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Tuesday, June 24, 2008

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Also, regarding CC: If they trade for him and don't sign him, don't they get 2 comp picks? If you don't think Golson or Happ are future major league contributors, the trade becomes CC + 2 comp picks for Myers(getting rid of his contract for next year). Of course, then you don't have CC OR Myers in next year's rotation.

Salisbury on 610 talking Trade now

AWH: (from last thread) it's amazing writers can quote Arbuckle commenting on this dilemma and not bother to mention the irony that he's the one most responsible for it being a dilemma every year. Arbuckle's the one in charge of player development. Year after year after year after year after year after YEAR there's no prospects to trade and the Phillies can't climb over that top rung and make any kind of trade to help themselves, or else plug a useful player into an emergency situation because Arbuckle hasn't gotten the job done. Maybe Arbuckle is to me as Charlie Manuel is to Jon, but I see way too criticism of peoplle like Montgomery, Amaro, Manuel, and Gillick in proportion to what's doled out to Mike Arbuckle who flat-out has NOT improved the farm system in 15 years. That's the basis of a successful organization. He gets off the hook because the 'core players' are all homegrown - well and good, but it takes 25 men, not 5, to win a title.

Salisbury keeps stressing to look at pitchers under contract for next year-Bedard. And maybe looking for a right handed setup guy-Myers-if they can get 2 pitchers.

They took him out with a 4-0 lead after 8.2? Ouch, let him finish it out.

As I said in my earlier post on Brummett, Reading is exactly where he should be given his age and the fact he's a polished college pitcher. His stuff is average across the board, but his command is good and he projects as a rotation back-ender or middle reliever. I like his chances if he can be as successful the rest of the season in AA as he was in A ball.

RSB: Great post. Everyone remembers Howard & Rollins & Uts, the HRs Arbuckle hit, while ignoring the decades-long dearth of supporting-role talent.

Adam-
When they took Brummett out, the bases were loaded. Sam Walls then came in and let all of the runners score, so he ended up being charged for 3 runs.

From the last thread:

BB, you're missing the point:

The Phillies will NEVER give Lidge and Sabathia the years they'll get elsewhere. Never.


RSB - we agree on Arbuckle, though I'm not quite as harsh as you are. I think he's "improved" the farm system in the last 15 years, but this is the Phillies, so that's not saying much.

Your overall assessment of there not being enough talent to trade for a Santana or Haren is dead-on. Couple that with the 'oxymoron' in the form of Wolever drooling over the "toolsy" draft picks in 2008, and comparing some of them to Golson - as though he was a mortal lock to be a star at the MLB level - made me want to wretch.


(And Greg, if you or your family are reading this, don't take it personally. I don't know you and probably never will. By all acounts I've read your a really good guy and come from a good family - things you should be happy about and proud of. My assessment of you MLB potential comes from one thing - your track record, which to this point has been spotty. You may have all the physical tools in the world, but unless you learn to hit a beseball more consistently, you've got only a small chance of making a significant impact on a MLB roster. There are lots of guys who can run and defend. And, let me go on record as saying I hope you defy the odds and play the next ten years for the Phils - hit .300 with 30-40 HRs every year and 100+ RBIs. I'll cheer for you the way I do for all the other players who perform. BTW, if my writing this bothers you, as you let on in the Reading Eagle interview...get over it. Get mentally tough, tell me to go screw myself, and prove me and the other posters here who think you have little chance wrong.

I'm a Phillies fan and I'd love to see it.

"RSB: Great post. Everyone remembers Howard & Rollins & Uts, the HRs Arbuckle hit, while ignoring the decades-long dearth of supporting-role talent."


clout, your post made me think of this:

The 'oxymoron' draft philophy is similar to the Phillies' lineup's "all-or-nothing" approach to scoring:

If they hit a HR it's great - when they don't........

AWH- you saying the Phils wouldn't give both or either the contract they'll get elsewhere?

If you mean separately, I'd say you're wrong.
If you mean both won't get long term deals from the Phils, then you're most likely right.

Although, in theory, if Myers and Burrell are off the books, it does change things a bit.

I'm not as cut and dry as you are.

I like the C.C. + 2 picks idea. I'd be open to it with a few things in mind.... 1.) is Corrasco and Happ ready to come up next year? 2.) Who are my top tier free agents next year in pitching besides C.C.? 3.) How comfortable am I with the following rotation?... anyone have any thoughts?

