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Friday, July 27, 2007


As horrible as this is, I'm still laughing at a comment from yesterday (sorry, I forget who it was): "Chase could have his arm amputated and the Phillies would say he's day-to-day."

I'm for putting Burrell in the three-hole because, as many have said, it's time for him to man up if he's ever going to do anything memorable as a Phillie. I say this because Rowand has stayed hot in the five hole and Burrell has at least gotten on base with the walks.

We shall see, it seems.

JZ: Agreed. I don't see that they have any choice but to bat Burrell 3rd, as he's a high OBP guy & is the only one with the potential to replicate Utley's power. But this team has a lot bigger problems than deciding who they bat in the 3-hole.

i have a feeling charlie is going to come back with the jroll in the 3 hole lineup.

Would playing Bourne at 2d be that much of a disaster? After witnessing Helms fail to get to routine grounders time after time, I'd prefer Nunez at 3d. These are desperate times - time to think outside the box.

Michael Bourn at 2nd? Has he ever played second base in his life?

I'm all for thinking outside the box, but it's got to be reasonable.

The Phils actually scored six (not five) yesterday and had Michael Bourn on third with the tying run when the game ended. I was longing for an attempted steal of home, a double steal, or a suicide squeeze to tie up the score, but this coaching staff who already botches the handling of almost everything is not that creative. I still can't believe how they consistently use Zagurski (whose completely given away two games in a row) in the more pressure situations and a veteran lefty with a 1.17 ERA as a Phil, JC Romero (great Gillick pick-up) is wasted early each game. Fire Manuel and Dubee, please!

Verdeforce: I'll say it again... a suicide squeeze doesn't work with two outs. Now, if you're suggesting Nunez try to bunt for a hit I can't accept that... even if it is also a crazy suggestion with less chance of success than Nunez swinging away. Additionally... stealing home is virtually unheard of against a right-handed pitcher.

You can keep your creativity... I'll play the better options even if they don't work.

Voice: He's never played an inning at 2B as a pro. Did he play it in HS or something?

The "Fire Manuel and Dubee" statement cannot be made enough times.

Nunez at 2nd with the glove = good. Nunez at the plate = horribly below average MLB hitter.

Weitzel suggests we'd be smart to stick with some rotation of Dobbs and Nunez (and assumed Thurston) at 2nd. I have to disagree. Mark Grudzielanek or Ty Wigginton could be very useful to this team and probably be had for a marginal pitching "prospect(s)"...say Segovia and Yoel Hernandez package perhaps. I like Wigginton more because of his pop and versatility, but Grudz has the slick fielding.

We've got to face reality here...

Abe Nunez is our second baseman for the forseeable future. There's no reason to trade a commodity for a rental infielder when we have so many more glaring holes in our bullpen.

My only suggestion is that we use Coste a little more over Barajas to get that extra bat in the lineup to try to make up for some of the production.

Finally, I could support either Howard or Burrell moving into the three hole... but if Howard goes third, does Burrell bat 4th and Rowand still 5th?

verdeforce: Not even a little league manager would try a suicide squeeze with 2 outs. The defense can ignore the runner at third and simply throw the hitter out at first for the final out. And Nunez' speed is only slightly above average.

CJ - You are consistently wrong about your opinions, i.e., preferring the Indians over the Phils ;-), but I will say, I had just watched the HBO documentary about the Brooklyn Dodgers featuring Jackie Robinson and his 19 steals of home, and that influenced my opinion - Bourn is much faster than the 40-something Robinson who terrorized the opposition on the basepaths and if they had started to send Ruiz to draw a throw, Bourn's speed might have got him home. The bigger issue is that this bunch never would have thought of it....

Carson: If it only takes Segovia or Hernandez, sure. But I doubt it. Like I said, if it only costs organizational filler, go for it.

"For all his faults as a hitter, Nunez is a slick-fielding middle infielder and better than anyone they've got."

That about sums it up. Thanks for the options, Gillick.

Apart from the crushing loss of their best player, yesterday's game proved convincingly that no lead is safe with this wretched bullpen. Gillick has previously seized on the injury excuse to deflect criticism of his incompetent management of team personnel. Utley's loss provides him with more ammo. I hope the fans and the media don't buy it. This bullpen is by far the worst in MLB.Losing guys like Lieber and Garcia actually made the team better, not worse. Gillick needs to forget about finding an expendable third-tier replacement for Utley. No one can replace him, and the punchless Abraham Nunez will have to do until Utley returns. Meanwhile, Gillick better find some bullpen help fast, so that this hapless collection of bottomfish can be set free to swim as far away as possible. I agree with the astute comments of BAF.

