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Thursday, February 14, 2008

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Pie man back with Ed Wade

I remember Tomas Perez pitching for us once or twice in games we were being blown out.. We could use him in the bullpen... probably better than a lot of the no-name folk currently eating up a spot...

WOW!

Nelson Figueroa... Thats a name I havent heard for a while.

What about Alfonseca and Mesa? Or are they retiring?

baxter:
Didn't see anyone answer your Rule 5 question. The Phils, by drafting them, have to keep them on the 25 man roster. If the Phils want to try to send either of their guys down two things must happen. 1) They must clear waivers - another team can pick them up with the stipulation that the new team would keep them on their Major League roster all year; after that they have to be offered back to their original team for $25K. If their original team turns them down, the Phils can stash'em in Allentown i.e. they're keepers).

I'm not sure if the Phils have to waive them before the trade deadline. And I haven't found out anywhere if their original team must place them on the 40-man roster (though I don't know why they'd have to since they were not originally on it).

According to BA Phillies have signed

LHP Drew Taylor

Priorly in TOR orginazation

In re: LHP Drew Taylor

Any ideas what they're thinking? Looking at his baseball cube stats, he appears to have a lack of control; but he makes up for it by giving up a lot of hits.

Maybe they want to pair him in a rotation with Drew Naylor - figuring they'll confuse people.

Mesa has decided to retire to an elderly community in South Florida and Alfonseca is currently in training for his new career as a competitor eater.

Salisbury article (and Clemens saga) really even makes you appreciate a player like Jamie Moyer that much more. Here's hoping that Moyer puts up another decent season and ends his career on a high note. It would only be fitting.

Couple of points:

- Funny how only now the Phils agree to bring in chiropractors after Hamels kind of ripped them publicly last week in regards to why his elbow injury occurred. This wouldn't have happened if Kendrick or Madson had the same issue.

Chiropractors (and back treatment in general) are very medically suspect but I don't think that was the reason the Phils didn't have it. More like Example #1053 of where the Phils revealed their misery ways in order to save maybe 30-40k on a carveout service for healthcare insurance.

- One of the few times I agree with Cholly 100%: "I think we're going to score runs, I think we're going to catch the ball," Manuel said. "I think it depends on our pitching and how we get out of the gate."

One of the biggest disappointments in my view on the Beerleaguer list is Brandon Duckworth. This guy racked up the Ks and Ws at AA and AAA and quickly won some games when he was called up the the big club. Good moving fastball and hard curve. I for one thought we had a Orel Hershisher-type pitcher.
His problem at the big league level was command of the inside part of the plate. It seemed like he couldn't come inside without hitting the batter. Or as Harry would say, "Hit 'em. Hit by a pitched ball." BTW, is there any other announcer who calls a hits batman like Harry the K. He never strays from that exact phrase.

One of the biggest disappointments in my view on the Beerleaguer list is Brandon Duckworth. This guy racked up the Ks and Ws at AA and AAA and quickly won some games when he was called up the the big club. Good moving fastball and hard curve. I for one thought we had a Orel Hershisher-type pitcher.
His problem at the big league level was command of the inside part of the plate. It seemed like he couldn't come inside without hitting the batter. Or as Harry would say, "Hit 'em. Hit by a pitched ball." BTW, is there any other announcer who calls a hits batman like Harry the K. He never strays from that exact phrase.

That is one helluva list, high KWality there my friends.

Still have a few more openings in my Yahoo! fantasy baseball league (WSBGM's Phantasy League 2). If interested email me @ weshouldbegms@hotmail.com and I'll send you the details.

Just a quick side bar, Ugueth Urbina was born today Feb. 15, 1974 according to my page-a-day calendar. Happy Birthday Uggie, where ever you are!

dumb question: where is Julio Mateo?

Guys enough with the overly juvenille and somewhat racist stuff (and you know it's bad if that's coming from me because I'm always teetering on that edge).

Reed: Jail?

GM Carson, what comments are you refering to as "racist"?

The ones that were just removed.

Got it, thx

I wonder what Randal Simon and Russel Branyan are up to these days...

Ugie & Mateo - hope their Valentine's Day was better than Jose Reyes' September

Things that make me feel more optimistic:
1) Howard arrives in camp early, does not seem upset about the $3MM.

