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Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Comments

My headline is stolen from an RSB comment. There I said it.

Carrasco, Carpenter, and Costanzo are all doing everything in their power to show that they're moving toward big league careers. I can't wait to see all three of these guys in Phillies pinstripes in 2008 (okay, maybe hoping for all three next year is a little optimistic, but not for Carrasco and Costanzo).

I have always wondered about the value of the Fall League. Is it really necessary for a player's development anymore? Maybe it benefits young prospects who aren't disciplined enough to keep in shape or haven't had a whole lot of time playing professional baseball.

Just seems kind of foolish though to put that much more additional strain on a player's body - particularly a young pitcher working on their off speed stuff.

If the Phils' are primarily relying upon their minor league system to fill in their holes on the big league club this offseason, the 2008 team is going to be in a world of trouble.

They pretty much have scoured the minor league system for useful bullpen arms this season and pretty much found nothing. Hernandez, Zagurski, Smith, Castro, and a few others really haven't shown anything in limited use and I doubt any one of these guys is going to contribute anything meaningful to this team in '08 and beyond.

Hell, the only useful pitcher have brought up this season has been Kendrick. Big find but I am still not sold on a guy who pitches with moxie but has also been pretty lucky too.

I'm surprised Bisenius was invited. Lou Marson's having a nice year, hopefully he can keep it going in the Fall.

It took Tom Glavine (4.32 ERA) a long time to reach 300 wins, but he finally got over the hump and will try for win No. 402.

A long time to reach 300.. but only 2 months to reach 401! Wow!

Sorry J, someone was going to do it. :)

On Kendrick - maybe I was being a little rough on him because his peripheral stats aren't the greatest, lefties are mashing him, and his FIP shows his ERA closer to mid-4. Basically been a little lucky so far.

Still, Kendrick has a lot of pluses including not giving up a lot of walks, keeping the ball on the ground and in the park (which is huge at CBP), and not being intimidated by CBP. Plus he has shown some moxie and hasn't been afraid to go inside.

Kendrick might not be better than a back-end rotation guy who gives you 10-12 wins a year and an ERA of 4.50 or so but that is huge in today's game where those type of veteran starters runs at least $7-$8 million/year. Frees up some money to fill some other big holes on this team.

Or maybe you were making a joke about how old he is, and I missed it. If that's the case, I apologize.

Doesn't Costanzo have 1,000 strikeouts at this point in the year? Ok, I exaggerate. 149 in 476 AA at-bats. That is frightening.

a lot better since the All Star Break, but those #'s are high.

The awesome description in the right hand column:

"2007 Topps Heritage Baseball Card Shortprint # 374 Jose Mesa SP San Diego Padres - Mint Condition - In Protective Display Case"

Not only is Jose Mesa a San Diego Padre in this alternate reality... but he's also a starting pitcher! I also question anything that has "Jose Mesa" and "Mint Condition" in close proximity.

Since the term "defining moment" has been used alot here...

Is this Adam Eaton's defining moment? Or has he already been defined???

If so... then it's time for Adam Eaton to RE-Write his Phillies History.

Kendrick may have benefited from some good run support, but at this point I don't think you can say he's just been lucky anymore. He keeps the ball on the ground, doesn't walk a lot of guys, is a competitor, and seems to have mound composure beyond what you would expect for his age and experience. It's mostly about location. I think he has upside beyond a back of the rotation guy. He's the real deal.

Cmon, leave Joe Table alone. He's not what he used to be, but he has pitched effectively at times this year.

Besides, that's what Value Village is all about!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

MG: You're saying the same thing I have been saying for awhile. The good prospects aren't quite ready and the off-season free agent pitching crop is weak. I fear they might do something stupid and overpay for Silva. Just way too many holes to fill for 2008.

On the previous thread :

People were comparing Lohse to Eaton. Eaton spent all but one year before coming to the Phillies in one of the best pitchers parks in the majors, PETCO. Lohse comes from the Great American Ballpark, which inflates offense similar to CBP - less homers, but more hits of other types. Moreover Lohse has generally been hurt by his defense throughout his career, so his numbers aren't as bad as they seem.

