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Sunday, December 09, 2007

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Dave Williams and Larry Bigbie also headed to Japan.

well the Brewers are going all out to fill their bullpen holes. Unlike us they and many other teams are doing things to try to improve their teams.

Please forgive me for this rant but well Frankly I'm sick and tired of watching these cheap ass owners sit on their asses and do nothing except when they need to (i.e. Thome). We all know that Thome was only brought in here to create some goodwill in the Vet's final season and to help generate advance season ticket sales for the new stadium. We aren't blind!

I'm also sick of watching Gillick talk frankly about this being his final season and in doing so he looks like a puppet or perhaps he's just Amaro's bitch. I wonder if the guy honestly has any balls to stand up to ownership and tell them they need to open up their pockets. I doubt it, it looks more and more with every comment the guy makes that he's just around to mentor Amaro and collect a paycheck.

This is all sad and we will all look back at this in the future as a crime. This is because we currently have three of the franchise's best players at their respective positions (Howard, Rollins & Utley). THis is not something that happens very often. To not give those guys the pitching help they need is absolutely atrocious.

We all know what happens when you go into a season with Gordon penciled into a major role in the pen. We've seen it the last two years and it will happen again if he is expected to be this years' setup man. In fact, I'd be willing to bet that we see it really early in the season come back to bite this team in the ass when his shoulder issues flare up. His injuries cost everyone in that pen to move up to a role in which they are not comfortable nor talented enough to do. All you got to do is look at the final few weeks of last season and see that there were quite a few games where Condrey was pitching meaningful innings which should honestly never happen.

What really pisses me off is looking up at Detroit and what they've been able to do in the past three seasons. They were the perenial doormats of baseball. THen all those high draft picks started to pan out and they started to make themselves a pretty good nucleus. But were they content to stand pat and just ride out a pretty good team. No they have opened up their pockets and gone out and TRIED to make their team better.

What have the Phils done to TRY to improve this team in the past few years? Well we go out and only sign big time pitchers who are at the end of their contracts so we're not on the hook for big $ in the future (Millwood, Milton, Garcia, Wagner and our most recent rental of Lidge). Or then there are the times when we are forced feed alleged #1 starters who on other teams are really only #4-5 starters like Eaton, Lieber, Padilla, R. Person just to name a few).

In summary, the fans of this team stuck by some really frustrating times over the past 5 years. They finally made the playoffs last year but just making the playoffs this year is not going to be enough. This is a make or break year. The Phils could be the talk of this city if they only TRIED to do something.

We all critized the Flyers in the previous seasons but at least they always TRY to make the team better.

I'm gonna miss that TTO call-up of Restovich when Werth goes down...

Justin Pope is a cautionary tale for those who think only the Phillies make poor scouting decisions with early draft choices. He's sort of the Cardinal's Gavin Floyd.

(I initially confused him with a different Pope, pitching for the Yanks: Ryan Pope. Big difference, however - he was 21 at short-season, about right, and was quite effective. Listen for Ryan Pope in future discussions of trades by the Yanks.)

(I bet if I were a nun I wouldn't have gotten those Popes confused.)

Since the Dodgers landed Andruw Jones, any chance the Phils could go after Andre Ethier? They now have Pierre, Jones, and Kemp as their primary outfielders. I think Ethier would be a good addition here and allow for Werth to move back into his ideal 4th outfielder role. Too bad the Phils probably will overlook this guy too.

Jon - there is virtually no chance that the Dodgers will part with Ethier, who is earning a MLB minimum salary, for anything we can afford to give them. Good idea though. He would be an improvement over many of the names bandied about as position player upgrades.

I'm reading & hearing that perhaps there wasn't much action on the FA front so far cause as many as 30 current FA have been allegedly linked to the Steorid investigation. Hopefully, after the report is published this week we'll know who these bums are and baseball can move forward.

The all time dumbass award needs to go to the Royals for signing Guillen to $13 million/year and then find out that same day that he'll be suspended for the first month of the season.

The Royals & Pirates have a history of going after aging vets at a bargain bottom price and then shipping them off around the trade dealine for mid-level prospects. But the signing of Guillen makes absolutely no sense for them at all.

I'm leaning more and more to the Phils filling holes in FA. From all accounts we have nothing to get Bedard, Blanton, Haren, Santana, Tejeda or insert big name here. Sign a Benson. Sign a reliever or 2. Then hope a 3B comes free and toss some money at them. Maybe overpay for a Geoff Jenkins. Do this and hope some of our minor league "talent" takes some steps forward and we can make a move at the deadline. At this point our minor league system has less talent then George Clooney.

