Part of

« 'Real Deal' Durbin makes his case to stay in rotation | Main | Game chat: Phils return home for three with Nationals »

Tuesday, July 24, 2007


Who'll be the first to say "trade him"?

if anything, Carrasco's struggles might be a good thing. now there's no chance he gets called up to the majors this year, like some were suggesting.

That's a good point, ae. Sounds like he's just gotta make some adjustments to AA.

The Nats have an embattled, piece-meal pitching staff? Who doesn't at this point? If the Philly offense can keep its groove, I'll take the "over" on number of runs scored every game this series. I've got a great tip from Tim Donaghy.

A comment posted on Phuture Phillies about Bill Conlin...

"Every constituency needs a mouth-piece.

The Montgomery/Giles Ownership ERA has created a generation of depressives who say they root for the home team while they live at home and cheer when someone like Drabek is injured. They cheer! They cheer because it feeds their hatred.

The blame for birthing this kind of “spawn” lies clearly with ownership, and the terrible economics negotiated by the city at the Vet. Like Zombies these fans will forever feed on the flesh of failure, cherry picking poisonous information while Conlin the Chef of misinformation stirs the pot."

I agree with ae, it may be a blessing in disguise.

Good quote from Gillick in the philly papers today:

"We're going to continue to look and try to come up with something that can be an improvement. Some of the stuff out there isn't an improvement," Gillick said. "What is out there might improve us, but the asking price is off the wall. Astronomical.

"That might change by the 31st, but right now, you're hearing these asking prices and you're saying, 'You're crazy.'"

That's the right way to look at this. Overspending for bad "talent" that may be worse than what we have will be a bigger mistake than Gillick's made so far.

Off topic ...

The Phillies have been scoring so many runs, the bullpen has barely played any part in the outcome of games recently. You look at new additions Romero and Mesa. They both make me very nervous. Romero can't throw strikes and Mesa has no stuff anymore. But so far, so good with these two, mostly. Mesa gave up the game against Houston, but other than that, they've done a decent enough job.

Has it been smoke and mirrors?


Following up from your post on the last board . . . Let's say Adrian Cardenas continues to put up good numbers as he moves up the Phillies' minor league system. 2 years from now, he's hitting .315 with 25 homers at Triple A & is ready to join the major league team. Problem is, he can only play second base. I gather, from the logic of your past posts, that you would then be in favor of dumping Utley's contract even if it meant getting nothing in return?

Also, just as Alby challenged you to name Gillick's positive acquisitions, I challenged you the other day to name just one bad move he has ever made, and to do it in five words or less (so as not to give you sufficient space for any caveats).

I await your response . . .

I can't believe people continue to engage SirAlden in this charade...


I feel better about Romero than I do about Mesa. I think Mesa throws a much more hitable ball. Romero, on the other hand, has better stuff, but his control has been an issue. I think Romero has a better chance of improving his control than Mesa does of suddenly finding more electric stuff.

The good news is that the additions of Gordon and Myers should decrease the numer of appearnaces for Mesa especially, and Romero as well.

I'd still like to acquire one more bullpen arm to move both down the list even further.

Some guy is suggesting the Phils deal a low-level prospect for Morgan Ensberg.

Ensberg? Is he really offering us something we don't already have in Wes Helms? Are we trading for a guy with a worse OPS than Wes Helms?

Weird suggesting.

Ensberg does have a higher ceiling than Helms, and I always had the impression that he's pretty reliable defensively. but he looks like the poor man's Pat Burrell as a hitter. pass.

I agree with everything CJ just said about Romero, Mesa & engaging SirAlden -- but I guess I'm just argumentative by nature & can't resist responding to SA's posts.

On Mesa, the only thing I would add is that, while hitters have hit only .193 off of him since he came to the Phillies, almost all of his good work has come in games where the Phillies were either way ahead or hopelessly behind. That's a whole lot different from pitching in close games. When Mesa has pitched in close games, he has been just as horrible as we all expected.