CJ: To make it tougher on opponents' bullpen, ideally you'd try to avoid batting the 2 righties back to back. The lineup that makes most sense is Rollins-Vic-Burrell-Howard-Rowand-Dobbs-Ruiz-Nunez. Three switch-hitters and no RR or LL combo. Frankly, I thought they'd have been better breaking up Uts & Howard since so many innings have been spoiled by a good LOOGY. If the Phils had a legitimate high-OB leadoff guy, Uts would make perfect sense in the 2 hole.

I'm for getting a guy who can hit a little to play second because of the not-so-secret ulterior motive of eliminating the need for Nunez as the "super"-utility player. if the move is just being done to take Utley's place temporarily, I don't see much need for it.

HitMan: You said it, brother. Half the posters on Beerleaguer cried for bullpen help last offseason. How is it our genius GM didn't realize how dire the situation was?

Did he honestly buy the theory of kdon and a few others here that Matt Smith, Castro, Sanches, Condrey & Geary were quality setup men and potential closers who could step in when Gordon, as everyone here knew would happen, went down? Doesn't he know which Beerleaguer posters to take advice from?

Going back to his college days, Bourn has only played the outfield. So no second base for him.

I can't imagine they'd bat Pat third. Maybe it's not a half bad idea, because then Howard is still protected and Pat gets some good pitches. But all I can imagine is lots of called strikeouts with Rollins and Victorino on.


I'd be interested to see a comparison between how many times home was stolen back in Jackie's days and how many times it happens these days. In fact, how many times has it happened this year?

And I'm not sure I trust Ruiz stealing second... he's 2-for-3 this year (although, ironically, one of those is a steal of home as part of a double steal).

Nunez's batting average is still probably higher than Ruiz's chance of stealing second without getting thrown out or Bourn's chance of stealing home.

The sight of Burrell and Howard running back to back always scares the crap out of me.

How about this for outside the box…

Dobbs / Helms

The thinking of batting Burrell second is to play to tow of his strengths as a hitter. He takes a lot of pitches and with Victorino on in front of him he can sit on fastballs.

He is way slow but the hope would be that Rollins behind him could hit enough extrabase hits to keep things moving and his speed would keep them out of double plays.

Just a thought.


The problem with that lineup is that any time Burrell is on base, you lose any value from Rollins' speed.

This team's only chance of competing on any given night is to outscore the other team. Pitching and defense are not exactly high on the list of this teams "strengths." That being said, moving Nunez, who's ONLY real strength is defense into the everyday lineup essentially cripples this team's chances. The offensive fall-off will be more of a downward spiral than the Britney Spears True Hollywood Story.

As much as I hate to say it, even in a best case 3-week fill in, Abraham O. Nunez coupled with the other holes that we can "cover up" from time to time (3B, pitching woes), will take this team out of contention really quickly.

As constructed this team played barely over .500 ball and was a stretch to call a legitimate contender. To expect that they'll be able to play the same or better given the loss of their MVP-contending, All-Star second baseman is a delusion that even the most extreme Kool-Aid drinking fan would have to doubt.

ae: I don't mind a trade for a utility guy to take some at bats from Nunez in the short and long term, but only if it's not in place of trading for bullpen help.

Verdeforce: You can't steal home with a right-handed pitcher. It only works with a left-handed pitcher, who can't see the runner break, and a right-handed batter, who blocks the catcher's view of third. I've heard no less an authority than Rod Carew talk about the logistics of stealing home. Carew, along with Pete Reiser, holds the all-time single season record for most times stealing home.

In any event, a steal of home is a low percentage play if ever there was one. If the game had ended on an unsuccessful attempt to steal home, I'd be the first poster on the board to call Cholly the biggest idiot who ever lived for having Bourn try to steal of home in that situation. Instead, I was the first poster on the board to call Cholly the biggest idiot who ever lived for his mismanagement of the bullpen.

