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Friday, January 18, 2008


From the last thread:

Clout: I didn't say moving Helms would be easy. I said it would be done if they bring in Feliz. I don't think Feliz is likely though. Just my gut feeling.

AWH: I agree whole-hearted with you about your payroll statement. The figure of 105M is a smoke screen anyway. Gillick said he will spend if there is a player who can help that they want.

Amaro says Lohse is unlikely to return, meaning they're probably in seriuos negotians with him.

Would have loved to lock up Lidge now to something semi-reasonable (think he would have considered 3/24?). I like our chances on him turning out decent and we could have gotten much more advantageous years/dollars if he pans out. Shades of missing out on locking up Wagner and Rowand the year before free agency.

Hendrickson to the Fish for $1.5 MM. I realize that he wants to start. But for that amount of cash he would have made a fine LOOGY.

How many LOOGYs does a team need?

DaveX depends on how many reliable lefties you have otherwise in the BP. Be nice to have two lefties out there, for instance. (Unless you're thinking that the LHRP position will be filled by Blackley, Castro, Youman, Mazone or that other Vic guy.)

That being said, hey, if the Phils acquired a #3 starter or a reliable set-up, then, hey, why not only have one LHRP? Just don't expect good things after the sixth on the days Kendrick starts.

DaveX: most teams have at least two. Most managers will tell you they need 2 at a minimum and, depending on how many righty starters, sometimes three lefties in the pen.

Dave X, IMO a team needs two LHP in the pen. The Phillies had matchup problems late in games last year because they only had one when the season started (Smith), and when he went down they were forced to bring up Zagurski.

Ideally, you would also like to have a second LHRP who can also get out RH hitters.

SC: I don't think Lidge wanted a longer-term contract, because he's thinking the same way -- he's going to bounce back, have a great year and hit the open market on an up note. It seems top-flight closers can now charge $10 M per season, so he's rolling the dice on increasing his value.

Can anyone explain, with a little depth, how the situation with Howard panned out last year. I am admittedly a little unfamiliar with the actual process of arbitration, but I heard an explanation on 950 that I'm not sure was entirely accurate. If I understand correctly, Howard refused to accept an offer from the Phils for around 1MM, this enabling the front office to renew him at a salary close to his previous year (i.e. $400k or so). Instead, as a sign of "good faith" they paid him $900k for the year. I guess what I'm looking for is some indication as to how much hostility is already in existence between the two sides, and if we are really in for an ugly situation here over the next few years?

Any Lohse news?

Howard had his contract renewed for 900K last year after failing to agreee on a muti-year deal. He was not arb eligable last year. This is his 1st year for that. He cannot be a FA until 2011. so there is no hurry to get a long-term deal done. But it will get done eventually.

On Loshe, RA said they were far apart with him. There is an offer of 3/25 that they put on the table for him and a 1-year deal + player option deal on the table for Feliz. Giants have offered two years.

The Howard situation could get ugly. What the Phils will try to do (a la Utley last year) is to offer Howard a long-term deal to basically 1. to set his salary in stone and 2. Get him to relinquish his arb eligability by accepting a LT deal. But again there is no rush. he is completely under the Phils control.

If they cannot agree to terms before the arb hearing, then Howard's salary will be decided by an arbitrator. That's where it can get ugly. I don't think it'll get that far. The Phils have shown a willingness to lock up their players if they want to Burrell, Abreu, Rollins, Utley). Everyone is assuming Howard will get 7 million this year. That's wrong to do. He may get a LT back-loaded deal. It's hard to say. Or he could get 7, 10, 12, 14 etc. over x amount of years. It all depends on what else the phils have brewing.

There's a difference between having 2 LHP bullpen pitchers and having 2 LOOGYs. The difference being that good pitchers can get both sides out, like Okajima, Fuentes, or even Affedlt from the last two world series teams. Romero and Hendrickson are both significantly below average vs righties and that makes having both of them a pretty bad allocation of money and a roster spot, in my opinion.

The Kendrick/Ruffin was the first insightful piece to appear in the Philly media in the past 2 weeks. Going to being very interesting to watch how Kendrick pitches in spring training and if he is doing anything significantly different.