Sixto: You'll be happy to know that, when I was a kid, I had a good friend who insisted that you were a future Hall of Famer. Oh, and by the way, it's "Lezcano" not "Lescano."

A poster in a previous thread mentioned Chone Figgins as a possible 3rd base pick up. Thats certainly a replacement that I would love to see the Phils go after.

Why would the Angles replace him? Are the Angles seeing something in Dallas McPherson that I'm not?

What would it take to pry Figgins away?

How do you expect Sixto to spell his own name correctly when he mistakes his dislike for George Clooney for a lack of talent? No brains, no taste -- gee, this guy must be a barrel of fun on a Saturday night.

John: I've always been a big Chone Figgins fan. He's sort of like Placido Polanco except that he has speed & draws walks. The sad thing is, we could have gotten Figgins for very little back in 2005, when the Angels viewed Dallas McPherson as their future third baseman & were actively shopping Figgins. And we could have gotten him again after 2006, when Figgins had a bad year and saw his stock drop to an all-time low. Unfortunately, our GM doesn't believe in trading for good players coming off anomalously bad years. He believes in trading for: (1) bad players coming off anomalously good years (Nunez, Helms); (2) bad players coming off even worse years (Eaton, Alfonseca, Mesa); or (3) bad players who have been out of baseball for at least one full season.

Figgins' name has come up because the Angels are supposedly asking the Orioles about Miguel Tejada.

On a more realistic note, I wonder what they want for Dallas McPherson.

Sorry to waste bandwith, but...

What about putting a package together to get Juan Pierre? He doesent really fit the Phillies mold of putting up adequate-big power numbers, but he's a great "small ball" guy, and would be a GREAT #2 in this lineup because Vic has juuuust enough pop to hit 5th or 6th. IM salavating thinking about his SB's too...But, would the Dodgers part ways with him? Im sure we would have to include Kendrick into a deal to get him.

Another name- Corey Patterson. He's looking for multiple years, which scares me, but he has average numbers, good SB numbers. He's no Rowand, but he has some pop. Thoughts?

I guess im looking at things realistically. If we dont bring in a SP, we're going to have to make up for it with more runs. And there's just not alot out there. Help!

"However, even with Brett Myers returning to the rotation, they're still two starters short, with neither Kyle Kendrick nor Adam Eaton having any business being in a contender's rotation."

I can't imagine this hasn't been brought up already, but this is the second outrageously stupid comment Keith Law has made this offseason involving the Phillies (the first being that Aaron Rowand is "good fourth outfielder", meaning he's apparently no better than say, Jason Michaels). Maybe Kyle Kendrick's stats do not impress Mr. Law, but if he had watched a second of this team during the second half, he'd know how truly important Kendrick was, and how well he fits in a ballpark like CBP. Is he a no. 1 or a no. 2 starter? Absolutely not. But there's no reason to imagine he can't be, at worst, a very very solid no. 4 or no. 5. There's always a place for steady guys like that in a Major League rotation, and while it's trendy AND appropriate to take shots at Adam Eaton, Mr. Law should keep his mouth shut when it comes to topics he just doesn't seem to understand.

I just wish there was more than a wooden stake standing over at 3rd to field the grounders that Moyer and Kendrick force

Regarding cheap ass owners: If you'd like some math-based evidence to back this up, check out my">http://www.ballssticksstuff.com/2007/12/alternate-jerse.html">my analysis of payroll for all 30 teams over at BS&S. That is, of course, if you can find it in the bottom of clout's sea of stupid posters...

Relying on Kendrick to be a #2 or #3 starter is wishful thinking at best, negligence at worst. He was very effective last year- all his stats indicate he was getting lucky. We'll see. Also, John D, thats terrible. Juan Pierre? Corey Patterson? You realize that with Jimmy and Victorino we have enough speed. We need people who can actually, you know, hit the baseball. Those two are both awful at it. Please.

I played little league with Justin Pope in the Okeeheelee Athletic Association in Florida. Last I heard of him was when he was traded to the Yankees in the Sterling Hitchcock deal.

I suppose he has a good of a shot as anyone to make the roster in middle relief.

Checking out his minor league stats over at the Baseball Cube, Bill, I rather doubt it. He doesn't miss many bats, and he's logged just 36 innings at AAA in six years in the minors. He's now 28 years old. Unless he learns a new pitch, I seriously doubt he'll ever reach the majors.

Kendrick got results last year, and I agree Law was maybe a little overboard saying he shouldn't be on any contender's rotation. But if he regresses back to where he should be, we're looking at 3 starters with ERAs at or over five.

