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Monday, September 24, 2007


Just wanted to repost - For what its worth, the Phils (48.3%) have moved past the Padres (43.8%)in Baseball Prospectus playoff odds.

Shane Vic not playing is not a travesty, rather it is a boon as it is purely because of Werth's stellar play, no?

Ben: It's a combination of riding the hot bat in Werth and Vic's injury. I'm not complaining necessarily, just observing.

OF is set up to move Burrell in the offseason - at least now, Phils may be able to get some value for him.
I can see a starting OF of Bourn, Vic and Werth next year.
Not sure if they should stand pat with a Dobbs/Helms platoon or invest in a 3B.
The money would be better spent on pitching.


Do you mean Helms will outperform Dobbs in '08, or that Helms' '08 stats/performance will surpass Dobbs' '07 season?

The first one. The more Dobbs plays, the more he'll get exposed.

An OF of Bourn/Vic/Werth would be awfully risky.

If we're letting Rowand go, we have to keep the other four guys around. I can live with that, so long as significant $$$ are spent on the bullpen.

Bourn/Vic/Werth - risky, but cheap.

Helms also isn't likely to have such a bad season next year. It's not like he's at the tail end of his career.

Also, I read about the Bradley situation and it sounds to me like the umpire was much more at fault. Not that I mind him missing a few games, he's their best hitter. Cameron, though, will apparently be available today.

I see the Mets are starting a rookie in Phil Humber (who was 11-9 with a mid 4 ERA at AAA this year) on Wednesday against Washington.

Meanwhile, Eaton is still in the Phils rotation (when its obvious that he has no business still starting), and will start 1 more time this week, in a crucial game.

Nice to see some teams that have some trust in their young pitchers and aren't afraid to use them. The Yankees, Red Sox, Padres, Rockies and now Mets have done OK with this philosophy in September, don't you think?

Have the Braves officially announced bring back Hudson and Smoltz on Wednesday and Thursday?

By the same token, have the Phillies officially announced Eaton to pitch on Thursday or will they bring back Kendick and Hamels Thursday and Friday and figure out Saturday as they closer?

SC: Who do you plan on spending money on for the bullpen? I know the bullpen has been bad this year and needs help, but I'm inclined to think that it is VERY hard to try and build a bullpen by spending on free agency. For the most part, bullpen pitching is inconsistent (closers excepted). It is very rare that middle relievers are consistently good year in and year out, so spending a lot of money on a guy that had a good year last year often turns out to be a waste of money. What would Scott Linebrink have gotten had he been a FA last year? A lot probably, and his performance this year has been awful. Bullpens are mostly a product of having a lot of strong arms in the system, and luck. At least that's my theory. Can you give me some examples of free agent relievers that you would feel confident spending money on?

According to the probables, Eaton and Smoltz will pitch on Thursday.

I believe the Mets came close to dealing Humber for Chad Cordero this past July, but the Nats wanted more.

The speedy OF with Vic, Bourn, and Werth definitely would be a downgrade from 2007. Not that it would solve all its problems, but what do people think about going after Ryan Church or another lefty bat to platoon with Werth if he sticks around? Just like Dobbs, I feel like he'll continue to be exposed.

The other situation I'm positive the Phils will get involved in is Dontrelle Willis now that his value is dropping. That's a place where Bourn/Victorino would fit, and the Phils also have minor league pitching to deal.

Its strange, on the Phillies probables page it has them skipping Kendrick. It would seem obvious that they would skip Eaton and pitch Kendrick on Thursday.

I just hope the Phils, to a man, are all sitting on the couch watching tv today. They are going to need all their energy coming up.

The Phillies aren't good at spending their money wisely on pitching, either. They have no knack for it.

The FA starters that will be available for the Phils are total crap. I would sooner explore trades. They have a lot of pitching prospects. Between the Outmans, Carrascos, Carpenters, they have enough to deal, plus, enough to become next season's Kendrick.

If they spend, spend on bullpen and 3B.

I'll be sitting behind the Padres dugout tonight in San Francsico. Here's hoping the Giants temporarily forget how terrible they are. With Zito and Cain throwing the first two for the Giants, they might have a shot at winning one.

Not sure I'd be in favor of a Bourn, Victorino, Werth outfield in ANY context outside of the financials. I think a Bourn, Vic, Werth platoon is risky enough.

