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Friday, March 28, 2008

Comments

Eaton and Dutch would probably get along pretty well.

Eaton's got one thing going for him - blind, optimistic confidence.......

That, or he's clearly in need of some counseling.

Well, I've been nuked. I have been identified as a "rat-bastard poseur".

In light of that maybe I should consider changing my moniker to RBP. I'll have to think about it.


Regarding the thread topic, Tampa Bay is reportedly considering trading a starting pitcher - Edwin Jacson has been mentioned - for an outfielder.

Is there any outfielder the Phillies should consider trading for someone like Jackson?

I wonder (nah, blind hope) if the Rays would be willing to take a lesser outfielder if the Phils included Golson?

On second thought, forget it. The Phils would never do it. The brass seem to think Golson is the second coming of Andre Dawson.

The Team Page still lists Olmedo, Snelling, Helms and the Deal as on the active roster. We know our friend J.D. has dearly departed. But the other three leave us at 10 and 16.

Who would you rather have: Edwin Jackson or Jason Hammel? I don't have much faith in Jackson to reach his potential, but have seen Hammel pitch a few times in AAA here in Durham. He has strikeout potential but needs to limit his walks allowed. Both pitchers are not much as prospects and I do not see how either would help the Phils.

Reading between the line on Murphy today in the DN and I have a bold prediction:

Eaton will go on the DL to start the season and either C. Durbin or Happ starting on next Saturday. The former if the Phils acquire another reliever, the latter if they don't.

Andy, Olmedo won't make it. That seems pretty certain.

kdon: Agreed. The real question, though, is that it still is 10 and 15. That's a ridiculously low number of pitchers. What is this - the seventies?

Mike Myers was released today.

AWH (RBP):
I do believe that Golson has a 75% chance of only ever benefitting the team as trade-bait. I just don't think that the deals you suggest are the best way to use that chip.

MLBTraderumors also confirms the Reds are shopping Ryan Freel as an outfielder. Given that the Phils have no one to shop like Freel, it seems the Reds and Rays have a fit. I've kept half an eye on Jackson since he came up with the Dodgers. Talk about unfulfilled potential. The Dodgers converted him from the outfield to pitching and he's never been able to put it all together.

I'm still keeping an eye on Rudy Seanez. There's no excuse and he still has it, even at age 39.

What to make of Eaton - he's just not that bright, is he?

As has been mentioned here by several posters looking ahead, we really don't need a 5th starter all that much the first month of the season. So why pitch Eaton?

I understand it would be nice to give the other 4 starters an extra day of rest early in the season, but I don't see how we could afford to do that.

Mike Myers = frisbee thrower.
A guy that the fans will either rally behind (a la Sal Fasano) or boo the hell out of (a la Adam Eaton) because of his weird pitching motion.

Out of his 72 appearances in 2007, Myers was successful in 40. (Meaning, he did not give up a run, his or anyone elses nor did he let the only batters he faced on base without getting an out. Call it the "clout measure" of reliever success.) 40 good, 32 not so good.

He had two extremely bad streaks of about 5 games each. Without those he would have been a stud middle reliever.

I think he would be better than a lot of LOOGY options; but he's been better against righties over the last couple years. As I look at the stats, I believed that he's kinda cooked.

.


.


.

Which means Gillick oughta love him!

If Myers throws strikes, he could have a noodly appendage for an arm and nobody will care...

Mike H.: Was that a pastafarian reference?

True Andy, and one of those pitchers is Eaton. That is just one sad group of pitchers...

"he could have a noodly appendage for an arm and nobody will care..."

What, you're expecting him to be God?

http://www.venganza.org/

It sure was, Sifl and kdon. At this point, to paraphrase Charlie, what the hell? If you're a reliever for the Phillies, you better have God on your side, whoever that God might be!!

mmmm...noodles...


When Charlie was asked if Eaton was going to be the 5th starter -

"I don't know... We'll see when we get there. We've got plenty of time. [Next] Saturday's a long way off. Hell, I might be dead by then," Manuel said.

If the team takes Helms north over Snelling it will be a major mistake.

