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Wednesday, March 12, 2008

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That is the point though JW about spring training:

The Phils are top-heavy (especially on their pitching staff). Basically needed Lidge, Gordon, and Eaton to show they could be counted on this year. Frankly none of them has shown that in spring training due to injuries/ineffectivness.

That is the message I take away this year. Less concerned about the marginal guys like Dos Durbins and more with Lidge, Gordon, and Eaton.

"A dime a Durbin."

I love this stuff! We need to find room for both of them on the roster.

I didn't need ST to tell me they were top-heavy. Nothing new has been revealed this spring.

How do the Phils match up against the Nats for the first series, starter-wise?

I met for Lidge, Gordon, and Eaton to show they could contribute right away in April and help this team get off to a good start. That is really what I wanted to see in spring training.

Probably Patterson, Bergmann.

Dan, as long as the both stay healthy, and that is nowhere near a sure thing with these 2, John Patterson and Shawn Hill. They actually are 2 solid pitchers when healthy, or at least have been. Patterson had an awesome 2005 w/ a 3.42 ERA and a 1.12 Whip, but has been hampered by injuries to the point that he's only made 15 starts in the last 2 years. Shawn Hill was the Nats best pitcher last year w/ a 3.42 ERA and a 1.14 Whip, but only made 16 starts because of injuries.

Ah yes, I just saw that Hill, again, has some forearm issues and might not be ready for Opening Day. So it would be Jason Bergmann.

My burning question: Are the Phils going to re-sign Lincoln Holdzkom to a minor league contract now that the Red Sox have refused to take him back?

P.S. Don't Bergmann and Hill basically OWN the Phils? I seem to remember the Phillies not fairing so well against these guys the last couple of years. Or course, they've kind of stunk against the Nats in general...

Those are some great pictures from Jake. I love all the red on green.

Shawn Hill was 1-1 in 2 starts against the Phils last year with a 3.86 ERA. He's 2-2 with a 5.08 ERA in his career vs. Philly.

Jason Bergmann was 0-1 in 5 starts against he Phils last year with a 4.18 ERA. He's 0-2 in 5 starts and 8 appearances with a 3.86 ERA in his career vs. Philly.

Bergmann is 0-2 in 5 starts against the Phils, but has had solid #s. 3.86 ERA, 1.19 Whip, and .217 BAA. Hill is 2-2 in 5 starts, but has had a tough go at CBP w/ a 8.44 ERA and a 1.59 Whip.

Clout- Your argument from the last thread was beyond pitiful. First, Truth claims the pitching staff is improved. Then, you say that while the rotation has improved, the bullpen has not, and thus the whole pitching staff can't be counted as improved. Many of us respond by saying that even if Lidge is a slight downgrade from Myers, which is very arguable, the upgrade of the rotation more than makes up for it, and thus the whole pitching staff, is in fact, improved. Then, out of nowhere, you claim to be arguing just about the bullpen, even though you originally were talking about the whole pitching staff.

An absolutely desperate and pathetic attempt to change an argument where you were probably wrong to begin with, solely for the purpose of taking the argument further. A complete joke, and everyone who has read over the last thread knows it.

You created an argument out of nowhere about the bullpen when we were arguing about the pitching staff as a whole.

Is the pitching staff we'll see on Opening Day really improved over the staff we had at the end of last year?

I'm not sure I'd agree with that. Moving Myers into the rotation sounds great, except the end of our bullpen on Opening Day will be Tom Gordon and his questionable shoulder.

Even with a healthy Lidge, I tend to believe this staff is a wash compared to last year, at least until we see what we may get out of Benson.

CJ and Slugdog: Thanks for the correction. Maybe the Phils are just bad against the crappier Nats' pitchers like Tim Redding. In any event, I'll still take the Phils chances over whomever the Nats trot out to the mound on opening day.

I really want "The Durbins of Hazzard" to catch on.

Maybe we can at least have a video played between innings of JD sliding across the hood of the bullpen cart or something. That would bring more enjoyment than watching him pitch.

Is it safe to assume we'll never see Lidge and Gordon in the bullpen together? If Flash is going to be out there closing, I want him throwing the curve, whether it's bringing the end of his career closer by a day every pitch or not. Trying to remain optimistics, but I also could envision alternating stints on the DL...