Dotel has signed 2-year $11M contract with White Sox to be setup man for Jenks.

When are the Phillies going to act on signing Pedro Feliz. With the loss of Rowand, this seems like an obvious move to get some more homers. This guy is a dynamo in the field, and I don't buy the argument that he has a low on-base percentage. The solid glover and home runs will make up for this. C'mon, it's not like Helms and Dobbs are doing anything special. Somehow, get rid of Helms, and keep Dobbs as a keynote bench guy. The lineup would be set. Let's get it done.

rs: Are you familiar with the game of baseball?

You "don't buy the argument that he has a low on-base percentage"?

OBP for hitters is pretty much like ERA for pitchers. Just as you wouldn't really want to sign a pitcher who always puts up a 5.5 ERA, it's generally a bad idea to go after a player who's likely to get on base less than 30 percent of the time.

There's an argument for Feliz--sign him cheap for a year, hit him 8th, give him incentives to be more patient and advise fans to leave the room when he's up--but the OBP thing is not to be minimized.

As for a long-term deal for Lidge, I don't think there's any need for that. If he has a good first few months, maybe revisit it in the summer... but I also think it's possible that Mathieson will emerge as a viable closer for '09 and beyond. Best to wait and see what happens.

dajafi: Feliz's shortcomings go beyond just OBP. His SLG is well below league average as well and ranked near the bottom among all thirdbasemen with 400 or more PAs.

rs: Are you familiar with the game of baseball?


Relax guys, he's right- Feliz is a solid glover. Although Jenkins has more power than Rowand, the Phils are always looking for some more homers.

Priceless indeed!

If the Phils are going to spend any remaining dollars this offseason, it should be for whatever pitching they can bring in. I think Zagurski will be useful done the road as a LOOGY but the Phils need another lefty out of the pen (especially if they insist on using Romero more as a setup guy).

I for the life of me can't understand why people get themselves all worked up into a lather over Feliz. Yes he can field 3rd base better than Dobbs/Helms, but aside from the occassional homerun he sucks offensively. If given the same amount of at bats I'm willing to bet a platoon of Dobbs/Helms would produce just as many homeruns as Feliz with a far better OPS...and OPS for all intents and purposes is the measuring stick for batters. F' Feliz!

Miller and Lohse. These are the two guys I hope the Phils sign. They will at least have filled out their basic pitching needs then (another starter and another lefty reliever).

" If given the same amount of at bats I'm willing to bet a platoon of Dobbs/Helms would produce just as many homeruns as Feliz"

For the record, Feliz hit 20 HRs in 590 PA's last year, and Dobbs/Helms combined to hit 15 in 666 PA's. Feliz has averaged 21 homers a year the last 4 seasons, while Helms has averaged around 6 and Dobbs has only played 1 full season at the age of 29. Now, it's certainly possible that they could, this year, hit more home runs than Feliz. But their career records say bet against it.

You are, of course, correct that they would probably post a higher OPS, although last year Feliz did have a significantly higher OPS+ than Helms. Helms/Dobbs is slightly better offensively than Feliz (pretty much everyone is).

Jack- I dislike Helms very much, but I find it hard to believe he'll duplicate his sh*tty season in '08, so I look for improved numbers. If Manuel plays the platoon properly, Dobbs numbers should stay inline with last season's. I'm not in favor of this platoon situation, but I find it to be the better alternative to Pedro Feliz. And I still believe the homeruns would be close enough between Helms/Dobbs vs. Feliz that it would be a wash.

GM Carson- Probably will be pretty close, but even a rebound for Helms in the power department doesn't mean much. He has hit over 10 homers in a season just 3 times, and 2 of those seasons he hit only 10. He's averaged 300 PA's in each of the last 7 seasons, and averaged less than 9 HR's a season.

I know that you are not a fan of Helms, GM Carson, but I find it amazing that people can support the Dobbs/Helms platoon, especially the Helms side. In his career, he has strictly been a platoon player, and even when playing on his favorable side, against lefties, he has been below-average offensively, with a 96 OPS+. With below-average defense. He's not good, and most likely never will be.

