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Friday, August 17, 2007

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We need our boys back! Mend well and soon Utley and Vic!

Did anyone make note that Carlos Zambrano signed an extension with the Cubs?

naylman: I did!

following up on b_a_p's post at the end of last thread: other than Hamels, we could easily have a whole bunch of 5+ ERAs in the rotation next year. Moyer's nearly there already. for Eaton, 5 would be an improvement. expecting Kendrick (despite his great performance this year), Durbin, or any of the minor leaguers to come in and pitch at a consistently above league average level is very optimistic.

CZ resigning with the Cubs is great news for Phillies fans. Omar surely was planning on throwing a bunch of cash his way to land him on the Mets next year.

WP: unless his second choice is to throw a bunch of prospects at Minnesota and land Santana...

Do the Mets have a bunch of prospects anymore?

Besides, they need a LOT of pitching next season. Their rotation should be in nursing homes.

Someone please tell Uncle Cho'lee that he doesn't always have to follow the book and put Gordon in for the 8th??? his 88mph fast ball just isn't cutting it....
the last manager who had to "follow the book" was Fregosi....and we all know how that worked out......(why did he take out mason?????)

How about Stephen A. Smith taking Clout's position in the paper today regarding the Mets? Imagine that ... and a conversation between the two. There would be more smackdowns than a Vince McMahon return to the ring...

Wily Mo Pena's getting traded to an NL team today...

I wanted to follow up on CJ's post from last thread about whether it's cheaper/easier to replace average starters like Lohse or to find a top closer.

CJ, you could possibly be right about it being easier to find a starter. But I guess it depends on how many starters the Phillies think they need. Perhaps they feel confident that Kendrick is for real, that Moyer has another good year left in him, & that Eaton can bounce back to pre-2007 form next year. Based on these assumptions, you'd only need to replace Lohse -- which the Phillies might be able to do on the cheap, with Happ. Or, since the strategy worked so well with Adam Eaton, they could try to sign a fungible 5th starter type -- who would probably cost slightly less than a top closer

But, to assume productive years from Moyer, Kendrick & Eaton is to make some pretty rosy assumptions -- especially for a team that is going to need improved pitching in order to make up for the loss of one of their key offensive players. I look at this team as needing 2 starting pitchers for next year -- one for Moyer's spot & one for Lohse's spot. And it might be more than 2, depending how Kendrick pitches for the rest of 2007 (I'm still quite a skeptic on the subject of Kyle Kendrick).

A top closer costs about the same as a middle-of-the-rotation starter -- maybe even slightly less. And I would venture to guess that the cost for middling starters is going to soar this off-season because, now that Zambrano's off the market, those middling starters are going to be the best guys available. Therefore, the economics of the situation dictate that we return Myers to the rotation & look to acquire a few relievers.

BAP: I certainly can't dispute that as that very well may be the case. We do know that Moyer is signed for another year... and so far, Kendrick may be doing enough to warrant that shot. I'm sure they'll be giving Eaton and his contract another shot.

I'm not saying it's ideal... and I'd still like us to go after a couple starting arms.

One of these two scenarios will play out... and it will likely be determined by what's available. Without a legimiate option to replace Myers... I can't endorse moving him back to the rotation. But I can certainly understand why people disagree with that.

Stephen A. Smith = Clout.

The Nats got Wily Mo

Craig Monroe was DFA'd by the Tigers today. Do we want him???

b_a_p & others have posted an assumption that there will be back-of-the-rotation starters floating around in the offseason. I wondered if that were true; the listing on cot's looked unimpressive to me, but maybe I was missing someone. here is the list (age listed is for next season, I listed injuries where I was aware of them):

