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Saturday, March 08, 2008


anyone know if this game is televised today?

I dont believe it is, Tony. It is broadcasted on 1210 Am locally though.

I hope the Blackley and the prospects pitch well.

Having given up all hope, I am now a member of the "ABE Society".

ABE = Anybody But Eaton

Clout had asked what BP's projection for the 2007 season was at the end of last thread. Phils were expected to go 88-74, the Mets 86-76, the Braves 82-80 in 2007.

Their PECOTA's for the Mets pitching raise real eyebrows. Nobody projected to pitch for them will have an ERA above 5.00? A team WHIP around 1.25? Billy the Rat with 53 saves? It's not the Santana numbers that I don't trust - it's El Duque going 6-5 with a 4.20 ERA and Pelfrey as the spot starter going 8-7 with a 4.30 ERA.

John d-
thanks, alright, suppose the radio is better than nothing

2 batters, 2 K's for Travis Blackley. He's using both sides of the plate.


It's almost like these guys realize that they have a chance at being the 5 starter and immediately start screwing up.

Let's calm down - it was one inning. Let's see what he can do in the second and third.

Garko put a good swing on a first pitch fastball and the wind just kept pushing it. The walk hurt him, though. He might be working his changeup, though. Four straight to Francisco, and then ran a fastball on the handle.

I do think Fausto Carmona is great. That was not a fluke last year.

Trivia: In MVP Baseball 2005 (greatest baseball game ever), Fausto is Kenny Barrera. In my Phillies dynasty, I grabbed him in a trade back in 2005 (which I was playing in 2005, mind you) and now, in 2009, he's a pretty damn good starter.

I'm a dork.

Malcolm - how's he doing now?

Without firing up the game, I'd say he's 8-4 with a 4.80 ERA. It's June 2009 and he had a really rough start to the season. I believe in 2008 he went like 14-6 with a 3.50 ERA or so. He had a complete game shutout in the World Series.

That's the funniest three run home run I've seen. First, the wind is nuts here. Second, Dobbs goes back and runs out of room so fast that his wrist hits the wall that it throws his glove off his hand... and over the wall!

So now is the time to say Blackley isn't cutting it?

Maybe you were talking about Blackley, Jon, and I think you were, now that I found out he gave up the home run. Yikes.

wow, 2 former phillies in their lineup

At least he struck out Danny Sandoval.

Malcolm - Correct - was talking about Travis "Another One Bites the Dust" Blackley

Careful... all these chants of ABE might be misinterpreted as a desire for the return of Nunez...

Well, if Blackley faces an all left-handed lineup and there is no wind... Yeah, but there's not. And he got frustrated and lost control.

The grounder either hit Helms in the chin or on his lips.

Must be Philly. Blackley gives up a run in spring training and he's garbage. Good thing it's not 1990. Then there'd really be something to complain about

Hopefully they'll give Blackley a second chance to show his stuff. Heck, they gave Eaton, what, twenty-nine chances or so?

He gave up 4 runs in 1.2 innings = that's a lot worse of a performance than simply giving up one run.

Thankfully they don't make final decisions on players based on 1 out of many Spring Training performances.

Third straight day our pitching has been lit up early and we haven't hit early. I don't really want to be worried, because it's the Spring and no one is really into full season shape yet. But still, it's a little bit troubling. It's not like we have no prior reason to worry about the pitching...

Jack I agree that the performance the past few days has been troubling, but I wouldn't judge the individuals based on one game. For instance, Blackley has pitched well in other games, so no need to discount him totally based on today.

However, the overall team performance may be more indication that Charlie has trouble getting his team ready early in the season.

Helms and Dobbs aren't helping to give these pitchers any confidence with their lackluster defense.

I would argue that giving up three walks and a balk in 1.2 is worse for Blackley than looking at four runs because those are things he can control. He couldn't do it today.

Six walks today by Phillies pitching. That's a bad day.

Any word on Benson's performance in the split-squad scrimmage? Or is that later today?

Blackley looked good in the first inning and struggled with control in the second. The wind really hurt him. Both home runs should have been fly outs.

there it was the obligatory Santa Claus comment from the Cleveland announcers, enough already

The Cleveland announcers were so bad, I switched to Franzke and Sarge on the radio...

Any time you make the choice to listen to Sarge - you know the other announcers are bad.

big Val! hit #4 for the Phils

Theory, here, I'll fix it:

The A.B.E Society.

The correct chant should now be:


phils aren't showing me much

Maybe we should change the name of the club from ABE to ABSOOPR -- Anybody But Someone On Our Present Roster.

I don't even pay attention to spring training stats or results until March 20. All I want to know is if someone looks like they're hurting, which is why I was interested in Eaton's arm angle. Almost no major league pitcher admits he's hurting until after the season, although I guess Eaton is so flummoxed he decided to 'fess up early.