Just reading how dumb Wade was to jump the gun on Tejada. All November, I was obsessed trying to get him here to play third. I figured he would have a big year in our park even though it was common knowledge he was a juicer. Now they are saying he could head to jail. Phils got it right, I was dead wrong. Good job FO, now get lohse and Miller.

Lots of late support being expressed for signing Trever Miller. He's an older arm who finished way down at the bottom among NL relievers last season. Is he someone they could even trust with the game on the line, or is more like a left-handed Rick White?

Jack: I generally step in when someone is being purposefully misleading or disingenuous.

Helms is not an everyday player. He's a righty who kills lefties and he would be part of a platoon with Dobbs. He is anything BUT below average offensively in that role. Even last season, his career bad year, he had an OPS of .791 vs. LHP. His career OPS vs. LHP is .835.

By contrast, your man Feliz has OPS splits of .713 vs. RHP and .742 vs. LHP

Slocs: Before you aplogize let's make sure it was a mistake. It's far, far from certain that Tejada is going to jail.

Jason: It's a mystery to me. The guy turns 35 this season.

Doesn't look like this was brought up yet, but the Phillies offered Ryan Howard $7MM, and he's asking for $10MM in arbitration.

Oh - And it's $550,000 vs. $800,000 for Bruntlett.

I don't want to make it sound like he's ancient or anything, but I question whether Miller would serve enough of a purpose for the Phils. That said, I don't honestly know how much he's asking.

I was almost right on target on my prediction... (in an email to my buddy) 7M versus 9.5M quote from Ryno...

I think he'll end up with 7.5M, if they don't sign a long term deal.

I think the 10 Million, shows the Howard's camp demands. I"m expecting a 10 year 180 Million demand.

Start the "The Phillies would be better of Trading Ryan Howard, I'm not saying they SHOULD do it, but they may be better off in the long run not dumping all their money in a one-dimensional strike out machine, like Rob Deer." conversation we haven't had in a while.

Affeldt is a slightly better bet than Miller. He has emergency starter capablities also. He had a decent yr for COL last yr.. 3.51 1.36 WHIP only 3 HR in 59 IP

plus he's only 29 good age for a lefty

Mike C: With RSB gone, I'm not sure who can get the ball rolling by saying, "The Phillies are better off without Howard..."

Ryan Howard for Johan Santana.

Do you do it? Do the Twins?

longwood: The Twins would do it in one second.

From the clueless Philadelphia media quote of the week. John Smallwood just said on "Daily News Live"
"The Phillies should just give Howard a 6yr./$60 million contract"
Mike Kern's head almost spun off. John-I'm sure Howard would sign that deal you idiot.
Does the media have any understanding of the pay structure & arbitration in baseball?

I'd say Affeldt is a much better bet than Miller. Affeldt is a difference maker, and Miller is not. The Phillies need help in the eighth and ninth inning. Until they get it, I just don't think anyone less - like Miller - makes much difference.

The Phillies aren't trading Ryan Howard, and believe me- you don't want them to...

If the Phils traded Ryan Howard, they wouldn't do it after a .310 50hr 150rbi year, they'd do it after a .186 17hr 38rbi year. You know how things work around here:

1) The front office starts spreading lies about our superstar's selfish demands.

2) Howard Eskin repeats "we'll never win a championship with this guy" 100,000,000,000 times.

3) Due to our collective stupidity and obsession with "blue-collar" athletes, we eventually begin to believe the front office's propaganda.

4) We boo our superstar mercilessly everytime he comes to bat. A new generation of young Philly sports fans feel their hearts break for the first time.

5) Our booing gets to the Superstar and he goes on an epic slump- the worst of his career. He gets put on the 15 day DL for a pulled muscle/severe depression. He fails to make the all-star team for the 1st time since his rookie year.

6) Superstar is traded for a former closer and a trio of toolsy prospects that can't hit. The media calls the move "addition by subtraction".

7) Our billionaire owners save millions of dollars. They celebrate by buying themselves bigger yachts.

8) We waste our summer watching a mediocre ballclub. Frustrated by their lack of progress, we turn away and watch the giant yachts pass by at the Jersey Shore. We wonder who can afford a boat like that...

9) Repeat ad infinitium

He might not get 10MM/yr, but I'm sure everyone here would agree that Ryan Howard is worth it.

