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Friday, January 25, 2008


That's pretty cool to hear stuff straight from the manager's mouth. It really takes a lot of the interpretation out of it and seems to make it cut-and-dry.

If it were me I'd bat Vic 6th from the get-go. Rollins and Vic have worse OB than anyone in that lineup save Ruiz & Dobbs and Rollins ain't going nowhere, so moving Vic down puts more runners on ahead of the big bats. Plus I like the idea of some speed in the lower half.

Doubtful Blackley makes the 25 man roster. Meaning he will have to be offered back to his former club because of Rule 5 status, but I'd love for him to be insurance at Triple A.

If Eaton doesn't start the season on the DL then Chad Durbin is in the bullpen and JD Durbin is without an MLB job unless some club claims him on waivers. Once again, it would be nice to have JD at Triple A as insurance.

If Kendrick cranks it up a couple MPH's on his fastball, he might actually be able to strike someone out.

I automatically love Eric Bruntlett because he's not No-Hit Nunez...contemplating buying his jersey. (j/k..sort of)

92-95mph? What was he topping out at last year? 88-89?

...doubt it

Nah. I'm pretty sure he was topping the low 90s.

My ideal lineup would be:


Breaking up Utley and Howard is vital. If they're back to back, we're too susceptible to being shut down by a good LOOGY. Also, if PtB can duplicate his second half '07, he'll be a major asset in the 3 hole.

Just my $0.02

Jim Callis weighs in a bit on the Phils in 08. Has the Red Sox are the favorites... no real surprise there I guess!

I'm still not a game day decision fan of Charlie Manuel. I still hurt from the Kyle Lohse decision.

But this guy really knows his stuff. JW, I'd like to get your impression of the man.

If you can learn from your mistakes, and he has players that are the quality of folk who look like they can. I think they can add 5 or 6 games to their regular season total and perhaps win a series or two.

Whoa... way to much positivity for Jan25. When do pitchers and catchers report, so I can be more reasonable.

I think Utley needs to stay in the three spot. His power is better utilized there. Keeping Victorino at the 2 spot helps clog up the bases a bit for Utley.

Nice work JW. More useful info here than the past month in the Daily News/Inquirer.

Here is how I interpret this:

1. Setup issue in the bullpen is completely unsettled and Phils are going to employ a mix/max strategy all year. The idea of using Romero for multiple innings is nuts though and I am worried that Cholly will try to lean too heavily on Gordon/Madson resulting in at least one trip to the DL for each pitcher this season.

2. Phils will are looking to fill 2 spots in the bullpen yet (still think the Phils will go with Zagurski as the LOOGY out of the pen as long as his numbers are respectable in spring training). Means C. Durbin has the inside track on one spot (if he is not the No. 5 starter coming out of camp) and Blackley/Condrey have the inside track on other spot. "Real Deal" will be given a shot but the Phils are counting on him at all.

3. Phils (for financial reasons primarily) refuse to acknowledge that the Eaton signing was a complete mistake and will trot him out as the No. 5 starter to begin the season regardless of his results in spring training. Only way he does not begin season as No. 5 starter is if he is on the DL.

4. Lidge is the closer regardless of happens on the field.

5. Bruntlett is going to take over Nunez's role although I doubt he gets as many starts at 3B. Basically means that Cholly is going to burn though his bench and the last 2 spots on this roster are going to be more important than on most teams.

Great set of reports J.W. Good job. Things seem positive for the new year. The lineup is still fearsome and the bullpen is shaping up to be alright with good opportunities for some young fellas to step up and prove themselves. I hope Blackley has enough good stuff to make the roster. MLB could do with more of us Aussies.

Thanks everyone.

I have two more small reports, one I've saved for tomorrow and another for Sunday, and I think they're the best ones. I figured since they're not timely, I can post them anytime and spread them out over the weekend. Also a small opinion piece maybe.

Regarding Howard, I'm not too familiar with his specific contract status, but it may perhaps be relevant that Justin Morneau, a similar sort of player, just got six years for 80 million.

A really interesting article on Slate about a minor league pitcher in the Indians organization (Randy Newsom) who sold shares to investors based upon his potential future earnings.

Includes some background Newsom and the company that is offering shares in him, the viability of this concept, some commentary from John Sickels on Newsom, some estimates on the future worth of his stock from Henry Blodget, and finally some nice conclusions.

Worth a look for:

morneau is three years from FA (i believe) and the deal eats up three years of FA.

I still think 5/70 for howard is fair.

MG: The Slate piece is very amusing. I wish they had actually trading in Newsom shares. I would sell short.

i hear the aqua teen hunger force episode with kruk on it is playing on

Thanks JW!

Elliott, the thing is Howard won't go for that. He wants 7-8 years and around $150 million. Quite frankly, when you look at what other guys who have less of an impact are getting, he could get it if he was a free agent. However, he isn't a free agent. The Phils won't sign him to something like that so my guess is we end up in arbitration every year until he is finally traded. If I'm the Phils, I see what happens this year and try to sign him long-term at the end of the 2008. If it looks undo-able, I make a blockbuster deal sometime in 2009 and move on.

The Twins should have traded Santana at last year's deadline. Everyday they wait, the lower the return will be.

