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Thursday, March 13, 2008

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Wait, wasn't Blackley pitching ok? Did I miss something?

I just don't see Blackley in either the rotation or bullpen. He's never been a reliever.

Fearless prediction: Rosario will continue to get hot. Charlie will plug and play him as often as he can, like he did with El Pulpo in his stretch run where he picked up some saves (and, yes, helped in saving the season.) Then Rosario will get hurt. It will then be time for Benson to step in.

Welcome to the world of modular pitching rotation... also known as the Value Village...

I'll be at that game tomorrow so this is good news. I'm excited to see him pitch and would like to see him get a shot as the #5 until Benson is ready.

Rosario is our best hope to step it up. He is one of the few power arms we have in relief, which was a big weakness last year, especially in middle relief.

Blackley is crapping the bed of late.

Count me in as a rooter of Francisco Rosario. He has some decent stuff, and hopefully he'll continue pitching well this spring and carry it over into the season...someone needs to!

I know ST games cannot be used as a total baromter as a measuring stick, but it seems to me that we are either not ready, or have the talent to start winning. For the most part the pitching has been terrible and the offense non-existant. This combination is a formula for disaster, hence another poor start to the season is forthcoming.

There were and possibly still are pitchers out there that could have/would have help us, that GIllick and Co. have chosen to totally ignore. And add to the fact, that the 3 miilion extra they're paying Howard due to their own stupidity, prevents them from aquiring Loshe (they're not saying that, but that's the truth), is totally short-sighted on their part.

I meant don't have the talent to start winning. Sorry.

I remember reading this back in Feb before camp and liking the idea, take a look...excerpt from News Journal article...

http://www.delawareonline.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080212/SPORTS01/802120403/1002/sports

Francisco Rosario

Looking to aid a shaky bullpen last spring, Phillies officials drove from Clearwater to neighboring Dunedin and found Rosario, a hard-throwing right-hander who was out of options with the Blue Jays.

He made little impact.

After being acquired April 5 in a cash trade, Rosario went 0-3 with a 5.47 ERA in 23 games and spent most of the season nursing a shoulder strain. But the Phils still like his potential, especially after a solid showing in the Dominican Winter League. Last week, he tossed six shutout innings against Venezuela in the Caribbean Series.

"One catch is, he seems to pitch better as a starter than he does out of the pen," Arbuckle said. "For our needs, that may not be an ideal fit. But we'll keep our fingers crossed."

Could Rosario become the surprise of camp? There's always one

It's not short sighted, it's just their managing philosophy. Even if it's only 5 mil in the red, they won't do it.

I like Rosario, but I would keep him in the pen for now while Lidge makes his way back (same rationale for keeping Madson in the pen). Gordon might not even be able to throw back to back days, so they are going to need another arm.

If Benson didn't look like he could be ready by mid-to-late April, I would be okay with Rosario auditioning for the full-time spot.

As it stands now, I would (gulp) give the two or three starts to Blackley or The Real Deal (not C. Durbin, because I want an expeienced longman in the case of a blowout) and take a few lumps in order to have some kind of bullpen while Lidge is out.

I like the idea of picking up Chris Resop and then having the uniform department sew his name on backwards.

Recovering Lidge + Gordon's old age + lack of available other options make it a good idea to keep Rosario in the 'pen.

I agree with kdon that they should use a Durbin/Durbin "platoon" (doesn't matter which starts/relieves) for the #5 starter until Benson is ready to go. Sadly, something tells me that we might actually see a "When is Eaton going to get another chance" posting or two if this is the result. Things are never good when that's the case.

I am not particularly optimistic that Benson has anything left in the tank. Do not think that an 85-88 mph fast ball from a 33 year old who has not pitched since 06 has much left. If he were 10 years younger and attempting a come back hope would spring eternal. Hope not to see another Freddy Garcia type out there like last season trying to get by with that high 80's heat and assorted junk. Benson's numbers with the O's in his last season of work were poor: opponents hit .287; gave up 33 homers, struck out only 4.3 per 9 and had an ERA of nearly 5

There isn't room for both Durbins and Rosario because that leaves us with one lefty in the pen in Romero. Fact is, Rosario should start if he's pitching well and Eaton should be on the DL while he gets his head/arm/back together.