Howard's agent clearly wants a record # for a first year arb guy.

The Phillies clearly don't want to be the team that pays it (too much explaining to the commish's office, you see).

It will be interesting to see how it plays out, and whether the Phillies can manage the situation without alienating Howard.

On Howard's side...since he became a full-time player in 2005, Howard leads ALL OF BASEBALL in HRs and RBIs, is extremely popular and draws fans to the park (both home and away), is extremely marketable and great with fans.

On the Phillies' side, he's subpar defensively, overweight and strikes out a lot.

great post, so true

AWH, i agree with you, we should keep him, but i dont think going year to year with him is a bad thing. he is already closer to 30 than 25 and his defense won't get any better, especially if he doesn't drop some pounds around the midsection (must love those cheesesteaks and schmitters). i would imagine a scenario in 2 or 3 more seasons (towards the end of his arb yrs) that we can spin him for some top flight pitching and prospects (like the twins are trying to do with johan). We can then move utley to first, as he will be getting a little older and his D will probably slip a bit, and slot cardenas in at second.

i also think howard is being a little greedy. apparently the phillies offered howard a bigger number than they gave him last yr but he turned it down because he didnt think it was high enough. They then chose to renew him for the other offer they had, which still tied the record for largest salary to a non-arb eligible player. He then flipped out at the media at one point last spring/winter when asked about it saying "ask them, they have all the money". I dont see him as being nearly as team loyal as utley, rollins or burrell.

JW - Agreed on that Affeldt can be a potential difference maker in the 8th/9th and Miller is not. Still, missing the point. The Phils really need another lefty out of the pen since they are going to utilize Romero as a setup guy. Basically need a guy who can come in from the 6th to 8th innings to get the tough lefty out/or turn out a switch hitter.

Zagurski might be ready for this role next year but he needs more time in the minors. That is why bringing in a guy like Miller (or even Ron Villone) at a discount bargain rate for 1-year isn't a bad move. Hell, they might even be able to sign a guy like Miller to near veteran league minimum.

There is no way the Phils are going to commit 3/$12-$13 M to Affeldt. This is one case where I support the Phils. Affeldt essentially has one decent year as a reliever and consistently has had injury problems his entire career. This is exactly the type of player who you get burned signing. Rather have the Phils take the discount bargain route here, have a stopgap measure for a year, and attempt to resign Lohse instead.

I am just willing to bet the Phils do nothing instead and once again try to force Zagurski into a role he is not ready for yet because the Phils are unwilling to spend the $750k or so to sign a guy like Miller/Villone.

Its is interesting but neither the Braves nor the Mets as currently constituted really have that many match up problems against LHP.

This isn't potentially the case with the Phils and I really wonder how Cholly is going to structure the Phils' lineup against LHP. Does he put Utley and Howard back-to-back again?

Against LHP this is how I see Cholly staring out the season:


I am just not crazy about this lineup. A situational lefty can be utilized for Utley/Howard and I really think the Phils are going to miss Rowand's production. Guess I am kind of leary counting on Werth being able to produce at the same level again or Helms improving much.

If Miller commands less than a mil, I'm all for it. Even if it's 1.5 million, I'm for it. Agreed they need another lefty. But I just don't think Miller strengthens the bullpen to a significant degree. Among the many disagreements here, this one comes in at a 1 out of 10.

Before the post-season arrived I was suggesting Affeldt as a LHRP. His stats for '07 are kind of interesting, in a way that either is a "red flag" or a "good thing;" I'm not sure which way to interpret them. Over his career, his platton splits were ordinary - better against lefties than righties. BUT, this past year, his best year out of the pen, his splits were reversed. he was better against righties than lefties. This might mean:

1) Nothing; just a coincidental fluctuation.

2) He has become less effective against lefties and will not work as a LOOGY.

3) He has become better against righties and it took them by surprise.

I lean toward #1, but worry about #2. If we signed him only to discover he couldn't handle lefties, that might prove problematic, especially because we only have one lefty in the pen right now.

"Dotel has signed 2-year $11M contract with White Sox to be setup man for Jenks."

clout - another way of reading your post:
"The Phils have failed to sign Dotel to be a set-up man for Lidge."