Do teams ever really take "days off" during the season? By that, I mean, are they expected to show up for BP, watching tapes, etc., or do they really have the entire day off? Just curious how that works. The travel, itself, would make anyone exhausted. At least they get to wind up the regular season from the comfort of their own homes.

Haven't read through the 700+ posts from yesterday, so forgive me if already discussed. Let's say the Pads lose today and we wind up the season in a tie. Who won the coin-flip and what would be the pitching matchup?

I give Cain a better shot at a W than Zito, but that doesn't mean I won't be pulling for the light tossing lefty.

Coin toss went to San Diego to host. At least they end in Milwaukee so both teams would have to fly across the country for the game.

The Helms signing has kind of been lost in this post season push. I am sure once the season is over people will start to be really mad about that again. His AB was pathetic yesterday, very similar to alot of his other ABs this season.

My personal opinion is that the whole "run" could be broken within the first two games of the ATL series. As great as home field advantage is, if the crowd turns on a team/player who struggles and puts us another game back or so, it could be an uphill climb. God forbid Mesa blows up in the first game and is yanked to a chorus of boos. The Phils have a legit chance to turn this into (at least partially) a baseball town for the next several weeks.

Mr. Preacher has a point.

Anyone who reads this fantastic blog and goes to a game this week, the mission is simple: don't get your head down and for God's sake do not boo.

Stand up and cheer every freaking pitch and wave the stupid rally towel the Phils marketing team provides you with.

Do not sour on this team. They've earned your love. Well, except Eaton.

Eaton's been awful this year, but not as bad in the games I've been to. Here's the sample:

4/23 vs. HOU (11-4 win) - 6 IP, 4 ER, 7 H, 7 K
5/15 vs. MIL (4-3 win) - 7.2 IP, 1 ER, 4 H, 5 K
6/17 vs. DET (7-4 loss) - 6.1 IP, 3 ER, 6 H, 2 K
9/21 at WSH (6-3 win) - 5 IP, 3 ER, 5 H, 2 K

Phils need to go 5-1, which is do-able.
Pads need to lose 2 of 7, which is do-able.

A quick stat to think about before tomorrow's game: Since the all-star break, the Phils are 5-1 in games after an off day.

It depends on whether you can get good value for Burrell, Vic, or Bourn... no one should be off limits, but they shouldn't be Abreu'd either. An OF of Werth/Vic/Bourn, if it lead to an upgrade at 3B (read : Lowell) would be OK, as long as there are capable backups (read : Not Roberson).

JZ: Hear ye, hear ye. I was bummed about yesterday's missed opportunities, but a Padres loss and a good night's rest has me rather chipper about their prospects as of this morning.

I'll be at Thursday's game, and even if they start Eaton (which can't be right, can it? isn't that Kendrick's day given the off day?), I'll be going nuts in section 421.

an outfield of Werth/Vic/Bourn? seriously? over the course of a year, that'd almost certainly be one of the least productive in baseball.

One of the papers has Kendrick going in the Thursday game, and Eaton being held back for Washington. Of course no one wants to see Eaton start at all, but who else could they insert in his place? Durbin? No thanks. Eaton's predictably bad, but Durbin can be unpredictably atrocious and seldom good enough to make up for the chance they'd take on him.

Responding to your analysis, JW: I may be in the minority here (even Manuel chose to blame his hitters more than credit the pitcher) but I thought Hanrahan threw the ball awfully well yesterday. He was mixing his pitches well, at different angles, with late movement and good location. Similarly, some of their relievers, especially Rauch, were in good form yesterday. The fatigue factor probably had something to do with the outcome, but I think it's a stretch to say they beat themselves. The one area where I would agree to that assertion is the 3-for-13 with RISP, but that's been happening in a lot of games lately. The difference in this one was having to rely on the lower tier of the bullpen.

When Wes Helms ran for Victorino on Saturday night, that told you all you need to know about the status of his calf. They have used him in the field a couple of times, but it seems they feel the only thing he can do right now is pinch-hit.

I'll absolve Helms for that K yesterday, I don't think he saw a single pitch. That appearance against Cordero does demonstrate, however, just how short the Phils are off the bench left-handed when Dobbs starts. They had acquired Dobbs to be the one who would pinch-hit there, but Helms has been so bad, they've had to start him. I think Dobbs, by the way, is a guy who snuck up on the league and I don't see him repeating the success he's had. The only pitch he hits is a fastball, and it's amazing he still gets some as it is, but I think the word will be out a little more in the future.