Blackley almost has to make it as a lefty since no other lefty is stepping up. Gillick hinted that he might go get a lefty--let's hope he does since Blackley looks iffy at this point.

JD needs time in AAA and I doubt anyone will claim him at this point.

Benson wants to be on the 40 man right away, but that makes no sense until they have to.

In all honesty, I'd rather go with Eaton than with Blackley or either of the Durbins. But that's like choosing whether death by lethal injection is preferable to death by electrocution. That's why I think Castro and/or Rosario need to be part of this discussion.

I'll believe that Benson can contribute when I actually see it happen. Until then, I think the Phillies need to operate on the assumption that a long-term answer is needed for the fifth starter's spot. If it turns out that Benson can contribute and that we only need a band-aid until he returns, then we could just move Castro/Rosario back into the bullpen, where there will be no shortage of guys that need replacing.

In other news, Moyer was named the No. 3 starter, according to Phillies.com.

so now are rotation sets up as:

Right, Left, Left, Right, Trash

See... Kendrick isn't our third starter!!!! ;-)

per MLB.com, the red sox put Schilling on the 60-day DL to make room for Holdzkom who was given a major league contract, go figure

"One catch is, he seems to pitch better as a starter than he does out of the pen," Arbuckle said. "For our needs, that may not be an ideal fit. But we'll keep our fingers crossed."

So wait, did Arbuckle mean that they don't have need for another starter? One who, according to him, pitches better in that role? Ludicrous.

Well... I guess that quote was a month ago, before Eaton was "officially" injured. Besides, no reason to believe the front office, it's not their job to tell us the truth. Perhaps he said it that way because he didn't want to make waves... or maybe he had some other alterior motive.

Or, it's possible that at the time he said it, he didn't think we had any holes in the rotation.

"I'll believe that Benson can contribute when I actually see it happen. Until then, I think the Phillies need to operate on the assumption that a long-term answer is needed for the fifth starter's spot."

The Phillies M.O. has been to look at a player's possible peak, assume that is what they will get, and then act surprised and shocked when that doesn't happen. So therefore with Benson, no doubt they feel (or want people to feel) that he is a number 3 quality start who just needs a few weeks to finish rehab before contributing. While the Phillies SHOULD feel the pressure to find a long-term answer in the 5-spot... they won't do anything about it.

I saw in my tracking stats that I was linked by a Brewers blog. They're looking to unload two starters and linked to my post the other day. Dave Bush, Claudio Vargas, Chris Capuano are included are among those in the running. Any takers?

Just out of curiousity, does anyone know what is the status on last year's pitching phenom, the injured Kyle Drabek is? Has he begun his rehab from last year's injury? I'm assuming he hasn't even begun doing anything yet, since his name hasn't even been mentioned this year. I looked for him online but there is no news of anything relating to my question.

Adam Eaton, with a 15.75 ERA, recently quoted: "Results are what they are, but if I throw the pitches where I want to and keep them on the plate where I want to, we'll be fine"

For right now, Rosario is providing a little hope for anyone rooting for the Phils, and that's great. ST is ST, but it's getting to be time for someone to step up and create a little positive momentum. Glad to see Rosario making a little noise.

I suppose either Bush or Vargas is better than what we have, but that's not saying much. The Brewers are also dangling Capuano, who has considerably more upside than those other guys. Still, if the Phillies won't pay $4M to Lohse, it's difficult to imagine their paying $3.25M to Capuano.

Forgot to mention Capuano. Can he work from the bullpen?

Theory - Great observation on your part. That is exactly what drives me crazy about the Phillies. They will grab a guy off of the Used-Arm heap, project his statistics that he had before his arm injury that put him on the heap to begin with, and then figure him that way into their equation for building a winning team.

The shock that the FO pretend's to have when things don't work out is such an old act, that I can't buy into it anymore. That's why I'm surprised when guys like Tim think I am so negative. It's the same old used up excuse when it comes to improving the team. How could they go into the season still hoping and/or counting on Eaton as starter #5, when all of us knew better.

