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Saturday, July 28, 2007

Comments

Why not have Bourn spell all the outfielders? Have him start three times a week and sit each guy at least once. I don't think it's a great idea to sit Vic, but it is worth it to get Bourn into more games.

When Rowand comes back, yes. Vic is a solid player, but if Bourn is real, well, keep playing him as long as he provides that spark.

I really hope they don't trade him.

Again, it's the Pirates, but man, 4-4 a day after Utley goes down is just about 1,000 times more than anyone would wish.

Let me see if I can get the ball rolling by repeating my post from the last thread. Bourn's 17 steals in 112 plate appearances projects to 85 steals in 560 PAs, which is slightly less than an everyday player would get. His OB has always been good and he can easily maintain a .350 OB in The Show. Do the Phillies need a leadoff hitter with a .350 OB who can lead the league in steals? You be the judge.

The irony is he's the first real leadoff man the Phillies have had in many years and they're looking to trade him. But if they get equal value and it puts them in the playoffs, so be it. Here is the OPS of the Phillies top 4 outfielders:
OF #1: .922
OF #2: .867
OF #3: .808
OF #4: .778

If outfielders #3 and #4 are equally good on defense, who should get more playing time? Which one would you keep and which one would you trade?

Only way Bourn goes is if it for someone who is lock to help us this year. Not some retread like Trachsel. And to me, there are a few really big reason why Bourn does not get dealt and shockingly, they revolve around economics.

If Bourn gets dealt, the Phils are then forced to either sign Rowand or some other FA outfielder to a lucrative contract. (Nobody in the minors is ready and what are you going to trade for a serviceable OF?) Rowand's agent should start at the ridiculous contract given to Gary Matthews. If he doesn't, he's a moron. No way the Phils outlay that kind of cash for Rowand.

So if you deal Bourn, who plays the next to Pat and Vic next year? More than likely, somebody very expensive.

And that's not to mention that Bourn appears to be very talented and could easily be as good if not better than Juan Pierre, the guy people like to compare him to. Bourn is better defensively (has a MUCH better arm, hell, I have a better arm than Pierre) and he also seems to have a better eye than Pierre.

So,A)I don't think it'll happen and B) I don't think it should unless we get absolutely blown away with an offer.

I'm definitely in the don't trade Bourn unless you're getting a good, young, non-rental player we need back. clout's point is well-taken, but the fact remains that Bourn is extremely cheap for a long time, and even as a 4th OF/pinch runner, he's got a lot of value to this team.

I don't get the feeling from Gillick or Amaro's comments that they're desperate to dump Bourn, so I have the feeling they'll end up doing the right thing with him.

going back to the Iguchi trade, I think Williams' insistence that there was no market for him is ridiculous. you're telling me the Mets wouldn't have easily matched or outbid our offer? I have a hard time believing Minaya's okay with Gotay/Easley for the rest of the year. think it's far more likely that this was the Garcia reimbursement.

Ae, totally agree, no doubt in my mind that the Iguchi trade was a partial make up for the Garcia disaster. Almost like a professional courtesy. I just hope the Muts don't get Loretta.

bourn and happ/segovia for dontrelle? that's about the only thing that would do it fo me.

plunts: I'm much more worried about Atlanta getting Teixeira + a reliever.

"Instant Damage" would be great nickname. Of course Sarge would screw it up and start calling him things like "Insert Damage" or "Instant Dalmation."

And, yeah, I'm in the camp that they should only trade him if they get someone really good in return; not some Trachsel-level rental arm.

ae, The Angels need bats all of a sudden because of injuries and are right in the thick of things with getting Teixiera. They also have tradable commodities to deal. There's also a lot of fan/media pressure to deal for a big bat.

Willis and Willis only if we have to trade Bourn. Any subtraction of the offense can only be done for vastly improved pitching.

If you're looking for vastly improved pitching, why would you want Dontrelle Willis? For the season, which is nearly 2/3rds over, he has given up 1.65 WHIP and sports an ERA+ of 80 (100 is average). Bourn for Noah Lowry, yes. For Dontrelle Willis, no. And given the slim odds of retaining Rowand, I don't trade Bourn at all.

I agree with the comments above that say Bourn stays in small part because he has shown some talent but even moreso because he's a cheap in-house replacement for Rowand after this year.