CJ - I agree, of course.

regarding the calamitous impact of hitting Burrell and Howard back-to-back (because putting slow baserunners in the 3/4 spots has worked out so poorly for Boston the last 5 years), Rowand hasn't exactly been fleet of foot this year either behind Howard, with 12 GDPs in 375 AB.

If you guys are wondering why Hitman's posts always include a plug for my commentary, it's because he's my father. He's also the explanation behind how a guy who has lived in California his entire life can possibly root for a team that is 3,000 miles away & has never done anything to be remotely worth rooting for.

loctastic: If Vic & Rollins are on base and Burrell takes a called K, that brings up Howard with 2 on and 1 out. Pretty good situation, no?

The far more likely scenario, based on real statistics and not your fantasies, is that Burrell comes up with no one on base.

McSnoogerama: That's not bad until you get to Nunez. Why in the world would you have him batting ahead of the catcher?

Houston is likely going to deal Mark Loretta and Chad Qualls...

Is there a package we could put together for those two players. I know I saw someone else talk down Qualls, but I think he's a pretty good set up guy. He wouldn't be our closer but his numbers are good. He's got 47 K's to just 17 walks in 50 innigns. He has given up more hits than I'd like this year but his WHIP the last few years wasn't too bad.


That’s a trade off I’m willing to make right now, since we are in a desperate situation. Plus in those late innings it makes a whole lot more sense having Bourne batting 2nd then 6th or 3rd. Especially after the bullpen coughs up a lead.


I should have been clearer there. I would put the catcher ahead of Nunez. I’ve just noticed Charlie always seems to bat the catcher 8th no matter who it is or who else is in the lineup. I kind of knew I would be asking to much there.

Burrell in the 3 hole is a choice I doubt Manuel makes. He'll probably bump Rowand to 3rd and Burrell to 5th with 3rd baseman batting 6th, No-Hit 7th, catcher 8th, and then pitcher. Basically 6-9 in our lineup are outs.

I say try Adrian Cardenas at 2nd. I know he is only 19 and this is his first full season of professional ball, but he is the team's best rated position player. He also has been compared to of all people Chase Utley. Remember Andruw Jones was only 19 when he was called up. Does anyone think he would hit worse than Nunez? Why should the team give up a prospect for a short term replacement when this pitching staff as presently constructed can't get this team into the playoffs.

How will Utley's loss affect the use of Myers and Gordon? I understand the playoffs aren't out of the question, so you don't shut 'em down today, but I'd think if Utley's healing slowly in three weeks and the team hasn't gained ground, you seriously consider it.

calling up Cardenas is insane. he's doing well but not spectacular (.784 OPS) at A ball. Jones isn't a valid comparison because he got his ML callup after tearing through the minors (1.024 OPS at high A, 1.107 OPS at AA, 1.213 OPS at AAA) that season - and, it's worth noting, didn't hit well in the majors that year (.217/.265/.443). there's a very very good chance that Cardenas would hit worse than Nunez this year.

I knew it was only a matter of time before someone proposed calling up Cardenas. The idea actually occurred to me too, but I then discarded it. He'd be making an enormous leap from low Single A to the majors & his performance this year, while good, is not nearly good enough to suggest that he could make such a leap. Besides, since the Phillies have no plans to move Cardenas to 3rd base, his future is likely as trade bait. If you bring him up way too early & he does poorly (as is almost certain), you will harm his future trade value.

I believe it was Lake Fred who advised against trading for Qualls. LF has great insight and I see where he's coming from. Qualls isn't "the answer" to this bullpen, however when you consider that this bullpen features nothing but past-their-prime former closers and roll-of-the-dice youth that isn't ready and more than likely never will be, I'd say that Qualls could only be an upgrade. Granted, a very slight upgrade, but if you ask who I'd rather see warming up toward the end of yesterday's game Qualls or Condrey/Zagurski/Mesa, I'm all for rolling the dice on Qualls.

When Utley's injury was announced yesterday, the season was unfortunately over. I can't fathom how people honestly think this team will be able to stay in the race now.

I absolutely don't want the Phils to give a potential useful part for some scrub to fill in for Utley for the next 6 weeks.

What the Phils do need to do this season is figure out who can contribute for next season and who can't. This mean keeping Kendrick in the rotation to see if he is a legit starter candidate for next year. It also mean taking a look this Sept. to see if any of the calls ups can contribute. Pitching guys like Mesa in Sept. serves no point.

