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Thursday, October 11, 2007

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weird fact about Andruw Jones: he's been a terrible hitter at CBP. and not just in 2007. his total CBP split is .193/.245/.393 in 151 PA, with 6 HR and 24 RBI. (OPS by year: 2004, .730; 2005, .614; 2006, .686; 2007, .534.)

I'm not really sure if that means anything, just because it's so completely counterintuitive. but it would definitely make me think twice before signing him, and I think I'm more positive on Jones than a lot of other posters here.

Eskin is a reputable source? Shoot me now, please.

I do not like Jones. He looks fat and happy to just get paid. The 50 homer season was the worse thing for him since he swings from his ass now instead of trying to drive the ball.

The simple fact is there is no long term pitching help worth paying for this year. Schilling, Wolf, even Freddy Garcia and Lieber, may be worth one year, incentive laden contracts, but unless the Phils are ready to overspend for average innings (Silva) no help in available. The only trading chip is Victorino and that only works if you keep Rowand.

I predict we sign Lowell and lose Rowand since Lowell will take less years, and that give us the vaunted "payroll flexability"

I like Nunez for what he is: A utility infielder and defensive replacement. As such I would like to keep him around.

Barajas will forever be remembered for the game where he spread his legs like a $2 whore, leading to Myers injury.

May I just add, Jason, that the above is some mighty fine copy. I'm not a journalist, and generally don't read the papers, so I couldn't have less of a clue of what copy is or what makes some copy good and what makes some copy bad. Nevertheless I feel compelled to stand behind the above as some of the best copy I've read in a long time.

I have it on good authority from a player that Garrett Atkins is an a-hole of the first order. Not the kind of guy that helps "team chemistry."

Garrett Atkins was the best man at Utley's wedding

I disagree wholeheartedly that the Phillies should entertain any notions of Andruw Jones. The precipitous dropoff in intensity alone from the CF position would not at all sit well with Philly fans. Defensively, he doesn't strike me as being that much better than Rowand at this point. And as I've said, he has gone this far in his career and still not shown an inclination to plate discipline. He's prone to extended slumps and pretty clearly on the down side of his career. Even if Rowand can't ever match what he did in '07, I believe he is a *far* preferable fit for this team. As for Cameron, he should remain left out of the discussion. Hunter is tremendous, but will clearly cost more than Rowand.

On the question of protecting Howard, Rowand did a tremendous job of it last year. Not only did he hit with sufficient power, but he hit over .300. Protection was not at all a factor in Howard's statistical dips.

I don't know how much more 'power' the lineup is really in need of, with or without Rowand. You have to figure that whoever they get to play 3B will add more power to the position than it received last year. (Cutting ties with Nunez is a good early sign that they intend to move a little more definitively on that position.) They'll still have Rollins and Utley returning, each with 25-plus HR potential, and Howard, who can probably be counted on to hit 40-50 annually.



What Andruw Jones would we get? Would we get his average years, or is 2007 more indicative of his future production.

Will he grab his next payday and go all Mo Vaughn on us?

Can Manuel get him to return to form?

Is his defense declining?

I personally think that 10 years of steroid use has finally caught up with Jones.

Parker, you "personally" don't know who has taken steroids and who hasn't, so please spare us with the capricious slander.

Apparently Eskin WAS a good source... Both players are history.. RSB-- It looks like they're starting to prepare to get a 3B..As I've said before.. If you need extra cash to re-work the bullpen or pay a contract down in order to trade for SP.. You can think about Pedro Feliz... only a lifetime .255 hitter but he'd hit at least 20 HR at CBP plus he's an excellent fielder

Pedro Feliz? kill me now.

I think Pedro Feliz is just the kind of wrong message we need right now. He's cheap... his glove is okay... and his mediocre bat will look better in CBP.

That's not a lineup enhancing move. That's moving deck chairs on the Titanic (I'm not suggesting the Phils are a sinking boat... it's just the best analogy I could come up with).

Someone tell me how I'm mistaken.

RSB, I don't personally know, but I do know what the physical manifestations of excessive steroid use look like, and Jones physical characteristics are pretty much a checklist.