I heard an interview with my homeboy Jayson Stark on XM the other day about the Ryan Howard situation. He said most fans think Howard deserves that, because 10 mil isn't that much in the baseball world for a superstar now-a-days. However, fans are very naive to think he'll take a 5 year 70 mil deal, or even an Albert Pujols like deal because he family is hyping him up so much that they are comparing him to A-Rod's salary status not Pujols.

*In other words Philly- get ready to take it up the bunghole from our big boy Howard. We all love him, but would you lay down that kind of coin (25 mil per season) long-term for him...that's ridiculous since he's not even a free agent until 2012!

Jason, that was all great...but you might want to spread it out a little. You miss one day, and suddenly there are seven stories you want to comment on.

I agree this is more information that the papers have delivered, but give us a chance to digest it!

On the lineup (which I think is a pretty sweet scoop BTW!), I would flip Dobbs and Ruiz, just to break up the LH at the bottom of the lineup.

Carson, so Stark reported that Howard is asking for A-Rod money? I wasn't clear if that was Stark, or your opinion.

If it's true, than the Phils should just go year-to-year until 2011.

Carson wrote:

"... because he family is hyping him up so much that they are comparing him to A-Rod's salary status not Pujols."

Hey, I think I've seen this movie before. For those of you who aren't fans or are too young to remember, look back at the sordid tale of Lindros, Lindros' Dad, and (at that time) Flyers GM Bob Clarke through the mid to late 90's.

Jason, once again, you have outperformed the local Philly papers, and the orally incontinent ham and eggers on local sports radio.

As I have previously said on this site, Beer*Leaguer is invaluable because of the analysis provided by both you and many of the frequent contributors on the site.

The commentary and analysis alone trumps anything to be found in the Inky, DN or on the air.

Now you're scooping them, too. Excellent job!

Stark was saying his family (Howard's) wants him compared to A-Rod and is thus looking for A-Rod type money. I agree on the open market Howard is worth way more than 10 mil a season, but he's not a free agent until 2012 luckily. If he wants a contract extension paying him A-Rod or Manny type money now, that's just a ridiculous want on his behalf because the MLB arbitration/salary structure isn't set up that way...basically Howard doesn't want the "rules" to apply to him.

And before I get slandered for the "rules" comment, I put "rules" in quotations because I know there are no real or cleary defined rules when dealing with this situation, and the Phils could drop 5 years 100 mil on him right now if they wanted to, but that would piss off the rest of the teams in MLB.

Phils propects doing OK in the Claxton Shield tournament in Australia. Queenlands Joel Naughton caught a win for Drew Naylor. Naylor went 5 innings giving up one unearned run. Naughton is hitting .393 (11 for 28) in the tourney. Travis Blackley who went five inning pitched against former farm hand Scott Mitchinson. Mitchinson went 7 innings in a no decision as Western Australia beat Blackley's Victoria team. Brad Harman has gone 5 for 11 for Victoria with a homer but has made a couple of errors at SS.

I'm still not sure why Brad Harmon is even on the 40-man roster...

I must say it's quite remarkable, the total and complete confidence management has that this is a playoff caliber bullpen and nothing can possibly go wrong. They must have incredible insight into the qualities and health of Blackley, Zagurski, Mathieson, Gordon, Condrey et al.

I say this because the Dodgers just signed Mike Myers and Tom Martin to minor league contracts. They, like most teams, are just adding guys as a safety net. If their second bullpen lefty goes down, they have an option. But what if the Phils' second lefty goes down? Oh, wait, that's right, the Phils don't HAVE a second lefty. Never mind.

The thing is Howard should be *overly* thrilled with a 5 year-70 million dollar contract. Hell, he has a good chance of making another 100 million after he reaches free agency. He would be unwise to throw a sh*t fit when talking those amounts of money. I don't even think the Yankees or Red Sox would lock him up at the money he is requesting at this point in his career. He needs to pay his dues, just like every other MLB player.

Carson, great point. As much as I like Howard and want to see him slugging and driving in runs in a Phils' uniform, if he wants ARod type money...he's being more than ridiculous. Even ARod didn't get that type of money until he was an FA.

My only disagreement with others on this site about Howward's current arb request ($10MM), is whether the arbs are likely to choose the Phillies' number($7MM) or Howard's number.

Many seem to think it's a hands down win for the Phillies, but I'm not so sure. I rate the odds at 50/50.

I am completely speculating here, but it's possible the Phillies offered Howard more than $7MM for 2008 and were rejected. The 7MM may have been the arb figure they offered to put pressure on Howard to come to some kind of agreement before Feb 20. Howard's 10MM number may have been purposely high on the other end in order to do the same to the Phillies.

Maybe they really aren't 3MM apart.

clout, GOTHCHA!!!

You're wrong. They do have a second lefty. His name is....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................Vic Darensbourg!

Oh helly yesah! Vic that spells relief. Well not actually.

The Phils should have at least come in with 8 million, since Cabrera ended up with 7.4 last year. It is a bit insulting to come in at a lower number than the highest winner last off-season.

Howard is only fooling himself if he thinks he will get A-Rod money before he reaches free agency.

The pen needs one more guy to step up. Gordon will be on the DL, it's just a matter of how many times. The pen has a chance to be good, but there are a ton of questions and the more arms the better.

AWH, Carson:

Vic what? How come I never heard of that guy??

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