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Wednesday, January 02, 2008


What does that tell you about the state of the Orioles farm system? Or am I assuming that they have zero 28-29 year old filler anywhere? Not a single Frederick Key to be had...

We won't have Chris Roberson to kick around anymore.

The game in September against the Braves probably sealed his fate. Manuel lost confidence in him as a defensive replacement, so he no longer had a role with the big club. Apparently he is a class guy. I wish him well.

From the previous thread. MG, I would argue Roberson has a plus outfield arm. Not Victorino, but better than any of the other Philly outfielders I saw last year. is also reporting that "Catcher Pete Laforest was outrighted to triple-A Lehigh Valley and will attend major league spring training as a non-roster invitee."

So we are back to 40 now .

Well hopefully Trever Miller signs soon. The other guy we liked John Parrish, just took a minor league deal with Toronto.

stjoehawk: That happened awhile ago. LaForest wasn't on the 40-man as posted on

BM: Still at 41 I believe. The Taguchi signing cancelled out that earlier LaForest move.

Roberson has no value in a trade but probably more value than outright release because of his speed. No team was going to trade a prospect for a 28-year-old minor leaguer. Phils should be satisfied with cash. It's a great opportunity for Roberson also. He'll see action in Baltimore.

Regarding the proposed deal by baxter from last thread: Jaramillo for Capuano:

The Brewers GM would be tarred and feathered if he made that trade and rightly so. File this one under "Never gonna happen."

"That happened awhile ago. LaForest wasn't on the 40-man as posted on"

Ah... Hadn't noticed that, and the Phillies reported it along with the Roberson news, so I thought it was new. Oh well.

Jason: Agree 100% on Roberson. He's a fringe player at best, as are nearly all the position players in the Phils farm system. Cash is about the best the Phils could hope for.

The guy the O's DFAed to make room for Roberson, Jeff Fiorentino, could actually turn out to be a decent backup. He's 3 years younger than Roberson and has better minor league stats. Odd move unless they have a trade in the works for him.

clout, this is just like the Abreu deal (sort of); it was a salary dump. We send Roberson to Baltimore and the Phillies don't have to pay his salary! LOL!

I always wonder about "cash considerations." How much is "cash considerations?" Thousands? Tens of thousands? Hundreds of thousands? With a AAAA player like Roberson, a SH with speed, some good tools and MLB experience, you have to wonder how much cash is enough. Just as importantly, his departure for cash means they've given up on including him in a trade package. Is this a sign that they're done?

To the last commentor: Your comments are good ones. Come up with a handle so we can address you.

"He was named the Phillies' best minor league player and Eastern League rookie of the year in 2005 after hitting .311/.365/.465 with AA Reading".

Hopefully some of those talent evaluators are not still around or the system has gotten somewhat better.

Jason: That was me. Don't know why the name didn't post.

JB - the Owens Award seems to be used, actually, for motivation more than actual demonstrated talent. If Quintin Berry (this year's winner) is the best position player in our system, we're in trouble. (He's good; but...)

JW - I think that is the poster formerly know as "clout".

It is his Prince 2008 thing.

Andy: I think the reason they gave up on including Roberson as part of a trade package is that there is virtually no demand for a player of his limited skills. Cash is the best they could hope for.

"poster formerly know as "clout"."

JB, thanks for the chuckle.

poster formerly know as "clout" - you're right, of course. (Still, some donuts woulda been nice.) Any idea what they mean in terms of cash? Is the "cash considerations" enough to help with Gillick's "budget considerations?"

"Cash is the best they could hope for."

Exactly. I'm going to assume the Phillies probably got little cash in the deal. "Cash considerations" is fairly empty term. "Future considerations" being the emptiest.

Andy - good call.

It almost sounds like that they should re-name it the Pat Gillick award then.

JB - or the "future considerations" award (a la Jason).

I can't see clout not using, as Jason says, his handle. I prefer the terms "avatar", "alter-ego", "security name', "psuedonym", "pen name", "cover name", "alias", "secret agent fake identity", "witness protection new name", or "secret identity".

LF - in the case of the poster formerly known as clout, I kinda prefer: "secret agent fake identity." He's workin for the CIA keepin tabs on all those bizarros who stick with the Phils.

