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Friday, July 20, 2007

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davthorn - answers to your questions about Germano being claimed only by SD and then being claimed by no one when they sent him to the minors:

http://www.philly.com/inquirer/sports/20070720_Phillies_Notes___Padres_Germano_out_for_revenge.html

Dobbs looked awful last night -- most of his swings-and-misses were so late the ball was almost in the catcher's glove before he pulled the trigger. Would rather see Coste than Ruiz.

Mutts still on pace to win just over 90 games. To match that we need to play at a .642 pace - basically win 2 out of 3 the rest of the way. It's over. Just pray that Gillick doesn't trade young talent to try to maintain the charade.

davthorn:

I've heard you peddle this "Gillick hates Coste" bullsh!t for weeks now and it's just plain wrong. You cherrypick a little bit of circumstantial evidence and suggest that a General Manager with a Hall of Fame resume has a vendetta against a 30-year old journeyman utility player.

You are delusional. You've let your man-crush on Coste affect your ability to think rationally.

I don't have anything against Coste. I think he does a good job filling in and pinch hitting. I don't believe he should take regular valuable playing time away from our catcher of the future. Ruiz is not a perfect player. He's young and learning. He's shown the kind of flashes that let me know he can be the catcher this team needs.

And my comments on Coste being the last player to get a hit? Can you take a joke? I was hardly gleeful that he didn't have a hit. It was funny that he hadn't and that even Vin Scully rooted for him to get one over his last two at bats. I was glad he finally got one.

Finally... if Pat Gillick really hated Coste as much as you believe... why is he on this roster?

Alby - did not see the game but my thoughts exactly on Coste, especially since Ruiz is slumping (3 for last 28) and has a sore knee.

JASON - you probably knew this already but Coste's website (http://www.chriscoste.com/links.html) mentions your site under links.

Talk about conspiracies - DavThorn & Coste....BeerLeaguer......

What would people rather have?:
Rowand traded now or getting a draft pick after he leaves?

As much as I like the guy, he has played above himself and he most likely will nit return.

I am all about building for 08 and beyond. I will still go to my games and I will still watch every game. This team has major flaws and the offseason will be challenging. The Phils will be like that girl at the bar that is kinda good looking, but you won't approach her until it's closing time and other options have been exhausted.

Let me get this straight, CJ. A GM wins a grand total of 2 World Series and he's "Hall of Fame caliber"?

my point is, you might as well start now and face the facts that changes have to be made. don't wait til the bar is too crowded.

@curt -- I was going to argue with you on the "It's Over" because what's the point of watching when you think like that. And your stats are assuming the Mets continue there current pace. In fact in the last 30 days... since the Phillies were 2 games back on June 20. The Phillies are 10-13. The Mets who were 2-8 in their previous 10 games at that point... have gone 15-10 since then.

So if the Mets continue just at their current 30 day pace... The Mets could get to 93 wins. The Phillies are going to have to play at a .683 pace just to tie.

I hate to say it...

But ...

It..'s...

O...........vvvvvv


In my opinion, it's tme to begin selling and re-tooling. I give this team zero chance of catching the Braves, let alone the Mets. Tough break, this year held so much promise. I will not, however, sell my tickets off, or not watch the games (but I won't watch the west coast games until the end anymore). I would like this team to make the playoffs more than anything, but it seems that it would take a miracle. I would therefore rather have them build for next year than try to make a exciting run at the playoffs.

(but I'm secretly keeping my fingers crossed for a miracle)

I apologize for the bad grammar in my last post. I should read BEFORE I post, not after.

Yes, it's over. Problem is, the Phillies don't really have a whole lot to sell. You saw how much value they got for their firesale last year &, this year, they have even less to offer. Besides Rowand and Burrell, the other guy I would be looking to trade would be Moyer. I know, it sounds crazy for a team with horrible starting pitching to trade their second best starter. But, now that the league has gotten used to his assortment of junk, Moyer is starting to show his age -- and he's only going to be one year older next year. But, given what's on the market in terms of starting pitching, I would think there might be a buyers market for a guy like Moyer. And how many No. 5 starters can the Phillies afford to have in the same rotation next year? We're already stuck with Adam Eaton, who isn't even good enough to call a No. 5 starter.

bap - Moyer is a great bargaining chip but I would think the Phillies would default to Moyer's approval before moving him out of respect.

