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Saturday, December 01, 2007


Good news for us. Honestly. Time to focus on Kuroda ... or something better for that rotation.

And after thinking for another moment, this is a great move for the Pads if cheap. If healthy, Wolf will be a fine No. 3 behind Peavy and Young and in front of Maddux. If not healthy, well ... you know.

I'm kind of disappointed not have landed Wolf, but as long as Gillick finds another servicable starter, I'll be ok.

I'd say the chances of the Phils signing Kuroda are less than 5%.

I'm thinking in order of probability either Leiber, Benson, Lohse, Silva, or *gulp* Eric Milton. Benson may have the edge for being a non-former Phillie, i.e. the fresh meat factor.

Kuroda would be nice, I would just love to know how much do we talk to Lohse still. I personally like him, and think he could have a very good season as a #4 starter for this team.

Malcolm - Disagree. Not that I was advocating signing Wolf (last thing the Phils need is yet another pitcher likely to spend a decent time on the DL) but what are the alternatives? There is no way Kuroda signs in Philly and the Phils supposedly aren't interested in going after a FA starter like Lohse or Silva because of the dollars/long-term deal.

Basically either going to be a veteran retread like Lieber/Fogg or something even more marginal/long shot. I am sure that Gillick will address the pitching issues after the New Year. Don't worry.

Wolf was a bit of a gamble. I would like to see the Phils get involved with making "one year, incentive laden" deals. It makes more sense than what they have been doing. The "Swap Meet" trades and "Garage Sale" aquisitions that PG is making are not going to improve this team.
A Lieber or Garcia or Andruw Jones on a one year incentive laden deal would be a good deal.

I know that Gillick said last week that Carrasco and Outman aren't going to be ready to '09 but the Phils might not have much of a choice this season.

They have ZERO depth in the minors right now when it comes to starting pitching unless they are willing to give Happ another try or go with a long shot like Durbin again.

The said part is that Gillick has managed to trade away two starters (Gonzalez and Maloney) who probably would have would have been a factor this upcoming season for the Phils if they were still in their minor league system.

This guy Wolf is a jerk. F-him. He was injured forever and then we outbid him last year and he says no, my guess is we again outbid for his service and he again says F-u to Phillies. I plan to be saving my voice to give him boos comparable to JD Drew, Barry Bond and Sammy Sosa. Let's hope our Phils team beats him up.

My prediction, we sign Khyle Lohse to a 4 year $36-$40 million deal AND it will look like a great signing in 2008. I continue to think Lohse is perfect for the Phils a very consistent 6 innings without injuries. With this BP with Madson, Lidge, Romero, Gordon and Farnsworth (who I'm convinced the Phils will get from the Yanks), pitcher who throw 200 innings like Moyer and Lohse will thrive.

MG: Losing Gio wasn't the best move, but they should have no regrets on moving Maloney, who is a marginal pitching prospect. It netted them Lohse, who was a key pickup during a tight pennant race. They made the playoffs, so the trade was a success.

The other person wh Wolf likely screwed... Ed Wade and the Astros. Also, I forgot to mention Kendrick in a 200 consistent pitcher. Look at his success pitching 6 innings a game.

Glad to see the Wolf thing didn't come to fruition. Time to move on from former so-so Phillies.

Let's get Benson in here. His wife is hot, and she's totally insane.

Slocs- Where are the farnsworth rumors coming from? he'd be an intriguing seventh inning option..

Great news about Wolf. Now we need some other team to sign Colon so we can breathe a deep sigh of relief. Of course, signing Lohse or Kuroda would help.

I could live with Fogg, actually, wasn't he decent enough this year in Coors? Hamels, Myers, Kendrick, Moyer, Fogg - that's really not so shabby.

Jason - good points on Maloney.

On Wolf - Petco was built for pitchers like him. CBP was not. (It was built for Derek Lowe, who we did not get, or Fausto Carmona). He will do well there, but would not have done well here. Maybe the Phils' brass will now get a life and start working for REAL for the team.

Tray, but not as nice as Hamels, Myers, Kuroda, Kendrick, Moyer.

There's an on-going rumor that Girardi likes Helms, that they want to dump Farnsworth, and that a deal could get done if the Phils come up with another option at 3B.

If Chisox non-tender Crede, it might have a decent possibility of happening, maybe.

But Andy, we really have no idea what Kuroda will do - all we know is that he's not nearly the pitcher Dice-K is and he put up an ERA in the high 3's (albeit in a somewhat tougher league), so Kuroda in his rookie year, at least I think, would probably just be an average pitcher at best. Plus, he'd cost more. And I don't think we're going to be able to rid ourselves of Eaton's contract so easily, so before we go paying for a sixth starter, we ought to consider cost lest we get totally hamstrung when we need to take on more salary as needs arise.