It's like having a jalopy in the driveway and deciding to risk driving it to the West Coast. Then when it breaks down before you cross the state lines you act as if you can't believe that it happened. The shocking thing is if it actually made it anywhere past the Misissippi it would be a bonus. That is how the Phillies should approach the Eaton's of their roster. Whatever he gives you is a bonus, but don't count on them for much. That's how a losing or rebuilding team operates. Not one that likes to crow about being one of the top teams in the NL. When they need to do the little extra to make it happen, it never does.

I read today in the Chicago Tribune that Gavin Floyd will begin the season as the #3 starter for the White Sox.

I'm not sure how happy I would be right now about my starting pitching if I were a Sox fan.

Vasquez
Buerhle
Floyd
Contreras
Denks

Mr. Mack - Drabek's out for this entire year. Hopefully, when he comes back during the 08-09 winter he'll be on fire and moving quickly.

Jason - What do those Brew Crewers think we can give them for Capuano? Helms-Eaton and magic beans?

Unfortunately, the only pitchers the Phils will pick up at this point is players will they will be able to sign for the veteran league minimum. This means that if a useful arm does hit the waiver wire this spring or even well into this year, the Phils aren't going to sign him unless it is for the veteran league minimum which is a shame.

"I read today in the Chicago Tribune that Gavin Floyd will begin the season as the #3 starter for the White Sox.

I'm not sure how happy I would be right now about my starting pitching if I were a Sox fan.

Vasquez
Buerhle
Floyd
Contreras
Denks"

Probably not a whole lot different than Phillies fans.

Capuano would be a huge upgrade. Bush would be a significant upgrade. Not sold on Vargas.

What was the blog? Any idea what we'd need to send in return?

I wouldn't mind gambling on Capuano. I am also intruiged with Rosario, however I need to see more from him first. As for the Brew Crew, other than Capuano, those names don't do much for me. Even Capuano is a bit shaky (12 straight loses last year), however if he could be had for Helms and a semi-decent prospect, I'd do it. Someone is bound to be available from their staff with Manny Parra pitching exceptionally well this spring.

"The Phillies M.O. has been to look at a player's possible peak, assume that is what they will get, and then act surprised and shocked when that doesn't happen."

Nailed it.

The Phillies have decided to put all their eggs in Benson's basket. So the operating plan is to muddle through the first month of the season hoping on a rehabbing Benson, muddle through the second month of the season while Benson hopefully gets back into form, and then muddle through the rest of the year while either Kendrick struggles, Hamels is hurt or Moyer shows his age. Meaning at some point this year Eaton's services will be required, and nobody wants that.

The Phils are not going to spend another dollar. They have made that pretty evidently clear in spring training. Since they can't move Helms, they are stuck with the team they have unless they find another waiver wire pickup at a minimum price.

At this point, I just hope the Phils can make it through the rest of spring training with no other injuries and can don't have another sub. 500 April.

I don't remember which writer he was interviewing, but Jody Mac had someone on who basically said: "Even if he has a super year, there is NO chance Pat the Bat comes back next year". I believe Jody even said "in a 1 year 10 mil deal?". No, was that anwer too. Sounded like the writer has been told that specifically and not just guessing.

Btw, Cards sign Kyle Lohse according to mlbtraderumors.com

Cardinals Sign Kyle Lohse

According to Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the Cardinals signed Kyle Lohse to a one-year deal (pending a physical).

If it's in the expected $4-5MM range, this is a fine move. The Cardinals needed some depth, and Lohse offers upside beyond just innings (especially under Dave Duncan).

What's Lohse's upside beyond just innings (and not counting Duncan)?!? I thik people have been pretending there actually is something there, in regards to Lohse, but he is who he is and nothing more.

Lohse is still better than some of the crappy pitchers we are running out there now. I personally would rather the Phils bring someone else in, but it still needs to be mentioned that St. Louis has decided to gamble on him.