Getting cash for Roberson amazes me...I though he'd just be released.

Pure subjective reaction based on limited data. On TV and in person over the season I saw Roberson demonstrate good speed in the OF, make a couple of diving catches, and show off a pretty good arm. Based on this limited exposure, he seemed to me like a good role player who might, just might become something more.

Then came the Atlanta debacle, and I don't recall ever seeing him after that. Still not sure which was the real Roberson, but after the Atlanta meltdown I can't argue with the Phils decision to move on.

But, Carson, the O's sent us enough cash to buy some, ummm, well, we're not sure yet - Gillick still has to go down to the grocery store, put the quarter in the little machine and turn the crank.

I think getting cash for Roberson shows how much the value of the US dollar has declined.

Hopefully the O's svaed some money for a few cases of eye black for him.

errr... saved

Can't really complain about getting something for Roberson. Probably won't translate into something tangible on the field... but Roberson was never exciting to me so I sure don't care.

Quick sideline off topic:

Sports Illustrated end of year issue predicts Chase Utley to win 2008 MVP. May be a bit of tongue in cheek there.

Also, spent last night as probably the only person in the USA watching original broadcasts of the 1970 Orioles/Reds series on an Orioles channel instead of college football. Call it crazy, but at this time of year, it was great to watch Jim Palmer, Charlie Hustle, Brooks & Frank, etc. at their best.

Over and out. Back to Roberson.

Question to everyone: In your opinion, what will the Phillies 25-Man roster look like it will be at this moment?

Aw Bob, you weren't interested in watching USC steamroll the Illini; or Georgia pasting Hawaii?! Gee, Bob, I was with you in not watching those games. At least you had some good baseball nostalgia to watch. I did check in from time to time to get a score.

I was really disappointed in last season's nat'l champs losing to Michigan. LSU could barely beat the Gators during the regular season and Ohio State beat Michigan, so that means that Ohio State has a chance against LSU in what almost amounts to a home game for the purple and gold Tigers.

Its hilarious how even a minor thing like the Roberson trade can instantly draw out Beerleaguers desperate for even a whiff of a legit news item related to the Phils.

Actually, given the paucity of real news, it was beginning to get kind of dead here. I was wondering if I should post as Jack or clout and start some outrageous argument about closers or defensive thirdbasemen. (I would never assume someone's real identity, though.)

I would just make up an this:

This headline reminds me of those "Sell your timeshare FOR CASH!!" type commercials. Perhaps Roberson could cameo in one of those.

Even with Roberson gone, the Phils are still gonna lose 100 games.

Imposters are always the sincerest form of a complement.

Never I had said this team will lose 100 games and this is also no chance they will win 100 games either next year.

My early slogan for '08 - "East or Bust" but need something that rhymes.

shane: Except for the last 2 or 3 spots (Condrey, Youman, Coste) the 25-man seems pretty set as it now stands.

SP: Hamels, Myers, Moyer, Kendrick, Eaton
RP: Lidge, Gordon, Romero, Madson, Durbin, Youman, Condrey.
C: Ruiz, Coste.
INF: Howard, Utley, Rollins, Helms, Dobbs, Bruntlett.
OF: Jenkins, Werth, Victorino, Burrell, Taguchi.

MG: "East of Least" ...naahh that sucks.

that shpould have been: 'East or Least'

not only did is suck, but my typing is lousy as well

poster formerly know as "clout", I agree with your roster, but every time I see Eaton's name written into the starting rotation my reaction is somewhere between cringing and screeching "OH NO!"

That's C. Durbin by the way, not J.D.

Clout, Agree with your projected roster and as things stand there are only 3 roster spots with competition.

1. Backup catcher -- Coste vs Jamarillo
2. 2nd lefty in pen -- Youman vs Zagurski, Castro, and Smith
3. Mop up relief - Condrey vs Bisenius, J.D Durbin, Holdzkom, and Rosario

Blackley and Happ's only chance is injury to one of our starters. Ditto for Snelling for bench role.

Billy Mac: Agree with you totally.

Add Vic Darensbourg as competition for Youman's spot too.

I'd like to thank you all (at least those with long memories) for not taking this opportunity to dump on me.