Kuroda is a dream.

Fogg isn't an upgrade over Eaton.

Tray: Um, and so what's your genius plan for upgrading the team, hmmm? Josh Fogg? That's sounds about your speed.

ae: exactly right. Only an idiot would think Josh Fogg is better than Kuroda.

I'd contend he's a slight upgrade, ae, whereas with Wolf you really had no idea whether he'd be an improvement or not. Fogg doesn't have Eaton's stuff, but he's miles more mentally there.

That said, if it were me I'd just roll out Eaton another year. Bullpen remains a much bigger need than fifth starter. Eaton won't be as bad next year and I don't think he's much worse than our competitors' fifth starters.

As I, and several others, posted a few threads back, Wolf has repeatedly said he'd like to stay on the West Coast. Only DPetrone's bogus source said otherwise. He was quoted in the damn newspaper as saying he'd prefer staying out there, but wouldn't mind coming back here if he couldn't get an offer he liked from a West Coast team.

Sorry about the Wolf thing phans but that's what I was told Wed. before Thanksgiving. Padres came in late to grab him. No disappointment to me at all. My friend really thought we'd get him. Let's hope Gillick can do something else. He still has things to do.

Andy~ What you say about Helms is true. I stated 2 weeks ago that the deal was done for Farnsworth but Phils needed to upgrade third first. That is why they contacted Lowell. I have no idea now who they'd bring in nows if anyone.

Clout: You are on the record as saying Kuroda is a better starter than Brett Myers, so you aren't exactly the most credible person on the issue. Im not saying Josh Fogg is better than Kuroda; I'm saying that shooting that down with your typical condescension is nonsense considering how ludicrous you have been in hyping up Kuroda. Especially because it looks more and more like we wont get him. How would you suggest improving the team, excluding Kuroda?

Fogg on his career has a 1.46 WHIP, 4.90/91 ERA/ERA+, and averages 10.13 hits, 4.83 K, 3.04 BB, and 1.23 HR per 9.

Eaton on his career has a 1.40 WHIP, 4.70/88 ERA/ERA+, and averages 9.30 hits, 6.71 K, 3.32 BB, and 1.25 HR per 9.

I don't see why the Phillies should go after Fogg, especially since we're already paying Eaton.

Jack: I am on record as saying the Phillies would win more games with Myers as closer and Lidge as setup and Kuroda in the rotation. And that, IN THAT SITUATION, Kuroda would win games than Myers would with Gordon as setup and Lidge as closer.

Now let me ask you a question: Tell me how a pitcher whose record over the past 3 years is 27-29, 5.17 ERA, 1.51 WHIP and .295 opposition average is an upgrade for the Phillies. I await your answer.

if Kuroda isn't an option, the only way I can see of really improving pitching is via trade. I would be on the phone with Pittsburgh's Dave Littefield every day trying to get one of his starters. trade Victorino and resign Rowand if you have to.

ae: I'd like to see them take a crack at one of the injured FAs like Clement. You can do an incentive-laden 1-year deal with a guy like that.

ae: "Fogg is not an upgrade over Eaton"

That is a bold statement. I would say Fogg is not a great option, or Fogg is horrible. I might even say Fogg is a discrace to all things pitching, but saying he is not an upgrade over Eaton is pretty much saying that he is not an upgrade over the worst starter in the league last season (Of course this is not completely true, but as far as pitchers that were not shipped back to the minors, or in the words of Pink Floyd "back to mother in a cardboard box", he was the worst). I just do not believe that to be true. Jose Canseco might be an upgrade over Eaton at this point.

Parker, look at the numbers I posted above and tell me how Fogg is an upgrade over Eaton.

Parker: What does your crystal ball tell you about how Eaton and Fogg will do next year? I know what their career stats tell me they'll do.

I don't see how we can say whether Kuroda would win more games with a good bullpen than Myers would with a potentially shaky one. The guy has a career 3.69 ERA in Japan, he could potentially put up an ERA in the 5's in his rookie season here. As for Fogg, his career numbers, true, aren't so impressive, and Eaton's career numbers don't look all that bad, but, last year at least, he was a substantially better pitcher than Eaton. I think he could be an upgrade of sorts, but as I say, I'd just as soon keep starting Eaton.