Helms is simply a horrible player: he can't hit, can't run, has no plate discipline, and he is a *bad* defender at a position where the team already has better hitters (Dobbs) and fielders (Feliz, Bruntlett).

I can see with a contract like Eaton that you just can't cut bait, but this is 2-3M bucks for f*cks sake. The Indians, one of the poorest teams in baseball just ate 1.5M on Fultz. This is unbelievable if true; the angriest I've been all spring.

kdon: I understand your frustration with Helms, but what role would Snelling serve?

I wonder if "being dead by then" is some of the Charlie/Gillick tension we saw in the media last year. I do buy the argument that Charlie is POed that Ruben and Gillick didn't go out and get the tools he needs to win. It was that whole "You got me these warm bodies, now I'm gonna run them into the ground" idea that Charlie went with in the dark days of last year.

But hey, it's ok. Amaro says he's been looking for pitching since October. Why do I get the feeling that looking for pitching constitutes hanging around Kensington boxing clubs looking to give an unknown lefthander a shot at the title?

As for Eaton pitching himself out of the rotation in the final game of spring training, with the trucks already loaded, I'm not buying it. He's the fifth starter.

Grant Balfour has lost the race for the final bullpen spot with Tampa. The Phils saw plenty of Chuck Lamar's old team this spring. He could be the no-name, previously unmentioned pitcher coming soon to press release near you. He isn't any good. Seems like someone the Phils' scouts would zero in on.

kdon: Not to rekindle yesterday's topic, but Snelling is literally a textbook example of the point I was trying to make. A guy like Snelling simply isn't going to beat out a veteran player unless he impresses at spring training -- and Snelling didn't. And, other than demonstrating the abililty to draw walks (a mostly useless skill for a guy whose main job will be to pinch hit), he also hasn't impressed in his other major league opportunities, which now total a not-insignificant 221 ABs.

Believe it or not, I actually share your opinion that Snelling could turn out to be a pretty decent player if ever given a chance. But I could also be very wrong, and he could just be another guy like Chris Roberson, who could hit minor league pitching but not major league pitching. Until he demonstrates at least some sign that he can hit real pitching, he's never going to, and doesn't deserve to, make the team over a veteran hitter with a half-way decent bat. And, based on career numbers, Helms DOES have a half-way decent bat.

"Amaro says he's been looking for pitching"

Mike H, you have the quote wrong - Amaro says he's been looking for pitchers.

There's a (cold, frothy) considerable difference.

Jason, instead of seeing Bal-four, I'd much rather see the Out-man. Who cares how they pitch? The second name is just so much better for morale.

Could Snelling be swapped for Balfour? Tampa is where the Phils got him from and they're reportedly seeking a fifth outfielder. Seems like a fair trade.

b-a-p:
You've said this a few times in different ways: "the abililty to draw walks (a mostly useless skill for a guy whose main job will be to pinch hit)"

While I agree with you on Snelling (though Helms may suck again this year), I have to disagree with the statement about PHs who walk. Most usually, they bat for the pitcher and are, then, followed by the top of the order. A runner on base already for Rollins is, actually, a pretty good thing.

It's kind of a situational thing. If there's two outs and a guy on second, you might want Helms (2006) more than Snelling because he has a better chance of driving in the run. If you're PHing for the pitcher leading off the inning (or coming up with one out and nobody on - which will happen frequently thanks to Senor Out), then you might prefer Snelling's OBP.

In either case, however, Taguchi kicks crap out of either one as a PH.

Jason, do you really want Balfour in our bullpen?

"but Snelling is literally a textbook example of the point I was trying to make. A guy like Snelling simply isn't going to beat out a veteran player unless he impresses at spring training"

Yes, and this is exactly the point I disagree with. This "veteran" player idea is what gives the team Jose Offerman (05) Alex Gonzalez over Chris Coste (06) or Alfonseca over Germano or (almost!) Karim Garcia over Dobbs (07).

It's not that I think Snelling is so great, but that he has the chance to be a valuable player, and the fact that he will be lost because Helms has a gaurunteed contract (and let's not kid ourselves, that is the *only* reason he is still in contention) is frustrating.

