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Monday, July 23, 2007

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Hats off to Durbin. He's really stepped up the last 2 outings.

Crazy Jon,

If the Phillies were still 6 games out, I would agree with you about Bourn. But if they're still 3.5 games out of the WC a week from now, I've got to disagree. Bourn is probably the most tradeable asset the Phillies have and, while he's a good prospect, it's a real question whether or not he can hit well enough to be a starting outfielder. Whether they resign Rowand or not, they can certainly find another decent hitting outfielder in the free agent market. There are going to be plenty of them available & he doesn't have to be a centerfielder because we can always move Victorino to CF.

I don't think anyone saw that performance coming...

But I'll take it.

On another note, can we stop with the "Myers back to the rotation" talk? It ain't gonna happen...let's move on.

That's rich, Bridoc. If we stopped discussing things that "ain't gonna happen," each thread would have about 22 comments on it.

"On another note, can we stop with the "Myers back to the rotation" talk? It ain't gonna happen...let's move on."

Help me out here. Folks like to yammer - on a daily basis - about ancient transactions (Abreu, etc), but we shouldn't talk about moves the Phillies can make right now to improve the team?

Actually, it is going to happen. The only question is: now or later.

I wish I could be that confident that it is going to happen, curt, but I'm increasingly doubtful that Myers is in the Phils plans as a starter for next year. (although I really, really hope I'm wrong.)

What gets lost in the Myers shuffle is he seems to WANT to be in the bullpen. That's what scares me. In the long run, i want him to be a starter, but he's very into being a closer.

I hope you're wrong too. Look at it this way: how many .400 teams do you know of with a $10 million reliever.

ae - is your name a george william russell/james joyce reference by any chance?

When a no-brainer like returning Myers to the rotation is off the table, one rightly can question the intellect of the Phil's management. Amaro is giving us a heads up on Josh Towers for the benefit of those of us who haven't yet caught on to Gillick's M.O., bottomfishing.

OK, let me amend my earlier statement.

"It ain't gonna happen" this season.

And yes, Brett likes being the closer. He's pretty damn good at it, when healthy.

How many MORE wins would this team have over the last couple/three seasons with a lights out/Rivera-type closer on to pitch the 9th? We're talking that level of potential, in my humble opinion.

Think of that when you deride Myers as closer.

True also, Bedrosian. Let's hope the inmates aren't running the institution.

And, of course, being a closer implies that there are games to close. Our closer has been very bored for a long time now.

Honest question: Does Myers' fate as a reliever or starter next season depend on the Phils' ability to land a quality starter or closer in the offseason? I tend to think it does. I like Myers in either role, but if they land a quality starter or two, I would be inclined to make him our closer. If, on the other hand, a great closer can be had, you snag the closer and put Myers back in the rotation?

Any thoughts?

Or has the decision regarding Myers already been made?

Our closer has been very bored for a long time now.

Is that because the Phillies have won the last three games by a large margin?

R.Billingsly,

I think the decision has been FOR THIS SEASON. Any conversation about returning him to the rotation in 2007 is pointless.

As for 2008, who knows? Cholly will (probably) be gone, as may Gillick be, also. With new people pulling strings, who knows?

I can see both sides of the logic, though I think Brett was born to close games.

By the time the 9th inning rolls around, we tend to be up big or down big.

Jason -- Nice piece of reporting on the Josh Towers scouting by Amaro. A trade with Toronto for Towers -- involving Barajas on the Phillies' side -- seems to make sense on a number of levels: (1)Towers will be a free agent at the end of the season; (2) the Blue Jays just released Jason Phillips (.208, 1 HR, 12 RBIs) and need a backup catcher -- Curtis Thigpen -- just recalled by the Jays from Syracuse has only 17 games of big league experience, only 5 innings of which have been behind the plate; (3) Barajas is the guy the Jays wanted to sign during the last of-season, until Barajas changed agents and wanted to renegotiate the deal with a new agent; and (4) Barajas has been a bust -- offensively and defensively -- in Philadelphia, and the club would like to be out from under at least a part of the $3-million club obligation which Barajas represents.

Now that's a deal anyone could live with.

nope, ftd, just my initials, and I always liked the way they look. (although as an English major, I do catch your allusion.)

the problem I have with the whole Myers-as-reliever idea is that it's based on only 20 innings. lots of guys have been lights-out relievers for 20 innings and then never gotten close to those numbers again, whether due to injury or hitters becoming more familiar with their stuff. I think it's really foolish to assume that just because Myers pitched well (and a 2.61 ERA is not nearly Rivera-good) in a relatively short stretch of games, he'll be worth $8.5M in 2008 and $12M in 2009 as a closer.

