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Friday, March 28, 2008


I share your take on the Woodward signing indicating that Helms will be dealt sometime this season (although not sure about anything immediate).

Who knows what to make of the Lahey signing? Doesn't sound like an upgrade over what they have recently decided wouldn't work. Oh, and he HAS to stay on the roster. Brilliant!!

I like the Woodward signing because he's a veteran to plug into the Lehigh Valley roster, and call upon should someone go down for 15-days. Nothing wrong with signing guys like this if it's merely for insurance.

I hate the Lahey move. It's disgusting. I seriously wish I could interiver/barrate Pat Gillick right now and get his reasoning for such stupidity.

Keeping Helms also makes no sense. Our bench is top notch without him, we need the extra arm for crying out loud, not so schmuck pinch-hitter who didn't hit last season.

J, I know that there will now be much chatter about these signings, but I didn't get an opportunity to ask for your take on Lauber's blog piece about Chooch. I love the quotes from Moyer. Not only do they speak about Ruiz's development but just go to show that JM wears two hats with this team (#3 SP and coach) - this guy knows baseball.

I know you're a big Chooch advocate and wanted to see what this year's expectations were.

I don't understand the Lahey signing either. If they wanted to use a converted catcher to pitch relief, I'm sure Coste would have given it a try.

The Phillies 40 man roster only stands at 35 right now.

FWIW, I'm glad Snelling will stick around. They have much better position depth than '07 Ottawa (Joe Thurston, Chris Roberson, etc.)

I'm sorry, but I can't take this. I'm sitting here trying to figure it out but I can't. This offense is awesome, one of the best in baseball, yet Gillick is doing his best to make it obsolete by putting together a horrible pitching staff. He shouldn't be allowed to be this shitty at his job.

Good call on Woodward being "insurance" against Helms.

The only - and I do mean only - thing that Helms could have brought was a RH bat to play 1B when Howard takes a day off, or (god forbid) a RH half of a platoon at 1B with Dobbs if Howard was to miss significant time.

So, we're done?

C: Ruiz, Coste

IF: Howard, Utley, J-Roll, Mr. Gold Glove, Dobbs, Stiff, Bruntlett

OF: The Bat, Vic, Jenkins, Werth, So

SP: Hamels, Myers, Kendrick, Eaton, Moyer

RP: Gordon, Madson, Romero, Condrey, Lahey, Durbing

Something tells me (prays to me!) this isn't it.

It's funny how many fans were riding a "high" this offseason, but since Lidge has been DL'd, Kendrick and Eaton have pitched horribly this spring, and Gordon is shot our dreams are turning into nightmares.

I still think Eaton is going on the DL and C. Durbin starts next Saturday. The Phils will add one more pitcher.

I still think I'm pissed!

kdon - That is entirely possible although I think Eaton's first trip to the DL will be sometime in May. My bet is Gordon goes on the DL before Eaton.

Issue with this team isn't Lahey or the other marginal guys that are going to be utilized to fill out the bullpen. The problem is that Eaton is being counted on to fill a starter's spot and Gordon to play a key role in the bullpen.

Neither guy will deliver and they will be constant sore spots all this season. The level of acriminous comments directed to Eaton could get really ugly. I can't remember the last athlete in Philly who generated such negative buzz due to his performance/personality.

Conlin's article was actually pretty funny today in lieu of the current Phils' pitching woes. I did like a couple of his slogans including "Brett and Cole and dig a hole."

I am sure AWH will appreciate his insight on how the Phils handled Carpenter this spring.

I am so vexed by this deal. I could understand outrighting the underwhelming J.D. Durbin, and possibly parting ways with Travis Blackley, and then making a trade to bring in a reliever with more experience and a servicable ERA, but this is going in circles. How many damn offseasons do we have to suffer through with Rule 5 pitchers? What do the Phillies think they're really getting here? Is this going to make Manuel more comfortable in the fifth and sixth innings every day? I know as a manager he has his limitations, but seriously, what is he supposed to do with this ragged collection of pitchers the brass have assembled for him?