Hamels
Free agent Pitcher/ Winter Trade
Kendrick
Corrasco
Happ

RSB: I also think the Phillies' drafting philosophy plays a huge role in their thin minor league system. If you draft a lot of totally undeveloped players with allegedly "high ceilings," you're going to get a few spectacular hits and a ton of total whiffs. Presumably, Arbuckle is the one who subscribes to this drafting philosophy, since the GMs change but the philosophy doesn't.

To have that philosophy is one thing, but to not have the correct developmental system in place to help these projects, is a waste.

BAP is right - but if you consider that 3 of the Phillies 4 homegrown regulars in the starting lineup played college baseball (Burrell = Miami, Utley = UCLA, Howard = Missouri State), then the spectacular hits that they have gotten really haven't come from the toolsy high school players (except Rollins), instead they are the guys who played 3 years of college ball and entered the system at 21 or so instead of 18 or 19.

Joe Morgan weighing in on our pitching needs:

sean (levittown, PA): I think the Phillies should get another starting pitcher like C.C. Sabathia. What do you think?

Joe Morgan: Well I think every team needs another starting pitcher, it's not like the Phillies are the only ones. But they do need anothe rpitchers. Starting piutching is still the No. 1 commoodity in the game and there is still a shortage of top-notch starting pitching in MLB.

Insightful! Here's another highlight:

Eric (NYC): What's wrong with David Wright? Is Willie's absence hurting his consistency?

SportsNation Joe Morgan: Well Willie has not been gone that long. I know Wright was a big fan of his and he felt that Willie heleped him become a big leaguer, but David is a strong individual and has got over Willie's absence. There is no consistency in the lineup and that changes his perspective and puts pressure on him. Of the top 4 hitters, he is the only consistent one, and I think that has put extra pressure on him.

So Wright's been inconsistent lately because he's... consistent. And it puts pressure on him.

BENTZ - exactly. That ties right into Bill James 1988 Primer #5:

"Players taken in the June draft coming out of college (or with at least two years of college) perform dramatically better than players drafted out of high school."


...makes you wonder about the draft philosophy, doesn't it? A little hubris, perhaps?


(BTW, not to be nitpicky, but Howard plyed a SW Missouri State.)

Tray, LOL!

Yes, the drafting has been spotty, but the damage would be mitigated if the Phils had supplemented the draft by signing young Latin American talent.

One of the huge holes in the Arbuckle track record is the dearth of international NDFA talent. Let's face it, when the best pitcher you have signed in 15 years from Latin America is Carlos Silva, you haven't done the job. And don't even ask about the failure to sign international hitting talent.

Granted, Carrasco, Bastardo and Garcia show some promise, but they are probably too far from the big leagues to have any real trade value as of now.

"So Wright's been inconsistent lately because he's... consistent. And it puts pressure on him."

Come on, you are putting words into Joe Morgan's mouth just to criticize him. Morgan never said Wright has been inconsistent. The question asked about Wright's consistency and Morgan's answer was that Wright has been consistent, but in an inconsistent lineup. Morgan also was polite enough not to call the questioner an idiot for asking such a stupid question. How can you gauge a player's consistency during one week of baseball?

AWH: SW Missouri State is now called Missouri State University. They changed the name. So you are both right.

SW Missouri State IS Missouri State now.

Carrasco/Bastardo aren't too far away from the majors to have value.

Not that I think Arbuckle has been great, but I don;t think he deserves all the blame. I think he kind of has his hands tied by the FO cheapness. They don't spend a lot on scouting, particularly in Latin America. They also aren't willing to pay over slot for draft picks.

This means that Arbuckle doesn't get a chance to even see good scouting reports on a lot of Latin players and players who he may have wanted to draft, he doesn't because he knows the money to sign them won't be there.

I think a big part of the weakness in our minor leagues is due to a lack of spending, more so than any inadequacies of Arbuckle.

AWH - just to back you and Bill James up - here's the first round of the 2005 MLB Draft

1. Justin Upton (AZ) - High School
2. Alex Gordon (KC) - Nebraska
3. Jeff Clement (SEA) - USC
4. Ryan Zimmerman (WAS) - UVA
5. Ryan Braun (MIL) - Miami
6. Ricky Romero (TOR) - CS Fullerton
7. Troy Tulowitzi (COL) - Long Beach State
8. Wade Townsend (TB) - Rice
9. Mike Pelfrey (NYM) - Wichita State
10. Cameron Maybin (DET) - High School

So 2 of the top 10 were from high school and have huge potential, but 5 guys from college are solid MLB players and in some cases nearly stars. Clement I believe is up with Seattle and will be their catcher. Romero and Townsend, I'm not sure about, though I heard of both in college.