I didn't say it was an upgrade; in fact, I don't believe it is. I was merely pointing out the fact that you shouldn't be one to ridicule other people for suggesting things, because you think Kuroda is a better starter than Myers. I don't bore the rest of this board by getting back into our "debate", if you can even call it that, but your direct quote is "As a starter, Kuroda will put up better numbers than Myers next year". I offered to make a wager with you on that, using ERA+ and Win Shares as metrics, but you declined, instead trying to pretend you never made that statement, and that you meant something completely different. Again, my point was merely to state that people in glass houses shouldn't throw stones.

Now that it looks like your Cy Young candidate Kuroda won't be coming here, I ask again: How would you improve the team?

ae: We are asking the same question. No answer so far. YooHoo Jackie boy, you still out there?

I'm not concerned about Fogg's career numbers. The recent history of those two pitchers suggests that their careers are headed in polar opposite directions. Fogg may always linger well shy of the North Pole, but Eaton seems to be on a collision course with Antarctica.

Losing out on Wolf isn't a big deal. Frankly, he made the right decision - a circumstance for which we can once again thank Monty's Big Top Bandbox.

The problem is, as adamant as Gillick has been that the team intends to add pitching, it more or less means they have to go after someone just as mediocre and much more expensive if they are to follow through on that intention. Which almost certainly means goodbye to Rowand.

Jack: Let me get this straight, you agree with me that Fogg is no upgrade, but don't think I have a right to say that?

Oh, and please stop distorting our earlier discussion. You know perfectly well the context of that statement.

And ae, I think the Pirates fired Littlefield and brought in a sabremetric expert.

Parker: If you're saying that Fogg had a better season than Eaton last year, you're correct. If you're saying that means Fogg will have a better season than Eaton this year, you're on thin ice.

RSB: Good point, and frankly, I wouldn't be surprised if Wolf took less money to sign with the Padres than the Phils offered.

BTW, I don't want Fogg either. I just take exception to any statement that someone is not an upgrade over Eaton. It seems to me, that that is an insult to any pitcher above A ball.

I think you have no right to be a jerk about it for someone suggesting it, because you have suggested some ridiculous ideas yourself, most notably Kuroda being better than Myers.

"ae: exactly right. Only an idiot would think Josh Fogg is better than Kuroda."

You never addressed whether or not Fogg was an upgrade to this team- you only addressed whether he was better than Kuroda. I have every right to judge your credibility on this matter- you think Kuroda is better than Myers, so you clearly have a much higher view of Kuroda than is probably warranted.

You have not answered how you would upgrade this team.

Tray: well, damn. that was a major part of my strategy.

Wait, that might not be an insult to Vincente Padilla, but it is a judgment call.

Jack: Do you think Fogg is better than Kuroda?

This is where we get back to the career norms debate. Some people, clout, would contend that recent performance, as well as career norms, is a predictor of future performance. For example, in 2005, Russ Ortiz, a pitcher who prior to that year had pretty strong "career norms" and four straight years of ERAs of 4.13 or less (three of which were 3.81 or less), posted a 6.89 ERA. I guess you would've predicted that the next year he would bounce back. Instead, his ERA climbed to 8.14 and his WHIP went all the way up to an even 2. In 2007, he had something of a resurgence, 5.51 ERA - and even that was worse than any of his seasons prior to 2005. I guess a popular sentiment around here is that the same sort of thing may be happening to Eaton (who was never as good as Ortiz to begin with).

Probably not, but since we have no credible and accurate way of predicting Kuroda's stats since he has never played baseball in North America, I can't say for sure and I think that saying for sure that he is is ridiculous.

Clearly Fogg had a better year than Eaton last year, but Eaton's career numbers are somewhat better, so it's basically a toss-up on whether Fogg would be an upgrade to this team (assuming he replaces Eaton).

I wonder what sort of numbers you predict for Kuroda? (Talking about serious pitching metrics, not wins, which everyone knows are a stat way more dependent on team performance than actual pitching performance)

ESPN/Kirk Herbstreit is having one hell of a day. First, he says that Les Miles will be announced as the head coach of Michigan next week. Later LSU, LSU's athletic director, and Les Miles state that not only is he not leaving, but that he has agreed to a new deal. Second, he said that West Virginia would beat Pittsburg by 50 points. Currently Pitt is leading 10-7 in the third quarter. Finally, he says that it is way too early for Missouri to be going for 2 to tie the game. Missouri subsequently makes the 2 point conversion to tie the game.

He also made the statement last year that there was absolutely no team in the SEC that is anywhere close to as good as either Michigan or Ohio State. Florida goes on to make Ohio State look like a bunch of Elves trying to tackle Santa.

Way to go Kirk/ESPN.

Tray, you say Russ Ortiz, I say Tim Hudson. or Kevin Millwood. or Josh Beckett.