"I think Brett was born to close games"

I hope his right arm feels the same way.

Davthom: Toronto is 11 games out of first place & 10 out of the WC. Why would they be interested in renting a backup catcher for 2 months? And, as bad as Towers is, why would ANY team trade a functional starting pitcher for a backup catcher?

I hope so too, Curt.

He definitely has the mental makeup to be something special at the back end of the bullpen.

I tend to believe his injury was a freak occurence of him trying to throw the ball through the backstop to end that inning.

Couple more points about Myers:
1. Bridoc10: the "when healthy" clause is pretty important. Is it a coincidence Myers landed on the DL for the first time shortly after going to the bullpen? Could be, but it just doesn't seem likely.

2. As good as Myers is as a closer, he's a starter who logs more than 200 innings and posts a sub 4 era and what’s more, he’s entering the prime of his career. He’d have to be leveraged really aggressively to be more valuable as a reliever.

3. Starting pitching is scarcer than relief pitching. Why would you put a scarce commodity in a role where he becomes less scarce?

ae - exactly. What good is a $10 million closer (even assuming he's actually good at it and physically capable of it) to a team with four #5 starters and an awful BP. You're looking at a $10 million cheerleader.

Phil: Speaking of getting optimum value out of a small number of innings . . . You don't show up on this site that much but, when you do, you always make very solid points. If the Phillies keep Myers as a reliever, maybe they can hire you as a consultant as how to optimize his value.

Phil - which is why its only a question of "when" he returns to the rotation - and why it was idiotic to put him anywhere else.

"How many MORE wins would this team have over the last couple/three seasons with a lights out/Rivera-type closer on to pitch the 9th?"

That would depend entirely on how many of the leads blown by the bullpen were blown in the 9th inning. I think it's a relatively low number.

Before you attribute too much importance to a top-flight closer, remember that lots of losing teams have top-flight closers. IMO, it's the most over-rated job in baseball.

The premise of putting Myers in the pen is that it's better to use him in a role where he excels, rather than a role where he is merely above average. But Ae also made the excellent point that it's really nothing more than an article of faith that Myers is capable of excelling as a reliever. He certainly looked good in the role, but 20 IP is hardly enough to draw definitive conclusions. Remember, as a starter, Myers' weakness was that he had a tendency to fall to pieces when things started to go a little badly. That's the last trait you want from a closer.

Is this thread about Myers or Durbin? As I recall, someone threw a complete game shutout yesterday!!

bay area - that game where myers got hurt in Florida, once things started going bad in the 9th, they just kept getting worse, and he seemed like he was powerless to stop it. You are correct, that is something he would need to work on.

Myers injury could have been a freak thing. It also could be that they switched him to the closer role to quickly instead of doing over the off season to give his arm time to adjust. If that is the case then it would be super dumb to switch him back to the rotation this year. Nothing like shorting up a guys arm, and having to stretch it out again to cause another injury. This isn’t a video game; you can’t just go and do that to a pitcher.

Myers has more potential as a closer then he does as a starter. We’ve seen his stuff as a starter. The problem with Myers isn’t he went to pieces when things started to go a little badly, he went to pieces when his pitch count would go over 50.

He isn’t a one or a solid two no matter how you want to wish and pray he is. He’s a better version of Victor Zambrano before Victor got hurt. As a starter Brett was a gutsy three or bottom two, as a closer we are looking at Eric Gagne pre injury.

Also, the money is irrelevant. It’s sunken cost at this point. Who cares if he’s getting 10 million to close? I’d rather pay 10 mil for a lights out closer then 10 mil for another slightly better then average pitcher.

BAP and Phil both get it. The key point is that high quality relief pitchers ARE available but good starters are not. What the Phils need to do should be reality based, i.e., trade for relief pitching and return Myers to the rotation.If Kendrick and Durbin each has, say, a 25% probability of staying in the rotation for the duration of the season, then the probability that both will stay is about 6%. With those odds, someone will need to step into a starting role. Would you prefer Towers or Myers? Skip the comments about the stat lesson.

What's going to happen is that the Phillies will win 5 out of the next 6 and "Stand Pat" will hold what he's got, with some garbage about "the team's beginning to jell."

