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Wednesday, November 28, 2007

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i think the only reason he got picked up was to make durbin/roario feel like their not the worst pitcher in camp. his best year was in the single-A Sally League at age 23(!). he'll get hit around at AAA most likely.

If he can do better than Floyd Youmans' 1-5 5.70 ERA and 1.75, this will be okay.

How incredibly deceptive his majors stats are in the Phils press release. His K/BB ratio tells me a lot more about where he belongs and what he needs to do to improve.

Does this guy even have options left? I'm guessing not or the Bucs wouldna waived him. He's Spring Training cannon fodder, unless he gains a miracle jump in velocity. Like I said on the last thread - it'll be aweful if he takes up a roster spot and we lose someone to Rule 5.

(I wonder how this will play over at Carson's half-Pirate website.)

On the plus side, Youmans has the LSU pedigree. Maybe he'll experience a "bounce" coming from a sucky last place team to a Division Winner. Sometimes, that is all it takes. Then, again, a last place team's trash, usually, is....really just trash.

Take a look at the 40-man roster and you'll find plenty of flexibility. T.J. Bohn is still there. Pete La-Bunch-a-Trees is still there. Anderson Garcia is there. And plenty of other marginal talents like Durbin, Rosario and Roberson. So no need to worry about adding Youman in that regard. If he stinks, they can try what they tried with Condrey, or get rid of him.

Stuff-wise, he sounds like a softer throwing, left-handed El Pulpo.

Talk about a ringing endorsement.

"a softer throwing, left-handed El Pulpo"

Maybe we can offer him to the Cubs for Prior.

Why do we sign this trash while the Rangers get pitchers with huge upside like this...

http://futureangels.mlblogs.com/futureangels/2007/11/whither_warner_.html

Clearly he'll never be a major league starter, but if he's lights out out of the pen in spring training or (in a more likely scenario) we can slip him to AAA and have him pitch in relief there, it's a no lose proposition. For my money, he can take T.J. Bohn's 40 man spot any day.

if he's lights out out of the pen in spring training

and maybe Adam Eaton will win 30 games and Tom Gordon will reverse age 15 years and Wes Helms will hit 75 HR...

Any of those.. except for Gordon reversing age... are theoretically possible.

Glad to see the Phils making another useless bullpen move. Youman is typical of the low-risk, low-talent approach that Gillick has primarily employed in the bullpen with pretty disastrous results.

This combined with the Phils inability to identify with relievers to keep and bring any significant relief pitchers that were effective has resulted in a bullpen that has been a liability since the second half of 2006.

If things keeping going again at this rate, the Phils' bullpen is going to a liability once again next year. I don't know why Gillick stubbornly refuses to shore up this area in any significant way.

2006 offseason: Franlin

Any of those.. except for Gordon reversing age... are theoretically possible.

I think that requires a tenuous interpretation of the phrase "theoretically possible" :)

I think I was in a better mood when they had done nothing...

Seriously, Youman???

Looking at his splits he can at least pitch during the day, so I guess we can use him on Sundays and for the occasional businessmans special...

I will amend my statement. Gillick did bring in Romero but even that move was out of desperation/ability to sign a guy at a pro-rated portion of the veteran league minimum than a real ability to identify a useful bullpen pitcher.

Guess a bunch of team's are in the same boat in that the back end of their bullpen are question marks but the Phils biggest problem remains that they are a single injury away from their bullpen being a huge liability once again.

Considering that it is pretty much inevitable that Gordon will either be injured/ineffective next season, you would have to think that Gillick would try to come up with a viable alternative to him. Guess I am a skeptic but I am pretty much willing to bet the Phils are done filling out their bullpen this offseason besides garbage moves like Youman. Once again it will be a weakness next season.

Following this acquisition I have a new idea for the "alternate" uniforms. All the numbers, in the back, should have a slash through them with new numbers, exactly half as much printed below them. The hats should have a blue-light as a logo.

Youman's only gave up 2 hits in his last 4 apperances in relief last year. He's just starting to reach his peak.He'll probably be the JC of 2008. Anyone hear anything about Jennings. I still think he is a real sleeper,no not asleep.

