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Thursday, May 29, 2008

Comments

Wait a minute, Pat the Leader doesn't rhyme!

Man or machine?

The comments about Burrell don't surprise me. Though he's not conspicuously emotional, he always seems to be deeply invested in games, watching from the top step of the dugout and leading the charge onto the field after walk-off wins. Plus, he's the longest tenured Phillie -- that's gotta mean a lot in a clubhouse.

Oh, right, and he's also a Manchine. Disobey the leadership of the Manchine at your own risk.

From the last thread:

AWH, I posted each pitchers RS/G in the game chat when people were getting on Eaton about the lack of wins. Before last night, he was getting less than 4 a game. That's in contrast to, say, Moyer who was getting over 7.

Starters Run Support/G NL

1 CHC 5.97
2 NYN 5.94
3 ARI 5.82
4 PHI 5.57


Phils Starters RS (I got this from ESPN.com; no idea how they arrived at it, but I think they might add up the runs in their starts and make it /9)

Moyer 8.33
Kendrick 7.18
Hamels 4.48
Eaton 4.40
Myers 3.86

-------------

Howard's line since Jimmy's return:

.278/.369/.694/ 1.063 (8 HR - 84 PA)

Utley reminds me in a way of Cal Ripken. A guy who probably may be the least vocal rah-rah type on the team, but is so respected for the way he plays that his teammates don't want to mess up and see him glaring in their direction.

They are playing as a team right now, I think the leadership angle makes good fodder for blogs and post game shows, but does not mean so much when they play well as an entire team .They are awesome over the last few games.
The leaders will emerge over the next dry spell.

For all those who have clamored for Ryan Madson to be traded bc he isn't what they want or expect him to be, just think about how you would've felt last night if Jose Mesa came into that 6-1 game in the 7th inning(which often turns it into 6-4). Madson is what he is, and that's a competent 4th or 5th major league reliever in a decent bullpen, can eat some innings and keep teams from getting back into games, allowing our better relievers to rest. That has value. And if you don't believe me just look at the box score from our Sept 17 game last year against the Cardinals or our August 30 game against the Mets.

The Phils have been on a nice pace to start the season, currently at 31-24. So how does the 2008 Phillies record compare to the 1977 Phillies record, a team that finished at 101-61, after 55 games? That team was also 31-24 after 55 games. Now that team went on an amazing streak in August going 18-1 at one point, but they also had several losing 4 game streaks. Remember, J-Roll called for a 100 win season this year. It's not that far fetched.

* 4-game losing streaks (d'oh!)

Vote for Pat Burrell for the All Star game! Soriano and Girffey suck!

If the Phillies take 2 out of 3 from Florida and 3 out of 4 from the Reds, I can see them taking off towards 100 wins. I'm so sick of Florida by the way. The Phils are 4 games ahead of the Mets and 2 ahead of the Braves but not in 1st place.

Brian: Madson's numbers will be good this year as they always are. The frustration with him, however, is that he always seems to get to those numbers by doing what he has done in his last 2 appearances: coming in and pitching well in games where he already has a big lead. When he actually has to pitch in a pressure situation, he comes up small time and time again -- as he did in the Astros game about a week ago. This is not just a short-term 2008 pattern. Madson has been doing this for years.

I'm not saying he should be traded. Like you say, even 5-run leads can be blown -- or at least blown enough that you have to burn the high-end relievers. So there's certainly value in having a competent reliever to pitch in these situations, as opposed to someone like Jose Mesa or Brian Sanches. But it is nonetheless frustrating to have a guy who posts good numbers every year, yet absolutely cannot be counted on in a pressure situation. That's Madson, to a tee.

As an addendum to that last post, I would note that there actually seems to be a cause-and-effect relationship between Madson's recently improving numbers & his failures in pressure situations. As he did last season, Madson failed us in several high pressure situations early this season. As a result, Cholly has started using him sparingly in these types of situations and, lo and behold, his numbers have gotten better.

"even 5-run leads can be blown".

bap, just ask the Yankees. It wasn't 5 runs, but in the game they lost to the O's the other day, they blew TWO four runs leads.


bap, it's interesting, but if you are correct Madson sems to be the polar opposite of the 2007 version of many posters least favorite RP - Clay Condrey.

Last season, when he came into games that were already blowouts he had an ERA over 5.00. In all his other appearances his ERA was under 2.00.

Go figure?

I remember an interview last month where Utley mentioned that Pat Burrell was his favorite player on the team and that Pat was the unofficial leader in the clubhouse. Pat was the one who usually calls team meetings, Pat led the team meeting against Billy Wagner, etc etc. I rmemember mentioning it as Utley's Man Crush on Burrell for a while afterwards...