RSB- like it or not, possibility of steroid/PED use seems like a very relevant topic when discussing possible acquisitions. And saying what you think doesn't constitute slander. No offense, I generally agree with a lot of your posts, but I think you're off base on this one.

As for the topic itself, I don't know about Andruw. And I don't know, but I certainly have my suspicions about Mike Lowell, which makes me a bit leery of him.

as i said.. it gives you more money to do other things.. Mike Lowell had a career yr.. he's 34 he is a legit 275 hitter w/ OBP 815 20-25 hrs... Just don't know if he's worth 11 million a yr compared to Feliz'z slightly lesser ability and much cheaper outlay. wasn't proposing it as a solution.. just an alternative if you need cash elsewhere

Thanks for creating a new thread.
I was getting tired of reading that idiot CrankWanker64 err..Squonk'64s excruciatingly long posts.
The best addition the Phils could make is to add Lowell - not only for his bat and defense, but also for his intangible clubhouse value.
Andruw Jones and Tejada subjectively do not strike me as good clubhouse guys.

RSB: You violated pet peeve No. 1 on my list of blog comment pet peeves: using the term "wholeheartedly" in conjunction with "agree" or "disagree." This is like Aaron Rowand swinging at pitches a foot off the plate. I expect better.

Nevertheless, nice counterpost, and most importantly, you stayed on topic. I'm up in the air whether it's a good idea or not, but think the Phils should at least consider it. Definitely worth a thread since no one is talking about it.

I don't like Jones. He spells his name wrong and rumor has it that his 50 HR year was juiced and his current year is clean.

My favorite No Hit Nuni moment? Can't think of one. I guess it's reading Carson's comments ripping Nuni a Nu one!

Favorite Barajas moment? It hasn't come yet. It will be when they cut his [expletive deleted]!

Where's Squonk? How about those [off topic]LSU Tigers!

I wouldn't exactly mind Lowell if the price is right. I just worry about a drop in production. Then again, masked down at the 6 or 7 hole behind Utley/Howard may lead to similar success as this year (behind Ortiz/Ramirez). Of course, you always fret a drop in production with every player.

Hank Blalock is an intriguing option, one we should look close at.

And Andruw Jones? No thanks. I don't want another potential 150+ K guy in my lineup. And his defense is dropping off; Rowand is just as good at this point. I don't mind getting rid of Rowand AND Bourn (for pitching) and staying with Burrell/Vic/Werth if we get a better bat at third.

Malcolm: Hmmm... a Lowell lineup might look like this (with no Rowand):

Rollins
Utley
Burell
Howard
Lowell
Werth/Dobbs
Victorino
Ruiz

I would imagine if we brought in Lowell and let Rowand walk that Lowell would assume the 5-hole.

Off topic: I'd like to keep Bourn. I like him. I think he's a dynamic player. We could make him bat 5th and have two sets of 1 through 4 hitters, twice in the rotation followed by the pitcher. I love Bourn on the Bases. Wasn't that a song by Creedence Clearwater Revival?

I initially thought Rollins/Vic/Utley/Howard/Burrell/Lowell/Werth/Ruiz, but I can see Manuel breaking the lefties instead. So yeah, 5-hole. Still, he hits behind the big boys. If he remains a steady singles/doubles hitter, he'd give the back of the order a lot of good RBI chances.

May I just add, Jason, that the above is some mighty fine copy. I'm not a journalist, and generally don't read the papers, so I couldn't have less of a clue of what copy is or what makes some copy good and what makes some copy bad. Nevertheless I feel compelled to stand behind the above as some of the best copy I've read in a long time.

Malcolm: Agreed... Vic 2 and Lowell 6 is a possibility, as well. Vic was in the 2-hole for most of the season.

Crap...really sorry about that double post. Serves me right for trying to be funny.

Hmmm... Baron Von Hayes' name (which I love) got me thinking of other similar incarnations...

How about:
Don Juan Samuels


Am I off topic?

er... Don Juan Samuel... no "s" at the end

Abe Nunez is no longer a Phillie. This is a very good day.

now that third base is settled, all we need to figure out is who will be sitting in the owner's box when D-train makes his phillies debut.

clout: Let's not put the cart before the horse. It's certainly possible the Phils bring Nunez back at a much cheaper price tag.