Wall Street Journal statistically evaluates and ranks the top 20 managers to see if Joe Torre was really worth the $13 million he got from the Dodgers. Very surprised to see where Cholly and Leyland were ranked, especially in the "Close Games" category...

The article that goes along with the above table:

Typical Phils move re Lahey. Why don't they just hold walk-in, open to anyone, no experience or command of your talent necessary, tryouts... Oh well, just glad the regular season is 45+ hours away. Let the roller coaster ride begin!

Monty and Company need some experience working with a big bank or an investment firm. The lesson they need to learn is how to take a loss. If you invest $100 million in a crappy company, and their stock falls to $5 million, guess what? You sell it and take your loss. That's how it works in the real world. You cut your losses and move on. All of which brings me to the subject of Adam Eaton.

Going over budget to sign another player may not be justified in some circumstances. After all, team payroll is not unlimited. But going over budget to correct a bad investment is always justified. Rather than mitigating their losses by signing Lohse for low dollars, we now get a procession of cadavers, the latest of which is Tim Lahey.

Cole and Brett and start to sweat.

Actually, I'm not that bothered by the Lahey claim. There's no way he sticks on the 25 man all season, this is just a shot in the dark that he'll pass through waivers and head to the minors. I doubt he even makes opening day.

Meanwhile, after ripping out all my fingernails and jabbing a stick in my ear, I just had to look at Adam Eaton's stats again. That's when the real pain began...I should have just stuck my hand in a blender instead.

I said it yesterday and I will say it again. Sign a guy like Claudio Vargas. It does two things. 1. Fills the #5 spot with a veteran guy who can throw strikes, get out of jams, and went 11-6 last season with the Brewers. 2. It takes him away from the Mets who are on the verge of signing him as their 5th guy in the rotation according the Post. This pitching staff has to rank in the bottom 5 of the major leagues even with two of the top starters in the NL.

with moves like this one. and eaton pitching like eaton, it is so very frustrating to think about how they did not pursue lohse!!! it is borderline criminal. they just do not get IT!!!!!

terrible. thats about all i can really add.

"Sign a guy like Claudio Vargas."

No no no no no!

Really, you have to stay away from guys like this. He had a %33 GB rate, and gave up 23 HR in 134 IP last year. A full season in CBP, and he might give up 40.

I really don't understand. The Phillies are in their current bind, in part, because they have signed a number of fringe veteran players who are locked onto the roster. The answer is not to sign *more* of these guys.

I hate Eaton, but you don't replace him by handing over the 5th spot to Eaton light.

Either fix a problem for real (Lohse, Kuroda, etc.) or try out young players who can easily be shuttled back and forth between the bigs and AAA. The worst thing you can do is sign another one of these guys who you have to keep on the team.

xfactor: "this is just a shot in the dark that he'll pass through waivers and head to the minors. I doubt he even makes opening day."

If this were true, I would have no problem with the signing. Problem is, if you think this is all the Phillies are doing, then you haven't been paying attention for the last 2 years. Gillick didn't sign this guy as a project who he might be able to slip past waivers. He signed him to be in the Phillies' 2008 bullpen. Once again, Gillick would rather rely on his own ability to discern hidden talent that no other GM sees, than actually shell out a few bucks to fix our bullpen.

If Vargas is Adam Eaton lite then I am real confused. He gave up some shots last year but also strikes out one guy an inning, and has been approached by at least 6 contending teams since he has been realeased. The ability is there. And he has the ability to keep us in games as opposed to giving up five or six runs through 2. That's all I have seen from Eaton at the Bank so far as a Phillie.

We'll see in the next few weeks what happens to Lahey.

If I hadn't been paying attention to the Phillies for the past 2 years, I probably could have learned a new language and built a car from scratch by now. Instead, the obsession continues and I'm here blogging with everyone else.

Gillick isn't done yet. Have you forgotten the other last minute deals he made before the season opens?

I'm not saying he's going to rescue the situation--they had plenty of time for that and didn't. But I doubt he's done. Hopefully, it won't be another Barajas type signing.