Not enough - you can also add Jacoby Ellsbury (Oregon State), Matt Garza (Fresno), Craig Hansen (St. John's) and Joey Devine (NC State) as big leaguers. Other good HS players include Jay Bruce, Andrew McCutchen and CJ Henry.

OK, maybe not CJ Henry...

PS - Howard did play at SW Missouri State, but the school is now known as just Missouri State...

It's interesting reading these posts about the farm system. A lot of good points being made. A few years ago when Arbuckle and company were getting blasted, I defended them. When you bring up an Utley, a Howard and a Hamels all in about a 4 year span, it's no wonder that the cupboard was bare. But now a few years later it's still bare. There needs to be some accountability. It's also irksome that, with the exception of Rollins and Hamels, most of their high school picks don't pan out. You end up with a lot of guys who you think of as young but they're not. In the Phillies system the college guys seldom reach the bigs until they are 25 or so. I still think of Utely and Howard as young, but in reality they aren't too far short of 30.

Wes, you raise a good point, but signing international talent isn't solely a question of money, but also of priorities. The Marlins are perpetually broke, for example, but they ponied up for Miguel Cabrera.

I do recall Arbuckle squandering megabucks on two Korean pitchers (the best of the two was Sunny Kim, who imploded in Reading).

Here's a "what if" question: what if the 2001 and 2003 NL East races had been played without Andruw Jones and Rafael Furcal in the Braves lineup? The Phillies have been fighting with one hand tied behind their backs, while their competitors are signing A. Jones, Furcal, Reyes, Cabrera, etc.

Wes: Latin American players aren't eligible for the draft, so the failure in this area has nothing to do with the unwillingness to pay over slot. It may well have a lot to do with cheapness in the scouting department, however.

Bentz makes an excellent point. At least on position players, the Phillies' draft hits have come from college draftees -- whom the Phillies generally think of as "low risk, low reward." In fact, many of them are low risk, high reward -- not to mention that they have much quicker paths to the big leagues. Given the Phillies' track record with developing unrefined talent, I have no idea why they don't just start using all their early draft picks on college players -- at least when they're drafting position players.

Phils are actually (one of) the top finalists for the #2 Latin player (16 year old pitcher)-expected to choose his team soon....

On a completely different note, I am sitting here thinking about the Phillies' current 5 games losing streak, trying to determine if it's statistically meaningful.

That is, are long streaks - winning or losing - an indicator of any sort? Anyone know?


Anecdotally, long, in-season, winning streaks don't seem to have any correlation with winning the WS. As anecdotal evidence I give you last year's Colorado team, and the 1916 New York Giants, who had seperate winning streaks of 17 and 26 games (the modern record) yet finished in 4th place, 7 GB.

"The Marlins are perpetually broke, for example, but they ponied up for Miguel Cabrera."

Actually, the Marlins, according to Forbes, had the 2nd highest operating profit in MLB last year ($35.6MM), and were #1 the year before($43MM), because of revenue sharing. They did lose money in the past, though.

2.) Who are my top tier free agents next year in pitching besides C.C.?

AJ Burnett (if he opts out)
Derek Lowe
Oliver Perez
Ben Sheets

Tim Hudson has a mutual option for $12M. Rich Harden, John Lackey, and Brad Penny all have club options.

I'm still confused about how drafting CC Sabathia (or something similar) would improve the offensive slump.

BAP

I know Latin players aren't in the draft, I was making two separate points: 1. don't spend a lot to scout and sign Latin players 2. don't over pay slot on drafted players. I guess i could have stated that more clearly inthe original post.

Ultimately, I think we can all agree that the Phillies need to start spending more money on the system, as well as making sure they have good talent elvaluators making the decisions on how to spend.

If it were my decision I would start focusing more attention in Latin America. If money is an issue (and it always is with the Phils) I would forget about Asia and stick with Latin players, where there is a much larger talent pool.