On March 20 I'll look at the K/BB ratios on these young guys and we'll see who's going and who's staying.

It is becoming pretty apparent that the Phils don't have 5 viable starters going into the season and that the bullpen is going to be mess too (particularly to start the season).

Maybe at this point I am a bit biased but it likes yet another season where Gillick has assembled yet another threadbare pitching staff. 3 seasons, 3 straight subpar pitching staffs.

Clout - I agree too but for this team to even get out to a .500 start in April, they needed to come out of spring training relatively healthy.

More importantly, the Phils needed almost everything to break right for there pitching staff including to be sure that Gordon could legitimately contribute, that Lidge was healthy/ready to go, and that Eaton would be passable as a 5th starter.

Maybe Lidge is able to come back, starting throwing soon, and be back by the 2nd/3rd week of April. I am highly dubious of Gordon and pretty much written off Eaton as this point though.

I hate to reign on the Benson parade but he only throw a simulated game today. No reports on velocity or chance to see how he really looked.

At least, I hope that the Phils don't put pressure on the pace of Benson's directly/indirectly. It would both be unfair to Benson and unwise.

The emphasis on Benson's recovery this spring though by the Phils should speak volumes to you as a fan: "Gillick realizes that the bunch of castoffs and journeyman he brought isn't going to cut already in April and the Phils are almost backing on Benson to come back months earlier than expected to bail them out."

If this team had done their job, Benson should have been thought of an insurance chip the Phils had. Yeah, he could have made the 25-man roster by March but let him space himself out a bit. Give him plenty of time to recover and bring him back at the earliest in late May when he has had time to made at least 3-4 rehab starts, build up some strength, and avoid any crappy weather in the NE.

Instead I have the feeling the Phils are subtly pushing Benson to come back already in April because the Phils know they don't have a No. 5 starter and that none of their pitching prospects are close enough to give a shot either.

"Gillick has assembled yet another threadbare pitching staff. 3 seasons, 3 straight subpar pitching staffs."

Yeah, too bad he wasn't given two pitching studs in their twenties to build around...oh, wait!

Here is my personal Gillick All-star team, meaning the best players he is responsible for bringing in in his three years (Draft, trade, FA). I'll include prospects too based on projections.

C: Barajas (Seriously, the top 4 catchers in the organization are all Wade holdovers)

1B: Helms? Randall Simon?

2B: Cardenas

SS: Bruntlett (Donald, maybe?)

3B: Feliz (Dobbs if Feliz sucks)

RF: Werth

CF: Rowand

LF: Jenkins (Dellucci?)


Lidge (Hope!)
J.D Durbin
Chad Durbin

I may have missed a few, and it's only been three offseasons (and two drafts), but that is still a pretty pathetic team.

Good news on Benson. Has Segovia pitched any B games or any other games or just the game where he went 2 hitless innings. I love the talk about Savery, Carrasco, etc. but I continue to believe guys like Happ or Segovia are closer to MLB ready if either can bounce back from last year's awful, injury filled seasons. Many of us here thought Happ was ready last spring.

I'm also in the camp that you need to see Blackley pitch a few more times before writing him off.

Oh, and all of that cost the team well in excess of $100M (if you include disasters like Eaton and Garcia), Thome, Tejeda, Costanzo, Bourn, and Geary.

KDON - yikes add in the money he spent on free agents and having several chips to trade: Padilla, Lieber, Abreu and Lidle. Yes Thome was good trade but he squandered Gio Gonzales. I think the Lieber thing especially killed us last year. If the Phils had eaten a couple million they could have bolstered their bullpen with trades to Milwaukee or Texas last year. Now we watch the same with Helms, they waited too long and will get nothing for him.

kdon - I wouldn't include the guys drafted in the last 2 years (2006 & 2007) in evaluating Gillick's tenure. Just too early to really say they might do with their limited track record in minor league ball.

MG, I agree you can't evaluate those players yet, but in the spirit of fun, I wanted to compose a whole roster, so I had to include the drafted players.

The performance of those draft picks will likely determine whether Gillick's three years here were a complete disaster or merely bad.

The only scenario I see where Gillick's time here can be seen as a positive is if the team makes the World Series this year.

My biggest gripe is that Gillick has had no kind of cohesive plan to really make this team better. He is like an old handyman who patches things here and there but doesn't fundamentally improve anything and the best systems/work were done before he arrived.

The only move during his entire tenure that really showed me any kind of coherent vision was the Garcia trade last offseason.

Then it turned out the Phils' didn't do due diligence on the trade and sold the fans/media some reason that teams often only rely upon another team's medical records which is complete BS, held onto Lieber when he should have moved him for a bullpen arm, and had made the ridiculous signing of Barajas which was widely mocked at the time and it turned out for a good reason.

I think you will see the exact same result this season - a team that is good/very good at times but is only capable of putting up a win total in the high 80s and in almost every year that will leave them sitting at home in October.

