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Sunday, July 29, 2007


Does anyone think that the Phillies might be interested in Morgan Ensberg?

Ensberg is remarkably similar to Burrell. Low BA, high OBP, lots of K's, big power potential and home run threat. I thought a couple years ago he'd be a great addition, but now I'm not so sure. Either way, he'd be an upgrade over the mess at third right now.


Rowand back. Vic sits. Iguchi hitting 2nd.

1. M Bourn, RF
2. T Iguchi, 2B
3. J Rollins, SS
4. R Howard, 1B
5. A Rowand, CF
6. P Burrell, LF
7. G Dobbs, 3B
8. C Ruiz, C
9. K Kendrick, P

1. N McLouth, CF
2. F Sanchez, 2B
3. A LaRoche, 1B
4. J Bay, LF
5. X Nady, RF
6. J Castillo, 3B
7. R Paulino, C
8. C Izturis, SS
9. I Snell, P

anyone in the philly area know if this game's gonna start on time or at all? Got tickets and debating whether to make the drive or try to time it and get there after a rain delay.

Ensberg has been awful for the past couple years. And Anthony Reyes was pitching like Eaton on crack until last night's game. So to give up Bourn for him.... it speaks for itself.

I cannot imagine the game starting on time. It is rainy very hard right now in South Philly.

Houston papers say the newly acquired Ty Wigginton will be playing third, so it looks like they're expecting to trade Ensberg to somebody.

Is Anthony Reyes really the worst idea? I'm not saying I deal Bourn for him... but the guy has upside. He's young. He's shown an ability to pitch great under pressure (1-0 in the World Series, 8 innings, 4 hits, 1 walk, 2 runs).

Granted, he's been TERRIBLE much of this year. But they sent him down to get him right and he came back with a good start last night. He pitched 6 strong innings with just two hits and a walk and 4 Ks. Even his last start before he was sent down, he pitched 5 innings of 2 hit, 2 walk ball against the Mets before the rain ended the game after 5 innings.

Count me out of the Ensberg raffle.

The guy is a one year wonder. His 36 homer, 101 RBI year in 2005 is an abberation in his career. Maybe he showed flashes of it in 2003 with 25 homers and 60 RBI. But over the last two seasons, Ensberg is hitting a whopping .234. Wes Helms is hitting 30 points higher than that this year and hit nearly 100 points higher than that last year. Greg Dobbs is also hitting significantly better than Ensberg this year.

Ensberg certainly brings a lot of walks to the table, but as hated as Burrell seems to be around these here parts, I can't imagine there being much love for Ensberg.

Besides, word is Gooch will be getting a lot of at-bats at third once Chase comes back. Let's forget about Ensberg and focus on improving our pitching.

cj, I only take Reyes if Dave Duncan comes with him. I have no confidence in Dubee working with and correcting flaws in young pitchers.

If the Phillies send Coste (.333) back down to the minors and keep Barajas (.207), I will be convinced that this team is actively trying to not make the playoffs. I plan on finding out where Gillick lives and putting a for sale sign in his yard if he lets that happen. If this team really thinks that either Werth or Barajas is a better big leaguer than Coste, it will prove that we have a team run by people with IQs in the 30-40 range.

Johnny, You'll need to go to Seattle to put that sign on Gillick's lawn. In Philly, he's living out of a suitcase (3 pairs of pants and 4 Hawaiian shirts).

Billy Mac: Fair enough... but we already have two young pitchers in the rotation and it's fair to say Reyes is likely more talented than at least one, if not both. If Reyes can be had for the right price, I think the Phils should go after him. Especially considering he could be a part of our future rotation, and we certainly will have holes to fill there.

Also... I think prevailing wisdom is that Dubee won't be here next year.

Ensberg has been bad this season and last, but I wouldn't call him a one year wonder. 2005 was certainly his best year but he had a pretty good 2003 too (besides the numbers CJ mentioned above, he hit .291 with an OPS of .907). Granted 2003 is going back a little, but I think he might be a guy who needs a change of scenery and has more upside than Helms or Nunez. Even last year he had an .859 OPS in a very Burrell-esque season (low BA, tons of walks).

Would I trade for him? If you can get him for a Dubee-level minor leaguer I'd take a flyer on him. But if Iguchi is willing/able to give 3B a try I wouldn't bother.

Houston just designated Ensberg for assignment. That means they have 10 days to trade or release him.

cj, Reyes is almost 26, so he is only 1 year younger than Brett Myers. He's never put it together at the ML level. I haven't seen enough of him, but I know he's lost some velocity from his college days. But he is not someone who would be an upgrade "right now" for this staff. I don't see him giving you much more than Durbin or Kendrick in the next 8 weeks.

