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Friday, December 14, 2007


I see that PG is really loading up the franchise with quality young players.
The new GM should have a lot to work with when PG leaves.

you think the phils are the only team with minor league fillers, give me a break.

Vic Darensbourg!!!!

We were able to sign this guy? Boy, all the other team's have missed out big time. Imagine their fans surprise when they find out that WE were the lucky team that won the Vic Daresnourg sweepstakes!!


Wait. I was thinking of that other guy...Ron Darensborug, right? No, that's not it...

That's it, I remember now: Ron Mahay.

No wonder I got it mixed up; it sounds just like Vic Darensbourg.

From that link:

San Diego Padres: RHP Jack Cassel

Cassel gave the Padres four good starts down the stretch, going 1-1, 3.97, but with fellow groundballing righties Justin Germano and Clay Hensley still hanging around — not to mention Wade LeBlanc, Cesar Ramos and Josh Geer on the farm — Cassel didn’t figure to get an extended look in San Diego.

Do the words "groudballing righty" set off any alerts in the Phillies' front office? Hello? Hello? Anybody home in the PHillies front office?

Alby - two words on Jack Cassel:
Vic Darensbourg!

What more do we need? Pat's job is, obviously, done for the winter!

The Phillies must've figured they needed to make a big splash right before the first 2008 Season Ticket payment was due....and boy did they ever come through in the clutch with this motley crew!!!

Way to go guys, the price increases have been more than justified!

Why are they not interested in Ensberg and why no Jenkins?

Alby: The problem with GB/FO stats is that, when you look up a pitcher's numbers on, his GB/FO ratio doesn't show up until page 2. Fortunately, Gillick, with his years of experience, & Amaro, with his Stanford degree, quickly realized that, if the stat was important, the guys would have put it on page 1.

So glad they listening to me and looking at Otsuka...good news. Otsuka could go a long way to shoring up this bullpen if his arm is ok, give him a physical.

This from, via

"the Rangers were going to send [Otsuka] to the White Sox for Chris Carter but the Sox nixed the deal after looking at Otsuka's medical reports. No surprise the Rangers non-tendered him, now."

Sounds like he's right down our alley. Kind of in the tradition of Tom Gordon & Freddy Garcia. What off-season is complete without signing at least one piece of damaged goods?

I wonder if Jim Rushford will be offered a job for the IronPigs or Reading?

Yes! Classic beerleaguer!

I like Mazone a lot. I'm not saying that a team like the Phils should be relying on this kind of player, but I think he automatically becomes the 5th best starter in the organization (not talking talent, just ability to get ML hitters out *right now*):


I know what the scouts say about Mazone, but this is a guy who has a career 3.79 ERA in 486 innings (and he is actually weighed down by two terrible years when he was 21 and 22).

The last three seasons, his ERAs were:


Also, in around 330 IP, only 22 bombs.

If he had actually pitched a year in the bigs and got rocked, I would ignore the minor league numbers, but he has never had a chance.

I don't care if he throws underhanded, someone with that level of performance against AA and AAA player can get major league hitters out.

"Why are they not interested in Ensberg and why no Jenkins?"

Who said they weren't?

"What off-season is complete without signing at least one piece of damaged goods?"

The real bummer, here, is that since Otsuka has been non-tendered, we're not able to trade, say, Carrasco for him. If we could do that, then we'd have a real PG deal!

But in the meantime, did i mention: Vic Darensbourg!!

Boy, this really causes excrement, errr excitement about the Phillies' chances this year. WOW!!!

I think I'll run down to the box office right now and renew my 4 season tickets right behind home plate!!!


kdon, you're right. Mazone can "compete" for our fifth rotation spot with Blackley and Darensbourg. After all, how great would it be to show one of those slow junk-ballers to an opposing line-up the day after they face Moyer?

Alby: The first thing I thought when I saw that name and read the notes was, "Why not Jack Cassel?" I think it's at least worth an invite to ST.

And did I mention VIC DARENSBOURG!!!

AWH - you want those tickets to be along the third base line. With all those slowball LH pitchers, there are bound to be lots of RHs pulling bee-bees into the seats in shallow left. You could score some foul balls!

