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Monday, June 09, 2008

Comments

Luck plays a big role, no question (Kelly Johnson's gaffe as the most prominent recent example), but is it luck that Adam Eaton has reverted to career norms? That Moyer and Kendrick have the 6ish IP, 3 ER game down pat? That Durbin has apparently found his niche as a long man in the National League (looked like luck at first, but does a four-leaf clover hold out for almost 38 innings)? That Gordon can be effective if used relatively sparingly? That an offense with Utley, Burrell, Howard, etc. can score a lot of runs? None of this means a World Series run by any means, but I think this is more along the lines of the competitive consistency we've been hoping for, with a roster like this, over the last few years.

I would not be excited about Paul Byrd, unless we give up absolutely nothing. He seems to give us more of what we already have.

I'd like to see our home crowds provide more than a truce. We still don't seem to remember you're allowed to cheer in anticipation of good stuff to come. You can watch Cole Hamels pitch a shutout and there's little noise until he gets the outs.

Or they'll get loud when Lidge has two outs and two strikes. Many fans realize you're allowed to whoop it up before then.

We did some of that when they handed out towels last year in Sept/Oct. Like to see more of that next time the Phils are at home.

ribbies: Agree about Paul Byrd. It's hard to see what he would bring to the table that Moyer & Kendrick don't. Bedard is a different story.

I don't see the M's selling Bedard so quickly.

The one other Gillick-connection I've seen with rumors of a sell is the Jays. The name mentioned in Burnett (Rosenthal via MLBtraderumors.) Although I don't think the Jays are completely out of contention yet.

JW- not to nitpick, but did the ChiSox sweep the Rox, I thought it was the Twinkies. Maybe I misunderstood what you're were saying.

Paul Byrd would be a fine addition, but to replace who?

If we're going to replace someone in our current rotation it needs to be a much better option like Sabathia.

By the way, Rockies groundball specialist Aaron Cook may be on the market.

Problem with trades on a team like this is they're getting to the point where you worry about messing up team chemistry.

So I've had this theory for awhile and after browsing through this weekend's comments I'm now fairly confident it's true. And here it is: Clout is an alter-ego Weitzel has created in order to drive up interest in Beerleaguer and thus readership. How else can you explain the Phillies hitting their undeniable peak heading into a Monday off day, (and in the process, giving us nothing to say other than "wow, they sure are great") followed by Clout coming out of nowhere to try and pick a fight with anyone and everyone.
Capping it off with this...
"Andy: That's fine, but the reality (yes, I know it doesn't count for much on Beerleaguer)..."
It was like his greatest hits album with mentions of classics like JD Durbin and "Feliz love".

"Clout is an alter-ego Weitzel has created in order to drive up interest in Beerleaguer and thus readership. "

I always assumed that 'clout' was created to give Weitzel the opportunity to say things to other posters that he couldn't say as himself, but I like your theory.

Here's the thing with the Mariners trading Bedard: He isn't the part of their payroll problem. He's making 7 million this year (a salary known around baseball as "Less Than Adam Eaton"), on a team with a 117 million dollar payroll. He is due for arbitration next year, and then goes to free agency. The way he's pitching this year, he'll probably get around 9-10 in arbitration if he goes that route, which is below open-market value for a guy of his caliber. The Mariners salary problems are guys like Richie Sexson, Adrian Beltre, Kenji Johjima, Jarrod Washburn and Jose Vidro. Bedard is actually an asset for them.

I agree with Carson's take. A trade for pitching (assuming it's not to make up for an injury) only makes sense if we're getting a clear upgrade like Sabathia/Sheets/Bedard.

And on Bedard, there's no way he's traded unless they fire their GM. He gave away a probable future star in Adam Jones to get Bedard, so pride alone would keep him from letting him go.
Also on Bedard, there's a chance he may be overhyped a bit after last season. The two years before that he was closer to a 4.0 Era, 1.3 WHIP pitcher, and he's back to that this season. That's still an upgrade to our staff, but if last season was an aberration he's not the second #1 we might think.