Cardenas' future is in OF because they have Bourn and a whole lotta squatta. If he can learn to play some other positions, that would be great, too.

Steals of home rarely happen in today's game - I think Reyes has done it once this year. I would argue the closest thing the Phillies have done to it in recent memory is how Rollins got home after stopping at 3rd and then sliding home to tie the game on Wednesday night. But watching Jackie Robinson (who still holds the career record of 19) do it against both righties and lefties makes you wonder why it's not still part of the game - granted it worked best when it wasn't expected.

As for a trade - ESPN says Octavio Dotel is available for anyone who wants him, I say go get him then. Pitching is all they need to trade for and they can't give up on the season.

On Hayes article:

-It is hilarious that Moyer is mentioned as the guy that Hamels turns to for pitching advice. Dubee wasn't even mentioned once in the article.

Besides walking out to the mound with a look of puzzlement, what role does Dubee play on this team? Hell, just name Moyer as the pitching coach/player for next year. It will be a great PR story.

The lineup that makes the most sense to me is as follows:
Dobbs / Helms

Rollins' power numbers and ability to make contact place him as the best option to Utley in the 3 hole presently.
I would bat Nunez 2nd b/c while he doesn't get many hits, he's also not a tremendous strikeout threat. He would be expected to sacrifice/move Victorino over to 2nd or 3rd (depending on if Vic steals a base). He also has okay speed, so he wouldn't plug up the basepaths as Burrell would.
I can count on my usual critics (ae and clout) to tell me how effed up I am.

I see Cardenas as eventually being a poor man's Chase Utley. Just how poor that man turns out to be will determine whether or not he is a viable outfielder. Based on early returns, my guess is that Cardenas' offensive upside would be high for a 2nd baseman, but nothing special for an outfielder (think Ray Durham in his prime). But it's really too early to tell.

MG, Dubee has been mentioned in several articles, including ones about Durbin after his shutout. the "Jamie Moyer, grizzled vet guiding along young gun Cole Hamels" story is just more more suited for the newspaper than "pitching coach does his job." does that mean he's necessarily a good pitching coach? of course not. but quoting columns in the Daily News doesn't prove anything.

The other problem with calling up a 19 year old kid is that if he does play well, and i know that's a monumental if, then we got a kid who thinks/knows he can play at the Major League level. He will not be very happy about being sent down again. I know, tough luck for him but, i'd rather sit on him for another year or two.

I don't think it's that weird for a young pitcher to turn to the experienced vet on the team for some advice or for them to be in more situations together where they can just shoot the sh*t about pitching (on the plane, dugout, bus, hotel, whatever.

If the Phillies could call up Zagurski and Kendrick neither of whom was rated as highly as Cardenas, why not give him a few games until Utley comes back, assuming he is back in 3 to 4 weeks. They already gave up our best prospect Gio Gonzalez for nothing. Should they give up Carrasco for a short term solution at 2nd.

I love these lineups with Nunez in the #2 spot. endless laughs.

In regards to stealing home:

You can steal home on right handed pitcher if he is throwing from the wind-up.

Sending Ruiz to try and steal second to draw the throw only works when Sal Fasano is behind the plate. There is no need to throw to second, that runner is completely inconsequential in the bottom of the ninth with the home team at bat. Yes he represents the winning run but they still have to score both guys, no need to chance throwing the ball around the infield.

Bunting in any case with 2 outs is just bad baseball, unless you have the speed of Michael Bourne and can lay a bunt down the third baseline with the 3rd basemen playing deep. I don't trust the Phillies coaching or minor league staff to have taught those fundamentals to anyone on this team. As much as I question Manuel's decisionmaking ability, there is such a thing as overmanaging.

dave, who the hell said to give up Carrasco for a one-month replacement? seriously, let me know.

When endless posts about whether or not we should have attempted a steal of home are the answer to "How do we win a game we had in hand after our bullpen blew it?" appear, that is NOT a good thing. The Rollins score on the triple with an error was a fluke. To think that stealing home is the only via way to tie up a game against one of the worst teams in MLB is just bad baseball. I think Manuel is about as big an idiot as they come, but a botched attempted home plate steal would be worse than the Rowand bunting decision.

I really don't see how Rich Dubee knows a damn thing about pitching. I know Leo Mazone couldn't fix this crap-heap of a pitching staff, but something in me believes Dubee is actually causing harm rather than helping progress.

