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Friday, March 07, 2008

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I'm cool with these ideas, especially the Carrasco in relief idea- I said about that a few days ago.

Eaton is horrible, really f'n horrible. I'm not exaggerating when I say he could ruin the Phils season. Dos Durbins aren't the answer either. Benson still needs time to mend, so why not let Rosario try starting. I'm still hoping Blackley continues to chuck well in Florida too.

I'm not sure how I feel about the bounce-back between bullpen and starter that seems to becoming mroe and more common these days. I prefer the power pitching reliever who comes in to shut batters down for an inning or two over someone who comes in for "starter training."

JAS: On the last thread, you said that Blackley could probably benefit from some more time in the minors. Problem is, we got him via the Rule 5 draft which means we need to keep him on our 25-man roster all year or give him back to the Giants. So the only way we could stash him in the minors would be if we gave him back to the Giants and then traded for him (which is what we did with Victorino a few years ago, after we drafted him in the Rule 5 & he didn't make the 25-man roster).

My 2 cents...

Don't start screwing around with pitchers now (especially the ones that are actually pitching well).

Blackley should be given every opportunity to make the 25 man roster as the 5th starter. He has shown enough for the Phils to want to hang onto him and not give him back to SF.

Eaton should not start the season on the 25 man roster; unless he suddenly figuers out how to get hitters out again. Short of that, he starts on the D.L. or is just flat out released, with the Phils eating the contract. Just admit the mistake and move on. The big boy organizations sometimes have to do it and it costs them some cash.

The pen needs a hard thrower, so leave Rosario down there. He could find a nice niche in the pen.

Keep Happ on stand-by in AAA, as the first pitcher up to replace a injured major league starter. Why his name is not mentioned more is confusing to me. If healthy, he can pitch.

Don't start messing with Carrasco. Send him to either AA or AAA, and let him start every 5th game. If he pitches well, then, you can think about moving him to the pen in Philly sometime in the summer (if the pen needs reinforcements).

Benson (hopefully) will be ready to go (at the latest) by May 1. Until then, give Blackley or Chad Durbin the 5th starter job; the loser is the long-man in the pen and be done with it.

I wonder why Happ isn't getting more mention as a possible 5th starter. Carrasco's name has been mentioned, and Happ is a lot further along in his development than Carrasco. After seeing the first 2 weeks of ST, I seriously can't believe the Phillies are still talking about Eaton & the 2 Durbins as the leading candidates for the job. Everyone loves to discount everything that happens in ST, but you can't declare open competition for the fifth starter's job, and then turn around and say, "Well, the results of that competition didn't count because it was only spring training."

From the last thread:

Re: ALby and Kdon~

Alby agree with your point about repeating mistakes if you don't correct them, but bringing in different guys to fill needs is basically a crap-shoot anyway. Some guys pan out some don't.

K-don~

My comments were not directed at you personally. Sorry if you felt that way. Everyone has a right to their opinion, so by all means express yours. But my point is, while Alfonseca pitched very well last year and was very important to the team, he's not here this year. And if he were, there is no guarantee that he'd pitch as well, hence my comment to Alby above.

Every knows the story with Eaton. He's there whether we like it or not. Same with Loshe. He's not there whether we like it or not. He was offered 3/21 and turned it down. Now the Phils' FO are turning their noses up at him for spite. Is that right? No, I don't think so. Can he help? Probably. But apparantly the owners' don't think so. As phans, that's the hand we are dealt. We can't change it so we have to live with it. Changes will not be forthcoming as long as the current ownership and philosophy stays in place.

Stop with this releasing Eaton stuff. there is NO WAY WE EAT $16 MIL!!!! NO WAY! It's a waste of a post to discuss this further.

bap - that's not entirely true; if SF declines to take Blackley back and he passes through waivers he could be assigned to AAA. that's what happened to 2005 International League MVP (and Rule 5 pick) Victorino, remember.

ae: That's true. He could pass through waivers and come back to us. But, as for Victorino, my memory was that we actually traded for him after giving him back to the Dodgers. I could be wrong, though.

