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Tuesday, March 04, 2008


Here's the rundown... for those who didn't want to stay up. They started at 12:25.

Hamels led off the discussion. JW touted the Carson line of thought of "Shut up and pitch." They brought up other young major leaguers in the same boat. Jason brought up the question "Does the extra $200K really make him a better pitcher?" The short answer - not really.

The rotation was brought up next. Is it a foregone conclusion that Adam Eaton is the fifth starter? Jason said yes. Chad Durbin to the bullpen. No idea on Blackley. Or there might be a phantom injury. But our dear host said it as plain as day - He does not like Adam Eaton . The future of Myers was brought up and the possibility that he will want to go back to closing in 2009. JW was fine with him back in the pen. Kendrick's tough start was brought up today. JW said he could go either way - some concerns that he doesn't have an out pitch, but he keeps the ball down and gets out of trouble.

The topic of other surprises in Florida came up. Jason mentioned that he likes Carrasco down the line. There is a track record of pushing 21-22 year old pitchers into key roles. Carrasco might be that guy someday if Eaton does get injured, or who knows what.

They got around to the offense. Is there going to be incredible offensive production, or are they going to get waylaid by strikeouts? Jason said K's are starting to add red flags in his mind because of the recent acquisitions - Feliz and Jenkins. But he's not too worried about offense and production. Chase Utley is the pick for MVP, and Howard is going to have a great year. They are great at turning over the lineup and that will be expected once again.

A fine interview, indeed, and a fine plug for the blog.

No, I'm definitely wrong about Myers. Strike that from the record. There was conversation about Myers's head being his own worst enemy. But Jason did not say what I said above. My sincerest apologies.

I didn't understand the Myers likable conversation in the interview- is he or isn't he? Seems like he'd be one of the most popular athletes in the city for his lighthearted attitude (i.e. kendrick prank), intensity (think Game 162 last year) and willingness to sacrifice for the team. Of course, the Beatdown on Boylston St. looms large in his past. Will Myers live that down?

Otherwise, great interview. Nice to hear baseball talked about knowledgeably on WIP.

"I will say at those numbers we're probably not interested," assistant GM Mike Arbuckle said, referring to the one-year, $4 million possibility [for Lohse]. "Let me change that. At those numbers, I know we're not interested."


I have to believe that Mr. Weitzel took a lot of flack from callers for his views. I mean, I agree 100%, but the listeners of WIP at midnight/1 AM probably don't view things the same way. "Deez ownrs are a buncha cheap S.O.B.'s!"

Weitzel a self-made man...lovin' it!!!

I did a fun piece on Ryan Howard on my blog today about all the money he's making (and no, not just from his contract).

By the way, Lohse is probably kicking himself for not taking the Phils original offer of 3 years 27 mil. But seriously, if he's willing to go for 1 year 4 mil he needs to be signed pronto, to hell with Eaton- stash him on the DL or force him to long relief in blowouts.

With regard to last thread:

Of course pitchers are going to have worse statistics the third time around. That is not exactly what I am saying. I said both stastistically and from a casual observance perspective (I think those are very different and equally valuable, just ask Hillary Clinton), Kendrick performed much worse after the 4th or 5th inning. He was consistently hit much harder after those innings. What the statistics don't show is the number of times that a ball hit off of Kendrick ended up being a 380 Ft. fly-out. There is more than just statistics in determining how a player is performing. In my observance last season, Kendrick consistently was hit much harder after 4 or five innings.

Mike: Thanks for the summary.

I have concerns about Kendrick, but not because he was lit up yesterday. Mitch Williams brought up the point that a sinkerball pitcher won't have sink in spring; it takes a while for that to come around.

I don't recall talking about Myers likeability, but I definitely said his head is his own worst enemy. When things don't go his way, he overthrows and elevates the ball.

You captured my point on Ks perfectly. Red flags, but not a huge concern. Top concern is a hurt closer and 40-year-old Gordon.

Myers is a mental midget. He has all the ability in the world, but he can't seem to harness it because of his inability to overcome his demons inside (getting mad at umps, upset when he's pitching, mad at the defense around him, pissed at his entrance music, etc.). I like Myers and I believe he will "figure it out" someday, I just hope that someday is Opening Day '08.