@CJ -- Great idea... Don Juan Samuel is a great name. There should be an auction for the alias.

but back to the real topic. the phills need pitching but there really isn't any available. despite how easy it is for fans to say "spend the money on pitching" i think they have to take an NFL draft approach and forget immediate needs to a point and get the best talent out there. if there are no pitchers than get a third baseman. i like lowell more than andruw jones, but i think there is a ton of doubt as to how much any of these CFs will get this offseason.

Catcher Aliases:
Bob Boone's Farm
Ozzie and Harry Virgil
Not so Tiny Tim McCarver

Sorry, off topic. Great main post. I don't really care for Lowell at age 34. Conlin made a decent argument yesterday for Blalock.

Isn't slander by definition "capricious?"

CJ - That's pretty darn good for such short notice. I have a friend is who always using these types of names for his fantasy teams. The only one I can remember right now is Kaz Matt Suey (he is a Mets fan), which just made me laugh for some reason. He obviously stopped using it after 2004.

We should make a rule though that the word limit is 3 on these names. Don't want it to devolve into a Berman-esque, Rafael "Emerson Lake and" Palmeiro territory.

Re: Lowell

I'm not that concerned about Lowell not being able to replicate this season's "career season." The only out-of-norm number for him is the batting average (30 points higher than his previous career high).

Even if Lowell hits closer to .280, we're still likley looking at an OPS somewhere between .800 and .850, especially in our hitter's park. Our 3B this year hit .255 with a .698 OPS.

COMPLETELY OFF-TOPIC:

By the way, Baseball Reference offers team splits that separate Offensive positions and Defensive positions. Remarkably, our Defensive positions (C, 2B, SS and CF) had a higher OPS (.858) than our Offensive positions (.829). How many other teams did that happen for?

I think the reason it's easier to talk about a guy like Lowell than a guy like Blalock, Atkins or Tejada is that Lowell is a free agent... the other three are only available in a trade.

What, exactly, are we offering to teams to get their player in return?

Off topic: Interesting tidbits in Ken Mandel's Phillies notes page on phillies.com

1. Myers likely to remain in the bullpen in 2008.
2. Catching tandem of Ruiz and Coste likely for 2008.

slander is any form of defamation, although it usually connotes unwarranted defamation

capricious slander is defamation applied at a whim, erratically, or without much thought.

I love that Beerleaguers have such above league average vocab skills.

Off topic: Interesting tidbits in Ken Mandel's Phillies notes page on phillies.com

1. Myers likely to remain in the bullpen in 2008.
2. Catching tandem of Ruiz and Coste likely for 2008.

Bill Mac: I think someone else had noted those.

I'm not too surprised by either. My instincts said Ruiz/Coste would stay, but there was a lot of skepticism there. The age of Coste is potentially a concern, but he'd just be a backup, so I'm not sure how much of an issue that would be.

As far as Myers goes, we all need to get used to the idea that he's our high-priced closer. I just don't believe this front office has any intention of exploring the closer market with the potential of moving Myers back into a starter role.

CJ, Agree about Ruiz/Coste. Why waste money on a backup catcher again ? It pains me to know Myers will be in the bullpen when I know he would give us 200 innings next year, and one of the best duos in the league with Hamels.

Montgomery is really streching things to say the Phils payroll was $103M. According to every source, the Phils payroll obligations were ~89M at the start of the season plus $7M for Thome. They added another $2M for salary portions of Lohse and Taguichi,. That puts them at $98M. No one talks the 40 man roster when discussing the payroll, so I guess Kane Davis, Condrey, Sandoval, etc.. could total another $6M, but that seems like a stretch to me. Somehow Monty conveniently never talks about the $7M they saved from the 2006 payroll when they ditched Bell, Lidle, Abreu. I guess this just went into his pocket and didn't carry over into this year.

Phils do need to upgrade 3B - especially if Rowand leaves. You can't count on going through a season with Dobbs/Helms again. They just don't produce enough and their defense is very poor.

I would love to see Lowell here but my worry with him is the years on his contract. Even more so for A. Jones who probably is going to want a 5-year contract at minimum. The question is are the Phils willing to get get burnt on the last year or two of a contract if they sign either of these players in order to have this team become a serious contender in '08 or '09?