A poor man's Pat Burrell is a good way to describe Ensberg's skill set, except that Ensberg plays third base & doesn't cost $14M. Third base isn't really the Phillies' biggest need, but it is a need & Ensberg does have an upside. On the other hand, he has been truly horrible this year & he was fairly horrible last year, as well. He's only 32, so there's definitely a chance he could rebound next year, but I'd wait until the off-season to take my shot at him. He's going to be a free agent &, if he could be gotten on the cheap, I think he'd be a decent gamble. The steep drop in his power numbers this year suggests that there might be some injury explanation for his lack of productivity.

I'd be curious to know how many AA players are younger than Carrasco. My guess is not very many. Any success at all for a 20-year-old in AA is a big marker.

CJ: Those ridiculous asking prices on trades will be in effect until about 11 p.m. on July 31. That's when teams realize they either get realistic on the asking price or they don't make a deal.

Good question clout. We've long been talking about the higher than average age of the Phillies' farm system (career minor league guys). My quick math on the current Reading Roster puts the average age at 27 yrs 1 1/2 months (pitchers-only just slightly higher than that, with Carrasco included). Minus Carrasco, the R-Phils average pitcher's age is just over 28.

Again, the Phillies' farm system is "longer in the tooth" than most, but it does give a little perspective.

clout: I agree... I think there will be some last minute trades available. The question will still be whether the "upgrade" is worth the price. If they're still asking for Bourn or Victorino for the Towers/Lohse/Kennedys of the world... then forget about it.

CJ: I hear you, but I must also add if the Phillies don't add a pitcher at the deadline, then you can forget about the playoffs this season too.

Alden: Have you by any chance been picking your own mushrooms lately?

clout: who is it that the phillies can add that would get them to the playoffs?

I am not claiming to be a scout, but Ensberg has a pronounced hitch in his swing. Worse mechanics than Burrell. No thanks.

An article in the Washington Post says the Phillies, San Diego and Cubs have been scouting the Nats Single A team...

At the same time, the Nats are said to be after Adam Dunn. Are they looking at Burrell too? Like I wrote last week, don't underestimate the Phillies desire to trade Burrell. Would Burrell okay a trade to the lowly Nats?

clout - when you answer from the district's question, please advise who the Phillies ought to trade for that pitcher?

Jason: No, he wouldn't. Unless he starts eating SirAlden's mushrooms.

Burrell is tradable if the Phillies would entertain taking on another team's bad contract.

Try not to laugh when you read this, but how about Pat Burrell and Adam Eaton to Texas for our old friend Kevin Millwood? The remaining dollars roughly balance out, and Texas would get out of salary jail quicker by doing the deal. Eaton's last year is 2009 and Millwood's is 2010, if I understand correctly.

Millwood's contract is even uglier than Burrell's--he is owed something like 35 million over the rest of the decade.

Burrell would probably agree to go to a hitter's park in the AL.

If he doesn't want to go to Baltimore, where he can DH, I can't see him wanting to go to the Nats.

John Patterson is on the Potomac team (rehabbing maybe, not sure if he's still hurt). I wonder if that's the target.

curt & from the district: Let me ask your question another way: Do you honestly think this team can win as it presently exists? If your answer is, no, then what do you suggest? I assume, probably wrongly, that you care about winning as opposed to just coming on here and bitching.

fightins: That's a trade that would make the Phillies worse, not better. I know that trading to make the team better is something of an alien idea around here, but I think we ought to try it.

Jason, that was what I assumed when I read that WaPo report. much has been made about Jim Bowden looking for a "30 HR/100 RBI" guy, and if he's shot down on Dunn - which looks likely - Burrell could be another target. but like Alby says, I can't see a trade going down.

O'Neil: Patterson would be very interesting if he is healthy, but I can't imagine they'd trade him for Burrell. The Nats are looking for prospects.

Those were pretty easy questions you just avoided there, clout.

Wait, I take that back. Their new ballpark open next year and they need a big name a la Thome.

Clout: agreed. I think J was just throwing Burrell out there, b/c of the Dunn to DC rumors, nothing else. Patterson can be a decent, under the radar pickup if he just costs a mid level prospect and is healthy. Couple "ifs" there.

curt: As did you. But I wouldn't mind dealing some young players for a pitcher who could make a difference. You have to go for it when you have the chance.