Dotel isn't signed yet, according to his agent. mlbtr

Dotel has not signed yet, Dotel's agent said that report was false and that 6 teams are still in the mix. Let's hope the Phillies are one of these 6 teams.

Dotel is the example of a perfect tease and another guy I don't miss seeing the Phils pass on. Surprised that any team gave him more than a 1-yr deal considering he hasn't been healthy since end of 2004 season.

I still see the biggest gap right now in regards to pitching as the No. 5 starter spot because the Phils are going to throw a bunch of wannabes and long shots out there.

Lohse isn't lights out by any means but I am willing to bet he would be a big improvement over the likes of Eaton who is damaged goods or either Durbin out of the No. 5 spot. Plus, Lohse has proven that he can stay healthy and it is very likely the Phils will need another starter this season if they resign Lohse.

As far as Howard getting 10 mil vs 7 mil. If it goes to arbitration the 3 man board will decide which amount he will receive (no in between)

MG: So you like the bullpen? It doesn't need any help?

Andy - the obvious 4th choice on Affeldt: Left-handed steroids.

Hopefully, even if Ryan Howard doesn't win his arbitration case, he'll be able to take solace in the fact that a web site like exists...

No but one of the Durbins or Happ as the No. 5 starter coming out of spring training will be a bigger issue than the bullpen as currently constituted.

Clout, isn't it a little kind to Helms to say he "kills lefties" if his career OPS against them is just .835? That's above average, but I think "kills" would have to be something more like .900 or above - at least .880. I have to admit that some of the claims being made for Feliz are ridiculous, but it certainly isn't as if the Helms/Dobbs platoon is that good offensively. Especially when you consider that Charlie seems unwilling to run a really strict platoon. Last year, 60% of Helms's at-bats were against righties, in spite of the fact that he hit .221 against them.

I am not sure Howard is being greedy. I think he and his agent reacted to the reports in the press over the last few weeks that said the Phillies were going to offer somewhere in the region of $7M. If you knew that in advance what would be your counter offer?

Good Morning everyone. Happy Saturday!

We have a GREAT Team!!! Have a glass of fresh squeezed orange juice and enjoy your day!

Remember not to long ago we had Travis Lee, and Marlon Anderson at 1st and 2nd Base, and Dave Coggins, Brandon Duckworth, and Nelson "Figgy" Figueroa, in the 3rd, 4th, and 5th Starter spots.

Oh and Joe Roa too.

I think the Phils need to sign Lohse because it puts them in a better situation now, and for the next few years.

We all must assume this is Moyers Last season, and even if it isn't, by 2009 he cannot be more than an occassional spot starter, thats just the reality.

If Kendrick can produce at the same level or an improved level this season, it means the top of our rotation is pretty much set. Signing Lohse solidifies our No 4 in the rotation, and then we can play around with the Eaton/Moyer/Minor League Callup/FA in the 5th spot in 2009 and 2010.

Since the Phillies will not be able to trade for a serviceable pitcher(as they have no farm depth) it pretty much makes it neccessary to sign a low injury risk, .500 pitcher.

It's really not that difficult, since the choices are a gun to your head, or sign Lohse. I'm fine with the fact they are waiting, because I'm sure Boras is probably being unreasonable on the price, but i think it will happen, and probably before Feburary 1st.

A dose of SirAlden so early on the weekend...ahh, refreshing!

Personally I'd rather have the Phils sign Trevor Miller to 1 year 1.5 than sign Affeldt to 3 year 12 mil. I am very unimpressed with Affeldt's career #'s, and think he'd be good at times, but we'd really end up regretting giving him that many years and that many millions...sort of how I feel about the JC Romero contract.

MG: Until someone says otherwise, the 5th starter is Eaton, not Happ or Durbin. And the setup man is Gordon, not Romero. And those facts are the heart of the problem on the pitching staff. Should Eaton or Gordon flop or get hurt, there's no certain adequate alternative.