D, I didn't take your comments personally. I just don't like it when people make declarations about what should and should not be posted.

I think several posters here enjoy going back over past moves and analyzing the rational that went into the decisions. There is more to Gillick's body of work than "some things don't pan out." There are patterns and consistencies in Gillick's moves and you learn a lot more about the current club by looking at his old moves than you do by saying, "well, maybe it will pan out, maybe it won't."

BAP: Vic was offered back to the Dodgers and they declined.

I wonder who was the real man of genius in the Dodger organization that allowed Victorino to get away.

I did some research and apparently what happened was that we cut Victorino, he passed through waivers and, when the Dodgers declined to take him back, we were able to sign him & send him to AAA (where he won league MVP that year). Kind of surprising that not one major league team was interested in a guy with great speed & defense, who'd hit .290 with 19 homeruns & 16 steals during his previous year in the minors.

denny b.: "just flat out released, with the Phils eating the contract. Just admit the mistake and move on. The big boy organizations sometimes have to do it and it costs them some cash."

I'm curious... how often have teams eaten $16M dollars by releasing a player outright. You suggest "big boy organizations" have done it, but I frankly can't remember the last highly paid player to get outright released.

"Phans~ Stop being wannbe GM's, making big deals over guys who may not be there anyway. Stop writing about Alfonseca and the like. He's history that won't be repeated."

D, to make my point a little clearer, I think Alfonseca *is* being repeated in the form of Chad Durbin.

History may not repeat itself, but to crib Twain, it sure does rhyme.

"I wonder who was the real man of genius in the Dodger organization that allowed Victorino to get away."

Mike, don't forget Vic was a different player back then. He had only shown a little pop in AA, and wasn't near the SB threat back then.

For LA, he had one nice half year at AA, but for the rest of his time there, he was a slap hitting CF who couldn't steal bases.

JKane: You're right: Eaton will never be released. And, frankly, there's no advantage to releasing him. Since we have to pay him either way, it's better to just stash him on the DL in the highly unlikely event that he might be of use at some point in the next 2 years. The only benefit I can see in releasing him is that it would prevent them from ever again being tempted into trying him out in the starting rotation.

BAP - The other clubs probably didn't want Vic at that point for the same reason the Phils didn't. Wouldn't they have had to put him on the 25 man roster for the season to?

"I'm curious... how often have teams eaten $16M dollars by releasing a player outright. You suggest "big boy organizations" have done it, but I frankly can't remember the last highly paid player to get outright released."

(Based on a quick look at Cot's Contracts...)

It looks like Arizona released Russ Ortiz midway through 2006. Ortiz was due $6M in 2006, $7.5M in 2007 & $8.5M in 2008.

Then the scouts failed to see the potential in him, right?

Carson: "Dos Durbins"--love it.

J: It does seem like Carrasco is emerging as the best of the young crop of pitchers. We'll see about Outman over the course of the season. As for Savery, I'm already beginning to see signs that there's not a whole lot of upside there. A friend who went to Rice during those years told me that nobody ever imagined Savery would make the bigs as a pitcher, only as a fielder. He's athletic enough, but I think the best we'll get out of him is a middle reliever.

Who cares what other teams do, release the bum.

Unfortunately Eaton has really lost any confidence he thought he had before ST with the mysterious back injury.

It appears the Phillies are questioning this as much as the fans which hopefully will lead to some final judgement on his fate.

Either hide him in the BP in a Condrey role, trade him for 10 cents on the dollar somehow to Cards, White Sox, or anyone who will take him, or shut him down on the DL like Tim Worrell either for a mental and/or physical leave to get his game face back and see how the team has fared without him.

At this point for him to be what the Phillies expected when they signed him is unrealistic.