2) Phils give in on the chiropractor thing.

3) Benson is wearing a Phils' uniform.

Gaze: I wonder what Randal Simon and Russel Branyan are up to these days...

They both got jobs in a wind farm due to their exceptional whiffing ability.

Simon actually made decent contact, simply swung at everything.

so, anyone think RyHo's 1pm media session will be an announcement on a long-term comtract extension? Nah.

anyone see his commercial for Dick's where he walks into a random baseball practice? He's a good kid. He is going to revert to '06 if he gets at least one pitch to hit a game.

Does anyone have any pictures of this Pat Burrell shirt going around Spring Training. I think they should be made available to fans, so fans and haters can wear them at the same time.

JW: by the way I think you should scrap the winter playlist and get a spring training list together.

Pride, agreed.

Pride, agreed on the Man or Machine tee shirt. JDubs, wasn't referring to the tunes.

Reed, shut up

"Alfonseca is currently in training for his new career as a competitor eater."

His secret weapon is the small 3 year baby living in his stomach. Doctors have no explanation, but it doesn't cause Alfonseca any pains or problems, so they've decided to let it be...

Not that anyone really cares, but Randall Simon on struckout 148 times in 1609 MLB at bats...of course he only walked 82 times.

Carson - as I read those stats, the number that stands out for me?

1609

Amazing!

Not to be a nitpicker, but no mention of Gavin Floyd? He's fifth starter for the ChiSox this year.

Jason G. Floyd isn't a non-roster invitee.

Jason G. - I mentioned him in the last thread after MLBTR mentioned that he might be moved, since he's out of options.

stevo: I complete agree with you about Brandon Duckworth. When he came up, I really thought he would be a top-flight major league starter. In fact, Duckworth & Brett Myers came up around the same time, & I distinctly remember thinking that Duckworth was going to be good for a long time, whereas Myers would likely go the way of Pat Combs and Tyler Green. Shows how much I know.

Whenever I see the name Randall Simon, it makes me think of some crazy cloning experiment...

Randall Cunningham + Corey Simon = Randall Simon

I know it's strange. I just had to share that with everyone.

Floyd is a headcase that I doubt ever succeeds.

Questions for anyone~

I understand Benson passed his physical yesterday and hasn't reported to camp as yet. Does nayone know what he actually signed for? And, I assume he will be placed on the 40-man rister. Any idea who'll go? Lastly, any news on Lohse at all?

"Though declining to discuss specifics of the incentive-laden contract, Amaro confirmed that the deal contained an out clause, which could allow Benson to become a free agent if he's not added to the Major League roster by a certain date."

I don't think he needs to be added to the 40 until he's ready to come up. he's listed as a non-roster invitee now.

DPatrone: It's a minor-league contract, which I believe, but am not positive of, means that he won't be added to the 40-man until he's actually, well, added to the 40-man. I don't think the contract requires that he be on the 40-man.

Did anyone see the news flash that the Phillies and Ryan Howard canceled their press conference planned for this afternoon?

I still don't understand this nonsense about Benson being a viable candidate for the No. 5 starter spot out of camp. Benson just isn't going to be ready in April. In fact, I would be surprised if Benson starts a game before July. The Phils will either have to get really desperate/or Benson will have to make an amazing recovery.

Re Lohse: It's very odd to me that spring training has started and he's still not on a team. It has been a bad off-season for Scott Boras & this could turn out to be his biggest blunder of all. Boras grossly miscalculated the value of his client & he continues to miscalculate it to this day. Perhaps he thinks that, when some team loses a starter to injury, it will be desperate enough to meet Lohse's asking price. But I seriously doubt that any team is going to be so desperate as to hand out a 3-year deal for an emergency injury replacement -- especially when there are plenty of other experienced starters still floating around on the FA market. Bottom line: if Lohse misses an extended part of spring training, his value will only go down, not up. My guess is that he's eventually going to figure that out, can Boras, and sign a one-year deal with someone.

Thank you Jack. I knew it was a minor league deal and I know he has an "out" clausebut did not know if it was a requirement to be added to the 40-man I was curious.