For his career, Madson's "High Leverage" stats are actually better than his "Low Leverage" stats, per B-R.com (he has over 400 PA and 100 G in all categories.) His "Middle Leverage" stats are slightly worse.

Career

High .250 .327 .388 (133 G, 467 PA)
Med .307 .373 .480 (156 G, 528 PA)
Low .259 .313 .412 (156 G, 658 PA)

Last year

High .219 .346 .344 (22 G, 79 PA)
Med .296 .367 .444 (22 G, 61 PA)
Low .200 .247 .311 (26 G, 97 PA)

2008

High .333 .375 .400 (6 G, 17 PA)
Med .308 .357 .538 (9 G, 14 PA)
Low .213 .268 .347 (19 G, 82 PA)

Sophist: Do you have a massive database of Phillies stats? If so...how did you get it? You seem able to pull out some very esoteric split stats at a moments notice and it is quite impressive.

Career

Late & Close: .250 .324 .354 (125 G, 551 PA)
Tie Game: .276 .352 .490 (68 G, 328 PA)
W/in 1 Run: .277 .350 .454 (122, 717)

W/in 4 Runs: .268 .338 .429 (217, 1442)
Margin > 4R: .294 .322 .418 (39, 211)

2007

Late & Close: .229 .336 .344 (21, 114)
Tie Game: .224 .333 .429 (10, 57)
W/in 1 Run: .259 .385 .400 (16, 106)

W/in 4 Runs: .224 .320 .368 (32, 202)
Margin > 4R: .265 .257 .294 (7, 35)

2008

Late & Close: .304 .360 .348 (7, 25)
Tie Game: .333 .429 .500 (3, 7)
W/in 1 Run: .263 .333 .316 (7, 22)

W/in 4 Runs: .229 .276 .386 (19, 77)
Margin > 4R: .273 .333 .364 (7, 36)

---------

NEPP - I go to B-R.com or some of the other stat pages to the left, depending on the need.

sophist, the refuter of conventional wisdom.

Here's another link that pretty much blows up everything I just wrote. Note the list of "clutch" relievers.

http://baseballanalysts.com/archives/2008/04/pitchers_can_be.php

Fire Joe Morgan has an awesome blog post up about Ryan Howard.

BAP - you do seem to be right about this year, 2008. I have confidence in Madson, given his career, and also since I heard Billy Beane was after him a few years ago (joking.)

Madson has to be one of the better relievers in his role, and certainly one of the better relievers in that spot for the Phils in the last few years.

I agree that J-roll is the team leader . . . I believe that he is the driving force behind why the team hits better when he is in the line-up. Not only is he a solid lead off hitter, but hitting is a contagious action and he challenges his teammates to perform at a higher standard.

Madson's 2008 sOPS+ in those situations

High: 114
Med: 141
Low: 66

His BABIP in High Lev is an astoundingly high .500.

I agree that J-roll is the team leader . . . I believe that he is the driving force behind why the team hits better when he is in the line-up. Not only is he a solid lead off hitter, but hitting is a contagious action and he challenges his teammates to perform at a higher standard.

Some runaway optimism prevailing here today after the leveling of the Rockies. How were we all feeling five days ago after the Phillies couldn't score with two in scoring position and no outs in the 9th in Houston? Did that look like a 100-win team to you?

The Phillies have an excellent shot to win their division. But this is not a 100-win team. Not even remotely close. Don't expect such displays of dominance as we just witnessed to become routine.

On Burrell: I am also not surprised to hear he has gained a substantial cache in the clubhouse - though this was not always the case. His emergence as a presence there seems to have coincided with his re-emergence as a presence in the lineup. It is gratifying that he has stuck around long enough to have come of age as a big leaguer in this way, and after two years of expressing little other than sheer disgust for the man, I find myself hoping he can be a career Phillie. In order for that to happen, though, he'd probably have to move to 1B, and you know what *that* means...

Obviously I'd prefer having Madson in a game than Jose Mesa, but most players in MLB you can point out someone who is demonstrably worse.

I'm not saying they should trade him, but this notion that he's too valuable an asset to part with is ridiculous. Pull out any stat you want, but the fact is this season he has been the team's 6th best reliever (behind Lidge, Flash, Romero, Durbin, and Seanez). I'd prefer him in a close game to Condrey. That's it. I'm not saying he might not outperform some of those guys over the course of the season (Seanez, Durbin) but if he went on the DL tomorrow do you think it make one difference how many games we won or lost over the next 15 days. Probably not since he mostly pitches in blowouts (or near blowouts like last night).