He hit a home run the other night. That's more than Howard, Utley, Rollins and Burrell did. He also pitches. He'd easily be Cy Young and HR leader in the NL.

I would rather not clean out the cupboard (and parts of the major league roster) to rent C.C. I would much rather have a Bedard or an Oswalt, whom we could control for a year or more if we're giving up any top-notch talent. On top of the fact that C.C. wasn't exactly stellar in the post-season last year, he has thrown WAY too many innings in his short career. You know if the Phils get him and somehow sign him, he'll have a dead arm by April 2009.

Phargo: The offensive slump is what it you said it is, a slump. They will come out of it. They are the best, or 2nd best, offense in the league, and they will show it over the course of the season. It will be fine.

The pitching needs help.

Wes: Ok. I misunderstood you. I agree with the rest of both your posts.

doubleh: I would also be concerned about Sabathia's workload if I were thinking about signing him to a long-term contract. As a short-term rental, not so much. The fact that he pitched a couple of bad games in the ALCS would certainly not deter me from renting him. But the cost (in prospects) of renting him might well deter me.

I hope you're right about the slump-I do think everyone but Ryno is apt pop out of it.

Is one starter enough to guarantee success? There seems to be near near agreement on thread after thread that one new pitcher would make a significant difference; I guess I have my doubts about that. If we get one hot(tish) starter, who gets replaced? Myers? Kendrick? Just replacing one of those guys changes the future?

Eh.

BAP: So essentially, in a roundabout way, you agree with me? I just think the Indians will want all of the best we have for someone the Phillies will never (and I don't think should) sign long-term. I am not willing to give up Marson, Carrasco and Golson/Victorino for a 2-month rental of C.C. Now 1 of them plus some other throw in for Bedard/Oswalt, I am all for. Hamels and Bedard/Oswalt still can get you to the WS.

FWIW, I have a hunch the main starting pitcher we get will be Bedard and wouldn't be totally surprised if a 2nd starter is brought in.

Arbuckle surely isn't the only one to blame for the perenially poor yield from the farm system, for a number of reasons mentioned on this thread, but there can be no doubt that he's the most complicit. If a GM or a manager had the rate of failure that Arbuckle has returned, they'd be long gone by now. Makes you realize that the increased visibility of Ed Wade, which led to public outcry at his job retention, was the only reason they ever got rid of him. The Phillies are stubborn and 'loyal' to a very unfortunate fault. But then again, they haven't emphasized player development since the days of Carpenter and Owens, and that's the real reason why flunkies like Arbuckle and clearly ineffective 'philosophies' are permitted to hang around sans acceptable results.

phargo: I think one thing that may get overlooked is the effect of the rotation on the bullpen. The pen has been excelent partly as a function of not being over worked. Until recently the rotation has been pitching better than most thought too. Now with Myers troubles leading to instability in the rotaiton, It seems only a matter of time until the pen starts to wear out. It may already be happening to Gordon. And between him and Madson, you have to figure they are way past due for an injury. So adding another starter seems imperative. And as frustrating as the offense has been, as someone else pointed out, its a slump. This team will score enough runs to win the division. Pitching is where it will be won or lost IMO.

While I know absolutely nothing about the evaluating young MLB talent or the inner workings of the MLB draft, it seems to me that the Phillies drafting philosophy, if it is indeed geared toward the high-risk, high-reward model, can not successfully coexist with their stance in the FA market and payroll. It would seem logical to me that maybe only the top five teams in baseball in terms of payroll could effectively use the Philly style of drafting and get away with it.

Teams with the higher payrolls can afford to get risky in the draft because they know that they can supplement their teams on the open market. If the Phillies want to draft high risk, high reward then they have to be willing to make big signings in the off-season to supplement the team. Otherwise you end up with 3-5 stars, and little support. Seems like the front office and scouting department need to get on the same page with each other.

Does this make any sense?

Anyway, the larger issue of this all is the sense that we can all see that there is, to use common parlance, a "window of time" for the Phillies to make a run at it. Everyone is getting older and there does not appear to be a sustainable future other than a few promising (maybe?) prospects. If not this year, then when is the time to do it? PtB may very well be gone next season, and to me that would be the symbolic signal of the beginning of the end to the prolific offense we have known these past few years.

From mlbtraderumors's live chat session:

carrasco, cardenas, and werth for cc?

