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Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Comments

Yes, I've been devastated by the collapse of the Rockies this season...its a darn shame. Perhaps Taguchi could get a couple more starts to see if this was a fluke or not or if he can still be the player he was last season with the Cardinals. If we can get regular production out of him, we will easily have the best bench in the Majors.

Am I the only one that thinks Coste just comes up huge if you play him just every so often. He's like the ultimate role player. He never complains, he works hard and he comes up huge every 4th game or so.

Although I love mountain trout and cornbread, the statistic that I read this weekend has me feeling all warm and fuzzy: The Phils own the lowest Bullpen ERA in baseball. Who predicted that? If they hold that stat in September, we're going playoffs.

I agree with you, NE-PP, and I see Dobbs in a very similar role. Defensive skills aside, starting him every day would expose his weaknesses to the league's pitchers. As it is, he's found a role he's very comfortable in as a situational hitter and occasional defensive replacement, and if you ever hear an interview with him he'll gladly confirm this. In any case, over the last two seasons he's established himself as one of the most productive and CLUTCH pinch hitters this team has ever seen.

mw_217:
It's like Greg Gross learned how to play some infield.

Two things:
1) The Rox bullpen is teetering on exhaustion, despite a CG on Sunday. On Friday they went extras with the Mets, with Grilli and Buchholz putting in some substantial work. Saturday both Arias and Newman threw a lot of pitches. After their innings last night, I doubt we see either one of them tonight, even if the Rox get rocked. If the Phils can get to the Jiminez tonight, he might stay in longer than is wise. IOW they may be able to pile on again.

2) In the last seven days the Phils have a .337 BA, .988 OPS. As a team. Include 31 BBs versus 46Ks and *drum roll* 1 (one) GIDP. I think they can be called hot. As opposed to our local rivals who, in the same time period, own a .630 OPS with 13 BBs and 49 Ks. It may be hittin' season in Philly, but it's slow in coming to Flushing this year.

Andy - shhhhhhh. Let's not reverse jinx the steMs. Nothing would make me happier than to see them buried by the AllStar break, especially after all the steMheads who felt it necessary to gloat on this blog - declaring the division race already decided - after they acquired Santana.

The only downside to that is it will probably cost Willie Randolph his job. he's a decent guy and decent manager, but has been given an injury prone, aging, overrated group of players to work with.


What an incredible display of hitting the past two games. Just wow. Everybody hits, indeed. Not much to say other than that.

AWH: Always wondered, never asked: what is the meaning of your pejorative, "steMets," and what is the origin?

From Philly.com today:

"Something to watch: Highly touted Reading lefty Antonio Bastardo is now lined up on the same day as Adam Eaton. Bastardo struggled in his last start, Friday night, and Eaton pitched well.

There's some belief in the Phillies organization that Bastardo, 22, could help in the majors this season, a la Kyle Kendrick last year. He is 4-2 with a 2.30 ERA and 69 strikeouts in 582/3 innings between single and double A. Bastardo and Eaton will pitch for their respective teams tomorrow night."

As far as the Rockies are concerned, they rode a hot streak to the WS last year and were exposed by the Red Sox.

I am one of several people who regularly post here who, before the season, predicted their return to earth. Even without injuries to their regulars they were due to regress - they didn't have the pitching, and if yesterday is any indication, they still don't.

However, what worries me now is the "trap" syndrome. This is baseball, and the Rocks are perfectly capable of winning the next two games.

Let's remember this: Outside of Hamels, the Phillies' starting pitching has been anything but stellar.

Hamels + four #4's will make it hard to run off a long winning streak. Starting pitching remains the main drag on this team. Unless they want to continue the offensive assault of the past 2 games.

Rockies were a fluke last year and just happened to catch lightening in a bottle for about 6 weeks. It won't happen again.

I think I picked a good night to attend my first game of the season.

Morty, "steM" is the letters in "Mets" reversed. It is a play on words.

I don't think I need to provide a graphic description of what a "stem" refers to. However, I will say it could be accurately described as part of the male anatomy.

By reversing the letters in "Mets", I think it give an accurate description of most Met fans when the word "head" is attached to the end of it.