These are the types of moves you have to make when your high minors contain few pitchers ready to pitch in the majors. But even if you're stacked with talent, teams pick up guys off the waiver wire all the time. I'm not saying Youman is Santana, but why not grab him?

Andy: better yet, they should look like the jerseys they give away at the games, with printed-on, generic-looking numbers and a Modell's Sporting Goods logo. The wristbands can be leftover rally towels, folded over and scotch-taped.

jr - Your joking right. Youman is yet another guy who does strike out anybody and has control issues. He does bring some depth to Allentown next year but hopefully he doesn't see any significant time with the Phils next year.

JW: I hear what you're saying about trying to add depth. But as with Snelling and the signings made last week, this is the kind of move you really hope Gillick is making with only the Iron Pigs in mind.

RSB - Agreed. I am afraid that Snelling/Youman are going to be counted on to round out the Phils' roster coming out of spring training and not the Iron Pigs.

Youman's yes Jennings no

Jennings? Who is Jennings?

Jason Jennings.. FA SP

Are we trying to sign JAson Jennings? Its the first I have heard his name.

Jennings would actually be a decent risk to take on and much cheaper than many of the other options, I saw somewhere that he was only expected to get about $3 million base plus incentives.

[i]and maybe Adam Eaton will win 30 games and Tom Gordon will reverse age 15 years and Wes Helms will hit 75 HR...[/i]

Yeah I know. But his numbers as a reliever do provide some hope that he could turn things around (at least compared to his abysmal numbers as a starter). And at least he keeps the ball in the yard. Okay, so I'm clutching at straws here, but with nothing else going on...

(By the way, interesting stat: Wes Helms has hit 63 HRs in his career. So basically, I'd say he's a dead cert for at least 80 to 85 this year.)

Whoops, thought HTML would work for italics. Guess I'm an idiot.

Almost every team has at least 2 or 3 marginal players on their team. I am just worried that the Phils' bullpen will at least 2 or 3 marginal guys in their bullpen to start the season again and be an injury away to Gordon/Madson from having to trot out a ton of garbage in the 6th and 7th innings again next year by May.

PhillyFriar,

To jog your memory, it's less than (<) and greater than (>), not brackets to get italics (and similar) to work in HTML.

Jason correctly notes, "Take a look at the 40-man roster and you'll find plenty of flexibility. T.J. Bohn is still there. Pete La-Bunch-a-Trees is still there. Anderson Garcia is there. And plenty of other marginal talents like Durbin, Rosario and Roberson. So no need to worry about adding Youman in that regard. If he stinks, they can try what they tried with Condrey, or get rid of him."

What does that, and the claiming of someone like Youman, say about the quality of Phillies farmhands at the AAA level?

Big Trade:

Twins: Garza, Bartlett, and a prospect

For

Rays: Delmon Young, Brendon Harris, and a prospect.

The only real implication of this move for the Phillies is the possibility that Baldelli is no longer available.

JW: Any review of the Foo Fighters new release?

The only real implication of this move for the Phillies is the possibility that Baldelli is no longer available.

thank god.

Ae, I'm not totally convinced. I'm thinking that it is possible, but not neccessarily certain, that you are not a Baldelli fan? I'm not sure what gives me this inkling, but involving god in an assumed celebratory statement seems to suggest that you don't like him. Any of this accurate with your ideas on Baldelli?

We already have a Rocco Baldelli clone in Shane Victorino -- except that Victorino plays much better defense, steals more bases, & doesn't spend half the season on the DL.

He (Vic) also has the hitting for less power market cornered.

Parker: Middle-of-the-pack album from Foo Fighters. Not many memorable songs compared to previous albums, but good continuity and mostly solid all the way through.

This from MLBTR: Tejada is willing to make the move to 3B to play for a playoff caliber team. Anyone think the Phils have a shot? Looks like the O's are looking for two high quality prospects.

The old Tejeda would look great in our lineup. My concerns are the grumblings he used to be on the juice. Is his recent injuries and drop in production indicative of age or weening off the clear?

