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Friday, March 14, 2008

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I have been pretty hard on Golson. (25 - 173, for instance) I would love it if he lived up to the potential in every aspect of his game and learned to not strike out.

I do have to wonder if he's not been better because pitchers other than the Phillies' cannot throw effective breaking pitches in early Spring. But I'm more than willing to drink Golson kool-aid. (Much more than, say, Feliz kool-aid, which always tastes like napalm in the morning.) Golson without too many strike-outs is like...hmmmm...

the Beef Wellington of out-fielders.

Here's something that, as of the ides of March, works for me:

Hamels
Myers
Rosario
Moyer
Kendrick

The Deal at A-town, C-Durb pickin' splinters from his butt, and Eaton floating on a raft in the middle of the Pacific.

man, set him afloat in the Atlantic where, perhaps, the Bermuda Triangle will get him.

"Who is the most important addition to the Phils in 2008?"

1. Anna Benson (41.1%)
2. Pedro Feliz (25.5%)
3. Brad Lidge (22.4%)


Looks like the "horny guy" quotient of the fanbase voted.

Working with Manuel over the winter sounds good in theory and should help when he isn't K'ing, but Manuel hasn't exactly helped Ryan "King of the K's" Howard cut down any. I think if Golson is any good in the minors, he's just as deserving of a Chris Roberson-type shot as anyone. Not too comfortable betting the farm and Pat the Bat's future on him, though.

At least the Lohse talk should die down now, only to be replaced by more venom, rightfully spewed at the Front Office and their clear lack of "getting it."

I'm willing to go out on a limb and say many Phillies fans are indeed also horny guys.

An important new principle emerged yesterday. If the Phils can score 10 runs a game, they will be ok. As it happens, because they got better pitching yesterday, they could have won with just 8 runs. One exception to this new principle is when Eaton is pitching (and Tom Gordon follows him in relief). Of course, if Cholly allows Moyer to pitch more than 5 innings, there may be two exceptions to this new principle.

Hitman, good point. Remember when A-rod got a bunch of crap when he said that the Yankee offense needed to put up 6 a game to win? Wonder how well it would go over if Rollins said they need 10 a game with this subpar staff?

"King of the Ks" is what he is because he swings for the fences every at-bat - he doesn't try to "just make solid contact" like he did in 2005 and 2006.
I don't have much issue with his hitting philosophy, because of his high HR and RBI output.
But, Cholly is not going to be able to repair this because "King of the Ks" knows that this philosophy is what's gotten him paid this year, and may help to get him paid in the future.

Maybe I am being too hard on Eaton. After all, he did herniate that lumbar disk in the line of duty, i.e., turning around too quickly to watch a homerun ball fly over the fence

The 49/2 K to BB ratio in 2007 disqualifies Golson at the Show in 2008. Nothing short of an International League MVP would convince me to bring him up in 2009.

I posted this yesterday, but a writer(can't remember who) was on Jody Mac's show yesterday and said there is zero chance of Burrell coming back-even on a 1 year discounted contract. Phils mgmt doesn't want him back. Don't shoot the messanger.

Willard: Honestly, you're comparing Ryan Howard to Greg Golson?

I can't believe people still get worked up about the number of strike outs Ryan Howard gets. If he wasn't walking so much, I'd be concerned. But it's not like we should be telling Howard to shorten up his swing to avoid K's.

Get over it.

Bed Beard: They may say that now, but there's a long season to go before it's time to make a decision.

They wouldn't want to bring him back if he turned in a 40-HR, 120-RBI season? Just don't buy that.

Or, CJ, he still had 200 Ks in a year where his OBP was .392 and he had 136 RBIs. You summed it up quite well, though...

BB: That's my feeling, too. The evidence points in that direction. The 4-year offer to Lowell (right-handed power, longterm), the attempt to move him to Baltimore, the rumors.

It will be interesting to see how many teams express interest in him. Very few, I'm predicting. I don't think the opinion of Burrell is very high around baseball. When it's all said, the Phils and Burrell might be the best match on a 1-year deal. I would welcome it.