Not sure about getting Dontrelle Willis. He's intriguing, but he is an elbow injury waiting to happen and I feel like there were whispers this year of some arm pain.

Crazy Jon, your name says it all. A outfield of Bourn, Vic and Werth? Each have spent significant time on the DL this year. Forget that Burrell is a #1 pick and makes 15mil a year. Just look at the production. 30hr, 100rbi and a very good ops year in and year out. You will need a right handed bat. Now if they can re-sign Rowand it would be a diffrent story. Give Pat a break because if he did not step up in the second half we would have long moved onto the Eagles woes by now.

Call me crazy, but I think we should keep Pat for one more season.

He strikes me has the type of guy who will have an impressive walk year, to try to get another big contract.

Also with Rowand leaving we need to have at least one bat with power in the OF.

In case no one saw this, Milton Bradley is officially out for the year with a torn ACL.

Q: If the Phils could resign Jon Lieber for one-year, $6 million, would you do it?


I don't think they should, and I hope they wouldn't. I refuse to believe that Happ or any of our other decent AAA (or even AA) guys can't do the job of a Lieber or an Eaton, especially with such a great offense (and almost certainly a very good offense next year, as well). Kyle Kendrick might be lightning in a bottle, for sure, but if we can't call someone up who can go 5 and give up 3, why are they even considered prospects any longer?

"In case no one saw this, Milton Bradley is officially out for the year with a torn ACL"

What an idiot. Just another selfish, me-first athlete, that cost his team at the worst time, because "it was about him".

About Lieber, that is a tough one. He did pitch pretty well early in the season, but he is old and he almost certainly will break down during the season at some point. So, I say let him go somewhere else.

Is Schilling not a possibility? Give him a big 2 year contract. Is he not interested in Philly anymore? The Red Sox have plenty of young pitching, so they really don't need to re-sign him. He might be a nice bridge until Carrasco, Outman, Carpanter, Savery etc... are ready.

Put him in the rotation with Hamels, Kendrick, Moyer (for one more year) and Happ and that isn't too shabby.

And with pitching so scarce (on the FA market) maybe even someone would take Eaton off your hands (if you agreed to pay some of the contract).

Given the way Lieber has gone down with injuries the last two years, I would not bother with him even with an incentive-laded contract. You get in trouble when you plan around people like that.

"You get in trouble when you plan around people like that."

Great point.

I'm having a difficult time understanding the major gripe with the Hamels move. Someone posted yesterday that Hamels stated that he had about 10-15 more pitches in him. Personally, the fact that Hamels has it narrowed down to that many pitches tells me that there is major concern, and you do not want to push it. I don't understand how 10-15 pitches affects the outcome of that game. If a couple of batters take some good swings and foul some pitches, that might be two batters, maybe not even that. I don't know how one to two batters makes the difference in that game. I think Andy stated that he thought (And I agree that it probably was) Manuals plan to get Geary in to start an inning, but Alfonseca's mishap ruined the plan. The only way that I think Hamels makes a difference is if he gets through another inning and Alfonseca does not pitch at all in the game. There are no guarantees, and it is actually unlikely that Hamels could get through an inning without throwing 10 pitches. Manual left him in for more pitches than they had even planned. I agree with the move. If Hamels is hurt again, there are 0, absolutely no chance of getting to the playoffs, and if by some miracle we did, 0 chance of success without him.

I would make this deal with him if I could put a strict wieght clause in his contract. He has a leg injury so you know he has been sitting on his ass for months. He could be very useful if he dedicated himself to getting in shape in the off season.

I'll second RSB comment on Lieber, it is time to move on. Give some of the young guys a chance.

I'm in favor of looking into schilling, but i wouldn't give lieber $6 million for next year.

also, i believe that if we can move burrell (even by eating maybe 4-5 million), we should resign rowand.

Parker, you really don't see what 15 pitches means?

How bout one more inning.

Ergo, no ALfonseca.

Ergo, no blow lead.

And bathtuphippo got it right: A Werth/Vic/Bourn outfield would be a joke, even if they did manage to stay healthy. Over the course of the year, you are looking at what, 25 *total* HR from those players?