Is Eude Brito Youman's long-lost twin brother? DN reports interest in 3B Melvin Mora of the Orioles. A 35 year-old w/ moderate power would be a significant upgrade to Helms/Dobbs? I hope this trade won't cost us prospects w/ potential. Maybe the Phils could get him for the garbage they got from the Yanks in the Abreu deal.

no way I would give up anything of real value for Mora. he's a below average hitter, he grounded into an astounding 22 DPs last year, and we'd be stuck paying more than $8.5M each for his age 36 and 37 years. unless they'll give him to us for minor league garbage and pay some of his salary, I don't see the point.

ae -
Moreover, he's had a drop off in production. Plus he's good friends with Abreu; remember the last guy we got in a trade who was friends with Abreu?

(hint: arson)

Parker: Vic also plays a lot less Wiffle Ball...

Agree 100 percent with ae on Mora. Add the fact that there is no market for a third baseman like Mora, other than the Phillies, and even that's stretching it. The deal should be Mora and cash for Michael Dubee's old uniform.

Ed Wade signs Tomas Perez! It's unbelievable with these GMs and acquiring former players. Gillick and Wade are cut from the same cloth.

Buster Olney says the Devil Rays are about to sign Troy Percival.

Mora straight up for Eaton? Contract for contract? Ummm....

I enjoyed Andy and RSB's overnight uniform suggestions for the Value Village members.

Glad to see the Rolling Stones Let It Bleed CD in the recommended list on the right. To me it represents the high point of the Stones. It has a reserved spot in my desert island disk set. My favorite cuts from that CD include Gimme Shelter, Monkey Man, Live With Me (great bass intro), and Midnight Rambler.

Interesting roll of the dice by the Twins. Delmon Young could be as good as Sammy Sosa or he could end up as your classic 5-tool, 2-skill player because of hideously bad strike zone judgment. He's only 22 so it's hard to project, but I think he'll be an All-Star although probably not Sammy Sosa.
The Twins also got a guy who's an upgrade over Nick Punto (Brendan Harris) and a prospect (Jason Pridie) who's toolsy with bad strike zone judgment but had a nice year in AAA and should be an OK reserve.

Tampa Bay gets Garza, who in my opinion is no more than a #3 starter, but those guys aren't easy to get and the Rays had a surplus of OF. They also get the Twins everyday SS, Jason Bartlett, who's better defensively than Harris (and was acquired for Brian Buchanan showing that the Knoblach deal still pays dividends), and Eduardo Morlan, who was the Twins' top relief prospect. If Young winds up just being a slightly above everyday player, the Rays got the better end of this trade. If Young winds up hitting .300 with 30 HRs on a regular basis, then the edge goes to the Twinkies.

I think it's the "Rays" now, unless Buster Olney is just harkening back to the good ol' days when they were the DEVIL Rays.

ed wade is an idiot. he also signed jose cruz jr. he managed to sign four guys over thirty that bring nothing to the table. these are all classic moves to fill roster spots. you need 25 guys so it might as well be these guys. these moves sho no real direction at all. are they going young? are they trying to win now? are they just trying to get 25 live bodies out there?

Pirates are shopping Matt Morris and are willing to eat salary. He's owed $9.5M next season, but could be FA after that if the team rejects his option. The Phils should at least consider it, depending on what the Pirates would want and how much money they'd eat.

mike nutter: How many of those guys will end up on the 25-man roster? From what I've read the expense is minimal. Cruz, for example, signed a minor league contract. It does seem like Wade is loading up on castoffs, has-beens and Value Village fringe players hoping one or two pan out. Do you know any other GM who does that? Hmmmm?

RichieofAshburn -
Even last year's Tejada (.799 OPS) would be a dramatic improvement over the projected 3-headed monster.

Add Garza to Kazmir, Shields and Sonnanstein and you have a pretty solid young rotation. If Pena continues to Rake and some of the other hitters come through, the Rays oughta win more than 70 for the first time.

The Rays are headed in a better direction than both the Orioles and Jays. They can't do anything in the AL East, but they're giving it a shot.

clout - on Morris, I'd want to know why he's giving up 40 more runs a year now than 5 years ago. Is it his stuff, the defense behind him or an injury-related thing? Of course, if we can send them Eaton straight up, I'd take Morris. He's at least had some history of effectiveness.