Tray: To me, nearly 100 points of OPS, which is what Helms has on Feliz vs. LHP, is a pretty good margin. Also, Helms OPS vs. LHP over the past 3 years (including last season's career stinker) is .861. That would've been the 5th best on last season's team behind only Burrell, Rowand, Utley & Rollins. But, you're right, it is probably more accurate to say he kills LHP compared to Feliz and is above league average overall against them.

According to a Cubs source, Orioles owner Peter Angelos killed a 7-for-2 trade this week that would have sent second baseman Brian Roberts, an Angelos favorite, and left-handed pitcher Erik Bedard to the Cubs.

Thank goodness for Angelos. With Zambrano and Bedard, the Cubs would give the Dbacks a heck of a run and the Phils and Mets would have a heck of time.

clout, stop being reasonable!

Alden, where can I buy another pair of the rose-colored glasses you're wearing? Are you and your cohorts in the Phillies' marketing department going to be selling them at the ballpark this season?

Alden, just FYI, David Coggin (no plurality) was a first round draft pick (and, remember how much you LOVE draft picks so he must have been good...right?). Injuries are what did Coggin in. He actually had excellent stuff before then that could have been developed.

It amazes me, Alden, how you can, in one post, praise Gillick and Phillies' mgmt. for their holding on to draft picks, because draft picks will certainly yield good players.

Then, later, when you think no one will remember, you include David Coggin (former 1st rounder) in a post about how much better things are today then when he was pitching for the team, assuming we're too stupid to remember what you've written here, and that we won't see the self-contradiction and hypocricy.

By the logical extension of your previous argument touting draft picks , the pitching staff, with David Coggin on it, should have been lights out - at least when he was taking his turn.

So, which is it?

BTW, Alden, before you rip Nelson Figueroa, remember that he was one of the products of the Schilling trade. The Phillies' management geniuses you so love made that trade. Is it coming back to you?

I am not defending management Pre-Gillick silly gooses.

I hate the Gang of of Seven.

So the Gang of Seven, and Stacy the bubble-gum chewing friend of your sister broke your heart in 2001. Get Over It People.

Or go root for the Baltimore Orioles you pussys. LOL

We have a GREAT Team!!!

Raise your hand if you are a member of the PUSSIES INTERRUPTED chat, gab, and complain group.

The Bus will be taking you girls to Camden Yards.

I'm not sure why the love for Trevor Miller, he's not very good. Affeldt makes sense, he's a decent, league average left-hander, although his splits against LH's aren't anything special. He would be a solid bullpen option, probably in Geary's role last year as the go-to guy in the middle of an inning. I would like the back end of the bullpen with him, Romero, Gordon (whatever he gives you), and Lidge. When I say like, I don't mean it literally, but I mean I would be ok with it. Everything is relative when talking about the Phillies bullpen.

My guess though is that Affeldt will cost too much.

Clout at $4 million dollars per for 3 years and an option year, I just don't think that the Phillies re-signed Juan Carlos to be a LOOGY. After his stretch drive last year, I'd have to imagine the set-up role is his to lose. Remember, this is likely Gordon's last year -- the Phils will only be on the hook for a declined option for `09.

I haven't seen anything definitive that says that Gordon is the set up guy for this year. Have you? If so, could you give me the citation or link? Thank you.

MPN: That's a great question and one I intend to ask during Thursday's media session in Reading. Manuel, Romero and Lidge will be there.

Oh dear, Alden! I gave up bubble-gum so long ago. And I never broke anyone's heart but yours.

MPN: Manuel has said that Gordon is the setup man. To say that the 36 inning sample Romero gave the Phils last year (maybe less than half those innings in an actual setup situation) is what the Phils should expect, while ignoring the stats from his entire career before that is absurd in the extreme. Romero will NOT be the setup man. He is what he's been his entire career except for a handful of innings last season: A LOOGY.

I agree with Clout - the set-up spot is Gordon's to lose. When he struggles/gets injured or both occur, I think you see Romero get the first crack at that spot followed by Mad-dog.

On days that Lidge can't close - I think you see Romero setting up Gordon. That is where I start to get REALLY nervous.

Actually, after Gordon goes down, I imagine Chollie will pick his "set-up" (and we need to use that term rather loosely) based on the platoon splits relative to the other team's line-up. Two lefties due up? It's J.C. Three righties? Madson. Something else? Whoever wins the coin toss.