As for the Instant Damage nickname... meh. Seems more suited to a masher than a guy whose "damage" is equivalent to death from a thousand paper cuts.

With Rowand gone in 2 months, and PtBB gone in a year, it would be extremely shortsighted to move Bourn for anyone who isn't going to be contributing for 5 years.

The goal should be to build a team that can actual win something while the big 5 are under contract, not slapping together these perpetual slightly-above-average teams.

Dubee has finally done something right...his wife! Thanks for the trade bait buddy.

Clout- I know you're not a big fan of Victorino, and the main reason is you're an OPS guy. I love OPS too because it's one of the best offensive stats at summarizing a player's ability. However, speed and defense need to be brought into the equation. Now this is where it gets murky, because Bourn is faster the Vic, but Vic's defense is better (you can't deny that cannon for an arm). Vic has done a great job in my opinion in the 2 hole as a first year full-time starter. He has more pop in his bat than Bourn too.

Bourn's future is as a leadoff hitter for this club next season. Right now Bourn is successful in the role he's playing which is 4th outfielder. Rowand, Vic, and now Burrell are all good and should be starting for the Phils based on different skill sets they bring individually.

I'd hate to see Bourn traded, as I truly believe he could be an awesome sparkplug at the top of the order with Rollins finally slotting into the 2, 3, or 5 hole next season.

Only way I move Bourn if it's for a package of Woody Williams and Brad Lidge, but doubt Houston would do that.

I'm in the Bourn for Noah Lowry only camp. I'd throw another pitching prospect on top of that. Doesn't make a lot of sense for the Giants to trade a guy like that, but they do have lots of good young pitching but no offense.

I have ZERO interest in Dontrelle if it will take a legit guy like Bourn to get him.. and it will.

I see two people above list D-Train Willis for Bourn. Willis has sucked this season. A name I have heard around is Noah Lowry who I'd rather have than Willis.

Willis is pitching hurt. As soon a the Fish officially throw in the towel, I expect he'll be shut down (if he's not pitching in NY or LA by next week, that is).

While obviously you don't want to trade away something for nothing, given his single-digit HR power Bourn probably only gives you really positive value in CF. On the corners, he's probably borderline. We already have Vic for this. If you can trade either Bourn or Vic for decent pitching, you do it. While I agree they shouldn't trade him for a Lohse or someone, thats more because they shouldn't be trading for a Lohse at all... but Bourn is not going to be the savior, here.

It's funny how Michael Bourn has one good game & all of a sudden we get 20 posts saying that the Phillies would be idiots to trade him. I believe it was just yesterday morning that we had an equal number of posts insisting that he had to be traded for pitching help.

But that value in CF includes Andruw Jones in his prime like range.

bay - Quite typical. Another example: one win over a bad Pirate team and everyone has forgotten an ugly Nats series and is back in playoff mode.

Brian - Most folks around here do not value things like that - it can't easily be reduced to a stat, so it doesn't affect your fantasy baseball teram.

Bay Area Phan- I've been saying keep ahold of Bourn all along unless an outstanding deal can be struck (ala Noah Lowry). Bourn is still young and he's fast as hell, hate to see us ship him off for pitching filler that won't really help and then will be gone shortly.

curt - anas "ugly" as the nats series was, they still won 2 of 3. 4/7 on the west coast, and 3-1 at home.

i'll take a 7-4 run any time of the year.

Brian - I was keeping that in mind, which is why I said he would have positive value in CF, but not necessarily on the corners. I don't mean positive in absolute terms, but rather relative to the league average.

Carson: My post definitely wasn't a reference to you or, for that matter, to any specific poster. Just a general trend that I noticed. It may be that the "Trade Bourn" and "Don't Trade Bourn" camps are each comprised of the same people today as they were yesterday. But, if that's the case, then the people in the "Don't Trade Him" camp have sure been speaking up a lot more today than they were yesterday.

curt: Yes it was ugly. But they don't count ugly in the standings.

Carson: So you'd keep the .778 OPS and trade the .808 OPS. Interesting.

Joe - good instinct. If they continue that 7-4 run (.636) for the remaining 60 games they would just edge the Mets if the Mets continue to play at their .559 pace.

Brian Sabean is not an idiot. He has said the Giants are rebuilding. Now, why in the world would you think a rebuilding team would look to move Lowry? There's a lot of bad rumors out there.