The '08 outfield should be set: let Rowand break the bank elsewhere, let Burrell play his final season, put Vic in center, and platoon Werth and Bourn. If Bourn turns into a better hitter than Vic, swap them.

"If Hamels is hurt again, there are 0, absolutely no chance of getting to the playoffs"

That is an extremely silly statement.

Cole is currently set to make *one* more start this year.

parker - There were many reasons for the loss yesterday (fatigue, lack of the clutch hit, low quality in the pen, hamels' recovery, the sun, whatever) and in responding to your post I don't mean to belabor the discussion re: why the Phils didn't sweep. I do think, however, that while 15 pitches may only be one or two batters, it may also be a whole inning. Hamels threw 76 pitches in 5 innings (just about 15 pitches per).

But splitting hairs here is silly. The Phils had a chance despite his early departure (were leading when he was taken, and even almost pulled off a comeback in the 9th), and didn't get it done.

I don't know if I like the Bourn/Vic/Werth idea. It obviously depends on the trade-offs, and the back-up OF. If they made gains at 3B or pitching because of it, it might be okay. I'd rather see them keep either Pat or Rowand, though. Keep at least one.

There have been a few comments about whether Hamels should have gone an extra inning....Anderson, on the radio broadcast, kept saying Lohse should have gone an extra inning. Would it have mattered? Too many Phillie batters striking out.

Cole is currently set to make *one* more start this year.

Of course, if they make the playoffs, and don't have Cole, then they are equally screwed.

I for one find it absolutely ridiculous that our best starter is limited to five innings during a pennant race.

Is there any evidence, anywhere that validates theories on low pitch counts saving pitchers from injuries? considering all the pitching a starter does in a week: sides sessions, warming up, and throwing in an actually game, how does 80 pitches cause you to not get injured and 120 cause you to not get injured?

I think its a fallacy invented by agents and swallowed by the rest of baseball because they can't find a way to limit the influence of agents.

i meant to say 120 cause you to get injured

Lohse was probably on a stricter pitch count than Hamels. Of course, he *could* have gone more than one inning, but pitch counts rule over common sense seemingly every time. They're an especially convenient crutch to cite in postgame press conferences by a manager who has virtually no instincts for making pitching changes.

District, I don't think you need scientific evidence to realize the more you throw the more tired your arm is. And when your tired you are more likely to get injured. However, I think under the circumstances he should have went one more inning.

Pat Burrell has a (say it with me)...


And he doesn't want to go anywhere. Can we move on?

I don't think one inning would have mattered. AA was the only arm in the pen that was rested (thanks to the suspension), so unless Cole went 8, AA was coming in at some point.

i would say that the more likely you are to get injured, the more likely you are to get injured. tired has little to do with it. Some pitchers have resiliant body parts and smooth motions that are prohibitive to injury. some dont. 50 pitches a week doesn't change that.

so yes, i would like scientific proof, don.

CJ - absolutely. We've only got a year left as it is. Even with his terrific second-half, what would we get for him that would warrant a trade? We don't have anyone burning down our door to replace him in left, and if we get a decent Pat year next year AND $15 million dollars of freed-up money that the Phillies can (presumably) spend to upgrade other areas next offseason, I don't see a single upside to trading him. Especially since he has carried the team for a great portion of the second half.

"The Phils simply beat themselves yesterday," huh? Well beat yourselves for another 3 games or so.

Oh and...LETS GO METS!!!!

On Olney's blog, it says Hamels's pitch count will be extended to 90 next start. The real issue in that game was the offense and Kane Davis. Even if Hamels goes another inning, at least one of the two, Alfonseca and Davis, would have come into the game, so I don't know how an extra Hamels inning would have saved us.

They said the whole time that Hamels was on a pitch count, so it shouldn't have surprised anyone when he was removed. They were bringing him back slowly, and I think it was worth it--final start of the season Hamels will be able to go as long as he can.

They've got a rested bullpen for the rest of the season, and have a clear shot at the playoffs. No reason to inflate the importance of last night's loss.

Tray: Alfonseca and Davis gave up two runs apiece. One more inning from Hamels eliminates the need for one of them and takes two runs back possibly. 3-3 ballgame.

The off-day is huge today for the Phils but it always cuts out the margin for making excuses, especially for this upcoming Braves series.