On Hamels, Brian and I discussed some of the issues brought up in the comments thread, particularly kdon's $2M signing bonus point and the one about breaking his hand in a bar fight.

The bottom line is there is no evidence to support the notion that a goodwill offering of $200,000 to Hamels will make him a better pitcher, keep him around longer, or most importantly, make the team more likely to win baseball games, as Bob Ford suggested yesterday. The team did not "blow it." What if the team comes back next season and grants him what he demands in arbitration?

Nevertheless, Hamels is not alone. There is a trend of young stars misunderstanding the process, and Hamels isn't the worst offender. Papelbon wants to be paid like Mariano Rivera. Prince Fielder wants more. Francouer wants more.

There's a nice piece in Zo's blog today about Smoltz and his advice for Hamels.

I miss out on Beerleaguer for less than 24 hours and my last read is four threads back. We should definitely earn college credits for reading Beerleaguer. It definitely makes you smarter than the average fan.

With Kendricks coming down to earth and back to form and Eton Crap and Durbin, why not sign Lohse for $4 million? I don't understand it. Lohse was an integral part of the playoff drive and now they're not interested? What gives? I don't get it. It's like these presidential primaries. The fix is in. It doesn't matter how the public votes. You just wait. The world will be in shock when Obama taps Ruben Amaro, Jr. as his running mate to lock in the Hispanic vote. It's all rigged.

Add O's outfielder Nick Markakis to the list of pissed off young stars at their contract renewal. I hate this sense of entitlement that seems to be plaguing this new young crop of talent in MLB, but it goes along with their generation I supposed. I know that is a blanket statement and of course their are exceptions, but that's my overall perception at least.

The best way for Hamels to get paid more is to post a sub-3.00 ERA in 200+ IP. If he wants them to know that he's worth it he's got to show that he's worth it.

"Obama taps Ruben Amaro, Jr."

LF - what makes you think McCain won't get to him first?

"Posted by: Andy | Tuesday, March 04, 2008 at 07:49 PM

i'm confused, why does this site screw up the name of who posts it? WOW...its showing on my screen that I posted as "Andy"

Posted by: mrose | Tuesday, March 04, 2008 at 07:51 PM "

Classic Met Fan :)

Actually, what we need is for any candidate to choose Adam Eaton to tap into the "imbecile vote." We can void his contract and hire a real pitcher.

"The world will be in shock when Obama taps Ruben Amaro, Jr. as his running mate to lock in the Hispanic vote."
I would support this, since you can't be a VP and a GM at the same time!

Andy and the Theory: Ha Ha! What state is Eaton from? Maybe Hillary will pick him!

I went to the Theory's website and tried to jump to one of his links called Beer Advocate and was blocked on my company's computer by this message:

"Your page is blocked due to a security policy that prohibits access to category
Drugs, Alcohol & Tobacco."

Somehow BL flies under the radar from this blockage, thank God!

Hiya- My husband and I saw our first ever Spring Training games on Monday, and it made me appreciate Beerleaguer even more- it was fun to tell him the Beerleaguer opinion of the various players as they came in. And you guys are pretty good judges, too!

Pedro Feliz was unspeakably bad. The husband says he wasn't charged with any errors (I didn't get to check), but he made two bad misplays, including an instance where Bruntlett was standing on the bag and Feliz had the ball within easy flipping distance and with plenty of time to get it to Bruntlett. So what did Feliz do? He chased the runner outside the basepath and MISSED HIM. No out. Urgh.

It was such a thrill to see Jamie Moyer and the kid pitchers (Savery, Outman, Blackley). I really do live in Fargo, so I seldom get to see the Phillies live. (Think years).

Anyway, I am not a stathead and I have learned much from you all, so I have a question for you. I was sorry not to see Jimmy Rollins play, but Eric Bruntlett did a respectable job. Why can't Bruntlett play third base?

Thanks- P

Parker: here's a list of the Phillies starters and their OPS against in the 6th inning. For Myers I used his 06 stats.
Kendrick 1.123
Eaton 1.105
Moyer .993
Hamels .942
Myers .897

None of these numbers is good, but considering KK was a 22-year-old rookie who had only 12 starts above A ball and had never pitched 200 IP, it's neither surprising nor alarming.

