with 15-20 HRs).

If the weather.com radar is right, it looks like we've got another 10-20 minutes to wait out the rain, then however long it takes the grounds crew to clear the field.

the yankees are desperate for a first baseman - they've started miguel cairo, posada, and johnny damon in the last couple weeks.
burrell played 1st in college i believe - why not try trading him for marginal players in return, and making them eat the contract (lord knows they have the $$$)?

Alby: It's possible. You could be right; he's a tough player. However I get a sense everyone's heart is set on Myers the closer, including Myers, who welcomed the opportunity to pitch every other day and walk of the field with a pat on the back. The midpoint of the season is also fast approaching. It's been months since Myers saw action as a starter. I think it would much easier for him to mix it up for one inning instead of seven-eight every five. It's a good debate ... either way, and see your side.

With the rotation this much weaker, I'm tempted to say something like "the Phillies need Adam Eaton to take it to the next level and start giving them reliable efforts." Here's my hesitation: the more I watch him, the more I think he's just a six-inning, mediocre starting pitcher, and not the 20-game winner they "said" he would be.

I think the most annoying part of the Lieber injury is now the Phillies have all the excuses they need. Too many injuries. "If only we stayed healthy..."

MG, I prefer the first option. I won't sob all winter if they don't make the playoffs. It would appear far more unlikely than not that they can really make an impact even in this depleted league. But that doesn't mean they have to sell off what assets they do have. I think you're right that they should try to re-sign Rowand. They're stuck with Burrell, but they can be stuck with him on the bench. Bourn should be the left fielder.

JW, not to worry, Larry Bowa's not around to whine about the injuries any more...

The season was effectively over the day Cholly pulled Myers from the rotation. Everything since then -- injuries to older starters, overuse of & injury to "closer" Myers, lack of internal candidates to step up & pitch all the innings -- was entirely predictable. We now pay the price for Cholly's managing like it was the World Series in April/May.

The only unanswered question is whether Myers will be able to return to form in 2008 and give us a good 1-2 tandem..

(And no this is not hindsight. I said immediately it was insane to allow Cholly to move Myers to the BP, and later, on the fateful night, before he ever threw a pitch, that it was foolish to bring him in with a 4 run lead .)

Burrell played 3rd in college, but mostly was a 1B in the minors. But there's no way anybody, even the Yanks, will take his salary off our hands for this year and next.

I can't believe anyone is still talking about "trading" PtBB. The magic number is 249 (games left on the contract).

It doesn't matter, Pat is only willing to go to a handful of teams anyway. He would only start 2 to 3 games a week if it were me. Bourn would get the rest. What do we really have to lose?

MG: Great lists. My guess is they will choose the first option, where they get a veteran starter. Contreras, Trachsel, a middling starter from a team like Cincinnati, Baltimore, maybe Houston. Kyle Lohse or someone of that ilk.

The Phillies could try swapping bad contracts. Would you swap Kevin Millwood with two more years for Burrell with one remaining, if Burrell allows it? Does anyone know what's up with Millwood? He totally sucks this year ...

Weitzel - You bring up an interesting point about swapping Burrell for another bad contract. It is probably the only way the Phils can move Burrell at this point.

I hope that Gillick at least explores this possibility. Wouldn't do it for Millwood though. He has 3-years left at $30 mil. I would take though for a reliever with a bad contract (e.g., Baez) for Burrell's contract. Maybe Gillick can work out something if with the Orioles again and convince Burrell it is in his best interest to go an to AL club with the DH-option?

I know Millwood has had hamsting issues this season. If it is more than that, I am not 100% sure. Millwood's stats aren't too bad his last two games, but the three before that were brutal, as were most of his starts this season.

Last two lines:

6-17 vs. CIN 6 IP, 6 H, 4 ER, 10 K, 2 BB
6-22 vs. HOU 6 IP, 9 H, 3 ER, 2 K, 0 BB

He is basically Eaton, or more likely a little less than him anymore. I'd gamble on a Burrell-Millwood swap. I don't think Texas would do it though. They need pitching pitching pitching, but then again, don't we all...

We already know Burrell won't go to Baltimore. I doubt MacPhal would want him anyway. Hell, he probably won't go to Texas either, even if they wanted him. I think he is only willing to go to the west coast or to the Yankees or BoSox.

Any recently retired pitchers who could be ready in a couple of weeks? Ugh...

If the game coninutes do you think Hamels will be out there? Heres where we probably have to use relief pitchers and you know where we stand with them.