Jack:

I would hardly consider somebody with a career .301 BA, .348 OBP (Pierre), has played every game since 2003, had the most hits in the NL in 2004 and 2006, and the fourth most in the NL last year, second in the league in SB's the last four years, led the league in singles the last two years, had the most sacrafices last year, and led the league in most at bats before striking out for the past 5 years awful. You can have your opinion on him, but I wouldn't go as far as so say Juan Pierre is awful...

I guess unless he cranks 25 HR's a year with 100 RBI's to boot, he's not worthy to don the Phillies pinstripes according to you. The guy is a career .300 hitter...c'mon man.

Juan Pierre is awful. Anybody who still bases opinions of players on batting average is living in the last century. Only once in 8 seasons has Pierre posted an OPS+ of over 100 (which means average), and that was an underwhelming 104. Only one other season even equaled the 94 Shane Victorino posted last season. His last three seasons were 84, 82 and 75. His career mark is 84. This is incredibly low, basically replacement level. Only GMs with no understanding of sabermetrics would settle for it, and they do it because they think his speed makes him a top-of-the-lineup hitter. They are wrong; .348 is not exactly a stellar OBP. It's actually a little under league average most years.

In addition, he is owed about $45 million over the next 4 years. If the Phillies were going to spend that kind of money, they'd resign Aaron Rowand.

Other than that, great idea.

Dave X: Keith Law is an A-hole, pure and simple. If he were any good at his job he'd still be in baseball. Sure, Kendrick's peripherals were dreadful, and every bit of sabermetric evidence indicates he will regress. But if he doesn't, he won't be the first guy -- or even one of the first 100 -- Keith Law got wrong because he's a smug, arrogant little twerp who's still citing his Harvard degree on his ESPN resume. Of course, without that degree, he never would have gotten the Toronto job, and he therefore wouldn't carry any more weight than the average poster on a baseball blog. You know, when you're being paid for your judgment, you actually have to produce results. If you do, you don't find yourself reduced to commentary.

I am still baffled, confused, confounded, puzzled and left in wonderment by the number of Beerleaguer posters who think a team that plays in CBP should be built around speed and defense. Juan Pierre? I just don't get it.

As the poster who was second only to Jason is pushing Kendrick's name before he was even called up last season, I am disturbed by Law's cheap shot. Having said that, I'm under no illusions. This is a gutsy kid with great maturity and composure, but unless he comes up with a way to get lefties out, he will have some rough patches that could result in a losing year.

Clout: Perhaps the problem is that except for Hamels (and Myers, if he actually returns to the rotation), Phillies pitchers don't miss bats. All those balls in play put more premium on defense. But that doesn't explain the desire for speed on offense; of course, plenty of professionals share this perverse desire, or Juan Pierre would not have had a career.

Juan Pierre is not a sabermetric hero, but for god's sake, let's shoot for some objectivity here. The guy routinely collects 200 hits a season, has played in every game for five straight seasons, covers a ton of ground in the outfield. You might want to consider a word other than 'awful', because he's a pretty good player. Some here get bent out of shape when I criticize someone like Pat Burrell for the things he doesn't do. Fine. But why is it okay to completely malign someone like Juan Pierre for the things he doesn't do?

No, you guys are right. Tools like moving baserunners, infield hits, stealing bases, laying down a bunt, and steady defense are overrated. We need Geoff Jenkins in here so he can bash a few dingers!

And to further, isn't that the reason the same people who criticize a player like Pierre have a perpetual hard on for players like Tad Iguchi, who does the exact same things?

John D: Here are 3 things that Iguchi does that Pierre does not do: Walk, throw a baseball on defense at a major league level, hit a double. Pierre was a fine player several years ago, but his skills have eroded to the point that he is now a liability on offense and defense. If the Dodgers could dump his contract for a fringe prospect, they'd do it in a second.

You don't bring track shoes and leather to a phone booth. You bring lumber. And you bring pitchers who throw grounders. A guaranteed formula for losing is to say, "Well our pitching is weak so we'll forget the lumber and bring leather and track shoes to make our pitchers better."

When your pitching is weak, you go out and get better pitching. You don't screw up your strength.

"The Yankees are close to signing LaTroy Hawkins to a one-year contract believed to be worth approximately $3.75 million, sources told FOXSports.com's Ken Rosenthal."

That's OK, there's PLENTY of time left for the Phillies to improve their bullpen. Right, boys?

Clout - Agreed on Pierre. Ideally, the Dodgers would push Kemp over to LF and use Pierre as their 4th OF. Even for a team with considerable resources, you shouldn't be paying $10 M/year to your 4th OF (although the Yanks may do that this year with Damon).