Rowand is the guy who has a ring, is the cliche' "clubhouse" guy contending teams are looking for, and it putting up some great contract-year numbers who I would expect move ONCE the position becomes we are sellers.

I mentioned this before he would fetch some decent prospects and/or average pitching help and the Phils probably would view it as a better investment than spending the signing bonus money on a sandwich pick draft choice.

I once thought that Rowand might return, but now I doubt the Phillies will pay the price. So he needs to be traded IF we can get a real prospect in return.

Beyond that, I agree we have nothing to sell. Some AL team might give PtBB a shot at DHing, but they're not going to give us a player in return - they might pay 1/4 of his salary, but even that seems unlikely.

For anyone interested in something beyond their gut feelings, Baseball Prospectus keeps a running log of each team's playoff chances, based on current records. The Phillies currently have a 6.88% chance of making the playoffs. The address:

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/statistics/ps_odds.php

6.88%...so you're saying there's a chance? (sarcasm)

JB. Sorry, the Phillies are running a business here & there's no room for sentimentality. I'm a big fan of Jamie Moyer, but the Phillies need to do what's best for the long-term interests of the team -- whether Moyer likes it or not. Besides, if they did trade Moyer, it would almost certainly be to a playoff contender, so I would think he'd be all for it.

As for Rowand, it would have to be a pretty good prospect to be of more value than the sandwich pick. I'm skeptical that we could get that type of value. Alternatively, we might see if we could get a solid reliever for Rowand. In the past, I would have been dead-set against such a move, but now it's late July, we're 6 games out and, with our pitching in shambles, I just don't see any hope.

This trading season worries me because, while it's not really possible to significantly improve this team in the near-term, it's extremely possible to screw it up in the long-term. Gillick's recent track record does nothing to inspire confidence and adding to my concern is the fact that he is clearly a short-termer. I could easily see him trading away Michael Bourn or J.A. Happ out of a delusional belief that the only thing standing between the Phillies and the N.L. East title is Kyle Lohse.

bay - hopefully Myers can return to the rotation in '08 without missing a beat. (Where do you think we'd be today if he were still taking the ball every 5 days?). If we get reasonably lucky with the back end of the rotation, we could be right there.

BAP - I like the idea of trading Moyer. I think we could get a prospect for him given the the market for starting pitching. I think the Phillies do have some bargaining chips. Remember, you have to give something to get something. Here is a list of players I think the Phils should consider trading:

Jamie Moyer
Michael Bourn
Chris Coste
Rod Barajas (rumored to the Yankees)
Aaron Rowand
Ryan Madson

Any thoughts??

That last post may leave the wrong impression. I favor ending the Myers in the BP experiment right now, not just in '08.

Iron Pig: I don't really see too many tradeable commodities on that list. Barajas has little value. Coste probably doesn't either; he's of more value on the Phillies than he is in a trade. And if we're going to be sellers, I'm not sure why you'd include Bourn on your list of guys to trade.

I might agree with you about Madson, of whom I've grown tired. But, when I put emotion aside & think about it rationally, I see a guy who is only 27, has been a pretty decent reliever for most of his career, & has still more upside. If Madson were on a different team, he would be precisely the kind of guy I'd want the Phililes to be targeting. Therefore, I'm not so sure it would be prudent to trade him -- though I certainly wouldn't rule it out.

Also from the DN article on Germano is this quote:

"They just look at numbers, not at how a guy's progressed," he said. "I throw strikes. I get people out. They want to see that 95. And they want to see the [major league] success early on."

Oh, you mean like J.D. Durbin?

I think the Phils need to be open to trading anyone - including members of their "core," should the right offer come along. That doesn't meant they should be looking to dump Howard or Myers, like they did with Abreu or Lidle. But ultimately the players that will get you the greatest return are the ones you don't want to see leave. Beane traded away Hudson and Mulder, two Cy Young calibur (at the time) pitchers, and set up the A's for the next decade with talents like Haren, Calero, Barton, etc.