People seem to be overlooking it, but this is going to be a tough series for the Phils to even take 2 of 3 given the pitching matchups (especially if Hudson/Smoltz go for the Braves).

If the Phils do need to go 5-1 this week, they have no margin for they have found a way to cough up a number of games this year against the Braves including the 8-2 lead they managed to blow earlier this month.

The Hamels thing yesterday is a mute point. Alfonseca still was going to pitch and there is no way this team wins a game only scoring 3 runs. Their offense knew that yet they bungled several key opportunities.

One last point on Werth - his production down the stretch reminds me very much of what Dellucci did last year. Great story but I am dubious that he can be an everyday player.

I would like the Phils to bring back Werth back as a 4th outfielder/platoon player with Victorino but I am willing to bet his numbers will revert to the norm against RHP (which he has generally struggled with in his career).

MG and others - it may very well have been a moot (not mute) point, I just have trouble in general with the whole pitch count thing. There is so much that i find boneheaded about allowing that number to dictate things, and even more so in a pennant race. How absolutely stupid is letting your opponent know how many pitches they need to get through before you can get into the soft underbelly of our bullpen?

The Phils will be facing the Braves' best three starters, which won't help. But they've seen them all plenty, and beaten all three before. 2 of 3 seems realistic. The off day is certain to boost the team, as will the energy of the home crowds. It's the weekend series they will need to sweep in order to get in.

CJ- Just relying on memory here, so don't jump all over me, but I recall last year (I think) when they were trying to deal him, there was talk that there was a short list of teams he would waive the clause to go to. Anyone else remember that, or am I confusing him with someone else?

RSB - Good point. We have to assume the home crowds over these next six days will be the best ever at Citizens Bank Park. I know players like Jimmy Rollins feed off the crowd; let's just hope it doesn't make them overanxious, like yesterday, and have them swinging through subpar pitches from mediocre pitchers.

MG: Agree on Werth. BABIP is .401, highest on team, as I would have predicted. (ae, kdon post more on this stat than anyone). And for the non-stathead, just look at his swing vs. RHP. Terrible.

FTD: Because he is the best young pitcher we have, one of the top 10 young pitchers in baseball. People have spent way more time and money than you looking at ways to protect young pitchers' arms and they have deduced that, while far from a perfect science, limiting and controlling pitchers' usage, especially COMING BACK FROM ELBOW SORENESS, is the best way to prevent further injury. I too was frustrated and wish Hamels could have pitched another inning; however, I also understand that if Hamels' elbow doesn't get better, or gets worse, we might just go ahead and write off next year as well. When you have a talent like Hamels, you use it carefully.

Since we're probably losing Rowand, since Werth and Bourn are probably fourth OFs, since Burrell always seems to hit 30 HRs and knock in 90 - 100, since he has a full no trade contract:
I prefer a PtB, Vic, Bourn, Werth OF. Remember: Dobbs has done some corner OF, too.

If we're gonna look a deal with Florida and since we're thinking of spending effort and money at 3B, maybe instead of looking at Cabrera. I think the money conscious folks in Miami might go even up for Costanzo.

As much as we often like to think that he's the real deal, Costanzo has no guarantee of ever being the MLB hitter that Cabrera is. (And then we can hold the PtB-Cabrera 2-minute foot race to first). Of course, in a world where money doesn't matter, Miami would never part with Miguel C.

For me, however, it doesn't make so much difference. Cause it's ALL ABOUT THE PITCHING. I think we should sign Linebrink, Affeldt and the best available closer type. (And we know they're gonna go for Silva.) (If it were me, at this point, I'd even consider Wolfie, if LA frees him, and DFA Eaton to free his roster spot).

($24.5 MM; really.)

Seems like a foregone conclusion that Rowand will be gone. I agree that he probably will, but I hope the brass thinks very carefully about letting him sail into the sunset unless they are darn sure that Vic's injury is not a harbinger of things to come with him. Would like to see them make a real effort to retain him. If he leaves and the Phils mgmt. buys into another Garcia fiasco with the Rowand savings, and the OF doesn't produce, well...

Also agree that Pat Burrell will have a better start next year and post overall decent numbers, and that Helms will probably do better also.