Billy Mac: I guess we'll see. I'm just not sold on the Kendrick/Durbin duo.

Welcome back from Iraq, Michael. Glad the Phils hooked you guys up last night. Great game to see. Coste, JRoll, Bourn's D and speed, a glimpse of what the bullpen can look like, Gooch's debut.

Let's get a sweep today for Michael.

if Ensberg can pick it, then I'm all for him coming. He is more of a threat then Helms, and Helms can't field. We lead the NL in runs, so D is key here, hopefully with some bombs to boot. As lons as it costs nothing.

Why is Ensberg more of a threat than Wes Helms? Helms OPS+ from last year is higher than even Ensberg's best year.

Plus... Ensberg's fielding percentage this year is .929 with 11 errors. Helms' fielding percentage? .928 with 8 errors.

What does Ensberg give us?

It's so strange that when people dislike a player on their own team that players on other teams suddenly become so much better than they actually are.

Morgan Ensberg is a mediocre fielding third baseman that showed some real pop two years ago but has proven since to be a low average, high walk guy. Nothing more. Let's not start imagining that Morgan Ensberg is an upgrade at third base.

He's not.

On Ensberg... the Astro's have been trying to dump him for a while, so either a trade is near or they'll cut him, I imagine. I don't think it would be worth it to sign him. We have Helms and Ensberg both hit LH better than RH, and we're stuck with Helms for at least another year. When Utley gets back it would make sense to use an Iguchi/Helms platoon, that would provide acceptable, although not great, offense from the 3B position.

Despite our current situation at 3B Ensberg would likely be a costly non-solution. His BABIP is down for the 2nd year in a row, which either means he's been extremely unlucky or he has a new hitting pattern. Its possible - Barajas's BABIP has never been average, for example. Throw out last years aberrant walk rate and he's been poor for two straight years. His best years were fueled by a higher BA (and BABIP), a high HR/Fly, and strong walking tendencies. He still takes walks but his HR/Fly is in decline (age related) and his BA is too.

Some on this board wanted the Phils to sign Aubrey Huff this offseason thinking Vic wasn't an everyday RF. Aren't you glad now the Phils didn't spend $20M on Huff ?

Dave X: Like I said, Ensberg's now been designated. The Astros have 10 days to deal or cut him. He won't be an Astro for much longer.

Like you, I don't think Ensberg offers anything Helms doesn't. If you don't like Helms, you won't like Ensberg.

I'd really like to see them give Iguchi a chance at 3rd.

Iguchi, who hit .251 with six homers for the White Sox this season - last year, he batted .281 with 18 homers - said he was "very surprised" by the trade, and added, "I'm starting to like my red uniform."

He prefers to stay in the majors and not return to Japan next year. Whether he remains with the Phils, he is unsure. Iguchi, who also has extensive experience at shortstop and has played a few games at third, said he won't have any objection to being a role player when Utley returns.

"I'm here to help them win, whether I'm a starter or on the bench," he said.

Looks like game is starting...

yeah, it isn't the 06 Helms though. I watched him last year and he was locked in. This year he ain't.

I brought up the D because I wasn't sure about Ensberg's D. I don't watch him enough.

Although not a major upgrade, I feel it is an upgrade. However, Helms probably can't be moved anywhere, so it is moot.

Billy Mac: You see to like Durbin pretty well. What do you see him doing the rest of the way? What was it in his 2 good games that convinced you?

Despite his outing last night, I've been impressed with Durbin's stuff and his poise. He has a lively fastball and good curve and change. I certainly don't see a flyball pitcher like Reyes as an upgrade.

Bill Mac: Interesting. Durbin's stuff has never been questioned. His command and his poise have. His demeanor after Sanchez hit the 3-run HR last night was instructive I thought.

think Iguchi likes playing the Pirates more than the Tigers/Twins/etc.?

Billy Mac: Don't get me wrong. I hope you and Carson are correct and Durbin is a stud the rest of the way. But I am skeptical.

Bourn starting over Vic makes me think there are scouts watching this game.

A little food for thought from Sports Illustrated: Odds of A-Rod going to D-Backs, Indians or Phillies after this season are 30-1. Know it will never happen, but fun to dream about Howard, Utley, Rollins, and A-Rod. Would that be the best infield in major league baseball history?

Billy Mac: I don't know what 'poise' there is to like in Durbin. He becomes unhinged very easily, and it's hard for him to stop the bleeding once he loses command.

I agree that Ensberg doesn't sound like much of a solution. We have enough of other teams' refuse lying around as it is.

I have a knack for having to leave games at precisely the wrong moments; I had to leave last night after the top of the fifth. Today it looks like I'll have to leave around the seventh or eighth inning, so look for a big late-inning rally if they're behind...