One more point to blast Gillick on:

1. He supposedly was going to restock this farm system during his tenure. That was one of his biggest points when he was hired. You can't evaluate the players drafted in the past 2 years yet. Way too soon.

You can however evaluate him on the prospects that have come in and left the system via Gillick's trades. Here you have to give Gillick a major thumbs down. If anything, Gillick has stripped the farm system with some of his trades in order to either make a late season run to the playoffs or acquire players during the offseason.

Not saying I disagree with either of Gillick's intentions there. Every GM does it but if you look at the net result Gillick has taken far more out of the Phils' farm system through trades than he has put back in.

It's Lohse time.

I don't know what to say. I agree with every post kdon has made today. Sorry.

MG: Agree with you 100% on Benson. He won't be ready until June. Still, I think the bullpen is more dire than the rotation at the moment. If someone could convince me that Gordon is 100% healthy and effective and will remain so through the first 3 months at least, I'd be happy to change my mind.

A few things caught my eye on the Benson story. First, MG, according to the Benson story at it was not a simulated game, but a live minor-league intra-squad game.

Second, there was this laughable line "[t]he veteran, former Pittsburgh ace . . ." Kris Benson in his best two years was 11-14 4.07 (1999) and 10-12 3.85 (2000). An ace? He's never won more than 12 games in a season and has a 68-73 career record! If we were counting on that guy to be an ace, we should have packed it in long ago. He's only marginally better than Kyle Lohse.

That being said, his past numbers suggest competent fifth starter and maybe even competent fourth starter in light of this line-up's potency. But DON'T RUSH HIM!

JAS: That line caught my attention too. Benson, in his prime, was certainly a competent major league starter. But calling him an "ace" is just a wee bit of hyperbole.

clout - Agreed if Gordon isn't healthy (and I don't think he but need to see a more appearances this spring) since the Phils are back to having 1 or 2 reliable arms in the pen again to start the season. Not exactly going to make it easy for them to get off to a good start in April.

Talk a world of difference - the Mets' feel confident enough about their bullpen depth that they are looking to move arms (Sosa and Schoeneweis) to get another OF/save some cash potentially.

Certainly too early to be pushing any panic buttons, but given the results of the last few Aprils and what has transpired in off season and thus far in ST; I think Phils phans can be forgiven if there is something of a preliminary sense of foreboding gathering.

I'm going to go with Clout's philosophy, wait till 3/20, then we'll see. That way, it postpones really worrying for another week or two.

On a lesser note:

Helms took another 0fer today to drop to a measly .185 in spring training (4/22, 1 XHB). Forget trying to showcase him, I wonder if Helms is going to even make the Opening Day roster.

He might if the Phils go with a 11-man pitching rotation but I don't see how he gets a spot if the Phils carry 12 pitchers since Taguchi is likely to get last spot on the bench (Coste, Bruntlett, Dobbs, Taguchi, Jenkins).

Well, folks, being the ace for Pittsburgh is as good as being a fourth starter for a good team.

I thank you. Carson, you the man.

But yeah, Benson is a fourth starter.

In 2000, if there was an "ace" on Pittsburgh, it was Benson, primarily because Jason Schmidt was injured. It'd be like if El Pulpo makes some other team who calls him "Former Phillies closer Antonio Alphonseca."

Also, in re: Benson. If he is healthy, and returns to even his "normal" production, he is easily better than Lohse. He is tremendously consistent in producing an ERA+ in at least the 90s - never cracking an ERA of 5.00 over the course of a season. His best years were better than Lohse's best years. His worst years were better than Lohse's worst years. And he averages more IP than Lohse.

If he returns to his best form, he could, by the end of the season, be the third best starter on the Phils.

Okay. Maybe I've been drinking too much kool-aid.

"My biggest gripe is that Gillick has had no kind of cohesive plan to really make this team better. He is like an old handyman who patches things here and there but doesn't fundamentally improve anything and the best systems/work were done before he arrived."

MG, while I think we agree on Gillick in general, I don't actually mind the "handyman" philosophy.

I think the idea was that Gillick, a "proven" executive, would be a handed a team with a great core of talent, and that it was his job to add complimentary pieces and not expand payroll.

The problem is not that he is like a handyman, it's that he is a *terrible* handyman.

I agree with most the comments about Gillick, but I have to say he will admit his mistakes and move on. He dumped Abrue because they were out of the race but when they got back in he went and got Moyer. He sighned Helms and Eaton and failed at both but then went out and got Feliz and Benson. I like that he will always toy and try to fix, and admit his mistakes. When you don't have the money of the Yankees or Red Sox to buy the best players then you have to constantly tinker with your roster, with secondary parts until you get it right.

Also we did make the Playoffs last year!!!!

The LA Daily News is reporting that Helms might be a fit for the Dodgers' 3B injury woes.

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