Bill Conlin had a very interesting article not all that long after the all star game as Burrell was just getting rolling on his second half. He suggested (1) that Pat has been playing hurt for much of the past couple of years; (2) opined that most of his problems could be attributed to pure physical issues and that he is simply a gamer who keeps his mouth shut and does the best he can, and (3) that his current level of play is much closer to his true ability than his first half of 2007. Plantar fasciitis was mentioned. Have had a bout with PF myself and can't conceive how you could play ball everyday at a professional level with that.

With Helms, the numbers say he plays at a higher level than he did this year, and he did just never seem to get himself untracked. If he is still around next year, he will be going into the season knowing exactly what will be expected of him and who his competition for an everyday job at third is.

Anyway, too soon for heavy hot stove stuff. This should be a very intereseting week.

This site is terrific, thanks to the guys who keep it together. It's really added a dimension to my baseball enjoyment and Phils suffering.

District, If pitch counts and fatigue mean nothing why aren't you upset that they did not use Romero, Gordon and Myers again? When they got hurt you would be the first one on here complaining that Cholly over used them.

I meant looking at Cabrera instead of Willis, who's probably gonna be Freddy Garcia next year for someone.

i'm just one guy, but i get the feeling that over the last 6 games:
4-2 gets the phils into a 1-game playoff
5-1 gets them the wild card outright
you can't only examine the phillies situation at this point - rather, you also need to take into account the circumstances facing the teams the phillies are chasing:

Padres: What could possibly be going through their heads right now - after losing arguably their largest offensive threat for the year, as well as their great defensive centerfielder for an unknown amount of time (after being stepped on by bradley in the outfield)? They seem to be in utter disarray, and the fact that they play their final 7 games away from home is a huge factor in determining where they will end up in the race once the season is over.
Rockies: They are on FIRE now. However, they play two playoff contenders from here on out, finishing with three games against Arizona who will still be fighting for their playoff lives at that point. Also, the exact date of the return of MVP candidate Matt Holliday is unknown.
Mets: They face two teams down the stretch who have given them fits recently (the Nats and the Fish). They also are throwing two untested rookies over the next three nights (Pelfrey and Humber), while also facing the two nats best pitchers (Bergmann and Hill) the last two nights.

The wild card is clearly up for grabs. After this weekend's meltdown by the pads, which included getting swept at home and the injuries of two of their most important position players, they are left with an even more anemic lineup and a very unproven defensive outfield. The fact that the phillies could be tied for the wild card lead after tonight's game is incredible. IMO the division will be extremely tough to win, as the mets play their final seven games at home, and with a 2.5 game lead it seems almost insurmountable. crazier things have happened, however.

bottom line: Phils need to take care of business in these last two series. That will mean beating either Smoltz or Hudson AT A MINIMUM.
Strangely, however, I have confidence in this phils team as opposed to years' past. I can't explain it, but I feel that the phils are gonna do it.

diggity - I can't explain it either. But despite the obvious gaps in the pitching staff, I get this feeling like this year's different (in a good way). Maybe it's the Met's sweeps. But this year continues to feel more like 1980 than any of the past several.

Of course, maybe I'm getting senile, too. That's another explanation.

In Olney's chat today:

From what I understand, Myers and Romero and Tom Gordon went to the pitching coach, Rich Dubee, and told him, look, don't bother asking us if we are available, because we are -- every day.

Except they weren't available yesterday, apparently.

The Phils need quality starting pitching NOW ... Gordon has been pitching great ... I say you throw Myers back in the starting rotation for a game or two and let Gordon hold down the bullpen. I know its crazy ... but its better than throwing "Eatin" out there to get bombed! Manuel's job is on the line ... its time for him to do something bold like this

RutgersESQ: Myers? Hell, why stop there. Why don't they trade for Santana? The Twins are out of it. They need pitching, right? Make it happen. NOW!