You are correct, it is a perjorative term, one I have arrived at using based on my experience at the Zen when the steMs are in town, at Shea, and in observation of the cretins who come to this site from steMsblog.

A steMhead is the lowest form and least intelligent of fans - ready to declare victory before the games are played, fair weather to the max, inbred (aren't they all in NY) with a sense of entitlement to the point that he cannot rationally deal with his team's success or adversity.

In short, "steMhead" fits. It works, though I'm not sure any of them are really smart enough to figure out what it means.

While you are under no obligation, I urge you and others on this site to adopt the term.

IMO, anything that might piss of a steMhead is fair game.

What I was happy to see last night:

- Howard hitting the ball hard (including a sac fly) and not refusing to chase bad pitches in order to make things happen. If teams don't want to pitch to him, he has to take those BBs. With Burrell hitting behind him and Jenkins starting to heat up, teams will likely come to quickly regret this strategy.

That should say: "piss off".

****There's some belief in the Phillies organization that Bastardo, 22, could help in the majors this season, a la Kyle Kendrick last year. ****

It would be nice if Bastardo succeeded in the majors...as pretty much every scout at every level has said he's too small and his stuff won't work against advanced hitters. Before the season started, I thought Outman would be the guy tagged to make the rotation but it seems he'll probably be in the Pen at some point in the second half.

The fact they're looking at Bastardo perhaps helping this year, with no mention of Happ, shows what they think of him. I don't really care what people say about a guy's size and stuff, if he shows he can get people out.

I HATE Mets fans. They are easily the most obnoxious fans on earth. No one comes close to them, not the Yankees or anyone else. They are simply the scum of the earth.

That should say: "piss off".

****I don't really care what people say about a guy's size and stuff, if he shows he can get people out. ****

Neither do I...I love it when players exceed expectatons. For example, BP kept projected Utley as a below average platoon type player at 2B...until he started killing the ball his second season in the bigs.

Bastardo has only been mediocre at AA. He is clearly not going to be ready to help the big league team this year. I continue to be puzzled as to why the Phillies think so little of Happ.

Phil Sheridan makes a good point in his article today about the Phils' record being similiar to the past 5 years around Memorial Day. Decent but nothing to write home about.

If you had told me before the season that the Phils would be 4 or 5 games above .500 around Memorial Day and 2-3 games back, I would have been satisfied but not surprised.

The Phils need to sweep the Rockies (which isn't asking alot) and find a way to take 2 of 3 against the Fish this weekend to really begin to show that they can be considered a front runner in the NL East.

how many starts has the Bastardo even had at AA? 2-3?

bap, what gives you the impression the Phillies think "so little" of Happ?

It's too early in the season to bump someone from the rotation, and they're all (no jinx, please) healthy.

Has there been any public pronouncement by the Phillies regarding Happ, or is it just an impression you have?

I'm not challenging you, I just haven't heard anything.

AWH: It's just an impression. I base it on the fact that: (1) they have moved him through their minor league system at a snail's pace; and (2) they seem to be hoping that Carrasco and/or Bastardo can leap-frog Happ in the pecking order. For instance, Gillick went out to watch Bastardo pitch earlier this year, but I've never heard any indication that he has gone to see Happ pitch. I would think you'd want to see a guy pitch before you called him up to the big leagues. The fact that Gillick hasn't done so with Happ suggests to me that his scouts have given Happ a less than glittering review.

Again, this is just my attempt to read between the lines of the Phillies' various comments & actions. I could well be wrong.

They think little of Happ for a couple of reasons:

1. He's 26 and thus too old in their eyes to be a legit prospect.

2. He got killed last year when he was given a shot.

3. No overpowering pitches. He lacks an out pitch for MLB hitters so he has to be a control guy that hits every spot which has a very very fine line between success and failure.

I don't know that I agree with them 100%, but that's the reasoning I've heard on him.

Bastardo's AA Line:

5 GS, 2-2, 3.54 ERA, 28 IP, 24 H, 4 HR, 14 BB, 22 K, 0.44 GO/AO, .224 BAA, 1.36 WHIP

The drop in K/9 is troubling as is the extreme flyball tendencies he continues to show. His numbers are somewhat skewed by his last outing which was dreadful though. Give him a couple more months before you write him off. Afterall the jump from A to AA is the hardest one to make and he's been respectable so far.