Johnny....I honestly think it would

Vic is banged up after crashing the plate, my guess is that is one reason Bourn got the start

clout: it may have more to do with Victorino plowing into the catcher last night.

RSB I know what you mean, I had to leave in the 13th on the 25th. One inning before Howard won the game.

What's with Wheels and the "darkies" comment? Is he trying to get fired?

Joe F: huh? I think I missed that.

Johnny Goodtimes: Your suggestion would be the modern version of the A's "Million Dollar Infield"...only now, it would be the "$100 Million Dollar Infield".

great at bat by burrell.

Burrell has improved the quality of his at-bats considerably since the second half of last season. The most encouraging thing is that when he's getting pitches to hit, he's hitting them.

I only heard with half an ear, but he was talking about playing in right field with some other players, maybe Sarge. The comment was something to the effect that "They always put the darkies in right field." He retracted the comment later in the inning, stumbling over trying to say that anyone who plays can play, or something lame.

Is it just me or does the chemistry in the TV booth this year just stink?

I thought he said donkeys

Joe F: he said 'donkeys', not 'darkies'. But you're right about the chemistry.

Actually thought the Nats might be the worst team in the NL but this Pirates team has looked pretty pathetic this series. Horrid offense, young starters who may or may not develop, and a suspect bullpen.

not a good at bat for cooch

The Pirates exist to make everyone else feel better about the teams they root for.

Time for a double-steal!

the phils are having a lot of bunting issues recently

Jon F - While I haven't been a big fan of Frankse/LA on radio and their ability to seamlessly transition back and forth (which really hasn't improved all that much this season), you can at least tell they genuinely like one another. No way you get the vibe from the TV crew.

Donkeys? OK, then I guess I just heard wrong.

need a clutch hit here

Anthony Reyes is looking pretty good after that at bat

I think the Nats are better than both the Pirates and the Reds. NL Central has some really weak teams.

About the chemistry in the booth...
I miss Whitey this year more than ever. Wheels just doesn't get Harry's humor - any time HK makes an attempt Wheels makes a serious comment. It's frustrating. I do think Wheels knows the game but they just don't work well together.

I live in CT and get Red Sox games. Remey and their other broadcasters are always laughing and joking around - it's fun - even though my bias is HK.

Hope it is not one of these games where the Phils let the Pirates hang around because they blow a bunch of scoring chances and let Snell settle down.

can't keep these LOBs going and allow Snell to settle in. Kendrick's look good so far.

What are the chances anyone trades for Jennings after that inning?

Love this quote that I read on Rosenthal's lastest trade rumors:

"Justin Upton is the most untouchable player in baseball," one scout says. "You can tell ‘em that Mickey Mantle is coming back and they wouldn't do it."

I'm not in the Philly area any more, so I watch with a sling box. Haven't heard a radio broadcast since Scott Graham, and I thought he was great. It's obvious though that Wheels and Sarge do not like each other.

Ruiz just doesn't seem to be learning anything. Was there any doubt he was going to go up there after Dobbs walked on 4 straight pitches and start hacking away?

Give me more of Coste.

looks like the Phils are looking at Jennings:

Rosenthal writes - "The Phillies, who also had shown interest in Blanton, are looking at Reds right-hander Kyle Lohse and Astros right-hander Jason Jennings, among others."

It isn't that Wheeler is humorless - he always works well enough with Andersen or Matthews. But the insistence that Kalas has to work all his TV innings with Wheeler is just misguided. It does seem like there's a power/ego struggle going on and the Phillies try to cater to both.

Its funny but my friend in Pittsburgh has said the Pirates have already become irrelevant with the start of the first Steelers' training camp in the post-Cowher era. He is a season ticket holder (a diehard Pirates fan) but he is seriously thinking about not renewing his tickets again until the Pirates' ownership changes.

Slocs - not after Jennings' 11-run first inning, they aren't.

On the positive side - Jennings' asking price might be pretty reasonable. Maybe trade Dubee this team along in a package deal.

RSB - I sure as hell hope not!

RSB: Wheeler and Matthews don't have a good chemistry in my opinion. They always seem to disagree, which is not necessarily a bad thing. But for me, the worst instance of their chemistry was a month or so ago when Wheels tried to congratulate his high school team for finishing second place in the state (I think I don't remember the details). Sarge criticized it, saying they don't deserve it because they didn't win. I don't know that it was ever great to begin with, but that was the point where I realized that they will very likely change the broadcasting lineup next year.

Rowand is having some kind of year.

Bad AB for Dobbs.

Dobbs has never met a fastball I don't think he liked.