JW brings up a very valid point about the offense though. I am willing to bet that even if the Phils resign Rowand their offensive will not be nearly as good next year. Plus, this team did struggle against LHP this year and it would even more so if Burrell is the only legit right-handed hitter in this lineup.

I see two strategies -

1. Resign Rowand and try to either get a slight upgrade over Werth or at 3B

2. Sign Lowell

A. Jones looks so tantalizing but you have to remember that he is probably going to command a much greater salary than Lowell or Rowand. I would rather have the Phils take that $5 million dollar difference and committ to sign 2 relievers.

If anyone thinks the Phils are going to eat either Helms or Eaton's salary, they are crazy. Both of these guys will be back next year no matter what.

Call me crazy but I actually think Eaton has more upside. It is almost impossible for him to pitch worse and even league average numbers from him would be a huge improvement.

Helms is ok as a bench player but he clearly showed he has no business starting everyday. Defensive liability and he won't hit enough to justify starting him.

On the good news front:

Schuerholtz resigned as GM. Smart move. Walk out on top before you reputation is diminished.

With Schuerholtz gone and so many defections in their organization when Baird left for KC as the GM, I am willing to bet their ability to keep interally replenishing their team are over. Plus, whatever spending advantage the Braves had appears to be over too as they look at keep their payroll at around $85 million next year.

Maybe other see something different, I but see a Braves franchise whose days of contending in the NL East are over. Sure they will probably be north of .500 next year but their two best players (Chipper and Smoltz) are long in the tooth. Plus, the Braves have nearly as many pitching questions as the Phils and a lineup that is going to take a hit after A. Jones leaves this year.

I would be shocked if the Braves win more than 85 games next year.

the idea of andruw jones does not excite me even a little. he hit .220 this year, in his contract year. plus, he is older than his age. he started young and is clearly on the way down. with boras as his agent, there is no way the phils will get a good deal.

i've said it before and i'll say it again. the phillies, to the extent that they need offense, need players who are not strikeout machines.

Insinuating someone is or was a steroid user is a pretty hefty accusation. If you have no grounds on which to base it other than the fact that the player's performance dropped from one season to the next, I would say that can be fairly called slander. (And why would all slander be considered capricious? Usually it's made very pointedly.)

I am seriously irked by these kinds of associations, especially by someone who likes to label my posts as 'knee-jerk'. And no, it's not okay to say how you feel if what you're saying is defaming a person's character, no matter how casually or thoughtlessly it's said. These 'suspicions' are like witch-hunt fodder. I'm not saying steroid use didn't happen, but do we have to cast these askent glances every which way, at the slightest hint of statistical amelioration?

Watch the tapes of Andruw Jones last year. He put on a clinic in what not to do as a hitter. He pulled off, he swung at bad pitches, he tried to lift everything. I can't say with absolute certainty that he was *not* a steroid user, but the evidence of his poor batting habits would seem to constitute a far more reasonable place to start if you want to examine why he went downhill last year. If you can factually submit that the dimensions of Andruw Jones' head have changed from 1996 to 2001 to 2007, you may become entitled to express what you "personally think". I've watched him through his whole career and he hasn't looked any different to me from one year to the next.

Jason: I'll keep your pet peeve in mind and shoot for more moderate expressions of disagreement in the future. Although, you wouldn't really expect me to say 'half-heartedly' about anything, would you?

On the Eaton point - I would actually feel more confident in Eaton's ability to pitch better next year if he actually did have surgery this offseason. It would be a clear indication he was pitching hurt (he had "ok" numbers until the end of May when his numbers fell off a cliff).

Ugh am I being an awful traditionalist by thinking that improving the offense significantly is *not* what we need to do. I really think we would get five to ten wins more easily with even a moderate upgrade to pitching consistency (much easier to achieve given where we're starting from) and a shored up defense than we get by trying to make what is already the best offense in the NL *that* much better.