Bastardo's not ready. And, to say he was a "highly touted prospect" is just a lie. Is he a prospect? Yes. But, he is barely into AA, and has been good, but not anything outstanding there. Show me, you can make 5 or 6 straight good starts, and then maybe we can talk.

Happ has pitched very well and very consistantly (his last start in Columbus was just average, but it wasn't terrible) since late April. He is leading the IL in strikeouts, has an ERA around 3.00, and would have a winning record with a better team around him (and a bullpen that could have held onto 3 of his leads). He is ready to go, and healthy now (which he wasn't last year).

And, is Eaton the guy that needs to be replaced anyway? Myers has been worse than Eaton most of this year. The Phils haven't won a game Myers has started since April 22.

Eaton has been bad lately, but he actually pitched pretty decently (from what I recall) in his first 4-5 starts. Myers has only had about 2 or 3 good outings all year.

They think little of Happ for a couple of reasons:

1. He's 26 and thus too old in their eyes to be a legit prospect.

2. He got killed last year when he was given a shot.

3. No overpowering pitches. He lacks an out pitch for MLB hitters so he has to be a control guy that hits every spot which has a very very fine line between success and failure.

1. Happ turned 25 in October. Considering he was a college pitcher, that's not that old for AAA. And, he was hurt half the year last year, so he never even got a full year of AAA.

2. He got killed, because he was hurt. And, that Mets lineup, last year, wasn't too bad. Right after that 1 game callup, he went on the DL, and missed a significant amount of time during the summer. He came back in late summer, and pitched very well.

3. He is leading the IL in strikeouts. He has always been a high strikeout pitcher in the minors, at every level.

The Phils have 4 of their 5 starters now, that usually don't strike anybody out. A couple lack a true "out pitch".

AWH:

Thanks for the explication. I'll be happy to pick up the term, steMhead trolls are a bunch of know-nothing mouth-breathers. The demise of their over priced and over-aged team has been a very happy development over the back half of last season, and the first part of this one.

@bap -- maybe it has something to do with this line:
2007
1GS
4IP
7H
5R
5ER
3HR
2BB
5K

And his 2007 5.02 AAA ERA.

Maybe they need more than 11 starts to feel comfortable? While most of his other splits seem to be better than last year. He is giving up HRs more frequent (1 HR per 9.8IP '07, 1 HR per 8.04) I imagine that could be park driven.

I'm comfortable with giving Happ a shot. But if this offense continues to average 17 runs per game, I think we can live with Myers and Eaton in the rotation. :)

I wonder if this is easy to check out... but do the Phils lead the league in runs scored after the 6th inning? And what's our record when trailing after the 6th inning. The Mets are apparently 1-19 after trailing after 6. That may be one of the reasons they're so dreadful to watch. There's little hope of a comeback. The Phils, on the other hand, never really seem out of a game.

NE: I didn't write Bastardo off. I said that he has been mediocre at AA and isn't ready for the majors. I'm still pretty bullish on him as a prospect -- though somewhat troubled by his GO/FO ratio.

As for Happ, he was NOT given a shot at the majors. He was called up to pitch one game in an emergency, and he was injured at the time of the call-up. That's not a shot. If it's true that the Phillies are holding his age against him, then that is ironic since: (1) they were the ones who chose to use a third round pick on him when he was already 22; and (2) the only reason he is still in the minors at 26 is because they have moved him so slowly.

As for his stuff being less than dominating . . . he has struck out more than a batter per inning over his minor league career, and is still doing so at the AAA level. You don't have to have a 95 MPH fast ball to strike people out. I would definitely like to see Happ given his shot. It's not like the Phillies' starting rotation is teeming with talent. The only tricky issue is deciding which of our 4 below average starting pitchers he should replace.