No way is Costanzo in the bigs next year with that strikeout number and a historically low BA.

I thought I read somewhere that Mathieson was starting tonight for Reading but when I check the probable pitcher he isn't listed. Anyone have any details. I hear his fastball is touching 97. I still think he would be a better reliever than starter because his other pitches aren't that great.

control13: KK has been great, but he doesn't project to more than a back of rotation guy. For one thing he doesn't have top of the rotation stuff. For another, lefties tune him up for a .952 OPS. He can be a fine #4 and maybe even #3 and those guys are quite valuable.

Tom: I am strongly biased toward Costanzo because I love lefty-hitting 3Bmen. But you are absolutely correct. He's going to have to show more before he can be declared ready for The Show.

Clout: Interesting comment. Why left-handed 3B? Not that there's anything wrong with that, of course, but with Utley and Howard already in the middle of the lineup, wouldn't a steady RH power source be more valuable to this team?

from last thread - thanks Jack.
I guess I just covet ANY of those 2+ GO/AO guys for our park.

On Costanzo - he's one of the few young prospects in the Phillies system who's shown real power. Given his strike-outs, however, that could just mean he's the second coming of Russell Bunyon, I mean Paul Branyon, I mean...

But he's aware of his BB/K numbers and the organization is, too and he's working on it. I don't think he'll be ready next year, but he might make it to Spring Training .

(Where Nunez can teach him fielding and Helms can teach him hitting; or vice versa)

on lefty hitting 3Bs, when is Chavez due to FA?

Remarkably... in 21 combined starts, Kyle Kendrick and J.D. Durbin are 12-5.

By contrast, Jon Leiber and Freddy Garcia are 4-11 in 23 combined starts.

These kids aren't likely better than a 4th or 5th starter in the grand scheme... but we wouldn't even be discussing the playoffs now if it weren't for them.

CJ, what's the team's overall record in their starts? that's the more important stat than their personal records.

anyone got the lineup card for tonight?

Clout: 2008 looks to be challenging. Last year at this time I had ideas what needed to be done, this year I have no idea. My thinking is keep Myers in the Pen, resign Lohse and trade young pitching for a possibly ace in his last year, similar to what we did with Garcia. If Garcia gets even 14 wins, we have an entirely different season. With Lohse, Hamels, Moyers and a number 1 or 2 perhaps we can get a consistent 6-7 innings from our staff. With a different manager, we don't burn out the bullpen pitching our closers and set-up guys every other night or in games where we have 4-5 run leads. I think Ruiz/Coste works and saves money.

I would try like ever to trade Eaton even if we have to eat salary. I'd also try to dump Helms. Both of these guys waste space. If we can resign Rowand for 3 years, I would do it because then with Bourne we can rotate and rest guys. Victorino and Rowand get awful banged up through the year. So I like the idea of having a good 4th and 5th outfielder.

Then I think we need to go out and spend money on relievers. I would argue that we need one 1-2 type starter and an entirely new bullpen with the exception of Myers. I would trade Gordon if we can but most likely we're stuck with him

No, Lohse spent most of his career in the Metrodome. I don't know how much of a pitcher's or hitter's park that is, but I'm sure it doesn't inflate scoring as much as the Reds ballpark.

Clout - Agreed about the prospects not being ready in 2008 but in general I think people are overrating the pitching prospects in the Phils' system. Doesn't seem to be one special pitcher in the system right now who will become a Hamels or one positional prospect who will become even a good everyday player.

That why it will be so frustrating if this team doesn't make the playoffs this year or next year when the core of this team will be in their primes (Hamels, Howard, Utley, and Rollins) and still together.

I have zero confidence in Eaton. We're going to have to score 10 runs minimum to win tonight, if not more.

I heard Costanzo makes a lot of errors at 3rd also. If we had a good 3rd baseman, that would be some infield.

Slocs - I agree. If a team is willing to move another frontline starter this offseason, Gillick has to think long and hard about moving additional pitching prospects because you can't sit by and waste another year of Utley, Howard, Rollins, and Hamels.

AWH:

Kendrick: 9-5
Durbin: 5-2
Total: 14-7

Garcia: 6-6
Lieber: 3-9
Total: 9-15

MG says "but in general I think people are overrating the pitching prospects in the Phils' system"

been going on for a while?