McSnooger: Over the last 2 years, he pitched 215.1 and 198 innings, posting ERAs of 3.72 and 3.91 and opponents' batting averages of .237 and .257.

That's not the profile of a guy who goes to pieces after 50 pitches and it's not the profile of a middle-of-the-rotation starter. It's the profile of a solid No. 2 starter. Besides, it's immaterial whether you call him a No. 2 starter or a middle-of-the-rotation starter. The Phillies presently have 4 guys in their rotation who are No. 5 starters at best. So a "gutsy No. 3" would be a huge step up.

By last year's stats, Myers ranked 28th among starting pitchers (I think this was by Baseball Prospectus). If that's accurate, then he's a low-ranked No. 1 or a high-ranked No. 2. If you care about numbers, that is.

i can't imagine that there would be a prospective manager in baseball that, when hired by the phillies next year, would want myers in the bullpen. It makes no sense on any level, really.

This year I am for keeping him in the bullpen just because I don't think its worth the injury risk to move him back and forth. Anything I have read on the subject tells me that it takes months to get an arm ready for the kind of beating it takes throwing 100 pitches every five days.

bay_area_phan -- We'll see on this one. I do think a deal with Toronto, if it happens, involves either Barajas (most likely exchange) or Coste (less likely). Remember, Barajas was the guy Toronto thought they had signed to to a $5.5-million, two-year contract to be their starter through '08 -- until Barajas stupidly changed agents and tried to renegotiate a better deal, only to have the Blue Jays tell Barajas and his new agent to take a hike -- after which event Barajas crawled over to Pat Gillick, who was only to happy to waste $3-million on the guy. Toronto can now get Barajas for much less, even if he only stays for the remainder of the current season -- and the big salary dump for the Jays anyway is Towers.

In case anyone missed it from last thread...

How about Pat Burrell for Matt Morris!!!!

Come on... Gillick can get that one done, right?

Of course I go back and see clout has decided Matt Morris is "done."

That's curious since he's he's given up 6 ER in his last 30 innings over his last four starts.

I think we could all live with a guy who can give us a 1.80 ERA.

I'm not saying the guy is a superstar, but he's an upgrade over what we've got.

davthom: If Gillick can get Towers straight up for Barajas...then maybe he's a better GM than any of us think.

Towers isn't really a salary dump for the Blue Jays because he's not owed that much more this year and he's a free agent after this season.

Starters are usually better when they get moved to the BP. There's a few reasons for this - opposing hitters rarely see their stuff more than once, they can exert themselves greater because they pitch less, and in the closer's case, they never come in with anyone on base that can hurt their ERA (it would go onto the previous pitcher's). For these reasons, Brett Myers would likely see his rate states improve if he moved from starter to closer. People saying that Myers is better as a reliever than a starter are right - most starters would be, at least in an isolated comparison.

The question is whether the increase in performance is worth sacrificing half his innings and using him in low-leverage situations - do you really need your 1st or 2nd best pitcher to close out a game up by 3 with no one on in the ninth? The answer here is undeniably no. Myers has shown no lack of durability in the rotation, and although his stats would likely improve, the decrease in innings and potential decrease in the importance of the innings he does pitch means that keeping him as a reliever is a rather stupid move.

Myers contract...

2007 $5M -- 26
2008 $8.5M -- 27
2009 $12M --28

2007 salaries of top closers...
Tom Gordon, 39 $7M
Rivera, 37 $10.5M
Wagner, 35 10.5M
Hoffman, 39 $7M

If Myers can give you top 5 closer numbers, and I think he has the potential and the mindset, that value will come back with victories. The difference between playoffs and sitting at home in October, often can be attributed to the success in one-run games or when ahead after 7th inning. A difference of 4 or 5 games in late innings for the Phillies the last 4 years could have made the difference.

Despite the appearance of overuse leading to Myers injuries, it had more to do with Myers trying to hard to end that game... and the failure of Dubee and Manuel to recognize that Myers was going to try to lift the team to victory. Just because A happened then B happened then C happened. Doesn't necessarily mean that A or B caused C to happen. Failure to pitch within himself with correct mechanics caused the issue.

If you want to ride to the playoffs with a David Weathers or Danys Baez type guy setting up Gordon next year that's fine. But I'll take a guy with the potential to be one of the names above.