2:44 That would get it done. Definitely a win now move

Before getting too excited about a CC rental, let's reflect for a moment that it guarantees absolutely zip other than a chance that things will work out and that the particular player will help you over the hump that particular year. And that you will lose the services of those you traded forever.

Last year if we could have "rented" Johan Santana for a few months until after the post season, we would have probably been ecstatic, and might even have given away an arm and leg to do so. But, although it may yet ultimately pan out, the Mets may have some other thoughts about that one guy being the straw that stirs the drink.

I think we do need to make some moves, no question, but mortgaging the farm so to speak for a Sabathia rental...Not sure about that. I sense we need to be part of that elite few clubs that might just need that one tiny little piece to fall in place before you take that type of plunge. And I don't think we're quite there.

donc, that does make some sense, thanks.

Concerning the bullpen and "overuse" I was thinking the exact opposite. At least in the sense that losing streaks give your setup man and closer more rest. Lidge has pitched only three times these past two weeks.

And of course doing nothing all but guarantees that they will not be able to beat the elite teams and may not win the division.

jhart: True the closer doesn't get much work when your starters dig a deep hole. But the rest of the pen works overtime. About a week ago I heard a report that said the Phillies starters had the highest innings pitched per start in the national league. If there is errosion there it could spell doom for the long relievers which in turn could put pressure on the back end guys. But you are right, the way things have been lately Manuel has to put Lidge in occasionally just to keep him sharp. If we do see the post-season, it would be nice if he were relatively fresh though.

I don't want them to acquire Sabathia if they're planning on letting everyone walk this offseason, but that offer is way lower than those thrown about here on a daily basis.

"And of course doing nothing all but guarantees that they will not be able to beat the elite teams and may not win the division."

I am not sure I agree with that, providing the offense wakes up. Of the 10 losses they had in June, the other team scored 3 runs or fewer in 4 of them (each against a different team, too). If they had won 2 of those 4 games, they'd be 3 up on the Marlins.

Observe as I quote stats and do math (in my head!)

jhart: that's an excellent point (regarding the inherent conflict in drafting and spending philosophies).

Does anyone feel that giving up Victorino would leave a void in right field? While Werth would fill in center and hold it down the right field platoon would take a hit. Jenkins can not play with lefties on the hill, so that leaves taguchi in right or bruntlett. There are only two guys on these lists that I would give him up for. Bedard and Oswalt.

I find it interesting that I see Werth's name pop up in some trade ideas bc:
1. Isn't he a FA at the end of this year, and if not next year? Why would that interest a rebuilding/retooling team like Cleveland?
2. Who is going to replace him in the Phillies lineup? You really want Jenkins playing full time, especially when that means his 3rd contract year will kick in? Werth takes pitches and can fill in in CF for an injured Vic, two things none of our other second tier players do.

Donc: The only one I truly, truly ever really worry about is Gordon. Madson drives people crazy and "seems" come up short in key situations but I've always liked him as the 7th inning guy.

I feel like in the end, we're going to keep the prospects that we have and swing that deal for Fuentes and go to war with the army that we have.

The only person I'd be really excited for is Cook from Colorado. He was getting a lot of burn on this site a few weeks ago. Has Colorado made any mention of him or his possible status?

To me, CC just isn't happening in the world that I live in, but I think I'd be excited to see it happen because I move closer and closer to the win-now side of the argument when it comes to this team. Hamels by himself will not get it done when the rest of the starting rotation is composed of four #4's. Just makes the Myers performance all the more frustrating.

They'd be a pretty slow team if Victorino is dealt.

The Phils may be able to win the division standing pat but I doubt it. The fact that it's even possible is, I think, a testimony to how weak the competition is. But in the playoffs we'd be dead meat. Pitching is king.

baxter,

I'm not sure I don't see it the other way around. If they plan to keep as much of the team intact as they can and add a few key pieces so it is stronger each year and has an increasingly good shot over the next two to three years (the likely "window"), well then, save the $ on Sabathia.

But if they are going to let everone sail off into the sunset and hope the remaining guys will keep things "competitive"; then in that case, bet the farm because it could be our best shot.

Has Colorado made any mention of him or his possible status?

"While O'Dowd declined to comment about Holliday or any other of the Rockies' specific, prospective trade plans, he did shoot down last week's Rumblings note that Aaron Cook could be available. 'We're not doing anything with Cookie,' the GM said flatly."

via

"But in the playoffs we'd be dead meat."