And cherry-picking two games from last year where he performed well as reasoning of what a valuable player he is specious logic. If that's the case, based on JD Durbin's start on July 22 of last year he should be in the rotation.

Jeltz: That wasn't my point, nevermind my specious logic. Madson didn't pitch in either of those games I cited. People like Condrey and Alfonseca and Mesa did. And they didn't just give up a run or two in a couple innings, they were absolutely horrible and almost cost us games where we were blowing out the other team.

Again, I have no idea what Madson would get us in a trade that would be more valuable than the bullpen depth he gives us.

He might very well be packaged into something that would give us a starter...by himself he wont bring us anything. I'm all for bullpen depth but the 6th option out of the pen is hardly a critical spot.

RSB - I tempered my optimistic comments by noting that the '77 team was absolutely unconcious in August that year. I'm not saying that this team will have the same kind of run. This team would have to get much more consistent starting pitching to get to 100 wins. I'm just drawing a comparison to the numbers to give some of us optimists something to hope for.

Brian: I didn't mean to jump all over you, although it kind of looks like I did.

I guess my point is that the bullpen overall has performed so well (even Condrey, relatively speaking) that Madson's role isn't all that important. Especially when there are reinforcements in the minors (Swindle, Outman). I wouldn't want to see one of those guys called into Flash or Romero's role, but using them in the same spots as Madson/Condrey? Sure, why not give them a look.

The real reason not to trade Madson is that Lidge, Flash, Durbin, and Seanez all could be gone after the season. If that's the case, 2009 Madson is a lot more valuable to the team than 2008 Madson.

I think 90+ wins is a very legitimate possibility with this team considering the state of the division. If the Nats and Mets continue to play poorly and the Marlins start playing back to their expected win total they could easily dominate the NL East.

I'm confused... is there honestly a trade market for Ryan Madson?!? Really?

I'm not even sure why this is getting so much discussion. Madson is what he is... a pretty solid middle reliever. He's not a set-up guy and he's not a closer. He does everything else. He can go multiple innings if he needs to. His stats are pretty solid even in high leverage situations.

Why this sudden desire to deal a member of our bullpen when our bullpen has been so successful?

Don't forget when Coste in on the 25 man roster they win the month. Look what happened in 06, 07 and 08. Who will ever forget Aug. and Sept of 06 when Coste was catching Moyer, Hamels and Lieber. The PR dept. just bragged about turning "in their seventh straight month with at least 15 wins" for the first time since the mid 60's. Guess who was on the active roster parts or all of those 7 months? And guess who was not on the 25 man roster at all the last time they did not win 15 games in a month?



Davethom has a new handle. He goes by the name of "Dull". By the way, I stood up and cheered loudly (by myself) at Minute Maid Park last Thursday night when Coste was announced as a pinch hitter. He did get a hit, too.

NEPhan: The Phillies are not going to dominate the division. The Braves may have their problems, but they will remain formidable. The Mets will get their feet on the ground make a run at some point. The Marlins are going to be a competitive team at the very least. If they win the East, they won't do it with ease.

I know Jenkins has had his struggles this season, especially against lefthanded pitching, but I think he provides leadership as well, albeit in a smaller role. In a game against Cincinnati early in the season, Taguci was playing left field late in the game and dropped an easy fly ball. Lidge ends up closing the game, but afterward, amid the high-fiving, Jenkins throws his arm around Taguchi and walks with him for a bit, and after a few moments, both of them are laughing and smiling. We can only infer what was said.

Having said that, it's hard to be THE leader when you're not one of the third best players on the team.

CJ: I don't think anyone thinks Madson has much value on his own. But he would certainly add value to a multi-player deal. Hell, Geoff Geary was part of the Lidge package and I'm pretty sure Madson has more value than him.

As far as why trade someone from the bullpen, the depth is the reason to trade someone. As the 6th option out of the pen, he's not all that valuable to the Phils. On another team he may be the 3rd or 4th option.

Where you have depth is where to trade from. It makes far more sense than the people suggesting we trade Vic a few weeks ago. If that happened, we'd be watching So Taguchi start every game until Werth gets back. *THAT* (TM, RSB) makes no sense.

But like I said earlier, the reason to keep Madson is all the potential FAs in the head. But if including Madson in a package could help the team land a legit #2 or #3 starter at the deadline, why wouldn't you do it?

We'd all better HOPE the Marlins return to the fold, but who knows? They are playing well and getting good pitching. They nearly beat the Mets two out of three at Shea and, while the Mets may not be a great team, it would have been an accomplishment for the Fish to win twice there. They generally have what Pat Gillick likes: young starting pitchers. Hope the Phillies can win two this next series and retake the lead.

