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Friday, February 29, 2008


How can you not root for JD Durbin:

1. Cool nickname even if it is pretty unwarranted
2. He was washed around from team to team and is probably running out of time for a major league career - Philly fans gravitate to these sort of guys even more than other cities.
3. The Phils middle relief is so full of question marks/potholes right now that I am hoping that anybody can breakthrough to give the Phils even some adequate numbers.

Billy Mac - Can you pay particular attention to Bisenius and Happ? I am curious to see what both guys on hitting on the gun and Bisenius' ability to show any kind of real command.

Durbin is a bit of an enigma, in that he was either very good or very bad last year, but rarely anything in between. It's all about command with this guy. There are plenty of pitchers out there who started off wild but eventually managed to improve their command & turn into good pitchers. The Phillies have about 10 guys in camp who meet the first part of this equation, but they never seem to find anyone who can meet the second part.

I'll never forget Durbin's start against in Game 1 of that classic 4 game sweep of the Mets last August. 6 and 1/3 innings, 2 ERs. A very good effort in a big game when you look at just the stat line, but one that could easily be forgotten. What stands out for me is the first 4 innings. His curveball was the definition of the phrase "the bottom drops out". Oh man, the Mets were absolutely befuddled and that pitch was awesome to watch. 5 K's and most of what was put into play didn't leave the infield. It would come in waste high and when the Mutts started to swing it would drop down to where Coste was catching it at their shoelaces. When the 5th inning rolled around he just didn't have that same magic in that pitch.. but man you see the potential and think, what if?
Not to try and get all poetic, just trying to define why many would say, "forget Eaton and give the kid a shot", or what Jason means when he says, "I don't know what it is about 'The Real Deal,' but I kinda like the guy."

I'll be very interested to see how Happ does today. Although Carrasco & Outman have been more highly touted, Happ is the only one of the Phillies' pitching prospects who has demonstrated success at a level higher than Single A. Until last year, when he pitched through injuries, his minor league numbers had always been stellar. If the Phillies need to summon a starting pitcher from their minor league system this year, Happ is by far the best candidate.

Yeah, Brian G, Durbin is just magical. Don't know why other teams dropped him. Geez Louise.

Clout, do actually enjoy baseball or do just like knowing enough about it so that you can come on message boards and be a pompous a-hole?

Clout, do actually enjoy baseball or do just like knowing enough about it so that you can come on message boards and be a pompous a-hole?

Phils won the 8 inning B game 4-3. Myers pitched 3 innings giving up 4 singles and 1 run. He looked sharp. Two of the singles were bloops. JC Romero threw 2 shutout innings and his curve had sharp break. Also no walks for JC. Pirates got 2 off Mazzone. Golson homered. Coste DH'd. Marson caught. No other major leaguers at the B game. Lineups for 105 not yet posted. Rollins and Utley did not make the trip.

BAP: That is 100% correct. Just have to hope Happ is healthy. Counting on anyone beyond him or Chad Durbin as a fill-in starter is foolish.


Vic cf
Bruntlett ss
Jenkins rf
Howard 1b
Burrell lf
Feliz 3b
Helms dh
Jaramillo c
Smith 2b
JD Durbin p

Morgan cf
Wilson ss
Sanchez dh
Bay lf
Doumit c
Pearce rf
Bautista 3b
Mientkiewicz 1b
Rivas 2b
Snell p

Brian G: Tsk, tsk, personal attacks. You and Jack need to be less emotional about your player attachments.

Brian G: Tsk, tsk, personal attacks. You and Jack need to be less emotional about your player attachments.

One thing about the Real Deal is that he is rather confident in himself. I remember reading in the media last year that he tried to lobby Charlie to work middle relief last year, and Charlie kind of laughed him off. He was itching to get in. You have to like that about him.

It's too bad that, unlike Kendrick, he can actually back up his confidence. Good luck this year, Real Deal. Come out of nowhere and shock us. We all know they need the help.

