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Friday, August 24, 2007


Just wanted to "speak up" that I'm also a little tired of the up/down of the pitching staff. Not sure where to find it, but I'd have to assume that the Phils are toward the top of the league in # of moves internally.

bathtuphippo: From last thread "in my opinion, our other options (besides Durbin) can do a lot worse than 4 ER in 6 IP."

If Durbin were only allowing 4 runs in 6 IP per start, I'd agree with you. He isn't.

Can someone please explain to me why neither Happ nor Mateo are being recalled and instead we get this proven failure garbage like Sanches?

Jason: As usual you're on target with your Myers comment. Gillick's failure to address the bullpen in the offseason forced the desperation move of Myers. Those, like kdon, who say it was a bad move have yet to offer a valid alternative.

Clout: you seem to be searching to understand what we see; here's the best I can do statistically. In his 6 starts with the Phils, Durbin has given up 18 ER in 36 2/3 innings. That's an ERA of 4.42. Since he's never gonna pitch more than about 6 (unless he's throwing a shutout - did we mention he's actually thrown a shut out this year?) that works out to an average of 2.95 Earned Runs per six inning start. (Still want Eaton? Still think six-walk Castro is a better option?)

Moreover, in every other place, Durbin's first nerve-wracked start with a new team has been abysmal. His Philly debut was also astoundingly bad: 6 ER in 4 2/3 innings - yikes!! But if you discount that start, and look at what he's done since then, he's thrown 32 innings with 13 earned runs. (ERA of 3.65.) Some might even say that over the span of his last five starts, Durbin has been the "Real Deal."

As far as keeping his team in the game, Durbin's Phillies record is 5 - 3, a .625 winning percent - slightly better than the Phils' overall record.

And if he does make it, what a great story!

Myers to the BP was obviously a bad move - obvious then, obvious now. Without the move Myers would be approaching 200 innings, not 50. That's 150 innings not pitched by Sanches, Condrey, Mesa, Yoel etc etc. Without the move Myers would be pitching 7 innings every 5 days instead of the current 1. A closer is pointless if the rest of the staff can't get the game to the 9th inning, and ours can't. The definition of a closer, like any other BP guy, is still pretty much a "failed starter." There's a reason for that.

As to the bullpen.

Jason nailed it. Team management was lackadaisical during the off-season. I still remember all those tight-lipped quotes from Chollie as spring training drew to a close where he said things like, "We'll go with the players we have."

Every reason I could imagine for bringing up Sanches (Major league experience, he misses bats) is more true for Happ and Mateo. (Except he's a reliever and Happ is a starter, but that's a stoopid reason.)

Think how much better we'd be with Happ and Mateo instead of Sanches and Gordon/Condrey/Geary (pick'em) right now.

Right, Curt.
It still goes back to someone sitting on their hands (guarding their wallets?) in the off-season. If Myers wasn't pitching the last inning in those few close games we manage to lead by then, who would do it? It's sort of a vicious cycle. No starter to get to the closer, no closer to finish.

Yesterday's problem was due in part to bringing Gordon in. This guy is spent. Anyone of the bullpen guy's might have had a different result.

Originally, I wasn't a fan of Myers being sent to the pen. However, every year it's getting harder to again convince myself that this will be Myers's breakout year, that he'll step up and be a top of the rotation pitcher. Maybe the bullpen is the best place for him.

"If Durbin were only allowing 4 runs in 6 IP per start, I'd agree with you. He isn't."

What a weird thing to say. He's actually doing better than that.

Durbin starts:
4.2 IP 6ER
6.0 IP 1ER
9.0 IP 0ER
5.0IP 5ER
6.0 IP 2ER
6.0 IP 4ER

That would be 4.47 ERA, or 2.98 per 6 innings.

Like the Padres, the Dodgers seem to be one big bat away from being the odds-on favorite in the NL.