NEPhan: The Phillies are not going to dominate the division

I said could not would.

One quick comment...I know we're all Phillies fans here but damn some people here are so negative about the team sometimes. I gave a scenario in which the Phillies could possibly take the division easily and people freak.

The Mets are 2 losses back, the Braves are 1 loss back. It's not like the Phillies are running away just yet.

Steve Jeltz: Good comments about Utley's quiet type of leadership. I concur. He "plays the game right" and with intensity all the time. I think it probably inspires others on the team to see someone with his ability make that effort; and if you loaf or make a stupid mental error when he's going full bore 24/7, I imagine he could wilt you with a disgusted look. Thought Ryan might rise as a leader, but I'm not sure of that one.

A question going back to the last thread. I was at the game last night, then came back and read the Beerleaguer comments. In the inning Eaton was yanked for Taguchi as a PH, I believe he had a three up three down inning. We were thinking at the game (knowing full well how quickly Eaton can implode), why not let him try to go another half inning?

Our rationale:

(1) Taguchi at .200 BA doesn't give you huge leverage over Eaton (Taguchi grounded out weakly as it turned out). He was up first, so no runners were on base for him to strand or fail to advance.

(2) You burn a pinch hitter in a non-crucial situation.

(3) Eaton looked at least OK from the stands just before he was pulled, and his pitch count did not seem that high. Although he had been hit hard a few times and had some luck on his side and a couple of bonehead baserunning errors by the Rockies, he seemed to be pretty much in control of things. Perception only, we didn't have the numbers.

(4) Getting through the next inning could have been a big confidence booster for Eaton.

(5) Cholly could have Madsen at the ready and pulled Eaton at the FIRST sign of loss of command or after the first batter he lost in the following inning.

(6) Unless Cholly really wanted Madsen to get some work, why not try to possibly save Lidge and/or Gordon from having to appear?

However, the consensus I gathered from Beerleaguer was that it was most definitely time for Eaton to go. I'm curious as to what we missed.

Thanks.

Kirk, and anyone else scared of the Fish. Even as the Phils have started to heat up, the Fish have started to cool down. Their numbers in the past seven days are almost as bad as the Phillies' are good. (I'll post them tomorrow if no one else does first - you can check them out on the B-Ref team pages under splits. Do both batting and pitching. Their pitching has cooled off as much as their hitting, but it has begun to "revert to career norms.")

I'm predicting a Marlin sweep in deference to the baseball gods; but every ounce of my rational being says that the Phils are primed to cull the herd like a lion stalking an injured zebra.

Pull out any stat you want, but the fact is this season he has been the team's 6th best reliever (behind Lidge, Flash, Romero, Durbin, and Seanez).

But history tells us Flash could start getting lit up at any moment and that Durbin, Seanez, and arguably Romero, are overachieving. Just because our bullpen's doing well now doesn't mean we can start thinking it's an area of strength that we can afford to pare down. Going into the season everyone thought our relief pitching would be awful, and I wouldn't be surprised if at some point in the season those predictions look smart.

I think its good to pull Eaton after a solid inning to keep his confidence high going in to next start, and clearly the result was a good one.

Does anybody else think the 'losses back' thing is a little silly (or at least overrated) at this juncture of the season? Its kind of an old school baseball truism that losses back is the important thing, but these are not juggernauts who you expect to win every time out. I would expect the Mets to lose at least 1 of the 4 'games in hand' they have on the Phils, because they just aren't that good. Later in the year I understand wanting to control your own destiny, but right now winning percentage is what counts the most to me.

Bob, I'm with Jonesman...Eaton is really susceptible to the big inning...he probably would have been on a short leash anyway, had he came out for the 7th, so getting him through 6 in a position to earn his first W seemed like the right move

Jonesman, it's at least something to consider. Given that the one team that's 1 loss back is just 3 games over .500, and the team that's 2 losses back is one game *under* .500, it doesn't seem as close as the losses back implies.

When the teams are playing at a better than .500 pace, it's more relevant. The Braves are 6-4 in their last 10, though, and about to win their 8th game out of the last 12 they've played.

no-brainer to pull eaton after the 6th. for the reason.. just go back to Eaton's game against the Reds.

i think the other reason Eaton got the hook so early was so that Taguchi could get another at-bat. Charlie made some comments the other day when So got the start that they needed to find at-bats for Taguchi if they wanted him to hit better. he led the league in pinch-hits last year, but so far he's going at a .200 clip. i think Charlie is trying to get him going.