We need to bring back El Pulpo just to help with the "sticking-fingers-in a-dike" strategy Gillbuckle uses for the pitching staff. Could they have handled this worse?

tech problem: When i click on audio or video links on (including they don't open or react at all...any ideas?

"Gillick would rather rely on his own ability to discern hidden talent that no other GM sees, than actually shell out a few bucks to fix our bullpen."

Although he is not helped by management's budget, you nailed about Gillick.

We'll hold out hope better pitching is yet to come, but all signs point to the Phils being overbudget ever since Howard's arbitration. No to Lohse, now this bottom-barrel acquisition. Hopefully I'm wrong and Helms can be traded for a reliever and Lahey can be dismissed from the roster.

Speaking of, is anyone else disturbed by their new blackout rules? Same price, far fewer games to watch. Infuriating. Why don't they just black out the games Eaton pitches?

Here they are:
Local Live Blackout: ALL LIVE MLB.TV games will be blacked out in each applicable Club's home television territory (except for certain home television territories for which may offer in-market subscription services) or in Japan.

• National Live Blackout (Regular Season): Due to Major League Baseball national exclusivities, each Saturday until 7:00 PM EST (beginning May 17, 2008 and continuing for remaining Saturdays during the regular season) and each Sunday night (for games that begin after 5:00 PM EST), all scheduled webcasts of games played within such time period will be blacked out.

• National Live Blackout (Post Season): Due to Major League Baseball national exclusivities, during the MLB postseason, if you live within the following nations or territories, webcasts of all postseason games will be blacked out: United States, Canada, Guam, US Virgin Islands, South Korea and Japan.

• NOTE: Due to broadcast restrictions, new MLB.TV and Condensed Game archives are limited to a playing time of five minutes in duration until 6 am ET on the day following that on which the applicable game commenced play.

Call me slightly perplexed that, although I saw him play last year like everyone else, Helms has zero value. Is his contract that bad? I could easily see him being a serviceable pinch hitter and occasional Sunday fill-in. That's got to be worth something if we threw in a mil of his salary, right?

DNL just said there is a jumper on the bridge. My guess - Phillies fan not happy about Lahey.

x - I think those are the same as always. MLB always blacks out the local squad as well as all the games during the Fox and ESPN national broadcasts.

It could have been worse; at least they are not blacking out Sun afternoons during the TBS national broadcasts.

This issue with relievers is a MONEY THING. Pure and simple. Nothing else matters at this point.

Morty: Yeah, it's Helms' contract that's the problem. $2M and change for this year & $750K to buy him out after that. That's a lot of coin for a part-time corner infielder, who can't even field his position. Of course, the salary obligation will get less & less as the season goes on. My prediction is that Helms will hit much better this year and, eventually, the Phillies will be able to unload him to some injury-ravaged team that desperately needs a third baseman. But, as usual, they'll get literally nothing of value in return & they might very well have to eat some of his salary as part of the deal.

Just checked in on the Metsblog (that gets harder to read every week, they should really look into grammar lessons), and they seem to be resigned to El Duque as the 5th starter. They are also rather upset that Fernando Tatis got the last spot on the bench over Ruben Gotay. It sounds like Tatis and Helms are rather similar.

CJ - As much as we bash Helms, he will be more useful than Tatis this year. Biggest X factor with the Mets is Pedro. If he stays healthy and gives the Mets at least 30 starts, I see the Mets winning the NL East by at least 3 games.

MG: Certainly possible, but predictions like that are rather meaningless (no offense). It's possible they get 30 starts out of Pedro but that Santana goes down for the half the season... or something like that.

If the Mets and Phils face no significant injuries all year long, I think this will be a real dog fight. Despite our pitching woes, I feel our team is the equal of the Mets. I like our top two as much as theirs, especially given Pedro's age and injury history. I like our lineup much better than theirs. I like their bullpen better... but only by a little. And I like our bench a lot better than theirs. I think they have an advantage at the 3 and 4 spot (this all depends on how Kendrick performs), but the 5 spot is worthless on both teams.

Besides... we all know Atlanta will be a major player this year, too. An NL East team may be hard-pressed to win the wild card unless the Nats and Marlins are really, really bad this year.