I am tired of this team. Don't get me wrong, the stars are nice and should be a nice nucleus for a number of years, but I am tired of the absolute lower lever players on this team. They aren't adequate. They are terrible. They have no business being on a team with playoff aspirations. Castro, Hernandez, Sanches, Geary, Mesa, Nuni, Sanches, Zagurski. Hell, even Alfonseca, Durbin, and Gordon make make ill anymore. The list seems to go on and on and on and on...

Gillick has totally sh*t the bed. He has done nothing worthy to keep his job. I am tired of him. I am also tired of his crappy assistant, but I will save my vile for him for another day. Gillick is a pathetic old man who really doesn't care that the Phils haven't been in the playoffs since '93. After coming so close the past few seasons, plus with how crappy the NL has been, you would think Gillick would step up and actually try to get this team into the playoffs. Not Pat. Not here.

I am also tired of Charlie's bumbling ways. He is so far from a complete manager, it is even funny. And don't even get me started on the futileness of Steve Smith, Jimy Williams, and Rich Dubee.

Wholesale changes need to be made, sooner rather than later.

If I were a Phil, I would be sick at the lack of moves being made to help this team. As crappy as the back end relievers have been, I would like to see the Phils think outside of the box and not Myers as a reliever outside the box.

Actually try Happ again. Perhaps give Knotts a shot. Maybe Ennis. See what you have in Kane Davis. Hell, bring up the wife biter from Seattle. I mean who knows... Maybe one or two of these guys could pan out and just maybe offer you more than a Mesa or Gordon at this point in their careers. I pray Gordon retires and the Phils boot Mesa to the curb sooner rather than later.

It's the same damn thinking of bringing the same damn crappy relievers up over and over again that continues to put this team in a rut.

I am tired. I don’t even feel like typing how I feel K after K after K after K...

* make me ill, not make ill.

Feel free to add Adam Eaton's name to the list of Phutile Phils...

* it isn't even funny.

Man, the Phils got my typing all screwed up.

While at it, add Rod Barajas to the list too. Effin' bum...

Andy and reading phan - good use of stats to support your assertion. Although it certainly doesn't "feel like it," the numbers show that Durbin averages a Quality Start in his 6 starts (although only 3 of the starts qualified for that designation). Perhaps we're letting his relief work factor into the ineffectiveness discussion?

All of that being said, if he can continue at the pace of those 6 starts (surely a big IF), he's absolutely an upgrade over Eaton. Is he as big of an upgrade as we'd like? Certainly not, but he's serviceable.

Gordon won't retire. If he retires, he doesn't get his $$ for his contract for next year. That's why he's pitching through his injuries.

Clout asks: Can someone please explain to me why neither Happ nor Mateo are being recalled and instead we get this proven failure garbage like Sanches?

On Happ, that's a good question & someone other than I will have to answer it. On Mateo, it's all about PR. When they traded for this guy, it never occurred to Gillick or Monty that the public might be offended that they're bringing another wife beater on board. Then the articles all hit the newspaper the next day & management realized that the team would take a PR hit if they added him to the roster. So they decided to stash him in the minors, where no one would notice. Meanwhile, the bullpen keeps losing them important games and, while Mateo rots, they call up one fringe reliever after another.

Someone in the local media really needs to call out management on this situation. Management is sabotaging the team's playoff chances for PR purposes, & the public needs to be reminded that these guys are a bunch of hypocrites who didn't care anything about Mateo's domestic violence when they traded for him, but now care so much about it that they'd rather miss the playoffs than have another wife beater on the team.

On Mateo, I realize that last post was about the 4th or 5th time in the last 2 days, I've written essentially the same post. But the situation really does piss me off more than anything the Phillies' management has done, or failed to do, in the last year. In the midst of a playoff race, our bullpen blows game after game. Management KNOWS they have a guy in Reading who can help but they won't call him up because of "principles" that didn't come over them until all of the critical newspaper articles came out on the day after the trade. Now, thanks to these made-up principles, we are going to miss the playoffs by a game or two. Again.

I saw the Sanchez move as a trash move. The Phils have been trying to stretch Castro into a starter, so sending him back down made sense, so he wouldn't miss his next start. Eaton will make Cole's next start (like it or not). Sanchez was just a guy to fill up the bullpen until then Eaton gets the call. He won't pitch an inning unless it's a blow-out.