One FA reliever to consider - LaTroy Hawkins. This year, in COLO, he's got good GO/AO numbers. But that's not my main reason.
When the thrunderstorm hit in Colorado and the Phils rushed onto the field to save the groundscrew (which may be their true defining moment) Hawkins was the only Rockie to join them.
It may be a sign that he's supposed to be a Phil. (middle of the BP of course)

Why is the Yanks-Sox series the lead story on Sportscenter? The Yanks are 8 out now and that race is over. I love that rivalry but this coverage is ridiculous.

Lineups

Phils
1. J Rollins, SS
2. C Utley, 2B
3. P Burrell, LF
4. R Howard, 1B
5. A Rowand, CF
6. J Werth, RF
7. W Helms, 3B
8. C Coste, C
9. A Eaton, P

Mets
1. J Reyes, SS
2. L Castillo, 2B
3. D Wright, 3B
4. C Beltran, CF
5. M Alou, LF
6. C Delgado, 1B
7. P Lo Duca, C
8. E Chavez, RF
9. T Glavine, P

Wow... Jayson Werth batting 6th. How many people predicted that would ever happen this season?

Hmmm... I take that back... apparently while our lineup was decimated by injuries, Werth got 13 starts batting 6th.

I guess I should have said, "Who would have predicted that (while we were healthy)?"

MG - agreed, the core of this team is in its prime, move what prospects you have to in the offseason or before the 08 deadline to get a top line starter.

Another thought on Costanzo. We all know this team needs a steady 3B but what good does another power hitting lefty with a ridiculous strikeout number do for us in the next 2-3 years? Maybe you move him in a deal for a starter...

Also amusing... Jayson Werth and Carlos Delgado are hitting in the same spot in their respective lineups... and that doesn't necessarily mean bad things for the Phils. It's a statement of how bad Delgado has been and how good Werth has been.

MG, jobbers, as I posted in the earlier thread, the Phillies' pitching has been in the BOTTOM HALF of the league for 17 of the last 2 years.

Haven't they touted their pitching prospects and FA signings for years? Gavin Eaton and Adam Floyd anyone?

"17 of the last 20 years".

@AWH
as afar back as I can remember we were told each new prospect was a guaranteed #1. The difference now is that there are great sites like PhuturePhillies and we have some facts to go with our cynicism. Yeah, we been sold a billa goods.

If the Phils were willing to increase their payroll next year, I would love to see them sign Pedro Feliz to a 1 or 2-yr deal. Yeah, he doesn't get on base enough because he never walks but the guy is a vacuum cleaner at 3B and would be good for .250 with at least 20 HRs at CBP. Give up a little offense for his stellar defense. Hell the Phils play Nunez for the same purpose and he has zero power.

Problem is that I don't see the Phils willing to pay Feliz $5 million/year to man 3B.

Speaking of Delgado... as viciously as Howard has been attacked at times on this list, imagine if he were having the year Delgado is...

Howard: .266, 34 HR, 106 RBI, .954 OPS
Delgado: .245, 18 HR, 70 RBI, .743 OPS

or Beltran for that matter...

Beltran: .272, 25 HR, 84 RBI, .876 OPS

Just some though food for thought on No-Hit since the break:

53 AB, 10 H, .189 AVG, 0 HR, 2 RBIs, 9 BB, 11 K (OPS .525)

I think it will be a while before we see this kind of offensive impotence in a Phils positional player again anytime soon.

I can understand using him as a late-inning defensive replacement at 3B since Helms and Dobbs are terrible defensively but why Cholly uses continues to use Nunez as a pinch hitter is a mystery to me.

The Red Sox vs Yankees is pre-programmed at ESPN. It's like it's on auto pilot. Whenever they play each other, no matter how many games out one of the teams might be, they always have them as a lead story. Frankly, it's a non-story, but they're looking for ratings. That's what makes ESPN unimaginative to me sometimes.

Who are the free agent 3B available in the off-season? Any chance the Phillies might be interested in anyone who might be a decent fit here? Any ideas?