Dunn hs a personal connection to Bowden, which may be part of it.


The Phillies saw Patterson twice earlier this season and he was a shadow of his former 2005 self. He's been so banged up, and knowing how clueless the Phillies are in judging health, I'd rather avoid this kind of move and target a sure thing.

"Burrell would probably agree to go to a hitter's park in the AL."

He already turned down Baltimore, which is pretty kind to right-handed power hitters. I think you're looking at something very rare -- a guy who wanted his no-trade clause so he wouldn't be traded, despite his vanishing popularity.

Trading Burrell also creates a short-term problem -- how do you replace his production?

from the district: Answer my question first.

"Trading Burrell also creates a short-term problem -- how do you replace his production?"

Insert a crash test dummy...


Speaking of Burrell, you get some interesting pics when you google him:

wait a minute. Why do I have to answer your question first. I very civilly asked you at 12:52 pm what pitcher you thought the phillies could add that would help them reach the playoffs. Why can't you answer that question first?

Jason: To go back to your opening post, the Nats have done a tremendous job of identifying waiver guys like Redding, Young & Bacsik. Wish the Phillies could do a better job of that.

FWIW, it looks like the new Nationals stadium will be just as pitcher-friendly as RFK, although I doubt that's a factor in Bowden's mind.

Clout - LOL. So that's the best you can do: "some young players" for a "pitcher who could make a difference." I'm 100% sure no one connected with the Phillies is opposed to that trade.

And I'm 100% sure that whatever deal Gillick manages to pull off isn't going to be satisfactory - after the fact, that is.

Curt, you've hit the nail on the head. If clout ever actually suggested an idea for a move, then he wouldn't be in the position of guiltlessly criticizing everyone else’s ideas and Gillicks moves, because he would be wrong some of the time too.

I guess this makes sense. My favorite hobby is watching baseball games. Clout's is criticizing pat gillick and other posters on beerleaguer.

curt: Shouldn't we give Gillick a chance before we decide it's a failure? And you still didn't answer my question:
Do you honestly think this team can win as it presently exists? If your answer is, no, then what do you suggest?

from the district: How could saying who I'd want to trade be "wrong" or "right"? For a guy who's favorit thing is "watching baseball games" you sure do post a lot. Now answer my question:
Do you honestly think this team can win as it presently exists? If your answer is, no, then what do you suggest?

Weitzel, I was looking over the Phils stats this morning and much to my surprise indeed Jose Mesa has been solid so far. His era is respectable and his whip is low...I guess I simply have blind hatred for him causing me to think he sucks so much. Then again, he probably does suck as much as I think and has been "smoke and mirrors" as you suggested. The son of God, JC Romero, is a wild pitch waiting to happen.

Um, "I wouldn't mind dealing some young players for a pitcher who could make a difference."

Curt: Of the dreck that's been mentioned, I prefer Lohse. Haven't looked up what's wrong with Patterson; maybe he's worth a flier. I wouldn't trade anyone now in the majors (unless someone wants Condrey), but I'd give two pitching prospects -- say, Segovia and Happ? I'm not sure those two specifically would get it done, but I wouldn't go any higher than that. Like Clout, I'd prefer to see one more starter in the fold, if only to protect against another injury or continued ineffectiveness on Moyer's or Eaton's part. But unlike Clout, I don't think such an acquisition would alter our postseason chances much. They currently stand at under 20%, which seems about right to me -- too low to get excited, but too high to surrender.

Clout: It's the old "throw enough bleep at the wall, something will stick." Washington presented a great opportunity for a lot of pretty decent tweeners, and their list of non-roster invitees was humongous. A lot of that stuff was pretty silly. Travis Lee was an invitee. Joe Thurston was an invitee. But whatever. I liked many of the other low-key additions, Tim Redding being one of them.