Brain: Probably the third time I've heard that theory. And while you're at it, why not include RSB, kdon and Jack among my many alter-egos?

BrianG: How do we know that jason didn't create YOU as his alter ego, in order to give clout someone to argue with?

- The Kelsey Grammar look-a-like talk is probably for the Byrds, and his best years are behind him for sure, but could he be brought in cheaply for a back-up seasoned starter, since they really don't have any? I don't want to mess with their mo-jo at this point, but a Plan B type of scenario is hopefully in place already if someone goes down. Sabathia would require too high a price for what almost certainly would be considered a short term rental.

- I still am pinching myself with this BP success, but credit may have to be given to Gillick after all. The bullpen seems to be thriving now that everyone has defined roles. An actual closer to start the season (except the first week or so), good set up guys, and comfortable middle men, have transformed the fomer Value Village into what might be the story of the year thus far. Cholly could still use a second LHP in the pen in my opinion, but who is available out there with any real LOOGY value, when the answer could possibly come from the minor league system.

- Eaton is showing us some guts out there, which I hope continues. He seems more comfortable in a role where he has nothing to lose (except his job), yet Cholly almost seems as surprised and skeptical as we do, taking this roll one start at a time. The fans seem to be pulling for another ashes to success Rocky-like story with him of late too.

Man, this is starting to remind me of '93.

Jason, are you sure that you are not Herschel Walker?

jack: Unfortunately, what you say about Bedard makes perfect sense. The only way the Mariners would even dream of trading him would be if they wanted to give up on 2009 & totally rebuild the team from scratch, AND if they also believed that the would be unable to resign Bedard after 2009. More likely, they'll be looking to trade the other guys you mention.

What was I looking at. Twins, not Rox.

As far as tinkering with this team, I don't see much unless you land a front-line starting pitcher (Sabathia, Bedard, PipeDreams).

I'd like to see So Taguchi replaced, but we already have a better option in Snelling there, but I could see a quality bench guy added in July (like Conine was a couple seasons ago). Also, another lefty in the 'pen would be helpful too, but he's got to be decent, not just adding a lefty for the sake of adding a lefty.

Brian G. wasn't around when Clout and I had our memorable clash over Abraham Nunez's defense. I said his glove was above average for a third baseman while Clout maintained that it was mearly average. Like Hagler vs. Duran.

I know this is off topic, but did anyone realize the cubbys are 18-5 against the ridiculously struggling nl west?...

dont get me wrong, theyre a good team... but maybe the cubs aren't who everyone thinks they are...

not sure if someone has written this up recently (haven't had as much time this summer to keep up with Beerleaguer), but:

one thing that surprises me about the 2008 Phillies is that the offense has been so successful--2nd best R/G in the NL--despite pretty mediocre performances from just about every starter not named Chase or Pat. team OPS+ is 109, which is still good for 4th in the NL but definitely a step back from Atlanta (115), Florida (114), and Chicago (112).

where they really seem to have separated themselves from the pack is hitting with RISP: so far they've gone .277/.381/.485 (best in the NL in all 3 categories) for a pretty ridiculous .866 OPS (128 OPS+), which leads the 2nd best Diamondbacks by 50 points.

as much as the bullpen pitching, I wonder how long that kind of performance can go on.

Maybe the Muts will trade Ssantana and pay half his salary. Okay, maybe not.

Cubs are also 14-16 on the road. they score 2 less R/G away from Wrigley (6.4 vs 4.5) and give up a half a run more (3.8 vs 4.3). their hitters have benefited from Wrigley more than the Phils ever got a boost from CBP the last few years.

Jason: Stop talking to yourself.

As for what I really think about Clout's weekend outburst.. I think it's the culmination of embarrassment from simultaneously realizing 1. the Phillies have played like the equivalent of a 93-win team since the Abreu trade, 2. his terrible evaluation of Lidge demolished his scouting credentials, and 3. JD Durbin has a 1.82 ERA in his last 4 professional starts, so you just can't credibly argue anymore that he's not a very good pitcher.