Also, to address Jack's contention on the last thread that there was nothing in KK's minor league record to suggest he could be successful in the majors, that's completely false.

As a matter of fact, BEFORE KK was recalled both Jason and I said he represented the best bet for a rotation replacement. In his 12 starts at Reading he had a K/BB ratio of 50/18 and allowed only 3 HRs in 81 IP. This was a sharp improvement from lower levels. When you see better numbers at a higher level, that means something clicked.

Kendrick is only 23 years old. He's still got a ways to go. He needs to perfect his changeup. But there's no reason, statistically or scouting-wise, to suggest his ERA will be over 5 or he'll start allowing HRs in bushels. His K rate is never going to be any good and he's always going to allow a lot of hits. But you can have a nice career despite that. Ask Paul Byrd or Bob Tewksbury.

clout - Phuture Phillies also suggested that KK would be the best call up at the time, I believe for similar reasons.

LF - if we could get Nader to pick Helms as a running mate we could have a clean sweep. It would be a great and memorable season.

phargo - he can play some 3B. His career offensive numbers are not, however, all that great. He would be about as good as Nunez - better in some ways, worse in others. I'm not sure he'll be drilling the ball in the regular season like he did yesterday.


It doesn't make anyone feel better that you compared Kendrick to Paul Byrd. I see your point, but that fact that he is 23 is a concern. For a 23 year old, still learning to pitch, without lights out Liriano or Felix Hernandez "stuff" to be a 3rd starter on a team with serious championship aspirations is a huge leap of faith. Granted Kendrick has been praised for his maturity and poise, but Jack's points on his overall profile are spot on. I won't rehash what has already been stated, but Kendrick as your 3rd starter is too many question marks for a squad with title aspirations.

I'm still advocating giving Lohse what he wants on a 1-yr deal and cutting Adam Eaton. He's got nothing left.

"At those numbers, I know we're not interested." Translation: We'd like to have Lohse, provided he's willing to play for free.

The Phillies' owners are already spending $3M more than they planned to spend, thanks to the Howard arbitration ruling. I think it's pretty well-established that this ownership group does not believe in flexible budgets. Even if Lohse's $4M contract included a 1-year money-back guarantee if they didn't win the World Series, the Phillies still wouldn't do it -- because, after all, they might win the World Series, and then they'd have to pay him.

It's a joke that they won't sign Lohse for 4 million dollars, considering they offered him a 3 year, 21 million dollar deal only a couple months ago.

I wish baseball was like football with no guaranteed contracts and we could just cut Eaton and not owe him 16 million more.

You know, if they waive Eaton, someone is sure to pick him up and, at least, they can recoup $760 K.

That's, um, soemthing...

"something" obviously...

plus, maybe he's get picked up by the Marlins or Nats and we get to hit against him three times this year.

Regarding the summary at the top, my pick for MVP is Howard. I think he's going to have a monstrous year this year, similar to what he did in the 2nd half of '06. Last year he was admittedly out of shape bc of the banquet circuit and then got hurt. This offseason he dedicated himself to getting in tip top shape. Add in the extra year's worth of experience from last year (in which he should've learned a lot)... and I'm thinking 300/440/660, 55-60 HRs, 160RBI. Yes, I think he's that good.
I would, however, expect Utley and Rollins to both regress somewhat.

I can't believe what I am reading with respect to the Lohse situation (actually, I can believe it, but I just don't want to). One year for $4 million, that is all it will cost to have a bit more security in the rotation.

There may be more to this Lohse thing - since no other teams seem to be jumping at 1 year $4 mil either.

Seeing as how JW quoted some Mitch Williams brilliance earlier on sinker-ballers, I thought it might be appropriate to share some more of his wisdom from this morning:
"There's only four kinds of beer... yours, mine, warm, and cold... Only two of them are any good."

Anyway, I am still only slightly concerned about Kendrick. The shelling didn't have me worried at all. I am more concerned about his hesitance to work in his changeup during meaningless ST games. For a kid who has already gained some backing for his confidence, this seems a bit out of place. Get out there and work on your new pitches, and make sure your good stuff is there during bullpens.