I would agree that Bastardo is not "highly touted" as a prospect. He projects as a LOOGY at the moment despite his very hot start in A+. If he can develop a 3rd good pitch, he can be a legit starter but right now he's a longshot to really help in the rotation. He throws a low 90's (89-92) fastball and a plus changeup. You usually need 3 good pitches to succeed as a starter or 1 really dominate pitch (Cole Hamels change) plus another good pitch. Neither of his 2 pitches is that dominating right now. If he can work on his slider (I believe its a slider he's working on for a 3 pitch but I'm not 100%) then he has a shot at being a starter. Supposedly his high K/9 rate in single A was do to a tricky delivery that batters had alot of trouble picking up on at that level. Clearly with his decline in strikeouts with the jump to AA, more advanced hitters are picking it up somewhat better. He's not a hot prospect but he will continue to be a prospect until he prove otherwise. He's still pretty young afterall.

denny: Seems like we're on the same wavelength this morning.

How can anyone look at last year's 1 start for Happ and write him off? He was rushed up, coming off injury and thrown out there on a Sat. home game against the Mets. Tough debut for anyone.

to BAP: I'm just repeating what I've heard said about Happ...I don't completely agree with it, other than his stuff. He does not have dominating stuff and at best he'll be a 4th or 5th starter. I'd like to see him given a shot as he can't be any worse than Eaton on a given day or Myers lately. Honestly I'd have to think he'll be in a Phillies uniform by the all-star break. The problem is that no one has gotten injured for him to replace yet nor played consistently terrible enough for them to simply yanke and swallow the salary hit. Both Myers and Eaton make too much for the FO to admit they were wrong about them.

****How can anyone look at last year's 1 start for Happ and write him off? He was rushed up, coming off injury and thrown out there on a Sat. home game against the Mets. Tough debut for anyone****

Teams do it all the time. It isn't right but it happens...especially with borderline prospects.

Eh, i don't think so.

Roberson types, yes, but not young(ish)LHPs who get K's.

Nevermind one Mets HR was a golf shot off a pitch roughly ankle high and another Happ actually hit the catcher's spot.

denny b - you can find Bad Eaton without going back 4 starts. He's had some decent starts this year, but got eaton alive about 3 starts ago.

Happ's last start was last night. 7 IP, one run. But 6 H and 4 BB.

They haven't really written him off yet though. He's basically awaiting an injury to the rotation. Its been very unusual that no one has gone down yet. When it does happen, he'll certainly be the 5th starter.

Gillick went to check Bastardo out because he was getting like 15K/9 and he had been overllooked up to that point. They already know what Happ can do.

As bad as Myers and Eaton have been, neither has been bad enough to say that so-and-so minor leaguer would give them a better chance to win. They're giving Myers a very long leash. He's got more talent than any of them besides Hamels. He's their best shot at having a second front-line pitcher. As for Eaton, he needs to prove it.

Happ is not a "borderline prospect." He was a third round draft pick, who has dominated at every level of the minor leagues. I'm not even prepared to say that he projects as no more than a No. 4. I believe he'll be AT LEAST a No. 4, but could be better than that 2 or 3 years down the road.

The Phillies are pretty dense, but I reject the notion that their decision-making has anything to do with Happ's one bad start, made in the midst of a season when he was injured. J.D. Durbin was given 10 starts last year, and his debut was even worse than Happ's.

On Happ - here is his Phuture Phillies profile:

"The Phillies thought Happ had a chance to make an impact in the big leagues last season, but elbow problems lingered throughout the year and his command was inconsistent throughout. When Happ is healthy, hitters have a hard time getting looks at his low 90’s fastball because of his natural deception. Happ’s fastball has good life and finish through the zone with some armside run. His 82-85 mph changeup was his most improved offering in 2007, as he increased its depth and was able to locate it well against righthanders. Happ’s slider remains too soft and loopy, and he really gets into trouble when his stuff tends to flatten out late in games. He repeats his delivery well, but he needs to get stronger to maintain his delivery. He projects as a #3 or 4 starter."

Last year he got knocked around a bit, especially early in the year, with a lower than usual GB% and a much higher than acceptable LD% (and, therefore, BABIP against). He, too, like so many of the Phils' minor leaguers, really has stuff to work on. That being said, if he's not ready at some point this Summer, his age does indeed become a concern.

Using that logic Carlos Carrasco is lined up to pitch on Friday night for Reading, the same night as Brett "Ace" Myers is listed for the Phils.

25 and in AAA=Borderline.

