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Saturday, March 01, 2008


He may be the worst pitcher in the NL; but he's our worst pitcher in the NL.

Remember that Eaton has done better against AL teams. In two starts against the Yanks he's given up 5 runs, total. So, even if he mows'em down, he still might not be "recovered" from last year's season-ending injury to his ability.

Andy-- So is it ok if we wait till interleague play for Eaton's first start? :)I'm one of the few who think Myers will have a grat year--as a starter! Even though he got the nod for Opening Day, he KNOWS that he's not the No. 1 starter.. Maybe this takes some pressure off his "manic" thought process. Time will tell.

On the previous thread we read that Greg Golson hit a homerun, leading us all to remember the story about the blind squirrel.

As far as Eaton is concerned, in my thinking I don't care if he pitches well and is the fifth starter, or if he craps the bed and someone else steps up the Phillies should have the courage to release him for the good of the team.

As long as the 5th starter can give them quality starts and keep the bullpen from being overworked, I don't care who they choose.

OTOH, right now it doesn't look as if any of Eaton's competition is going to pan out, and it's too early to make a jusgement on Benson.

Benson might wind up being the difference this year, if he can recover and pitch anywhere near as well as he has in the past.

AWH - minor grammatical correction.

It should read:
it doesn't look as if any of Eaton's "competition" is going to pan out

Since Ruben Gillbuckle has filled out the "contenders" for the 5th rotation spot; so they should always be listed in "quotation marks."

Eaton's "competition" may not be much to speak of, but Blackley & Happ both got off to good starts this week. I'm not saying that Eaton has to actually out-perform both these guys in order to earn the job. But he needs to at least pitch about as well as he did before coming to the Phillies. If Blackley and/or Happ continue to pitch well & Eaton's ERA is north of 5.00 entering late March, it would be hard to justify giving him the final starter's spot.

BAP-- The 8 million Eaton is to be paid will outweigh Eaton's ERA when deciding on the 5th starter's spot.. Sad , but true

Rob: Unfortunately, you're probably right --although if Eaton just completely stinks up the place & a viable alternative arises, there's really very little economic justification for giving the job to Eaton.

As has been pointed out by others, Eaton's salary is a sunk cost. Whether they stash him on the DL, or leave him on the roster to hurt the team, they still have to pay him the same $8M. So, the only cost of stashing him on the DL would be the additional salary they would have to pay to his replacement which, in the case of Blackley or Happ, would be very little.

Before we stomp and spit on the grave of Adam Eaton's professional career, I am willing to give him one more opportunity to fix himself and his mechanics. His curveball got flatter over the course of last year, especially when compared to league average.

He has nowhere to go but up. Today's a big day.

BAP - But the Phils don't think like that. Never have. They are going to try and get their "value" out of Eaton this year (particularly since they have him signed for another year).

This stuff about their being "competition" for the No. 5 starter spot is a total PR sham. Hell, Eaton "won" the job in spring training last year even though he faced a much more viable contender in Lieber.

Eaton is the No. 5 starter unless he isn't healthy enough to start in April. If not, then maybe C. Durbin or Blackley gets a shot until Eaton returns. Either way, Eaton is definitely going to spend at least the first half of the season in the rotation.

The other thing I don't understand is this vaunted optimism that Benson is some kind of ace in the hole. Way too people buying into the Phils' spin. While it wasn't a bad move, there is no certainty that Benson will be able to even come back and pitch effectively this year - let alone be ready during the first two months of the year.

The Phils are stuck with Eaton. They can only hope that Eaton is capable of giving them even an average year (which be ok given that their offense will win most nights if Eaton is able to go 6 innings and give up 3-4 runs).

I don't think Eaton is going to be as terrible as last year (almost impossible given it was a historically awful season) but I would be shocked if Eaton posts an ERA under 5 or avoids at least one trip to the DL.

The Eaton signing is a move that has always confused me. His career speaks for itself only reaching 180 innings twice in his injury prone career. That alone should be a reason that the guy she be moved/relegated to the bullpen for some long relief. In a perfect world Eaton returns to his Padres career numbers...but the world is not perfect and he plays in Citizens Bank Park. Keep him in the bullpen to try and preserve the bullpen during the course of the season. Who knows maybe his career shapes out like Ryan Dempster and he actually performs well in the bullpen after starting his career off as a starter.