Santana down for half the season? Not likely at all.

Mike H.: I'm not predicting a Santana injury... merely pointing out how difficult predictions are in baseball when a freak injury can vastly change a team's fortune.

Could Santana miss half the season? Sure, why not. Pitching injuries happen...

"I am sure AWH will appreciate his insight on how the Phils handled Carpenter this spring."

MG, the regualr beat boys are finally getting BeerLeaguer religion.

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that the Phillies do not do a good job developing pitching. The track record just isn't there.

Sure, they'll point to Hamels, Myers, and Madson as examples of success. (KK hasn'rt sustained it so he doesn't count...yet; Geary?)

But for every one of them you can counter with a Floyd and countless others who never made it or just flat out stunk.

Three decent pitchers in how many years? How many have they drafted? I think the old adage about the blind squirrel probably applies. Or, maybe the one about throwing manure at the wall.

Self examination obviously doesn't occur within the organization, because, as the Carpenter anecdote indicates, they keep making mistakes over and over again. No one expects perfection, but there success ratio has been abysmal.

He hasn't missed a start in over four years.

"Once again, Gillick would rather rely on his own ability to discern hidden talent that no other GM sees, than actually shell out a few bucks to fix our bullpen."

BAP, you have a point, but sometimes Gillick has been right. As far as I know, no one else wanted Werth, Dobbs, Iguchi, or Romero last year. Gillick apparently saw something, and those acquisitions were great successes. The flip side, of course, is Eaton, Barajas, Helms, JD Durbin, Kane, et al.

Personally, I have a lot of trouble believing that either of these guys will actually start the season for the Phils, and if they do, they will be temporary placeholders. Lahey could, for example, be a third inning pitcher reserved exclusively for the games that Eaton can't get out of the third.

Jason - looks like Gillick out-Gillicked Gillick. Lahey was the ultimate stealth Loogy. So far off the radar as a loogy, in fact that he:
1) isn't lefty
2) isn't a pitcher
3) isn't a major leaguer.

How can you be any more Gillicky than that?

You mean those extra special 23 - 8 losses?

Andy, you got it. The losses when someone's (probably Eaton's) line looks like this

2.1 IP 9 ER 12 hits 4 walks

The problem, of course, is that the Phillies now have three relievers who should only be used under such circumstances. I guess Gillick is finally beginning to appreciate how often our starting pitching will be having lines like the above. Hence, the necessity of garbage-time relief pitching.

Pitching-wise, the big difference between the Mets and Phils is Maine and Wagner. We counter Kendrick in Lidge in those spots. I feel like the only one who isn't ready to count out Pedro. I think he will be good in 08.

does burrell have a different stance this year?

JAS: Gillick has been appreciably better at finding useful, under the radar offensive players than at finding useful under the radar pitchers. I suspect that has something to do with the fact that there are a lot more useful offensive players out there than there are useful pitchers.

If anything, Gillick's success with guys like Dobbs & Werth & Taguchi only underscores the point that MG has been making all off-season: when the value village approach has worked pretty well on position players, but has failed miserably when it comes to pitchers, why are we spending all this money on guys like Jenkns & Feliz, instead of spending it on guys like Riske & Lohse?

If we hadn't signed Jenkins, we'd either have Werth as our full-time outfielder or we'd have a Werth-Snelling platoon. Though I've spent the last 2 days arguing with kdon about Snelling's worth as compared to Helms, the fact is, he looks like he may be another solid, but overlooked, offensive player. And, frankly, the same can be said of Valentino Pascucci. Since these guys are relatively easy to find, and since quality pitchers are so hard to find, it's difficult to understand why we threw nearly $11M at Jenkins & Feliz, while neglecting our pitching.

At this pace, we're on pace to leave 4 batters on base per hit we get.

Nothing changes.


JW - Agreed but the Mets pen is much deeper too. Even the last guy who might make their pen (Joe Smith) has decent stuff and is a very capable middle relief. Plus, they might get a rebound from Sanchez too. Phils' dont have a single guy who fits that category in their pen.