Totals for doubles, past three seasons:

Iguchi: 25, 24, 27
Pierre: 19, 32, 24

Perhaps Pierre would have had a few more doubles if he hasn't been amassing a total of 34 triples during that time period.

Pierre is 30, and was one off his career-high SB total with 64 last season, with his success ratio higher than any season since 2002. It's kind of hard to argue that his defensive skills have eroded if he's still running as well as ever. He doesn't have an arm, but he never had. Would you rather have an immobile monolith with a good throwing arm like Burrell in the outfield instead? Which do you think helps more defensively?

Do you honestly feel a guy who collects 200 hits and steals 64 bases is an offensive 'liability'? I'll grant you, he'd be far more effective hitting second instead of leadoff. But that doesn't diminish his standing as a player.

People can live with what Iguchi brings as a player because he's an infielder, and infielders historically are excused to a greater extent for weaker levels of offense because their defense is considered more premium than that of outfielders. Yet this seems a far more outdated idea than the importance of batting average. Unless you're making a case for a catcher, shortstop, or possibly center fielder, correlation of offensive ability to defensive position is an illogical principle.

Clout-- Back to the last thread.. I listed the Dobbs/Helms stats to illustrate how the Phils would be MORE exposed by a weak platoon this yr. when you factor in there's no replacement for Rowand.. Also, I have already stated that I want Ensberg here.. Likely, he'll be non-tendered or traded for average prospects. I'm in favor of doing an Ensberg deal first then spinning Helms the hell outta here

RSB: Stats don't exist in a vacuum. If you're going to list doubles, you also need to list ABs or you're being dishonest.

Pierre is exactly the kind of player you'd want on the Phillies: Wrong for the ballpark, poor OB, an arm that's easy to run on. But he's got intangibles right, RSB? Classic wrongheadedness.

rob: Then we totally agree.

Regardless of where a team plays, a run saved still equals a run scored...

Dave X: And a run scored equals a run saved.

Right, so you'd agree we should build around the best players (which Pierre isn't), regardless of whether their value comes on offense or defense?

I don't agree with this 'wrong for the park' nonsense. You win the same way everywhere. If the Phillies choose to believe they have to win with brute power, they're going to suffer the same fate the Red Sox and Cubs did for decades.

But when did I ever make an argument that the Phillies should pursue Juan Pierre? You attack a 'wrongheaded' point I didn't even make! All I'm doing is defending Pierre as a player. The Dodgers only want to move him because they have have a logjam of talented young outfielders.

I acknowledge you point that Pierre has had more at-bats than Iguchi in those seasons, but the proportion of at-bats to extra-base hits is pretty close for both players. Moreover, it's ludicrous to argue that Pierre doesn't hit enough doubles - his ability to steal bases gets him back those extra bases and thensome. Fail to acknowledge that and *you're* being dishonest.

to underscore clout's point about the misuse of counting stats, compare Pierre & Iguchi's isolated power numbers over the past three years.

2005 .160 .078
2006 .141 .096
2007 .133 .060

Pierre literally has less power than almost everyone in baseball--only Luis Castillo and Reggie Willits posted lower IsoP numbers than Pierre last year. guys who beat out Pierre include noted sluggers such as Nick Punto, Jason Kendall, and Omar Vizquel.

and his defense is nearly irrelevant. he doesn't have the arm for right or center. so you're going to take a huge drag on the offense just to have a decent left fielder? that's just blatantly counterproductive.

Supposedly Inge can be had for a cup of coffee if some team is willing to pick up his entire contract. Enticing but only if Inge can hit like he did from 2004-06 and not last year. Inge at .250-.260 with 20 HRs would be acceptable considering that I doubt that Helms/Dobbs would do any better.

The other major issue is that he is signed for 3 more years. A gold-glove caliber 3B like Inge makes more sense next year if the Phils are going to have groundball starters like Moyer and Kendrick who induce at least 3-4 balls a game to 3B. The following year it probably doesn't make as much sense.

All things considered, it would be ideal if the Phils could sign Pedro Feliz to a 1-yr deal at $4 or $5 M and trade Helms. Both Feliz and Helms have pretty much the same career numbers vs RHP. Helms gets on base a bit more because he is more willing to take a BB but Feliz has slightly better power. Basically a wash. The obvious thing though is that Feliz is a great defender while Helms is at best a below-average player.

If the Phils did sign Feliz, he would start when Moyer and Kendrick were on the mound next season. When other starters are on the mound, the Phils could give some starts to Dobbs vs RHP and let Feliz start all the games against LHP. Probably the best of a less than ideal situation.