As for that Nunez debate, I always thought his glove was rock solid and got unfairly demeaned by posters. Can't remember him every making an important error.

That said, when I saw him come up to pinch hit for the Mets the other night, I smiled widely as I predicted a weak groudout to the 2bmen, but was surprised to see his development as a hitter... as he weakly grounded out to the SS.

ae, I'd guess that's mostly due to under-performance from the #1 spot (Rollins's injury and recent slump) and clean-up.

NL OPS rank by batting order

#1: 10
#2: 1
#3: 2
#4: 13
#5: 1
#6: 4
#7: 7
#8: 2
#9: 4

------

the good news to me on the RISP front is not only that they are doing well with their chances (after a slow start), but that they have a lot of them. I think they are top 5 in PA with RISP.

The trade deadline looms large because the starting pitching isn't really good enough for a strong playoff run. Assuming the .600 pace continues at least through July 31, I'd take a shot at a rental like Sabathia, provided the price in prospects wasn't too steep.

F! I was at a wedding in Charleston, SC this weekend, so away from the computer and I miss a Clout "outburst"!?! Can I have a brief synopsis?

Yes, it does seem like everything's falling into place. As you know I've bashed PG in the past but we've got to give home some credit now. He's always said that if he could improve the pitching he would try to.

As far as Eaton, I've always said he has good stuff if he's healthy and if his head's
on straight. And Feliz makes 99% of the plays and should wind up with 15-20/60-70. The BP is pitching well and the offense is well THE offense. They are phinally playing like division champs. It's great to be a phan right now isn't it?

I thought I was Jason's alter-ego. Maybe clout is my alter-ego. Actually, Cholly is my alter-ego!

More seriously, I'm glad the Phillies are doing great, but I'm getting sick of hearing about this is the year the Cubs win the World Series. They're not so good. Imagine our record if we played in that sorry division and played all those loser 22 games each during the year. I hate this unbalanced scheduling.

I don't think all of this trade talk about Bedard/C.C./Sheets is even possible. We don't have the prospects to pull a deal like that off.

NL OPS rank by position

SS: 10
CF: 3 (PIT and SF ahead)
2B: 1
1B: 12
LF: 2 (COL ahead)
RF: 13
3B: 14
C: 7
P: 5

PH: 1 (by ~.130)

CC and Bedard are different animals. Both will be costly, but CC isn't under contract next year, so the Indians will want to resign him or trade him, before they lose him for nothing. He won't be given away, of course.

Brian G: "JD Durbin has a 1.82 ERA in his last 4 professional starts, so you just can't credibly argue anymore that he's not a very good pitcher."

Alright, Brian, now you're just trying to bait clout.

Brian G: I think it could very credibly be argued that J.D. Durbin is not a very good pitcher. I don't know if you really want to go there.

Jason: why is Paul Byrd unpopular in Philadelphia?

The 'culture' has at long last shifted in the NL East. The Phillies have had plenty of talent all through the decade but were perpetually mired in losing habits: losing games late, having terrible times hitting in the clutch, finding ways to turn wins into losses. Now the habits are the opposite. Good play, like losing play, definitely has a way of snowballing and becoming the expectation and the norm. A standard of quality pitching often pushes individual members of the rotation to maintain the pace. To make matters even sweeter, the Phillies appear for all the world to have cast off their former identity to their chief rivals in New York and Atlanta, who now look like those Phillies of old. They make their fans want to tear their hair out of their heads, and we comment on how enjoyable our team is to watch. Considering that it seemed like the losing culture would or could never undergo this kind of sea change, it's really a beautiful thing.

Opinion on trading for a starter at the deadline: it probably doesn't happen unless the Phillies are willing to deal a starter in return. Myers or Kendrick could be candidates to be swapped out somewhere for a rental. Might not be the worst idea in the world. I'd certainly rather trade one of them instead of a Carrasco or Bastardo.

RSB: Because he was mostly a poor pitcher when he was here, fluke all-star nod aside. And also because of the losing, hapless teams he was part of, something we'd rather forget.