Two years ago, I thought Roberson was a real dark horse to help the Phillies. I saw a guy who could hit with alleys power, run, play defense, basically might be good enough to become a fourth outfielder and maybe even give Burrell a run for his money.

Hell, I *should* be dumped on for that. It's difficult to be any more wrong.


The 2008 Phillies: No Lead is Safe!

RSB: You were right about everything but hit. There was never any evidence that Roberson could hit. He was old for his league at every level in the minors and even then, except for one year, his numbers weren't dazzling.

It was a brutal year in Reading the year Roberson won EL rookie of the year. His 2005 season sounds better than it actually was, especially considering his advanced age. He and Bourn combined for a ton of strikeouts under a bad manager in Steve Swisher. Roberson set a R-Phils record for hits that season (as I recall), but since then has just been a so-so player at Triple-A. Actually, his season in Ottawa was pretty lousy.

I'm actually rooting for Darensbourg to do well in the spring and earn the 2nd lefty spot in the bullpen.

That statement may come back and haunt me come April.

"East at least"?

RSB: WIP just reported that you were sent along with Roberson to the Orioles for future considerations.

As I read through the thread, I was trying to think of a proper response to RSB, but Mike just nailed it. Kudos.

RSB - To make you feel at home, before I discovered beerleaguer, last ST or so, I thouight that Wes Helms was a dynamite acquisition. We're all wrong occasionally. Except for the poster formerly known as clout.

"clout - "I am often wrong." "

(I just love that quote.)

And I am so glad that we're not forgetting:

More honestly, I am holding out hope that Holdzcom beats out Condrey. But it would probably turn out bad. Still, there's always a warm, smarmy feeling when you take someone else's unprotected minor leaguer and he turns into something useful.

I know most of the comments on this subject have been tongue in cheek, but for anyone who took it seriously, there is zero chance of Darensbourg going north with this team.

Andy: Until Helms is no longer on the team, there is a chance he could be a good acquisition, no?

Clout: To continue from last thread, another reason for the wide vote disparity regards voting patterns themselves. Gossage, IIRC, started out a little under 50% and dipped below 40 at one point before starting his climb. With no new superstar on the ballot, this is his window. The same might happen for Smith, especially as his eligibility wears on. At some point the voters realize hey, this could be my last shot for him. I think you'll see a bit of that with Blyleven and John this year, as voters put their achievements into better (or at least different) historical perspective.

At any rate, I think if Gossage gets in it helps pave the way for Smith, just as Sutter helped pave the way for Gossage, as relief pitchers become an established part of the Hall just as they became an established part of the game -- gradually, grudgingly, and without an overwhelming amount of respect.

On the ERA+ for relievers, using career numbers has an inherent flaw, too -- unless you're more adept at math than me, it's hard to weed out, say, Gossage's last five years, when he was basically a tad over league average mop-up guy. Or to delete his season as a starter (91 ERA+) from his stats as a reliever.

By most stats (except saves, obviously), these two are a wash -- Gossage 3.01 career ERA, Smith 3.03 -- so I'm glad I got to see both of them pitch. IMHO, Gossage was the better, more dominant pitcher.

BTW, 43 days until pitchers and catchers report.

On the current Phillies 40-man roster - Geoff Jenkins had the most HRs in 2003 with 28 dingers for the Brew Crew.

Which player had the second most with 23 home runs that year????

JB - Burrell.

Mike - I always knew that if I were traded, I'd find out first on Beerleaguer. I figure my 68 mph heater has a good chance to crack the O's pitching staff...

Alby: Since the statistics don't support your opinion -- that Gossage was better and more dominant than Smith -- (in fact they don't come close to supporting that; as you say, it's a wash) that's indeed what it is -- your opinion.

RSB - Probably the obvious answer and before I fall asleep the answer is actually one Wes "Carson He Hates Me" Helms who was Jenkin's teammate that year in Milwaukee.

Maybe as Yogi would say it will be "deja vu all over again".

Um, how about "At Least the East". As in "At the very least, the Phils win the East." At least one playoff series win is a reachable goal.

I do love Coste and appreciate him for his effort, but one tweak of a limb or a cold spring would open the door for Jaramillo.

I also like Condrey's chances this year. A few horrible appearances aside, he was put into some pressure situations and succeeded.