From the last thread...

Tim - Your lame points are barely worth responding to, but since it is a little slow in the office, I'll reply out of sheer boredom.

The product on the field is worth watching. The problem is that the FO doesn't seem to want to make a true run at a title, while we all can agree that they are probably just a few players away from dominating the NL for the next five or six seasons. I use the give-aways as a euphanism whenever it appears that Monty & Co. are placing their priorities in the wrong places. All I'm asking is that they spend wisely and show us that there is a plan in place to hang our hopes on.

Don't get so defensive Tim. You might loosen up and enjoy a few laughs while your at it. Lighten up Francis...and don't touch my stuff.


Mr. Mack - my point is, there are many things to complain about, in terms of actual baseball decisions that impact the game on the field. But complaining about the team's giveaways is just complaining to complain, because it has no impact on the product on the field.

If your point is simply that the FO simply cares more about putting butts in the seats than trophies in the trophy case, then there is no argument. I guess I just misunderstood your point.

Now we only have 39 on the 40 man roster, so there is an opening for Benson.

So it's Patterson, Hill, then Bergmann against Myers, Hamels, then Kendrick? Looks like we might be cruisin' until we run into the Mets. Not that I think we won't fare well against those choke artists, but opening up against the Nats and Reds seems favorable.

Jack: My, my, personal attacks again. I think the bullpen is indeed part of the pitching staff. Maybe you're happy with it, maybe you think (wish) Lidge is an upgrade over Myers. I don't. It's a subject worthy of debate, although you're poorly armed as usual.

JW - "I didn't need ST to tell me they were top-heavy. Nothing new has been revealed this spring."

Totally agree about being top-heavy but it wasn't certain that Eaton would look to be a complete lost cause again, Gordon looks like he going to struggle right out the gate, or that Lidge would get hurt again/have injury questions now having over his head all season.

Phils needed all three of guys contributing out of the gate and to give them decent years in order to likely really hit that 90+ win total that has eluded them for the past 7 years. That is what spring training has told us.

Not saying that I was counting on Eaton being lights out but asking too much for him to be a slightly-below average starter or close to his career numbers? Or that Lidge would be healthy and ready Opening Day? Or that the Phils might be able to squeeze one more season out of Gordon with minimal injuries?

"If your point is simply that the FO simply cares more about putting butts in the seats than trophies in the trophy case, then there is no argument. I guess I just misunderstood your point".

You see Tim, now we can agree on this subject. You just needed to read through my wise cracks to get there. C'mon in for a group hug big guy.

"While we all can agree that they are probably just a few players away from dominating the NL for the next five or six seasons."

I think this is a real stretch. As constructed the Phillies are an 85 win team. It will take more then two players to let them dominate for "5 or 6 years". It will take acquisition of two quality pitchers and development of a deep farm system that can help the team through injuries in order to reach that sort of dominance.

MG: To answer your questions...1) Yes, it is; he's terrible (and "hurt"). 2) We'll see. Hopefully. 3) Doubtful, but here's hoping.

It's clear that pitching will continue to be the thorn in the Phil's collective side. Let's hope they're able to win a lot of games 9-6, 10-7, etc.

And my $0.02 on moving Myers back into the rotation: Lidge's insertion into the bullpen is more or less a wash (or possible improvement, if he shows his pre-Pujols NLCS Bomb form); moving Brett back into the rotation is an obvious upgrade to that portion of the pitching staff. Therefore, it seems pretty clear that the entire staff has been improved by this move.

Now if we talk about the rest of the "improvements" that PG and the FO have made to the staff throughout the offseason, I'd say that the Phils are about the same (or slightly worse) than they were last year. Viva Dos Durbins!!

Jeltz - Agreed and that is my point. I just don't see how this teams wins more than 89 games this year and that is a huge problem because almost every since 1995 that will leave the Phils home come Oct.

MG: I have concerns about Gordon, but not because of what he's done in spring. He's 40, this is his 20th spring training or whatnot. I'm not expecting much from ancient vets during exhibition play.

PhillR: I don't think you're wrong...but a few players doesn't mean 2 (in fact, it means it has to be MORE than 2). As I said though, I think your assessment is more or less spot on.