Thanks for the Eaton/early hook comments. This site has immeasurably increased my appreciation for (and hopefully, knowledge of) the inner game of baseball.

Hopefully So Taguchi will start to "regress to his mean" soon.

I love what Fence-Face did for this squad while he was in Philly, but the team has moved on and is just as good if not better than they have been the past two seasons when he was here. Jimmy Rollins has become a man, a complete player, a leader. Chase Utley just goes out and plays the game the right way while working his ass off. Pat Burrell shows how hardwork and determination can win over fans. Vic brings energy. Moyer has guile and veteran knowledge beyond anyone in the game. Coste has fortitude. It's overall a good group of guys and hopefully this year will be THE YEAR.

@NEPhiliesPhan -- don't take it personally, the Glass Half Empty Phans on this board take up most of the space. :)

Reading about The Bat's leadership qualities is not all that surprising really. I agree with those of you who have pointed out that he always looks like he is mentally into the game. I admit to my past blasting of Burrell, when he would get into his mid-season funks, but I have always pulled for him to succeed in a big way since his rookie season. He never has mouthed off or acted like an over indulged, over paid baby, that many big leaguers resort to nowadays. I hope to see PtB at the Mid Summer classic this year, not only on merit, but just for being a class act all of these years.

On a seperate note, I have seen Phillies management quoted on numerous occasions say that it is almost a certainty that PtB will not be back next year, as they will not likely offer him another deal. Can you imagine him going to the AllStar game and then possibly being traded?

Morty - Where have you seen these quotations from MGT.?

I don't read the local media all too often.

If the right deal comes along, no player is untradeable -- least of all, a relief pitcher who only pitches 70 or 80 innings per season. With that caveat out of the way, it's difficult to imagine a plausible scenario where I would want to trade Madson. Our bullpen may look deep & effective right now, but that's subject to sudden change due to injury or ineffectiveness. Our minor league bullpen depth is extremely thin and, while Madson may look like only our 5th or 6th best reliever right now, history suggests that, over the course of a full season, he's a better bet than guys like Durbin, Seanez, Romero and Gordon.

Of course, If the A's were to offer us Rich Harden for a package that includes Ryan Madson, I wouldn't think twice about making the trade. In the real world, however, Madson is not someone we should be looking to trade. Even if I accepted that he is only the 5th or 6th best reliever in our pen, that's a role that is fairly important on a team with below average starting pitching. And Madson is far, far better at this role than any alternative we could otherwise come up with.

@Mr. Mack -- Find an actual quote from anyone in MGMT that said PtB won't be back next year or they won't offer them a deal. There is none.

You might be able to find speculation from a reporter or columnist or blogger or a "rumbling from someone close to the situation."

Have the Phillies been vague about whether they are going to sign Lidge or Burrell. Yes. But that's a natural part of negotiations and certainly the way the Phillies do business.

If the Phillies will not re-sign Burrell, it may reduce his value if they were to say so before the trade deadline.

The only thing that has been discussed is whether the Phillies are going to discuss extensions mid-season (which Gillick supposedly doesn't like to do) but may be forced to, given his self-imposed lame duck status.

mike: I suppose Burrell's status IS a matter of speculation, but it's not unfounded speculation, considering that he's still unsigned, the team has never given any definitive statement that they want him back, and management made no secret that they were trying to trade him in the not-so-distant past.

Sophist:

I think you meant to address your question to Mr. Mack, as I have not posted today. However, I do not think it is unreasonable to believe that management is not eager to resign Burrell, although there are no direct statements. They've tried to trade him repeatably, and are obviously scared about having to pay big bucks to both Howard and Hamels in the not so distant future. We all know and love "the budget."

Sorry about that Morty.

I don't think it's unreasonable to believe that the management lacks eagerness re: Burrell. This:

I have seen Phillies management quoted on numerous occasions say that it is almost a certainty that PtB will not be back next year, as they will not likely offer him another deal.

however, was news to me.

I mentioned the possibility of the Phillies re-signing Burrell to be a first baseman, either in the immediate or long-range future. Since there are no 1B prospects in the organization and Teixeira is probably the only productive free agent out there this time around for the position, it might make a lot of sense to hold onto him for this reason alone. It's been several years since Burrell has played first, but then again he can't be seen, by either the Phillies or anyone else, to have much of a future in the outfield. Making him a first baseman would also erase the need to keep replacing him in late-inning games. His popularity has considerably rebounded, he likes playing in Philly, and the organization undoubtedly welcomes the idea of a player being a career Phillie - one of their first-round draft picks, no less.

I can't believe the Phillies aren't considering all this as a possible alternative to signing Howard long-term.