I'm just shocked that we really aren't going to sign another set-up guy. All we've got, currently, is 3 legit relievers, one former closer whose arm is completely shot, and a lot of junk. If I'm not mistaken, our 2007 team had one of the two or three worst pitching staffs in the history of MLB playoff qualifiers (simply gauged by team ERA); it would really be tempting fate to hope for another act of God.

cool they will need that cash ..for that cheesy give away when fans out of the crowd compete to pick up the most cash in a minute.

Maybe they will have that in a game against the Orioles where they announce....This cash came from the Robertson deal.

And the fans have to wear sunglasses...And as the fans gather cash somehow it happens to skip off their finger tips.

Now Jeff Stone can rest in peace...

I like s97's 2008 Phillies slogan: No Lead Is Safe. This goes both ways as the Phillies can catch up to anybody late in a game, or blow a big lead late in the game. Monty and his crew would like to use this slogan to keep people from leaving games early, so they can stay in the stands and buy more concessions and overpriced alcoholic beverages.

LF - I personally prefer: "Got Vic?"
We can use it for Shane, of course, and for






(I bet the poster formerly known as clout saw that coming.)

Is it a league rule that stadiums can't serve alcoholic beverages after the seventh inning? Or is it arbitrary? The No Lead is Safe campaign could compel the Phillies and Aramark to extend that for two hours past game's end at minimum, or at least build a several-acre extension to McFadden's.

formerly clout -
How about Mark Hendrickson? As a cheap (maybe) FA LOOGY. Dumb idea?

Andy: Hendrickson really isn't a LOOGY. He's the lefty equivilent of Chad Durbin, a swingman who's useful in middle relief or the back end of a rotation. Also, I'm not sure how cheap he'll be. He made $2.9M last season and will get more than that from a bad team that needs a starter, I suspect.

Mark S: That's the best idea I've seen on here in a long, long time.

Tray: I know I have a reputation as being a rosy optimist, a Pollyanna, a naive Candide, a glass half full kind of guy, so I honestly think that PG will try to upgrade the bullpen beyond just signing Lidge. I think he realizes that counting on Gordon as his setup man all season would be idiotic. I think he understands that Romero's 2007 performance was a fluke and he shouldn't be more than a LOOGY. I think he knows that Condrey & Youmans is a pretty sad bullpen back end. And I'm confident he'll go get someone. He's just biding his time, waiting to pounce.

OK Matt Clement has expressed an interest in signing with a team close to his Butler, Pa., home. The Pirates rotation is set and Cleveland hasn't shown much interest. Wouldn't an incentive laden offer from the Phils be worth the gamble? Even if it takes half a season for him to be fully healthy wouldn't he be nice to have when one of the starters implodes or gets hurt? Just askin'.

I read that as well about wanting to stay closer to home and an incentive-laden deal wouldn't be a bad idea. However, I would suspect Clement would rather be in the AL given the choice. Doesn't he have really bad asthma that kicks up when he runs the bases?

Clout: Absolutely. Most of the remaining FAs - Benson, Colon, Clement - would fall into the incentive-laden deal category. With Howard's arbitration looming, the question is whether the Phils are willing to raise the payroll cap many of us believe guides their decision-making. It wouldn't make sense otherwise. The fact they scouted Benson, pursued Kuroda for a little while and signed C. Durbin indicates a vote of no confidence in Eaton.

Still wondering whether Colon is worth a shot for a season. Could he pitch out of the bullpen?

I thought Colon had an unreasonable asking price/wanted too much guaranteed money? (and not tjust by the Phils standard either)

"If I'm not mistaken, our 2007 team had one of the two or three worst pitching staffs in the history of MLB playoff qualifiers (simply gauged by team ERA)"

Looking at what I can see, the Phillies had the 9th highest ERA of any playoff team in major league history.

Of the 8 team that had a higher ERA, 6 lost in the divisional series, 1 lost in the LCS, and the 2000 Yankees won the World Series.

Roberson traded? The Cup is ours!

Last I heard Colon still wanted multi-years and guaranteed millions...not sure he'll get that, but that's what he wants.