Tray: Yes, last season you said Burrell was washed up. I said that someone his age will usually revert back to close to career norms. I was not alone in suggesting this. Some folks even posted links to studies that have been done on the matter. Apparently, however, you think it either should be a hard and fast law or it has no value at all. There are no hard and fast laws. But as a predictor of outcomes, career stats for players in mid-career, are a better forecasting tool than the latest 6-week hot or cold streak. Obviously, injuries (as was the case with Ortiz) trump this tool. And if Eaton has (or had last year) arm problems, the same thing applies. But that doesn't render career norms useless.

Jack: Forget what I say, what do baseball people say? If Japanese baseball is this mysterious unknowable thing as you suggest, so unfathomable that no reasonable person can possibly say that Kuroda is far superior to Fogg, then how do you explain the relative interest in these 2 free agents? Did all these scouts decide Kuroda is better by throwing darts?

I never said Burrell was washed up, that was parker or whomever. I kept pointing to his abnormally high walk rate even when he was hitting .200. Career norms aren't useless, no, they're quite useful, but a lot of pitchers get worse with age and that has to be taken into account. Look at Bartolo Colon. Now, to be honest, I think Eaton will be substantially better next year, but, in defense of Parker's claims that Eaton is finished, I would note that, in certain cases, pitchers do deviate from their career norms all of a sudden and never revert. There is a real chance Eaton will be such a case.

Tray, you advocated for a while that the Padres pitching staff was better than Arizona's at the end of last season based, primarily, on stats from the first 2 months of the season. I said that Arizona was better based on the final 2 months of perfomance. Where does that put you on the past/present (or recent past) spectrum or argumentive reliance?

"Of", not "or" there.

I don't think anybody on here expects Eaton to turn into an actually useful starter. I think the optimistic view is that he'll start 30some games and post an ERA in the low 5s. which sucks, but as long as he's the fifth starter you can live with that. and the point is that Fogg isn't going to give you anything better (and could easily do worse)--and you're going to have to pay for him and Eaton.

ae: That's my point exactly. It has nothing to do with Fogg vs. Eaton. It has to do with whether Fogg is an upgrade for the team. He isn't. Period.

Well, actually, parker, I think you were right on that one. I was relying on non-park-factor adjusted stats. As it turns out, Arizona is a hitter's park. (Which means that their offense was even more pathetic than it looked on paper, but I digress.) That said, I don't think I was focusing on any one part of the season, I just felt that Livan was pretty bad and Doug Davis wasn't so great, even though he had a little hot streak - and sure enough, he ended the season on a huge slump.

Tray: There's no question that predictive value of career norms declines at the end of a player's career. See Steve Carlton. It also doesn't work if a player is hurt. Eaton just turned 30, so the former factor doesn't apply. The other issue (health) could well apply. But if he IS healthy, I expect him to improve next season.

No, but I also don't think that a lot of hype and interest equals actual value; there was as much hype and interest in Hideki Irabu as there was in Dice-K. To me, it seems like your guessing at what you're gonna get. I would say it's likely (Maybe 65 % chance?) he is better than Fogg, but I also am being rational and recognize that since we have no experience with him, you can't really claim that with any sort of legtimacy. I find your self-assurance on how good he is surprising, considering how much you rightly advocate using statistical history as a tool for valuing players. I'm sorry if this is too nuanced a point of view for you.

I'm just wondering what a guy like Eric Milton does to the analysis of statistics as an indicator of future performance. Or even Jaime Moyer. Based on Moyer's stuff and beginning of his career, the Cubs recommended that he retire and become a pitching coach. Since then Moyer has pitched for about 20 years, and the Cubs have had about 20 pitching coaches.

How is that for stats as predictive of future success?

Jack: Again, do major league scouts just base their opinions on hype? Is Japanese baseball this unfathomable thing? Can you imagine that they actually scouted this guy? That the Japanese stats can be extrapolated using the same tools used for minor league stats? Open your mind, man.

P.S. You say Irabu, I say Nomo. Now go find another failed Japanese pitcher and we can keep playing this game all night.

JW - Point taken about Maloney but he did post decent stats at AAA last year for the Reds after the trade. If Maloney posts solid stats to start this year in T-AAA again, it wouldn't surprise me to see him get a shot with Reds sooner than later next season.

Parker: Funny you should mention Moyer. For the past 4 years he's been about as consistent as they come.