Bowden brought in Soriano last season when everyone said it was a bad move. It worked out great for a season. Guys like Young, Belliard have worked out. Some of these moves certainly made a lot of sense for the cash-strapped Nats, but they've still got plenty of issues, including a pretty desolate farm system.

since you refuse to answer my question I will answer yours honestly and open myself up to criticism for it. I do this because that's what one does when participating in a mature discussion.

The Phillies have a chance of winning as is. A very very slim chance. But stranger things have happened.

I can't see that there is any starting pitcher out there that the Phillies even have the bait to acquire (Im not even saying the ransom is too high -- the phillies straight up don't have the ransom), that can significantly increase their chances of making it to the postseason. Towers Losche Kennedy aren't getting the Phillies to the playoffs any more than kendrick or durbin.

Maybe you can grab a bullpen arm for a couple of prospects, but I think there is a better chance that guys we have now step it up (and come back strong from injuries) then guys we can get will step it up and help us get to the playoffs. This is called not throwing good money after bad. Don’t just make a move for the sake of making a move.

now will you answer my question?

Alby - a perfectly reasonable position. And very courageous of you to actually name names. You now have moral authority to scream if Gillick sends out Bourn for Lohse, or a lesser pitcher.

On a more long-term note, righthanded starter Freddy Garcia, righthanded reliever Francisco Rosario and righthanded starter Scott Mathieson all could be pitching in rehab games by Aug. 10-15, Gillick said.

Is there anyone here who thinks these guys can help out in September?

I have to admit, I'm intrigued.

from the district: I disagree with you. I think the Phillies cannot win with their current rotation. In fact, even if they make a move, they still won't win unless Myers and Gordon are healthy.

I have no idea who is available that would help the Phillies. I don't like most of the names I've seen thrown around. But of the ones who might come cheaply, I like Lohse the best. And I think they'd have a better chance to win with him than without him, again assuming Gordon & Myers stay healthy.

see that was easy!

bridoc: Garcia's going to pitch with a torn labrum? That should be interesting.

That's what scares me Bridoc. The Phils will say "we can't make a deal, but Mathieson is coming back!" A HEALTHY Garcia, who needs to show his future FA suitors that he can get it done would be nice, but can't count on it. Rosario stinks anyway, and Mathieson should be in AAA preparing for next year.

FOD: At least your opinion makes sense. You honestly think they can win as is. What doesn't make sense are the naysayers here who say they can't win but also refuse to support any attempt to improve the team. It makes me think they don't want them to win.


The Phillies seems to think that Gordon can do that, why not Garcia?

I just said I was intrigued. I didn't say it was the cure-all.

But don't underestimate the motivation for Garcia. He's a FA...a huge September will mean $$$$ for him.

When Gillick says that the demands out there are ridiculous, I believe him. I don't think this is a situation where the Phillies organ-EYE-zation is just being cheap.

I think this may be a case where they're actually being SMART.

Curt: I've actually said the same things before, just not so plainly. And really, I'm not going to get too upset at anything except overpaying for dreck. I'd hate to see Bourn go for pitchers of the level we're considering here. But if we could trade Bourn and a couple of prospects for someone with a higher upside -- Bronson Arroyo level, say -- I could live with that.

And now, Marcus Hayes has some bad news from the rehab front: "Outfielder Jayson Werth, sidelined since June 29 with a strained left wrist, will play in a game tomorrow."

It seems as though we've got four main choices:

1) Stand pat and hope the additions of Myers and Gordon to the bullpen and the emergence of Durbin and Kendrick are enough to get us to the playoffs.

2) Overspend on help now for the starting staff and the bullpen even if it measn giving up a player like Bourn or more for a guy who won't be here more than a couple months.

3) Become thrifty buyers and attempt to deal off marginal prospects for potential help that should be better than what we've got (but could be worse).

4) Do nothing at the trade deadline, but if we're still in it into August, look for a Moyer-type trade of a player who clears waiver who should cost much less than players at the deadline.

3) Become thrifty buyers and attempt to deal off marginal prospects for potential help that should be better than what we've got (but could be worse).

4) Do nothing at the trade deadline, but if we're still in it into August, look for a Moyer-type trade of a player who clears waiver who should cost much less than players at the deadline.