I agree that he is, but i don't think he's much more than better than our worst guys.

He's better than any of the guys currently battling for our 5th starter position. Is that safe to say?

Lohse is better than any other the Phils are planning to trot out in the No. 5 spot. There really is no argument against this point.

It's pretty much inexcusable that we didn't sign Lohse. Especially considering we already offered him 3 yrs 21 million, which would lead me to believe that he is not hurt. For about two years in the NL Lohse has been a dead league average pitcher, which is something that would have immense value to us. And at only a one year commitment, providing a perfect bridge to next year when some of our younger guys are ready to step up... I just don't get it.

Ahhh...we can still sign Lohse in July if we really need him.

But I'm sure there will be plenty of other Lohses by then.

I'm a little confused by kdon and the other posters who want J.D. Durbin in the rotation? Did I miss something? How does that help the team?

As I said about a week ago, Lohse is mediocre but reliably mediocre. That would make him, at worst, the 4th best starter in our rotation, and more likely, the 3rd best. And, despite a long history of mediocrity, he is young enough & has good enough stuff, that he does have some upside potential. Besides, even an average pitcher who sticks in the majors long enough is bound to have one or two big years along the way. Lohse hasn't had his yet. It wouldn't surprise me at all if he has it this year.

BedBeard: That's exactly right. Lohse is basically a league-average pitcher, which makes him much better than Eaton, C.Durbin and everyone else on the Phillies trying out for the #5 spot. You don't think he could help?

Doc, the problem is that we need Lohse *now* more than in July when Benson will be healthy and some of the young guys may be ready.

A few posters have been accused of being alarmist, but the Phils pitching right now looks like a joke.

No matter what Jimmy says, we are not the team to beat this year, and are going to have to probably win 90-93 games to have a chance at the playoffs.

Even with Lohse, I don't see us as a 90 win team, so throwing away a half dozen starts from the 5th starter spot makes it near to an impossibility.

Lohse's contract is 1 year at $4.25M, which is s steal in today's market.

"I'm a little confused by kdon and the other posters who want J.D. Durbin in the rotation?"

It's pretty simple. If Lidge is out to start the season, I don't want to weaken the bullpen by moving C. Durbin, Rosario, or Madson into the rotation.

It's not really a pro-Real Deal suggestion, I was just commenting on other posters who wanted to move one of those three into the rotation.

So if you take them out of the mix, then the competition is Real Deal , Blackley and Eaton. The first two I think could catch lighting in a bottle and maybe pitch well (although I wouldn't bet on it). Eaton, however, I think has *zero* chance to pitch well.

Whatever. It sucks no matter what.

But what would you do with Lohse, if Benson comes in by May, and Moyer and KK are pitching well?

It seems to me like the most likely scenario is the Phils are going to roll the dice the first half of the season. Gillick, Amaro, et al are going to cross their fingers that Eaton and/or Benson manage to be league average (or slightly below) pitchers. Or perhaps they catch lightning in a bottle with a Rosario/Castro type for a few months.

But if all that fails (which it probably will), and they're still in contention in July, I can see them going shopping for a Lohse-type via trade. Especially if they can dump Helms's salary at some point.

Basically, if someone on the existing roster works out and pitches above expectations they look like geniuses (not likely). But if none of those guys work out and they go out and make a trade in July for a rental arm they can turn around to the fans and say "Hey, we're making an effort." An effort they should have made in December.

Of course, this whole scenario assumes that the other 4 starters stay healthy and pitch to their capabilities.

"BedBeard: That's exactly right. Lohse is basically a league-average pitcher, which makes him much better than Eaton, C.Durbin and everyone else on the Phillies trying out for the #5 spot. You don't think he could help?"

That wasn't my comment. MLBTR.com says: "If it's in the expected $4-5MM range, this is a fine move. The Cardinals needed some depth, and Lohse offers upside beyond just innings (especially under Dave Duncan)."


I asked what his upside is beyond innings that the writer says he has? I see none, besides being a tick better than our #5 starter drek.

kdon: I'd rather give Rosario a shot and let Condrey (or Youman) fill that last bullpen spot. That 12th pitcher, which is what they are, is only going to enter whent he game is out of hand anyway.