Problem with Myers, or so it seems, is that he wants to be in the bullpen, and I think he may be better off there.

I'm down with dealing Moyer. Also, Bottlecap Pat is helping our cause these days. Maybe someone will take him. If that's the case, I wouldn't mind ARow swallowing his pride and moving to left and signing him to play left.

Scary thing is, this is all in Gillick's hands and based on his Phillies tenure and the great youngish core talent in our infield and #35, this is the tipping point. Hope his pre-Phillie-hall of fame credentials step up to the plate here. It would be an absolute shame to not see Uts, RyHo, JRoll, and the Cole Train get in the playoffs in the next year or 2.

Dave X: Mulder and Hudson were traded as they approached free agency. The A's were forced to trade them (Zito, too) because they couldn't pay to re-sign them. We made a couple of trades like that -- Schilling, Rolen, in a sense Abreu. What did we get in return? Trades only work if you've done your homework in knowing whom to ask for.

RE: Germano
A few of his numbers

ERA by month:
May (four starts): 1.08
June (five starts): 4.03
July (three starts): 6.35

His ERA splits:

Home: 5.46
Away: 2.30

Day: 1.41
Night: 5.31

Vs. LHB: .217/.275/.355
Vs. RHB: .270/.311/.405

Also, he has reached as many as 100 pitches only once in 12 starts; has faced a total of only 8 batters after the 6th inning.

First time poster, long time reader.
I've been reading many posts from time to time about losing free agents and getting compensatory draft picks. I'm 99% sure you only get picks if you offer the free agent Arbitration... I doubt the Phils will offer arbitration to Rowand.

I was just looking to see if Moyer has a no-trade clause -- not that I could find is the answer -- but I came across this from a story on Moyer's contract extension last October. I thought SirAlden would be interested:

--Randy Wolf is on record in saying that he would like to return [to the Phillies]. The feeling is mutual.
"We'd like to bring Wolfie back," Gillick said. "We think his arm is fine and we think he's going to get better."

Alby's splits for Germano are the best news I've heard all day.

Which, sadly, isn't saying much.

On the contrary, Voice. Arbitration gives a player a one-year contract. I'm sure the Phillies wouldn't mind having Rowand back for one more season, even at $10 million; even if they couldn't fit him into the budget, he'd be tradeable. It's a long-term contract that poses the problem.

I agree, Alby. It is also pretty unlikely, after the season Rowand is having, that he would accept arbitration, as he is bound to get a deal that offers him more total dollars and at least a couple more years of security. The Phillies could offer him arbitration with pretty good idea that he wouldn't accept.

ALby: Your faith in the FO is greater than mine. My money is on he's gone for nothing in return.

bap - You are probably right the business side of things regarding Moyer.

But the more I thought about it I'll bet Moyer negotiaged that he have some say in a trade.

He declined a trade to Houston due to his 10-5 rights two years ago and I believe they were in the running for a playoff spot.

i'm sure that the philies have extensive tape of germano, and prbly have faced his several times in intra-squad games.

curt: I must say you've been making some really ignorant posts lately, more than usual. Are you OK?

So you have faith in the front office to drive a good bargain in trading Rowand now, in effect flushing the season goodbye, but not to make a decision that would bring them a top 40 draft pick. Keep in mind, you can still trade him after the season but before the arbitration deadline. Why trade him now if it's not for someone who can help this year?

CJ: I'm curious. Just how good do you think Ruiz can be? What do you project him at? I know what scouting reports say about his upside.

Billingsly: I'm not certain, but I'm pretty sure the Cardinals had a lower chance than 6.88% of winning the World Series at this point last year.

Adrian Cardenas has been recognized by Project Prospect as the top in-season 2B prospect in the minors:

http://www.projectprospect.com/in-season-top-10-second-base-p/

They actually did an interview with him as well and it does appear to have a little Utley side to him even though this does not mean he made their top 100 prospect list:

http://www.projectprospect.com/adrian-cardenas-interview/

watch out, looks like clout is feeling particularly cranky today. Should we place bets on whether he can bait both CJ and Curt into a fight that disintegrates into bickering over semantics? At the same time?