He's not a star or even a sure-thing. Thus he is borderline. That doesn't mean he won't contribute...it just means its not a guarantee that he's gonna come up and be effective.

Don't look now, but Pedro Feliz is on pace to tie his career high in HRs (22), the 2nd highest BA of his career (.271 vs. .276), a career best OBP (.313), his highest SLG since 2004 (.448) and his lowest strikeout total since becoming an every day player (56). His OPS+ is now almost league average (93).

All sounds great, right? If he keeps this up, not even I'll complain about him.

Of course, his stats have been bolstered by a blistering 7 game stretch in which he's hitting .484 with a .515 OBP. As recently as May 19th, he was .227/.270/.400.

Maybe Pedro is on the same schedule as Howard.

In an organization that put winning first, we wouldn't have to wait for an injury to see Happ in a major league uniform. We have 3 starting pitchers with ERA+ below 85 -- and another one who is 46 years old and has an opponents' batting average of .315. This is one of the most pathetic excuses for a starting rotation in the major leagues, and is the reason why we can't win more than 2 or 3 games in a row.

Coca Cola Park. I saw an IronPigs game this weekend, and the stadium is beautiful, as great as advertised. Between the Pigs and Charlotte Knights there were no prospects to follow, and RJ Swindle didn't pitch, but who impressed..Brandon Watson with 3 hits (2 infield) and journeyman pitcher Gary Knotts k'd 5 in 2.2 innings. When you arrive at the park you are handed a free program, "Pork Illustrated". The program includes player profiles, but was printed preseason. So included are Pascucci, LaForest, Darensbourg and Gookie (who now flashes glove with Charlotte). Also listed is Clay Condrey. Someone presumed he would be a Pig...how could that be...Clay hasn't lost a game since sometime in 2006.

To BAP: I agree completely...unfortunately my name isn't Pat Gillick.

Remember all that jazz I said about an inconsistent offence...well screw that, it was lunacy. This team is built to win by offense and it finally appears that the offense is clicking regularly this season. Now to get on a real roll of 4 or more games.

"If you had told me before the season that the Phils would be 4 or 5 games above .500 around Memorial Day and 2-3 games back, I would have been satisfied but not surprised."

Yeah, they are only 5 games over .500, but there is a lot of promise beyond that record. We all remember that Rollins was out a month, for instance, and that their offense, until recently, was underperforming, when measured by R/G. Furthermore, their Pythag has them at 31-22.

"If you had told me before the season that the Phils would be 4 or 5 games above .500 around Memorial Day and 2-3 games back, I would have been satisfied but not surprised."

Yeah, they are only 5 games over .500, but there is a lot of promise beyond that record. We all remember that Rollins was out a month, for instance, and that their offense, until recently, was underperforming, when measured by R/G. Furthermore, their Pythag has them at 31-22.

Sophist: I was curious to see how much our explosion the last two days affected our XW-L. After all, we've outscored our opponents in the last two days by a total score of 35-11.

Our XW-L on May 24th: 28-23 (one game better than our 27-24 record)
Our XW-L today: 31-22 (two games better than our 29-24 record)

I guess I was surprised there wasn't more of a bump.

The best player in the IL, Jay Bruce, just got called up. There are a couple good players in that league, like Homer Bailey and some others, but I wonder about the IL sometimes. Seems like there are lots of rosters completely devoid of prospects, just like LV. Best two pitchers right now are former pharmhand Dan Giese (NY) and David Purcey (TOR), who had that spot start against the Phils and was shelled.

well it's Hittin' Season as Charlie says, so i expect the Phils to get more of a bump in the XW-L... this is, after all, a roster built to outslug opponents.

with the season at the quarter mark however, quality pitching is beginning to shake lose from those non-contending teams. i think the Phils ought to listen to what Melvin wants for a half-season of Ben Sheets. i really don't think the Brewers are coming back this season with the way the Cubs are playing and he's a free agent at years end with no chance to resign in Milwaukee.

assuming he can stay healthy, he would be a helluva 1-2 punch with Cole. thoughts? would you guys want Sheets with his injury history? what do you think Milwaukee would want?