Dave X: No I wouldn't. Because in a small park, you will score more runs on offense than you will save on defense unless you have gold-glove power hitters at every position. But if it were a park that played dead even, I'd agree with you.

his ability to steal bases gets him back those extra bases and thensome

actually, it does not. this past season was the first time in Pierre's career that he broke the 80% success rate; his career mark is 74%. statistically, at that rate, you're better off not attempting a steal at all.

haven't you ever wondered why, despite Pierre's constant presence at the top of the lineup, noteworthy durability, and frequent ~200 hit seasons, he has never ranked among the top ten in his league in runs scored?

Rob and Clout - I agree about either Ensberg or Feliz if the Phils can sign him to a 1-yr deal. Both guys will likely put similiar or better stats vs RHP than Helms and both are better defenders too.

Phils shouldn't just trade Helms to get ride of his contract but I can't see him Helms bringing much value to this team next year either.

Ensberg will probably attract attention from a couple of teams if he is non-tendered. As for Feliz, he is still insisting on a 3-yr deal even though there is no team reportedly interested in him for 3-yr.

in defense of pierre. if they put his speed on the phillies we have reason to believe that his stolen bases would be lower but his percentage would be higher and therefore he would be more valuable. the phillies use the stolen base very well. seldom do we see rollins or victorina get caught and ask, "why was he running?". that said i've never been a huge pierre fan. he is very one dimensional and is the type of player, like jose reyes, who annoys you as an opponent with his big moments, but is not very consistent and is exposed the more you see him.

perhaps i am simplyfing this too much, but could someone explain to me why pat gillick shouldn't pick up the phone, call latroy hawkins' agent, and offer him $4 mil. or even $4.25? it's just a one-year deal.

Clout - you think Hawkins is a sure thing in 2008 .... hold on a sec while I write that one down for July ...

JMARR - "you think Hawkins is a sure thing in 2008"

Yeah, better than some of the Rule V pickoffs the Phils recently made or holdovers like Condrey, Rosario, Durbin or Brito.

For the record, RSB did not bring up the point of bringing in Pierre, I did. The reason I listed him is because we're losing Aaron Rowand, and I was listing OF's that *may* be available. The whole argument of bringing him in is more than likely irrelevant.

The point I was arguing is the use of the word awful to describe Pierre. Pierre is far from awful. Whether or not you want him on your team is your opinion, but to describe him as awful is just a poor choice of words. It's a matter of, as a phan, what you think would work best for the team. Some posters like smallball (like myself) other prefer a different style of play. There's no wrong in that.

It's not "wrongheadedness," it's an opinion.

I don't really see how playing at CBP changes the pythagorean equation and makes offense inherently more valuable. It inflates everyone's offensive numbers, but with regards to the infield they're still seeing the same number of balls as other parks, since the main change is in HR/Fly. So while Helms is still better (given the $ costs) than Feliz or Inge, its still very possible for an inferior offensive player to be a better contributor, in net runs, to the team than a good offenisve player, particularly 3B/SS/2B.

Besides Romero, have the Phillies been mentioned as having interest in ANY reliever this winter? That's the problem. Mike Wood was the only name I've seen mentioned and that was a month ago. That's bothersome considering how the Phillies endured two seasons of dreadful relief. It would take one more reliever like Hawkins before anyone can begin to feel somewhat comfortable with this bullpen. Hopefully they have something in the works because Hawkins and the others who've moved lately would have been ideal.

Relievers are a complete crapshoot. That said, I rather have crap that throws hard in the pen than the likes of Youman and the garbage we grapped in the rule 5.

Reposting part of this from the last thread with all of this Feliz lunacy.

BTW, Feliz is no replacement. He is terrible! It's embarassing that fans would actually be willing to settle for him. Ensberg isn't much better either. I'd still gamble and look into the Rolen debacle. If he can't play for Manuel, I don't know who he could play for anymore. He is also a decent right-handed bat who would compliment our leftty driven line-up nicely and you know he will bring it defensively.

Adding this:

And if you don't want Rolen, Crede and Blalock should be looked into before the awful Feliz and the slightly above awful Ensberg are considered. The Phils have money. They were willing to throw it at Lowell. They need to open up and address third, bring in another outfielder, get another starter, and bring in at least one more bullpen guy (ideally two). Damn cheap bastards will probably skimp on all needed areas...

Waiting on Rowand might be killing their chances, too. They're clearly working within a cap. If Rowand had signed somewhere a month ago, I wonder if they wouldn't have been more active with other moves.

They might be overcomplicating 3B, too. The market demand for 3B is overrated and players like Ensberg and Crede may shake loose soon. There will be enough choices besides three years to Iguchi. One choice is "nothing," which would not be disasterous.