RSB:

I would hope they are not considering that as an alternative. Letting Howard go would be a mistake. Pay them all, that's my position. Like I've said before, it's not my money, I don't care about their damn "budget."

I think anyone would agree that this is Eric Bruntlett's team now.

clout:

We finally agree!!!!

Morty: well and good that you don't care, but I prefer to deal with the economic realities of the situation.

Regarding Fish Fear: I'm with Andy. The Marlins offense is mediocre to dreadful after their top 3 guys (Uggla-Willingham-Ramirez) and they will come back to earth sooner, rather than later.

There is, however, one element that could keep them close all year: The return of injured pitchers. They were bad last year because they lost 3/5ths of their rotation to surgery. One of those guys, Nolasco, is back. If the other two, Anibal Sanchez and Josh Johnson, come back before season's end and pitch like they did when they were healthy, the Marlins will get very scary in a hurry.

RSB:

The "economic reality" suggests that within 3-5 years the Phillies will employ, at best, only 1 of the following players: Ryan Howard, Pat Burrell, Cole Hamels.

Morty, et. al.:

I have said this before, and I will say it again:

The assumption that this team has another 2-3 year window to win the World Series is dependent on keeping the core together. Burrell is part of that core. If Pat Burrell is not in the Phillies everyday lineup, the "window" closes on this team.

Unless a miracle occurs, and Carrasco & Co. appear from the minors with sub-3 ERAs, they do not have the SP (unless they go pay for it - and also, BTW, will not be able to retain all the pieces in the bullpen) to offset the drop in production from the right side of the plate. They will be too LH dependent and too susceptible to LHP.

Jayson Werth is not Pat Burrell (assuming he can even stay healthy all season), and will not replace PBs production. Period.

If the core is not retained for at least the next couple of years, then it will simply further confirm what we all already suspect:

Richard Rys is correct in his articleabout ownership/management...

http://www.phillymag.com/articles/the_phantom_five/?most_popular=1

"Simply put, they care more about business than winning."

read Chris Coste's book this week during my lunch hours... I thought he was awesome before, but now I'm convinced he is god...

In all serious now, i really believe the biggest reason why the phils are playing so well right now is the naming of Werth 'starter'. Clearly Vic took offense to this statement, and has been on fire since. Also, when Werth was starting, Vic in right, Jenks on the bench... i feel like that really lit a fire under jenkins' ass cause he's been tearing the ball since being on the bench for 4 straight...

also feliz has turned the switch on, and coste and dobbs have been coming up clutch as always!

go phils... time to go fishing...

I agree with Cipper. It may just be coincidental, but it certainly seems as though Cholly naming Werth the starter has motivated both Vic and Jenkins.

It seems to be the consensus that the rotation will need some type of upgrade for this team to have a legit shot of winning (or making it to) the World Series. To get something, you have to give up something. To all the people who consider Madson untouchable, I have an alternative question. This assumes you think the Phils have a chance to make the playoffs this year, which I think most fans do. Discounting people who obviously have no (Taguchi, TJ Bohn) or negative (Eaton) trade value, who on the 25-man roster do you think is a tradeable asset? Obviously this is discounting as well people are integral to the team winning (Rollins, Utley, Hamels, etc.) although they'd obviously have teams lining up for their services. I hate having to put in all these qualifications but it seems like a lot of people here don't get it.

And before anyone pipes in with Victorino keep in mind that would mean we would be spending 15 days of Taguchi starting everyday. If you think that's a plausible scenario, please explain.

regarding Burrell, I never said that the Phillies haven't thought about life without Burrell. All I was arguing that they specifically haven't said anything one way or the other.

Regarding trading burrell, it was entertained to my knowledge, twice? Once during the Wade era and once during the Gillick firesale. And in either case, I think he was only asked to give his "teams" he would accept trades to once, since he has an iron clad no-trade.

Is that "repeatedly"? If someone has other times, let me know.

Regarding replacing Howard with Burrell, I don't think this is the best option? Lose 25% of offense and "maybe" 10% defense. Makes sense to anyone?

Re-signing Burrell makes sense in a 2 year plus 1 year option at the price he will command. If he wants a long term deal, and you can front load the contract to pay for the value he will give, do that. But the union won't go for that.

If Burrell doesn't test the waters, I think he might be crazy. I'd love to have him back, because I don't know where you replace his numbers. It's not in our minors. It's not currently on this team.

Nothing like an off day to get into discussing replacing Burrell or Howard. You can set your watch by it.