MG: Nunez likely won't see a pinch hit situation once rosters expand. I agree, though, that I'm not sure why he's getting them now.

Mr. Mac : The top two FA 3bs are Mike Lowell and Pedro Feliz. I don't either will be worth what they'll cost.

Thanks MG - I was writing as you were posting. That is not a bad proposition at 3B. Any others?

Well... Wes Helms has a two year deal with an option for a third. What are the odds he's back in the mix next year?

I know I'll get a lot of greif over this, but didn't Nunez hit a little better when he played a little more regularly last year after David Bell got hurt? I thought I recall him getting some timely hits and playing some great 'D' at the corner then?

MG & CJ: Nunez gets pinch hits for the same reason Sandoval got them last year: in an era of 4-man benches, everyone has to pinch hit, and the backup catcher will generally be the last one used.

Even this year Helms has hit lefties decently. Dobbs has hit righties, but is atrocious versus lefties. I haven't followed it closely - but I know, at least early on, Helms was the every day 3b. If they used a strict platoon it would be much more effective than trying to 'ride the hot hand'.

I really like this lineup. It really mixes up lefties and righties nicely -- making us less vulnerable to LOOGYs. Would like to see Vic hit 7th when he returns (behind Dobbs), keeping Utley 2nd, but it won't happen.

Dave X: Is Lowell still the outstanding glove he used to be? What do you think he'll command on the FA market?

Alby that is why with 12 man pitching staffs, bench=pinch hitter in the NL. I still don't think our AL GM Gillick has figured this out yet. With Utley and Rollins playing nearly everyday, who cares if you have a good gloveman as a middle infield backup. He essentially will be a pinch hitter for you.

Lowell will be expensive, coming from Boston.

I noticed that Dose Dedos is also a free agent in 2008. Do we wanna keep him?

Pride of Pat Gillck night, Helms and Eaton in the starting lineup. Too bad Barajas is DLed.

Mr. Mac:

Abraham Nunez took over 3B on July 27th. From there to the end of the season, he hit .244 with 1 HR, 27 RBI, 1 SB and an OPS of .657. His career average is .243 with an OPS of .612... so getting regular playing time didn't really improve his hitting at all.

Alby: I certainly understand why he gets an occasional pinch hit... but he's off the bench before better options much too often.

Dave X: I've been pushing a platoon with Nunez getting Moyer starts, Dobbs facing righties (.835 OPS this year) and Helms facing lefties (.788 OPS this year).

Dobbs OPS vs. lefties is an abysmal .382 with just 4 hits in 23 ABs. Helms OPS vs. righties is .590.

To continue a theme from the last thread, what would it take in trade to get a guy like Aaron Cook? He's a groundball pitcher with a 3.07 ERA outside of Coors this year. I think he could pitch very well in a smaller ballpark like CBP where fewer hits will bloop in. Any thoughts?

Lowell is having a down year, I think, for home defensively which is still better than Helms or Dobbs. Before this year he hasn't experienced much decline so even though he's 35 I think its reasonable to expect some bounce back, if not to his really good days, but still above average.

He's on fire with the bat though. Very strong offensive year, if he declined a little it would still be a very big upgrade over what we have now.

He's making 9 million this year and I would expect he at least wants that for 2-3 years - and, being easily the best 3B on the market, one team will probably give it to him.

Billy Mac: It wouldn't shock me to see Vic lower in the lineup even when he returns. Putting Vic second forces Burrell down in the order... and that doesn't make much sense since he's hitting so well.

By the way.. for those who said Pat couldn't hit in the third spot (crazy idea, but whatever)... he's now boasting a .864 OPS while third in the lineup and slugging .507.

Probably sick of hearing it but the Pirates 13 day run total is now up to 111. Indeed, we caught them at the wrong time. My point in all of this is only to say that sometimes you catch a team that has some hot bats. They torched the Muts bullpen and if not for the Pirates horrible bullpen, proabably would have swept the Muts.

Go Adam Eaton! Um, that felt wierd, but I'm going to keep the defibrilator close by tonight.

Phils win tonight 8-5

CJ, re your comment on the Jose Mesa card, SP stands for Short Print in baseball card lingo. Not quite sure why he would have a short print card though.