If they're waiting around and setting aside money for Iguchi, that's a mistake. Meanwhile, relievers have dropped off the board.

Weitzel, for what it is worth, MLB Trade Rumors states that the Phils are interested in Damaso Marte.

http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/philadelphia_
phillies/index.html

Feliz is a replacement compared to Helms. We deal with Howards defense at first because he can mash the ball. Why the hell should we overlook inadaquate fielding for inadaquate hitting. Even then, its barely a replacement though.

Ensberg is not in the same boat as Feliz. Ensberg can hit and walk and field. He can be a fulltime league average 3rd baseman.

JW - Yeah. Even the Romero signing is looking the Phils overreached too. I was a fan of the Romero signing initially because I thought the first of maybe two or three moves they might make to really upgrade the bullpen.

It is pretty obvious now that the Phils are obviously counting on Romero to a key setup next year otherwise they wouldn't have paid him $4 M/year.

It looks like the Phils might have been better going after a guy like Riske instead and trying to get a discount LOOGY instead like Miller or even King. Phils ultimately would have spent a bit more money but the bullpen would be better off with a Riske and a Miller/King than just Romero alone.

JMARR: No, I didn't say that. What I did say is that your attitude of "oh it's ok all these opportunities are passing by" is idiotic.

I think there's a strong case to be made for taking Inge over Helms. As for Keith Law, I like his work for the most part, and I don't know why Alby is bashing him for going to Harvard. He is a little harsh on Kendrick though.

Throw this out there:

How about the Phils go after Cameron and sign him to a 1-yr deal?

Now that Cameron has been suspended for the first 25 games of the season, I bet he can be signed to a 1-yr deal at a deep discount. Maybe even as little as $4 M a year.

The Phils could go through the first month of the season with Victorino in CF and Werth in RF. Once Cameron comes back, the Phils could with Cameron in CF and Victorino in RF with Werth/Snelling as their reserves.

Werth still get a decent amount of playing time by splitting team in RF with Victorino and spelling Burrell in LF with an occasional start/defensive replacement.

DaveX: Look at it this way: Because the park maximizes offense, an offensive player with a weak glove will have more value than a defensive player who doesn't hit much. In a park that maximizes defense, the opposite.

Clout - we obviously are arguing different points, lat time I checked Condrey, Rosario, Durbin, Brito et. al weren't making $3.5 Million per ...

I'd actually be pretty ok with signing Cameron if he'd take a 1 year, $4-6 million with additional incentives.

Is it me or do the Phillies seem real hesitant to do deals with incentives though?

JMARR: If you only want the Phillies to go after "sure things," it's going to be a long wait before they ever sign another FA. A one-year deal is about the closest thing you're going to get to a risk-free FA signing. If you think that sigining a decent reliever to a 1-year contract is too risky, I'm not sure what signing could ever meet with your seal of approval.

I don't really see how that's the case, clout, because the park effects will affect both players equally. Conversely, if we had a pitcher's park, it wouldn't suddenly start making sense to employ good field, no hit players just because good hitters would see their stats depressed by the park. The bad hitters' stats will be depressed as well.

BAP/Clout - I wish you guys would simply realize that what I am saying is actually "what I am saying" - not what you think I am saying ....

My point is, has been and will be that it is too friggin early to determine this off-season is a disaster. I will join all of you come pitchers and catchers if Gillick is not able to add to the roster by then ... but to jump off a bridge every time another player is signed by another team is just silly, IT IS DECEMBER 13! Relax.

Looks like the Phils would be trying to out-package the Yankees and Mets among others in a trade for Marte. No reason for optimism there.

JMARR: How can you blame people for their pessimism about the bullpen? Santana, Rodriguez, Alfonseca, Franklin, Gordon, Rule 5ers, Triple-A players. That's what the previous two offseasons looked like under Gillick.

why dont the phils take a shot at mark prior, they were interested a couple years ago, now it seems it is a more low risk high reward type of situation, i mean i know he struggled last year with a 7.21 era but he is still only 27

Why exactly weren't we in the running for Riske, Hawkins, or Gagne? Can't be that Gillick thinks relief isn't a need, and it can't be that ownership isn't willing to spend on them, they'd be willing to spend much more money on Kuroda or Fukodome or Rowand.

Jason - all well and good, my only point is that I'm not ready to declare the off-season a waste yet .... as constituted right now yes, we have a lot of holes .... let's see what happens.

Tray: In a hitters park, an offensive player's contributions will be greater than a defensive player because the defensive player, even though the park will help him, doesn't have the ability to generate as many runs and the runs he stops are not enough to offset the runs he costs by bad offense in an offensive park. If someone can show me factual evidence that shows a defesive player at 3B will save more runs with his glove than he costs with his .680 OPS, I'd love to see it.