Last week(?) when J posted something about maybe trading Ruiz, I came out against it, being another hole to fill, but if a team thinks he's got decent value, I'd include him in a (good) trade that helps retool this team. Whether the trade focus is for NOW or 08. I like Ruiz, but I dunno how much better he's going to get. I don't know about a trade that gets us Kyle Lohse, however.

it doesn't seem that Moyer has a NTC, but there is virtually zero chance that the Phillies trade him to a non-Seattle team. and that's assuming that there would be any kind of market for Moyer at all; his performance over his last few starts makes that extremely unlikely.

re Rowand and arbitration: since he'll be at more than 6 years' service time next year, he's not arbitration eligible (as I understand it).

I have also read reports over at phuture phillies that cardenas, at only 19, is certainly not tied to 2b. I have also heard the comparisons to Utley before as well. Apparantly he has a similarly compact swing that packs some pop.

from the district: You want a piece of me? Bring it on, baby.

There does seem to be a lot of negativity after a tough 1-0 loss, but for cryin' out loud can't we stay close to an even keel? We were beaten by one of the best pitchers in the league. And our guy damn near matched him zero for zero. And when you're down by a run in the top of the 9th at Petco and they start playing "Hell's Bells" it's time for the clubby to pack up the bats.

This reminds me of the hot streak last August when RSB and many other posters were saying, that's the true Phillies talent, a .600 club that only needed to dump Abreu to make way for the dazzling leadership that could unleash all that talent. When I pointed out the hot streak came with the offense going at a rate it could not possibly sustain and with Jon Lieber finally pitching well and all of it coming against teams that were a collective 12 games under .500, I was hooted off the board as a naysayer and negative nabob.

Now that I think the team is actually in better position to make the playoffs than last year, I guess that makes me Pollyanna. Alby's right. What were the Cardinals odds last July?

I think Moyer had to ok a trade to the Phils. Was that in his contract or b/c he's a vet on the same team for 10(?)+ years?

P - I think Moyer only had the automatic right of refusal from 5&10 years service time, not a contractual NTC.

"What were the Cardinals odds last July?"

I'm not sure if you're referring to the Baseball Prospectus odds of a team making the playoffs, but I'd be pretty sure that they were much higher than the Phillies. I just looked at the first & last day of the month, but they were tied for first on July 1st & had a 3.5 game lead on July 31st.

"I think Moyer had to ok a trade to the Phils. Was that in his contract or b/c he's a vet on the same team for 10(?)+ years?"

No clue about the contract, but he was a 5 & 10 player (10+ years in the majors & the last 5+ years with the current team), so he couldn't be traded to another team without his approval

ae - Oops - Must have loaded the page before your reply & didn't refresh until when I posted.

clout:

I do not have any great insight into Ruiz's potential. I do know that he is only a rookie and has shown some pretty good promise.

Defensively, he's as good as we've had in awhile. He's throwing out almost 30% of base stealers this year which is 9th in baseball. He's also the only catcher without an error this year. And only four qualified catchers have fewer than Ruiz's 3 passed balls.

With the offensive core we have, we don't need the next Mike Piazza behind the plate. He was hitting .272 with a .730 OPS before the All-Star break and before he missed five games with a knee injury. Obviously, he's been slow to get his swing back. If he can hit .280 with a .750 OPS with the defense he gives us, I think he'll be a strong piece of our future. His minor league stats show he can slug a little more than he has for us this year (OPS over .800 in each of his last three minor league seasons).

Again, though, he's young... and you never know. But I like Carlos Ruiz. If you tell me there's someone better in our system, then so be it... but I'm not well-versed in our minor league system.

Every team deals with injuries, but didn't Pujols miss 15 games early on in the season?