BedBeard: I agree, but would use a word stronger than "tick." I would say significantly better than our #5 drek.

"But what would you do with Lohse, if Benson comes in by May, and Moyer and KK are pitching well?"
Who cares?? I would do unspeakable things that we would be so lucky!

Lohse is a big "IF" as well, and I wouldn't say significantly stronger than our drek - I would agree with BedBeard that he's a "tick" better.

here is a priceless quote from phillies.com, i think we all owe this man a beer:

"While being heckled from a fan stationed 10 feet away, Eaton tossed 25 pitches and remains on schedule to pitch in a Minor League game on Saturday, likely at the Carpenter Complex."

he did what we all wish we could do, tell eaton how much he sucks and we hate him

kdon: I despise Adam Eaton with every fiber of my being. But I have a hard time seeing how Durbin or Blackley is a better option. If one of these guys were having a hot ST, I would be all in favor of sticking with the hot hand. But both have been horrible and, while Eaton has been just as bad, at least he has a proven history which shows him capable of being an average major league starter. Blackley & Durbin have NOTHING in their history which would warrant such a belief -- and they have a considerable amount of data which would warrant precisely the opposite belief.

This is not an endorsement of Eaton by any stretch of the imagination. It's just that the odds of getting a 6 inning, 3 run performance from Adam Eaton are considerably better than the odds of getting that type of outing from either JD Durbin or Travis Blackley.

Also glad the Phils didn't re-sign Lohse, even for the "cheap" pricetag. What we were lucky to get out of him last year was a contradiction to what he is normally.

"Who cares??"

Nailed it again, my man.

It's not our money, what do we care if the team has to eat salary? The odds are in favor of at least one other pitcher, besides the 5th spot, being ineffective or injured. So Benson and Lohse could have been insurance for those 2 spots we will need filled at some point for some period during the season.

It's just wishful thinking that the 5th spot will be the only hole that needs patching in our staff this year.

"I'd rather give Rosario a shot and let Condrey (or Youman) fill that last bullpen spot. That 12th pitcher, which is what they are, is only going to enter whent he game is out of hand anyway."

The problem is that if Lidge is hurt, we aren't talking about the 12th spot for Rosario.

Here's what happens in your scenario if Rosario is in the rotation and Lidge is hurt:

Gordon
Romero
Madson
Condrey
C. Durbin
Youman
Eaton/???

"But both have been horrible and, while Eaton has been just as bad, at least he has a proven history which shows him capable of being an average major league starter. Blackley & Durbin have NOTHING in their history which would warrant such a belief"

This is pretty simple. Blackley and Durbin have stuff that, while unlikely, could actually translate to success.

Eaton, OTOH, has nothing...nothing. He was literally the worst pitcher in baseball last year. Whatever he had is long long gone.

It's the simple difference between two pitchers who have a slim chance of success and one who has none.

BTW, it sure seems like Benson is actually in line to make more money, if he hits all his bonuses, than Lohse. And this is a guy (Benson) who will miss the first month of the season if he's lucky? What sense does that make for the Phils?

If I have to choose between Benson or Lohse, I'm taking the healthy guy!!

If the Phillies' season opened today, I'd guess their bullpen would be, in order of importance, Gordon, Romero, Madson, Rosario, Castro, C. Durbin, & Condrey -- with Lidge on the DL. If Rosario keeps pitching well & you move him to the starting rotation (with Eaton going to the DL), I guess Youman becomes the bullpen replacement, which isn't all that big a deal since the 7th guy in your pen doesn't get much important work. The bigger problem is, by moving Rosario to the rotation, you'd also be bumping Castro, Durbin & Condrey into more prominent bullpen roles for which none of them is remotely qualified. Still, I'd say it's a risk worth taking. Starters pitch more innings than relievers. As presently constituted, our starting rotation is set up for an automatic loss every 5th game. If we can solve that problem, it would be worth doing so, though it might mean creating even more problems in the back of our bullpen.