Romero's never been a LOOGY in his career.

That is, he's never been used like one, despite the fact that maybe he should have been.

Dave X: Technically, you're correct, since the strictest definition is Lefty One-out Guy, and Mike Myers is sort of the template for that. Romero has not been routinely yanked when a righty is comes up. But the fact is, Romero's value is in getting lefties out and his career stats vs. righties are poor. That does not meet anyone's definition of a setup man.

Man, that 2001 team was one of my favorite Phillies teams. We should have won the division that year.

Clout: Where did he say it? I.e., where can I find the source?

JW: Will be interesting to hear what you find out. Charlie is a creature of habit, so I could see it going either way, but I think the money given to Romero points to a bigger role.

per MLBTR: Reds sign Affeldt, $3mil 1 yr

Clout: no doubt that Helms is a much better offensive player than Feliz. Nevertheless, despite the nature of the park and the fact that we have quality defenders at second and short, I'd still like someone who we know can play third well, even if he is an offensive nullity.

As for Romero, he was great against both sides last year, but that was a career year and I don't think he's going to come anywhere close to repeating it. Unless he made some major mechanical change last season, but all the evidence I've seen is that he just had a really low BABIP. Even his strikeouts per inning weren't way out ahead of his career averages.

Also, doesn't it get tiring seeing us pass up on all the veteran relievers? Now Affeldt's off the market. It's almost as if Gillick holds a view you often see espoused on this site - namely, that relievers are too risky and inconsistent to invest much of your salary in, so it's best to just sign filler and hope your call-ups will pitch well. I don't think I have to say how stupid I think that is.

Ugh. I am really disappointed that the Phils didn't attempt to sign Affeldt if he only got a 1-year deal. Funny how teams like the Reds are doing everything they can to upgrade their pitching staff (sign Cordero and Affeldt and still trying to get another frontline starter) while the Phils have essentially sat on their hands.

If they end up spending that money on Feliz instead, I am going to be pissed. Just like last season when they threw away money on Barajas.

Pitching-wise I guess it comes down to this - what do you see the Phils bigger weakness right now?

I still stay it is the No. 5 starter. I don't think Eaton is healthy and will start the season on the DL. Plus, the Phils really don't have a viable alternative right now that is ready.

Basically I am willing to bet the Phils go with C. Durbin out of spring training, try a few alternatives (Happ?, Blackley?) when he gets pounded in 3-4 April starts, and probably have to quickly promote another one of the younger kids (Savery?, Carrasco?) by late June if they are pitching well.

It has been the Phils' pattern the past 2 years and I don't see it changing this season.

The backend of the bullpen looks "ok" on paper but that is assuming that Gordon stays healthy/effective all season (Vegas Odds would have to be at 15:1 on Gordon giving the Phils 50+ innings with an ERA under 3.50).

The worst-case scenario for the Phils would be not signing any additional pitching and Eaton and Gordon starting the season on the DL. If that happens, I don't see how the Phils will get out to a solid start in April.

the reds signed affedlt to start, thats why we porbably didnt get him

Tray: "despite the nature of the park and the fact that we have quality defenders at second and short, I'd still like someone who we know can play third well, even if he is an offensive nullity."

Then you would favor re-signing Nunez and installing him as the everyday thirdbaseman. Fascinating.

MPN: Did you read or hear anything that said Romero will be the setup man? Where did you see it? I.e., where can I find the source?

I agree with what GM-Carson up earlier in the thread....there is no way (probably) Helms can suck as bad as he did last year. I say let it fly with him and Dobbs to start the season and hope for the best. If that doesnt work, go to plan B. I dont know what plan B would be, but I know that Pedor Feliz would be about my plan K.

Tray, MG: Good points on the bullpen. Maybe Gillick has some inside knowledge that says Gordon is in terrific shape, no pain etc. They've made no attempt at all to get bullpen help, yet it's obvious there's no safety net should Gordon or anyone else go down with injury or Lidge be as inconsistent as he's been the past 2 seasons. Clearly the FO knows something we don't. That's certainly SirAlden's theory.

Ben: I'm with you. K as in "Krap."

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EST. 2005

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