Eaton as the 5th starter for the Phils is detrimental to the best interests of the team and it must be acknowledged and dealt with accordingly.

I am not sure which decision is worse - his original signing or continuing to be one of the starters.

sifl: Another one giving up on Savery already? After a whopping 3 ML ST innings? He was drafted in 2007... it's not like he's been toiling in the minors. In his second ST outing, he pitched 2 scoreless innings and broke two bats.

I'd imagine the countless ML scouts who pegged this guy as a first round pitcher are probably a little better able to figure out who'd be a good major leaguer than your friend from Rice (no offense to your friend who I'm sure is a great guy).

I would assume that the Phillies have insurance on Eaton's contract in case of injury. I wouldn't be surprised to see him go on the 60-day DL with back problems. Eaton will still get paid on his contract and the Phils may recoup a few dollars from insurance.

UD, I think if the Phils had insurance (a big if these days), their policy holder might do a little investigating before just handing over $16M.

St. Hawk. Congrats on your big win last night, and Ortiz is a good comp. Most of the bad FA signings in recent years have been injury related (Clement, Pavano, Wright, Hampton) but Ortiz is the best comp I can think of for a player who was signed to a long term deal and simply stunk.

I agree, all this talk of back pain and arm problems is lending well to a prolonged stay on the DL should the Phils see fit...and hopefully they do!

I know Pat Gillick shot this idea down, but with Kyle Lohse still out there you'd think we'd bring him back for one season. He's not good, heck he's barely goes 6 innings, but at least he's not Eaton or the Durbins.

CJ: Those scouts pegged Savery as a first-rounder before his shoulder surgery. Personally, I'd like to see him DH when he's not pitching; there were scouts who thought highly of him as a hitter, too, and we're gonig to need a new 1B in just about four years.

ah, stupid open tag. I blame antihistamines.

ae: give it another try. I deleted the first one.

oops, my post disappeared....

ae: That'll teach you about taking html coding advice from Andy.

I guess that's kinda my point... after a morning of searching, I couldn't find another instance of a high-priced players being placed on unconditional waviers with at least one more year left on a contract. And it's certainly not like Arizona is a "big boy club." Most teams find other ways to deal with mistake signings than just eating millions and millions in salary.

Alby: There are certainly some people who dropped Savery after the injury, but Baseball America, for example, suggested he could be a steal if he slipped to the second half of the first round. And, at worst, the rankings I have found would have pegged Savery in the second round. My point is that plenty of people saw a bright ML future for Savery before and after surgery.

I'll save the wordiness and just recommend you check out this post on Victorino from TGP, as well as the LA blogger perspective it links to.

KDon~

Understood. I see your point about Durbin. RP's are what they are. We all know PG's MO. He is working within ownership's self-imposed salary cap and he loves bringing guys in he knows and is comfortable with.

I'm sure more a few GM's operate that way. I'm sure you remember a lot of my posts where I've stated "Gillick had the opportunity to make the team the best in the NL and didn't".

I believe he's had a pretty good off-season and needs to augment it by bringing back Loshe to replace Eaton. Benson, while a good, low-risk potentially high reward signing is not ready to replace Eaton. Lohse seems to be the obvious answer. No, Eaton will not be released as other posters are suggesting, but he belongs on the DL. Durbin? He's what I mean when I talk about guys panning out. Gillick is hoping so. He may or may not have a year like Alfonseca did. We shall see.

Carrasco needs to pitch regularly more than anything. Putting him in the bullpen to start the season will definitely insure this doesn't happen. I just can't see Cholly going to Carrasco on any kind of regular basis unless it is generally mop-up duty or the Phils are up big.

Given that it is highly likely the Phils are going to have to give a few guys a chance in the rotation this year, the Phils and Carrasco both would be better served if he pitches (and hopefully pitches well) the first 3 months of the season and would be ready for a call-up if needed.

hawk - growing up I always wondered how I'd make my mark on the world...