"It's just that the odds of getting a 6 inning, 3 run performance from Adam Eaton are considerably better than the odds of getting that type of outing from either JD Durbin or Travis Blackley."

Well, they sure as hell weren't considerably better after the all-star break last year.

6 IP, 3 R games (or better)after July 15:

Real Deal: 4 out of 9 (Including a shutout)
Eaton: 0 out of 12

Care to revise that prediction?

Lohse's upsde is his age and the fact that he has been league average in ballparks that are pitching nightmares - Reds and Phils. If there wasn't a spot for him because Benson or Eaton were fine he would have been fine for the 6th or 7th inning. But it is a waste of typing to worry about this.

The key to this spring is health. If Eaton is the only guy hurt in ST, that is pretty good. I don't count Lidge because we were already expecting that he wouldn't be ready by the season before the "tweak".

"It's the simple difference between two pitchers who have a slim chance of success and one who has none."

No, it's the difference between someone who's actually pitched well this spring (Rosario) and has good stuff and a pitcher (Durbin) who's failed repeatedly at the big league level and pitched poorly in ST.

And, again, a 5th starter is more valuable than the mop-up relieving 11th and 12th men on the staff.

Tim: Look up the career stats for Lohse and compare them to the career stats for Eaton, Youman, Dos Durbins, etc. and then come back and tell us if you still think Lohse is merely "a tick" better.

Man this gets boring clout. Read...carefully.

The comment above was clearly in response to bap's comment, which didn't involve Rosario at all.

Sorting out this 5th starter mess feels like picking which loser you want to marry your daughter: the crackhead, the convict or the terrorist.

Loshe signing with the Cards while the Phillies fumble through these other "options" is a travesty. Even an upside Benson surprise won't leave the Fightin's with anything approximating depth.

By the way, the problem isn't the Phillies 5th starter, it's everything after #1 and #2. Everyone loves Moyer, but he's just not a viable #3 for a whole season. I hope he defies father time again and has a tremendous season, but come on, he's a #4 at best, and that's only if your #5 is really more like a #4 since Moyer is on borrowed time. Kendrick and Moyer are fine for the bottom of the rotation, but that still leaves a big hole at #3, which should be a contender to back up your #1 and #2 in case of injury.

So we don't need a #5 starter, we need a rock solid #3. Lohse isn't a #3, but, sadly, he's still an upgrade.

One year, $4.25 million for Lohse. Source: St. Louis Dispatch.

They had to make this deal. According to the same article "Adam Wainwright and Braden Looper entered Thursday as the only pitchers considered locks for the Redbirds’ Opening Day rotation. A scrum including Anthony Reyes, Brad Thompson, Todd Wellemeyer, Kyle McClellan and Mike Parisi was under consideration."

Their #3 is now Lohse?

And if Rosario is good enough to be the 5th starter, how in the world is he the 11th or 12th pitcher on a staff without Lidge?

This is as far as I have to go:

W L ERA Games
Eaton 64 55 4.7 176
Lohse 63 74 4.82 218

kdon: Durbin has been lit up like a pinball machine in ST. The other thing is that, with Durbin, 1 out of every 3 starts results in a performance in which the Phillies are literally 6 runs behind after the first inning. Forced to choose between the 2, I'd take my chances with Eaton.

Tim,

You were given too easy a task.

Eaton is nowhere near the pitcher he was before getting hurt and traded to Texas, so his career numbers are misleading.

But "career numbers" (which I was asked to use to prove my argument) show that Eaton is actually more than a "tick" better than Lohse, which means - with Eaton's recent history - that makes Lohse a "tick" better than Eaton.

I don't like our current #5 situation either, but lets not get too upset about Kyle Lohse.

"Durbin has been lit up like a pinball machine in ST."

And Eaton hasn't?

"Forced to choose between the 2, I'd take my chances with Eaton."

Sure, you said that, but why?

Tony, great stuff: "so now are rotation sets up as:

Right, Left, Left, Right, Trash."

However, Rosario may not be trash!

Lohse is certainly not a #3.

Tim, well clout should have known better than to ask you for career numbers.