Remember Rivera during his prime was typically used in 2 inning situations. And why, people, think that a closer should only be used in a SAVE situation only has been seduced by Scott Boras types and Billy Wagner (I need adrenaline to save a game.)

Tug McGraw when in the Phillies bullpen carried that adrenaline whether he came in, in the 7th inning to shut down the heavy hitters of the opposing to team or to pitch 1 hitter in the 9th. Myers has that type of mentality. The agents of closers might not appreciate the potential of this New-Age Old School pitcher. But I like the possibility.

Myers is a joke! Next topic...

Morris would be an upgrade over Kendrick/Durbin but I wouldn't give up the farm to get him. He has had a couple of rough starts in a rough and has typically faded after the All-Star break. Plus, his K/rate has continued to fade this year.

The one plus about Morris is that he induces a ton of grounders and has done this his entire career. It is the one reason I am optimistic that Morris could survive in CBP even without striking out a ton of guys.

I'm sure the Jays are desperate to get Barajas after nearly getting him in the offseason.

/sarcasm above.

Morris has a fairly high contract for next year, too. I'm iffy on him.

The consensus here appears to be that Manuel and Dubee are mediocore at best in handling pitchers, especially the type of pitchers on the curent roster and the Loshe/Towers type that are currently available.

With free agent starters and their agents apparently frowing on CPB as a place to make a living doesn't it make sense to try and package some of the "can't miss" younger talent like Bourn, Kendrick and or Victorino and whoever is on the farm for a #1 or #2 starting pitcher like a Dontrelle Willis.

Then you can look for bullpen help among free agents. There aren't a lot of great starters and it is nice to have your starters going a minimum of 6-7 innings to "shorten the game".

"Remember Rivera during his prime was typically used in 2 inning situations."

not even remotely true. Rivera's pitched in 758 games in his career. 95 have been 2+ innings, that's about 12.5%. I'm not sure how you'd define Rivera's prime, but in 1997-2004, he never made more than 5 two-inning appearances in a season. he had a lot of multiple inning appearances in 1995 and 1996, when he was first a starter and then a setup man.

Rivera has gotten a lot more multiple inning work in 2005 and 2006, since Torre has lot all confidence in the rest of his bullpen (not this year, he's had only 2). but he has not been very consistent in these appearances. in 2005, he gave up 8 runs in 11 IP with a 1-2 record and 2 blown saves in 3 attempts. he was much better in 2006 (3 runs, 17 IP) - but it seems pretty likely that his overuse in 2006 contributed to his ineffectiveness and injury early in 2007.

to underline my point, if you throw out 1995-1996, when Rivera was not the Yankees' closer, he made 46 2+ inning appearances in 678 games. that's 6.8%.

On Towers: All Amaro knows about pitching is that he couldn't hit it. Don't we have real scouts ?

What if they're looking at Glaus, as well...

CJ: I'm not sure what you're looking at on Morris. Here are his last 4 starts:

7/19 vs. CHI 4.2 IP 12H 8 R
7/14 vs LA 5 IP 8H 6 R
7/5 vs CIN 6 IP 7 H 6 R
6/29 vs. AZ 7 IP 10H 3 R

That comes out to 22.2 IP, 37 H, 23 R.

I don't like him at all.

Pittsburgh offered Toronto Jack Wilson for Glaus. I'm pretty sure we can match that... ;)

I'd take Towers and Glaus if we could give Toronto the same caliber of smegma that the Yankees gave us for Abreu and Lidle.

Morris is on the hook for the remainder of $9.5M this year, plus $9.5M in 2008 and a $9M team option in 2009 ($1M buyout, escalators can push option up to $11M). he also has a $2M signing bonus due at the end of the contract; I assume that we would be responsible for that after a trade (unless it's negotiated otherwise). it's probably not a terrible contract, but he's not cheap either.

You don't trade Vic, unless it's straight up for a front line pitcher. The guy is underappreciated here, but not in the cities we visit.

His OPS maybe be below .800, but those 30 steals are the same as 30 more doubles.

His BA may be below .300, but factor in all the errors his speed forces and he's well over .300

He strikes out a lot less than Rowand and Utley, and walks more than Rowand, and almost as much as Utley.

He routinely robs hitters in RF, leads in assists, and holds countless number of runners from ever trying to score.

Then there's the attitude. And it's all cheap.

Myers stated when he moved to the bullpen that he did not want to be yanked back to being a starter this season. It just ain't happening.