Clout: You also need to take into consideration the sample sizes on the players' data. The OBP part of Bourn's OPS is driven largely by his batting avergage -- which just went up some .30 pts last night because of one great game against some horrendous pitchers.

Victorino has proven that, in addition to playing great defense, he can put up pretty respectable offensive numbers over a full season. Whether or not Bourn can do so is a major question mark. Assuming the right deal came along (a big if), there's no question in my mind that Bourn, not Victorino, is the guy to trade.

dont go too overboard on the Bourne bandwagon now guys....he did raise his average 50 points in one nite on July 27th which means he has very few ABS. His big thing has always been whether or note he will be able to hit enough to warrant being any everyday player or just an extra platoon OF guy like he's being used now. I really don't think the phils or any other team has a good enough read (even after last nite) to answer that question. THe only way to find out is to play him everyday and give him a shot. With the Phils as currently consituted I cannot see how they could give him a fair shot to play everyday right now or even next year. So while he may eventually become a very exciting player in the major leagues chances are it will not be with a contending team that will have enough patience to find out. It might be in the best interest of Bourn's career to be dealt to a team out of the hunt who can afford to allow him to get 200 ABs for the rest of the season and 500 next year. All that being said i'm not in favor of trading him at this point. All of this is subject to change like the wind currents in Citizens Bank Park though!

clout - For the reading-challenged, bay's point, which I echoed, was that 1 good game can dramatically change the tenor of the posts here.

You're the first person to suggest that ugly counted in the standings, and please don't bother addressing such lame observations to me.

BAP & Dude: Agree 100%. We have no way of knowing if Bourn can maintain that OPS. But he clearly has shown some skills that Vic doesn't have. The more I see of him the more I think he'll be the superior player in the long run.

Vic and Burrell are the opposite sides of the Beerleaguer coin. Vic could hit .215 and he'd be loved by everyone on Beerleaguer. Pat could have an MVP season and most here would still call him a bum. It makes for interesting times when emotion trumps logic.

curt: You didn't write this, "Another example: one win over a bad Pirate team and everyone has forgotten an ugly Nats series and is back in playoff mode."

Is someone stealing your screen name?

curt: Or did you forget who won the Nats series?

ummm Curt i guess you didn't take Statistics 101 in college. We all know that you have to have a much larger sample than 11 games to project over a 60 game span. What makes you think that just because the phils have played .636 ball in the LAST 11 games that they could keep that up? C'Mon man the phils are what they are, a barely over or under .500 team. They are 4 games over now but by the end of next week they could be one game under .500 like they were out about a week and half ago. IMO this team will fall a few games short just like they always do and we can thank the faceless owners and Monty for that.

Sorry clout, no time today for your little games.

John - let's just say you're arguing with the wrong guy.

curt: Don't blame you. When you have no defense, the wisest course is to withdraw.

The Phillies are in the market for a pitcher, but they've had trouble matching up. One source said that they might end up being a good third team in a deal, and there have been a couple of three-way discussions over the past 24 hours. How do the Phillies get into those? Because they have Michael Bourn to deal, and would reluctantly also discuss Shane Victorino and Ryan Madson.

from http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=6511

If Bourn does happen to be traded, and Rowand walks after the season, wouldn't Victorino be in center next year? His defense is great, and offense is more typical for CF than RF anyway. So of course the next question would be, who plays right? Werth? A FA?

Bourn's a rookie though, and I think offensively he's only going to get better, not worse - which isn't to say next year I'd expect him to hit .310. He's not really a .303 hitter, he just had a good game which boosted his numbers a whole lot and I'd expect those to dip. However, he has a lot of upside - Victorino doesn't. What you see with him is most likely what you're going to continue to get. Bourn does look like he could be a Juan Pierre who gets on base a whole lot more... Victorino's a mediocre offensive player who can run and has a great arm. Also, he's likely to bring back more in trades because he's the proven commodity. So I'd lean towards trading him.

Clout - you're astute about most things, but I don't know why you would believe any trade involving Bourn at the deadline would involve 'equal value'. Trade deadline deals have *nothing* to do with equal value - they're all about exploitation. Off-season trades often have a far greater chance to revolve around equal value, but even then in most cases, most trades are financially driven. You seem almost naive about what goes into the consummation of a baseball trade.