Actually, it was a serious question.

From the last thread, I propose hitting Feliz first because that way we don't need to worry about his hitting into double plays.


In the last thread, kdon said, "I will, however, predict that Jenkins finishes in the top 5 in GIDP"

I'll take some of that action. The most GIDPs Jenkins has had in a season is 19 (and second most was 12), and that year he had more than 600 ABs. Keeping in mind that some of those OBP stars get OB with Ds and HRs will mitigate the tendency to get doubled up. Having Burrell right before him, of course, will increase his number (lots of BBs and a slow runner). If PtB sharpens his cleats, maybe, Jenkins could keep his number below 15 or so.

Remember, the NL still has Pujols, Prince and Carlos Lee out there, and maybe even Moises Alou. A buncha guys who can GIDP with the best of them.

JAS - that's creative, buddy!!

Don't forget Johnny Estrada, if he's going to be the starting catcher in Milwaukee.

Durbin escaped big damage in first. Everything was up.

Meanwhile, Johan Santana gave up a three run home run to Juan Gonzalez in the top of the first.

Billy Mac, again, serious thanks for the on the field reporting. Great stuff.

Durbin in trouble again in the 2nd. Not missing any bats today and everything up in the zone. No command at all.

It's the third preseason game and all of these luminaries who were supposed to round out our bullpen are already getting lit up. I'm absolutely shocked. I never saw this coming.

MG - for your "how can you not root for" list:

The R Deal is the only pitcher still on the team to throw a shut-out in 2007.


Gillick runs into the dugout -
PG - Chollie, I'm gonna have to close you down.

CM - Why, Pat?

PG - I'm shocked! Shocked to see sucking going on in your bullpen!

Amaro (enters stage left) - Here are your Rule 5 picks, sir...

"Meanwhile, Johan Santana gave up a three run home run to Juan Gonzalez in the top of the first."

Let's see some more of that.

I wonder if Mets fans have designated Santana as a bust after 1 bad inning as some have done to any of the Phillies' pitchers who have had a bad inning so far?

Tim: That was hardly what I said yesterday.

Almost an inside the park homer for Victorino as the outfielder had trouble bringing it in. He scored on a wild pitch. 2-2.

Andy: What's Jenkins GB/FO ratio? My guess is he's a flyball/strikeout kind of guy with decent speed, so he's not a prime DP candidate. Plus he'll only be facing RHP.

For a real DP machine you need a guy with no speed who hits everything on the ground. You need an Abraham Nunez. Abe GIDP once every 25 ABs last season, which isn't too shabby.

2 solid innings from Happ.

3 groundouts and a K.

And, Jaramillo throws out a baserunner at 2nd.

Feliz (especially since he is likely to have 450-500 ABs this year) is a much better bet to hit a ton of more DPs than Jenkins. Besides his slow speed, Feliz tries to PULL EVERYTHING. Results in topping a number of of weak grounders to the left-side.

Throw another Phillies reliever on the fire for those who can't throw strikes. Today's victim: Shane Youman. It's going to be the deciding variable of the year, gentlemen.

What's going on? these pirates announcers are AWFUL.

Arbuckle's glowing praise in today's DN for the Phillies young catchers, Ruiz, Jaramillo, Marson as all starting-caliber catchers is interesting.

All 3 of those guys were in the system last off-season. When they signed Barajas. Did Arbuckle forget to mention them to Gillick? Or did he think less of Ruiz et al then than he does now?

Mike H: Last season the Phillies bullpen had the worst K/BB ratio in the NL. Oddly, most of the guys they brought in during the offseason to help the bullpen have control/command problems. Youman's career NL K/BB ratio is 34/33.

I have never seen Youman pitch but it seems the only reason he even has a shot of making this team is because he is a LHP. I would be shocked though if he somehow makes the club out of spring training. Definitely wouldn't be a good sign.

clout - I don't necessarily disagree with them bringing in a veteran catcher last year, but Barajas was just awful - they should have cut ties with him sooner.