I love at pitching starved Tampa Bay and Kansas City and think they may be willing to part with Ty Wigginton or Mark Grudzielanek for a some comb of Segovia, Hernandez, Maloney, Castro, etc. I'd be willing to do it, especially for Wigginton who would could still keep for next season.

The tea leaves say Gillick will trade for a veteran rental 2nd baseman. Gillick is in his element when it comes to these kind of late season veteran acquistions. Just as he traded useless minor league fodder for Moyer & Conine, I imagine he'll make a similar trade to bring in a guy like Durham or Giles or Grudzielanek. If he can make such a trade, I see no harm. But I only wish Gillick had the same zeal for acquiring pitching & bullpen help as he does for acquiring veteran, short-term role players.

I believe it was Lake Fred who advised against trading for Qualls. LF has great insight and I see where he's coming from. Qualls isn't "the answer" to this bullpen, however when you consider that this bullpen features nothing but past-their-prime former closers and roll-of-the-dice youth that isn't ready and more than likely never will be, I'd say that Qualls could only be an upgrade. Granted, a very slight upgrade, but if you ask who I'd rather see warming up toward the end of yesterday's game Qualls or Condrey/Zagurski/Mesa, I'm all for rolling the dice on Qualls.

"I love at pitching starved Tampa Bay and Kansas City and think they may be willing to part with Ty Wigginton or Mark Grudzielanek for a some *comb of Segovia, Hernandez, Maloney, Castro, etc. I'd be willing to do it, especially for Wigginton who would could still keep for next season."


I should proof read.

ae, who would you be willing to give up when pitching is what is needed? I would not start Cardenas every game but put him 2 to 3 games a week until Utley returns.

Personally, I like Maloney, but Wigginton's # are better than I was thinking.

No Cardenas. Thinking outside the box is good, but let him take his time. His #'s are THAT great that it'd make sense to bring him up.

"I can't imagine they'd bat Pat third. Maybe it's not a half bad idea, because then Howard is still protected and Pat gets some good pitches. But all I can imagine is lots of called strikeouts with Rollins and Victorino on."


Utley = 68 SO
Burrell = 64 SO

dave, read the kajillion posts on this thread detailing the players who should be available to trade. Carson posted a few just before you, so you don't even need to scroll around much.

the start Cardenas argument remains absurd.

A recap of the 7-8-9 in the propsed lineups in the last 24 hours, in light of the Utley injury:

CJ - posted 7/26 6:14PM
7-Ruiz C
8-Nunez 2B

Todd - posted 7/26 6:47 PM
7-Helms/Dobbs 3B
8-Ruiz C

Phillieanthropist - posted 7/27 12:56 AM
7-Ruiz C
8-Nunez 2B

McSnoogerama - posted 7/27 11:08 AM
7-Nunez C
8-catcher (Barajas/Ruiz?)

Crazy Jon - posted 7/27 11:54 AM
7-Dobbs/Helms 3B
8-catcher (Barajas/Ruiz?)

I can honestly say that in every single situation, as I watch the Phils trot into the dugout and see the "due up 7-8-9" graphic, I'm reaching for the remote to see what else is on for the next few minutes. This injury has essentially left this team with 67% of an effective offensive lineup.

Agree, Willard. The criterion is not whether a particular player is "the answer" to our bullpen problems. If that were the criterion, we'd never trade for anybody because no single player can possibly be "the answer" to a 7-man problem.

PM - Burrell has 134 fewer AB than Utley. their SO numbers aren't comparable; Burrell strikes out far more.

Here's a move that has Phillies written all over it: Carlos Silva, who's a free-agent to be and reportedly available according to Paul Hagen.

So let's see who they play for the next month.

Cubs, Milwaukee, Florida, Atlanta, Nationals, Pirates, Dodgers, Padres, Mets, then Florida again.

It'll be a struggle to stay around .500 with the shape we're in now.

ae, I don't propose starting him every game but about 2 times a week. Do you really think he would hit much worse than nunez or barajas. I can not see trading whatever little talent they have for a rental player.

"The Philadelphia Daily News reports that Phillies sources shot down a report that Pat Burrell would go to Minnesota and that the Phils were interested in Twins Triple A pitching prospect Kevin Slowey."
- Did anyone hear about this? Prior to yesterday, I may have considered doing this deal.