Also - I will never understand the insistence on trying to simplify a player's entire value into OPS. Frankly, I'm sick of it. It's lame, it's lazy, and it's invalid. What a player can do on the bases and in the field is in no way measured by this tidy little number, and I'm tired of arguments being made about players with no attention given to anything other than what they do as hitters. Victorino represents FAR more value to the Phillies than Pat Burrell because of his overall dynamics. How many runs does he prevent in the field, how many does he create with his speed, and how many are denied by Burrell's nonexistent range and foot speed? Stop pretending that it all boils down to the magic "OPS" number, because it doesn't.

Gillick's comment about the lack of corner OF power disturbs me, because ideally next season, Bourn should be starting in the outfield. It would be my preference that the OF look like this: Bourn, Rowand, Victorino. If they can't/won't re-sign Rowand, then fine, hang onto Burrell. But if Rowand is back, then Burrell should be the one who goes, not Bourn. You want power, you've got it all over the infield. Bourn will help win this team more games over a full season than Burrell.

RSB: I agree that there's more to a player's value than OPS. OPS is simply the best way to measure a player's offense. You have to balance that with what a player brings on defense. For example, the shortstop has more chances than any player on the field outside of the firstbaseman, thus his defense is a major factor in his value. Teams are willing to give up something on offense at SS if the player's defensive skills in preventing runs offsets that.

In making the statement that you have, saying that Victorino represents FAR more value than Burrell, you would have to prove that Victorino's defense in a corner OF position prevents FAR more runs than the run-creating gap on offense between him and Burrell. You can't do that, of course, because he doesn't. Another case of emotion trumping facts. The fact is, while it's nice to have great defense in the corner OF spots, it's the least important place on the field for defense, especially in a little bandbox like CBP.

RSB: Actually there have been good trades made at the deadline, although not by this team. I do agree that odds are against it and, as I posted above, if they can't get equal value for Bourn, they shouldn't make the move.

Clout: how many 'good' trades made at the deadline for *both* sides? Very, very few, if any. You're usually talking about two teams who are headed in different directions, so it makes sense that the trades would exist to serve different ends.

When taking into account the built-in advantages Victorino has over someone like Burrell - not only on defense (and last time I looked, the Phillies also play 81 games away from CBP, where OF defense supposedly doesn't matter), but as you failed to address, on the bases as well - this is much more than a case of me being 'emotional'. Burrell can walk 120 times, but how many extra bases will he take, how many runs will he score? Is the object of the game to get on base, or is it moreover to around the bases and score runs? Burrell has been on base 150 times this year and he's scored 39 runs. Take away the homers, and he's been on base 137 times and scored *26* runs. Yes, in some cases his walks have prolonged innings and moved other runners along, but I can't imagine they've led to all that many more runs considering that the bottom of the order is directly beneath him.

OPS is an objective value. a player's OPS is his OPS; everybody doesn't get to assign their own OPS to a player. it is neither the best statistic nor the worst statistic as far as offense goes. it is, however, a convenient and easy-to-understand way to compare players without getting into EQA, or VORP, or Win Shares, or other far more complicated measurements.

subjective valuations of a player's skills, on the other hand, are equally convenient but not remotely useful. RSB thinks Victorino is more valuable than Burrell because he's more dynamic. of course, dynamism is unmeasurable, so if RSB thinks Victorino is dynamic then he's dynamic. it shortcuts the debate, prevents anyone else from offering a counterargument, and is therefore basically a useless way to judge players.

of course that doesn't mean that when you're evaluating Victorino as a player you should ignore the fact that he can steal bases, or the fact that he is an excellent baserunner. but saying "Victorino is dynamic; Burrell is not; therefore Victorino > Burrell" is a waste of time.

in any case, comparing Victorino and Burrell has another problem - they have completely different skill sets. Victorino is a far better leadoff hitter than Burrell is. Burrell is a far better middle-of-the-lineup hitter than Victorino is. you couldn't make a whole team of Burrells any more than you could make a whole team of Victorinos.

RSB: considering how often Burrell is lifted for a pinch runner, that measurement is obviously flawed.

also: "I can't imagine they've led to all that many more runs considering that the bottom of the order is directly beneath him."

that is not Burrell's fault. that is Manuel's fault for leveraging a guy who gets on base 40% of the time poorly.