Shawn Chacon, 30. 4 starts, 19.1 IP, 1-1, 5.59 ERA, 1.78 WHIP
Matt Clement, 32. shoulder surgery in 2006; has not pitched
Bartolo Colon, 35. 16 starts, 6-6, 85.7 IP, 6.72 ERA, 1.67 WHIP
Scott Elarton, 32. 9 starts, 2-4, 37 IP, 10.46 ERA, 2.00 WHIP
Josh Fogg, 31. 20 starts, 7-7, 116.1 IP, 4.72 ERA, 1.46 WHIP
Casey Fossum, 30. released by TBD. 10 starts, 3-5, 51.1 IP, 7.89 ERA, 1.74 WHIP
Freddy Garcia, 33. shoulder injury, no surgery. 11 starts, 1-5, 58 IP, 5.90 ERA, 1.60 WHIP
Livan Hernandez, 33. 25 starts, 9-7, 157.3 IP, 4.86 ERA, 1.58 WHIP
Jason Jennings, 29. 17 starts, 2-8, 94 IP, 6.13 ERA, 1.50 WHIP
Jon Lieber, 38. foot surgery. 12 starts, 3-6, 75.2 IP, 4.52 ERA, 1.42 WHIP
Kyle Lohse, 29. 24 starts, 7-12, 145.7 IP, 4.57 ERA, 1.35 WHIP
Rodrigo Lopez, 32. 14 starts, 5-4, 79.3 IP, 4.42 ERA, 1.31 WHIP
Wade Miller, 31. shoulder surgery in 2006. 3 starts, 0-1, 13.7 IP, 10.54 ERA, 2.20 WHIP
Eric Milton, 32. elbow surgery. 6 starts, 0-4, 31.3 IP, 5.17 ERA, 1.53 WHIP
Kenny Rogers, 43. elbow injury. 6 starts, 3-2, 32.7 IP, 5.23 ERA, 1.41 WHIP
Curt Schilling, 41. shoulder injury. 17 starts, 6-5, 106.3 IP, 4.06 ERA, 1.34 WHIP
Carlos Silva, 29. 24 starts, 9-12, 150.7 IP, 4.30 ERA, 1.30 WHIP
Kip Wells, 31. 22 starts, 5-13, 121.1 IP, 5.64 ERA, 1.57 WHIP
Jaret Wright, 32. shoulder injury. 3 starts, 0-3, 10.3 IP, 6.97 ERA, 2.03 WHIP
Victor Zambrano, 32. 2 starts, 0-1, 5.1 IP, 16.88 ERA, 3.33 WHIP

there are a few more pitchers with option, but generally speaking any of these guys that are any good will not be available:
Kris Benson, 32. $7.5M club option. shoulder surgery; has not pitched
Paul Byrd, 37. $8M club option. 22 starts, 10-5, 137 IP, 4.53 ERA, 1.37 WHIP
Brian Lawrence, 32. club option. 3 starts, 1-0, 16 IP, 5.06 ERA, 1.69 WHIP
Odalis Perez, 31. $9M club option. 25 starts, 7-11, 5.78 ERA, 1.67 WHIP
Joel Pineiro, 29. club option. 3 starts, 2-1, 2.84 ERA, 0.95 WHIP
Julian Tavarez, 35. $3.85M club option. 19 starts, 5-8, 5.28 ERA, 1.55 WHIP
Brett Tomko, 35. $4.5M mutual option. 14 starts, 2-8, 75.1 IP, 5.38 ERA, 1.54 WHIP
Randy Wolf, 31. $9M club option. 18 starts, 9-6, 102.7 IP, 4.73 ERA, 1.45 WHIP

leaving aside Curt Schilling, I see two names on that list that are really usable pitchers - Lohse and Silva. and I don't know that either would come cheap, given how shallow the market is.

Monroe kills lefties, but is pretty poor vs righties. So he'd be the PH counterpart to Branyan. Since he (Monroe) plays OF, you'd probably have to get rid of Roberson to put him on the roster, at least until Sept. So the Phils would be trading better PH offense for a better defensive replacement/ pinch running in Roberson.

Nice list ae.

What are the chances Schilling comes back, maybe for a two-year deal?

I'm still in favor of moving Myers back to the rotation, but the one thing that works against it is that Myers appears to like closing. It would be unfortunate if we had our second best pitcher mopping up 3 and 4 run leads instead of starting every fifth day, but I think that is where we are going.

What I don't get is why Cholly won't use Myers more as a 'relief ace.' For example, last night after Gordon stuggled and Romero enteres, Myers (and not Mesa) should have been up in case things got dicier. If you are worried about overuse, stop using him in 3 and 4 run games in the ninth. A real reief ace could almost offset the loss in the rotation.

"I'm still in favor of moving Myers back to the rotation, but the one thing that works against it is that Myers appears to like closing."

This is really the crux of the matter isn't it--Myers seems to relish his new role.