I agree Youman is nothing to get excited about, but he could end up being useful, especially if they just have him focus on relief. Have depth in starting pitching in the minors is important, but Shane Youman is a lefty who has done decently well in the minors and has some MLB experience, let's see if he could be a 2nd lefty in the 'pen. At least it's competition for Durbin, Condrey, and Rosario.

clout - on the 25 man roster: the scary part of Gillick is he keeps picking up guys out of options. Where do you suppose Youman is gonna be when ST breaks? The Phils will try to waive him - and the only way he'll get through is if he's had an attrocious ST.

I'm waiting for the Winter meetings; but I'm gradually coming closer to your belief that Wade, as bad as he was, was better than Gillick.

(i.e. We think Jenkins and he gets Snelling; we think Mahay and he gets Youman. We think improvement; he thinks save money.)

It might actually make sense for the O's to trade Melvin Mora straight up for Adam Eaton. The move would probably help both clubs.

Carson, the problem with looking at Youman's minor league record is his age. He was a great AA relief pitcher at age 26. That's too old for that league. If he had been 18, he'd be a star. But at 26, if he's not capable of starring at AAA, he's not really much of a prospect. I do not expect that he'll hold much value against MLB hitting unless something unexpectedly dramatic happens.

Morris used to bring it in the low to mid 90s, but he has become a junkballer due to losing velocity, which is probably because of injuries. That, or he is just in love with his curveball.

Carson - As much as Mora is probably on the downside of his carerr, I still mighyt make the Eaton for Mora trade - mainly so I wouldn't have to watch Eaton look dumbfounded after another awful performance. (You know, his "I don't understand how they're hitting my stuff" look.)

And who knows, maybe Mora would be, ummm passable.

OK, clout et al, we all realize Mora is running on fumes, but suppose we paid nothing (obviously a longshot prospect or two, but nothing of consequence) and the O's picked up half his salary. Would you plug him in for Helms/Dobbs, or has he fallen below that level of performance? (Please consider defense in your answer. Also consider that adding Mora would allow us to reunite Helms with Joe Girardi, thereby saving his salary).

alright, i'll say it. i don't want to get rid of Adam Eaton. and i especially don't want to get rid of him for Melvin Mora, a washed-up third baseman whose numbers are only going to continue to decline as he moves closer to his lease at Del Boca Vista. the guy heads the list of steroid users and he's 37!!! Eaton was inexcusably bad last season, but the silver lining in that performance is that it can only really get better this season. why would you want to trade a pitcher (and remember how much more valuable pitching is) with upside for a declining third baseman with a comparable salary?

bad move.

I personally think Mora would be an upgrade offensively and defensively over a Dobbs/Helms platoon, plus I truly hate Adam Eaton and would love nothing more than for him to never pitch for the Phils again.

When Wade was with the Phillies, I always got the impression that 75% of his moves were made for no other purpose except to make a move. Seems like the 2 years of reflection time didn't really change anything. Wade's background is in PR & I think he truly believes that, if he swaps one fungible part for another, the fans will believe that he's making a concerted effort to improve the team.

I'm the last guy who would ever defend the job that Pat Gillick has done (ok, maybe not the LAST guy; that would be either Clout or HitMan). However, if the choice is between Wade & Gillick, I'll cast my vote for Gillick. At least Gillick occasionally brings in a Value Village guy with some upside, as opposed to guys like Thomas Perez, Jose Cruz, Jr., & Doug Brocail.

Andy: Good analysis on Youman. I don't think he breaks camp with the team and I do think he'll pass thru waivers and be outrighted to Allentown.

Clout and Andy - I am willing to bet that Gillick doesn't bring in another solid bullpen guy and instead go the Value Village route by signing players the likes of Youman.

Youman doesn't bring much to the table but he a lefty and capable of being a long-man out of the bullpen. Sadly I think he is going to be a pretty good shot to win one of the last 2 jobs in the bullpen during spring training.

BayArePhan- I'd love to have Brocail in our bullpen!!!