When does the Victorino for All-Star talk start? Seriously, the man is a dynamo, even if he isn't the phils starting centerfielder....

Byrd would be a symbolic step backward.

Maybe Paul Byrd is unpopular for losing a bunch of games for the Phils?

Had a good start one year, cooled off some, then went like 2-11 the next year.

I remember picking the one game to see at Fenway Park that the Phils lost back in the early IL days. The starting pitcher, Paul Byrd. 6 innings, 6 runs.

Hang on though - I recall that Byrd was actually pretty popular when he played in Philly, and also, that he only had one bad year out of three (combined record of 22-22). I don't think anyone would hold it against him that he played on losing teams.

I should mention that I'm only taking issue with the assertion that Byrd would be someone no Phillies fan would want to see again, a la Jose Mesa. I agree that he isn't the kind of guy who would make your team better with a deadline deal.

On tradeing for CC: No one wants to give up allot for a 1 year rental or for a pitcher who is going to want a 6 or 7 year deal. So the Indians might be better off holding on to him for the year and getting the draft choices when he signs elsewhere. There is no way they get what he is worth in a trade

I absolutely love the idea of trading for Aaron Cook. Maybe the Rockies would take Kendrick and a good-but-not-great prospect (Outman and/or Jaramillo, say). Cook's 2009-2011 contract is hefty--three years, $33 million if I'm reading it right--but he's the sort of guy who's well suited to succeed in a park like ours.

Ok. He was better overall than I remember him being. He left on a down note. Let me rephrase: The idea of acquiring Byrd will excite very few and remind many more of the types of pitchers Ed Wade would acquire at the deadline. Personally, I wouldn't have much problem with it if they need the extra pitcher by then.

not that i'm itching to get paul byrd on this team by any means, but just to give some credit where it's due...wasn't he a waiver wire acquisition? if so, he certainly has has to have been one of the more productive such acquisitions in recent phillies history, no?

Did anyone ever notice that clout never disagrees with Jason.

If one of our starters were to get injured, Byrd might be ok as a replacement, since he could probably be gotten without having to give up a top prospect. But, absent an injury, I'd be targeting guys like Cook, Harden, Bedard, or maybe Chris Young -- impact starters who would give us a dynamic 1-2 punch at the top.

Has anyone ever seen Clout and Jason in the same place at the same time?

Paul Byrd is a slightly better version of Kendrick. Good ground-ball tendencies, but not something like Derek Lowe. No strikeouts, but Byrd walks no one, while Kendrick is prone to walks sometimes.

Allow me to erase all doubt about this the double identity debate. From November 2005, a post about the Abe Nunez signing:

Jason: "As for the short term, there is reason to be modestly excited. On paper, he's an improvement over the rapidly eroding David Bell, who's under contract for one more season. Hardball Times Win Shares ranks the switch-hitting Nunez 8th best in the NL, compared to 16th for Bell. Fielding Win Shares are surprisingly high, putting him 6th in the league, below Bell, who is 2nd."

Clout: "Any logical reason to believe Nunez would be a better choice to platoon with Bell than any number of available AAA players? Nunez had a career year last season that bore absolutely no resemblance to anything he'd done before. He's a lifetime .248 hitter with terrible OB, no power, no speed and a glove that's league-average. He's just a slight upgrade over Tomas Perez offensively and not as good defensively. "

Brian G: Your obsession with me borders on unhealthy, something I (and others) have mentioned before. You need to discuss this with your shrink.

Jason: You're just trying to make me (you) look good.

"Considering that it seemed like the losing culture would or could never undergo this kind of sea change, it's really a beautiful thing."

RSB, be careful. clout doesn't like people bringing up intangibles like 'culture' or 'leadership'. In fact, some (not me) have asserted that Bobby Abreu was part of that losing 'culture', and that getting rid of him at any price was worth it. Now Bobby A is on the Yankees, and of course, they're maintaining their perpetually winning ways, aren't they?