I would be inclined to opt for one of these...unless the asking price drops considerably for Kennedy or Arroyo becomes available for Bourn.

Jason: It's not necessarily a bad idea to "throw a lot of bleep at the wall and see what sticks." The Padres have built much of their league-best bullpen by using this strategy. But, if you're going to do it, you've really got to "throw a lot of bleep" because, obviously, it's a numbers game when you're dealing in waivers claims & non-roster invitees. In a sense, Gillick relied on this same strategy to fix our bullpen woes but, instead of bringing in about 10 guys, he brought in just the 2 Rule 5 draft picks, who both flopped. Had he brought in about 7 or 8 more guys, we might have a halfway decent bullpen right now.

Can I vote for option 5 which is: Trade guys like Burrell, Rowands, Barajas, Werth, etc., guys not in our future for a bandaid stopgap patch player for this year's pennant run.

I do not like any of the four choices offered. I especially don't want to trade away a player with a future like Bourn for another dead end player like Jose Mesa!

LF: that's a false choice. it is impossible to get a "bandaid stopgap patch player for this year's pennant run" for a player with zero trade value like Burrell, Barajas, and Werth. (Rowand is an exception, but you will not be able to get production comparable to what he provides for this year via trade.)

I'll take a number 4, super-sized please.

Lake Fred: Why would you trade Rowand for a "bandaid stopgap patch player for this year's pennant run?" Rowand, in effect, IS a bandaid stopgap player for this year's pennant run -- and a pretty indispensable one, at that. You really think you're going to find a better 2-month rental than Aaron Rowand and, if so, why would any team trade that guy for Rowand?

I don't think anyone's proposing we trade Bourn for Jose Mesa, but if we could trade him for someone who would actually help our team, that's a diffferent story. Problem is, I'm not enamored of any of the starters available. And, if the Phillies are indeed wedded to the idea of using Myers in the pen (as seems to be the case), it's hard to see what the point would be of trading Bourn for a rental relief pitcher.

ae is right.

Burrell, Werth and Barajas are not tradeable commodities. You MIGHT be able to trade Burrell in the right scenario with the Phils taking on a lot of his salary, but PtB would still have to approve it.

And if the goal is to make the playoffs this year than we shouldn't be discussing a trade of Rowand, especially since what we get in return may not be better than the sandwich compensation pick.

BAP - "It's not necessarily a bad idea to "throw a lot of bleep at the wall and see what sticks. The Padres have built much of their league-best bullpen by using this strategy."

Actually, the Padres have had the benefit of having a shutdown closer the past dozen years. Let's them fill in the pieces around him. Plus, they have made some savvy moves acquiring Linebrink and stealing Meredith from the Sox.

It really is just superior scouting and identifying relief pitchers who may have been overlooked. Padres have probably been better at doing this the past 5-7 years than just about any team.

The problem with the Phils is that they haven't had a quality homegrown closer since Bottalico. They have had some good closers in the interim (including Wagner) but generally they haven't had a dominant arm or two to build around in the bullpen.

bridoc: I may have overstated Garcia's injury. It is "Abnormalities in Garcia's labrum and fraying of the rotator cuff." So it's not a tear it's "abnormalities" and "fraying" in two separate parts of his shoulder. I one-inning reliever like Gordon can probably get by with his partially torn labrum, but I'm not sure a starter can get by with the two separate damages Garcia has.

Before the injury, GArcia was worse that KK and the Real Deal when they were pitching bad... I'm not counting on anything from this damaged good for our playoff run.

"Abnormalities in Garcia's labrum" Sounds like typical Phillies speak. You're not really sure what it means, so you think "might not be that bad", but of course, it's worse.


Thanks for the clarification.

I most often agree with you on this board. Please know that I'm not being argumentative for argument's sake. I'm also NOT holding my breath that Garcia can/will be effective again this season.

I'm just saying I'm "intrigued" by the possibility.

It's nice to see Gillick finally speaking the media/fans again. He had gone "Dick Cheney" on us for a while and seemingly disappeared.