MG: I agree with every word of that post. I also agree with Mike H. Players do have bad years and I'm trying to enter spring training with an open mind about Eaton. But if I see him allow 2 runs in the first inning today, that door to my open mind is going to quickly start closing.

Hey! One strike! LOL

Mike H. -
Okay, I'll try not to stomp and spit on the grave of Adam Eaton's professional career, but I will be drinking lots of liquid and polish up my hiking boots.

(Unfortunately, much of the liquid may have to be of a peculiar bright red color.)

I'll give him three outings. Rome, Reading, and pitchers arms weren't built in a day. Nice DP.

Maybe they should think about a 4-man rotation...

3 hits in the first inning. Can be stomp and spit on him yet?

LOL. OK, so much for my open mind. What a POS.

And I agree. Put your good boots on. Tighten up those laces. Sharpen up your spikes Ty Cobb style. Mix some Everclear with your Kool-Aid.

Doesn't say much about Ensberg...

Biggest issue with Eaton though is that he played a large part in helping to make this bullpen a mess last year.

Eaton averaged only about 5 1/3 innings last year per start. That is compared to over 6 for both Moyer and Kendrick and nearly 6 2/3 innings for Hamels. Only Garcia averaged a worse number of innings/start (min. 10 starts with the Phils).

The real kicker though was the Eaton didn't even go 5 innings in nearly a third of his starts (8 of 30 starts). When this happens, it basically wrecks a bullpen for at least a week and maybe even more if they don't have an off-day on a Monday.

The Phils just can't afford to have Eaton give them starts this year where he only goes 3 or 4 innings. Besides the difficulty in winning (the Phils went 2-6 in those 8 starts where Eaton didn't go 5 innings and they only those 2 games because they scored 8 and 10 runs respectively), Eaton will expose a weak middle relief and increase the workload on the few reliable arms in the Phils' pen.

I meant throwing him in mop up situations and if he can improve himself then he can start having a chance in low stress situations.

Andy, I stand "corrected".

MG, I don't recall reading "vaunted optimism" anywhere on this blog with regard to Benson.

If you were referring to my post, please explain how "it's too early to make a judgement" and "if he can recover" can in any way be construed as such.

Ugh. I don't put too much into spring training but if Eaton continues to get lite up and someone else pitches well (Blackley/Happ), I hope the Phils have the balls exile Eaton to the bullpen to start the season.

I know the Cholly's strength is keeping his players motivated and positive but the Phils just can afford to give away games/tax the hell out of the bullpen in April & May while Eaton finds himself.

Maybe it is a physical thing with Eaton but he is just mentally weak too. Saw the same look on his face today I did last year. Loser.

Reyes just fouled one off of his knee.

AWH - I wasn't talking about your post in particular. I just keep hearing Benson's name volleyed about as some kind of meaningful acquisition that will play a key role for the Phils down the stretch (Phils certainly spun it that way).

I have no issue with the Benson signing but he should be thought of someone who may help but is just as likely to not do anything meaningful for the Phils this year.

Wang has the kind of sinkerball that would keep the ball in my little league park, let alone CBP.

Well said, MG. Average should be six innings, or getting through all batters three times.

The Phils will never release Eaton (or even Helms for that matter). The Phils kept Barajas all last year and didn't release him. Seemed almost that the Phils and Gillick didn't want to acknowledge they pissed away money that should have gone to a reliever.

Eaton looked better in the 2nd...still doesn't inspire too much confidence.

The 1st inning thing is purely a mental block with Eaton at this point. I honestly don't know how Dubee or anyone on the Phils' staff can correct that.

Hey if the Eagles can release Jevon Kearse and show he was a mistake than Gillick and the Phills should know when it's better to cut your losses as well. Sure no one likes admitting you made a mistake, but it's actually correcting the mistake that is the solution...not pride.

reyes' leg doesn't look good its bent at the kneecap. It looks like its broken.

the diff with releasing eaton vs kearse is that baseball contracts are guaranteed whereas football contracts do not have the entire value guaranteed

Wang left that pitch up to the big man. Great to see him take it the other way. That's the dimension of his game that makes him a potential MVP guy and a very dangerous hitter.