The guy the O's designated for assignment to make room for Chris Roberson has a much higher ceiling than Chris. Jeff Fiorention, only 24, has brief experience in 05-06, and has a career .834 OPS in the minor...plays CF too. Not sure what Baltimore was thinking here.

I think Clement is definitely worth the gamble...more than Benson for sure. I think Clement would be a good bullpen guy as well at least until he is up to starter speed.

stjoehawk: ERA can be misleading in that context. I think a better stat might be ERA+. That 2000 Yankee team may have had a higher ERA (4.76) than the 2007 Phils, but in 2000, that ERA was ABOVE AVERAGE. The Yanks ranked 6th out of 14 teams in ERA. The league average was 4.91.

The 2007 Phils had an ERA of 4.73. League average was 4.43. So the Yanks were .15 better than their league and the Phils were .30 WORSE. The real question is how many playoff teams had a worse differential with their league.

P.S. That 2000 Yankee team had 8 players who hit 15 or more HRs and had a team OPS of .804, so in addition to above average pitching they could bang a little bit.

formerly clout -
You know how you kinda snigger when someone suggests a trade that is unduly optimistic (like Eaton and Helms for Beltre, or some such idiocy)? When I hear a potentially great FA signing, like Clement in an incentive laden deal, I kinda have that same snigger go on in the back of my mind. Not cause Clement wouldn't do it, but because Gillick and the Rubenator would nix it. (They prefer slow throwing, junk heap, AAAA, lefties like Blackley, Youman, Mazone and Viccy-D.)

So, yeah, with my (extremely) rosy glasses on, I could see Clement as a good possibility. But when I take'em off, to engage in honest conversation on this site, I have to admit the obvious: the F/O is too cheap to do that deal.

Didn't Clement used to be good? The same can be said for Joe Table, too.

LF: True, but there's a 20-year age difference.

clout - "The 2007 Phils had an ERA of 4.73. League average was 4.43. So the Yanks were .15 better than their league and the Phils were .30 WORSE. The real question is how many playoff teams had a worse differential with their league."

OK, based on Team ERA - League ERA, the Phillies were 5th all time out of teams that made the post-season (behind, from the top, 95 Colorado, 81 Phillies (split season & all that), 05 Red Sox, and 98 Rangers).

Of course, this doesn't take into account the home stadium, but I didn't feel like doing THAT much work.

I should note that it appears that there are only 25 teams that have made the post season (out of 208) with a team ERA above the league average. Of those 25, 3 have won the World Series (87 Twins, 06 Cardinals & 76 Reds).

Finally, if anyone is curious, I'm just doing this through the updated Lahman database (version 5.5, which includes data through the 2007 season) in Access.

stjoehawk: Great stuff! Thanks.

Clout: Gee, thanks for letting me know that what I labeled as my opinion was, in fact, an opinion. I included a lot of background in my posts as well. Suppose you explain where your contention "the only difference between them is that one played in New York" comes from.

Alby: Pure speculation on my part. But since we both agree their stats are nearly identical, the wide difference in vote totals clearly isn't based on merit.

Actually, clout, if you use ERA+ the 07 Phils come out quite well. Because CBP is such an offensive oriented park, their ERA+ last year was only 97. This is very close to or better than a large number of playoff teams of the last 3 years. This includes the 05 Yankees, 05 Redsox, 05 Padres as teams the Phils had a better ERA+ than, and the 06 Redsox and 06 Cardinals were only at 98.

OK, took me a bit (couldn't find where the park factors were in the database), but I think I did it for ERA+. I finally found it & checked a few teams. My calculation seems to be +/- 1 point (League ERA / (Team ERA / Pitching Park Factor)), so I'm OK with it.

Based on that, the Phillies were in 15th place of the 208 teams that made the post season. Only one of those teams above them made it to the World Series (1982 Brewers), and they didn't win.

Also, I should note that I had been using either winning a division or the wild card as a qualification for making the playoffs, so I'm only using seasons from 1969 on. If I use the World Series era (1903 onward), the Phillies fall to 17th place, as the 1913 & 1914 Philadelphia Athletics join the list (with the World Champion 1913 Athletics having an ERA+ of 86, making them the top team on the list).

Gio Gonzalez traded again.

Yep, the ChiSox traded their two best pitching prospects to the A's for Nick Swisher.

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