People shouldn't get upset about Happ or another prospect not being called up. Whoever was called up, they weren't going to be used. So you call up Sanchez, a guy with some experience, no future and leave your prospects alone in the minors.

reading phan and Andy: Your selective use of stats is fun, but way off the point. Here is my original post:
Durbin's line for his past 3 starts:

6 IP 5 R
6 IP 3 R
5 IP 5 R

What about those facts don't you understand?

Will: You're exactly right. My complaint about Happ & Mateo isn't about this minor 4-day move, which you've correctly analyzed. It's about why they aren't up now and for the rest of the season, replacing lesser players currently on the pitching staff (i.e. Mesa, Geary & Condrey)

I've somewhat come around on the Myers move, as I wrote here:

and I agree that the blame falls on Gillick more than Manuel. We know Cholly doesn't run the bullpen well; giving him that collection of slop--both to start the season and through ill-advised additions like the wretched Mesa--is like putting an pyromaniac in the basement with a Zippo and jugs of gasoline.

And yes, it's irritating to see mediocrities like Geary and Sanches (who actually aspires to mediocrity) shuffled in and out of the bigs while a probably better (if scummier) option in Mateo sits in Reading. My only quibble with Jason's take here is the Castro-bashing; though it's true his command stinks, the stuff is clearly there. With a little more experience, this guy is going to be either a solid #4 starter or a very, very good setup man.

Still, all this harping on the pitching staff lets the hitters off the hook. This offense is doing nothing right now; unless they get back to averaging 5.5 runs a game, they won't make the playoffs and might not even finish above .500. Howard is in a terrible slump, and Rollins and Rowand look exhausted to me.

@dajafi -- good point re: castro. No credit was given to getting out of jams. "Dodgers beat themselves there."


Brian Sanches being recalled is the kind of move that gives me goosebumps.

dajafi: I hope you're right about Castro, but I wouldn't bet on it. Yes, he clearly has good stuff, and, yes, his command is the only problem. But there's no guarantee he's ever going to improve that command. Some guys do; some guys don't (see, i.e., Adam Eaton). It's alarming to me that Castro's control is no better this year than it was last year.

Casto has a live arm & is worth having around in case he one day puts it together and learns how to throw strikes. But I definitely wouldn't count on him to be any part of the team's future because, at this point, it's just wishful thinking.

It's not necessarily bashing though. Six walks is what it is. Hitters swinging and pitches over their heads is what it is. It wasn't a good callup. The live arm and stuff is meaningless if he can throw strikes.

How many graet young pitching prospects does this team really have in the minors? What would it take to get any of them up here? If management really cared, which I think they don't, save the lip service, they would be strategizing on how and when to get them up here. It doesn't seem to me that they are. Plain and simple. I wonder why I care so much sometimes. It's like watching The Dirty Dozen over and over and hoping James Brown makes it to the truck before he gets shot. No matter how many times I watch it, he never makes it...

castro is still just 22, and therefore it is WAYYYY too early to declare his career dead.

his stuff is nasty. so is his control.

OUCH ... pretty tough on Geary. He did inherit a baseloaded no-out jam from Flash "in the pan" Gordon. Geary got out of the inning by making two superb defensive plays. Granted he IS mediocre ... but I don't think he deserves the criticism for the loss. The offense needs to put up runs. We need to go 5-2 the rest of the home stand to stay in the mix of things ... I don't think its gonna happen unless the bullpen stops bleeding runs in. Howard could use a day off ... When Utley returns they should play him at first for a game and let Iguchi play second ...

On the stat sheet, he threw a two-inning, one-hit shutout yesterday, lowering his ERA .23 points. In real life, he killed any chance for the Phillies to get back in the game.

Wow. That is an awfully harsh attack on Geary. The guy came in with the bases loaded and no outs. He got Gonzalez to hit into a double play that got the runner out at home. He then gave up a groundball - not a well hit ball, just one that happened to find a hole. He also pitched a scoreless ninth.