The Phils probably need to add 1 more elite starting pitcher (who will want to pitch at CBP), 2 solid bullpen arms (ditto for them), re-sign Pat the Bat (or a comparable leftfielder), and start paying above slot in the draft for elite players (which seems pretty obvious the FO is unwilling to do). Getting a decent catcher would be nice too, although Ruiz has been a better than average defensive/offensive catcher (over a small sample size).

Unfortunately, I don't see most of this happening under the current ownership group...but here's hoping.

I do have to disagree with you about the Phils being an 85 win team, though. I think with the overall weakness of the National League, this team can probably win somewhere between 87 and 93 wins. If everyone stays healthy and everything breaks right for them, of course.

It would be nice to stash Link at A-town. Maybe he gets some psychiatric care and some control and becomes a real relief pitcher. (Or fizzles into the Iron Pigs own Nuke LaLoush.)

It seems pretty clear now that Joe Torre wrung every last drop out of Flash in '04 and '05. I've always been a big fan of Tom Gordon, but he looks like a guy who can't throw a curveball anymore...and if he can't throw his curveball, he's done. I hope I'm wrong, though.

I'm not sure why we're revisiting the "getting Kuroda would be better than not getting Kuroda" stuff. Guess clout really is bored.

Well, here:
Yep. Kuroda in the rotation with Myers and Lidge in the 'pen and Eaton's body washing up on Fiji or somewhere would make for a better pitching staff than we have.

I'll have to see Kuroda pitch in MLB, however, before I'm completely sold. Not every Japanese pitcher translates success from the East to the West.

On Gordon, Kendrick et al.
I know people have under-performed our expectations, but some pitches work better later in ST. Like sinkers. Like curveballs. Gordon was quoted saying he wanted to gain a bit more arm strength before working on the curve.

Relax.
We'll have 162 games to say how sucky he is. We don't need to do it yet.

(mmmm....takes another sip of the sweet, icy, cherry-flavored drink...)

Andy: Good flick. Hope Holdzkom, should the Phils re-sign him, proves to be as entertaining. Or they sell the Kool-Aid up here in the Valley.

"Have you ever hear of Walt Whitman?"

"No. Who's he play for?"

Don't forget that while the Phillies open with the Nats, the Nats don't open with the Phillies. Washington hosts Atlanta on Sunday, March 30 and then comes to Philly. So whoever the Nats #1 is would be facing Atlanta and #2-4 would get the Phils.

And while it seems like the Phils have struggled with the Nats, they went 11-8 in 2005, 9-10 in 2006 and 12-6 in 2007. So they are 32-24 against them over the past 3 years. That's not great against a second division team, but not killing your season either. Thing is, 21 of the 56 games have been decided by only one run. I didn't count, but it is well over 30 if you include 2-run games.

BENTZ, I'm not going to bother to check that on MLB.com, but I'm going to say that's wrong.

that thing with the nationals is the strangest thing ever....opening a one game series at home then hitting the road. i know they are opening a new stadium, but many other teams have opened on the road before the came back for the first game in their new stadium

No kdon - its actually right. Strange - but right.

Well, whatyaknow, the Nats are indeed opening the season with one game at home. WTF?

The Braves have to play Saturday in their park in an exhibition game, then fly to D.C for Sunday, then fly back to Atlanta for Monday.

Just strange.

March 30, 2008
8:05 PM
Atlanta Braves at Washington Nationals

That is beyond weird.

Its especially weird because they have a (late) day game in Philly the next day. An 8:05 start could have them at the ballpark well past midnight, with all of the festivities, etc.

When did MLB decide to start playing games before April? Have they given any reason for the March starts?

This is a relatively recent thing, isn't it? I seem to remember the season starting in April (and usually, a couple of days in) for the longest time.

Tim: The game is on ESPN, thus the 8:05 start time. I guess they feel that a national audience is really interested in seeing the Nat's new stadium.

Jeltz, since they added the Wild Card, the season started in March a couple of times. It all depends on how the calendar falls.

I refuse to drink the kool-aid. I'll stick with whiskey and coke. Then, at least, if the season goes wrong I won't have to observe it sober.