Bap, you seem to have an odd sort of moralism which precludes an "underserving" Snelling or Blackley to make the team over "deserving veterans." I'm only interested, however, in the best 25 players.

"other than demonstrating the abililty to draw walks (a mostly useless skill for a guy whose main job will be to pinch hit)"

This is silly. A walk in a PH situation is as valuable as any other time. Considering these PH appearences would likely occur for the pitcher (and ahead of J-Roll) I would prefer they get on base any way possible.

Andy: Nope. Just trying to predict how the Phils will address their bullpen before the season. Probably with someone like Balfour. It's always someone like that. Vague names like Chad Durbin and Shane Youman.

Goes to show you, Andy. When you comment angry on blogs, you're likely to get the quote wrong. As if I give a two shilling $h!t and a rolling doughnut what Ruben Amaro thinks or says...

Grant Balfour sounds like a Canadian Prime Minister from 100 years ago.

Poll on Metsblog says that 82% of their fans want the Mets to make at least the NLCS.

Jason - gotcha.

Mike H. - now if we could only get him interested in Kirin Ichiban instead of that Schlitz he's been pouring it might translate into better prospects.

Technical question, non sequitor: Has anyone else had a problem with phillies.com crashing their Mozilla Firefox browser?

"but what role would Snelling serve?"

Jason, I think having a second LH bat would be nice, and OF depth is pretty key with the way Cholly uses his bench.

If you assume Werth/Jenkins will be a strict platoon, that leaves Taguchi to serve as Burrell's caddie.

I have to think PtB will be getting lifted as per usual in the 6th and 7th inning again, so that mean Taguchi wouldn't be available to PH.

I also think the kid has massive talent (1000+ OPS in AAA at age 23), and think there is an outside shot he could be the everyday LF in 2009 if he recovers his form.

Again, none of these are locks, but I don't want to close off possibilities in order to fit Helms in, who, given his overall "talent" is the bottom 2 percentile of value in MLB.

In re: the Metsblog poll...

18% of their fans don't want them to make the NLCS?

MPN: As a matter of fact, I have.

Andy - The poll is asking the fans about the lowest level they'd be satisfied with. So 82% of the fans are saying that anything less than an NLCS would be disappointing.

I also think the kid has massive talent (1000+ OPS in AAA at age 23), and think there is an outside shot he could be the everyday LF in 2009 if he recovers his form.

he also had a .423 BABIP in AAA at age 23. and he had a .666 OPS in AAA at age 24.

In a similar poll among Phillies' fans, 93% said that the lowest level they'd be interested in was..."Hey! Pass me one of those paper cups..."

JW: Thanks. Just wanted to check with others as it has been happening on my home and work PCs.

Any chance we give Byung-Hyun Kim a tryout? He cant seem to stay on a MLB roster, but he's got experience. Plus his weird delivery might make him a decent change of pace middle reliever. Yes I am grasping at straws.

Weitzel- that's almost the image I used on my blog today of "hobo" in reference to Pat Gillick's roster buidling technique. Instead I went with a "Hobo Soup" image.

Everybody just needs to focus their psychic energy in Gillick's direction and think loudly: "Rudy! Rudy! Rudy!"

To paraphrase Gus... keep on graspin'...

JW - Is that a picture of the latest Phils' bullpen pitcher?

“The way I feel and the way my stuff is, I’m very happy. I’d take what I had today out there, and I think I’d fare pretty well.”

Wow. There are only two conclusions here you can reach about Eaton. Either he is absolutely delusional at this point or that his confidence is completely shot/he is trying to overcompensate by making bombastic statements like this one. Honestly I thought it was the later but I am not so sure anymore.

Has there been in athlete in recent Philly history who had made comments that have so completely disconnected with his onfield performance?

Freddie Mitchell!!! What do I win?

mpn,
yes, phillies.com was crashing firefox, but there's a bugfix release that seemed to fix it.

Not sure if this has already been mentioned, but mlb.com is airing the game tomorrow on mlbtv online for free.

Stanton cut, via Rotoworld.

Thanks for the info ae. I knew he had to have a high BABIP to hit .370, but didn't realize it was that high. That tempers my enthusiasm somewhat for his future prospects, but not not enough to think he wouldn't be an improvement over Helms.