"Carrasco needs to pitch regularly "

Exactly. 2008 will not depend on CC (except as a possible Sept call up). 2008 may, however, depend on the FO having the balls to admit that Eaton is a sunk cost and deal with it.

Here is hoping that Rosario can continue to build on his early success in spring training and take it into the season. Been one of the few real bright spots in camp on the pitching side.

Put me in the "send Carrasco down" camp. Let's get him at least a half season of regular starts before we start thinking about him as bullpen help. We should be thinking about our 2009 or 2010 rotation when it comes to him (are we looking at Hamels, Carrasco, Happ, Kendrick, Outman in 2010 perhaps?... Savery?). It's nice to actually look at a Phillies future rotation with homegrown talent for once. Let's not try to ruin it it with some short term bullpen gains.

I don't think anyone is advocating for Carrasco to start the year in the Majors. He's far too green. However, when the bullpen falls apart in June, I wouldn't hesitate if he's pitching well. Not for one second. Actually, if the Phillies turned around today and said his future is in the bullpen, I wouldn't care. What does the bullpen look like in '09? Gordon is gone, Lidge is gone ...

If Eaton's back was hurt this offseason, they why the hell didn't he either start going some rehab with a PT (even yoga)? It can be find hard to find something that works but I can't imagine that Eaton has kind of issue with his back/spine due to the wear/tear of age such as disc degeneration or severe arthritis.

Probably muscular in nature and this can addressed if someone is willing to take sometime to find out a regimen that works. Problem is that Eaton knew he had $17 M reasons why not to go all out instead.

MG: I wonder if Eaton *really* is hurt. I certainly wouldn't be surprised if the Phillies and Eaton collectively decided it was best for him to start talking about an injury so it would be easier to 60-day DL him instead of some awkward showdown as the season approached. I can't imagine he'll be starting the season as our 5th starter now.

JW - Agreed but Carrasco still needs to work on a regular basis if he is called up. None of this "Cholly uses him once a week in a meaningless appearance." I do think there are going to be plenty of opportunities though for guys in the minors in both the bullpen and the rotation because Gillick completely failed this offseason to really upgrade either.

Jason: Fair enough. Although I'd rather his future not be in the bullpen. Developing good starting pitching is essential to this team's success. I've always felt it's easier to find bullpen arms (hmmm... although the last two Phillies off-seasons haven't proven that to be true!).

To clarify- I do not want Carrasco going north come the end of March. However, if he's pitching well and the Phils have a need come mid-season then promote him.

Does anybody have a method for catching these games on a radio broadcast? I'm out of town, watching the mets and indians scrubs when I'd much rather check out cole.

Do we have rain again here? I'm getting nothing out of the box score.

CJ - Maybe not. I said a month ago I thought the only way Eaton wouldn't start the season as the No. 5 is if he was on the DL or hurt and that C. Durbin would be the No. 5 starter for April with very mixed results (and getting yanked back the bullpen by early May).

Another question--

We blame Gillick, as we should, for personnel moves gone bad. But sometimes that is a bit like blaming a CEO when the foreman of one of the plants misses a final check-down. What I mean is that Gillick needs to rely heavily on his subordinates to keep him informed about available talent. For instance, I have no reason to think that Gillick ever personally saw Justin Germano pitch before the Phils left him off the 40-man roster, or that the Dodgers GM ever personally saw Shane Victorino play before they decided they didn't want Vic back in LA.

I bring this up because the Phillies' personnel evaluators, in substantial part, are probably Arbuckle and Amaro, Jr., one of whom will likely replace Gillick. Are they as much to blame as Gillick for overestimating Eaton or underestimating a guy like Germano?

JAS
yes

The buck, however, stops at the top.

Weather.com says its mostly cloudy, no rain right now.

Malcom- According to weather.com, St. Petersburg is under a tornado watch right now, so that might be related.

And the hour-by-hour forecast has strong storms starting around 3:00 PM & going until tomorrow, so I don't know how much they'll get in today.