5:20 posted restart time, any odds on who comes out of the 'pen? This could test our theory on who we can coble together for a 3-4 inning start.

Any chance we could swap Burrell for someone like an Adrian Beltre? He signed a rather obscene deal with Seattle a few years back, probably by Gillick... He could at the very least provide a little something offensively and defensively at third base.

Millwood has something near a .400 BABIP against, but all of his other indicators have been worse this year as well, BB, Ks, HRs... there might be an underlying injury no one's talking about.

The more I think about it, I would probably hang onto Burrell, rather than trade him to Texas for Millwood. I would definitely consider the Beltre deal though. His right-handed stick would be nice and would allow Dobbs to play in leftfield. Hell, send the M's Nuni for the rest of the season too (or if they wanted Helms...but I doubt it).

People keep harping on Clout and me for bringing up Germano again and again, but there's a reason. The Phillies are the best in baseball at making dumb decisions that seem minor on the surface but end up costing them much more. Their fifth starter dilemma would appear solved if they had only kept Germano instead of either Condrey or Bisenius to start the season in bullpen. Think about how ridiculous that is now. They allowed one shaky spring to erase several seasons of quality minor league pitching, in favor of someone like Condrey, who has been designated three or four times already.

damn it, kip is stayin in the game?? gonna be a long afternoon...

I would also resist a Millwood deal. If he has three years left, that's too long.

Is this game going to be played?

Good thread so far...my thoughts:

*I've defended Burrell, and I'm a fan of his (or should say was), but right now I'd do a bad contract for a bad contract just to get rid of him. I also agree that we should try Michael Bourn in LF, especially when a righty is on the mound, he can't be much worse than Burrell.

*I wanted Myers in the the rotation the whole time, more so after Garcia went down, and absolutely now that Lieber is down.

*As I'm typing this, the game pops back up on the CW...nice!

Lets just win this for goodness sake.

Madsons a waste - can't pitch and can't bunt

I'm sorry, but there's no excuse as a MLB pitcher no being able to lay down a bunt. I hate Ryan Madson. I know some of you are fans of him, but he sucks all around!

Ah, there we go... Madson can't bunt.

I love what the STL mics can pick up. Charlie talking in the 2nd. Madson swearing after the bunt strike out.

Pat Burrell wouldn't have done that...he'd have gotten thrown out at 1st even if he did hit that. Way to go Bourn!

How bout that Michael Bourn?? Keep him in there!!

gotta keep michael bourn in the lineup

I' in total agreement that Germano is the underrated dumb move of the season. The Garcia trade wouldn't seem as bad if we had a Germano type to plug into the rotation.

Bisensius, Condrey and Matt Smith over Germano to start the year is the kind of decision that good organizations don't make.

It made no real sense to let Germano go this spring. It's not like they had a lot of starting depth at the AAA level.

It probably came down to Charlie not wanting two rookies in the pen (Bisenius and Germano). Too bad. You have a greater chance of picking up a Condrey type than a Germano type, espcially if you aren't going to be making any substantial trades...

Bourn and Ruiz playing nice today. I enjoy that the gameday location of the four straight balls that Ruiz took were all low and away. Looks like that's the book on Ruiz, glad to see that he didn't take the bait.

If Bourn starts, which I think is a good idea, where does he hit in the lineup, 1st, 2nd, or 8th. What would a daily lineup featuring Bourn look like? My guess:

Rollins
Vic
Utley
Howard
Rowand
Dobbs
Ruiz
Bourn
Pitcher

That would be a fun & potentially productive lineup. For that reason, it won't happen for another month or so. Cholly only uses the obvious lineup after he's tried everything else.

It's probably not a fair sample, but the last 3 times I've seen Dobbs against a lefty, he's struck out each time. Cholly may actually know what he's doing in platooning the guy.

Was anyone else eager to see Sanches in a 1-1 game? So far, so good...

i know he's a so-called AAAA pitcher, but if Sanches could control his breaking ball (and probably throw nothing else) he could be decent. It's a pretty nasty pitch.

Dobbs has only had 11 ABs this year against LHP. Hard to say but his minor league/major league splits indicate he should sit against LHP.

Still, I give Gillick credit for bringing in Dobbs. Dobbs looks like a useful bench player who can play multiple positions. Shouldn't be starting everyday but a few starts a week is not a bad thing.

Ruiz's arm is second only to Victorino out there. His D has been a real treat this season.

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