Well, he probably wont have that season and the writer was saying(as if he's spoken to montgomery) that they still view that contract as a disaster, even though he does typically put up reliable numbers.

CJ, Good point. Do people want Ryan Howard to become a slap singles hitter? Get over the K's, were talking about a guy who puts up a 1.000 OPS and 50 HRs every year. Strikeouts really aren't a huge deal when it comes to power hitters. Golson, however, does need to cut down on the K's, because he is not a power hitter.

I'm down in Clearwater about to head out to the game. I'll try and give a little scouting report later, if I haven't had too many beers and gotten kicked out for booing Eaton. I'm pretty fired up about seeing my boy Pedro Feliz in action though.

Jack: Exactly... if Golson doesn't cut down on strike outs, he'll never sniff the majors. You just can't compare a power hitting first baseman's approach to a speed merchant outfielder's.

Willard - You can criticize Cholly on a couple of things but generally he seems to push the right buttoms with the players on offensive. Plus, I feel pretty confident that Thompson will help them make the proper adjustments.

The only thing I wonder is how Cholly will utilize the platoon situation in RF and his bench. It is valid to criticize Cholly at times for burning though his bench to quickly at times or stubbornly trotting out sometime inappropriate in PH situations. I have been amazed at the number of ABs Cholly threw away on Nunez as a PH when someone else was available the past 2 seasons.

As I indicated earlier, I agree with Jason. This, finally, really, is the make or break year for Golson. If he does not improve his BB/K ration he should be considered trade bait. If he does solve that problem, however, what's not to like? Speed, some power, speed, good coverage in the OF, speed, a great arm, and, um, speed.

I'll reiterate what I said yesterday: The Phillies are cheap idiots for not re-signing Lohse at that low rate. I don't have the same problem with their "arbitrary self-imposed salary cap" that others do(esp. when planning long term), but in this case it's silly not to take advantage of a huge bargain when it fills a clear need in a season where you definitely should be contending. They'll make a lot more money if they're in first place and/or make the playoffs, and not throwing away a start every fifth day would help that. It's fine to hope, but expecting anything out of Benson is foolishness, and Lohse is a clear and significant upgrade over the 5.5-6 ERA we're going to get out of Eaton/Durbin/etc. And as for any comparisons between Eaton and Lohse... Petco Park.

The Scouts Honor 2008 vote selected Jimmy Rollins and Chase Utley as the best in MLB at their positions, with Ryan Howard being voted best power hitter.

Link- http://philadelphia.phillies.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20080314&content_id=2425787&vkey=spt2008news&fext=.jsp&c_id=mlb

By Brian's rationale, the 24 other contending teams are "cheap idiots" by not signing him, either, because he was such a bargain. Somehow, that doesn't pass the smell test. There's some value-based reason why he stayed out of everyone else's camp for so long.

Per rotoworld:

Manuel expects to have Benson ready for June....

WTF?

I thought he was almost ready. Did I miss something?

Mike, what do you think the "value-based" reason is?

Conversely, what was the value-based reason Silva got 4/48 and Livan got more money than Lohse.

Because I don't see it.

Teams do stupid things all the time, sometimes all of them at once.

My theory is that once teams go to camp, they wanted to look at younger players for the 4th and 5th spots, and once they realized they had a $368,000 option already throwing in Florida, they didn't want to waste the money.

Lohse certainly would have signed for more in the off-season.

kdon - and sometimes teams do smart things all at once.

I remember that Boras wanted 5 - $50MM for Lohse at the start. There was about 1.6/(infinity) interest in that offer.

(I really wish I could make a sidewyas eight on this typepad).

But I agree with you about 4-5 starter options and minor-leaguers who costs 1/10 the price.

If Silva had lasted this long, he'd certainly be getting a lot less, too. Probably Romero as well.

from the department of disasters that didn't happen:

Sure as hell glad that we didn't sign Schilling now that he's on the 60 day DL. Imagine the vitriol that would be spewed on this board if we signed (or traded for) damaged goods two years in a row . . .