As for next year, I'm with the group that thinks Myers is more valuable in the rotation and it's not like there won't be an opening. The bullpen holes will have to be filled from outside as they should've been during the offseason (and thus prevented Myers from being moved to the 'pen in the first place).

Supposedly the special assignment scouts for the Phils are Charlie Kerfeld and Gordon Lakey. I wonder if either of these two guys in particular have been scouting the Jays all season.

Getting more offense is an intriguing alternative and Glaus would certainly plug the hole at 3B. Only bad thing is that he has had trouble staying on the field this year and is due $12.75 million next year. Just see that money/resources better spent on a starter and a reliever instead this offseason.

curt: By your logic we better really hang on to Burrell whose stats in every area are better than Victorino's, except for steals and batting average, and is just behind Vic in assists.

and $13.5million more than Vic...

clout - Very funny. Imagine a team of Vics taking the field against a team of Burrells. The mercy rule would apply by the 2nd inning.

Burrell's only stats are BBs & $14 million.

I actually think the Vic/Burrell game would be pretty close.

Gee, maybe they're planning to offer Francisco Rosario for Towers and Glaus. Just as soon as they can find the rock he crawled under. Barajas? Why would anyone think that Riccardi would want any part of Barajas after what happened in the off-season, on top of what Barajas has done this season? You might as well send a case of Labatt's Blue.

And CJ, why in the name of Jose Uribe would the Giants want any part of Pat Burrell?

From the previous thread: Tray made the Bourn/Otis Nixon comparison, not me. And Walter, Marlon Byrd wasn't 'given a chance' with the Phillies? Are you s***ing me? The guy was handed the starting CF job in '03 and '04. Took him forever to come around the first year and he never came around the second year. He did nothing with Washington the past two seasons. He had more than his fair chance with the Phillies.

So I see that Manuel intends on placing Gordon back in the closer's role...and then I read that Myers will likely be back during this homestand. Then what? Like it or not, he's in the 'pen the rest of the way this season. I agree 100% with BAP that there is absolutely no point in bothering with someone like Towers. How is that an improvement over what they already have? How is yet another pitcher with an ERA around 5 supposed to be the missing piece to this puzzle?

Whatever his faults, I think Myers is a team-oriented guy. If they told him they needed him to be a starter the rest of the way, I think he'd do it quite willingly. Besides, he's been off for two months so it's not like they'd be yanking him right out of the bullpen & back into the starting rotation.

I agree that the Phillies almost certainly won't do it. But they should.

clout:

You're right. I read the game log on ESPN.com backwards. I cited a four game stretch that started in late May.

I am amused that Matt Morris is dismissed out of hand despite the fact he'd immediately be our 2nd or 3rd best starter the day he arrived.

My post was a bit of a joke anyway... the Giants aren't going to deal for Burrell. Imagine that outfield with Barry in right and PtB in left.

RSB: My PtB trade scenario was tongue in cheek. I saw the Giants were likely to trade away Matt Morris, that's all.

I don't want us to deal for Morris because it would likely cost us more than the Phillies should spend on him.

FWIW, Gillick/Arbuckle scouting the Rangers-Indians game this past weekend.

http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2007/07/phillies-scouti.html

"If they told [Myers] they needed him to be a starter the rest of the way, I think he'd do it quite willingly."

I don't get that impression. Myers has bristled at the idea of starting again this year. He has made comments to the effect of 'I'll do whatever you want, but don't move me back and forth within the season.' I am willing to bet the Phillies assured him that this wouldn't happen when they asked him to become the closer.

Minor league success doesn't always translate into MLB success, but JD Durbin has done well in the minors and really hasn't had an opportunity to develop himself in the bigs yet over an extended period of time. He's only 25 and once was a hightly touted prospect. He still has time to harness his ability and become a quality 4th or 5th starter. I'm not saying this is going to happen, but maybe the Phils did get lucky and find themselves a starter for this year and seasons to come.

Although the Phils desperate need another frontline starter besides Hamels, I don't see understand how people think Myers can magically be shifted back in the rotation midseason.

Myers hasn't started since April and is coming off a pretty serious injury. There is no way he would have the stamina and durability to be thrown back into the rotation without going throw a series of rehab starts well into August.

i don't think re-inserting him in the rotation for good after 2 months(or whatever)off, really constitute being "jerked back and forth" like he requested. Perhaps i'm over analzying too, but being that the Phils pay his salary, they should put him where he's most needed.

/that being said, i'm sure he'll be back as reliever/closer.