(Of course, by the time I post this, they'll probably be playing.)

"St. Petersburg is under a tornado watch right now,"

Maybe they can post Eaton and Helms as "tornado watchers."

Boxscore says its the top of the 3rd. Hamels has pitched 2 innings, 2 hits, no runs, 1 K. No hits yet for the Phils.

Yeah, got the box now. Also, just because it happens way too often, guys, it's Malcolm, with two Ls. I don't know anyone who spells it Malcom. That is all.

ESPN just posted the best stats for active pitchers at Shea Stadium. Mad Dog is 5th with a .70 ERA

MalcoLm - Stupid silent letters.

King Cole just gave a moderate 'low blow' performance. 3 runs on 5 hits in 3 innings. All 3 runs given up in the third...

"ESPN just posted the best stats for active pitchers at Shea Stadium. Mad Dog is 5th with a .70 ERA"

I didn't believe that, so I checked baseball-reference and I saw that Mad Dog's ERA at Shea was actually 4.06.

And then I realized that Greg Maddux isn't the 'Mad Dog' you meant.

"King Cole just gave a moderate 'low blow' performance. 3 runs on 5 hits in 3 innings. All 3 runs given up in the third..."

Interesting to note that the Hamels/Coste combination gave up 3 stolen bases today. No clue on how many were in the third inning or how much of an impact that had on the scoring.

Hey, it's okay, it just happens to me all the time, like at work.

Meanwhile, WTF Cole?

Hamels was 1-3 with a 6.10 ERA, including 9 HR allowed, in five starts last spring.

Malcolm - that's why I changed my name from "Alnldly." No one could keep it straight.

Last Spring Cole was working on a breaking pitch, right? If he's getting hit for that reason, it's just fine. If he could get a plus curve or slider to go with his other stuff... *drools uncontrollably* that'd be, um, good.

It's probably really naieve of me to even think this because I love Cole and his tenacity, but I hope this doesn't correspond into a year-long temper tantrum due to the contract issue.

J. brings up a good stat. It's probably just ST jitters and working out mechanics. It would be a shame to see this kid turn into "Hollywood" Hamels this soon though.

I do wonder how much Hamels' ST problems have to do with it just being ST, and how much have to do with his more general problem of pitching in day games.

Yeah, he should be OK, but you do want to see more Ks and less homers, etc.

If we want to keep Blackley, we could do a deal like offer some cash or we could offer the Dodgers Helms and some cash. Don't they need a 3B?

slocs - I'm having a momentary cognitive disonance. Helmns...3B...Helms...3B...

Nope. Can't make it fit.

I will say Eaton was pretty damn good with that tarp out in Clorado when the Phils saved the day. Maybe we can put him to work managing the tarp.

Andy, have a sip of this here strange brew, and try again.

Have they started playing real games yet? Hope that happens soon.

Even with the Dodgers issues with 3B, I doubt they would have much interest.

Ideally, Gillick would try to move Helms this spring (and maybe Snelling too) to free up some cash and make a run at Lohse. Hell, why not try to trade Helms and a second-tier prospect to the Dodgers if they are willing to eat a portion of Helms' salary (say $1.25-$1.5M) and Blackley. Throw a bit of a better prospect if it that is what it takes to make the Dodgers bite.

I am willing to bet that Lohse is going to get pretty desperate in another 10 days or so if he doesn't have a job and a paycheck lined up. It will be really frustrating to see if he signs for a really low price ($4M) and the Phils just passed on him.

But of course this would force the Phils to publicly acknowledge that they have lost complete faith in Eaton and for them to spend another $2-$3M this season. Ugh.

pretty sure you guys are on top of this one but man this guy has some tough luck.

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/spring2008/news/story?id=3281866

heres hoping he hangs em up.

This whole Eaton being hurt thing is a conspiracy. It's the powerful people with money trying to cover up a lie, and selling the ignorant public and lackey media a bill of goods. To know the truth you have to follow the money...