Couple of points to make based on this thread:
- The Phils will not re-sign Rowand because he's not worth $11-12M/yr for 3 years. That's equivalent to Utley money and $3-4M more than Rollins money. The regular posters here know that I'm not a big J-Roll fan, but he's worth much more than Rowand.
- They will consider moving Burrell this offseason because they won't need to eat any of his contract. For the reasons many have mentioned, his $14M looks like a good deal. The pro-Burrell faction on here consistently quotes his OPS. The anti-Burrell contingent looks at his whole body of work. He's quite possibly the worst fielding OF in the league (although he has a good arm), and his slumps last for months, not days or weeks. People forget how terrible he was in the first half this season. This is a situation of selling high - something the Phils have historically been poor at.
- I'm in the camp of signing a free-agent 3B to provide the additional right-handed power bat lost by moving Burrell. Mike Lowell's been an entertaining thought for the last few weeks.
- I also think what you've seen of Werth the last 2 months is the real Werth. This may be the first time that he's been completely healthy in 3 years.
- Trade Eaton anywhere for 3 boxes of baseball-rubbing mud.
- I think Dontrelle Willis would work here because of his close personal relationship with Rollins. He's got a Philly-kind of personality. If PG finds a closer, a rotation of Hamels/Myers/Willis/Kendrick/Moyer would be an improvement over the current crew.

Tray: There's a difference between the players saying they're ready... and the coaches trusting they're ready.

I have no doubt these guys would have taken the ball and thrown their arm off, but I support the decision to get them two days off so they can pitch the next six if necessary.

One additional point that I have made before - Burrell will waive his FNTC for the right situation.
Baltimore and Minnesota were not the right situations.
Would you accept a transfer in your current job to Baltimore or Minnesota for no extra salary?
Didn't think so.

That's a dumb comment. You can't jerk Myers back into the rotation now. As much as I hate to see Eaton get another start, I guess he's going to. They should have looked to replace him a while ago.

Crazy Jon:

1) Pat Burrell has a FULL NO TRADE CLAUSE. squatter asked if he was willing to do it last off season, and I'm pretty sure the answer was No. They had a deal in place, but PtB turned it down.
2) You suggest this is the real Jayson Werth based on this tiny sample because he's finally healthy... but other suggest Burrell is finally healthy, and his past success seems more indicative of future success, but we should dump Burrell? Strange logic.

squatter - There were reports that he would only approve a trade to the Yankees, Red Sox or a West Coast team.

Yeah, I'd have to agree with you CJ. Just throwing that out there. Though if we're forced to use, say, Myers or Romero the next five games, and a playoff spot's on the line, he's available that sixth game regardless. And if we use him that game and there's a one game playoff the next day, we'll be forced to use him then too if need be. Hopefully we blow out a team one of these games and it doesn't come to that.

Tray: That's my hope, too... we need a game in the middle of this homestand to give our bullpen a break so they'll be fresh enough for a one game playoff, if necessary.

Burrell's salary next year = $14M.
Werth's salary next year = $4M.
Problem with this team is not offense.
It's pitching.
The $10M is better spent on pitching help than the potential for another 3-6 month slump from PTB.
But, one positive for keeping PTB = he'll get his walks.
Make him the leadoff hitter, then.

People seem to be knocking Victorino's ability to stay healthy. What I wonder is if it is really a case of him coming back too soon and turning a moderate calf injury into something more severe.

I was surprised the Victorino came back so soon and at this point he is probably going to need to a miniumum of 4-6 weeks to get truly healthy again.

Scores on the road trip:

9/14 - at NYM (3-2) - extra innings
9/15 - at NYM (5-3)
9/16 - at NYM (10-6)
9/17 - at STL (13-11)
9/18 - at STL (7-4) - extra innings
9/19 - at STL (1-2) - extra innings
9/20 - at WSH (7-6)
9/21 - at WSH (6-3)
9/22 - at WSH (4-1) - extra innings
9/23 - at WSH (3-5)

Almost all close games, no real blowouts, no time to rest the bullpen. The only real blowout obviously got quite close. If you are going to lose at this stage, might as well get blown out and save arms like in the Colorado series. Hopefully we get some blowouts in our favor in the remaining series, albeit unlikely.

Ssshhh, let's be quiet and let the bats get a good night's sleep tonight, because they truly need to wake up and stay awake for the next week. Time for the position players to man up (not that they haven't been) and throw a little fear of the Phils' hitting into the other team. It's been over a week (seems like longer) since they've really shown what they can do when they get rolling.

I thought Victorino came back too soon also, just because it was obvious that he was (is) still hurt. It's a shame, because were he healthy, we could really use him to spell Werth & late game defense & the running game.
Is this another example of the Phillies mishandling an injured player? (Gordon, etc.)

anytime Victorino is pinch-ran for by Wes Helms (as was the case saturday night), you can tell he's not 100% healthy and definitely rushed his comeback.
case closed. no need arguing this point.