JAS - Totally agree on Werth and Dobbs. Completely disagree on Iguchi and Romero though. Iguchi was an "old boys" trade to make up in part for the Garcia trade. Other teams including the Padres wanted Iguchi at the trade deadline and offered more than the nothing prospect the Phils sent in the deal.

There was no savvy in Gillick's part in signing Romero. More like desperation. This pen was in tatters when Romero got signed and the Phils were just fortunate that he pitched so well for them.

Too soon yet to judge Gillick's tenure yet but if the Phils don't make the playoffs this year and are burdened by some of Gillick's moves next year (Feliz, Jenkins, Eaton) then his tenure here will have been a failure. Gillick has largely been an absentee GM though. This whole notion that he has some kind of important voice in the organization is largely a fraud.

CJ - Agreed predictions are cheap but I will make this one (not a bold one either). If the Phils don't win at least 90 games this year, they are sitting at home again this year in Oct.

you want someone to blame for the phils lack of pitching? Fine...Its Tommy John. He's killed alot of young future phils over the last couple years.
wouldn't it be nice to have Mathieson, Zagurski, and Zegovia, fighting for that last spot in the pen and Drabek blazing through the minors right now?

Back off Gillick. He doesn't set the "budget," his drafted players aren't even close to being evaluated, and he certainly can't control what pitchers are available. He got us to the playoffs last year. Something Wade sure couldn't do.

oh, and Gillick had to clean up Wade's mess (countless ridiculous contracts with no-trade clauses) and he's still handcuffed by Wade (Burrell).

Thanks, CW; I was getting kind of depressed with all the bashing.

Just when I think they can't find more obscure "projects" (none of whom seem to be taught anything while they're here, so projects isn't really the right word).

Anybody have his ST stats for '08? A scouting report? His minor league stats naturally look underwhelming considering his age and how short a time he's been pitching (a .202 BA in rookie league ball explains the switch). Look at the bright side -- he fills two roles in the bullpen, where I they can always use another catcher.

So, CW, where does that leave Ruben Amaro?

"At this pace, we're on pace to leave 4 batters on base per hit we get.

Nothing changes."

Yeah it does.. it changed early last year when the phillies started scoring 7 runs a game and hit in the clutch all over the place

Just to try to give people some optimism, I'm watching the last game of the regular season last year and Harry just announced that it's 7-1 Marlins. No consolation I know but I'm trying.

Well, to be pessimistic about a team that does not play in Philadelphia, just like nothing predicts future performance better than past performance at a similar level, nothing predicts future injury better than past injuries. Which tells us that the Mets are due for some injuries. Let's hope Pedro is too old to be the impact player he was, their 5th spot is a mess all year and Alou, Beltran and Delgado miss time.

CW - Give me a break. Agree Gillick can't control injuries (except of course when he makes a trade for Garcia without insisting that he get checked out by the Phils' medical staff beforehand) but as for blaming Wade that excuse has grown really tired. Even Gillick doesn't use it anymore because he knows he would get blasted for it.

The messes on this team are Gillick's (Eaton, Gordon) and not Wade's moves. You can't make a definite judgement on Gillick's tenure yet but if this team doesn't make the playoffs again this year it will have been a failure. You really can't argue that point.

I am know I am setting expectations low but given the mess the Phils' pitching staff is, my hope is that they have a .500 April (maybe a game or two over) and then things start to settle into place a bit. Just not another one of these 10-14 or worse Aprils.

Salary-wise, you're right on, MG. What is the total annual amount spent this year on Eaton, Gordon, Helms, Feliz and the best of the bunch, Jenkins? Certainly could have been spent better.

Morty - But that is exactly the wrong viewpoint to be taking. The Phils shouldn't have to hope the Mets and/or Braves struggle and that the Phils could win the NL East with just 88 or 89 wins again.