And maybe its for the best--he was having a pretty unimpressive start to the season before the switch to the pen. Maybe he was never gonna figure it out and become the ace he was projected to be.

kdon:
my sentiments exactly about Gordon(see my earlier post)
I should have added that about Myers, no need to bring him into a game that he's not needed for (up or down 3/4 in the 9th)

oh and C Monroe would be a cancer in the clubhouse, he's not a good person....

also because of this fact I found out on Wikipedia:
------
On June 14, 2007, Monroe achieved the un-coveted platinum sombrero (5 Strikeouts in a game) in only 9 innings of play against the Milwaukee Brewers at home Comerica Park. This feat has been done just two other times in Detroit Tigers history–Chet Laabs in 1938 and Danny Bautista in 1995
------

we have enough guys who strike out!!

The closer gets to be the hero. The rock star...a few games a week.

I think Myers LOVES being the closer. That has to count for something.

Speaking of Schilling, I read that Barry Bonds is evidently planning to sue him. To my knowledge, the only other time one baseball player sued another is when a pitcher (Jim Brewer, I believe) sured Billy Martin for breaking his jaw in a fight. Too bad those two play in separate leagues, eh? That's some serious bad blood.

Keeping tabs around baseball, what does everyone think of the other divisional races? Can Boston hold off the Yanks? Is St. Louis suddenly this good, and Milwaukee this bad? Can Arizona go the distance? The AL Central has been neck-and-neck with Detroit and Cleveland for months, does Cleveland have a shot? And why are the Angels the least heralded great team in baseball?

A final question: Was Ed Wade auditioning for 'Kiteman IV'?

Also, two teams I'm really surprised to see hanging in there are Colorado and Seattle.

Jennings bad numbers this year might scare some teams off the monster contract. He is a much better pitcher than his numbers are indicating this year.

RSB: There is zero chance that Barry Bonds will sue Curt Schilling. That's ZERO as in no chance at all.

And there is a simple reason why...

Barry Bonds would be forced to testify, under oath, about any of the "libelous" claims made by Curt Schilling, and this wouldn't be sealed Grand Jury testimony. Truth is the best defense and Schilling has the truth on his side.

Truth: I agree. Jason Jennings is not nearly as bad a pitcher as this year's numbers indicate. At least... not in my opinion.

You're saying that Bonds' injections were not Truth related?

Little informal poll because we're talking about next year's rotation. Who thinks J.A. Happ will be in the 5-man rotation to being the year next year? If the Phillies want a fifth starter on the cheap, they have him in Happ. If they decide to spend money for a 5th starter, presumably he won't be in the rotation. What do you guys think?

Jack, I'd rather the Phillies target Happ for the rotation than *anyone* on that list ae posted above. While it's true that Happ as a major-league pitcher is an unknown quantity, he still represents something potentially as good or better than the known quantities on the free-agent market, for an obviously cheaper price.

I'd take Monroe only if we got him for next to nothing (i.e. Tadahito Iguchi trade).

Jennings probably isn't quite as bad as he's been this year. but 2006 was really an aberration. his career WHIP is 1.55 - he's actually over-performing on that this year.

besides, as the biggest "name" pitcher available after Schilling - a former ROY winner, under 30, and a great 2006 fresh in everyone's minds - I bet he gets at least as much as Eaton, if not more.

Speaking of possibilities for next season's rotation- lets all hope JD Durbin pitches well tonight. If he can figure how to keep his composure, he might be a decent 4th/5th starter on the cheap.

I'd rather the Phils persue some sort of pitching help (resign Lohse if possible) AND use Happ... with Happ replacing one of Kendrick/Moyer/Eaton.

If he is healthy, Happ will be in the rotation in 08'. Heck, he might end up in the rotation at the end of 07'.

The Phils have 4 starters (injury-notwithstanding) almost locks for next year:

Hamels
Kendrick (those that are still wary of him ought to wake up and realize that the kid can pitch. What about his starts this year would tell you that he is "a fluke"?)

Moyer (he has 1 more year left on his contract, doesn't he?)

Happ (comes on the cheap, and young lefties with his minor league strikeout rates don't come along very often).

You somehow dump Eaton (and eat the rest of his contract) and you sign 1 veteran free-agent starter. Lohse and Garcia are possibilities. I think the Schilling idea is one to pursue as well. Leave Myers RIGHT where he is and watch him make the All Star team. Keep Madson, Romero, Alfie and Zagurski around and add 1 veteran late inning guy (to replace Gordon).