Just wanted to repost this as it got cut off on the last thread. This represents my take on the things that the Phils/we need to hope happens.

In my opinion, the Padres' lineup without Bradley and Cameron (Bradley may be done for the year, and knowing his history of sitting out games, probably is done. I have heard no reports on Cameron) is amongst the worst in the league. They were a poor offense to start with, now two of their 3 (Gonzales, Cameron, Bradley, one could make an argument for Green and Kouzmanoff, but Green is truly an all or nothing guy, and Kouz has been inconsistent, although hot as of late. Regardless not much pop in that lineup) power bats (and I use the term loosely) are out of the lineup, possibly for the duration of the season.

The lineup problems and a few more clunker games from Maddux (2 in a row now, and over 40 years of age), Young, and Tomko (Yes, thats right, Tomko), and this team could easily lose plenty of games. If they fail to win Peavy's next start, the Padres are done. They waisted a great outing by him this weekend and proceeded to play like crap and melt down on Sunday. The Padres look like the most disoriented and confused team left in the race.

Arizona: need them to lose. Not because of the hope of catching them, but because we don't want them to have clinched the division by the time they go into the Rockies series. If they have clinched, they will rest key guys and that series may turn into a laugher, probably making the Phils have to almost win out.

Dodgers: eliminated (if not mathematically then realistically), and playing horrible. Derek Lowe stated that there is such a divide between the older and younger players that there seems to be "two clubhouses." Not a good sign for that series v.s. the Rockies. This means there is even more pressure on the Phils. If the Dodgers tank the series v.s. Colorado, and the Diamondacks have clinched by the time Colorado plays them, the Rockies have a cakewalk to at least a 4-2, possible 5-1, possible sweep the rest of the way out. It is of course entirely possible that the Dodgers will take a few games from the Rockies and the D-Backs might not tank it after clinching, but I'm not betting on it.

Cubs: now would be a good time for the Marlins D to show up, or maybe Bartman will be at the games, but the Marlins really need to help out the Brew Crew in order for their to be any incentive for the Brewers going into that series with San Diego.

Willis: While the rampant Beerleaguer speculation is interesting for something, I don't think that is reality. They were asking for Cole + prospects just last year. Willis had a bad season, but not bad enough for the Fish to not remind any and everyone that would enquire about him, of just how good he was/is/will be. They will ask way more than the Phillies can offer without compromising the team. The comments that suggest that Victorino might bring Willis are dreamy at best. They want a bigger fish than Victorino, much bigger. I think you are talking Hamels at a minimum.

I can't imagine anyone would even ask for Hamels at this point. Unless the other end of that trade features one of Peavy, Sabathia or Santana, I'll keep King Cole, thanks very much.

crazy jon, did you miss werth striking out like 3 or 4 times a game throughout the last week...?

Just my opinion, but I dont think they will seriously shop Burrell this offseason. I think they'll pay his $14 mil and do it happily. Also, I think we will resign Rowand and i dont think its going to cost anywhere near $12 million a year to do so. I think he stays for 9 or so. I think Dobbs comes back as the starting third baseman and I honestly wouldnt be surprised if we kept Nunez at a 1 year deal and a pay cut. Every team needs a utility infielder, and he's about as good with the glove as you can find.

The rotation is Hamels, Kendrick, Moyer, and, gulp, Eaton, and we're left looking for an additional starter (Schilling?) or trying to trade Victorino or Bourne for someone who slots in further back in the rotation.

Thome, Lieber, Garcia, Barajas - those expiring contracts are put towards the pen. Howard gets some of that scratch, but we just dont know how much and for how long.

Crazy Jon: In keeping with our agreement that we not make our comments personal no matter how idiotic a post may be, let me just say that few statements are as breathtakingly uninformed and ridiculous as this one: "I also think what you've seen of Werth the last 2 months is the real Werth."

Let me also add that an OF of Werth-Vic-Bourn would be the worst offensive OF in all of baseball and the worst Phillies OF since Ken Walters-Bobby Del Greco-Tony Curry.

Going back to the part of Jason's original post about Helms, I am complaining about the year he's had. If he comes close to doing what he was supposed to offensively, we could've had 20 HR and/or 100 RBI out of that platoon. That might mean an extra win or two.

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EST. 2005

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