Jason, I don't think Byrd was disliked in Philly - just not very good - but then, he was coming off an injury.

What irks me the most about Paul Byrd is that he was part of another one of Ed Wade's crap trades for a mediocre relief pitcher, who washed out shortly after the trade. Jose Santiago pitched about 60 - 70 decent innings for the Phils. Byrd's won 71 games and pitched over 1,000 innings for other teams.

It's yet another testament for the Phillies' oxymoron getting fair value back.


BTW, don't be too concerned about the Phillies not getting their props from the national media. Remember, last September was the story of the "Mets collapse", not the Phillies going 11-3 their last 14 games, and stomping and demoralizing the Mets 8 straight times.

Besides, I'd rather they fly below the radar for the time being. They've got a very tough schedule until the All Star break, so let them deal with that (it's enough pressure for one month) and take care of their business. If they get through the next 30 games and are still leading the division and can even expand their lead, they will be extremely hard to ignore.

I sure do not understand the quotes of Eaton pitched good this last game. If I remember right all (most) were saying he looked horrible and were hoping he could get through 5 innings so Durbin could get in there. The Braves team was a minor league lineup and every inning the started off with a hit or walk. Eaton definitely can be replaced (maybe Benson if he looks like he has it).

AWH: You're pretty sharp. Bobby Abreu is the reason the Yankees pitching has collapsed. I wonder if Girardi knows this?

I remember things differently about Byrd's popularity. Which isn't important.

fljerry: I always thought it was the results that counted. I could be wrong.

"Myers or Kendrick could be candidates to be swapped out somewhere for a rental. Might not be the worst idea in the world. I'd certainly rather trade one of them instead of a Carrasco or Bastardo."

And I feel the opposite. The point of a rental is to reach the World Series NOW. You need three starters for the playoffs. Right now the Phillies have two, assuming Myers manages to turn himself around for the long haul. Trading him to add a rental makes no sense if you're playing to win this year.

I would also argue that by the time Carrasco and Bastardo are ready to fill one of those roles as part of a Big Three -- if they ever are -- our window of opportunity will have closed. Heck, we still haven't replaced Burrell for 2009, and may not be able to.

I have been against trading prospects for one big piece, but that was because the Phillies needed more than one piece to get to the WS. This season, provided we are not witnessing the best they'll play all year, I think it's fair to say that a Sabathia-level starter -- someone roughly as good as Hamels, and better than Myers -- is the most obvious hindrance to playoff success.

While the odds of the team going through the season with zero injuries on the pitching staff are pretty slim, it seems to me that you don't go out and make a trade just for the sake of making a trade. If something happens, fine, then make a deal (or recall Happ) but since no one can predict the future (maybe our secondbaseman gets hurt again) keep your powder dry until you know what it is you'll need.

Jason: I hope you didn't take my "theory" as anything more than a joke. But if you did create Clout, RSB, MG and others, then you're a publicity genius... which around here will just get you accused of working for the Phillies FO.

Clout: Your "obsessed with me" line sounds like Hillary Clinton from about a year ago talking about Republicans. Hey, that's ironic, she's also now famous for losing a lot of debates.

Clout
results are the important thing - I think Eaton pitching against a good team the other day, would of been out in the first inning. Let me ask you - do you feel confident when Eaton is pitching? I bet nobody on beerleaguer can say yes.

Just heard Kruk on ESPN Radio. He said that he thinks the Phils will win the division by 10 games and it will be them and the Cubs for the NL. He says he doesn't think there is anywhere they can lose the division with their offense

Alby: Agreed, particularly with the mention of Bastardo. He's not a premium prospect.

The Phils will have a tough time putting together a competitive trade package, particularly if teams like Tampa or Arizona go all-in at the deadline.

anyway*

Someone call the Elias Sports Bureau: No way any team in baseball has scored more runs from the seventh inning on. You get that and the bullpen pitching the way it is and no wonder we're going gangbusters. It's been like that all year, not just this past weekend. You're also playing with fire a little bit when you're winning games with big innings late. Hey, I'll take it, though. Next 12 games - 3 at Fla, 3 at St. Louis, 3 hosting Boston, 3 hosting the Angels - will be very, very interesting. That's what we all said about the Braves series too, right? Go Phightins!

fljerry: The Braves are a bad team? Yeah, they've been crushed by injuries, but I think they're still an above .500 team.