I think Happ could be a nice 3rd or 4th starter soon in the big leagues (health permitting). He has good stuff, especially for a left-hander. And, in the NL East, good lefties can help slow down big offenses like Atlanta's and New York's, who have many good left-handed hitters (or switch-hitters who are normally much better from the left side).

I talked to someone who was at the Iron Pig game last night, and he said the 4 walks that Happ had were a bit misleading. The homeplate umpire had a strikezone of a postage stamp, causing several "look in's" from Happ, to the homeplate umpire. When he was missing the zone, he was just missing (and there were several pitches that normally would have been called strikes from most umpires).

He got out of a few jams, thanks to Jaramillo throwing out 2 runners, in the same inning. And, he made some very good pitches when he needed to. It wasn't his sharpest performance, but 7 innings and 1 ER, is still solid. He does have a tendency to get a bit wild at times, but his strike/ball ratio has been very good most of this year (and most of his career, when he has been healthy).

I, for one, think its a good thing, there are legit prospects at the AA and AAA level, possibly pushing for spots in the big league rotation/staff. That only makes for better performances (theoretically), up-and-down the line.

I think the Brewers are far from quitting on the season. Fielder hasn't even started to hit. But if they keep losing (though I'm not sure they will), they might trade Sheets.

Cube: Thoughts? The line for Sheets will be huge. Nevertheless, at the rate Myers is pitching, the Phils will need to strongly consider adding front-line pitching at the deadline, at whatever cost. They have a better bullpen than last season, but having only one front-line pitcher doesn't bode well for the post-season.

It certainly seems like more and more organizations (Phils included) are giving their top prospects the bulk of the high minor league training in AA these days as opposed to AAA. Seems to be that this is especially true of pitchers. Although it would be hard to tell with the Phils, as they haven't had a decent offensive prospect in the high minors the past few years.

I thought the Phillies should of went for Bartolo Colon in the offseason..2 games so far 5.0ip 3ER and 7IP 1ER They were against seattle and KC though which aren't good offensive teams.

Well Sidney Ponson has been pretty good this year too so there were a few cheap options to gamble on and the phillies took the wrong one in Benson.

CJ - your quick study of XW-L shows its flaws. They played two games, won them both, going 2-0. But over that same time period were "expected" by their production to have won 3 and lost -1. Still, those -1 expected loss games are sure fun to watch.

I suppose they could have rolled the dice on Colon... but he was pretty much in the same boat as Benson. Colon's numbers the last couple years have been pretty bad. I wasn't all that excited about him (or Benson, for that matter).

I agree about the starting rotation being the downfall of this team. The team wins two straight with Hamels and Moyers starting but pitching had nothing to do with the victories; it was lights out hitting. I agree with the thought process of picking up a mid-season Ben Sheets type starter. Stick the wooden stake into Eaton and Myers!

KevinLin: How do you know they took the wrong one in Benson? It's still possible he helps this team. I'm not sure he will... but I'm not sure Bartolo Colon would necessarily be in this rotation at this point either.

not sure if this was discussed over the weekend, but any intel on the Indy LI Duck that was picked up by the Phils?

I thought the Phillies should of went for Bartolo Colon in the offseason..2 games so far 5.0ip 3ER and 7IP 1ER They were against seattle and KC though which aren't good offensive teams.

**** thought the Phillies should of went for Bartolo Colon in the offseason..2 games so far 5.0ip 3ER and 7IP 1ER They were against seattle and KC though which aren't good offensive teams****

I said as much in my blog in March. I said we should have targeted him as far back as last Oct. Colon has far greater upside than Kris Benson.

If Sheets becomes available(and I doubt the Brewers will be far enough out on July 31 for that to happen), he's going to cost more than the value of 2 top 50 draft picks, bc that is approximately what the Brewers would get in compensation for him if he just walked (I'm guessing). So that makes a trade less likely.

I would probably only advocate making a trade for him if the Phillies were in a secure playoff position. Because the cost would likely be Carrasco, and that would only make sense if the Phillies knew they were getting Sheets to make a run at the World Series.

I guess all three were pretty much the same situation, but Colon was a 2005 CY Young winner. I just thought maybe he would be a better bet than Benson.

You would've needed a crystal ball to know Ponson would be any good this year. The guy had been one of the worst pitchers in the big leagues for four years running. I doubt this keeps up.