Funny, but I actually agree with most of what Gillick said. It is just frustrating that the Phils won't be able to do much of anything to help this pitching staff. Maybe a waiver wire pickup or a minor trade but there isn't going to be many changes to this staff before the Sept. 1 callups.

The really frustrating thing is that the Phils aren't going to budge on their self-imposed budget cap of $90-$93 million. They might sign a pitcher on the waiver wire but only if they can get him dirt cheap.

Just so frustrating because this team is on pace to increase their attendance by almost 500,000 fans this year and that additional $10-$15 million in revenue will just go right into the owners' pockets.

Forget to mention:

The one thing that did piss me off about the Gillick article was his mention of Rosario, Garcia, and Mathieson as potential pitching help later this year.

Is Gillick serious? One guy is seriously damaged goods (Garcia), another guy is less than a year away from TJ surgery (Mathieson), and the other guy can't throw a strike to say his life (Rosario).

I would be shocked if any one of these guys pitches for the Phils again this year let along has any kind of substantial impact on this team the rest of the year.

"Abnormalities" includes a lot of territory, which is what I expect when a doc wants to cover all possibilities, or his ass. consider Drabek's elbow -- the first MRI didn't show anything, the second, from a different angle, did. Garcia won't know for sure what's wrong in there until he gets arthroscoped; I wouldn't sign him this winter unless and until he gets that done. Without a look-see, doctors are simply playing the odds.

One pitcher that I just saw, courtesy of Buster Olney, that has not been talked about is Livan Hernandez. His contract runs out at the end of the year and the Nats have little use with him.

If Rosario, Garcia and Mathieson (who quite honestly has no business whatsoever being in the big leagues at this point) are the only real pitching help that we can potentially look at, then we're in for a LOOOOOONG couple of months. This offense better continue to put up 8, 9, 10 runs/game if they're going to be competitive.

I'm hoping that this is Gillick posturing a bit and downplaying this team's need for pitching. Call it the "anti-Soriano" tactic, where he's employing the exact opposite ploy that he used for "protection" in the off-season.

Livan is on the Diamondbacks. He's a shell of his former self.

yea meant the D-Backs, my bad

That's ok. He's really dropped off the radar out there. Used to be a guy that could go deep into games.

I sure hope Gillick doesn't have any interest in Hernandez, who's pitched much worse than his ERA (1.62 WHIP, 20 HR in 126 IP, K rate under 5 per game, .847 opponent OPS).

yea he is definitely not what he used to be but he is averaging more than 6 innings per start, which is plenty good enough to give this team a chance to win

Tim - that's just not true.

on 2nd thought that home run rate would get real ugly at CBP

whats not true? he has 126 innings in 20 starts

But the D-backs are right in the thick of things in the West...why would they trade him?

I wanna be a sportswriter and just throw random stuff out there.

"Bridoc10 is reporting that the Red Sox may trade Dice-K and Curt Schilling."

Why the hell not, right?

what's not true is that he would give this team any more of a chance to win than anybody in our rotation (or, for that matter, guys at AAA).

"Apparently Josh Byrnes is calling around, actively shopping Livan Hernandez. According to Graziano, the Mets, Braves, and Mariners have expressed interest. To the contrary, Ken Rosenthal wrote last night that the Mets and Braves are not interested. Who to believe? Hopefully the Mariners do better than Livan if they make a move for a starter. To hear Nick Piecoro tell it, the Diamondbacks are more likely to just opt for the draft picks they'll get if they let Hernandez leave via free agency."

im not sure what team you have been watching, but Adam Eatons ERA is approaching 6, and the travels of Durbin have been well documented. If nothing else he definitely gives us more solid insurance than we have

please, Baseball Jesus, let the Braves or Mets trade for Hernandez.

Tim, read the stats I just posted. Hernandez has been terrible. his (relatively) low ERA bears no resemblance to the actual quality of his performance.

I read the stats. Still think his experience and knowledge of NL East hitters makes him worth looking at

The comments to this entry are closed.

EST. 2005

Top Stories


Rotoworld News

Follow on Twitter

Follow on Facebook

Contact Weitzel