More discouraging, Helms still can not buy a hit, so he isn't helping his trade value any.

Well, it only took 3 ST games to discover that Holdzcom, Youman, Rosario & JD Durbin still suck. Anyone think it might be time to shop for a veteran reliever or two? Or is it still too early to be skeptical of these guys?

It is nice to want to see something out of the fringe guys or the too young guys but the important things are as follows:
Myers - good start
Moyer - good start
Kendrick - good start
JC - no walks
Happ - good two innings

Why do I care about Happ? Because if starters start going down or get hurt we've got nothing after Chad Durbin. Benson's not gonna be ready until late April early May at the earliest. JD is a gas can and the rest are still too green. We were all high on Happ last year and if he is healthy, he adds some depth.

At this point, I'm looking forward to seeing Madson, Chad D. and Eaton. My guess is Eaton gets bombed in the first but looks great in the 2nd and 3rd - sound familiar...

The Phils are stuck with Helms. No team is touching him at $3M. Hell, I don't know if the Phils would be able to trade him if they ate even half of his salary at this point.

The real question though is if the Phils will possibly consider cutting Helms this spring training though if he really struggles in order to give his roster spot to a player like Snelling or another pitcher. I just don't see them eating $3M though.

Hey, if anyone is interested in writing for a collaborative Phillies blog, please post a comment on its page:

There is only one entry so far, from today, but I am hoping to have it updated 7+ times a week from various writers with various motivations, viewpoints.


Sean: You've posted twice on this site. The first time was to attack me for being too cynical, calling metsblog a better place to receive Phillies news. The next is to solicit my readers to help you write a new Phillies blog.

I'll take the high road. Good luck with your collaborative Web site. May your mosaic or writers bring a level head to each and every post, 7+ times a week.

"Arbuckle's glowing praise in today's DN for the Phillies young catchers, Ruiz, Jaramillo, Marson as all starting-caliber catchers is interesting.

All 3 of those guys were in the system last off-season. When they signed Barajas. Did Arbuckle forget to mention them to Gillick? Or did he think less of Ruiz et al then than he does now?"

Isn't is just as likely that the players in the minors improved over the course of the 2007 season?

stjoehawk: So Arbuckle didn't judge them as major league-starter caliber until 2007?

Woo hoo... 9th inning homer!

Jason- The first rule of starting a new venture is to attack the leader in that field. Maybe Sean is paying you a compliment?

What's up with this Casey Smith guy? Nice game. He came from the Angels minor league system? Is that the same guy?

Looks like non-roster players, Smith and King are saving the day.

Truth: Heh, I like that.

Who on earth is C. Smith? I'm prepared to sign him to a multi-year contract right now. We can use Utley as trade bait, to try to acquire a top-of-the-rotation starter.

Ah baseball season is back. Pat LaForest PH today. Strikeout and LOB.

Jason: Got to look at things positively.

Hopefully Durbin can learn to get pitches down so he can at least maybe be useful as a long reliever.

Smith played 7 yrs in minors for Angels. Had 2 HRs in 393 abs last yr. in AAA, only 19 HRs in 7 yrs.

Wayne: So what you're saying is that he discovered HGH before spring training began?

"So Arbuckle didn't judge them as major league-starter caliber until 2007?"

OK, so I hadn't seen the quote before my first post. So I read the article. The exact quote was "Going all the way from Ruiz here to Jaramillo, who I think is about ready to play in the big leagues. To Marson, who's got good ceiling, good body, plus arm, good receiver, bat, continues to improve. To D'Arnaud, who is a very good all-around prospect. So we've got a few guys lined up here, all of whom I think can conceivably be starting catchers at the big-league level."

He's saying that Jaramillo is 'about ready' for the major, and Marson & D'Arnaud seem to be looked at as even further down the road. Additionally, he says that they 'can conceivably be starting catchers', not that they're all starting-caliber catchers.