I, for one, was very dissapointed when he chose Boston.

Mike H.: What contenders/spenders would he represent a significant upgrade for? Yankees, Boston, Angels, Dodgers, D-backs, Cubs, Seattle, Tigers? No. Mets? Probably not. None of those teams has as low a quality of 5th starter poo-poo platter that we do, and few of them are depending on a 45 year old as their #3. And for other teams it makes more sense to take a chance on a young guy than commit a rotation spot to assured mediocrity. In our case, with our offense, assured mediocrity is an above .500 pitcher.
And to expand on K-don's point, we thought he was worth 3 yrs 21 million a few months ago, and now he isn't even worth a 1 yr/5mil flyer? Doesn't make sense.

JW - I think it depends on what teams next year in the AL are looking for a DH next offseason. Kind of a weird trend with that position. Some teams go the bottom discount dollar rate and others have some big-money guys there.

If Burrell's defense continues to erode this year (and he begins to resemble a real-life statue in LF which is a real possibility), he either needs to move to 1B or more likely just become a full-time DH. Either way Victorino is probably going to need to cheat over a bit to cover in LF this year. Rowand seemed to do this more and more last year as the season went on. Hopefully Feliz's presence at 3B can save a few balls getting throw especially down the 3B line.

One thing I am curious to see is if more teams test out Burrell's arm this year. He did have 8 assists last year but his throws didn't seem like they had the same umph. Figure that teams will largely respect Burrell's arm the first month or two of the season (largely based on his career and last year) but one of the subtle things I will watch for this year is more teams trying to take an extra base with him if the scouting guys on other teams notice something.

I too find it hard to believe that Loshe signed for so little. Granted, he is most likely going to be slightly below league average, but this does not seem to be a deal driven strictly by the market. Especially when considering he almost has to have some kind of value at the trade deadline.

The conspiracy theorist in me smells collusion, in order to keep the price of mediocre pitching at what ownership considers reasonable, and to put the screws (once again this offseason) to Mr. Boras.




testing for Andy

One of the more subtle things in general I am interested to see this year again:

- Phils' Outfield Defense:

1. Phils' OF lead the NL last year with 39 assists. Average NL team only had 27.

2. Rowand lead the way with 11 assists closely followed by Victorino (10) and Werth (9). My bet is that teams ran on Rowand because the scouting reports told them his arm was weak. I would love to see the baserunning stats from Bill James' book to confirm this. Werth's arm (along with his overall play) was a very pleasant surprise and the Phils are going to miss his defense in RF if they give Jenkins a majority of the playing time.

3. One thing that even that Bill James' statistic would not capture though I think is JRoll's and Utley's positioning and throws on relay attempts. Both don't get enough credit for this and one thing that I always wondered if why Rowand insisted in consistently trying overthrow the relay man. Pisses me off when an OF tries to be "macho" and show his throwing prowess. Hit the relay man if you have an average particularly in CF.

The reason Lohse could find no other taker at 1 year, $4.25M is that, by the time ST rolls around, teams have already spent what they budgeted for. A $4.25M salary for a guy like Lohse seems like a tremendous bargain but, at the same time, $4.25M is not exactly an insignificant expenditure either. In addition, by the time ST starts, many teams have already figured out what their starting rotation is going to look like -- and those that haven't will generally have a prospect or two who comes into ST & looks impressive (our Phillies being a notable exception). If teams think they can adquately fill the fifth starter's job on the cheap, why pay $4.25M to Kyle Lohse?

If Lohse should suffer a serious injury this year, he should sue Scott Boras for malpractice. It's bad enough that he grossly over-estimated his client's value, but he compounded things further by stubbornly sticking to his excessive demands even as it became more and more clear that they were far out of line with what the market would pay. Boras cost Lohse a minimum of $17M, since the Phillies apparently offered him 3 years. After this year, Scott Boras has become the Adam Eaton of sports agents.

Phils' not spending on Lohse make plenty of sense from the Phils' business perspective. The Phils have X budget allocated for annual player salaries. They are almost 100% risk averse and will not exceed X in almost every situation.