When I see Vic Darensbourg, I just say to myself, it's such a great thing we didn't sign Riske or Wise. Otherwise we wouldn't have room on the 40 man roster for...
you know.

Andy, Mazone is the AAAA insurance in case Moyer breaks down. Slip him right into the rotation and the Phillies don't miss a beat.

Andy, I never thought of that. third baseline it is!

AWH, I agree.
And if he breaks down we got Blackley!!

Wow, I doped up on creatine a few hours ago. I thought I was going to crash now but, hey!!! Vic the Trick Darensbourg!

At this point, if "them" don't sign anyone with damaged goods, I could possibly claim a moral victory.

Anybody else excited to see Pascucci?

Just me? Oh...ok.


Andy, put the bat down and step away from the dead horse slowly...

"kdon, you're right. Mazone can "compete" for our fifth rotation spot with Blackley and Darensbourg. After all, how great would it be to show one of those slow junk-ballers to an opposing line-up the day after they face Moyer?"

Do you really think that? That it would be "great"? I would think it would be a bad idea to do that, and...oh, wait, your being sarcastic...

Clever boy.

It would be cool for Pascucci and Cholly to hook up for two weeks in the batting cages. Rowand spent a lot of time with Manuel last offseason.

MLBTR mentions the Phillies as a possibility in the Prior stakes. Translation to reality talk: no shot.

I can see it now. The Phillies & Braves are tied for first after 161 games, with the Padres having already clinched the WC. It's one game for all the marbles. Moyer pitched last night & Cole refuses to pitch on 3 days rest. Blackley has been long ago DFA'd due to ineffectiveness & Mazzone was sent back to AAA after 2 awful starts. With the right-handed John Smoltz on the mound for the Braves, Cholly opts to get another left-handed bat into the lineup. And, so it is that the entire NL East race hinges on the battery of Darensbourg and LaForest.

damn, bap, you are depressing!

Latest issue of Baseball America has some positive comments Jaramillo. Salisbury wrote it, Arbuckle was quoted. Jaramillo sounds like a solid overall player. He's expected to start at LV, but they feel he's a Major Leaguer in waiting. That's encouraging. Would love to see the Phils avoid the mess other teams, like the Mets, are forced to deal with in expensive, marginal, older catchers.

Doc Justice:
It's not dead - maybe just hurt a little; bruised maybe - I gotta make sure...I gotta...



(Okay. I think it's dead now. Stupid horse.)

AWH: Depressing? But my story wasn't finished yet. In the next post, I was going to add that Darensourgh goes on to retire the first 27 Braves hitters and, with the scored tied 0-0 & 2 outs in the bottom of the 9th, LaForest steps to the plate and hits a walk-off homerun.

If LaForrest Hits a home run, does it make a sound?

Oh one more thing . . . LaForest's homerun not only captures the NL East title, but also breaks Barry Bonds' single-season homerun record. When the season ends, the writers unanimously vote him the National League MVP. The Phillies are so thrilled with their find that they reward LaForest with a 5-year, $80M contract. Oh wait . . . I think now I might be getting a little too unrealistic.

Most of you guys are completely ridiculous

And in this 0-0 game, I'm sure the MVP pops up three times and Howard has 3 Ks swinging...

Also in this game, Wes Helms has an unassisted triple play.

In that game, Vic Darensbourgh actually gives up 4 singles over 7 innings, but converts all of them to outs by utilizing that "Nice Pick off" throw he has.

Repent now, because if any one of those things happens (minus the Rollins and Howard prophecies), the world would instantly collapse in on itself.

At least I used to think the GM issue was that we just didnt want to spend the money for decent players. But now I see that they just are incapable of judging talent as we won't even sign the decent cheap players. Holy 30 year old pile of garbage.

after Helms turns the UATP he does the ElPlulpa Polka on his way into the dugout

In this game, Bruntlett reaches first twice on Catcher's Interference.

Ricky, I believe that's clout's line of argument since this blog started. Because you both agree - again - the world may now collapse on itself.

And Pat Burrell saves a run by racing over to right center field to snag a shoe-top liner that was about to fall between Werth and Vic.