He is certainly somewhere between those extremes, but he was also hurt as a 24 year old.

I don't think a 260/370/430 line is impossible, given he is healthy, and that's not bad for your 25th player.

What I really want to know is what his teammates think of Eaton at this point. Bet that some were willing to give him the benefit of the doubt maybe coming into spring training now. Now?

Eaton strikes me as being the one potentially divisive guy in the clubhouse if he keeps getting lite up and making ridiculous statements about his performances. I don't see Cholly or anyone else publicly calling out Eaton but I can imagine he will start to generate some grumbling internally. Going to be interesting to see.

JW - You need to post a "Predictions" post before the season starts. Look in some predictions on wins, finish, with a few other things thrown in .

- From the Inquirer.
The Phillies claimed righthander Tim Lahey off waivers from the Cubs.
Lahey, 26, went to spring training with Chicago after being selected in December's Rule 5 Draft from Minnesota and appeared in 11 spring games. He was originally drafted by Minnesota in 2004 as a catcher and was converted to a pitcher after that season. Last year between double-A New Britain and triple-A Rochester, Lahey went 8-4 with 14 saves and a 3.65 ERA in 52 games. He will wear #33.
- Seems like an OK pickup to me.

erich: Where can I find that bugfix?

Unimpressed by Lahey, at least as a LOOGY.

In AA last year, lefties had a 775 OPS against him.

Overall, 1.38 and 1.44 WHIPs in his last two full minor league years, at A and AA when he was 24/25.

Eh, maybe the scouts saw something?

Seems like an OK pickup to me.

not sure what you would be basing that on, unless you have some reason to think a 26 year old who was mediocre at AA can pitch in a major league bullpen.

----from the phillies website......
we still only have 10 pitchers then right?


The Phillies made the following transactions today:
• Right-hander Tim Lahey was claimed off waivers from the Cubs
• Right-hander J.D. Durbin, infielder Ray Olmedo and outfielder Chris Snelling were outrighted to Triple-A Lehigh Valley
• Infielder Chris Woodward was signed to a Minor League contract

Lahey, 26, went to Spring Training with Chicago after being selected in December's Rule 5 Draft from Minnesota and appeared in 11 spring games. He was originally drafted by Minnesota in 2004 as a catcher and was converted to a pitcher after that season. Last year between Double-A New Britain and Triple-A Rochester, Lahey went 8-4 with 14 saves and a 3.65 ERA in 52 games. He will wear #33.

Woodward, 31, hit .393 (11-28) in 15 games this spring for the Yankees. He spent last season with Atlanta and has also played for the New York Mets (2005-06) and Toronto (1999-2004), who originally drafted him in 1994. In 607 career games, Woodward has a .243 average with 33 home runs and 186 RBI. He has played every position on the diamond except pitcher and catcher.

Tim Lahey? That's it? They're kidding right? Just more value village garbage. Like I said yesterday. they aren't gonna spend any more money. Nobody wants Helms and they weren't gonna release him. Kim, Stanton, etc. probably make a lot more money than Lahey. His only advantage is that he's only 26.

Sad day...

Link:

philly.com/inquirer/breaking/sports_breaking/Lahey_and_Helms_In_Durbin_and_
Snelling_Out.html

It says that Snelling was "outrighted" to AAA, which I didn't think they could do since he was out of options. Thoughts from you transaction junkies.

picking up Lahey is just ridiculously stupid. even Youman would be a better option.

kdon: You state "you seem to have an odd sort of moralism which precludes an "underserving" Snelling or Blackley to make the team over "deserving veterans."

Actually, you couldn't be more wrong. You would be hard-pressed to find anyone less sentimental than I am when it comes to fielding a roster. I was furious when Cholly used to start Polanco over Utley or Offerman over Howard, or when Gillick signed Barajas to replace Coste. For that matter, go back & look at my posts after we sent Happ & Bisenius down to the minors a few weeks ago. I was fairly beside myself, wondering how either guy could have been so quickly eliminated from consideration for he major league team. All else being equal, I will almost always favor going with the young guy.