Just for fun, here's my proposed lineup.

Victorino RF
Dobbs 3B
Rollins SS
Howard 1B
Rowand CF
Burrell LF
Coste/Ruiz C
Nunez 2B
Pitcher P

Helms and Barajas can play poker in the clubhouse for all I care..

Yes we lose Rollins' speed, but Dobbs should hit well enough, especially with Rollins behind him, for Howard/Rowand/Burrell to knock a few in.

Nunez did well 2nd half last year when Bell was dealt. He did well filling in for the injured Rolen in St Louis.
He always said he needs more ABs...
Lets hope for the best!
I say no trade for 2nd base. Focus on pitching help.

Silva has been struggling of late...
so yea it does have Phillies written all over it.

If the Twins would eat a majority of Burrell's contract next year, I make that move in a heartbeat.

oh, and i pray they do not trade for a fill-in. I can deal with Nunez, he hits a little better when playing everyday.

Weitzel - Silva? Ugh. I hope that Phils don't use this as a "we are trying everything we can do" excuse but really as a reason to keep ticket sales brisk for late August and Sept.

Cardenas is 19. last year, he was playing against teenagers in the rookie leagues. this year, facing pitchers who are 19-20 years old, he is hitting .299/.354/.430 with 62 strikeouts in 92 games. he is not even close to ready to face major league pitching. if you call him up now, the most likely result by far is that he strikes out a ton, he struggles to hit the Mendoza line, and maybe-if you're lucky-his development as a hitter is not completely ruined. really, there should not be a debate here.

I can't conceive of the Burrell/Slowey rumors having any basis in fact, unless the actual deal is Burrell+Cardenas+Carrasco+$15M for Slowey+C prospect. it makes utterly no sense for Minnesota to consider a deal like that.

or, as MLB Trade Rumors put it, "that would require a ridiculous amount of salary relief and a lack of Slowey."

ae-Totally agreed. Cardenas isn't even ready for a Sept. callup let alone to be thrown into a pennant race. Why risk really screwing up one of the organization's few real position prospects?

I don't think this is necessarily a "thinking outside of the box" situation. Especially not as far out of the box as some are suggesting. I agree with many that Burrell should be in the three hole and everything else should remain the same. Losing a player of Utley's caliber creates a HUGE hole in the lineup and trying to shuffle guys around to compensate is not going to mask anything. Therefore, in my opinion, the lineup should be:

1. Rollins
2. Victorino
3. Burrell
4. Howard
5. Rowand
6. Helms/Dobbs
7. Nunez
8. Ruiz/Coste

6-8 is an issue. It's always an issue. you just have to hope that Burrell continues to hit the ball well and 6-8 put together some nice at-bats. I don't see what else could be done.

I see we have moved onto something else. I apologize for taking a step back.

MG: Here's how I see it going down.

Phillies trade two marginal or non-prospects for Silva. For the sake of argument, Zach Segovia and Jesus Merchan.

Everyone is cool with it, but Milton ... er ... Silva turns out not to be the answer.

The Twins turn around an get five serviceable years from Silva ... er ... Segovia as their fourth starter and eventually turn Punto ... er ... Merchan into a worthwhile role player and infielder.

R - it's still good to see a reasonable lineup, even if the debate seems to have subsided.

Sure hope we don't get Silva. The Loretta/Qualls deal would be nice if they could make it happen. Remember that Loretta can also play third and short, so should Utley return, he'd be far from obsolete - he'd actually be our best hitter at third base. He's also a free agent, so the Astros might not ask too much for him.

I knew it wouldn't be long before some r-tard mentioned Nunez's "good" 2nd half last season, or his "good job" filling in for the injured Scott Rolen in '05. Let me make this clear for those of you who have an elementary level education- by today's standards in no way imaginable is "good" equal to a .625 ops. In fact, that's not even mediocre, that is down right terrible. So before you go speaking of the wonderful job No-Hit Nunez did while filling the void of Rolen or David Bell, stop and think about the evidence, because the evidence makes you appear to be retarded!

Weitzel- I enjoyed the joke you were trying to convey, but to be honest Nick Punto is no where close to being useful this season, he's worse than Nunez for crying out loud.