With this I am less inclined to argue!

The Phillies have an awful drafting philosophy . Taking high risk/reward players is wonderful, but we don't have the player development personnel to turn these guys tools into something special. Almost all of the guys that have been successful that come from our system have been almost finished products when we draft them. Our organizational depth is also horrible due to all of these high school "tools" players that don't make it out of A ball.

jhart: One thing I've noticed about both Gordon and Madson aside from the frequency of their injuries, is that when they do come back it seems to take them at least a month to get back in the groove. That's a bad combo. I agree that Madson shows some promise some times. But he's been around 5 or 6 years. Promise doesn't cut it at his age. As I see it, both of these guys have one fatal flaw as relievers. They don't consistently throw strikes. I want to vomit whenever a reliever comes in and walks the first batter. Those two seem to do it a lot. But every fourth or fifth outing Madson looks like Mariano Rivera. It is maddening. And the whole Myers thing is impossible to figure if he doesn't have a sore arm. Neither he nor the Phillies have said that but it would explain his drastic drop in velocity.

I wouldn't trade the 2008 NL pennant(probably wouldn't win the world series anyway) for 10 boring summers.

If they're blowing up the team, I'd rather keep Carrasco etc, so we'd still have some hope for the future.

OK...thats it...Time for Philly fans to raise the ruckus and get the current ownership to sell. This is unacceptable.

doubleh: There are concerns that go with all of these guys. Oswalt is under contract for a few more years -- which is both good & bad -- but he has been horrible this year. Is it a fluke? Is he injured? Or is it the beginning of the end? If he's injured -- as I suspect -- how serious is it and how much good is he likely to do us this year? Bedard is also injured & hasn't really performed to par this year. Again, how helfpul will he really be this year?

If we're gonna take a chance on someone who isn't pitching well, I'd rather not give up top-tier prospects to get him -- as we'd have to do for Bedard or Oswalt. Better to hedge our bets on a guy like Bronson Arroyo, who has plenty of upside and probably wouldn't cost us a top-tier prospect (Seems I can't get through a day anymore without making a plug for Bronson Arroyo).

Of course, all of these issues only serve to point out why I like Aaron Cook better than any of these guys. His upside is not on a par with CC or Oswalt or Bedard. But he's a good pitcher, a good fit for our park, he's pitching well right now, and he's under contract for serveral years. Those are all pluses. I wouldn't give up Marson to get him, but I'd give up pretty much anyone else in our minor league system.

BAP: totally agree with you on Cook over any other starter. He would cost us the least to get and his style has proved to work well at the bank. Also, I don't think you would ever try to sign C.C. look at all of the big pitching contracts that have been given out. None of those deals have worked out for the team that signed them. (Zito, K. Brown, Hampton)

BAP: Here's what makes me nervous about Arroyo: He's 31, coming off a season in which hits were up and Ks were down, and his last 4 starts have gone like this:
4.1 IP 5 ER
4.2 IP 4 ER
6.0 IP 0 ER
6.1 IP 6 ER

BAP: Which pitcher represents the biggest upgrade from Myers or Eaton?

Donc: Still the bullpen isn't the problem right now. While I doubt that we will go through the whole year injury free, the fact is for how unlucky we were last season, we have been equally blessed this season.

Sometimes I can't but help to laugh at the absurdity. I feel like our current health in pitching keeps us uniformly mediocre. So long as the theme is "steady as she goes" with the rotation, no one will do anything but keep on trotting out Myers, Eaton, Kendrick. Can't we at least try Happ? One time? What do we have to lose?

Arroyo would in no way help this team.

Gillick is going to talk about trading for pitching on DNL.

Oops. Just a quote. Sorry.

****Oswalt is under contract for a few more years -- which is both good & bad -- but he has been horrible this year. Is it a fluke? Is he injured? Or is it the beginning of the end?****

His secondary numbers from 2005-2008 suggest he is in a decline phase despite being pretty young. It simply depends on what type of decline phase it is...if its a nice slow one where he stays at a #2/#3 type pitcher it will be fine...if he hits a wall Zito-esque then you really don't want to be on the hook for $45 million over the next 3 seasons.

Donc - Madson turns 28 in late August. He's still young and has been excellent this year.

Trading Werth is a bad idea.

They need to re-sign Lidge and Burrell, get a starter and a LH reliever, say goodbye to "So-what" Taguchi and improve the bench.