I agree that Myers represents the Phillies' best chance at getting a No. 2 starter, and that he should be given a long leash. However, I also think there comes a point when you have to punt, and I think we're about 1 or 2 more hideous starts away from that point. Rather than moving him to the bullpen, as I've suggested before, maybe they should just put him on the shelf for 20 days or so. If he is really physically healthy (as he claims), the Phillies can just term his condition "psychological problems." One thing I can guarantee you is that no one would ever accuse them of lying.

If you were looking at Colon vs. Benson this off-season...I just don't get how you would pick Benson over Colon. Both had major shoulder issues but Colon's high end was Cy Young winner whereas Benson has never been more than a #3 starter. Neither is gonna be what they were when healthy but Colon has alot more talent to give than Kris.

In a mediocre National League, I don't really see the Brewers being sellers. And if they are, it would surely take a pretty prohibitive package of prospects to get him. Much as I'd like to see the Phillies upgrade their pitching, that would be a tough pill to swallow for a 3-month rental who never gets through a season without a trip to the DL.

I'm amazed there are so many people ready to throw in the towel on Brett Myers. In 2005 and 2006, he had ERA+'s of 118 and 120. In 2007, he was shifted to the bullpen where he suffered his first real injury of his career and then returned to be a pennant-winning closer with an ERA+ of 107.

We really believe he's done? From 2003-2006, Myers averaged 32 starts a year. Ben Sheets hasn't started more than 25 games since 2004. I like Sheets... he's got great talent. But he's got a sketchy injury history. Myers and Sheets were pretty similar the last couple years as starters except Myers was healthier.

I'm not giving up on Myers yet.

Reed:
Joe Valentine. RHP. Closer/set-up guy for the Ducks, going to LV. John Wayne Ennis with a new face. Probably there to help the Pigs stay in close games. Maybe it means Swindle will come up if Condrey is Condrey too often.

CJ: I think its the major dip in velocity that scares people along with all of a sudden horrible results. Myers has been pretty good in the past but he's been mediocre at best this year along with no Oomph on his fastball...not a good combination for your #2 starter.

Brian makes a great point. More and more, teams are valuing high draft picks, which means that deadline deals for impending free agents are on the decline. Unless you can get top-level prospects, it doesn't make sense to deal a top impending free agent because you will often be getting very good draft picks as compensation when they leave. It makes more sense to keep them through the season and then essentially be trading them for draft picks in the offseason.

It used to be draft picks weren't considered as good return because teams didn't invest as much into scouting and signing top talent in the draft. Now that more teams are investing heavily into draft picks, it will make more sense to get the draft picks as compensation than to trade their impending free agents at the deadline "just to get something in return". The price will certainly go up.

The other piece, Jack/Brian/et al, is the wild card. By the time the dealine rolls around, very few teams feel eliminated.

(Unless you're Patty the G and just absolutely need (deep in your bones - like you got poison ivy and you just gotta scratch it) to get rid of Abreu and Lidle.) (Cause then you just figure you're outta contention so you might as well pull the trigger.)

Nice to see fellow Beerleaguers correcting a lot of nonsense about Bastardo and Happ. Happ was hurt last year, so his stats should be thrown out. He is healthy this year.

Happ is indeed an offspeed pitcher who relies on breaking stuff to get people out. This makes him the same as Myers, Moyer, KK and Hamels, each of whose best pitch is a breaking or offspeed pitch. If the Phils are biased against command/control type guys, it sure doesn't show up in the rotation. I'm certain Gillick has seen Happ pitch and knows what he has. He is clearly the first choice to be recalled.

Bastardo is NOT a top flight prospect and will not see time in The Show before September (barring injury). When the time does come, he'll be in the bullpen. In noting his numbers, no one pointed out his 3/2 K/BB ratio or the 14 walks in 28 IP. Anyone besides me think those are red flags?

CJ: don't think i'm giving up on Myers. i did say i saw a Sheets acquisition as a compliment to Hamels, but i envisioned Sheets taking the rotation spot of either Eaton or Kendrick.

i do think Myers will turn it around at some point this season. i was thinking more of extending the pitching depth for a playoff run.

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EST. 2005

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