I think it is really important to resign Burrell. Many will disagree but I have heard from various sources of how much he contributes in the club house. As streaky as he is, his numbers are always more than acceptable too.

http://myteamrivals.typepad.com/phightin_phils_phorum

Kyle Lohse won tonight, is now 5-2, 4.02.
Vicente Padilla is now 7-2, 3.67.

clout, thanks for the "Guys Phillies Mgmt. Wouldn't Swallow Their Pride To Sign" update.

Most posters here wanted Lohse back, but I'm not sure very many were high on the Flotilla inspiration.

I'm not surprised by either of their numbers at this point, though I think Lohse is likely to regress to his 'normal' season. Padilla, OTOH, has always had the talent to be a 18-20 game winner, though it's always been about what's between his ears.

The following is Buster Olney's latest video blog.

Has a piece about Pat G.

http://insider.espn.go.com/espn/blog/index?
entryID=3415239&name=olney_buster&action=log
in&appRedirect=http%3a%2f%
2finsider.espn.go.com%2fespn%2fblog%2findex%
3fentryID%3d3415239%26name%3dolney_buster

Regarding the discussion on Madson, I agree that he's a fine sixth or seventh inning pitcher to bring in with a padded lead. But so many times like when he's asked to come in an keep a game close -- like when his buddy Brett Myers puts us in a run deficit -- he puts the game out of reach. He doesn't strand inherited runners although we've seen what a strikeout pitcher he can be.
Again, like B-A-P points out, he'll fill the scoreboard with K's and nice stats in mopup duty, but not when you really need a strand that guy on third.

I was thinking he should use a four-seamer more often to go with that change since his command with the two-seemer is terrible and often results in a ball deposited in the seats. And last nigth, lo and behond, he appeared to be doing just that. He was 93-94 mph instead of 88-89.

JW- very interesting post about the leaders in the phillies clubhouse..
Even though the conversation has steered away slightly from the initial topic, I'd like to bring up someone whose attitude and leadership have been instrumental in achieving the success of this team last year and thus far in 2008: Charlie Manuel.

Of course it seems nothing is debated on beerleaguer more heatedly and frequently than the job performance of Uncle Cholly; but I would argue that beyond the apparent clubhouse leaders like Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley, and Pat Burrell lies the manager, whose positivity and encouraging attitude has resonated with his squad and enabled his players to reach their potential.
Most phans will say that they disapprove of many of the tactical decisions of Manuel, and you can count me in that vast group. You need not think far in the past, as you just have to think back to last saturday's game with the Astros, sending the last man on the bench (who also happens to be your best pinch hitter) to BUNT in a 1-run game on the road.
Nonetheless, I think Charlie Manuel has taught all Phillies fans a vital lesson - that the MLB season is a grueling, intense 162 games that plays out seemingly like a never-ending marathon, and the optimism and positive attitude exuded by the manager is truly infectious to his players.
I remember hearing grumblings during Bowa's tenure that players dreaded coming to the ballpark every day to suit up and play for Larry Bowa. It's just a thrill to finally see a team that goes out on the field, really seems very close-knit and united, and is currently playing unbelievable baseball; I think we all have Charlie Manuel to thank for this about-face from years past.

diggitydave,
I don't know which fans you're referring to when you wrote "Manuel has taught all Phillies fans a vital lesson".

Old timers like myself (over 40) who don't have video game produced attention spans, know full well it's a grind, and frankly, revel in the eb and flow of the long season.

We can't wait for the next game, and nights like last night are sheer torture when our beloved Phils are not on the tube - or better yet we have tickets to the Zen or some other park.


I will, however, fully support your position on Charlie Manuel. His players respect him, like him and like playing for him. They also understand he helps them more than just by filling out a lineup card.

He helps them hit.

I'm sure Ryan Howard knows it was Charlie who turned him more toward the right field side when he was in the minors, which has helped him swat all those oppo HRs, and surely helped him make it to the show.

When you listen to Manuel talk about hitting he comes off as extremely knowledgeable.

So, yes, Manuel has been a tremendously positive influence in the clubhouse.

I also don't think he is as bad a tactical manager as many of you do.

Morning fodder from Phillies Notes at philly.com:

"Noworyta said Golson once again projects to be an everyday player in the big leagues."


link here:

http://www.philly.com/philly/sports/19383349.html


If Golson becomes an "everyday player in the big leagues" it doesn't bode well for the Phillies lineup in the future.

Lastly (before I head off for work), this little ditty from Phillies Notes:

"The Bat Pack
The Phillies have moved up the NL East standings in recent days largely because of their hot hitting. Here's how they compare to their division foes over the last eight games:
Team (Rec) H-AB Avg.