Prediction: Lohse will be picked up before this week is over -- most likely by the Mets.

I'm assuming the reports are wrong and Lohse is still looking for 6M+ for a year or more.

The silence of other ball clubs about Lohse has me worried. I have a bad feeling that he's going to end up in a Mets Jersey....

On Lohse, I can't believe 1 yr and 4 mil either. I'd bet it's closer to 10mil. But even at 7 mil the Phillies should suck it up and pick him up.
If it's only 1 yr 5 mil a team like Pittsburgh would be smart to sign him in that range and then trade him for prospects at the deadline.

Brian G. If Howard starts on a pace to go
"300/440/660, 55-60 HRs, 160RBI", his OBP will shoot through the roof and his HR/RBI numbers will tail off. No one likes pitching to a monster.

Lohse is one injury away from getting signed. Not his injury, of course, but some other pitcher that will join the walking wounded this spring. Is that likely to be a Met before the end of the week? No one really knows.

Eaton will be salary dumped a la Bobby Abreu before they just outright cut him. They'll trade him to some AL Central hinterland first. Better to get a little pittance of value than none at all.

Maybe if we throw Ryan Howard into the deal, some team might be willing to take Eaton's salary off our hands. Then we would have the money to sign Lohse, and we could give the first base job to Valentino Pascucci.

Alternatively, we could include Utley in an Adam Eaton trade, and give the second base job to C. Smith.

Why stop there? Swap the whole thing for the Marlins. Think of the money we could save!

Mike H.
We don't need value. We just need his contract gone.

BAP: Dead on... that C. Smith guy is a stud.

Andy, thanks for the info about Bruntlett. The comparison to Nunez cools me off on him a bit!

regarding how accurate the 1/$4M rumor is - the problem with that skepticism is that Arbuckle is specifically saying that he's not willing to offer to one year at $4M. he's not saying "oh, he's still out of our range" and implying that the actual demand is much higher.

and as far as if there's some unpublished rumor that's scaring teams off...wouldn't that have already scared the Phillies off before they traded for him? or before they offered him a deal last year? I guess it's possible that there could be something like that going around, but it seems highly unlikely to me.

Lohse: headcase on the mound, not good in the clubhouse, not that good of a pitcher and Boras is his agent. Teams would rather go with a young guy.

ae: Remember... what they say is often as much spin as anything else. It's not unreasonable to belive that Lohse is still asking for $7M, while Arbuckle is saying we wouldn't pay $4M, just to see if they can meet at $5M. I'm not saying that's the case... just that it wouldn't surprise me.

And, frankly, I'm not sure Lohse is so much of a savior that he is essential to our team's success. I'm a lot more worried about our bullpen...

Given that El Duque has had troubling throwing off the mound, Lohse is almost a lock to head to the Mets if he makes his price tag a bit more reasonable (say 1 year/$5-6M). That would be icing on the cake and enable the Mets to have Pelfrey in the waiting and put El Duque in the bullpen (where he probably belongs at this point because he breaks down after so many innings).

What is more frustrating is that the Phils are quite content to pretend there is some sham "competition" for the No. 5 starter spot. Any long-time Phils fan knows that Eaton is a lock for the No. 5 spot unless he physically can't start. Just the way the Phils do business - they will go with the guy making big bucks especially since he is under contract for another year (as do most other teams).

Just want to add the one thing you haven't heard Gillick mention this offseason/spring was about the dead wood on this due to Wade's contract. If anything this year, that dead wood is all Gillick's to the tune of almost 20% of there payroll (Gordon, Eaton, Helms).

That is one thing I just don't understand is how Amaro takes some much flak (and rightly so at times when he completely toes the company line) yet Gillick has remained relatively unscathed because this team made the playoffs last year.

It is hard to say which is probably a bigger pitching weakness for the Phils. I guess I go with the bullpen since the Phils still have no idea if Lidge will be healthy/effective this year and washed-up Gordon (a player I criticize pretty hard but I getting tired of listening to the Phils' BS about how he is healthy and ready to go the last 2 years) is going to be the closer.

The only way I can see the bullpen even being adequate in the early going is if the Phils get some surprise innings from a guy like Blackley or Rosario.

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