As Clout has said many times, and so have I- relief pitching is a crapshoot. Bring Youman aboard to see if he can be used as a 2nd lefty out of the 'pen has no harm, just as long as there's other competition to fill his spot should he falter. Sure, I'd love Patty G to go out and get more proven relief pitchers like a LaTroy Hawkins, or the recently signed Matt Herges, but that's costs millions he may not be allowed to spend.

Are people really that down on Zagurski that they think Youman might be an answer as the 2nd lefty out of the pen? I guess I actually expect good things out of Zagurski this year. He can shut down lefties, the problems came when he faced righties.

As I said, I'm willing to give Gillick the benefit of the doubt until after the winter meetings. But if we break camp with Youman in the 'pen, I'd have to say that he has not done better than Wade - whether for PR reasons or not. Truly, I'd take Brocail over Youman and, hey, we mighta been able to send Roberson to Atlanta for Villareal before the 'stros offered Anderson.

I keep hoping that there will be someone on the non-tender list that fits the unrealistric budget.

ricky - Zagurski and Smith will probably both be better than Youman.

@Andy & Carson...
I like the Eaton for Mora straight up. Remember the talk about Helms for Farnsworth, that would be next. I bet that trade is already agreed to, PG just has to get the 3rd baseman in here.

Can you really have a proven reliever if relief pitching is such a crapshoot? Even Linebrink, who many on this board wanted desperately, has taken a step back or two in Milwaukee. Like you said, Carson, PG's not going to tie up millions. (Saving for a Ryan Howard and Cole Hamels payday, I guess...)

Incidently, the local paper has Yanks folks indicating that if they send Cabrera to the Twins in a Santana deal, they'll make a very serious run at Rowand.

If I were GM I would renew my efforts at Fukudome or Jenkins. (But, as much as we should be, we're not GMs.)

RofA: yup. Thought of that.

Does anyone know much about Bubba Nelson, it seems like he's had an amazing minor league career as a reliever, but gets shelled as a starter. Case in point, last year with Reading 1.67 ERA in 43 innings, then they inexplicably moved him to Ottawa and made him a starter where he promptly threw up a 5.19 ERA.

Relievers are a crapshoot but the problem that this team has ZERO pitching depth right now at T-AAA. They really don't have a single young arm that they can realistically expect to make the bullpen coming out of spring training.

So basically that means the likes of holdovers like Durbin, Rosario, Condrey, Brito, and whatever Gillick finds at the Value Village are going to compete for at least 2 spots in the bullpen. That isn't ideal but you can live with it.

The real issue is that this team is counting on Gordon & Madson to both be healthy & effective. That is just not going to happen. I would be shocked if Gordon is a capable setup man next year who gives them 60-70 innings.

So basically, you are left with a bullpen that has only maybe only 2 or 3 reliable options and a ton of crap. The way things are going, I almost guarantee that Gillick will once again be trawling the waiver wire in spring training to find bullpen arms.

Mike H.
If relief pitching is like a crapshoot, Youman is like trying to roll a seven with one die.

I'd like to see Affeldt brought in and give Zagurski some time with AAA hitting.

RofA and the rest~

Mora does not solve the problem at 3B and Eaton should not be traded to get him. Last year proved you never have enough pitching. Mora is 36 fricking years old! They don't need that. Give the O's 1 low-level minor-league player and tell them to eat a lot of Mora's salary. They need a long-term solution now that Costanzo is gone. Mora MAY be ok IF they keep Rowand and are able to deal Helms for Farnsworth. If Rowand leaves which appears likely, Mora = NO WAY IMO.

I'd give them Eaton for Mora without hesitating. Perhaps, Eaton will improve next year, but he is so bad, if we can find a team that would take him and give us a 3b to plug in-granted not the "long term answer" everyone wants-I'd do it. You can never have enough pitching, but if the pitching is bad, why hold it?

Mora for Eaton and then Helms for Farnsworth solves some of our problems. Adds an arm to the pen, fixes 3rd for two years, dumps Helms, dumps Eaton, keeps the budget in check. Assuming the Yanks send some cash with Farnsworth.

RoA: But would Mora actually "fix" 3B for two years? I guess what I"m asking is whether his glove is any improvement over the two-headed, cleaver-wielding butchers we're currently going with.