OT: What's the deal with Morgan Ensberg, seriously? Why was he only good enough for a minor league deal from the Yankees? The Phillies dismissed Ensberg immediately. San Diego didn't want him. Houston didn't want him. Is he jerk? What is it, because I sure don't get it?

UD Hens? Is that true? Where did you see that?

DPatrone - Zolecki reported it earlier today on his blog.

"Ryan Howard had been scheduled to speak with reporters today.

But the Phillies said that after a conversation with Howard's agent, Casey Close, they have mutually agreed it would not be beneficial for Howard to speak with reporters about his contract situation until it is resolved. The Phillies also pointed out that an official news conference had never been scheduled. It was a "media availability.""

MG: Correct. The idea that Benson will be ready by opening day is pure fantasy. And, frankly, I'd say there's at least a 50-50 chance that he never pitches an inning for the Phillies this year. A torn labrum is the most serious injury a pitcher can have. Pitchers who have incurred this injury almost never return to anywhere near their prior velocity (See, e.g., Wade Miller, JD Durbin).

The fact that the Phillies were able to get Benson on a minor league contract is a very good indication of what the other 29 teams think about his chances of being useful this year. Whose judgment do you trust more -- the Phillies or the collective judgment of the other 29 major league teams?

Benson is merely insurance. And given the Phils' insurance last year, JD Durbin, Happ, etc. he looks pretty good to me.

Good idea by Howard and his agent not to speak. Only bad could come of it.

BAP:

I agree about Lohse. The Phils' have successfully called his bluff, and now is the time to make a deal. How does one year for 10 mil sound? Or 9 mil + 2 mil in incentives?

Get it done already!

Morty: Except that having Benson as insurance is like having a home owner's policy that only pays off for disasters which happen on Mondays, Wendesdays, & Fridays.

Look, I'm not saying the Phillies were wrong to sign Benson. The deal is all upside & no downside. There's no reason to be against it. All I'm saying is that signing Benson isn't really a meaningful solution to their pitching problems. The chances that he won't pan out are considerably higher than 50-50 and, if that happens, then they're right back where they started.

True.

That's why they need to sign Lohse as well. Then you are seriously prepared for the long haul of the season.

Jason, maybe because Ensberg is a Jesus-freak...like Jon Kitna

JW: Not only that, but the Ensberg to the Yankees signing also seems to take away a Helms reunited with Girardi trade.

As for Lohse, perhaps the GMs are trying to exert maximum hurt on Boras as blood has been in the water since ARod. As he has also PO'd many agents, other agents might be enjoying themselves, too. Either that or the GMs blinked and realized that handing out 4/$48 million contracts to the likes of Silva and Lohse was fiscal insanity.

Agreed that in an ideal world the Phils would sign Lohse yet. Already the string of "warm & fuzzy" Spring Training articles have started to appear including how Eaton's pitching troubles last year were due to health/personal/evil leprechauns. Now Eaton has rehabbed and is really prepared to grab the No. 5 starter spot.

Put me in the "Fat Chance" category on this one. Same goes for the chances of Gordon being effective and healthy this year too.

Ensberg has not been the same since his shoulder went bad. I don't know whether he'll make the Yanks 25-man squad. If he doesn't maybe the Yanks will inquire about Helms.

They do need to sign Loshe. Even if Eaton is healthy. It can't hurt.

I think this might be my favorite quote of ST already (and one I'm likely to repeat many times throughout the rest of the Gillick era):

"Whose judgment do you trust more -- the Phillies or the collective judgment of the other 29 major league teams?"
- bay_area_phan

Benson as an "insurance policy" is an adequate gamble and I won't argue the move. The problem that I have is that Eaton is STILL THE #5 STARTER!!! That is precisely the reason that the Phils need to make a run at Lohse. We don't need an "insurance policy," we need a legitimate MLB #5 starting pitcher.

I think that as time goes on Lohse is going to have to take a 2/$12-14MM deal, unless he wants to pull the knight in shining armor act when ome of a team's starters goes down..

MG and bap,

Benson *did not* suffer a "torn labrum" the injury written about by Will Carroll in Slate. He suffered a torn rotator cuff, which is differnt, usually being about a 12 month recovery period.

There are a few reports that mention "labrum" but they are incorrect.

If you go back and read the original story from ESPN.com, they actually mention that Benson had an outside chance to return in 2007!