RSB: Yes if you remove Burrell's HRs then Vic looks pretty good by comparison. And if you remove Vic's singles, Burrell looks pretty good. All completely meaningless.

ae: first of all, your point about Burrell many times being lifted for a pinch-runner is one I should have considered.

However, the fact that the bottom of the order is directly beneath him should in fact tell you that his NOT a position in the order where walks are either particularly valuable or often appropriate.

I also don't agree that since Victorino's dymanics are 'immeasurable' that they therefore render any argument in their behalf inherently unfair. Here's something to consider: what *is* measureable of Victorino isn't all that bad, for one thing. Few right fielders this year have been more productive from an overall offensive standpoint. Some may get on base and pop more homers, but they will drop off considerably in stolen bases and runs scored. Victorino will never be a star, but he is the most well-balanced offensive player on the Phillies next to Rollins and Utley.

I don't think it's appropriate to dismiss an argument simply because statistics can't fully support it. Burrell has very few skills and Victorino has a far more dynamic set of skills. Neither has any real dominant skills. But overall Victorino simply helps this team in more ways and more frquently than Burrell can. If you watch baseball every day, that should be sufficient grounds for arguing and counter-arguing, even if god forbid you can't be definitively 'proven' right or wrong and get to raise up the flag of triumph atop another defeated, shamed poster. If observation is tantamount to 'emotionalism', then I guess the entire profession of scouting is as useless. I mean, why pay guys to go and actually watch players if their composite statistics tell you the whole story?

We did a poll that ran on TGP for about a week and change: who of Bourn, Rowand and Victorino should be the Phillies CF next year? I think Shane got a plurality, but all three of them received considerable support.

This suggests to me that there isn't a "right" answer for the question. All three guys have value. Ironically I'm not sure that Rowand isn't the worst defender of the three. But he's still pretty good, and Shane's arm certainly plays in right.

As he made his way up through the chain, I always hoped Bourn would develop into the traditional high-OBP leadoff guy we haven't had since Dykstra. That he's playing better in the big leagues, albeit in limited at-bats, than he did in the high minors, is a really good sign.

I'd trade him, but it would have to be a guy like Olsen or Snell or Lowry or Daniel Cabrera--all of whom the Phils evidently have sniffed around. Not Willis; he's been lousy this year, he's about to get very expensive, and he might well be injured. That said, the rumor is that the Phils offered Bourn plus Carrasco for Willis, and the Marlins said no.

RSB: As you know runs is a pretty meaningless stat. A player does not score a run by himself except on a HR. He is dependent on the hitters behind him.

But if you'd like to measure "runs created," there is a stat for that and it includes steals.[(H + BB + HBP - CS - GIDP) times (Total bases + .26[BB - IBB + HBP] + .52[SH + SF + SB])] divided by (AB + BB + HBP + SH+ SF)].

In fact you can extrapolate that stat over 27 outs. Burrell's RC/27 is 6.90 and Vic's is 5.80, which means a theoretical lineup of Burrells will outscore a lineup of Vics by 1.1 runs per game.

Just to amend, ae, I think I bought into your argument more than I should have by agreeing that Victorino's dynamism is not 'measurable'. It may not be in terms of precisely how many hits and runs he takes away in the OF, but otherwise his stats certainly do reflect the range of what he can do: 31 steals, 35 extra-base hits, and a respectable .348 OBP. Add the measurable to the merely observable, and I think you might agree that Victorino's overall package is of greater service to a baseball team.

The counter-arguments made here suggest, on the other hand, that Burrell may not be as bad as I consider him to be. I am not just here to argue, I am listening to you.

RSB writes, "in some cases his walks have prolonged innings and moved other runners along, but I can't imagine they've led to all that many more runs considering that the bottom of the order is directly beneath him." However, I did a little study of this a few weeks ago, I posted the results in a thread a while back, and I found that his walks led to more runs than you might think. Let's look at his recent walks and you'll see what I mean.

Yesterday, one walk, bases loaded. Knocks in one run.

7/25 - first walk, bases are loaded. Knocks in one run. Second walk, men on second and third, two outs. Helms then strikes out. Leads to no runs.

7/24 - First walk, no men on, one out. Dobbs singles, Ruiz strikes out, Kendrick grounds out. Leads to no runs. Second walk, no men on, two outs. Helms flies out. Leads to no runs.