Clout, but you have to admit that stats can be deceptive, and there is more to the game than talent (Not that you are arguing either of these points necessarily). My point is, if you look at Moyer in the early 80's, you don't say he is a consistent pitcher in the MLB for the next 20 years. You also probably would not predict that Tom Brady (Drafted in the 6th round) would be the best QB in the NFL. The same goes for Tony Romo. There is an "it" that some people have. Adam Eaton is totally devoid of "it."

I don't understand why Kuroda is even being discussed. Even if the Phils have a deal on the table for him, Kuroda isn't signing in Philly. No chance unless the Phils offer is for significantly more money/years and we certainly know that isn't the case. Also note worth mentioning Clement either due to his health status.

As for the other points, it is pretty hard to argue that Fogg is much better than Eaton. The only real advantage is that Fogg is much more likely to give the Phils 25-30 starts than Eaton next year.

I also don't have much love for Lohse. He really isn't much better than Fogg. Plus, the thought of signing him to 5 years at $10 M a year is pretty horrifying. More tolerable at 3 years but I would more reluctant to have the Phils sign a league average pitcher like Hernandez to 3 years than giving 5 years to Lohse.

Regardless it looks like the Phils will get table scraps.

MG~ You're right. That's all we will get.

Well, Parker, Eaton can't entirely lack "it" if he managed to be a viable major league pitcher for this long. Either that or "it" isn't essential to being a successful pitcher. 2007 may have been the beginning of the end for Eaton, but it may well be the case that Eaton will give us a sparkling 5.00 ERA and 12 or so wins next year. We can live with that.

Jason/Anyone else with knowledge (I just assume J. is probably familiar with ethical responsibilities in reporting): Regarding ESPN's shoddy/bogus reporting today, what is the professional responsibility (spoken or unspoken) to have definite proof that a source is correct? How certain do you have to be in order to go forth with a story? I mean Dan Rather lost his job because of the same issues as Kirk Herbstreit has today. I would not be surprised to see some new blood on College Gameday soon. Jesse Palmer came out of nowhere, and this Herbstreit crap today is a pretty serious black eye for the ESPN network, IMO. Do you agree?

At the very least they need to add a long reliever who can also start. In Hamels, Myers, Kendrick, Moyer, and Eaton, you have two pitchers who got hurt last year followed by one who has 20 starts in the majors, one who is 45 years old and one who might already be hurt right now. The odds against all five making it through the year are astronomical.

No, with Eaton's stuff, he clearly does not have the intangible qualities that make guys like Moyer, Brady, and Romo, Maddux successful. Those guys, while not as talented as some other players, are more successful. Eaton is the anti-Moyer/Maddux, Brady. All the talent, none of the intangibles. I would go so far as to say Eaton is kind of like Ryan Leaf, but I don't know that he is that talented, and he was not drafted as high, but it is close (And they are both from Washington).

Eaton is... kind of like Ryan Leaf, except he must not be nearly as big an underachiever, because, (a) as you point out, he has much less talent, and (b) he was actually a reasonably good starter for several years (albeit in a polo grounds, but it's still major league baseball). Honestly I think Brett Myers, with his talent, is just as big an underachiever as Eaton. And, like Leaf (and unlike Eaton), he won't take responsibility when something goes wrong. That whole episode when he gave up two home runs in the 9th and claimed they came off of "good fastballs" and yelled at the poor reporter who dared to question him was really sickening.

Can't we take a chance on Mark Prior? If his arm falls of, which is probably a 65% chance, we still have ::gulp:: Adam Eaton/Durbin/Mathieson/Castro to possibly fill out the rotation.

I would consider trading anybody except Utley/Rollins/Hamels to get an ace in here. Yes, I would even consider trading Howard for a top 10 ace.

Well, that "poor" reporter really set himself up. I think the events of the past few months demonstrate that the media is not the inncent group of pen toting, pocket protecting, geeks that they would like us all to believe. Herbstreit apparently feels no obligation to make sure that his sources are correct. The reporter in Oklahoma that took cheap shots as Oklahoma states backup QB, obviously made serious errors in her reporting. Dan Rather takes cheap shots at the President based on fabricated information. Basically if the press doesn't have a story, they make one up on sketchy facts, and if it comes even close to sticking, they go with the story. Sometimes, where there is smoke there is fire. Other times there is just more smoke and some guy trying to use his glasses and the sunlight to start a fire.

I don't know what happened with Herbstreit; maybe you'd care to explain? Anyway, I do think that reporter was innocent. Myers blew the game and he acts like he can just go up there and say his gopher balls were pop-ups and that explains everything. Any reporter would challenge that nonsense. Some elite closer. Everyone blows games, of course, but I don't think Trevor Hoffman or Mariano Rivera ever blamed one of their blown saves on park dimensions.