How about last year, which is the most relevant. Was Lohse only a tick better?

I mean, this isn't some abstract argument...we watched both of them pitch down the stretch last year. I'm shocked you could have watched those games and think Lohse is only a tick worse.

bap:

I agree that starters are more important than relievers. Rosario is making a strong case for himself even if he is ahead of everyone else at this point since he was tuned up in the Caribbean Series. And if you stash him in the pen, you lose Condrey, who was actually quite helpful last season despite bad numbers from a few terrible outings.

I disagree with this, though:

"I guess Youman becomes the bullpen replacement, which isn't all that big a deal since the 7th guy in your pen doesn't get much important work."

Youman might be the guy, since he's a lefty, but he does have options and he isn't very good. Blackley, on the other hand, has no options. But more importantly, I disagree that the 7th guy in the Phillies pen won't get much important work. Ordinarily this is true, but not for these Phillies and not in the Bank. Everyone will be leaned on heavily in the pen with starters averaging under 6 innings.

One of the best ways to improve your pen is to have better starters who go deeper into games. It just makes everyone better. Conversely, even decent relievers will look bad sooner or later trying to clean up after so many messes.


kdon - But then you're only judging Lohse based on 13 games last year, which isn't representative of his history and not necessarily a gauge for how he will continue to pitch - although it appears more promising than Eaton.

And if they were both on the FA market, and I had to chose 1, I would take Lohse, but again, I am saying I'm not upset that the Phillies didn't sign Lohse.

I'm glad Lohse signed with someone other than the Mets. He really helped the Phils out during the stretch drive and esentially got shown the door. The Cards aren't going anywhere, so Lohse might revert back to form and have a losing W-L record. Frankly, I have a feeling that Lohse will be one of our big regrets as the season goes on with our ramshackle pitching staff performing poorly, both starters and 'pen.

Wes Helms = Blind Squirrel

Casey Smith = Roy Hobbs

3-0, Phillies.

Make it 4-0. Still working here on the west coast...

Lake Fred: I'm hoping you're right that him and Benson can change it from trash to right.

I've been guilty of it myself but, frankly, all this talk about Rosario in the starting rotation is a bit premature. What has he pitched? 6 total ST innings? In his next outing, he'll probably give up 8 runs in 1/3 of an inning & that will put this topic to a rest.

"But then you're only judging Lohse based on 13 games last year"

No, Lohse was also much better when he was in Cinci.

Looks like Benson will be put on the 60 day DL. after today's effort Charlie said he won't be ready until the end of May according to David Murphy in the DN. Sounds like he may never be ready! His last pitch was clocked at 86 and gave up 6 hits during the outing. After 57 pitches against minor leaguers the Front Office must have seen enough and shut him down. Let's hope Rosario comes up big tomorrow night.

kdon, tim: This is really quite simple. You need to adjust for ballpark factors, which ERA+ does.

Eaton career ERA+ is 88.
Lohse career ERA+ is 95.

I'd say that's more than a "tick," especially given the big difference in their recent stats.

And, as anyone, including kdon, knows, career stats are more useful that single season stats, especially when the player in question (Eaton) was hurt during that season.

Dull: Link?

To kdon and everyone else a little miffed by letting Lohse go to the Cardinals, consider this:

Ed Wade thought that Lohse wasn't worth a one year contract at 4 million.

I agree another starter would be great (and is probably necessary), but adding another pitcher with an average ERA of over 4 and a half per year isn't going to solve our problems.

I assure you that if the Cardinals had a Durbin or two, they wouldn't have considered Lohse either.

BAP: I agree, but you have to base the discussion on the information you have available. Rosario has pitched well so far, pitched well in winter ball and, at age 27, has only been given 20 something IP in a season to show if he could pitch in the major leagues. Durbin was given 65 IP last season and was worse in every category than Rosario's 2 partial seasons. Actually, the guy who's proven the most of these choices is C. Durbin, but we were speculating on a way to fill that 5th spot while keeping C.Durbin in the pen.

Murphy's blog is High Cheese on philly.com

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EST. 2005

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