I refuse to drink the kool-aid. I'll stick with whiskey and coke. Then, at least, if the season goes wrong I won't have to observe it sober.

QFT.

It's spring training, come on already. If Kendrick still stinks by May, then you have my permission to freak out. Until then...

JW, Jeltz - Agree on both. I wasn't expecting much from Gordon in spring training and it made sense for him to not throw much/not really test his curve.

It is going to be more interesting to see the next 2 weeks (3-4 appearances) if Gordon starts to look more like season form and can hit the ground running.

BAP made a good point that the Phils have just been horrendous the first week of the season the last few years. Phils can't afford to start the year again 1-6 or 2-5 against two teams (Nats, Reds) that are likely to be average at best.

Understand the concern about Kendrick but you have to give him at least until Memorial Day (9-10 starts) before you know how his season will look. If he is at an ERA well north of 5 then, it is panic time on him.

let's keep eaton on the roster at least for the first series. if bergmann pitches utley on so much as the inside third of the plate, send eaton to rush the mound. hopefully, he'll manage to get himself suspended for the whole season. how do we get the season long suspension? have cholly casually mention something about 'roid rage'.

It's only spring training, etc., etc. But is anyone else sick of losing every game?

I'm not... I rarely even look at the final score. As far as tonight's game goes, I'm happy to see another good performance from Madson (who will likely end up being VERY important to our bullpen this year). Blackley, on the other hand, looked bad again.

I'd like to see more out of our offense, but I don't honestly expect JRoll to bat under .200 or Chase to hit .222. Our offense will be fine this year.

Any official stats from the game? Tim Malcolm said Blackley only gave up a home run and stuck out five in three innings. That's better than most of our other options at the moment.

Guys the changed the season to start in March to help Dobbs start fast. He is Mr. March! Love the headline on Phillies.com Dobbs drives in a run. WTF that is the big highlight today.

How comes no one has mentioned Chris Capuano as an option via trade on here. Listen, I know we don't want to piss off Benson yet, but Kendrick does scare me at this point ( I know it's only ST, but that doesn't mean I can't be concerned) but Capuano could be had for a fairly decent offer and he's not that far from being in the top 5 in the leaguefor K's a couple years ago. Plus he's a lefty. Quality 3rd starter in my opinion at least.

Horacio Ramirez got placed on waivers by the Mariners but the team that picks him up owes $2.2M.

Ramirez's days as an effective starter look over but seems like we would solve the lefty bullpen issues.

Can't the Phils find a way to move Helms to save some money and pay a couple extra hundred thousand to pick up Ramirez?

Can't we find a way to move Helms, period? Anything after him leaving would be considered a plus. Although we could have Helms charge the mound instead of Eaton, that is if Bergmann pitches anywhere inside to Utley. That way Helms will finally get a worth while hit as a Phillie before he gets the boot.

also a good idea, mr. nameless. although, to give completely unfounded legs to this capuano thing, i seem to remember us pawning off another completely useless third baseman on the brewers a couple of years ago... although i can't seem to remember what we got for david bell in that deal. was it anything more useful than a bag a baseballs or a hairbrush?

Both those guys are great names but I have a few problems with them. If it were 2005 then yes they'd clearly help this team. Even 06 for Capuano. But every other year they've been pretty unspectacular. Ramirez especially stinks with his K/BB. Caps can get the K's but like Moyer could give up 40 HR playing in CBP. I suppose a 5 era from your #5 would be good in the sense that its not 6+ from Eaton and there is a chance he could outperform that.

But more importantly Ramirez is terrible and won't be claimed. So while he would only cost $, we have Eaton is we want a 6-7 ERA. Capuano will cost something in a trade(which we don't have or shouldn't give). It's like Lieber last year we didn't just give him away to save the bucks. Maybe a deadline type deal but with all the bidders for a potential SP we probably can't outbid anyone.

We got some pitcher by the name of Laureano for Bell. I believe Clout had once called him garbage and by his anonymity among the super fans I wouldn't disagree.

Is there any way we could trade for C.C. Sabathia at the trade deadline? I'm talking blockbuster here, like Howard or something. We would immediately go from a shaky rotation to the Best in the NL. We'd drop to an average lineup but with that kind of rotation, who cares?? Sabathia, Hamels, Myers!