The only guy I feel confident when he's pitching is Hamels. But when judging how a player is doing, I look at the results. I'd say 4 straight quality starts are pretty good results.

Am I the only one who thought Eaton got away with a lot of mistakes yesterday? Everything was up in the zone. How Francouer managed to get on top of that pitch to GIDP is a true testament to how poorly he's hitting right now. Eaton allowed way too many base runners yesterday. I'm staying on the Eaton sucks wagon until at least one more quality start.

We should all pause for a moment and praise our fearless leader for owning up and admitting that, once upon a time, he supported Abe Nunez.

Then again, it was in comparison to David Bell, so it's not that much of a stretch.

NJ_Fan: Good post. The matchups for the Fla. series:

Myers v. Nolasco
Hamels v. Miller
Moyer v. Olsen

Miller is ridiculously erractic and could be tough if he's on, but I like matchups except for that 3rd game.

Then the Cards and it opens with KK vs. that 7-2, 3.92 Kyle Lohse.

I was struck yesterday on posts around the internet saying Eaton was lucky when he got a ground ball DP.

If it was Jamie Moyer pitching, the posts would have been about how the crafty veteran got a DP ball when he needed it.

Agree clout. I worry that Olsen might go headhunting at someone like Utley (esp. if Uts has a big series) due to his (read: Olsen) history of near sociopath-ic disdain for the Fightins.

Look, there isn't any doubt that Eaton got pretty lucky yesterday. Giving up 8 hits and 2 BBs in 6 innings usually leads to more than 3 runs, particularly when you give them up at the beginning of innings, like Eaton did yesterday.

That said, whereas last year and earlier this year he may have blown up and lost control, he pitched well in jams yesterday, getting some key outs. I'm not complaining.

Bastardo is certainly a pitching prospect on the rise. I don't know exactly what his upside is relative to Carrasco and Outman, but it was speculated more than once in recent weeks that Bastardo was the one the brass was watching and possibly targeting for a call-up if Eaton's struggles had continued. That's got to count for something.

And as far as trading Myers, you obviously would do it under the assumption that the pitcher you received in return (e.g. Bedard or Sabathia) was demonstrably *better* than Myers, thus increasing the chances to reach the World Series. And I disagree with the notion that just because you are tying to win *now*, that you need to be willing to throw your future out the window, when it is possible for both present and future to be negotiated simultaneously. If the Phillies want to truly upgrade their pitching staff with one of the bigger names, it would require either a foreclosure of their pitching future - which seems silly in the face of having one of your starters 45 years old, one coming off a 6.00+ season, one who seems for all the world to be in over his head at the major league level, and another who very likely has a limited future in Philadelphia - or the price of one of those flawed but established rotation starters. You don't get someone of Bedard's caliber unless you are ready to part with at least two quality prospects - and they would almost certainly be pitching prospects. If the other alternative is swapping out Myers or Kendrick for something better, I go for that 100 times out of 100. Again, I think people are needlessly and drastically over-stating this so-called narrow window of opportunity to win it all. The one way you really ensure that this is the case is by trading prospects for rentals.

Bedard on the road?

24.1 IP, 1-2, 7.40 ERA

I'd trade for Bedard if they let us play his home games at SAFECO. Road games too.

In re: clout/JW
First of all, being the other party in the conversation, I never thought that clout blew up or went into a tirade or anything else. He simply maintained that Eaton has pitched better this year than people give him credit for, relative to the easier time they give to the rest of the staff (Hamels excluded). He's right about that, incidentally; but i maintained that, because he was so incredibly bad last year (his first in bloodstripes), he had a lot to prove. I still believe that, until he has an ERA+ at or over 100 for two games, I will interpret his pitching as "on the verge of collapsing."