CJ: There's not. No one else is close. I pretty much agree with your assessment. Your post higher up suggested you thought he'd be a star and I just wanted to deflate that notion. He projects as a very solid, good defense, league-average offense everyday catcher.

clout:

I agree... and I didn't mean to imply he'd be a star. He is our catcher of the future and I think he can become a very good catcher, especially defensively. He'll never be a huge threat offensively, but I don't think he'll be a liability either. He also has the added benefit (at least for now) of foot speed that's better than average for a catcher.

"Every team deals with injuries, but didn't Pujols miss 15 games early on in the season?"

If you're talking about last year, he only played in 10 games in June. The Cardinals were 7-7 while he was out, but they actually went from 3 games up to 4 games up in the NL Central during that time.

Alby,

No way in the world did the Cardinals have a lower chance of winning the World Series on July 20, 2006 than the Phillies have today.

On this date last year, the Cardinals were 53-41 -- in first place in their division by 4 games over the Reds & 8 over the Astros. That alone gave them a much better than 6% chance of winning the World Series. The Phillies, on the other hand, are now 6 back in the division, with 2 teams ahead of them, and 6.5 back in the WC, with 5 teams ahead of them. Not to mention that, this 6% chance that Baseball Prospectus came up with is based on an abstraction. They don't actually look at the team's rosters to see which teams have the pitching to make a late season run. They just base their probabilities on the team's current position in the standings, relative to other teams. If you actually look at the Phillies' pitching, you'd have to come away thinking their odds are a lot less than 6%.

When you're leading the division by 4 games, it perhaps makes sense to take a flier on a once-decent & still-young starting pitcher like Jeff Weaver, even if it means trading away a pretty good prospect to get him (they traded Terry Evans, who hit about .310 with more than 30 homers in Single and Double A last year). Not so when you're 6 games out of first & 6.5 out of the WC.

If we're going to be sellers:
- I would move Rowand and/or Burrell in order to give Bourn a chance to play every day.
- I would also move Barajas (no brainer).
- I would move Madson as he surprisingly has value - remember the Nats offered Ryan Church for him earlier this year.
- I would consider moving J.C. Romero if we got Mike Myers back for Barajas.
- I would try to move either Helms or Nunez for a case of beer.
- I would bring up Costanzo and possibly Golson and give them opportunities to face ML pitching.

Ryan Church isn't a great player. He had a great start and has gone back to being ok.

Golson needs to see some Double AA pitching first.

JC Romero was just picked up by the Phils on waivers. He has little value.

Barajas maybe can get you Mike Myers.

Costanzo needs to see AAA pitching first

Everyone has value on July 31st.

crazy jon: Are you crazy?

Crazy Jon...

Your moniker fits.

Moving Rowand is dumb. There's no way we get anything close the value we'll get for letting him walk after the season.

Moving Burrell is impossible. They've tried for a long time and his value just keeps going down.

Moving Romero won't get us much considering there wasn't that much interest in him when he hit waivers.

Here are our commodities: Michael Bourn.

That's about it. It doesn't make sense to trade anyone else who can actually get us something. At least Bourn plays the same position that Victorino ultimately would play (or be better suited for).

BAP - you're a little off-base on your criticism of Baseball Prospectus' odds.

the 6.88% odds does take into account the quality of the team's pitching (and offense) through run differential.

also, the ELO-adjusted odds use an even more detailed version of this, incorporating strength of schedule and other variables. this system actually has the Phils at a much more favorable 15.95% chance at the playoffs. and the third odds calculation (PECOTA-adjusted) uses the projected performance of actual players on roster, and has the Phils at a 7.64% chance.

I guess you could argue that none of these stats take into account some kind of metaphysical benefit of good pitching as it relates to a "late season run," somehow, but that seems sketchy to me.

(FWIW, I'm not suggesting that these kinds of odds calculations are anything more than an academic exercise. but suggesting that they're "abstractions" - whatever that means - isn't true.)

"I think the team is actually in better position to make the playoffs than last year"

At the same point of the season last year (95 games in), we were 6 games behind WC leader Cinn. Our rotation was Myers, Lieber, Lidle, Hamels (no Wolf or Moyer yet). Our closer was Gordon (23 saves). We had Bell at 3B, Abreu in RF.