Phillies (6-2) 99-301 .329

Braves (4-4) 69-261 .264

Mets (3-5) 71-289 .246

Marlins (5-3) 64-272 .235

Nationals (3-5) 61-270 .226


During that time span the Phillies have 35 more hits than the Fish.

Wasn't it flipper who said something akin to 30 hits or 30 times on base during a season don't matter very much?

Golson's been raking in AA, but still does K a lot. FWIW, i'm feeling better about him than I did last year. He needs to keep working, but there's more than just unused tools there.

AWH: "The Phillies have moved up the NL East standings in recent days largely because of their hot hitting. Here's how they compare to their division foes over the last eight games"

If I recall correctly, had you posted their numbers over the 7 games preceding Wednesday night's game, they would have showed that the Phils had not gained a game, despite outhitting Florida by 30-40. They made up exactly one game - on Wednesday night - when they had a paltry 6 hits. Funny game. Flipper's theory apparently has more validity over a short span than a long span.

On Burrell, I completely agree that the Phils should want to resign him. I do not believe that they can (or will) do so in the current market. His right handed bat and control of the strike zone are huge for them, even if he's in the middle of his annual slump. However, I think pitching is more important AND I think he will get 4 or 5 years in the AL, a time span in which 1) you can expect his fielding to decline further, and 2) you can reasonably hope to locate a younger right handed hitter.

Let the record show that Corey Patterson (just released by the Reds) was also "an everyday player in the big leagues."

AWH:

I agree 100% about the 2-3 year window, but it doesn't have to be that way. Burrell, assuming his foot does not become a problem again, should realistically have 4-5 more productive years left, Howard 7-8 and Hamels at least 10. Given what we don't have to replace them in the minors, it makes total competitive sense to keep them all longterm. Of course, the "financial realities" say differently.

What's with the hate for Greg Golson? He's young and still learning to hit. He's made tremendous strides in the past year and yet you completely bash him. Yeah...he strikes out a ton but he's been improving and he's still pretty young so you might want to give him a break.

NEPhilliesPhan: Ooops, sorry. I violated your "no criticism of the home team" rule.

I don't believe in fairy tales so I pretty much give my opinion straight. Golson has NOT made tremendous strides in terms of his biggest single problem: command of the strike zone. He has made gradual improvement at a level he is repeating.

Clout: Clearly you haven't ever read any of my comments as I criticize the "home team" fairly often. I try to make my criticisms a tad more intelligent than yours however. Yes, he is still striking out a ton and yes he has had to repeat each level...it happens. Not everyone flys through the minors. Golson was drafted as an athlete who they have tried to turn into a ballplayer with varying success. His walk rate is actually up a tick this year even if it still looks pretty low. His much higher batting average is also a positive sign as at least he is making solid contact and not just flailing away everytime he is up there.

I understand that your dreamworld is a place where all players on the team are perfect and they don't have flaws but that's never gonna happen so you have to accept certain things like a high K guy or a guy who doesn't hit 40 HRs a year etc etc.

- Hey, Mike Cunningham...I didn't read it, I heard it on both Sports Radio stations. Once from Gillick and once from Amaro. They both said it was unlikely that Burrell would resign because they were going to have to let someone go in order to keep some payroll stability in order, and PtB being the older player and a defensive liability would be a likely casualty. They also felt that he would not take less money to stay here, and that might be all they could offer him (both interviews were in early April) Besides that, mid season extensions are not a Gillick trade mark either. Jesus, do you want me to date the interview time too, just to satisfy you? Just because you don't hear it or read it yourself, doesn't mean it wasn't stated. FYI: I'm not a poster who makes up crap to get my points across. I do this for fun, not to get into heated debates with guys who enjoy the same Phillies team as I do. I repect other opinions, even if I don't agree with all of them.

- Wow, Padilla must be off the sauce with his numbers looking good so far this season. He is on the same "All Head Case" team with Myers though. No telling when he well self implode.

- Another Ex-Phillie watch...Aaron Rowand BA .341 /OBP .410 /SLG .545 /2B 15 /R 24. Seems so far he is earning his paycheck for SF.

- Myers has, I thought, has shown some slight improvement the last couple of games. In my opinion, his start against the Fish tonight will go a long way in determining if the last couple of games were just me hoping he is looking better or if a trip to the DL is not far fetched. Maybe a 2 week trip to phschyologist's couch is just what he needs instead.

-

I was a bit surprised by the pessimism for Golson. I've never seen him play, so I can just go on the numbers. The 30% strike out rate at AA does not indicate he will be able to hit major league pitching. His other numbers, including his OBP are respectable. Not superstar stuff, but indicative of considerable raw ability.

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