The blame for yesterday's loss rests on the shoulders of a lot of Phillies, but I don't think Geary is one of them.

odd ... we posted the same sentiment at the same exact time ... great minds not only think alike ... but apparently do so at the same exact time!

Mac: Unless I'm forgetting someone, we basically have 3 pitching prospects in the minors who might be ready to join the major league team within the next 2 years: Happ, Carrasco & Outman. None of them looks to be another Cole Hamels but I think all 3 are pretty highly regarded. But, of those guys, only Happ is remotely ready for the majors right now.

Drabek, Savery & Carpenter are 3 other good pitching prospects, but they are farther down the minor league food chain, plus Drabek just had TJ surgery.

Are you guys members of the Geoff Geary fanclub? Camman! Gotta blame somefin. It's that kind of day.

weitzel -

if yer gonna blame someone, go with gordon. he was the putz that couldnt geta single out last night.

it would have been better to throw geary in the 8th than flush.

Gordon's on the list, rest assured. I'm trying to figure out a way to put the bat boy on the list.

I've reached the breaking point. What I want to do is just concede they have no shot at this, but the mediocre NL isn't letting that happen ...

Jason: I had to go back and look at Geary's stats for the season when I saw those posts. He's been awful, though you wouldn't know it from Beerleaguer. For some reason he's always been overrated on this site and I'm not sure why. Just a likeable guy I guess.

Likeable or not, he sucks. He would not have made the call-up in at least 60-70% of any other MLB team's organization for a few reasons. Firstly, his past performance (which is precisely what got him demoted in the first place). Secondly, the majority of other clubs have much better options in their farm system. Additionally, many teams would rather "think outside the box" and use the time to groom a younger guy (only a week out from Sept call-ups, afterall) to get ready for a legit run. It's a totally different mindset/philosophy.

Remember when everyone thought that Hamels got the call way too early? How did that pan out??? There's something to be said about pitchers with upside taking a few lumps early on and learning by fire. Position players/hitters are a different story.

As far as I'm concerned, the recycling of Sanchez, Geary, Condrey, Castro et al reeks of not only desperation and confusion, but overall pitching development mediocrity and shortcomings in the minor league system (where these guys are supposed to "develop").

It's lingering affection for the only BP guy who could reliably get people out for 2-3 months late last year, til he got burned by Cholly.

I looked on, Geary has allowed 9 of 36 inherited runners to score, 25%. From watching him this year I was pretty sure that number was been well over 100%.

I've reached the breaking point. What I want to do is just concede they have no shot at this, but the mediocre NL isn't letting that happen ...

Say it ain't so! You can't give up now!

You have to wait until next Thursday, after the smoke clears from the Mets series. That's the time to make the final decision if you're on the bandwagon or not. If they sweep the Padres and split the Mets, they'll still be in the WC chase.

Why not go after a waived pitcher? At least there's some experience, rather than babies like Castro or Happ. They can't do any worse. This team is built or has been relegated to outscore the opponent due to crappy pitching. The pen "is what it is", but the bats have to start poppin'. Right, Ryan?

"Unless I'm forgetting someone, we basically have 3 pitching prospects in the minors who might be ready to join the major league team within the next 2 years: Happ, Carrasco & Outman. None of them looks to be another Cole Hamels but I think all 3 are pretty highly regarded."

Guys like Cole Hamels don't grow on trees. He has a chance (if he stays healthy) to be one of the best pitchers in baseball for the next 10 years. The Phils should be just glad they have one of the best young starters in baseball, and build the rest of the rotation around him.

But, you are likely correct, that it is likely that Happ, Carrasco and Outman are the only "high minors" pitching prospects that could help the Phils in the next year or 2. They have won a lot of games the past few years coming up the ladder. And, all seem to be different (which is good), with their stuff.

I would throw Mathieson and Zagurski in there as well. Mathieson has really good stuff and throws hard, which is something the bullpen could definitly use (a hard thrower). Plus, by all accounts, he has a bit of nasty side to his makeup. Zagurski was rushed to the majors before he should have been, but has a low 90's fastball and a decent slider and seems to have a good makeup for a reliever. Both could play major roles in the pen next year.