St. Louis, BTW, had a 5 game lead in the central at the 95 game point.

clout - curious on why you think we are in a better position to make the playoffs now than last year?

We have a little bit better record (47-48 vs 43-50) but are 6.5 games back on the WC compared to 5.5 games last year.

I will acknowledge that there are only 6 teams in front of us for the WC as last year there were 8 but it looks like our schedule is more difficult from here on out than the "soft" one we ran the table against last year.

Plus our fate is currently in the hands of EATON, DURBIN, MOYER, and KENDRICK so you must have alot of faith in Gillick to pull some magic act?

"I would bring up Costanzo and possibly Golson and give them opportunities to face ML pitching."

Can't wait.

The players you mention as trade bait have almost no value in a deadline trade. Even Rowand wouldn't get them much because his contract expires. Why trade Helms? He's not the missing part for any team in the hunt and he's their best hitter off the bench. He'd get precisely what you suggested: a case of beer. I'd rather have a hitter they can count on off the bench for this season and next. He's not an especially great burden on their payroll.

The only player I'd be in any rush to move is Barajas before some other team strikes a deal with the Yankees. Otherwise, the offseason is going to be a much better time for them to makes some of the deals you're talking about.

I think the "Trade Moyer" talk is up there with the random and weird "Trade Rollins" discussion from the break.

I'd much rather see the Phillies can Rich Dubee and hire Moyer as pitching coach than see Moyer help somebody secure a playoff berth by eating innings and resting bullpens.

It's not over but I am not optimistic that the the stars align (Gordon and Myers both come back and pitch effectively, Phils acquire a 5th starter, Moyer and Eaton pitch effectively for the final 2 months, and the offense continues to produce at a league-leading level).

Plus, it is not like the Phils are tied or only a game out of either the WC or NL East. Phils are going to need the Mets to continue to stumble and a ton of teams to fall for the WC. Just don't see it happening.

JZ - Actually trading Moyer is actually one of the ideas that deserves some serious consideration. Thanks to Gillick, the Phils already have over $13 million (Eaton at $7.7 million, Gordon at $5.5 million) invested in dubious pitching options for '08.

Moyer is scheduled to make $3.5 million but that gets bumped up automatically to $4.5 million in '08 if Moyer pitches 170 innings this year and $5.5 million if he pitches 180 innings.

Moyer is actually on pace to pitch 200 innings this year so his salary will be $5.5 million next year. Plus, Moyer has incentives next year that could bump up his salary to $7 million if he pitches 185 innings next season.

Bringing Moyer back at $3.5 million is a stretch but paying $7 million potentially for a 45-year old starter seems nuts.

Basically, Gillick has chose to invest nearly $19 million in Eaton, Gordon, and Moyer for '08. I am not confident you will get much of a return on anyone except Eaton (and Eaton hasn't done much to inspire me).

I definitely think Gillick should look at the option of moving Moyer to a contender and freeing up that $5.5 million for next year to use on another pitching options.

JB: I don't understand why people here keep talking about the wild card. This team NO CHANCE to win the wild card. None. The wild card will come out of the west, which is far far superior to the east teams this season. What I'm shooting for is the division and I don't think the Mets and Braves are all that great this season.

And, yes, my optimism is based on Gillick bringing in another starting pitcher. If that doesn't happen then I too will throw in the towel.

As people keep listing all these WC teams we'll have to catch and pass... it's ignoring the much more vulnerable teams right in front of us in the division.

The Braves and Mets are deeply flawed teams. I'm not suggesting we're not... but this isn't like last year where the Mets were world-beaters in our division.

The Mets are in the bottom half of the NL in runs scored... 4th in the division. And we're seeing real cracks in their pitching... for example Glavine's month-by-month ERA: May 2.80, June 4.03, July 5.83 and August 6.26. Oliver Perez had his worst ERA in June before heading to the DL (hasn't started since July 1). John Maine has a 4.91 ERA in his three August starts.

Does that mean we're better than the Mets? Well, obviously not right since we're 6 games out. But they're vulnerable. That starting staff is questionable at best and they don't have the offense we do.

I truly believe we have a better chance of winning the division this year than we had winning the WC last year.

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