Um, why would the Indians get rid of Ryan Garko? Oh, that's right, they wouldn't.

Don't be surprised if Pat Gillick ascends the slag heap listed below looking for relief pitching...

"Rafael Soriano, Peter Moylan, Tyler Yates and Will Ohman are also practically guaranteed spots [in Atlanta's pen], so there would be two more openings for Manny Acosta, Jeff Bennett, Royce Ring, Jeff Ridgway, Buddy Carlyle, Chris Resop and Ryan Drese." (Source: Rotoworld)

There is one upside to bringing in Horacio Ramirez:

It would make all out other options for the #5 spot seem *much* better.

If H Ramirez clears waivers, why not sign him to a minor league deal.

He may wind up being like Condrey: a bust as a starter, but serviceable as a reliever. And....he's LH.

Maye the Phils minor league instructors can salvage something.

He won't be claimed - not a $2.2MM - but a minor league deal is low risk.

I guess it's possible he could be a servicable LOOGY.

Career splits:

vs RH: 815 OPS against
vs.LH: 705

At this point, however, I would rather give the final bullpen spot to someone with potential like Rosario. The Phils already have enough reclamation project: they don't need a guy who basically walks as many hitters as he strikes out.

If he wants to sit around in Allentown, that's fine I guess, but their are about 50 pitchers who are about to be released or sent to the minors I would say that about, and I don't see anyway Ramirez stands out from that group.

If a guy's "upside" is Condrey, that's not good.

Nobody's talking about the Mad Dog as a possible #5, at least to begin the season.
Based on how he's looked thus far, he may serve the Phils better in April starting as opposed to coming in the 7th.

Ramirez will have to settle for a minor league contract. He's a finesse lefty who's survived TJ surgery, shoulder miseries and a ligament tear in his finger that cost him half a season in 2006. Guys like this are a dime a dozen. I have no clue if he can be a reliever as he's done it in only one game in his career. His chances of helping are no better or worse than Youman's, to whom I'd assign about a 20% chance of helping the team this season. I'm with kdon: Just how many long-shot reclamation projects can the Phils take on?

thrillhouse: The guy the Phils got for David Bell, Wilfredo Laureano, is no longer in organized ball as far as I can tell. This is in keeping with Phillies policy of never getting anything of value in return when they trade veteran players. I expect a similar return for Helms.

It's a good thing ST doesn't count as the Phils are in last place in the Grapefruit League. Only the SF Giants worse record in the Cactus League prevents the Phils from being the worst MLB ST team. It looks like a longshot for the Phils to reverse their recent NL April debacles, coming off a sucky ST season.

"The guy the Phils got for David Bell, Wilfredo Laureano, is no longer in organized ball as far as I can tell. This is in keeping with Phillies policy of never getting anything of value in return when they trade veteran players."

I have to disagree. That sounds like an appropriate value for David Bell.

Crazy Jon,

I always liked Madson as a possible starter, but not this year. Right now, he is their most dependable arm in the bullpen. Move him to the rotation and your opening day bullpen would be:

Gordon
Romero
Condrey
Rosario
Durbin
Eaton
???

They are going to need both Lidge and Madson to be even average.

Crazy Jon: I have to disagree with that assessment on Madson. First, the Phils have already weakened the 'pen to improve the rotation this offseason with the Myers move. Second, do you remember the last time Madson started? Third, I don't think it makes sense to jerk with Madson again. He started to hit his stride again before he was sidelined last summer, and moving him back and forth between the rotation and the 'pen doesn't make sense in terms of stability for a guy who already seems to have some issues. Fourth, do you really trust Gordon to stay healthy all season? Or, for that matter, Lidge? And, are you confident that there will be no to little fall-off for Romero? And, fifth, April is the month where you need more arms in the 'pen because most managers are loathe to throw their starters deep into games that early in the season. He could see plenty of critical stretches just with fifth or sixth inning duty.

was just reading that Gavin Floyd is the White Sox #3 starter PLUS Crazy Ozzie thinks he is "almost" the no. 2 (as good as Bueherle?) He said " Hopefully not too far away he can be a #1". What the heck is Guillen smokin? Didn't Floyd sport a 5.27 ERA last yr??

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.

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