Carpenter has won 15 games this year in A ball, so that can't be ignored. He hasn't given up many home runs either.

And, even though his numbers might not be great, I have heard good things about Pat Overholt, who is at Reading now. He has good stuff, but may not be a starter down the road. And, even though this season has not gone well for him, Joe Bisenius should not be forgotten about. Another guy that the Phils tried to rush up to the majors, before he was really ready and then he got hurt. I think he could project as a nice 6th or 7th inning reliever down the road, if he stays healthy.

How does it play out next year? I see Happ in the back-end of the rotation in 08'. I think both Carrasco and Outman start the year at AAA next year, and could be the first guys up, should a injury (or 12) strike the starters next season. I think Carpenter starts next year at AA, along with Savery.

Goin to the game tonight. Question for people who have been at the last couple games: what is the frustration level inside the stadium like when Howard strikes out again and again? If he strikes out for the 3rd time tonight in a big situation in the 7th inning, will we boo him?

clout, i usually agree with you, but this time i think you're being both selective and nitpicking to support a pretty tenuous claim. the selective part: you are looking only at the last few starts instead of the whole sample and you're talking about all runs instead of merely ER since this boosts your argument. a tad disingenuous and unfair to durbin after watching some of the crap defense behind him. the nitpicking part: the numbers you give are a touch worse than 4 runs in 6 IP but not catastrophically worse and certainly no better than we were getting from eaton.

and, unless i am mistaken and missed a post somewhere, you still haven't named names of a couple guys you'd rather see in there than durbin right now. i'll grant you happ, but castro looked abysmal and i'm all but done suffering through eaton. who else?

my point is not that durbin is going to amount to anything in the majors and be a star pitcher in the future for the phils, but simply that you have to admit that he has managed to somewhat consistently keep them in the games for the most part.

I would call up Outman just for the sake of his name. There is a lot of pun potential there.

Yes Jack. There will be booing.

Although I am hoping Howard sits tonight. He just needs it.


I have to agree on the part about the pen; the biggest disaster was switching Myers to the pen after only 15 games. While he did a great job, I think you can argue that not preparing him for the role in spring training (and Manuel's overuse when he did move) led to his injury.

At the time, Manuel admitted it was a move of desperation both because of the pen's situation and a couple of bad outing by Myers.

But this desperation came about because Manuel didn't have any faith in hi players to begin with. For example, Madson was made the 8th inning guy in spring training but lost his job *two games into the season* because of the extra inning bombs; the irony being that he lost the 8th inning job without actually ever comming into the game when the Phillies had the lead!

The talent level is clearly below average, but Gillick and Manuel deserve the most blame for not having a plan.

Geary suprised a lot of people with a good year last year but has been abysmal any other time.

It seems like a lot of relievers have this sort of pattern and it is luck if a reliever is on your team for his career year. Examples that come to mind - Franklin, Rick White, Todd Jones

Gillick deserves way more blame than anyone. He flat out refused to address the bullpen, the one glaring hole in the team. Why would Manuel have had faith in his crap bullpen from the beginning? He knew. He knew they could never survive with Alf, Matt Smith, Madson, and Gordon.

Anyways, with us missing both Peavy and Young this weekend, winning 2 of 3 at least is mandatory. Especially when you consider our "Big 3" are going: Moyer, Loshe, Kendrick.

For the first time all year I'm not excited anymore. They get themselves 2 back of the Padres just in time for a series with them. They have to sweep just to pass them by one game. And I think the wheels are starting to come off. And then they got to play the Mets for 4.. with absolutely no starting pitching. Hopefully they'll prove me wrong.

"And then they got to play the Mets for 4.. with absolutely no starting pitching."

Uh, I guess you forgot Eaton is coming back!!

Booing Ryan Howard? How low can Phillies fans sink?

Booing Ryan Howard? How low can Phillies fans sink?

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