John, I'm glad you are not in Gillicks position, and I'm sure that the rest of the GM's would love it if you were (Trading Howard). Hey he is only the most productive RBI man in the NL over the last two years, on a team that is heavily reliant on its offense to win, and always will be. In the Bank, the Phillies are going to always be limited to the pitchers who they can trade for or the guys they develop. No great starter is going to sign with the Phils except for an outrageous amount of money because it will cost them too much money the next time they go looking for a contract. The Phils might as well be "Coors Light" because pitching in the Bank is a pitchers nightmare. Trading offense away is among the worst decisions that the Phillies could make. That is, unless you know of some way to fill the cavernous void in offensive numbers that would be present in the absence of Deep Six at 1B.
Every proponent of trading Howard has yet to rationalize how losing the top RBI man in the NL can actually imrpove the chances of the Phils winning. The bottom line is that this Phillies offense is great because they have all of those guys (Howard, Rollins, Utley). You can lose the fringe guys like Rowand and still be successful, but you lose one of those dynamic offensive threats and success is far less predetermined (Not impossible, but less likely).
An everyday player like Howard is more valuable than a guy who toes the mound every fifth day. Ask the Yankees if they would trade A-Rod for Santana. The answer is no, not a damn chance. Who is the last starter who got A-Rod money/Beltran Money/Soriano money? No one. Zito is the highest paid pitcher, but you don't hear about Zito money (except in the context that he is being paid too much of it).
John, if you can think of a way that an ace can pitch every other day (Maybe that guy who throws in the mid 90's with both his left and right arms) then you might have a point. When the day of the ambidextrious pitcher dawns on the MLB you might have an argument. Until then, trading Howard for anyone but A-Rod, or someone of his ilk is/was/always will be ridiculous (Even then it is ridiculous because it does not improve the team. It is a kissing your sister trade that no one would make unless they needed to get rid of a guy for reasons outside of baseball performance).

Tray: Herbstreit stated this morning (Prior to LSU's SEC championship matchup with Tennessee) that Les Miles would be announced as the coach at Michigan later in the week. This is obviously a huge distraction whether it was correct or not (Which is wasn't). Later in the morning, LSU's athletic director announces that not only is Miles not leaving, but that LSU had agreed in principal to an extension with Miles, pending signing. Miles later stated that he was not leaving and would be the head coach at LSU next year.
Basically everything that Herbsteit said turned out to be completely false. There is a possibility that perhaps his source decided to totally screw him over, or its possible that Herbstreit took shaky info, and ran the West Coast offense with it.
In my opinion (now knowing the ethical responsibilities of reporters to make sure their information is correct) he should be fired or forced to resign. Rather was fired or forced to resign after running with a story including fabricated information or info that was riddled with innacuracies or misrepresentations. Why should sports reporting be any different than a nightly news show?

Does anyone know if they officially offered arb to Rowand?

Why are you asking us, Patrone? Ask your reliable source.

Tray - I agree that Myers definitely has been an underachiever thorough out his career so far. Given Gillick's ineptitude to substantially upgrade this team's pitching in any kind of way, it is increasingly looking like the Phils' season next year is going to hinge on what kind of year Myers can give as a starter.

I am not expecting 18 or 20 wins but anything less than 180 innings, 12-14 wins, and an ERA of 3.50-4.00, will have to be viewed as a disappointment. Without Hamels and Myers anchoring this rotation and giving the Phils each close to 400 quality innings, next season might look pretty mediocre.

Why are some people still assuming the Phils will sign another starter for next year in Eaton's stead? Adam Eaton will be here next year, and that's not necessarily a bad thing - he will do better adjusting to a new team/park next year, and hey - if nothin else, he can't get any worse, no??
A starting rotation of Hamels, Myers, Kendrick, Moyer, and Eaton is definitely capable of competing with any starting rotation in the NL.
Meanwhile, a back end of the bullpen featuring Lidge, Romero, Madson, Gordon, Mateo and Mahieson (hopefully), and another LOOGY (again, hopefully) will be much improved from this year.

Stay positive. We don't need a high-risk, low-reward pitcher, especially when that pitcher's risks are related to recurring health issues. I'd be perfectly content with shoring up the long-relief situation, coupled with another lefty in the bullpen and possibly Farnsworth or somebody else who could potentially help us out who is being dangled by another team.

I hate to bet against a guy like Moyer but it seems like a pretty insane notation to count on a guy who will be 45 years old next year to give them 25-30 starts. Plenty of great pitchers including Clemens, Johnson, Ryan, Spahn, and Perry weren't able to do it.