Meant to add-the injuries were the reason for him being sent to the 'pen, but since that point, the starting rotation has been ravaged by injuries, as well.

I looked at the Glaus-Wilson trade rumor. There is a snowball in hell's chance that Glaus ends up in Philly. Here are a few reasons:

1. $12.75 million next year -- plus an $11.25 million player option for 2009
2. Universal no-trade clause
3. Expressed preference for playing on the West Coast

Plus for kickers the Jays supposedly will only trade Glaus if they "get an immediate upgrade" to their team.

"...maybe the Phils did get lucky and find themselves a starter for this year and seasons to come."

Whoa, whoa, WHOA there...now just breathe...in...out...that's right...the bus doesn't leave until you're done speculating...

There's no way Glaus would ok a trade to the Pirates.

The buzz surrounding this year's trade deadline is far less intense than previous seasons. The best we've come up with is Towers? It's interesting how a 4-3 road trip suddenly has everyone talking about becoming buyers.

Gillick and Arbuckle reportedly scouted a Rangers/Tribe game.

Jason: For me, it's not so much the 4-3 roadtrip per se. It's the fact that we made up 2 games on the WC leader, San Diego. Having 2 routes to the playoffs, instead of 1, is no small matter because it somewhat immunizes us against the possibility that one team could get extremely hot over the last couple months.

So they saw Tejeda give up 5 runs in 5 innings yesterday. I'm guessing the Rangers would be willing to package Padilla and Tejeda and sent them back for "cash considerations."

Meanwhile, as the Phillies send the Prince of France to Toronto to scout Towers, the Mets and Tigers are hot after Cordero, Rauch, Qualls and Dotel.

Curt: I think you've just given SirAlden the perfect entry way into the conversation.

Jason: "The best we've come up with is Towers?"

Do you mean "we" as in the Phillies or "we" as in this list?

I think the Phils would be negligent if they didn't scout every option. I'm not sure Towers is the guy (again, I'm partial to Kennedy), but the realistic options out there aren't going to be much better than Towers.

The question, then, is whether the Phils are willing to go through the rest of the season with Hamels, Moyer, Eaton, Kendrick, Durbin and a bullpen of Myers, Gordon, Alfonseca, Madson, Romero, Zagurski, (Mesa?), and (Condrey?)?

What is it going to take for some of you to stop doubting Durbin?

1. Maybe a solid start in L.A.? (going 6 and giving up an ER)

2. How about a complete game shutout?

3. How about being nominated for the N.L. player of the week?(2-0, 0.60 ERA, 6 SO)


Something tells me that there is a large portion of people on here who believe that if someone has a last name OTHER than Myers, that they are a joke. I'm sold on Durbin after his last 2 starts. Ive seen him pitch in the Eastern league numerous times and he always deals. Lets keep in mind that he was told to take the whole off season off due to his bicep injury. This kid is just getting started.

Jason: "Meanwhile, as the Phillies send the Prince of France to Toronto to scout Towers, the Mets and Tigers are hot after Cordero, Rauch, Qualls and Dotel."

I think it's fair to say the Phils aren't in that market right now because we lack real tradable commodities. It's not like Bourn will get us any of those players. So how much are we willing to spend for some part-time bullpen help? And would getting a healthy Myers back be equal to trading for any of those players? Or does our bullpen need Myers and one of those guys in trade?

Yo asks: "What is it going to take for some of you to stop doubting Durbin?"

I don't know, Yo. Maybe a full season of good work. Maybe a couple good seasons, just to prove he's not another rookie flash-in-the-pan. Reasonable minds can answer your question differently, but no reasonable mind could "stop doubting" Durbin after 2 good games -- especially 2 good games which followed on the heels of 2 very bad ones, which in turn followed on the heels of an extraordinarily mediocre season in Triple A.

While my doubts won't be going away any time soon, I am absolutely open to convincing. I know he has good stuff (much better than Kendrick's, in fact) & there's no denying he's been great the last 2 outings. I absolutely agree that it would be negligent for Cholly to take him out of the starting rotation right now. But it would be even more negligent for Gillick to sit idly on his hands at the trading deadline, on the assumption that Durbin is now a proven winner. Besides, even if Durbin does manage to keep this up, that leaves 3 more questionable starters in our rotation, any one of whom could stand upgrading.

yo daddy is about to get some angry and indignant responses

Good guess, District -- although "sarcastic" would probably be a better word than "angry."