Now you may disagree with their overall level of spending but I don't really understand what is hard to grasp about that point.

jobbers - wow!!
How do I do that??
(Or can you only do it in the E.U.?)

Brad Lidge could pitch for the Phils by Wednesday- most exciting news all week!

MG -
You remind me of a line from a Steve Martin movie:

"hmmm...X amount...."

Even the news on Benson yesterday wasn't bad and made sense. He is working up stamina and looks to return at some point in June when his fastball has a bit more life and his probably has better command on his offspeed stuff.

The question do the Phils give Eaton those 8-10 starts before Benson likely returns to the rotation. The Phils saying they aren't pushing Benson but I guarantee they will try to push his timetable up if Eaton/Dos Durbins/Candidate X gets lite up in April & May.

MG - Is Candidate X really Adam Eaton's older brother (in a really fast race car that never quite wins)?

Last comment on Phils' defense:

- I bet with Burrell in LF and Jenkins probably getting a majority of the time in RF, that alot of balls are going to drop down the lines and that the Flyin' Hawaiian will live up to his nickname this year trying to cover balls in the alleyway.

- Been kind of understated this spring but Victorino is one of the guys the Phils' will have a harder time replacing if he goes on the DL for a prolonged stretch. Werth really isn't a CF and the thought of seeing Cholly sending Taguchi out in CF everyday doesn't do much for either. Phils would really miss the intangibles that Victorino brings on defense and on the basepaths.

New thread for the game.

hey kdon, watch this!
"I remember that Boras wanted 5 - $50MM for Lohse at the start. There was about 1.6/∞ interest in that offer."

Just think about it! Now we have a "real" answer to the Vic Darensbourg ERA question!

I've been as tough on Golson as anyone, but the fact of the matter is he is young enough to develop baseball skills on offense. I cannot imagine that he'll be ready to step in for Burrell in 2009, but if he makes progress this year at Reading and moves to Allentown in '09 with more development there, it could land him a job at CBP in 2010.

I do agree with Jason that this season will go a long, long way toward telling us how Golson is likely to turn out, far more than any of his previous seasons. Double A is where the prospects get separated from the suspects.

Joe Sheehan at BP states (and I agree) that the three variables that dictate where a free agent signs are money, preceived competitiveness, and geography.

We can all speculate the level of priority Lohse and Scott Boras placed on those three with some reasonableness. These are value-based judgments from the players perspective. Lohse placed an ultra-high priority on money. He's pitched close to everywhere, so I doubt geography matters to him much.

No team - none that Brian mentioned or other perceived contenders like the Cardinals, Rockies, Brewers (who all think that if things break their way, they can make the playoffs) - bought was Lohse and Boras sold over the course of the winter. Thanks, BAP, for making this point. The FO's values didn't jive with Lohse and Boras. Why? The market changes all the time. Lohse and Boras's insistence to pay for a high price in the face of market dynamics doomed him in the end.

FO people are business owners. If there's a cheaper, more effective alternative in the market, 95 out of 100 business owners will make the switch.

are any of the games on tv this weekend?
what's with tom McCarthy being a crowd reporter?
I didn't like the 4th inning guest last year and I don't like crowd reporters on other team's and national broadcasts.
and why can't harry and larry work together again?
thanks for listening. It felt good getting that out.

Yeah, I am jonesing to see some baseball on tv too. It's beyond pathetic the radio/tv coverage the Phillies have, or should I say don't have, for spring training.

Nice complement by Joe Girardi to Charlie Manuel after watching Greg Golson in the 3/15 BCCT by Randy Miller:

After the final out of a Phillies loss to the Yankees on March 2, New York manager Joe Girardi flipped a baseball to Charlie Manuel that had a message scribbled on it.

“Now I see why you traded [outfielder Michael] Bourn. You have Willie Mays in center,” Girardi wrote on the ball.

Centerfield prospect Greg Golson, the Phils’ top draft pick in 2004, reminded Girardi of the “Say Hey Kid” by making a great diving catch and terrific throw while contributing a key RBI single in the game.

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