I laugh at Sean's criticism bc my favorite Weitzel post was his lambasting everyone in the dead of winter for over-the-top pessimism and negativity about management.
A removal of all pessimism, however, would be unrealistic when dealing with a team that has made the playoffs twice in 25 years.
It threw me off after the Santana trade when all the Metsbloggers came over, but then I realize we take for granted the overwhelmingly intelligent discourse that goes on here, which I imagine is rare.

Anyway, Truth is spot-on. And not surprising that J would take the high road. Good discipline. Keep up the good work.

"'s Ken Rosenthal says Mets officials are divided on the prospect of signing Kyle Lohse. He adds that the Cardinals aren't interested, even though they're down two starters right now, and the Orioles would be only at a major discount."

I know Lohse isn't much better than average (don't want to rehash this yet again) but there has to be more to this than Boras. I am shocked that the Cards (a team with a ton of rotation holes) wouldn't take a 1-year deal with Lohse. Hell, they signed Adam Piniero to 2 years guaranteed.

MG - But would Lohse take a 1 year deal?

Wayne: Those stats are nothing special but, after seeing his performance today, I'm convinced that this is Smith's breakthrough year. Plus, we could really get a top pitcher for Utley.

Pretty wild world where Carlos Silva gets $48 million at the drop of a hat and Kyle Lohse is without a job.

Trolls like Sean need to give it a rest. JW is very even-handed and probably as upbeat as anyone you with a Phils' blog. Hell, it is not like JW is not doing this because the online ad revenues will make him a rich man. He does it because he is a fan and has created a very good forum that engages people regularly.

stjoehawk - That is the $64k question. I would have to think that Lohse would pressure Boras at this point to except a 1-yr deal with a mutual option if the terms weren't bad. (Say $5-$7M this year with a similiar type option for next year).

Meant mutual option for 2nd year.

MG: Stark (I think, or maybe Olney) reported today that although the Mets and Phils have been mentioned in connection with Lohse, he's gotten "not interested" from both Amaro, Jr. and Minaya.

"not doing this because the online ad revenues will make him a rich man."

I've got a '99 Camry with high miles that can vouch for that.

Loshe knows that he only gets paid if he signs a contract with somebody, right?
It's becomming apparant that even teams with big rotation problems dont want to sign this guy for more than a year. You think he would get the hint?

Jason - how much you want for it?

On Jenkins as a GIDP source. He tends to strike out too much to amass large GIDP numbers. People like Pujols, Lee, Alou don't K. Because they put the ball in play more they hit into more DPs. That being said, in 2007, at least, Jenkins hit grounders more frequently against RHP. All of his 9 GIDPs were against righties.

Still, while he may get a pretty big AB/GIDP, I will still bet that he'll finish better than 5th in the league.

Er...Make that a pretty small AB/GIDP.

Like under 30.

John D: Here's the thing: No spring training in history has eneded with every rotation healthy and every prospect penciled in actually ready for The Show. There WILL be rotation openings that become apparent as we near the end of ST. Presumably, Lohse is keeping in shape and will be nearing season form when one of those teams comes calling.

Andy: He sure won't approach Nunez numbers. If Abe had been given enough ABs he would've led the league.

Knotts may be the Kendrick or Lohse of this year.

clout: What's interesting is that some teams, like St. Louis... and Philly for that matter, have holes right now. And as much as Lohse will "stay in shape," it's not quite the same as facing live batters. He's no Roger Clemens on HGH. This may not be a gamble he'll win. I'd imagine he gets signed at some point, but I'm not sure he'll see his actual value climb any closer to his perceived value by then.

Don Knotts has a better chance of being the Kendrick or Lohse this year. But we'll see. Just a little Don Knotts joke - I don't know what Gary Knotts throws at all, injury history, or nothing.

Any update at all from the B game today?

Guess which Phillies fans site I will never visit or post at? I think it was mentioned today.