Thanks for the info Tony. You have to give Eaton his props, after all he did strike out Morgan Ensberg.

Utley's ready for his transition to 1B.

Eaton has picked up where he left off last year -- being left off the Phillies' post-season roster. The guy is truly terrible -- but MG, truer words haven't been written on Beerleager -- "The Phils will never release Eaton (or even Helms for that matter). The Phils kept Barajas all last year and didn't release him. Seemed almost that the Phils and Gillick didn't want to acknowledge they pissed away money that should have gone to a reliever."

I'm ready to release Chad Durbin right now too. I hated this signing from Day 1.

So is Reyes's leg broken or what?!

They won't release him, but I can see them stashing him on the DL if (when?) he craps the bed the first month of the season. If he doesn't step it up at some point and they keep running him out there, he'll get booed at the Bank worse than JD Drew's and Barry Bond's hypothetical love child.

Chad Durbin and Adam Eaton...they play great 100% of the time, 50% of the time.

My prediction is that the Chad Durbin signing will be proven to have been a poor choice in an off-season pitcher acquisition -- of course, not in the financially-disasterous scope of the Eaton signing, but bad nevertheless.

If my MLB.TV still works, does that mean I was paying all offseason for nothing?

what is this about reyes?

for the money they paid for C.Durbin he won't be a bad aquisition, he's versatile and not atrocious, and cheap (less than 1/2 of helms and undoubtadly of more value)

i know my spelling sucks, my brain is taking an off day

I don't know...If we weren't paying Eaton and Helms $12-13MM, the $900K for Chad wouldn't look too bad as staff insurance. We knew he'd be marginal - but we're paying for marginal. The problem with the other guys is that they're getting paid a lot more than marginal and eaton up roster spots that need to be filled by effective/productive players.

It's still the beginning of spring training so I don't have the tissues out already, but when the regular season starts I know where they are. There is still a month left to go in the preseason.

Tony - someone posted that Reyes pounded a foul off his knee. But he's still in the game, so it couldn't have been too bad.

They pitched around Howard in a GL game?!

Is Chase Utley not the man?

Looks like the Mets are trying to play flag football the rough way. Tough collision between Church and Anderson.

Collision in foul ground during the Mets game.
Marlon Anderson and Ryan Church involved.
Both look pretty shaken up.

Crazy Jon - I bet if Wagner was pitching he'd drill Girardi on the next pitch.

Metsblog also said something about Delgado being hurt?

andy - thanks, and best comment ever

Gosh - lots of concern over the health of those Muts. I kind of view it as it is what it is. If they get some injuries, sure it might prove helpful. But then we'll have to put up with all those MetsTrolls whining about how nasty they woulda been if they hadn't had "all those injuries."

Andy - I bet if Wagner was pitching he'd drill anyone on the next pitch.

It's not the $900K that offends me about the C. Durbin signing. It's that he has been an absolutely horrendous pitcher in every season of his career except last year, when he was merely below average. He's the type of guy you might bring in on a non-guaranteed contract to compete for a bullpen job. Yet the Phillies brought him in as their most significant off-season addition to their bullpen (I don't count Lidge as an "addition" to the bullpen, since he was basically just a lateral replacement for Myers).

Delgado's getting an MRI in NYC today.
Anderson was playing 1B in his stead.
Church looks like he got the worst end of the collision - he needed some minor assistance to leave the field.

Oh, I forgot to bring up this chestnut from Larry F. Bowa, which made the front page of the LA Times Sports section yesterday...

VERO BEACH, Fla. -- To protest baseball's new rule requiring base coaches to wear helmets, Larry Bowa threatened to march to his work station along the third base line wearing shin guards, a chest protector and a mask.

"I'll really make a joke out of it," Bowa said.

Bowa refused to wear a helmet in the Dodgers' exhibition opener Thursday at Holman Stadium and said he had no intention of doing so in the future. First base coach Mariano Duncan also ignored the rule that stemmed from the death of Mike Coolbaugh, who was struck by a line drive while coaching first base in the minor leagues last season.

"I'm willing to write out a check for whatever the fine is for every game," Bowa said. "Whatever 162 games is, I'll write out a check for it."