I don't think 90 wins is a must. I see lots of good teams - the west, Brew-crew, Cubs, Phils, Mets, Braves, Reds. I think we'll see lots of teams in it for awhile. I forgot to mention the Reds earlier in my post of the battle at the end. I think they'll still be in it at the end. I love their young pitching and still have Bailey in AAA and Jay Bruce down there as well. To big impact players. The trade for Josh Hamilton looks to be a win-win. Hamilton has been on fire and Volquez is scary. Add in Cueto, Bailey, Harrang and Matt Maloney and they really have a nice lookijng staff for the next few years. Plus they have a closer.

Bottom-line winning 90 is gonna be tough to do and I think the Dbacks are the only team that does it.

Rangers get Nippert from dbacks...couldn't we have used him?

Interesting positive note on Lahey, don't know if it's been mentioned, but Lahey was the number 1 overall pick in the Rule 5 Draft...whether or not that's significant he was selected ahead of Brian Barton and Jose Capellan...someone must have thought highly of him

I have to disagree with the negative feelings about Lahey. This is a guy who will fill out the back end of the lineup and mostly get used for mop up duty. Every team has a couple guys like this and Lahey will fit this role well for now. If he had a great year in Reading last year (like he had in New Britain) plus his solid spring training (really only had one bad outing), you guys would have no problem having this guy in the bullpen. He's a groundball pitcher with a 2:1 K to BB ratio.

Joe Nathan he is not, but I wouldn't be ready to jump off a bridge over this pick up.

"Lahey was the number 1 overall pick in the Rule 5 Draft...whether or not that's significant he was selected ahead of Brian Barton and Jose Capellan...someone must have thought highly of him"
-lekh tizdayen

Couldn't agree with you more. Check out what Hendry has to say about him on he was a serious contender for a role in the Cubs bullpen, which is stacked with talent. Only reason why he's here is because the Cubs couldn't get a deal done for Brian Roberts that would've cleared up a spot for Lahey in the pen.

Maybe Lahey isn't terrible, but I would've preferred Seanez. On Vargas, I think he's better than Eaton. It's totally fair to call him Eaton lite, but I think we could live with Eaton lite; what we can't live with is Eaton. Also, if you didn't see it, look at this story on Hideki Matsui's wife. He refuses to show her in public but is willing to show the press sketches - not photographs, pencil sketches - of her. Very odd.

CW asks: Wouldn't it be nice to have Mathieson, Zagurski, and Segovia fighting for that last spot in the pen? Actually, no. Mathieson & Zagurski are really no different than Rosario, Blackley & Fabio Castro. They have good stuff & might be good some day but, when given a chance, they both looked woefully unready for the major leagues. And Segovia is a non-entity, who the Phillies already let go once.

Also, you can't be serious when you list Burrell as a liability, carried over from the Wade era. Burrell was probably a bit overpriced when he first signed his contract. But the market had already caught up by the time Gillick got here. If you don't believe me, try this exercise. Name one FA outfielder who has been available during Gillick's 3 year tenure, who signed for $14M per year or less, & whose offensive stats have been as productive as Burrell's in that time. Name just one. Off the top of my head, I can think of none, & I'd be somewhat surprised if such a player exists.

This notion that Gillick has been handcuffed by the vestiges of the Ed Wade era is a notion that needs to be debunked. Ed Wade left Gillick a team that had won 88 games, & finished 1 game out of the playoffs the previous year. He also left him a team whose active roster already included Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, Jimmy Rollins, Pat Burrell, Brett Myers, Shane Victorino, Geoff Geary, and Ryan Madson -- with Cole Hamels, Kyle Kendrick, Carlos Ruiz, & Michael Bourn waiting in the wings in the minors. Here we are 3 yearas later and that list pretty much includes every important player on the current roster, plus two guys (Geary & Bourn) who enabled us to get our current closer. And I didn't even mention Abreu & Thome. Like every team, the Phillies had a few bad contracts when Gillick took over. But, on balance, I think just about any GM would be thrilled to step into the above situation -- which is precisely why Gillick turned down the higher-payroll Dodgers, to take the Phillies job.

The Chris Woodward signing happened because Ray Olmedo did not accept his signing to Lehigh Valley and decided to become a free agent. So Woodward replaces Olmedo which means this may have nothing to do with Helms being traded. Did Olmedo really think he was going to be on the 25 man roster?