Are there ways to tweak the offense to make it even more dangerous, Yes? Could we get better at situational hitting, maybe fill some of the power holes in the lineup? Yes? Does that help us win more of those games where we score less than 3 runs (which happen, no matter *how* good the offense is)? I don't think so. But if we'd won more than like, 2 of those all season, even a reasonable percentage of them, suddenly we're a mid 90's win team, or possibly better -- and need I even mention how things might have gone differently in the playoffs.

Yes, as Jason points out, and others have as well, we can't allow the offense to significantly degrade, especially given the small likelihood of being able to become a really *strong* pitching club. But I still think that if we cold even get our overall pitching to the middle of the pack we'd be much better off.

Ed K

it is a serious accusation if it is made by the phila inquirer or even the daily news, but made by a guy on a message board not so much. not to knock anyone, but this is still only a few step removed from barroom chatter. if someone throws out some falsified evidence on a blog thats one thing, but if someone says he looks like a roider theres no reason to get all huffy about it. its just dudes talking ish. lets not take anything to seriously lest this end up like the completely humorless goodphight.

Another point that came from an offline conversation.

If we *can* get another hot starter, from wherever, does it make sense to think about moving Moyer into the bullpen soon? As the person who suggested this to me pointed out, his slow breaking stuff coming after any fairly hard throwing starter would be a really difficult adjustment, and he may be getting to the point where expecting him to pull of a season of more than five inning appearances consistently is asking a lot. But he's an amazingly smart pitcher, as we all know, and someone I could imagine becoming a very effective reliever for more than one inning -- as well as his obvious value as a mentor / auxiliary pitching coach.

Just to expand on the above point / question. Think of it this way. Moyer as a starter puts stress on the bullpen, Moyer as a reliever may in fact take a lot of stress off some of our younger starters.

It's not that I don't have a sense of humor. I just think people should be accountable for what they say, wherever they say it. Just because this isn't a place of professional journalism, and no one can be sued for libel, doesn't mean it's okay to make irresponsible statements.

I also wouldnt mind seeing Nunez back as a role player - and only a role player - if they make no other moves at 3rd. Just not for the same price. Obviously there are better options.

I would not want Barajas back for free. I heard they DFAed Kane Davis as well....that is one in the bullpen who will be gone, many more to go.

KP, you cannot bother RSB with such petty things as definitions.

RSB, I have reasons, and good ones as to why I think Jones is a user. You never asked. And why is an accusation of steroid use a big deal? Even the guys that have all the evidence in the world thrown at them, still deny that they took steroids. So what is the point in defending anybody that has all of the physical manifestations of a user? Obviously you did not read my next post, or SC's post following that. And since I'm sure that you will call me out for not giving physical characteristics of steroid users here they are (Not intended to be an all inclusive list, but highlights):
1.) Significant change in overall body mass over a short period of time: Jones clearly went from a pretty regular looking guy (Lanky and relatively thin, sort of like Utley) to a massive hulk.
2.) Massive increase in head circumference/size: Jones looks dramatically different now than when he entered the league. Obviously everyone looks some different as they age, but the guy is 30 and his head looks twice as large as it did when he entered the league (Or even after 4 or 5 years in the league).
3.) Early Male Baldness: Steroids make your hair fall out (At least on the head, stimulating hair growth in the back and chest area), and users/abusers usually shave their heads to mask hair loss. (Jones is what 30)? Maybe he would be balding anyway, but he would not be completely bald at this point. The guy had a very healthy head of hair not that long ago.
4.) Increased bone mass around the Eye sockets (Particularly above the eye; Neanderthal man effect): Steroids can produce increased growth of bone, particularly around the eye sockets (At least this is its most obvious manifestation; this is contemperaneous with the other growth of the skull, but most dramatic in around the eyes). Produces an ape like appearance along the eyebrows. (Best example: Ken Caminetti. Look at his early photos, prior to heavy steroid use, and compare his facial features to his post steroids use. The facial distortions are rather dramatic). Comparing Jones photos reveals similar facial distortions and an elnarging of the bone around the eyebrow area particularly. Bonds is another great example of this (Giambi, even [And I know this will start a firestorm] Abreu appears to have many of the characteristics).