Sarge says "you've got to look at that ERA. That's the first thing I look at. Sometimes you don't have anything to do with those wins! That ERA tells you the, uh, runs you're letting in." I'm shocked to hear that from Sarge.

Hear ya, b-a-p. Maybe watching the Phils pay a lot more for total dreck like Eaton has clouded my common sense. I guess I'd much rather watch Blackley fill that role.

That ERA also tells you it's time to let a sunk cost be a suck cost.

Actually I meant "sunk" cost, but when I saw that I typed a freudian slip in, I decided to keep it. It's somehow appropriate.

Actually, Tray, there are five other things I look at before a pitcher's ERA going into the next season. They are, in order, the following:

Groundball percentage
Strikeouts per batter faced
Walks per batter faced
Hits allowed per batter faced
Home runs per batter faced

Those statistics have been proven (by Baseball Prospectus) to correlate better than ERA from year to year. They used all of the pitchers who pitched from 1972 to 2004.

Right, Mike, I was just surprised to hear that Sarge rates ERA over wins. I remember last year Howard was on a rehab assignment and he was, I don't know, 2-3 with a walk, a home run, 2 or 3 RBI's, and Sarge says, "all that other stuff is nice, but what I like to see are those RBI's!"

is this harman's first appearance this spring?

The Phillies have been very mysterious about Eaton and I'm surprised no one on Beerleaguer has mentioned this today. In a DN story within the past month or so, Eaton said his problems last year happened because he was dropping his arm slot and messing up his command, especially his breaking stuff. Why was he dropping his arm slot? Because his shoulder hurt. Both he and the Phillies claim tests showed nothing wrong with his shoulder. I have no idea where his arm slot was today but I hope one of the writers catches up with this.

Not that I'd lose any sleep over it, but I'd prefer that someone like Reyes or Wright doesn't suffer a serious injury for the Mets. I'm really interested in seeing how this season plays out. As for someone like Delgado, Alou, or Pedro.. that's what happens with old guys, and the Mets using that as an excuse would be the same as if we said we were unlucky when Gordon inevitably goes down for a stretch.

Well, I'm in the pro-Reyes-injury camp. Without a major injury or a major Phillies trade, I'm pretty confident that they'll beat us. And I'm not too confident in Gillick's ability to pull off a major trade.

I'm not too confident in Gillick's ability to pull off a major trade.

Gee. Why not?

I guess that Montero guy just got lucky. You know. Blind squirrel and all that. Really. Wait'll the next time. Vic'll take him right out.

That's our closer to start the season everyone.

Andy: Montero's a pretty good prospect. He's a guy we didn't get in the...nevermind.

The Phillies can not let Eaton be our 5th starter he is just horrible. Let's hope that Blackley becomes the pitcher people thought he could be a couple years ago. I think with Moyer as a mentor Blackley could have a shot

Tray, can't say I'm surprised by Sarge referencing that. He could slug the hell out of the ball, but I don't remember him ascending the pitching mound. (Now, if someone like Orel Hersheiser said that, I'd really scratch my head.)

In that same BP analysis, winning percentage correlates even less than ERA. So I don't know. I'm sure Matthews was dumbing it down for us fans.

And clout, that's a great point you made about Eaton's shoulder, backed up by the data in the link I provided above. But I don't trust a beat writer to provide that kind of nuance. If Gameday provided pitching angles and breaks, you might want to check it against the data in Tom's article.

Andy: When VIC Darensbourgh doesn't make it out of ST, will you please do a rant the likes of Davthom and Coste please? It would just be funny.

Am I the only one thinking that if Eaton has one more bad outing that Lohse will be on the first flight out to clearwater?

Hey Andy,

"someone posted that Reyes pounded a foul off his knee. But he's still in the game, so it couldn't have been too bad."

You and your pathetic philly dush bag friends are the most classless fans in major league baseball. Why, because you a-holes have to actually hope that the mets get injured so you have a chance at winning the division. Reading how excited you a-holes were when anderson and church collided and how delgado is having an MRI on his hip. Andy you and your philly friends are the biggest losers. I can see that in reality you and the rest of the philly idiots know that the mets are better and are in your heads.