We've all seen what the team is capable of offensively and we've all come to realize that this team just cannot beat the elite teams in the AL consistantly.

Do I think something will happen? Yes. What? I don't know. But I do know that if we're gonna make and go deep into the playoffs getting what is needed (in my opinion will not be easy). PG has his work cut out for him. They're not gonna pay a boatload of money AND give up the pharm for a starter. To me that knocks out C.C. and Oswalt. They don't give tons of money to their own pitchers. And I wouldn't trade Vic. He's got speed, and a great arm. He needs to be more disciplined at the plate.

On the field, they need to play a more well- rounded game. Cholly has to stop waiting for 3-run Hr's to happen.

Depends on what you get in return Sophist. If he's part of a deal for a legit pitcher, then trading Werth isn't so bad. We can find another OF much easier than a good pitcher.

With Rollins in the midst of a season long swoon compared to last year, Vic is the only sparkplug type guy in the entire lineup...we need the speedy, great defensive GG caliber guy who can bunt for a base hit...especially in the playoffs.

jhart: I don't disagree. I don't know how ready Happ, or for that matter any of the other prospects is, but I wouldn't mind getting a look. The schedule shows one off day until the break. Seems like a good time to add an extra arm. If I remember correctly Happ was up for a start last year. They could be reluctant to bring him up for a short audition with that in mind. But that is the type of small minded crap that we tend to see with regards to our prospects. You've got three shaky starters. Let's see what the kid can do.

One comment: I know that both Rollins and Vic have been injured at times, but doesn't it seem like the greenlight has been on alot less this season? I've seen several games the last few weeks where either Rollins or Vic would get a single/walk with either no or just 1 out and not be given the green light. Last year that was a guaranteed SB attempt.

donc: Happ isn't getting any better at this point in AAA. He's 24 going on 25 and is "wasting bullets" as they say in AAA. If they plan to audition him, now is the time.

Carrasco is close but he still has some consistency issues. He's vastly improved his numbers from last season though and is only 21 years of age.

NEPP: Thanks for the info. I say let's get him up here then. Maybe we should pray for a rain out out west and we'll get a double header or something. That might light a fire under em.

Pray for an "elbow strain" for Brett Myers...

Happ 2008 (AAA): 94.0 IP, 5-6, 3.73 ERA, 99 K, 36 BB, .247 BAA

The ERA is a tad high for AAA but the secondary numbers are pretty solid. His main issue has always been his lack of a true outpitch. He throws 4 pitches but none of them are dominant. He's had a pretty good month of June though posting a 2.92 ERA along with a 3-1 record.

"But if they are going to let everone sail off into the sunset and hope the remaining guys will keep things "competitive"; then in that case, bet the farm because it could be our best shot."


Bob, I think you mischaracterize the market. The 'oxymoron' will not "let" these players sail off. They may try to keep them, but they will be in a competitive marketplace.

Take a look around MLB and see how many teams have good to dominant closers. Not that many. Lidge, if he is not re-signed with a pre-emptive offer during the season (and if you were him wouldn't you test the market), is as good as gone. Unless the market for dominant closers completely implodes, the Phillies will not make a competiive offer for him - an offer, maybe, but not one that will win the day.

Burrell is another player that maybe they'd *like* to have back for 1-3 years - but at THEIR price, not the market price. He's a top 15% run producer from 2005-2007, and this year he's doing it again. Plus, he's a RH bat. In that arena he's higher up the ladder. IMHO, he will get a bigger offer from some team other than the Phillies. If he comes back it will be for less money than he'll be offered elsewhere.

My point is that the Phillies won't "let" players walk. The decision is not just theirs to make.

The market will determine who comes back next year much more than the Phillies.

______________________________________________________


"They need to re-sign Lidge and Burrell, get a starter and a LH reliever, say goodbye to "So-what" Taguchi and improve the bench."

Mr. Patrone, please see my above response to Bob, with regard to Lidge and Burrell.

I gotta add my voice to those saying that including Vic or Werth in a trade for pitching is not a good idea. Absent one of those two, our outfield becomes below average. As is, Manuel is able to mix and match somewhat effectively, and his pinch hitting options are strong. Especially with Jenkins performing so weakly, and no replacement in the minors, you can't weaken the outfield that much.