I understand that a starter is probably a bigger issue than another relief pitcher but adding a single legit RHP who can get a strikeout more than occasionally would go a long way to shoring up the pen.

Mike H.: That's a valid question. There are a few proven, reliable relievers out there, but it's a pretty short list. The rest of them have one good year, one bad year. But, if you recognize why this is so, then you immediately see the fallacy in the Phillies' bottom-feeding philosphy for building a bullpen.

The Phillies' philosophy seems to be that, since relievers are inherently inconsistent, they're not worth big monetary commitments. Better to just play the numbers game -- adding a bunch of Value Village type guys in the hopes that 1 or 2 of them willl catch lightening in a botttle for a season.

The fallacy in this philosophy is that relievers are NOT "inherently inconsistent;" it's just their numbers that are inherently inconsistent, in the same way that Pat Burrell or Ryan Howard's numbers would be woefully inconsistent if you cut off their seasons after 200 ABs. If relievers pitched 180 innings like starters, you'd see a lot more consistency from year-to-year. But they don't.

The bottom line is that, yes, it's possible they could throw $5M per year at David Riske only to see him flop next year. And it's possible that Shane Youmans could come in & post good numbers in 2008, even though there is nothing in his history to suggest that he's any good. But I think it's fair to say that a bullpen full of David Riskes will have a lot more hits and a lot fewer misses than a bullpen full of Shane Youmans.

Tejada might be worth a gamble if he can rebound from last year but Mora - No way. Marginal defensive upgrade from Helms/Dobbs and his offensive really has eroded. I am willing to bet that Helms/Dobbs platoon would be able to get pretty damn close to Mora's numbers the past two year (.270 AVG/.330 OBP/.410 SLG).

Even if you could give the O's a pu pu platter for Mora, his contract will be a real bare for the Phils the next two seasons.

ricky: Bubba Nelson is a 26-year-old career minor leaguer who's bounced around several organizations. He was never much of a prospect and at this point it looks unlikely that he'll see major league time. I believe he's a 6-year minor league free agent.

Can someone please tell me why they think Mora would be an upgrade over Helms-Dobbs at 3B? His OPS the past 2 years is WORSE than Helms if you add the 2 seasons together and was worse than Dobbs last season. At age 35, that won't get any better and neither will his defense, which is now just average. Plus he's owed $16M over the next 2 seasons. Not even Gillick is stupid enough to make a deal for this guy.

One last Mora fact: He ranked 10th in offensive production out of 13 AL thirdbasemen with more than 400 plate appearances.

If the Phils are going to upgrade any positional player in a substantial way, I hope it is the OF. Snelling is fine for depth purposes or even as a 5th OF but pretty dubious on an OF of Burrell, Victorino, Werth.

All very good points, BAP. As a craps player, I understand the logic. Some days you shoot Turk Wendell, Mike Williams, and Cook from a few years ago, and some days you shoot JC Romero in 07 and Geary in 2006. But you never take your whole budget to the table.

I've mentioned a couple of times here that pitching consistency can better be measured with two stats in particular - K/BB ratio and GB/FB ratio, especially in CBP. First, these are things pitchers can control. Second, these variables best correlate to show how pitchers eat up innings and get outs over any other pitching statistic.

Youman had a nice 3.2 K/BB in Double A in 2006. He got promoted quickly twice up to the majors, and his ratio fell down to 0.50. He started at AAA in 2007 and put together a 1.69 ratio, got promoted, and then it fell down again. The question then becomes this: Can his ratio go up in 2008 and stay up after a promotion?

By the way, Youman's stats are very similar to Clay Condrey's for 2006 and 2007.

Mike H - That is the point. The Phils are likely going to have to fill at least 2 bullpen spots with the likes of Condrey, Rosario, Brito, Youman, and whoever else Gillick's acquires on the cheap. Basicallly guys like to pitch at league average or slightly worse. Ok.

But what happens when you need to start using these guys in high-leverage situations during the 6th and 7th innings if Madson or Gordon go down?

Doesn't every team in the leauge have to fill 1 or 2 of there spots in the bullpen with marginal players?

Not this marginal.

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