D-Backs 5, Rockies 3. Bank it.

on jones: i'm with parker on the steroid suspicion. the guy's head just looked like a freakin watermelon..and the precipitous drop in numbers this year? even if that's not a result of being clean, it could be a sign that he's on the way down...i wouldn't touch him. plus, i just don't like the cut of his jib...which is, for the record, an expression i've been trying to work into a post for the last couple weeks. so good for me there.

on nunez: someone with video editing talented should make a tribute to no-hit. we could send it to him, so he knows exactly how we feel.

on cholly's extension: i missed the other thread, so i'll just say that i'm in agreement with weitzel. he more or less echoed my sentiments from posts last week, where i commended cholly for proving me and other critics wrong by getting to the playoffs...but at the same time, i questioned his tactical skills for succeeding in a short series format. so..yep.

By the way RSB, I never once stated that my belief that Jones was a user had anything to do with his statistics. Although, considered in conjunction with the other reasons why I think that, it is supportive.

Slander: Andruw Jones, please sue me.

You just keep on pretending you know what the hell you're talking about. God forbid you ever say, hey, maybe I'm not right here. No, you just act like a rabid squirrel backed into a corner, desperate to defend your thoughtless assertions. Jones was never built like Utley, he never had a full head of hair, and he *doesn't* look any different from when he first came up.

1996 -
http://www.californiasportsinv.com/images/9993800184136526dcf8b4.JPG

2007-
http://cache.viewimages.com/xt/73354137.jpg?v=1&g=editorial_na&s=1

I dunno if Jones had been on 'roids. I don't want him because he couldn't bat .300 in T-Ball. I don't care why not.

RSB, sorry if I'm not convinced by two pictures that you selectively produced. By the way, the second photo provides absolutely no opportunity for comparison of overall body mass.

Rollins
Utley
Burrell
Howard
Lowell
Werth/Dobbs
Victorino
Ruiz

I think this lineup would be better than the '07 lineup. I expect Vic and Ruiz to both have considerable positive bumps in their numbers. Ruiz showed major improvement this year, especially in his plate discipline in the last month of the season. The remainder of the money needs to be spent on pitching. Either directly, or by signing Rowand and trading, say, Bourn.

At first I liked the idea of Jones in CBP, but I've soured to it. As much as I think he'd rake at home, he'd get killed by fans and would likely sour the team chemistry. I'd honestly rather see Rowand or Torii in Philly, who'd both put up decent numbers and be fan favorites.

With all the talk of Jones, why no talk of Torii?

It's the "heartedly" part of the word that bothers me, not the disagreement or agreement. Can't explain it. There's something a little too weenie about it. And I think it's because I've read a good number of lame blogs with lame posters and the comments are always the same. "I agree 100 percent wholeheartedly, Vicki! The yellow Wiggle is the cutest! LOL!"

Look at the head, then, Parker. Look at the face, look at the hairline. These were *your* arguments. Try to be honest, will you?

Parker - he was friggin' 18 years old in 1995! You never heard of guys filling out in their 20s? Jesus already!

I am being honest RSB, you produced the two photos that revealed the least possible information. And by the way, the 1996 Photo is either dated wrong or is further evidence of my point, because that rookie card looks nothing like the 1996 photo. That is less than a year later.

Parker: You are an infuriating waste of time. The end.

Ok, yeah you are right RSB. I'm 25, and any day now I'm expecting to fill out into that professional wrestler build. I know it is coming.

I believe that all this CF talk is irrelevant. If we don't sign Rowand (which is 50/50 at best), I can guarantee that we're looking at an outfield of Burrell, Vic, Werth/Bourn (MB in CF occasionally), and Dobbs to backup LF/3B and be our lefty bat off the bench. Our $$ should and will be spent on a 3B upgrade, 1 starter and 2 relievers. If we do plunk lots of money into another FA CF, it will be a big mistake (unless they open the purses and do all of the above- not likely). On another note, if Rowand does re-sign, Bourn is our trading chip for a quality pitcher.

RSB: Thanks, the feeling is mutual, I assure you.

Is anyone watching the NLCS game? The way the Rockies have approached Webb has been impressive. The Phillies would have been pounding all his early inside pitches into the ground. They were patient and made him get the ball up and out over the plate.

Gentlemen, gentlemen. I suggest you settle this by calling the Atlanta Braves equipment manager and asking how many different hat sizes Jones has had during his career.