7/21 - First walk, no men on, one out. Helms homers, Ruiz pops out, Moyer grounds out. Leads to one run. Second walk, men on first and third, two outs. Helms strikes out. Leads to no runs.

7/20 - First walk, one out, no men on. Helms singles, Barajas grounds into double play. Leads to no runs. Second walk, leads off inning. Pinch-run for. Helms singles, Barajas flies out, Nunez strikes out, Rollins singles, Bourn scores, Victorino strikes out. Leads to one run.

7/17 - Man on second, two outs. Helms lines out. Leads to no runs.

7/15 - Men on first and second, one out. Dobbs pops out, Helms grounds out. Leads to no runs.

7/14 - Man on second, two outs. Helms grounds out. Leads to no runs.

7/13 - Man on first, two outs. Dobbs strikes out. Leads to no runs. Second walk, leads off inning. Dobbs singles, Ruiz hit by pitch, Kendrick sac flies, Burrell scores, Rollins singles, Dobbs scores, Victorino grounds into double play. Leads to one run.

7/06 - Man on second, one out. Helms doubles, Rowand and Burrell score, Coste grounds out, Kendrick strikes out. Leads to one run.

7/02 - Man on second, one out. Helms hit by pitch, Ruiz doubles, Howard and Burrell score, Coste grounds out, Rollins flies out. Leads to one run.

7/01 - First walk, two outs, no one on. Dobbs doubles, Burrell scores, Ruiz strikes out. Leads to one run. Second walk, men on first and third, two outs. Dobbs lines out. Leads to no runs.

So in the month of July, Burrell's 18 walks led to 8 runs, or one walk translated into .444 runs. And those numbers are actually a lot lower than when I looked at his walks in May. Also, as ae points out, if Burrell were moved up in the lineup, those walks would lead to a lot more runs.

I must admit, there have been some well-reasoned (and refreshingly civil) posts disputing my claims about Burrell. I remain unconvinced that he generates more overall value for this team than more dimensional players like Victorino, but I am gaining a little better appreciation for where some of you are coming from.

...I guess that stopped everyone dead in their tracks.

If a team was willing to give up a valuable bullpen piece for 1 of either Bourn or Victorino, who would you give them?

I have to say that I think I would give them Victorino. While I love his arm, stolen bases, and attitude, I just think Bourn has more of an upside. What we are seeing of Victorino is what we will get. Although we haven't had much of a sample of Bourn, I think he will improve the more he plays.

Dukes: Hopefully it would not come to that, but I would say give them Victorino, also. But what would the Phillies do? Give them Bourn. Why? Because Victorino's more marketable.

Good point about the marketability factor - they did just give out the Hawaiian bobbleheads!

I just feel something has to give here with the outfield. They have three centerfielders, a left fielder that the GM doesn't like (and neither did I until about two weeks ago), and a glaring need for a pitcher. I just thing something will happen.

I suppose it wouldn't be *just* the marketability factor. Victorino's been an integral part of this team and you don't mess with the chemistry at this point in the season.

The real X factor here is what they plan to do with Rowand, and if they haven't figured that out by now, I would hope they do so very quickly.

Lineups
Iguchi, Helms, Bourn and Coste tonight against the lefty Youman.

Phils
1. M Bourn, CF
2. S Victorino, RF
3. J Rollins, SS
4. R Howard, 1B
5. P Burrell, LF
6. W Helms, 3B
7. T Iguchi, 2B
8. C Coste, C
9. J Durbin, P

Bucs
1. N McLouth, CF
2. F Sanchez, 2B
3. A LaRoche, 1B
4. J Bay, LF
5. X Nady, RF
6. R Doumit, C
7. J Castillo, 3B
8. J Wilson, SS
9. S Youman, P

Wait a sec... I thought Manuel was forbidden by Gillick to start Coste in a home game??!?!?! Where's davthom when you need him.

I actually figured we'd see a little more of Coste behind the plate once Utley went down. It's also nice not to see Nunez in the lineup. The black hole just got a lot smaller...

Love how Manuel is so determined to bunch all his speed guys and all his slow guys in different segments of the batting order. My preference would be Iguchi 2nd, Victorino 6th, Coste 7th, Helms 8th.

But I guess it ain't happening.