Everyone knows the Nats are very demanding so I don't think we could afford Cordero or Rauch. The same is probably true of Qualls and Dotel.

district: That's funny you say that while at the same time BAP posts a very reasonable and logical response to the idea we shouldn't question Durbin's viability.

BAP is right. Durbin has a lot more to prove before he doesn't have to prove anymore. This game can turn on a dime... and if a team gets enough tape on a pitcher, anything can happen.

I like Durbin and his stuff... his ceiling is higher than Kendrick's if he can maintain his composure and throw strikes. I hope he turns out to be a cog in our rotation for a few years to come, but I also don't like the idea of rolling the dice on a rookie... especially not two of them.

yo daddy: how about being released by three teams in the last six months?

I hope people don't think I was saying that yo daddy shouldn't receive the anger, sarcasm (thanks BAP) and indignance that he surly will receive.

I may be optimistic about my phils, but I aint that optimistic. The road of baseball is littered with the corpses of pitchers who had two good starts.

Kyle Kendrick and J.D. Durbin = Bob Walk and Marty Bystrom.

Durbin's minor league career line: 47 wins, 22 losses. A career 3.16 ERA, appearing in 123 games, starting 117. 671.2IP, 619hits. 236 earned runs, 607 Strike outs, 258 walks, 46 HRs

* Durbin is FINALLY getting an opportunity to show what guts he has. This kid is a proven winner. I will gladly be on here blogging my balls off until the end of the season because the Phillies just found another ace.

No one wants Durbin to succeed more than the posters on this blog, yo daddy. But, (I don't mean to speak for anyone) we need a little more than two good starts to show that someone is a "proven winner." I'm not a stat guy, let alone a minor league stat guy. For the record I do like Durbin's stuff and think he has the POTENTIAL to be a good starter at this level. But for me, it is only potential at this point. To use a phrase that I HATE...it's too small of a sample size. If he finishes this year strong and comes out blazing next season (if he's still here) I'll gladly eat my words.

Durbin has been serviceable, thus far. Let's not start the whole "Coste-esque" phenomenon all over again. There is a reason he's so well traveled. I'd anticipate career numbers to become quite a bit more unimpressive once teams see him a couple more times. Let's not forget that his ERA had nowhere to go but down when he first step on a mound in a Phils uniform.

Quit thought on the above proposed all-Vic vs. all-Burrell game. As long as "Pitcher Victorino" can throw strikes, this one's not even close. Burrell's 1-9 would stand there with a bat on their shoulder trying to draw a walk.

I, too, hope Durbin and Kendrick continue to pitch well and have long productive careers as Phillies. However, lets be realistic about setting expectations for them.

From Bill James 1988 Abstract:

Primer #7. A power pitcher has a dramatically higher expectation for future wins than does a finesse pitcher of the same age and ability.

Gillick's reputation is one that is built with 2 WS rings and a fleecing of Jorge/George Bell of the Phillies in the RULE 5 draft.

Despite all the horrible transactions, signings, and pick-ups during his tenure in Philly his saving grace might be at the hands of JD Durbin.

Whatever, Yo. That 47-22 stat line was almost entirely accomplished before he tore his labrum. A torn labrum is the most serious injury a pitcher can suffer and, since it happened, Durbin has lost a good 5-6 MPH off of his fastball. Did Durbin not get a fair opportunity to prove his guts this year at Ottawa, where he went 2-4 with a 4.55 ERA? Or in his one start with Arizona this year, where he gave up 7 earned runs in 2/3 of a inning?

I readily admit, I'm on the Durbin bandwagon. How could you not be after these past 2 starts? But you're talking about the guy as if he's as proven as Roy Oswalt. You've even gone so far as to question the judgment of those who remain unconvinced after 2 good games (and 1 very bad one.) From this statement, I must conclude either: (1) that you ARE J.D. Durbin or a very close relative; (2) that you're being intentionally hyperbolic just to amuse yourself; or (3) that you're certifiably nuts.

I don't think there is anyone on this list who suggests Durbin has no shot at being a productive major league starter. After all, he was once a highly-touted prospect and he's put together two good starts in a row (the last one bein great!)... but there's a difference between cautious optimism and, as Dennis Green would say, crowining his a$$.

yo daddy: If you're sold on Durbin after 2 major league starts then you probably thought Matt Smith was Cy Young after his 20 good innings last year.

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EST. 2005

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