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=2799185

"Whose judgment do you trust more -- the Phillies or the collective judgment of the other 29 major league teams?"

But isn't that always the case when a team signs a free agent to a minor-league deal?

The biggest one that comes to mind is Carlos Pena, who signed a minor league deal with the Devil Rays before the 2007 season. He ended up being one of the best 1B in the AL last year & I'd guess that 29 other teams passed on him.

One that is closer to home would be JC Romero. The Phillies signed him to a minor-league deal when he was a free agent. I'd imagine that 29 other teams had a chance to sign him & they all passed.

"We don't need an "insurance policy," we need a legitimate MLB #5 starting pitcher."

WP, exactly!

We don't need a legitimate #5 starting pitcher; we need legitimate #3, #4 and #5 starting pitchers and a viable, healthy set-up.

Reed: Yeah, good reason to not go after Ensberg. We wouldn't want a jerk like him corrupting our clubhouse, and possibly influencing high character individuals like Brett Myers.

On Benson, it's not that the Phillies were the only team that was interested in him. He auditioned for a few. His agent claims that the Phillies were his first choice because they were in a position to win. Also, until we know any of the contract details I think it is a bit premature to say that the Phillies are the fools here.

Speaking of Lohse, the Astros won their arbitration case with Valverde, which makes $1.5MM "available". I believe that Wade had interest in Lohse not too long ago so does he now make a renewed effort to land him given the Valverde outcome?

kdon: The story from MLB.com says it was a torn labrum. More recent stories from ESPN have said the same thing.

hawk: Yes, I suppose you could say the same thing any time someone signs a minor league contract. And, on rare occasion, those type of deals actually work out. My only point is that, when you sign an injured pitcher who apparently wasn't good enough to interest any of the other 29 teams, you're playing an odds game in which the odds are heavily stacked against you. That doesn't mean the Phillies are wrong for playing the odds game. But it does mean that the Phillies should cut all the happy talk about how the Benson signing solidifies their pitching staff.

Bap, do you have a link?

Yahoo has it as torn rotator cuff too.

It's no minor issue. As the Slate article mentioned, the best (and really, only) pitcher ever to come back from a torn labrum was Rocky Biddle.

People recover from torn rotator cuffs much more often...Clemens being the best example.

Brian G,
then we should have signed Ensberg, especially since we just signed Benson. Then we could have 2 extremes summed up as the new MorgAnna.

"It's no minor issue. As the Slate article mentioned, the best (and really, only) pitcher ever to come back from a torn labrum was Rocky Biddle."

It looks like Chris Carpenter also returned from a torn labrum. He sat out the 2003 season after that surgery & had his best year in 2005.

What ESPN stories?

I google "ESPN Benson torn labrum Phillies" and the first thing I see is Beerleaguer!

MPN: I did not say the Phillies were fools for signing Benson. In fact, I said just the opposite --that I saw no reason to be against the signing.

What I DID say was that the odds of Benson actually helping the Phillies are slim. The most likely outcome of this signing is that he winds up being released without ever pitching an inning for the Phillies.

Hawk:

Good point, the article was from 2004. Gil Meche also had a torn labrum, but I think in general, it is still considered a worse injury than a rotator cuff.

I find it ironic that the team that is "ready to win" signed a pitcher that is not yet ready to pitch.

kdon: for some reason it's not letting me post the link. But just Google "'kris benson' and labrum."

Inky says rotator cuff. Also says "He's coming into camp thinking he'd be ready Opening Day. That's awfully aggressive for us being only 10 1/2 months post-op."

and

"Hopefully sometime from Opening Day to the first of June, somewhere in that timetable, he should be ready to go," LaMar said.

Link: http://www.philly.com/philly/hp/news_update/20080213_Phillies_sign_Benson.html

BAP: My bad. Instead of going to the primary source (your original post), I misinterpreted a selective quote from a secondary source. My apologies.

aqualung. nice.

Quite frankly, I don't see Lohse being any better than Eaton this year. We were fortunate to see Lohse pitch the best baseball of his career over the short span we had him. Given his history, I don't all of a sudden expect that success to translate for a full season. I wouldn't sign the guy for more than 4 mill a year, which is what he's worth. Anything more would be foolish on Gillick's part.

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