At Cole: No one wants to see anyone's career ended, but who doesn't get excited when a division rival's star player gets hurt? Maybe excited isn't exactly the right term, but you know what I mean. It gives your team a better chance. Are you trying to tell me that you wouldn't be pleased to hear about a Rollins, Utley, or Howard injury? Of course you would like that, it gives your team that much better of a chance.

Good articles by Stark and Kurkjian on the psyche of the Phillies and Mets, respectively:

mets troll,

who won the division last year again?

and i think most people were actually saying that they hope the mets don't get injured so people like you don't come over here saying 'but we got injured!' when the phils repeat.

I actually was kind of indicating that I was not that interested in the news. Other people were making a big deal out of it; I kind of thought it was not that important and, actually, somewhat mistaken, since he continued to play. Nowhere do I pin any hopes on any injury. Indeed, if you read my next post, you would have noticed that I'd much rather win the division again without having to put up with whiny Met trolls complaining about how sickly their team has been. Thanks for mentioning me, though, it always gives me a rush to see my name in print. (Yeah. That's sarcasm.) (As if someone who's a Mets' fan has enough intellect to figure that out.)

As for the biggest losers...
(how to put this?)



Im a mets fan, and I know this is hard for you, so... I will type really slow so that you can read out loud and follow along.

While I cant and wont speak for any other mets fan, I will say I would not want to see any of your stars go down to injury. I do want to see both teams uninjured so there wil be no excuses--from either team.

I dont know who is going to win, do you?

All I will say is this wait until the season starts and they play the games.
Maybe the phils win, maybe they wont.
Maybe the mets win, maybe they stop playing after june again. Who knows?

I will tell you this though, Id rather have our pitching staff then your's.

See ya April 19 and 20th, got a whole lot of mets fans coming down to root for the metsies.

Yes, Mets troll, tasteless comments like Andy innocuous update of the injury and Brian G.'s comment:

"Not that I'd lose any sleep over it, but I'd prefer that someone like Reyes or Wright doesn't suffer a serious injury for the Mets. I'm really interested in seeing how this season plays out."

How do we live with ourselves? Frankly I'm disgusted to be part of such a forum. Thank you for shedding light on the matter.

I'm not very superstitious, but when it comes to issues like this, I'm an old-school believer in the importance of karma. Even in what is shaping up to be a very competitive rivalry.

A little internal schadenfreude is one thing, going on another team's blog and gloating and "dancing around" (as Paul LoDuca would put it)--like a good number of Metsblog readers did the day Brad Lidge hurt his knee--is quite another.

When the bad news on Jose Reyes, Marlon Anderson, Ryan Church, and Carlos Delgado appeared to be piling up this afternoon, I thought of those gloaters, a la...

"So tell me Philly phans....whats gonna to that craptastic pen now that Lidge will miss all of Spring Training and a the first few weeks of the season? Better hope for the Mets to get really injured and complacent this year.

Posted by: Philly Sucks | Sunday, February 24, 2008 at 03:22 PM"

I'll let that one speak for itself.

Andy, I like that one. I also like this one, too.


But that's a date.

And it's "douche bags." Please, we're Philadelphians. If we're going to be insulted, please do it right.

Greg - I would type really slow for you, too, but clearly you do not read. If you can get your mommy to read the thread to you, please page through for the comments so you can a more accurate view of 1) what I said, 2) why I said it.

But to be clear: someone else (that I didn't recognize) posted that Reyes had been HBP. Then someone else (I think Crazy Jon) posted that it looked bad. A long time later someone else posted a question like: what's up with Reyes? I simply answered what I knew. Guess what? (And please make sure your hopefully literate mother reads this part clearly) I never said I wanted Jose Reyes injured. Nor would I. For a variety of reasons, but mostly because I truly do not wish for anyone to be injured.

Now, here's the other thing you need to know - I don't go on your site insinuating that you all are a bunch of knuckle-dragging, mouth-breathing, bed-wetting, illiterate losers with halitosis and crummy health habits. I don't even go on your site to remind you that the Mets have lost their last eight games to the Phils and lost a seven game lead with seventeen to go. But if you come on our site talking trash, then I feel reasonably justified in pointing out the deficiencies in your reading ability, common courtesy and, evidently, intelligence.

Mike H.
I like that date, too. Most part of a year at this point.