Of course, I just finished a marathon of The Wire, so this may be influencing my judgment.

kdon -
the universally satisfactory solution is out there!

So who's the best lefty on the mound for the Phils now?

Andy, you've definitely never seen The Wire. More like the vague and nebulous approximation of the truth is out there, but buried beneath a world of lies and greed.

Kinda like the Clemens investigation!

kdon: You mean Chad Durbin is going to save the Phillies season when Gordon and Lidge are both out?

It's nice to see Rosario & Castro looking good in ST because, among the assortment of cast-offs & never-beens that Gillick has assembled for the back end of our bullpen, these 2 guys have the most upside. If either or both of them keep pitching well, I wouldn't mind seeing the last starting job go to one of them. I'm in the Anybody But Eaton camp right now.

C'mon clout. I think everyone else has had enough.

BAP: Agreed on Rosario and Castro. I would hope the bullpen turns out like this:

Lidge
Gordon
Romero
Madson
Rosario
Castro
Durbin

That's assuming, of course, that Rosario and Castro can learn some control, which is a very risky assumption. I have to say though, and maybe its my preference for prospects over mediocre veterans, that the idea of Chad Durbin and Shane Youman doesn't really excite me. What WOULD excite me is Carrasco and Mathieson stepping into the bullpen in July for Durbin and Rosario. There would be some decent power arms in there...

As it is we'll probably be stuck with Youman, Condrey and some other crap.

Another reason to love ST: the quintuple switch. Look at the Rays' line-up. Amazing.

The quintuple switch? Now Cholly's just showing off.

"What WOULD excite me is Carrasco and Mathieson stepping into the bullpen in July for Durbin and Rosario"

Personally, I'd prefer if Durbin & Rosario were pitching so well that they didn't need to have others step in.

Of course, I'd also prefer to win the lottery. I'm guessing that the odds are somewhat similar.

Glad to see May J-Roll showed up for ST.

b-a-p:
naaaah. The Rays did it. Chollie can't even do a double switch.

Mike Hampton, you poor bastard. Thanks for the update, Angus.

Speaking of injuries, how likely is it that Albert Pujols lands on the DL this season with his torn ligament?

I see the Feliz Grapefruit League hitting streak may be coming to a close.

MG, Slocs: The Dodgers have one of the best prospects in baseball, Andy LaRoche, battling Garciaparra for playing time at 3B. Their interest in Helms would be zero.

MikeH: The Cards and Pujols say that he's going to keep playing with the injury until he needs complete reconstructive surgery. He played all last season with it, so I guess he'll be fine.

Jeltz - good thing it's not undefined lower back pain. We all know how debilitating that can be.

Anyone else really happy that Carrasco gave up some runs this spring? I know I am.

Andy: Oh, right. I read your post too quickly. And here I was starting to get excited about Cholly's accelerating learning curve.

Okay, I didn't want THAT many runs.

Must be the Beerleaguer jinx.

Phils 2008 Year End Rotation/Bullpen (Fantasy)
1 Hamels
2 Myers
3 A.J. Burnett (acquired at the trade deadline for one of our "top notch" prospects...or for a year's supply of Yuengling, whichever has more value in Toronto)
4 Moyer
5 Kendrick

Closer - Lidge
Gordon
Madson
Romero
Carrasco
Castro
Rosario

Phils 2008 Year End Rotation/Bullpen (Reality...through rose-colored glasses)
1 Hamels
2 Myers
3 Moyer
4 Kendrick
5 Benson

Closer- Lidge
Gordon
Romero
Madson
Durbin
Condrey
Youman

Just curious. Anyone think Carrasco really needs any more AA or AAA seasoning? He already pitches as well as at least one MLB #5 I can think of.

Andy: Having to lug around that fat paycheck might have contributed to Eaton's "undefined lower back pain." We certainly know it wasn't from carrying the team.

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