With the game tied 4-4 in the 18th inning, and no avialable pinch hitters, Charlie Manuel invokes the Player/Manager Clause and hits a solo HR.

Sadly, Baseball is pulled out of its moment of historical greatness, as he has a heart attack before reaching first base.

The pipe dream about Charlie is believable. He did have some big, clutch homers in the 78 and 79 Japan Series.

Don't get your hopes up about the Phillies being interested in Prior, thats just blatent speculation by the author of MLBTR since we "should" be interested in Prior. But we should be interested in Ensberg (why did that ass have to come out and say that they arent interested, at least they could have not mentioned it and left me with hope) and we should be interested in Wise, but I dont know that we are actually interested in any of them as they arent in their early 30's and willing to sign for the league min.

I'm not going to sit here & tout the Phillies' ability to judge talent. It's obviously less than stellar. But, at bottom, it's more about ownership's cheapness than about our scouts' ability to judge talent. The reason we sign all these 30-something minor league lifers to fill out our Triple A roster is because we won't break slot in the draft, which means we end up with a lot of marginal prospects who wash out before Triple A, which means we always have a lot of vacancies to fill in Triple A, which means we wind up signing all these marginal 30-soomething minor league lifers to fill all those vacancies.

Our scouting system hasn't done THAT bad a job in recent years. But our minor leagues have been consistently thin for about the last 20 years, and that's because ownership refuses to spend money on draft picks.

ricky: I'm beginning to sense that Andy, MG, Clout & I have managed to turn you into a convert.

"But now I see that they just are incapable of judging talent"

ricky, welcome to the club!

bap, it's a combination of all those things, but it truly begins with the ability to discern the marginal talent.

Wht I mean by that is anyone, even non-professionals can tell someone like Andrew Miller or Mark Prior is MLB material by watching him pitch in college.

I saw Micah Owings play in the Cape Cod League. It was blatantly obvious that he has the physical tools - TO ANYONE.

But it's the scouting of other teams minor leaguers that has hurt this team, as they have really not done well in receiving a decent return for their best players (Schilling, Rolen, Abreu).

That's scouting, not draft cheapness.

The Valentino Pascucci Replica Expos Batting Practice Tee I have has relevance once again! I've been a fan of his ever since I pulled a Pascucci autographed ball redemption card out of a pack in the late 90s.

I've spent every summer of my life at Cape Cod (25 and counting) and since I was about 12 I've sat there and picked the brains of scouts at the games. Want to know what team I've never met a scout from? It rhymes with Hiladelphia Hillies.

ricky, I vacation there every summer. What town are you in?

"The Phillies avoided arbitration with newly acquired outfielder Chris Snelling and signed him to a one-year, $450,000 contract, which is above league minimum. It's looking like he's part of their master plan after all."

For all intensive purposes, signing a veteran player with a base of 450k is basically about as low as you can go.

While I was very skeptical about the Phils making any impact moves this offseason after the Lidge trade, I thought at a bare minimum that the Phils would at least sign some additional non-tendered players, bargain "Value Village" players, or players who might come at a reduced rate due to injury risk like Benson to round out their roster like last season.

Now, I am not even sure of that. It is becoming pretty apparent that the Phils reality for paying for a MLB veteran player and what the market is yielding are quite a large gap.

Even guys would I would call "marginal" MLB vets are making at close to $1 M. That might seem like a lot but it is not really considering that the average MLB player made $2.9 million last season and that figure is sure to crack the $3.0 million mark this offseason.

The funny thing is that the Phils would probably almost break even or have saved money if they had signed a guy like Hawkins instead of having to shuffle in stop-gap measurements all to season for the bullpen and going fishing for 2-3 players off the waiver wire/minor trades.

"ricky: I'm beginning to sense that Andy, MG, Clout & I have managed to turn you into a convert."

ricky! Don't do it!! It's lonely being an isolated island!!!

Yeah, I'm finally coming around to see the same side of things that you guys do. I still see upside in some of our young guys like Mathieson and Zagurski, and I still think Outman could be this years Kendrick, but this 3rd base thing has pushed me over the edge as we're ruling out the best option on the market despite the cheap price.