JD, you better be Durbin.

Ben: Ah... thanks for the translation. Still not sure why his Detroit Tigers card is getting labeled "San Diego Padres."

Yeesh, I can't believe anyone is an advocate of Pedro Feliz. He may hit 20 homers a year, but that is absolutely it. His career OPS+ is 85 and he's had one season in his entire career over 100, and it was in 2003. The Phillies just let a way better hitting 3B go in Branyan. Even when you taking fielding into account, win shares still says Branyan is a superior player: why waste money on Feliz?

Ben Rivera: I agree on Cook. But I'm sure they covet GO pitchers there. He would probably be as expensive as Hernandez in Seattle.

Others on the GO list:
Fausto Carmona in Cleveland, Sergio Mitre in Florida
(Tim Hudson and Brandon Webb, too, but they're not budging, right?)

Sarge's key to the game: go the other way. Heh. Not this bunch.

Last time a Phillie had nine straight hits was Eddie Waitkus in 1950. Always like to give Eddie the nod.

Dave X: So you think Lowell will cost about the same as Rowand. Which would fill the bigger need for us?

jeremy - what exactly is the story with the Phillies' claim on Branyan? I'm not familiar with the waiver wire rules - can another team pick him up? Can the Phils pick him back up when the rosters expand?

Lowell would, Alby. Its a good point you're making - should they cost the same, Lowell would fill a bigger hole than Rowand would. I imagine Lowell would likely cost less, but we won't know until someone acutally signs him.

Bourn for Mitre?

How did I know after jd gave up no walks last night that Eaton would give up one in the first? Here comes 2-0...

Nice K on Beltran

Always an adventure with Eaton. And Muts announcers that last pitch was clearly a strike. These guys are the biggest whiners ever.

Whoohoo no runs!

What???

First inning???

The crowd has to go crazy for Eaton, right?

How long has it been since he pitched a scoreless first?

Damn, Beltran's lucky he's still in this game.

Why is Beltran complaining? Looked like a good pitch to me

Alby, what makes you so high on Lowell? I don't mean to be condescending there. I only mean that it seemed like there was a lot of thoughts when Lowell was traded to Boston that he was done. The Marlins threw him in that deal. Plus he is pretty old if I'm not mistaken. I don't know?

Why was Beltran not ejected there? Fined? What the heck is that?

CJ, you're right. I'm surprised Country Joe didnt toss him

A small point -

The transacton - Phillies designated RHP John Ennis for assignment.

Can someone explain to me why, with moves scheduled on Monday to bring back Utley and Tuesday to bring back Eaton, Branyan was sent packing last night instead of today?

If the plan was to send Ennis out from the start, why was he on the roster on Monday after throwing three innings on Sunday. There was no way he was available last night.

I know I am knit-picking, but what if a 3B went down last night. We would not be able to get Branyan for 7-10 days.

Alright old man Glavine giving it up early, lets get on him now!

Joe West just fined Beltran a hundred bucks for dropping the bat like a baby just now.

Speaking of Costanza -

in addition to his appaling strikeout nubers he also has like 30 something errors at 3rd base if im not mistaken. He has some pop though ...we may need to move him to left field.

Getting out of the first without giving up a run must have been a huge mental boost to Eaton. If the Mets let him settle in, they are really going to regret it.

Lowell just had the one bad year so I'd say the people who thought he was done were a little premature. Currrently having something of a career year, hitting .323. He's 33. Probably will break down in a few years, but you could get 2 seasons of solid production.

and I've been proven wrong twice in half an inning. This game all day has left a bad taste in my mouth because of the pitching matchup.

Tray, that is what I worry about. 33 year old in a contract year with signs of wear. If I'm not mistaken, he gets quite a few days off? Right? They spell him a lot I think. He seems like a major sinking fund possibility in line with Garcia, except for multiple years.

I really like how PtB is swinging right now... he just missed that.

I hate that pesky bastard

Amazing how much better hits when Utley plays, huh?

AT least making Glavine work...

Credit where credit's due – hell of catch by Reyes.

Man, good effort by Howard. They all look geared up for this series.

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