The team will have money freed up, once Roward signs elsewhere and Lieber's fat contract is off the books). The offensive stars (Howard, Utley, Victorino and Rollins) are all back. You look for a 4th outfielder (that could spell Burrell or play against tough lefties to help Bourn). You might be able to get by with a Helms/Dobbs platoon again next year, with as much offense as the team should have. Jaramillo comes up and takes the 3rd catcher spot (replacing Barajas).

Hope guys actually stay healthy next year, and get ready for the playoffs.

So our rotation next year may be:

Hamels, Moyer, Kendrick, Durbin, Eaton? With Happ as the first option to fill out a spot. Does anyone think that's out of the range of possibilities? This is the Phillies we're talking about, after all.

Jack - I would love him in the rotation but remember we started the year with 6 starters and look where we are out now.

Ideally having him start in the minors would mean we have a set 5 and little back-up plan in the minors.

But then again we all thought Segovia and Bisenius were only a call away.

I am a little concerned about counting on Moyer next year, both him wanting to play and his ability to play.

CJ- that's the exact rotation I foresee them trotting out to start '08. I don't necessarily agree with it, but that's the most likely scenario.

I'm sorry, but it's not right that the NL Central gets to send a team to the playoffs.

I expect fully a Hamels/Kendrick/Eaton/Moyer/Happ rotation next year. Honestly, who really thinks the FO is going to improve any on that?

GM-Carson: I think that's worst-case. I anticipate the Phils signing at least one back end starter meaning Durbin is the one who gets pushed out (assuming he doesn't pitch lights out the last two months). Eaton's spot is secure (assuming he doens't blow out an elbow).

Malcolm: The Phils finished with a better record than the Cards last year and the Cards won the World Series. It's certainly not unprecedented for a bad division to get a team in the playoffs.

CJ: Oh I know that; of course it's happened before. But still, just ain't right...

If anybody thinks the Phils are going to dump Eaton's contract, then you obviously don't follow this team at all. Guaranteed he is back next year as the No. 3 or No. 4 guy in the rotation.

I still think Myers get put back into the rotation - especially if Cholly is gone. So the rotation would look something like this:

-Hamels
-Myers
-Eaton
-Moyer
-Kendrick

If they do keep Myers in the bullpen as the closer, then they are going to have to go out an sign a FA pitcher. I would love to see Schilling come here for a year or two but thre is no way the Phils pay him $12-$14 million/year. I am predicting the return of another ex-Phil instead (Carlos Silva) unless the Phils make a run at Lohse.

If if Myers if put back into the rotation, it is going to be a weakness for this team next year. I am actually optimistic Eaton will be better and revert to his career average (say an ERA of 4.50-5 or so) but I have less faith in Moyer and Kendrick being able to duplicate their numbers again.

Yeah, that consensus is sort of what I was thinking- Happ will certainly be part of the picture at some point, but because of our committments to Eaton and Moyer he might be an injury replacement. I think he's probably better than Durbin though, and maybe even Kendrick... Denny, it's not his 10 major league starts that make people think he could be a fluke. It's the fact that he is way more innings in the minor leagues that suggest he is not this good. Do you know a lot of pitchers who magically get better the better competition they face? Let's just say Kendrick will probably regress some, but we've gotten as much as we could've asked for from him, and we can only hope for some more magic. Let's see what the Real Deal can do tonight...

Why wouldn't we go out and get another pitcher? We'll have some money freed up when Garcia and Lieber contracts run out at the end of the year.

Not that any of those pitchers on the list ae posted are amazing or worthwhile. But I don't think money is the issue.

RSN - you mentioned the Rockies. They got called out in the paper (imagine that) and have played well since (44-31, I believe). Someone should find this article and see how much of it applies to our local nine.

My strong hunch is that one of Victorino or Bourn gets traded for a starter this winter, probably someone like Noah Lowry or (depending on how much else Gillick is willing to part with) Ian Snell. That acquisition will be the #2, followed by Moyer, Lohse if he re-signs, and one or two of Kendrick, Happ, Eaton, Durbin and Castro.

I'm with you dafafi. I think there will be a trade this offseason, including an MRI being done.

I asked this before, but I'll try again: Does anyone know a place in Manhattan that will be showing the Phils game tonight? Some people suggested Wogie's in the Village before, but I walked by it last week and it was closed. Any other ideas? Thanks a lot

Jack: You might try Standings in the East Village (on 7th b/w 2nd and 3rd). Its not a Phils bar but they've got 7 or 8 flat screens and they'll put the game on if you ask them. Of course, no volume, thats reserved for the Boston game...

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