In fact, the only starters I could find who put up decent numbers at age 45 in the last 30-40 years were knuckleballers like Charlie Hough and Phil Niekro. Can anyone else find any starters who put up decent stats at age 45?

diggity - "A starting rotation of Hamels, Myers, Kendrick, Moyer, and Eaton is definitely capable of competing with any starting rotation in the NL." You must be drinking.

MG- I have been, in fact, drinking tonight. That still doesn't take away from the fact that the Phils potentially have a starting rotation that can compete with anybody. Their rotation down the stretch last year was Hamels (and even he was injured for the most part), Kendrick, Moyer, Lohse, and Eaton, and at this point for next year your basically substituting Myers for Lohse's spot. That's adding (ideally) a healthy Cy Young candidate (Hamels) and a very solid #2 (Myers) to a rotation that pitched well enough to carry this team through the last month or so of the regular season and into the playoffs. Of course, the back end of the bullpen pitched lights-out and the offense stepped up in many key situations, but that doesn't take away from the fact that the starting rotation performed well enough to place this team into contention.

Personally, I don't think the Mets or Braves' rotation is in any better shape than ours. Sure, Smoltz, Hudson, Glavine, etc. in Atlanta sounds nice, but we hit Hudson pretty well, and Smoltz and Glavine, though not quite as old as Moyer, still are in the twilights of their careers (especially given the way Glavine finished his year last year that has to be a concern for him).
The Mets, meanwhile, probably have a rotation of Maine, Perez, Pedro, Duque/Sosa, and one of the young guys (Pelfrey, Humber). If you're gonna tell me that you're more scared of that rotation or the Braves rotation top to bottom than Mets fans or Braves fans are of the prospect of facing the Phillies rotation, then I'll think you were drinkin too tonight.

And hey, MG - for some reason or another, you've always taken pessimism to another level on this blog. Clearly, Phillies management of late has given us phans little or no reason to be optimistic, but still I think it comes to a point where you should lighten up a bit and stop anticipating failure and criticizing the Phils moves even before they have been made. What do you say?

some one mention mariano rivera earlier and that brings me to question that i always have about that guy, which is, why does he get a pass for blowing the 2001 world series? he mitch williamsed the heck out of that game and no one ever talks about it. they call him the greatest post-season closer ever but ignore the fact that he blew a world series and two pennants (97 & 04).

diggity - The Mets and Braves both have better rotations right now than the Phils as currently constituted. Plus, I am almost certain that Minaya will get another starter.

There is a big difference between pessimism and being frustrated by Gillick's inability to substantially improve this team. Yeah, making the playoffs was nice last year but the Phils got swept. Wouldn't it be nice if the Phils actually approached this offseason with the goal of improving the team so they could make a legit postseason run?

This team has a core of players that have a narrow window of opportunity over the next 2 or maybe 3 seasons to really do something special if they just got enough help. Instead, it looks like the Phils are going to let Rowand walk and the only substantial upgrade they are going to make to their pitching is Lidge.

How do you think JRoll feels when he and everyone in that locker room knows the Phils desperately need another starter and will likely get some scrub/retread instead? Or that this team will once again be paper thing at a few key spots including the starting rotation, the bullpen, and now potentially a few positions including RF and 3B?

I am willing to bet that JRoll, Utley, and Howard are thinking "How much more offense does Gillick expect us to put up especially if they Rowand walk?"

I know that Montogomery and Co. had no problem cashing in on the playoff appearance by substantially raising ticket prices and trotting out new alternative jerseys to soak in some additional merchandising sales.

It would be so refreshing if the Phils would take a shot for once instead of always taking the middling approach to almost every decision they make.

Yikes! I missed a lot being out of the loop yesterday.

1) Wolf signing elsewhere was proabably, actually, a good thing.

2) (especially for diggity) We expect that there will be another starter because Gillick has said he's looking for pitchers. (Of course that may translate into relievers, but we've heard no noise about Affeldt or Mahay.)

3) People indicating Dice-K is not very good should use some modifiers like "seem" in their statements until he's at least pitched his second season. He may be awful, but he could also be much better. His stuff, when he is on, is truly filthy.

4) It is always easier to criticize other people's suggestions (particularly if they're not very good suggestions) than to come up with solutions. Our problem is that (as Patty G himself said) there's not a lot of starting pitching talent out there.

5) Personally, I'd go for Kuroda because he has more upside than most of the MLB options and, notably, his forkball/change sounds like the kind of novelty which will initially, for a season or two, be effective against hitters.

6) Prior, if non-tendered, would definitely be worth a flyer. My guess, however, is that the Cubs will come to their senses, offer him a one year deal with a club-(or mutual) option in the second year, and hope that they don't lose something good.