I don't know about resigning Lidge; remember that this is Gillick's last year so they will need to name a new GM. Might be a big splash for the new GM to make as his first signing...just food for thought.

clout: Based on a combination of how he's pitching now, plus historical expectations, I would say Sabathia. However, I prefer Cook because he's still a sizable upgrade and is under contract beyond this year. A trade for Sabathia would be a classic rental. A trade for Cook would help us both immediately and beyond.

All I know is I don't want to see any marginal pitchers like Wolf or Byrd brought in here--I don't see them as an upgrade over what we have currently (just more of the same) and giving up any prospects we have would be too much IMO.

Awww, c'mon Morty! The 'oxymoron' says there are plenty of talented "replacements" in the minors.

Golson should be considered damn near an AllStar calibre player if Marty Wolever's effusing praise is to be believed. And then there's TJ Bohn (at least he makes tough catches - and could he possibly have been worse at the plate than Taguchi?). Val Pasucci - oops, scratch him, the 'oxymoron' released him prematurely, and _______________ and _______________ and ________________.

Hell, down on the farm they have darn near a HOF outfield in the making because they've drafted and developed so well.

I'd rather have Harang, Cook or Lowe (or better yet two of those three!) than Sabathia, Bedard or Oswalt.

Although maybe Ed Wade can be persuaded into giving up Oswalt for Myers and a mid level prospect thinking that Myers only neeeds a change a scenery since it worked for Lidge and since he helped to draft Myers and likes guys he drafted (Bourn, Geary, Costanzo).

Just saw on DNL that the Phils only rank 13th in MLB in strikeouts and 9th in the NL--shoot, I would have thought they were much, much higher than that. Marlins rank #1. Go figure.

*waits patiently for the Marlins to fade*

Some BABIP no. in the past week:

Team - .216 (usually around .290)
Ruiz - .143 (.248 in 2008)
Coste - .500 (.327)
Howard - .333 (.268)
Utley - .083 (.274)
Feliz - .385 (.264)
Rollins - .294 (.287 - he's actually been OK this week)

Burrell - .091 (.288)
Vic - .143 (.298)

I still like a RH in any potential trade. With that in mind, I still like A.J. Burnett. He is the prototype for a post-season run (95-100 MPH fastball and great breaking stuff). You need strikeout pitchers in the playoffs and the Phillies have *2 (*Hamels and Dr. Brett/Mr. Myers). Considering that most batters are RH, and usually RH batters hit LH better than RH, I would rather throw out 2 RH in any playoffs rotation (assuming that the 3 man rotation is in order, if it is a 4 man, then it would be 3 LH: Hamels, Moyer, LH to be determined, and RH Myers). Rather have 2 LH at the max.

I'd be interested to look more into Utley' numbers from these past two weeks. His BABIP in the last 14 days is .156. I wonder where and how he's hitting the ball. I've been on vacation so only watching games intermittedly.

As I posted earlier, writer Jim Salisbury on 610 said watch the pitchers who are under contract next year as the targets Gillick is going after-he specifically stressed Bedard and Oswalt. Of course, they'll then wind up with Paul fricken Byrd as their savior.

ae: Thanks for dampening my enthusiasm with the post about Cook's unavailability. I can't say I'm shocked. Why exactly would they want to trade him?

doubleh says: "All I know is I don't want to see any marginal pitchers like Wolf or Byrd brought in here--I don't see them as an upgrade over what we have currently (just more of the same) and giving up any prospects we have would be too much IMO."

Completely agree with that sentiment. For a girl, you know your baseball. (That's a joke!).

AWH the RBP~

Sorry, I didn't see your response to Bob before I posted. That's my fault. I should have been more observant. I happen to agree with you whole-heartedly. I might add though that as with Rowand last year, they won't even MAKE an offer to either player during the season competitive or otherwise. I believe that. The question is how do you if you don't try?

When Eric Byrnes re-signed with Arizona for 3/30 during the season last year, the Phils said "Oh, s***!" Byrnes is comparable to Rowand. It was obvious the Phils thought that was way to much money.

When this team makes a trade for a player in his walk year, they shouldn't do it until a new deal can be worked out. If no new deal, then no trade.

So you're right, both players will walk. And we phans get the shaft.

Arroyo lasted 1 inning tonight and gave up 6 runs.

Mets are already down 5-0 to Lowly Mariners, and Beltran has been ejected.

What happened that Beltran got ejected?

make that 6-0

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