Jason and clout, based on the stylistic differences and the areas of their expertise and interest are two different people. clout is, I'd guess, at least 15 years older than Jason, for instance, and never listens to some of the bands listed occasionally on the right side of the board. And just the fact that Jason occasionally posts the game chat early in order to go out for the evening indicates that he, at least, has a life beyond obscure statistical analysis.

(j/k, clout)

Is this the long-awaited Howard break-out?

clout, what part of the "(not me)" didn't you understand?

Nice, I just noticed that the Fish have to face Volquez tonight.

In re: Cook from Colorado
They need a real 2B. Maybe we could send them a package with Cardenas.

Looks like everybody here has forgotten about Benson or maybe nobody cares. But he was a pretty good pitcher and if hes anywhere where he previous was, will be an asset to our team

I know we're not supposed to rejoice at the Mets' troubles as it's so early in the season, but..

over at Metsblog they're already doing the "If the Phils go .500 then the Mets have to go .600" posts...

and at Mets.com the mailbag question is "Are the Mets really a great team?" and the answer is...nope.

The Metsbloggers are hoping for another 7 gm lead/17 gms left scenario where our teams switch roles. Sure, it's possible, but if it was that common, their collapse in 2007 wouldn't have gotten so much attention, and none of us Moyer's age or younger would know much about the 1964 Phils.

The Bedard "rumor" is about as laughable as the Zimmerman one was a couple weeks ago. The Mariners aren't trading Bedard period. Sabathia would take a bunch of prospects as other teams (with better farm systems) will also want him so he probably won't happen either. Sheets is questionable as the Brewers are in contention and not likely to trade their best pitcher. We wont likely get a top-line pitcher with our prospects.
Aaron Cook would be nice...he's had great results despite not ever striking anyone out and his style would play well in CBP but his price would likely be high as well.

On Bastardo: He IS NOT a premier prospect and everyone who isn't attached to the Phillies sees his upside as that of a LOOGY...unless he actually masters a 3rd pitch which he hasn't. His numbers came back to earth in AA. I fail to see how that throws him into the top prospect level...even in the Phillies depleted farm system.

El Capitan: The only positive I took from Eaton's shaky outing (Game Score: 44, with 50 as average) was his heretofore unshown ability to work out of jams.

Of course, it helped that two of Atlanta's three best hitters weren't in the starting lineup, and the third, Escobar, is on the umpires' tish list.

I especially liked the play where Eaton got to 0-2 on Escobar, then wasted one so far outside Coste could barely reach it. So Coste goes out and, I assume, explains that Escobar had been tossed out of the game the night before because of the way he keeps showing up umpires (this was what Wheeler said earlier, explaining YE's 9th-inning ejection the night before). Anything close and it's a called third strike. So Eaton fires a fastball, at the knees but a good six inches outside, and presto! Strike three called.

So yeah, I'd say Eaton was lucky considering how high he was with pitches. But he did induce that DP when most needed; as I recall, Coste visited the mound just before that play as well.

The Metsbloggers are hoping for another 7 gm lead/17 gms left scenario where our teams switch roles. Sure, it's possible, but if it was that common, their collapse in 2007 wouldn't have gotten so much attention, and none of us Moyer's age or younger would know much about the 1964 Phils.

Yes, but there are 97 games left in the season, not 17... not only haven't we won anything yet, the Mets haven't lost either.

NEPP - A Bedard trade anywhere seems unlikely (especially to the Phils), but the difference between the Bedard rumor and the Zimmerman rumor is this: we actually know who started it, and it's getting serious attention from the press.

Of course, it was the M's press that pushed the idea to begin with.

I like Aaron Cook. He's a great fit for CBP and is sporting a 143 ERA+ at the moment. He also seems to be less expensive.

I feel like this trade talk is as premature as the Mets are done talk, however.

We have won games through today at a .600 clip. Mets have lost games at a below .500 clip. I think last year after so many games the Mets weren't at .600 and the Phils were over .500.