I actually don't think the Lahey signing is that bad but I would have rather had the Phils sign Seanez or a left handed pitcher. Hopefully the Phillies can still get another lefty in the bullpen and when Lidge comes back and Helms gets traded or released the Phillies can demote Condrey or Lahey depending on who is pitching worse.

I don't think anyone has an issue with signing Lahey. Hell, it is not like the Phils don't have space on the 40-man roster or that Allentown is loaded with pitching prospects.

People just question what kind of impact Lahey can have (if he can be a serviceable reliever which is a very legit concern) and fans are frustrated that this is the only type of move the Phils will make to strengthen their bullpen due to monetary reasons.

It's now Saturday morning, and I'm actually more angry now than I was yesterday. What Gillick is trying to sell to the fans right now in regards to the shitorific pitching staff is disgusting. I feel bad for Utley, Howard, Victorino, Rollins, Cole, Myers, guys with real talent who simply need mediocre pitching to fill out the spots to contend, but Gillick goes and scrapes the bottom on the barrell and tries to put a positive spin on it...bullshit!

Good piece by our old friend Doug Glanville in the NY Times today:

The Boys Of Spring

I am going up to the Phillies preseason game today Sat 3/29 and it looks like a great day for a baseball game.

Check out my Phillies blog for a nice glimpse at what I would call a great Phillies fan, a true 5 star type!

Rich Baxter

"This is a guy who will fill out the back end of the lineup and mostly get used for mop up duty."

I love this line of argument: He'll only pitch in blowouts so it's an ok signing. Of course, if that were true, then why did we need him in the first place? Travis Blackley or VD could have pitched in blowouts too.

Of course, it's NOT true. Last year, Clay Condrey was the quintessential "mop-up" reliever. He did pitch in quite a few blowouts but, by my count, he also pitched in 22 games which were ultimately decided by 3 runs or less. And that number would have been more if he hadn't spent a considerable portion of the season at AAA.

There's no such thing as a reliever who will only pitch in blow-outs. The guys at the top end of your bullpen get injured & can't pitch every day. There will be plenty of games this year when the starter can only go 5 innings, & a couple of our relievers aren't available. There will also be plenty of games where Cholly burns through 5 or 6 relievers and we go into extra innings & have to rely on the 6th and 7th relievers in our bullpen. We had several of those types of games last year &, to my recollection, we lost nearly every one of them. And we will do the same this year.

I'm going to make my first (and last) declaration on Brian Mazone: He should be the 5th starter and is a better pitcher than Adam Eaton or Chad Durbin.

The real advantage to Lahey is that now Coste can pinch-hit. If Chooch twists a toe-nail, Lahey can don the garb.

Sorry for the anonymous post. Assume y'all knew it was me anyway. (Who else would be pretentious enough to say, "don the garb?")

When I have more time, I'll find a scouting report on Mazone. I do have to say, even his slow-pitch, lefty finesse, Moyer impersonations would be more likely to keep my lunch intact than watching Eaton fail to get a clue. Again. And again. And again.




Although there may be a problem: I can't find Mazone at Reading or Allentown.

The trail drops off when we was sent down during spring training on March 10. Hope he didn't go back to Japan.

Mazone actually pitched in Korea last season.

When Lahey retires a righthander, then dons the tools of ignorance with Coste moving to third, Dobbs to left, Romero coming in to face a lefty, then goes back on the mound again with Coste moving back behind the plate and Pedro Feliz coming in to play third, you guys’ll get a glimpse of the vision of Stand Pat.

This ticks me off. They go out and sign some unknown talent in Lahey who's springs stats are anything but desirable and yet the Rockies place Jose Capellan on waivers and he clears them. I thought Gillic was a waiver wire whore? Sure Capellan might be a little injured this spring but he has a good track record of being a healthy reliever and has some decent major league experience. The numbers may not kill you, but the kid has a live arm and still has some youth on his side. The Woodward move I can understand, but Lahey? I think they are just pulling names out of hats right now. Gillic just retire now and do us all a favor.

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