The guy who hit the home run off Darensboug in the 8th inning today was the Yankees' 6'4", 225-pound Venezuelan catching prospect, Jesus Montero, who just turned 18-years-old on November 28th. Also, the third catcher on the Yankees' 40-man roster is 21-year-old Venezuelan catching prospect Francisco Cervelli.

Ummmm...Montero just got lucky.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it.


Leaving my mother out of this for a second, I defy you to tell me that you said "anything". I was responding to you posting about mets fans intelligence. I was --here Ill type r e a l s l o w l y -- saying not all mets fans take pleasure in other teams injuries. some of us, **gasp!** actually like baseball played the way it is supposed to be played.

As far as you giving me pointers on common courtesy ... if commenting about someones mother passes as common courtesy, well, it is philly.

As far as the rest of yer blather... "lost 8 in a row..." blah, blah... that has as much to with this year as yer finishing behind us in 2006 dont ya think?

clout -
I figured out what happened in that trade.

Amaro got the first three players listed and then said, "We'll do it if you thorw in that catcher, you know the "Jesus" guy."

He meant Montero, but they slipped him Sanchez.

Here're the kind words you so thoughtfully added, Greg:

"Im a mets fan, and I know this is hard for you, so... I will type really slow so that you can read out loud and follow along."

And, Greg, when did I post on the theme of "mets fans intelligence" (sic)?

I remember questioning whether someone else who identified himself (presumably - though it could have been herself)so cleverly as "Cole"myarmhurtsagain"Hamels" had enough intellect to have actually understand what I had said. He (or she) had clearly misinterpreted what I had earlier by, oh, about 180 degrees (you must know geometry, brilliant boy that you are); so I was fairly certain that he/she probably was not even going to recognize sarcasm when he/she saw it.

Alas, then you decided that by questioning that particular soul I must be questioning your motivations in some way. Here: I'm sorry, Greg, if I failed to acknowledge that even those trolls who come on Beerleaguer to attack its posters might have pure intentions regarding the players of another team.

But if you come on here attacking us, then we may respond; some with even less civility than I demonstrated earlier.

The problem with Eaton in the 1st inning isn't a physical one - it is a mental one. I really want to see Eaton pitch in spring training in the first inning now to see if that is the case.

MG: It could be a physical problem. Perhaps he's just someone who needs a long time to get warmed up. But whether it's mental or physical is academic to me.

If the first inning were Eaton's only problem, I could live with it. I remember that Dave Stewart used to often struggle in the first inning, but would then settle down to pitch 6 or 7 solid innings. With Eaton, though, his pattern is to get shelled in the first, then settle down for 2 or 3 decent innings, then wear out & get shelled again in about the 4th or 5th. That's just not an acceptable performance from a starting pitcher. I don't care how much the Phillies are paying him; if he continues to get lit up in spring training, he simply can't open the season as a member of our starting rotation.

I guess I'm just a "dush bag" after all.

BAP - Agreed it is probably a combination of both but I want to see Eaton's body language/reaction to pitching in the first inning. Particularly when he gets behind a hitter. This is one of the few times (if it is mental) where a strong veteran presence behind the plate MIGHT make somewhat of a difference. The Phils just don't have that with Ruiz or Coste though.

I just want to see Eaton pitch a couple of times. It was been well-pointed out that his curveball was "flat" last year but that is only one of five pitchers that Eaton throws. Plus, it is just as important that Eaton can throw his curve for a strike (which he couldn't do at all last year with any kind of regularly or consistency or year). In fact, Eaton couldn't throw anything, including his fastball, with any kind of consistency.

The thing that struck me last year down the stretch was that Eaton still had good life on his fastball (90+ MPH) but couldn't locate it to save his life. He was regularly missing locations and it seemed way too often that he missed locations by 15-18 inches. That just shouldn't happen with a MLB pitcher's fastball who intends on staying in the big leagues.

I also want to see what pitches Eaton goes with when he gets behind in the count and to see how much he shakes off the catcher. I don't have any evidence to back this up but it seemed like Eaton did that a ton last year.

If Eaton is almost going strictly with his fastball when he gets behind in the count, it is an indication to me that he has no confidence in his ability to throw his changeup or curve for a strike. That is going to be a huge problem and decent MLB hitters are really able to rake fastballs in the zone (even ones at 92-93 MPH).

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