Yeah, it's a long season, etc. But I'm not gonna lower my enjoyment of what the Phils have done so far just in case it doesn't pay off later. There's plenty of time for gloom later if that happens.

What about the idea of acquiring even more relief? Like another setup man?

To be clear, I'm not sure the Mets are done and am not convinced the Phils are in cruise control to the postseason.

But after a Feb/March of reading the gloats of Mets trolls here, there and everywhere, one is allowed to relish their troubles, whether they're destined to be season-long or only temporary.


Sophist: NEPP - A Bedard trade anywhere seems unlikely (especially to the Phils), but the difference between the Bedard rumor and the Zimmerman rumor is this: we actually know who started it, and it's getting serious attention from the press.

I agree with that...but I find it about as laughable a concept...I blame it on a bored sports reporter in the Seattle area. Barring a firing of their FO, it won't happen. They gave up far too much to cut strings on an affordable pitcher after 3 months.

I personaly don't want another reliever but as long as he's good and cheap, it can't hurt. You have to think that Durbin and Gordon will come back to earth a tad at some point and some injuries will strike. It couldn't hurt to have another reliever.

Jason, have anyone in mind? I like the idea and have wished we had Jon Rauch in our pen since the end of last year when he was close to lights out against us. An even better bullpen will only help.

EastFallowfield, there's also this point:

Since May 1, 2007, Phils are 117-85 (.579).
Mets are 103-97 (.515).

Since June 1, 2007, Mets are 84-88 (.488).

For the Mets, this isn't just about .500 baseball in ~60 games.

Here ya go:

2007 Phillies thru 62 games: 32-30
2008 Mets thru 62 games: 30-32

2007 Mets thru 65 games: 37-28
2008 Phils thru 65 games: 39-26

So they're 2 losses worse than we were last year and we're 2 wins better than they were last year. So far. Lotta games to go. Musn't count any unhatched chickens.

Swindle?

Jason: I don't buy into the notion that clout is your alter ego. But I'm not sure your excerpt of the Nunez-Bell discussion proves it. After all, clout really didn't come down on you nearly as hard as he comes down on most everyone else, with whom he finds himself on opposite sides of a debate. He merely respectfully disagreed.

To end anyone's conspiracy theories, I propose a test. In your next article, write something like this: "In retrospect, the beginning of the Phillies' turnaround can be traced to the day they traded Bobby Abreu." If clout goes anything less than ballistic, we'll know you two are really the same person.

EF - Still more context to that last one (not that I disagree with your moderation):

Phils started 2007 4-11, as we all know. So they were actually playing ~.600 baseball in getting to 32-30 (28-19).

The Mets started '08 9-6. They've been 21-26 since.

RSB: I'm making the rather mundane point that you don't trade your No. 2 starter when you're trying to assemble a Big Three. Having a better Big 2 isn't going to get you through three rounds of playoffs, which is the only reason for trading for a starter in the first place.

Who's the one who "likely has a limited future in Philadelphia"? Myers?

"Again, I think people are needlessly and drastically over-stating this so-called narrow window of opportunity to win it all."

Next year no Burrell, and no obvious replacement for him, unless you're counting on Jason "Ouch!" Werth to play full-time (he still can't hit RHPs). Possibly no Lidge, which is why I think Myers might have more future here than we think; unless Lidge is signed, that's a starting pitcher we'd be down. Two, really, as Moyer most likely retires. That's not a major overhaul, but playing .600 ball is no foregone conclusion.

We should note that not all the names bandied about would incur equal costs. Bedard is under team control for another two years, so he's worth more than Sabathia, who walks in November. Myers is signed for '09, at $12 million; I'd give that up for Bedard, but not Sabathia. And if you do trade Myers for Bedard, you're still no closer to playoff series prowess, IMHO.

Sophist-I know. Like Ryan Howard says, I still think there's improvement possible, at least on the offense side.

If so, we may be able to drop some caveats at some point this season before the last game of the regular season.

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EST. 2005

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