AWH, I always stay in Chatham, what about you?

There isn't a single player who is really interesting on that above mentioned list. Frankly I am kind of surprised at the Phils willingness to acquire some many minor league vets who have already been in their system.

Doesn't make much sense except that it shows the lack of talent in this minor league system right now at the AA and AAA levels.

I am also kind of surprised to see the Phils let Brito walk. Not exactly like the Phils have a ton of useful LHP arms running around their system right now. Apparently this is part of Gillick's brilliant "less is more" approach to build out the pen.

Now the King has been fired as the Sixers GM, I have to say that Gillick has taken his place as possibly the worst GM in Philly right now.

At least Ed Wade is around to make Gillick look better.

ricky - that's like saying the rice is around to make the mashed potatoes look whiter...or the pig farm is around to make the cess pool smell less foul.

At least we didnt trade our minor league system for someone named in the mitchell report.

Or the Darensbourg is around to make the Blackley acquisition look more like a real steal.

The list at the top of this page is truly depressing. I'm optimistic and I can't even begin to find hope. The upsetting part is that all of their combined salaries could have gotten something useful.

"we didnt trade our minor league system"

Initial snide response: what minor league system?

Realistic response: since the Astros system sucked worse than ours did, I truly have to hand that particular degree of abysmal General Managing over to Wade. He really does deserve the Raw Sewage Trophy this year.

Luis Vizcaino to the Brew Crew. I guess we have no need for a decent-to-solid bullpen guy.

One last thing about the Mitchell report. I just looked up the list of MLBers who have hit three homers in a game. The list of players from the strike to 2002 reads like the report.

From the previous thread, a poster writes,
"hmmm. seems to me the Phils should throw some dough at Otsuka. Any reasons not to other than him being recently injured?"

My answer: Absolutely none, just as there were no reasons not to sign Garcia last year other than the concerns about his arm.

vic darensbourg, isn't he a lounge singer of some sort?

Phils and Padres are the two finalists for Geoff Jenkins...

Otsuka = Tommy John, over/under of early June

Finally some happy news. We can't seriously lose out to San Diego when negotiating with a power hitter can we. I mean they get the pitchers with their monstrous park and we get the hitters. Fair is fair. Faith is almost restored and you guys are going to have to deal with me being optimistic again (until tomorrow hen Jenkins signs with the Pads and I go back to hating the world)

What this board needs now is for CJ, SirAlden and the other Happy Faces to resume posting.

typepad security is getting out of control again. it cancelled my last post

Dude, that typepad crap gets me on like every single post now...I hate it, cause I'll hit post and walk away and come back to that lousy screen 20 minutes later.

Hmm... if you are Jenkins do you want to hit at Citizen's Bank Park or Petco Park, especially when you will most likely be a free agent again in 2 years??

Jenkins would be an awesome bat against righties, and you can then throw Werth out there versus lefties. The Phils better not screw this one up...

Well, this has been an informative thread...good work guys.

I like Jenkins. I would venture to say that a Werth/Jenkins platoon puts up similar numbers to Rowand next year.

Although, aging LH outfielders haven't fared too well in the past few years (Nixon, Huff, Green).

ricky, excellent! Chatham is, IMO, the best town on the Cape. I love CCBL games at Veteran's Field.

We're in Dennisport, trying to sell and move to Chatham, as we spend most of our time there.

OK here's the post that got blocked: The Brewers have added Riske, Gagne, Torres and Vizcaino to their bullpen. Not too shabby.

Another reason to like Jenkins is that while his overall numbers were down in '07, a lot of that was due to BAIBIP.

Career: 324
'07: .301

Aside from batting average (explained by the drop in BABIP), he kept up his walk and power numbers pretty well.

I think he is good for an .850-900 OPS vs. RHP in CPB.

AWH, I'm definitely going to have to agree with you. Its the best town on the cape and the best home park for ccbl games. Good luck finding a place in Chatham, the prices are still skyrocketing.
The talent level on the cape league is amazing, just wish the phillies would reallize it.