Not only is it silly, but it's foolish to ignore the non-moves made by the Mets and Braves. They have no consistent, solid bridge to Billy the Rat. Rafael Soriano does not scare me much because he's a flyball closer.

I also do not understand why the conventional wisdom is so down on Ryan Madson. He had a good 2007 between opening weekend and his injury.

JMARR: But you don't acknowledge that every time a reliever signs with another team or is dealt that the options grow smaller for the Phillies?

Mike H: People are apprehensive about Madson's health.

Mike H. Yep, you're right. Phils are easily 100 game winners. The other teams in the East stink. Not to worry, everything's fine. We're better than last season even, right Mike?

As I said yesterday - yesterday, sweetheart - 85 wins, at best.

I take it back - I said 87.

And I never refer to the Phillies as "we." I don't play for them and I am not on their payroll in any other capacity.

JMARR - Fine but offseason activity will pretty much be over in by the first week of Jan. except for whatever minor moves are made in spring training. Maybe the Phils make some moves between now and then but I don't understand why you have much reason to believe the Phils will make any substantial moves before then.

"But that doesn't explain the desire for speed on offense"

Well, the Phillies always seem to do best when they manufacture runs. Those are the games they have the best chance of winning... rather than waiting on a random key home run from Howard/Utley/Rollins/whoever. That is why people like speed on offense.

However, it would be extremely unwise to make the whole team speedy and powerless. One dimensional teams don't get far. Last year the Phillies had a great combination of speed and power. And to succeed they need a similar approach. Relying solely on power has never proven to work for the Phillies.

Regarding Pierre-- I am not a fan of his and wouldn't really want to see him in Philly. However, I do think that his stolen base percentage would likely improve drastically under the tutelage of Lopes, the way he helped Vic and Rollins.

"If someone can show me factual evidence that shows a defensive player at 3B will save more runs with his glove than he costs with his .680 OPS, I'd love to see it."

It depends, clout, on how much better he is at defense than the offensive player and how much better the offensive player is at offense. I would say that a great defensive third baseman with a .680 OPS is better than a butcher with, say, a .750 OPS. If Inge would really save you 30 hits more than Helms would, as some defensive metrics indicate, that may well offset the offensive difference. In any event, the fact that we play in an offensive park just makes both better, and it may even make defense more important - the more balls being put in play, the more defense matters.

I have the same level of knowledge that we will add a couple of pieces that you and others feel so strongly that we won't. I'm just willing to give the F/O a few more weeks before I get suicidal.

For what its worth, both the Rox and BoSox had, when adjusted for parks, better pitching and defense relative to the league than offense. And both are in rather hitter-friendly environments.

JMARR: But you don't acknowledge that every time a reliever signs with another team or is dealt that the options grow smaller for the Phillies?

Posted by: clout | Sunday, December 09, 2007 at 06:09 PM

Clout - obviously if a player signs with another team they are no longer available - not one of your more enlightened points - but not every time a move is made does it hurt trade opportunities ... for example - if the Yanks add a bullpen piece (let's just say somebody like Hawkins for $4 Million), and that enables them to feel that Farnsworth is now expendable, and we spin Helms to the Yanks for Farnsworth, which leads us to acquiring Crede .... was the Hawkins signing truly a death blow to the Phils moves?

That is all I am saying, let's see how this plays out before we convince ourselves that the roster today is the roster we are going to have on Opening day.

Okay, since I'm suddenly a sage [ ;-) ]

The problem is not that the Phils have not accomplished their off-season objectives. There is, as some have pointed out, some time between now and, say, April. There are also some reasons (as I said earlier: the Santana furor and the Mitchell report) why there is a relative blockage in player movement.

At the same time, some players are moving, including some at positions (i.e. bullpen) that we are in need of. Hawkins, as I seem to remember was one FA player we considered - and a one year deal for a middle reliever, like the one he is rumored to be looking at, would be a good thing.

The real problem here (at Beerleaguer and as a Phils fan in general) is the total bullpatootie we were force fed last year in the name of patience and confidence in the F/O. Some of us just don't buy it any more. The way I hear the various snippets of spin coming from Gillick, the Phils are basically done "tinkering" with the line-up. Snelling and Watson may be joined by the smurf from Pittsburgh as 4th OF options, but it's Werth, baby. And we better get used to the idea of the Cerebrus at third.