Wasn't there a discussion on Beerleaguer a few days ago about the Burrell-for-Slowey rumors? I'm pretty sure that's where I read about it. In any case, an article in yesterday's Philly paper put that rumor to rest. Burrell won't accept a trade to Minnesota.

Some poster mentioned about putting Coste at 3B and I think this actually makes the most sense.

It helps make up for Nunez in the line-up and he cannot be any worse than Helms or Dobbs at 3B.

Also - I do not know much about Jesus Merchan except he is leading the AA in hitting but is not considered a prospect at his age. I thought he was known more for his defense but now is starting to hit.

Why not bring him up as anyone who plays short can play 2B in the short-term and it might be a good audition for him as trade bait as Jason mentioned.

Qualls is definitely somebody the Phils should be interested but I don't see why the Astros would necessarily won't to move him.

Lake Fred would certainly know alot more about Qualls because he wants the Astros on a more regular basis but the stats show me good things:

-Decent K and K/BB rate
-Great G/F ratio of nearly 2:1

The Phils desperately need quality setup guys for the remainder of this season and beyond. Definitely worth a look.

Indians acquire Lofton in trade with Rangers.

Not sure if it's been mentioned yet, but the Phillies called up Joe Thurston Well, actually they purchased his contract, but either way, he's on the roster.

Because Tampa Bay is playing Baltimore, my thoughts turned to Ty Wigginton just a couple of days ago. Specifically, I thought: "Geez, this guy never seems to keep a 3B job, but he has 16 home runs for the season, compared with 5 for Helms. Why didn't we try to get him instead?" This was before the Utley injury.

Now I'm even more in favor of trying to acquire him. The chief need for a 2B is the ability to turn the DP. Wigginton's DP rate (in fewer games) is about the same as Utley's. I'm unsure of his status -- I know he was signed as a free agent, but that was after a release. Anyone know where to find that?

At any rate, he'd be an upgrade over Helms, IMO, and therefore worth targeting. So far the names floated as trade bait are Manny Delcarmen of Boston and Scott Procter of New York. If I'm Gillick (God forbid), I'd try a package of three minor-league pitchers for him, and I view him not as a two-month rental but as a better 3B option for next year than any currently on the roster.

Alby- I suggested the same about Wigginton in this and last thread. This is his 6th season and will be a free agent, but I could easily see the Phils offering him arbitration and keeping ahold of him. He'd be better than Helms at 3rd yes, and he be the quick fix at 2nd too.

Like Lake Fred, I get to see Qualls on a regular basis down here (Lafayette, LA... Astros are our "home" team). Qualls has been their most consistent reliever over the past two years although he doesn't quite seem to have "closer" stuff. He'd be the guy I want from that bullpen because Lidge will cost us way too much and there's no telling when his head will go wrong again.

I'm not sure about Wigginton's free agency, Carson. He has spent some time in the minors each season the past three years, and I don't think it was rehab time. He might be short of 6 full years service.

I'm leaning towards this lineup now:


Without Utley we're even more vulnerable to lefties. I would expect a steady diet of them the rest of the year. The teams that don't have them will bring em up from AAA or AA or A, just like yesterday.

And with a lefty out there, PtBB and Howard back to back are about the worst 3/4 combo I could think of.

And, I've said this before... for those who want Dobbs to be our regular third baseman, I present his OPS and OPS+ when he starts at third:

.672 and 72

Wes Helms:

.756 and 95

I agree that Helms' defense is a concern, but losing Utley at 2nd means finding the best bat for the lineup. Wes Helms is better at the plate than Greg Dobbs. At most, we can get Dobbs some at bats against right handed pitchers... but Dobbs shouldn't be the regular third baseman.


Howard isn't nearly as bad against lefties as you think. He's got a .914 OPS and a 158 OPS+. Granted, his batting average is much lower against them, but he's hitting a home run every 9.6 ABs (11.4 plate appearances) against lefties and every 11.1 ABs (14.2 plate appearances).

And frankly, it's quite the mystery why the right handed Pat Burrell would be worse against left handed pitchers this year. In his career, his OPS+ vs. lefties is 121 vs. 93 against righties.

er... that last post, the first paragraph should end with vs. right handed pitchers.

They each get a hit about once every 5 ABs, and Howard strikes out half the time. Back to back it adds up to a black hole.

curt: Well, we all have our opinions of what a black hole is. I don't think Howard is a black hole against any pitcher these days.

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EST. 2005

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