Where we seem to differ is in the importance of spring training, for a guy who has performed well in the minors but hasn't yet had any success in the majors. In my view, a guy like this has to show something at spring training -- especially when he's competing against an established player who has proven himself a pretty decent hitter.

Based on career performance -- the same criteria that you've been advocating -- Helms is a decent major league hitter. We have no idea if that is true of Snelling. Therefore, I think it would be a foolish risk to waive Helms in favor of a guy who, though a good minor leaguer, has failed every opportunity at the major league level. If nothing else, what does it say about Snelling's mental toughness that, every time he has been placed in a position to prove his major league worthiness, he has failed?

In the case of Blackley, I just don't see anything there to get excited about -- and, again, this is based on your own criteria of minor league performance. Blackley hasn't had a minor league ERA under 4 since 2004, and there was nothing that happened in ST which indicated that he is ready to elevate his performance. This is not a guy I want to throw out there in real games, as we try to challenge for the NL East title.

Stanton? Kim? Have you seen baseball since 2001?

I'm all for someone like Seanez, but those two guys are beyond toast.

Jason - why don't you let us Beerleaguers predict the 4 NL playoff teams and NL winners and save the page so we can really be on the record.

"Unimpressed by Lahey, at least as a LOOGY."
- Never knew that a righthander could be a LOOGY

"Unless you have some reason to think a 26 year old who was mediocre at AA can pitch in a major league bullpen."
- 8-4 with 14 SVs and a 3.65 ERA in 52 games between the 2 highest levels of minor league baseball could be argued as above-average performance for those levels in this era.
It's certainly better than any other options for the bullpen presently in the system (I'm assuming Outman, Carrasco, Carpenter et al will continue to be groomed as starters).
Also bear in mind that this guy is a converted catcher who is still "learning" how to pitch.

My predictions:
Phils
Cubs
Dbacks
Padres (WC)
phils beat Padres
Cubs avenge Dbacks
Cubs beat Phils

Crazy Jon, you are such a traditionalist, you need to get with the times, it's 2008...there is no reason why a righty can't be a LOOGY.

Bap, I guess it was the idea that a veteran should just be given a spot while a younger player has to outperform him to "deserve" it. If that wasn't your intent, I apologize.

But I seriously disagree about the value you attach to players stepping up or the mental toughness you think it requires to hit well in spring training.

And as a factual statement, this is just false:

"every time he has been placed in a position to prove his major league worthiness, he has failed"

2005 - 29 ABs, 126 OPS+ (23)
2006 - 96 ABs, 106 OPS+
2007 - 69 ABs, 98 OPS+

None of these major league seasons could be considered a "failure" in any respect. The thing that has kept him from a major league job is injuries, not poor performance once he gets to the majors.

And to chalk it up to "mental toughness" when Snelling has come back from *repeated* serious injuries is just insulting.

Crazy Jon, yeah I somehow read the second "Lahey" as "LH." Apologize for the slight dislexia.

But how, in the good spirit of honest discussion could you write the following:

"8-4 with 14 SVs and a 3.65 ERA in 52 games between the 2 highest levels of minor league baseball could be argued as above-average performance for those levels in this era."

For those who haven't checked B-Cube yet, those "two highest levels" would include 78 IP at AA and...in AAA...3!

Seriously . . . this has to be a joke. Rudy Seanez, Aaron Fultz, Mike Myers, Claudio Vargas . . . and the best that Gillick could find was a 26-year old who has never pitched an inning of major league ball, had mediocre minor league numbers, and just got cut from the Cubs after posting a 6.55 ERA, and allowing 8 walks & 9 hits in 11 innings of ST? Exactly how is this guy's profile better than Travis Blackley's? And why the hell do we need another Rule 5 guy who screws up our roster math for the entire season?

kdon, I think saying Snelling was "outrighted" implies that he was exposed to (outright) waivers and apparently passed through.

Crazy Jon, you are very wrong in your assessment of Lahey's performance. he's a barely competent AA reliever and does not deserve a spot on a contending team.

Three things I like about Lahey: 1. 8 HR in 178 minor league innings. 2. 37 minor league saves, and a 2/1 K/BB ratio. 3. Went to Princeton (and therefore, not a dummy.)