Curt: Why have Chris Clutch on the team helping us get to the playoffs when we can have the more exciting drama of seeing if Barajas can stay above the Mendoza Line?

what would it take to pry Snell away from the buccos?

They are letting Snell hang in there. Need that know out punch. Big choke by dobbs, got to get the ball in play.

oops, Knock out punch

Dobbs is hopeless against breaking balls. Say what you will about Burrell, at least he's laying off that 3-2 outside slider this year. That's why those of you who gripe about him not driving in runs are so misguided. In many of his at-bats the choice isn't between a walk and a hit, it's between a walk and a strikeout.

And since I invited people to say what they will about Burrell, what I'll say is that his OPS is 4 points higher than Soriano's. Aren't you glad we didn't spend $100 million on him this offseason?

I will give Snell some credit though. He has been bearing down and really getting ahead of hitters with RISP. Tough thing to do as a pitcher but Snell will be done by the 5th today having thrown 70+ pitches already.

God, Maddox's voice is so much easier to take than Matthews'. Too bad he has no interest in broadcasting, he was far better at it than ol' Sarge.

I just returned to PA after a year in Colorado -- where in the hell did Gary Matthews come from? He's really, really bad.

The Harry/Wheels, I just don't know anymore. Harry's slipping. That's pretty obvious, but I love him. I'm in the vast minority when it comes to Wheels. I actually like the guy, and think he knows the game pretty well. I'm a baseball fan, I like the intricacies of the game, but I'm not an expert by any means (another reason why I love this site, btw). I think Wheels is a good announcer for people with my level of baseball knowledge.

Still, it's beyond obvious that it's a dysfunctional announcing team, no matter the combinations. I still don't know why Scott Graham was fired. I thought he was very good on the radio. Haven't heard the new radio guy yet.

Nice to see the actual team hasn't outgrown its habit of leaving 20 men on base against crappy teams.

Johnny - Saw in the box score that Barajas hit for Durbin last night (& struck out). Not often you see a .200 hitter hit for a .400 hitter.

Score: Kalas and Wheeler are both excellent at what they do, they just don't work well together. Too bad the Phillies have their heads too far up their asses to work out a better arrangement.

I sure hope there weren't scouts here watching bourn, his value is plummetting

RB: I told my roomate the exact same thing when Maddox came on. Wheels constantly sounds like he's whining and Sarge is like finernails on a chalkboard. Maddox's delivery is so smooth. He'd sound great with Harry. They really should kick him out of the booth ASAP, he's making Wheels and Sarge look bad.

Sure, Bourn's value is plummeting because he doesn't have a hit in the last two games. Clearly, this makes him a worthless player.

I have kind of a bad feeling about this one. The Pirates are lulling the Phils to sleep, hanging around, and I fear an ambush. But so far, Kendrick's been outstanding.

Maddox is a cool dude. He looks the same too.

Snell at 87 pitches, let's work some counts next inning and get this guy out of there and start scoring some runs

RSB - I'm saying scouting games right now is what could tip a trade one way or another. If you think the Phils don't have interest in Jennings after his start today, why wouldn't another team "pause" after seeing Bourn today.

I still like Bourn a ton but for a team on the fence, I can see this game making it harder for a team to part with quality.

Snell's not doing much with our vets, but he's eating the "kids" alive.

Looks like KK plans to keep on pitching well for us. Marty Bystrom II?

Who else has had 20+ HRs, Trips, Doubles and SBs?

This Kendrick kid is such a pleasant surprise.

By the way, as I'm typing, J-Roll gets his 14th triple. If it weren't for Utley and Howard, Jimmy and Fence-Face would be getting so much pub and hype. Seriously, go look at golden boy Jose Reyes overall stats compared to Jimmy's...who would you rather have right now?

nothing like a JRoll triple

Where's Crazy Jon? I'd love for him to tell us what Jimmy Rollins has done today that's overrated.

Sarge on Howard's last AB "He was a little late, out on front of that ball." Huh ???

Clout- please do not misrepresent my statements by saying I think Durbin will be a "stud". I would hope by now you know me well enough and respect my opinion on this site to actually read what I'm saying. I think Durbin has just as much ability and won't cost us a package of prospects that a washed-up has-been or never-was like Traschel, Woody Williams, Jason Jennings (11 runs in 2/3 ip today), Joe Kennedy, or Al Reyes would. Do I think Durbin is a stud? Hell no! I barely think he's a serviceable 5th starter...but neither are the other available options.

Curt: KK needs to grow his hair longer if he aspires to be the next Bystrom. :)

Read this article on Willie Randolph crying about the Muts injuries. Like both the Phillies and the Braves don't have their share. Come on! I don't know why, but I can't stand that guy.

Seems like it would have been better to have Gordon & Myers pitch in a game like this...

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