The Vizcaino signing has since been retracted and now they are reporting the Rockies appear to have him. Some reporter looks like an idiot.

CLout, but they did lose Cordero.

Gagne and Torres may be shot (no pun intended for the former), but Riske was exactly the kind of player the Phillies should have added.

As you know, I'm pretty skeptical of veteran bullpen guys, but Riske is about as good a lock to be solid as any pitcher in baseball.

Jenkins against righties:
355ab 18hr 807ops

Werth against lefties:
88ab 5hr 1058ops

Combined 443ab 23hr 859ops

Rowand 612ab 27hr 889ops in a career year

I'd consider that well replaced.

Jenkins on a 2-year deal would be a solid move. Clearly a player on the decline but he provides a player who can play solid defensive, still put up decent numbers against RHP, and provide some viable depth to the OF.

Phils would be "ok" with an outfield of Burrell, Victorino, Werth with Jenkins and Snelling as their reserves. Only issue is that the Phils don't have a legit backup to Victorino in CF but that is splitting hairs.

The more I see Jenkins' stats and how he brutalizes righties, the more I'm warming up to him. His defense appears adequate as well (not sure what the league average for RF's is).

ZiPS for '08:

Jenkins (in Miller):

Werth (in CBP):

Rowand (in CPB):

Even if Otsuka's ERA doubles, he'd be better than a lot of the pitchers we have. I'd think you'd have to make an offer, even though he won't be available in April and May.

MG, I think Snelling (6 career games in CF) or Werth 30 games in '05) could give Vic a day off in CF, but you are right, there are no long-term options.

Considering Vic plays all-out and is a little guy, I'd advise him not to crash into too many walls out there.

I wouldn't be too worried about Otsuka performing in Philly, but I would be very, very worried about his health. Texas would presumably know about his arm better than anyone, and it's not like they would've been on the hook for much salary if they took him to arb.


you talk about the Phils not being productive in the CCL but you forget we signed Freddie Prinze Jr. after seeing him pitch for the Chatham As...if only we could have signed Jessica Biel instead...sigh...

Its all about the scouting...

Clout: The Brewers also added Guillermo Mota, too... and still had holdovers such as Turnbow. Of course the Baltimore Orioles show that throwing money at myriad bullpen pieces isn't always an effective strategy.

ae, maybe they're just trying to cut costs. It's not as if they have the starting pitching to contend, so why bother paying for great arms in their bullpen?

Signing Otsuka and Jenkins would bring me feel much closer to feeling satisfied with this offseason. I wouldn't have said that three months ago, but they've successfully demoralized me and lowered my expectations. With 40 million coming off the books, I thought they'd have to spend money this offseason, but at least these moves would bring us near where we were last year. I'd still want to see them give a short-term deal to a proven, veteran starting pitcher.

Geoff Jenkins seems like a great fit for CBP; such a great fit that I'm worried about the Phils leveraging that point to save money.

Otsuka was one of the best relievers in the NL very recently, so I'd be extremely suspicious of his release. Good thing you can count on the Phils due diligence.

I've keep hearing names like Prior and Benson, but I'm going to throw a couple others out there...

Bart Colon? Great stuff, huge a$s, not a lot of interest in him- How about one or two years?

Shawn Chacon? Reminds me of a younger Tom Gordon- the once promising starter, turned closer, who settles in as a quality set up guy. Like Gordon, he throws hard and strikes people out with a nice curve.

Jenkins is about the best thing left to do for the Phillies. Hopefully that gets done. The Padres have already snagged Wolf and Iguchi out from under them. Maybe they need Manuel to step in and intimidate someone.

Jason, no one else has commented on your note about Jaramillo, but I see him very possibly being a better catcher than Ruiz and I don't doubt he's ready to contribute right now.

i thought werth played some cf for us this past season, like moved over once rowand was late in a game, could be wrong

i do seem to remember jenkins having a canon for an arm though

If they get Jenkins and sign someone like Chacon or Wise, or both- this off-season has been successful.

"If they get Jenkins and sign someone like Chacon or Wise, or both- this off-season has been successful."

TTI, this is the Phillies.

That makes that statement subject to a very big IF.

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