I believe we get to prognosticate the NL winners on a thread this Sunday.

Speaking of "mental toughness"... where is his Cloutness?

DPatrone - I share your feelings too. Even if a veteran pitcher who might help this bullpen shakes loose, the Phils aren't going to sign him. This is where the Phils' profit maximization over competitiveness really comes into play.

You can tell that Cholly is really frustrated too with the players and the organization. It has largely gone below the radar but Cholly did snap at the players 10 days ago (Victorino in particular) given there lackluster performance in spring training.

Since then, Cholly has been dropping some comments that reveal his disgust with the team's front office efforts this season in regards to their pitching. I wonder if Cholly is going to start to get really punchy this April if the Phils get out to yet another shitty start largely due to the pitching inadequacies.

BAP - As Patrone said, it is a money thing pure and simple. Talent has almost nothing to do with it at this point. Phils signed someone like Lahey because he comes at a bare bones price.

These stories about the Phils really looking for additional pitching help are BS and someone in the media needs to call them out in article on it.

8 HR in 178 minor league innings

actually, it's 9 HR in 178. and all but one of those 9 were in his 78 innings at AA last year. so there's really not much to be confident about there.

Three things not to like about Lahey:

1) 1.42 WHIP at AA

2) Not lefthanded, and therefore making me look foolish

3) Name is too similar to that scary guy who writes the "Left Behind" series

Ruben Gotay went to the Braves. That's a move I would expect from Schuerholtz and definitely not one from "the Rube."

"Ruben Gotay went to the Braves. That's a move I would expect from Schuerholtz and definitely not one from "the Rube.""

Absolutely. Schuerholtz really outwitted 'The Rube' by making sure that the Braves finished behind the Phillies in the standings last year, ensuring them better waiver positioning. He's always thinking...

Kdon - I could say the same thing about Geoff Jenkins.

I just picked three things to like. I could have easily picked ten things to not like. But youse guys beat me to it.

"I could say the same thing about Geoff Jenkins."

Really?
Jenkins *does* bat lefthanded and his name doesn't sound at all like an apocalyptic crazy man who supports the rebuilding of the Temple in Jerusalem in order to prepare for the Second Coming.

...in seriousness, you did point out some reasons to like the guy, the adequate k/bb ratio being the best.

Listening to the "clueless Wolf" Howard Eskin. He's saying the Vegas over/under for
Myers is 12.5 wins. Hamels at 15 wins.
I'd bet the house on the Myers total w/our offense. The worst pitcher in baseball Adam Eaton won(stole) 10wins last year.

WTF? This has to be a sick joke. No way the Phils are moving forward with this Lahey schmuck on the 25 man roster. I could understand taking him if he could be put in the minors, but he will not help us this season. I ready to kick Patty G in his cock&balls!


"Eh, maybe the scouts saw something?"

kdon, I hope you were being sarcastic.


Prediction:
Tim Lahey = Matt Smith redux?

Slocs you really think neither the mets nor the braves will be in playoffs? wow.

Slocs you really think neither the mets nor the braves will be in playoffs? wow.

there has to be something else in the works as this makes no sense. For example Ryan Freel supposedly linked to the Phils? Maybe an outfielder is headed out for pitching. eah, I'm fooling myself. This makes no sense.

On Stanton, BTW, the Reds show an excellent example of what to do with washed up Vets.

Stanton was owed $3M this year and the Reds will eat that entire salary.

Now if they can cut him (for Kent Mercker too - no kidding!), why can't we cut Helms.

kdon, the Phillies don't have the courage to eat salary. Instead they be Eaton crap.

east'n_PA - Everyone can't make it. I figure it will be like last year but closer with the Dodgers, Padres, Cubs, Brewers, Phils, Braves and Mets all battling for the east, central and Wild Card. The only team that will cruise is the DBacks. I think the Phils will end with a better record and the wild card will probably come from the west so since the wc can't play their division winner, they'll play the Phils. Don't get me wrong, I'm nervous as hell but am hopeful Mets deal with injuries and that the Braves pitching struggles.

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