Let's not be too hard on that Phillies blog guy... sounds like he's simply misguided. I run a rather successful poker blog and it gets similar solicitations all the time. I think Jason should take it as a compliment!

It would have been more appropriate for the guy to send Jason and email asking if he could solicit for help. Perhaps he'll take that route in the future.

I agree with you about Lohse, CJ. I think Boras badly overplayed his hand, which was never very strong to start out with. Lohse will eventually land somewhere, but it's very hard for me to imagine him getting anything more than a 1-year contract at this point. Plus, the more time he misses, the less likely he is to be sharp when he comes back -- which will further diminish his value in the 2009 FA market.

On another note, apparently no one shares my enthusiasm for C. Smith . . .

Of course, we could always wait until the Phils beat the Mets the first time this year and go over to Metsblog with false names, talk trash and tell them we're from Sean's blog.

But I would never do anything like that.


Yippee!! We got Casey at the Bat!!

(and Vic Darensbourg, too)

Wayne: I'll take the other side of that bet. And go all in.

Actually, I have a serious Casey Smith question. What did he do in 2005 and 2006. There're no records on him at B-Ref for those years. He played in the minors through 2004, disappeared, then played at AAA again last year. Injury? Japan? Trip to monastery in Nepal?

Hmmmm....a mystery!

Andy: For a mere $10, you can sponsor Vic Darensbourg's page on So far, the page is not spoken for. Just thought you might be interested.

The whole 2 years off and then starts bashing in ST sounds so, ummm, Malamudian.

I might be interested, but I'm also trying to leverage enough cash to buy a '99 Camry.

Mike: Knotts started for 2 years with the Tigers, when the Tigers were bad. Then he injured his arm and missed 2 years and started making a comeback last year. He had a one hit shutout last year at Reading.

Andy: An even better reason to sponsor Vic Darensbourg's page. When he goes out and wins the National League Cy Young Award this year, you'll be able to resell the sponsoring rights for enough money to buy your 99 Camry.

BTW, C. Smith did play minor league ball in 05 & 06. Batted .221 with 0 homers in 2005 & .273 with 5 homeruns in 2006. Not sure why Baseball Reference has no record of these seasons, but does.

I liked the Malamudian mystery better, though. And it's not my Camry yet; Jason hasn't told me how much.


Smith was in Salt Lake (AAA) in '05 and '06. Not sure why B-Ref doesn't list it.

OPSs of 546 and 717.

For minor league and independent baseball types (you know, Beerleaguer favorites), you have to go to Baseball Cube.

...and nothing about a mysterious woman with a gun...

oh, I see bap beat me to it.

Thanks for the update, Wayne. His B-Cube page is interesting. His record in the majors is 13-16, and 2 of those relief wins are against the Phillies in 2002. Typical.

"In the last thread, kdon said, "I will, however, predict that Jenkins finishes in the top 5 in GIDP"

I'll take some of that action. "

Hey man, a prediction is not a bet! Besides, I already have one dollar at stake with MG this year. Like to help you with that Darrensbourg page, but not on this.

BTW MG, if you're out there, do you remember what we bet on?

kdon - Feliz HR for the season. 20 is push. I had under and you had over.

I take some more action high stakes action on Feliz and better that Feliz finishes with at least 5 GIDP than Jenkins.

Presumably that was 5 more GIDP than Jenkins.

MG That's a close (read fair) line. I would figure Feliz at 15 - 16 and Jenkins at 11 - 13. It might depend on injuries - like if Burrell or Vic go down, Jenkins might get an extra 50 ABs.

I'm eager to see if kdon's up for the bet.

Thanks MG...I completely blanked.

But no, I'm not going to back that GIDP wager with cold hard cash, especially because of the platoon. I think there is about a 40% chance Werth becomes the everyday RF by the end of the season.

After checking out Sean's website, I'd be willing to bet it doesn't last the year.

Don't want to be mean, but...whew

Billy Mac - The Pirates announcers said there was no radar gun at the field today. Can you confirm this?

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