Billy Mac: The 40-man roster will have to be cleared to make room for prospects who must now be protected plus any new acquisitions or Rule 5 picks the team makes. Players not protected on the 40-man are subject to the Rule 5 draft within 4 or 5 years after being drafted (depending on age). The Phils will have to protect some of those guys drafted in 2003 and 2004.

Given that, I think the chances of carrying Condrey on the 40-man during the offseason are less than 50% and the chances of carrying Sandoval & Davis are 0%.

RSB: That's intersting. My eyes tell me that Webb has had terrible command of his breaking stuff tonight. Maybe it's a combination.

the doctor: I like your advice.

That post on the 40-man should have said the 2002 and 2003 drafts.

I like the Rockies in this series (illuminating comments supporting my pick over on ESPN from Rob Neyer), and I have no idea whether Andruw used steroids. It seems a ton of players have, and he has thickened a lot, so there's certainly a chance, but I wouldn't call him a probable steroid user by any means, as I would reserve that distinction for someone who there's at least rumors about, or someone who went from being a slap-hitting base-stealer to a mega-power hitter (Sosa). Would I want him? I don't like guys who seem to be declining. You never know how quickly they may become totally useless. His defense certainly isn't what it used to be; he did hit a lot better towards the end of this season but at this point, offensively, he's kind of Burrell Lite, best-case scenario.

clout: Webb didn't have good command. But the pitches he was missing with weren't all that far out of the strike zone. It was matter of waiting him out and getting pitches to hit.

Can someone explain why Lowell would turn out better than a 30-yr-old David Bell a la 2002? -- .261/20hr/73rbi/.762ops, 2 LCS and a WS in 3 years?

"Ed Wade believed he had the right ingredients with Bell when he signed him late in 2002. He was advertised as a man we would surely want in a fight.

"The love affair might have happened if the two sides were properly introduced. Just when the team had us buttered up with drippy professionalism, his back gave out just days into the season. He limped through half the season and hit .196. Pleasantries over.

Through no fault of his own, Bell brought all the effervescence of cement. He was set up for failure. He was an older veteran free agent when he signed before 2003, coming off what would turn out to be his best years." JW in Beerleaguer 3/7/2006

s97, i agree about Lowell. i'm a little suspicious of his continued success... you have to ask yourself this, if Lowell is really that good, then why would the BoSox let him get to free agency? i'm not an expert on the sox, but Lowell is pretty important to them. he's an integral part of their lineup and a fan favorite. plus, we're talking about the Red Sox, who have more money than God (but, sadly, still less than the Yankees), so why won't they pony up the dough? could it be because they think his production will slip in his upcoming contract years?

but like i said, i'm no expert on the sox roster situation, so please, prove me wrong, because i'd love to see Lowell's production in red pinstripes...

And for those who aren't excited by Silva - he averaged 6 innings for his 33 starts this year. (33g/202ip/92pitches per start) This means the 6th inning is usually being pitched by a pitcher with a 4.15 ERA.

Phillies middle relievers in 2007 with +4.20 era: Geary, Condrey, Alfonseca, Rosario, Sanches, Mesa, Davis, Zagurski,
and other assorted suspects.

If you spend money on Silva, you oughta be able to skip an appearance by these guys once or twice a week and go to the more stable 7-8-9 pitching pattern.

silva i don't have a problem with. i'd welcome him to CBP...
the pitcher i definitely, under absolutely no circumstances want to see with the phils next year is Dontrelle Willis. the two theories for his dropoff this year were 1) a loss in velocity from simple wear and tear and 2) that he was mentally underperforming as a reaction to the lousy baseball atmosphere in south florida. well, if ever there was an occasion to rise to, it was that last game of the season he started against the mets...
his line: 2.2IP 3H 1R 1ER 5BB 2SO 0HR 5.17ERA

considering the brouhaha that erupted the day before between the clubs and the importance of the game to the mets, that was as close to october baseball as Willis has gotten since 2003. and he stunk.

i think willis is in trouble and i think the phils should stay away. even though his bat would look mighty fine in CBP...

of course, now that i've posted that, i'm sure Willis will go to the Mets where he was completely recover his form and dominate us... oh balls.

sorry, should read: where he will completely recover his form and still dominate us...