7) dpatrone - I was not trying to sound like I doubted the Helms for Farnsworth deal. It does sound like the kind of thing each team would do. The Yanks would like to lose Farnsworth about as much as we would like to lose Wesley "Legs of Stone" Helms.

diggity - If Gillick somehow manages to make a move to acquire a decent starter (not counting somebody like Fogg or Lieber), another OF to potentially platoon with Werth and serve as a 4th OF, and another RHP arm out of the pen then I will be more optimistic because Gillick is doing something instead of spouting meaningless PR (which he has done for most of this offseason).

RSB brings up a good point lately - Gillick has been harping about the general lack of talent on the FA market since this offseason began and that the Phils would spend money if there was worthwhile talent.

Besides being a pretty ridiculous statement on face value (there is some talent on the market but the Phils have been pretty shitty at discerning what that is since Gillick became the GM and the Phils won't be the highest bidders), then what about Rowand?

I understand granting him a 5-yr deal seems extreme but what the Phils saving these magic dollars for? It certainly hasn't been to spend on big cash bonuses to sign draft picks the last few seasons or acquire much pitching help.

I just get tired of the doublespeak from Gillick and the Phils.

MG - 100% agreement on the doublespeak.
It's one thing to send out misinformation so other GMs don't mess with your deals (see Red Sox and Yankees bidding war for Santana), but it's another to try to mess with the fans' expectations by lying about the FA market. He didn't want to say "there's no affordable talent" in the same year that they raised ticket prices.

I have my answer which is yes. But it doesn't appear they did with Loshe. Since Gillick came up short with Wolf that suprises me.

By the way, Are you perfect? I'll bet you've never been wrong in your life. I got this e-mail from my friend last night:

"Hey, did a bit of research tonight and found out that the Phils actually DID approach the A's about Haren and offered Victorino and top two prospects, Carlos Carrasco and Adrian Cardenas. Beane said no so the inclusion of Kendrick with the other three would not be that outlandish though I still think it was a made up rumor.

I am so sorry about Wolf...Phils actually outbid the Pads 5 million to 4 million but...A] Pads offered incentives that could increase the deal to 9 million and B] Wolf just wanted to stay west and pitch at Petco, Phils actually thought they had a deal and only a late run by Pads changed the deal."

Now RSB~ If what he writes about Wolf is true then the Phils had no shot in bringing him back did they? I keep saying Gillick just doesn't what to pay what the current market demands.

As far as my "reliable" source, I am not the only person who posts on this site that knows him. One thing that you have to remember, Anyone can speculate on anything. You can't make a FA sign with you or pull off a trade for a guy you want. Just because Wolf signed with the Padres doesn't mean the info I got wasn't accurrate.

Dudes (and Dudettes), I know DPatrone's source. Usually a very reliable one. I think the Padre's offer came in last minute AFTER the source had the "scoop."
I've said it many times on this board, but we don't need three lefties in the rotation in our Park.

I would prefer Wolf over Eaton, but only because I hate and distrust Eaton. I don't think Wolf would have stayed healthy the entire season nor posted that great of #'s. I understand the arguement that Eaton will return to career norms, because that usually happens with players around his age, but it's tough to convince myself that will happen in this case because of just how horrible Eaton was last season. We need another starting option, and I'm sorry, but Kuroda isn't really a possibility. Lohse would be ok, but not at the years and money Boras wants from him. I still lean to the Kris Benson avenue- 1 year incentive laden.

Japanese right-hander Hiroki Kuroda is also drawing interest, but some East Coast teams have been informed by Kuroda's agents that he almost certainly will limit himself to West Coast teams.
From Dave Sheinin in today's Washington Post. PG, knows that already, of course, so it looks like he's sniffing around the A's.

We do not (especially) need a lefty flyball pitcher at this park.

Wolf, evidently, understood that and knew that his best road was to go to the Petco Polo Field.

Hiroki Kuroda...almost certainly will limit himself to West Coast teams

Looks like it's time to look at the FA scrap heap on MLBTR...or hope that the Cubs drop the ball on Prior...of hope that someone thinks Golson is worth a starter (tee-hee-hee: that's such a silly idea!!!).

Hey Andy, we don't need a flyball right hander either. Haren gives up a lot of long flies. 24 dingers last year, he'd might be looking at 35 in a Phillie's uni.

Who was it that posted that absurd Eaton/Ellis/Helms/other dregs for Bedard pseudo-rumor a couple threads ago? We need something like that to make ourselves giddy and hopeful before the reality of the 2007 Winter meetings.

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EST. 2005

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