The real downside, however, is not the line-up. Even with the holes, the Phils will still be near the top in runs scored. The problem is that post-Lidge, Gillick seems pretty apathetic about the pitching situation. Maybe that's cynicism talking (and I hope it is), but if we enter 2008 with the pitching staff we have, we better not count on the breaks we got this past year.

Oh, and everyone who says, "But look at all the injuries we had in 2007..." Remember there will be injuries in 2008. There may be no KK ready to promote from Reading this time.

But hey, I could see Werth having a 120 OPS+. I could see Howard smacking .285, 55, 145. I could see Vic breaking .300 and stealing 50. Burrell could have an amazing walk year. Myers could win 17 or 18, too. It could happen. But there's also an equally possible downside on all of those hoped for outcomes.

85 wins, at this point, sounds reasonable.

Andy - Pretty much sums up the way I feel. 85 wins +/- 2 wins. Felt the exact same way last offseason and this team's starting rotation was much stronger on paper going into the season last year.

Last year, the starting rotation was Hamels/Myers/Garcia/Moyer/Eaton with Lieber as the odd man out and the bullpen was Gordon/Madson/Geary/Alfonseca/Smith.

This year, the starting rotation as currently constituted is a tarting rotation of Hamels/Myers/Moyer/Kendrick/Eaton? and a bullpen of Lidge/Gordon/Madson/Romero/???

You might be able to say the bullpen will probably be a bit stronger coming out of the gate but just marginally and the rotation looks like it has taken a step back.

Tray: What factual basis do you have to say that Inge would save 30 hits over a Helms/Dobbs platoon? Thirty hits?

JMARR: OK, so even though as each available player goes elsewhere, it really doesn't reduce the chances for the Phils to improve their bullpen. And the Yankees will give us Farnsworth for Helms. Got it, thanks.

I ran those sort of numbers a week or 2 ago and if I remember right its like .68% of balls put into play that were missed by the Helms/Dobbs/Nunez platoon that would have been made by Feliz (based on where balls where put into play against the Phillies, and the % of plays made in and out of zone by all members of the platoon). Thats overall balls put into play against the Phillies regardless of where they go. Anyways, .68% multiplied by about 25 balls put into play per game multiplied by 172 games is 28 hits saved. So by taking Nunez out of that platoon and comparing to Inge instead of Feliz 30 hits is pretty damn close to the right number.

ricky: Based on a bogus stat to begin with. GIGO

What factual basis shows that Wes Helms can be a full time 3B(one season above 300 ABs, none above 500)? Inge and Feliz have shown they can play everyday. I would not be surpised if Helms' numbers over 550 ABs look about or worse than last year.

If he was such a superior hitter in our bandbox what happened last year? Inge+Feliz each had a better year. Both called a pitcher's park home. No one can say for a fact that Guillen, Feliz , Inge or anyone wouldn't hit better moving to CBP. Helms didn't so you can't say everyone but most would agree it is to be expected.

No real question that either of these guys has the better glove than Helms. I posted Win shares last thread that Inge's glove at 3rd was worth double Helms' total body of work from last year. Feliz was better(4.9 wins 8.5 batting)

To go to 2006 the amazing year Helms' had with his bat.

Inge 12.5 5.5 18
Feliz 8.5 5.0 13
Helms 9.3 .8 10


And to the whole small ball/slugging lineup/no hit/good glove debate, we play every non home divisional game in a large pitcher's park.

Obviously cost is important so I advocated Inge for half his contract and none of Helms'. That isn't a possibility obviously.

Also bringing up the whole ability to be an everyday player question, I got to throw Dobbs out there as well. 2 guys who can't play everyday seemingly platooned isn't necessarily a fix to that problem.

But assuming a dobbs/+ one of them RH platoons it seems silly to argue over these guys. Any one should do well in that role. The 2 we don't have just happen to field incredibly better.

Like I said the other day, clout, according to John Dewan's metric, which Bill James seems to think is legit, for whatever that's worth, Inge saves 22 hits more than the average third baseman - I couldn't find Helms's number, but I'm guessing he's worse than average.

Ricky & Tray - There have been stalwart efforts to determine "run prevention" and other defensive measures like range factor and defensive efficiency. There have also been efforts to compare defense to mythical, baseline "replacement players."

For what it's worth, Baseball Prospectus has the likelihood of Wes Helms performing below an average, everyday regular close to 60%. He also correlates to our old friend Ricky Jordan after his Phillies career. His time is running out fast.

thrillhouse, you do realize that Win Shares are a counting stat, right? you can't compare the Win Shares of a guy who had had 280 AB with a guy who had 508 AB.

additionally, US Cellular is not at all a pitchers' park. over the last three years, it's ranked 1st, 2nd, and 4th most favorable for HR.

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