While I agree that Jones is likely in the steroid club (he is NOT a 50+ HR hitter), I don't think we want a guy who bats .222 the only year of his whole career that determines his payday. Even if he comes at a discount with a likely upswing next year. He's still going to want a long contract. I'd much rather keep Rowand.

I would welcome Andruw Jones to the Phillies if he came at a reasonable price and reasonable length contract (i.e. $35-50M for 3-4yrs). I doubt that Boras will settle for something like that though, so in that case, let someone else overpay for Andruw. I don't put much stock in the "contract-year" theory and I thought that it had been disproven, much like the "clutch-hitting skill" theory.

I happen to think Andruw's days of a CF are over, but much like Ken Griffey Jr, he'll probably be alllowed 3 or 4 more years of below-league-average defense before baseball people wake up and realize he can no longer cover the ground he once did. If he signed in Philly, I'd put him in RF and let the younger, faster, better-armed Shane Victorino handle the CF duties. I certainly wouldn't mind Andruw's right-handed bat in the Phillies lineup.

I hope the Phillies are seriously pursuing trade options for the solution to their 3B problems, because Mike Lowell is a very short-term answer. In fact, if he signed with the Phillies, I'd worry that he was just a older, more expensive version of Wes Helms (albeit with much better defense and a better resume).

I have no idea if Hank Blalock is really avaiable, but I would love to see the Phillies make a deal for him, even if it cost some of our better prospects. Judging by the all of the ex-Phillies on the Rangers roster, the Phillies and Rangers mgiht have some decent trade chemistry. With 4 more months before pitchers and catcher report, at least we can dream, right?

Hmmm.
Who is the best right-handed power hitter in baseball?
He also happens to play 3B and is likely to be a free agent.
I wonder...
A-Rod. A-Rod. A-Rod.
Forget this middling free agent stuff. (No offense Mike Lowell.) The Phils have to go for it. Now. Pitching-shmitching.
Put A-Rod in that lineup and watch him hit 70 home runs, and watch the Phils leave everyone else in the dust.
I don't care if he looks like a playoff choke artist, I'm just thinking about back-to-back playoff appearances. What would that be like?
Remember the last two weeks of this season? How much excitement there was in the park and in the city? That's what the entire season would feel like with A-Rod hitting in CPB.
If the Phils are really going to break the bank in the off-season, why not smash the bank to pieces?
Listen, don't think for a second that the Mets won't make a run at A-Rod. Maybe move him to short and Reyes to second. Who knows? That's why the Phils need to seriously consider this. We can start a campaign. Bring A-Rod to Philly. A-Rod...A-Rod...A-Rod...
Who's with me?

A-Rod to Philly? Count me in. Hell I'll renew my season tickets.

If a-rod comes, you can have my season tickets.

I'd love to see ARod here but it's not happening. Gillick was asked about him and he made some sort of joke about ruling him out and ARod ruling out the Phils as well.

The more I think about this, the more I'd prefer trading for an Atkins or even Crede to Lowell. I like Lowell, but his age and back issues worry me.

Also, it's not totally true that the Phillies have no high-ceiling outfield prospects. Golson's high-ceiling; he's just also very low-floor. And while they're much farther off, Domenic Brown and D'Arby Myers both have serious talent. I wouldn't bet on all three of those guys even making it to the bigs, but the odds aren't terrible that one will develop into an above-average regular.

HA! I;m with loctastic on the A-rod issue...30 mill a year isn't worth it for that guy. Now next year when Johan Santana is a fa...then i would buy season tickets.

How can you not think A-Rod is worth $30 million a year? let say you pay him $300 million over a 10 year span, which from all reports is what he is looking for. Over 10 years he pays for himself in wins, attendance and merchandising. Look at all the records he will make a run at if he stays healthy. Now think of him in a lineup with Rollins, Utley, Howard, Burrel and A-rod? in CBP? How much pitching do you need when you score 8 runs a game. I think A-rod brings more money into the organization over a 10 year period than $300 million plus how much is a championship worth in this town? Gillick and Montgomery would be heros

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