Phans, I don't know whether Bourn get dealt or not. What I believe is that you must have power from all 4 corner positions. If Rowand leaves (and I beieve he will), The only 25-30 HR guy in the OF is Burrell. Now I'm not saying he will hit 30, but he's done it in the past. He's got a complete no-trade so he'll probably stay. We have wirtually no power at 3b. Helms is signed for next year abd has no trade value. An Of of Bourn, Vic, Dobbs and Werth doesn't cut it power-wise. Since we don't have the pitching to win a lot of close games, we need all the offense we can get. I love the Taguchi move. Let's see if PG can follow it up.

Clout, from your post about 4 hours ago. Hatred of Burrell is a bit irrational, but I would say it's much more merited than not.
Let's run it down.
2002: Awesome year, looks like a future all star, we sign him long term.
2003: Absolutely horrendous all year, phans stick with him and hope he rallies back.
2004: Starts off hot the first month and a half, restoring some hope. Then reverts back to his horrendous '03 form, then gets hurt, and is below average again when he comes back.
2005: On the whole has a very very good year, but at this point the phans aren't sure whether to trust him.
2006: Has a solid year numbers wise, but is horrible in clutch situations (possibly a flukey year to year thing) and makes the strikeout looking his trademark. Definition of "morale killer". Starts to lose playing time bc of the inconsistency.
2007: Is absolutely HORRIBLE for all but the first 3 weeks of the season and one homestand in the middle. Not just bad but brutally terrible. Has come back to have a fantastic July(which, to be fair, no one but clout thought was possible). We'll see if it lasts, but phans are more than warranted in being skeptical. On the whole, if you look at the chronology, he's been a let down in a lot of different ways. And in the past 5 years, he's had ONE year where he's hit expectations, and a lot of disappointment mixed in around that. I don't think phans are being unfair or outrageously unreasonable to be frustrated with him as a player.

Burrell's slump was pretty easy to understand, as I said at the time and have continued saying. his BABIP was extremely, extremely low in the first few months of the season. the vast majority of the time, below-average performance on balls in play balances out in the long run. (I'm sure other things were involved too, maybe a nagging injury, who knows?)

and again, as I've said many times, Burrell is clearly a disappointment compared to what he looked like in 2002. but the contract is signed, it's a sunk cost. there's nothing we can do about him aside from paying virtually his entire contract to see him play for another team. just because he's not a perennial MVP contender doesn't mean he can't be a strong contributor to this team for the next year and a half. and believe it or not, a guy who can hit .250/.390/.500 - even if he's slow and an average-at-best COF - is valuable. (and to answer the inevitable question of why, then, nobody wants to trade for him: 1. FNTC 2. big contract 3. a terrible image in the baseball community, due in no small part to Philly media/management's insistence on dumping on him.)

RSB, you're absolutely right that Victorino does a lot of things to help the Phils score runs. and if we're going for straight quantity-over-quality, he does more of those things than Burrell.

the difference is that aside from stealing bases, Victorino doesn't really do any of those things in a notably above average way. Burrell, although his game is pretty severely limited, is really, really good at not making outs.

going back to my point earlier though, I'm not arguing that Burrell is better than Victorino, or vice versa. I think they've both been very important to this team's offensive success this year and last. I like having Victorino at the top of the lineup, and I like having Burrell not wasting at bats in the second half of the lineup (I'd be a lot happier if he was hitting higher, but then that's life).

I am in the keep Bourn & Victorino camp and pay the money or trade to get a power-hitting 3B in the offseason.

With many holes going into next year unless the Phils get a no-brainer trade proposal I would not jeopardize losing either for a roll-of-the-dice pitcher.

With all the young pitching prospects in the system we would have an exciting base of offensive & defensive position talent for the next few years.

Also we could have 6 position players that are home-grown next year with Bourn - an unimaginable but realistic possiblity.

Constanzo would be a long shot to make that 7 but stranger things have happened, especially this year.

I agree with other posters, Bourn can not be traded unless you already have a deal in place locking up Rowand for a few years. But a contending team needs 4 quality outfielders, which they currently do, now that July's weather has awoken Pat's bat.

One thing to say about this "no credit should be given to Gillick for the Iguchi deal" line of thinking - I don't recall anyone ever giving Ed Wade a so-called "make-up" deal. If the respect Gillick's peers have for him is the only difference over the last GM's administration of this team, it is proving to be a significant area of improvement.

Finally, Iguchi should bat 6th, ahead of Helms. Here's hoping he has a good first night in the NL!

I'm with RSB in the hit Iguchi 2nd camp. it's where he's hit in nearly every game with the White Sox.

I like Bourn and he brings some real strong suits to the table but let's not go overboard. Offensively, Bourn is a singles hitter with a decent eye that enables him to get a fair number of walks. Bourn has almost no power and really doesn't hit a lot of extra-base hits in general; however, he can compensate for this a bit with ridiculous speed/extremely high SB %.

Defensively, Bourn is above average but he isn't a great defender. He has plus range but seems to take poor routes to the ball at ties. Plus, Bourn only an average arm. Nothing to be ashamed of but he is not in Victorino's league as a defender.

Its funny because this is the profile of your prototypical leadoff guy who has almost become extinct in MLB.

The real value of Bourn is that he is cheap and presents a viable alternative option if the Phils let Rowand walk this offseason. I could live with an outfield next year of Burrell, Bourn, and Victorino if the Phils upgrade 3B or use some of the money to upgrade their pitching.

Not as crazy about an outfield of Rowand, Bourn, and Victorino. Doubt that Rowand is capable of duplicating what likely is a career season again and this outfield is sorely lacking in power. I just don't know if the increased speed and defense would be enough to compensate for a potentially anemic .SLG percentage.

Being in the "playoffs are highly unlikely" camp and Utley's injury further damping the Phils' chances, I would almost not trade Bourn under any circumstances. The Phils are going to need some cheaper players (Ruiz, Bourn, Victorino) to round out the roster next year and allow Gillick to pursue some pitching upgrades.

MG: I've seen some indications that Bourn has extra-base power which might easily increase as he gets older. I think you might be selling him short by projecting him as strictly a singles hitter.

Braves lose 4-3 in 10. Phils are now 2 ahead in the loss column!

Anyone notice the Coste-Durbin connection they have going?

boy Helms stinks

I guess they were together at Reading..?

Coste!

looks like the floodgates opened on tradeable infielders: Devil Rays send Wigginton to the Astros and Cantu to the Reds.

Coste with the gun!! The guy has thrown out a ton of runners this year -- unfortunately most in the minors, but he has thrown out two of four runners with the Phillies this season, while picking a runner off second base in Colorado. Anyone who has questioned Coste's arm doeszn't know the facts.

After Durbin's first winning start -- Durbin apparently said on a Philly radio or television show interview that he had asked for Coste to catch him for his second start -- last Sunday's complete game five-hit shutout over the Padres.

for a little guy, vic took that hard to the house!

That's what a 3rd hole hitter does.

Coste throws out the runner and I yell, "attaboy, davthom!"

gotta watch out for small guys...

Vic has smashed into catchers on previous occasions--one time against the Mets last year, if I remember correctly.

The Astros as buyers, eh? Interesting.

How the hell does J.D. Durbin have the kind of cache to request his catcher...?

@RSB - Manuel is a players manager simple as that.

if it makes the guy throw another shutout, he can have a ballgirl of his choosing catch his game in crotchless panties.

Don't you suppose every pitcher would prefer pitching to Coste...??

RSB -- Who knows? I just read that after Durbin's first complete game win, he made the request that Coste catch him in his second start -- which turned out to be Durbin's complete game sutout in San Diego last Sunday. I'll try to find the link where I read this. I forget the name of the show on which Durbin said this.

Re: Durbin's Cache -- Plus having it doesn't hurt when you have results like this.

Sorry, had to dig it up:

"In the eighth, Shane Victorino, inserted into the game as a pinch-runner, ran over Lo Duca and knocked the ball loose to score what turned out to be a huge insurance run on a Howard double. The run was the first allowed by Mets pitcher Duaner Sanchez in 21 innings."

http://mlb.mlb.com/content/printer_friendly/mlb/y2006/m05/d09/c1445625.jsp

Is Ryan Doumit Eskimo? Not joking, he looks Eskimo to me. Anyone know?

what the hell are the Stros thinking? What a useless trade for them.

Iguchi drags the Phillies kicking and screaming into the 21st century...

he sucks, send him back to reading

attaboy davthorn

Coste with the shot double and and RBI -- the guy belongs in Philly -- period!!

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