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Saturday, June 28, 2008

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The Phils are 4-12 in games in which Myers starts. His ERA+ is 80. Is there a worse opening day started in the league?

The Phils haven't really helped him, however. I believe they've scored 61 runs in those games that he starts. That's about 3.8/start.

That's probably 4-13 now, actually. B-R.com doesn't have tonight's game listed yet. Which also means his runs support per game is actually worse. About 3.59/start.

I'm not going to consider the offense, which has its own problems of late, but focus on the pitching. It seems to me like there are two options:

1) Bring up Happ and either place Gordon or Myers on the DL. If Myers goes to the DL, Happ replaces him in the rotation. Or if you move Gordon onto the DL, then place Myers in his spot in the bullpen (preferably not as the set up man but maybe 6th/7th inning guy) and place Happ in the rotation.

2) Move Durbin into the rotation. Let Myers become the mop-up man or long man in pen.

Option 2 might be a good compromise. The FO doesn't seem to like Happ and this way they can save face and claim they're not giving up on Myers by giving him a chance to figure it out in game situation which may not be as high leverage as he's been accustomed to as either a closer or starter.

The goal, it seems to me is trying to shorten the game by getting it to the bullpen as quick as we can. Of course we never thought we'd be saying this last year at this point last season, but the bullpen is our strength and we need to start playing like it is. I feel much comfortable getting to the 6th and 7th inning with someone like Madson or Seanez than letting our 4 average SPs take the mound to face the opposing lineup a third time through the order.

Sophist: I'm not a expert on getting online stats to support an argument like everyone else here, but I'd be willing to bet--as your post supports--that both Eaton and Myers do not get much run support when they take the mound as opposed to Moyer and Kendrick who have tended to benefit from the games where the Phillies decide to bludgeon the opposing team.

Still the numbers on Myers speak for themselves. Without the velocity and with the lack of control, Myers provides stiff competition with the Phanatic for the amount of souvenirs given at the Park.

I don't really understand what the Phillies have against Happ, but if they preferred to try putting Durbin in the rotation and moving Myers to an insignificant role in the bullpen, I wouldn't be offended. Conventional wisdom says: why would you move Durbin to the rotation when he seems to have found his niche as a reliever? While I don't disagree with that conventional widom, I would also pose this possbility: maybe it's not just that he has found his niche in the bullpen; maybe it's that he has simply developed into a good pitcher, irrespective of his role. After all, he pitched largely as a starter in 2007, with serviceable results. This year, his results as a reliever are significantly better than last year's and maybe the same would be true in a starting capacity. The possibility can't summarily be discounted unless it's tried.

Of course, the main problem with moving Durbin to the rotation is that you risk doing serious damage to your bullpen -- especially with Gordon's status now a question mark. One way or another, however, enough is enough with Myers. He can't be permitted to make another start.

Hey, I posted a photo gallery of pictures from this game here:

http://picasaweb.google.com/sieglertx/RangersPhilliesGameJun272008

I wrote about the game at my Rangers site www.rangerfans.com too.

Joe Siegler
rangerfans.com

Here's the one problem with disabling Myers: it means you can't trade him. Unless Myers comes out and explicitly says he's hurt, I seriously doubt they will volunteer him for the DL. Most likely thing is that he'll 'temporarily' swap roles with Chad Durbin because I don't think the Phillies really want to bring up either Happ or Carrasco.

But I have to say that even I can't imagine another team would risk trading for Myers at this point; whether or not he or the team will admit to it, the general feeling among execs has got to be that he's hurt. Pretty much a no-win situation, I guess.

This month of June has been utterly bizarre. The Phillies went from looking like a 'premier team' to a lifeless, grim death watch seemingly in a matter of days. We keep waiting for the ship to right and it just keeps sinking. First place or not, they've lost eight games off their W/L record in three weeks. One of the most stark and unforeseen turn of events since (as Parker alluded)...the '07 Mets.

BAP: I'm also assuming that the Phils are not going to get a SP come trade season that will make a difference. However, they can swing some deal for a Fuentes or Marte. In fact, I feel quite certain this will happen. And once it does you'll have the ability to move Durbin to the rotation.

Either way, I think they need to do some re-alignment with their pitching. But the key point is that they do it now (i.e. experiment) so that they really know what they need when its trade deadline time. None of this, "he's going to come around stuff." Switching Durbin's role with Myers give the FO the ability to say the "we still believe that Brett will turn it around" fairy tale they love to spin.

P.S. I like Happ. I just also assume that due to the way he's been treated he is, at best, considered the emergency call up by the organization.

At this point, I'd be willing to trade for practically anyone. Vicente Padilla. Odalis Perez. Wandy Rodriguez. Whomever. The bad news is that, with Arizona going 12-24 since May 18, those struggling NL West teams are a lot less inclined to dump their starting pitching.

The Phils should make 3 roster moves pronto.

1. Place both Gordon and Myers on the DL. The Phils are basically just resting Gordon right now, only using him on a limited basis. They want to try and get him to August and September (and hopefully beyond), with some tread left on the tire. Put him on the DL now, and he will have had, for all intents and purposes, an entire month off. With the quality of the Phils bullpen, he isn't really needed right now anyway.

Myers should have been DL'd weeks ago. Something either mechanically or physically has been wrong for a long time with him. He is not helping the team in any way, and deserves a demotion. They did the same thing with Eaton last year, when he had earily similar numbers.

2. With those 2 pitchers shelved, you bring up Happ and purchase the contract of RJ Swindle from Lehigh Valley. Both have earned a promotion. Happ has been very solid for most of the year, and when healthy, has always been an effective starter in the system. He is coming off a 6 inning, 1 hit, 9 strikeout performance in his last outing and has been terrific in June. He more than deserves a chance to pitch in the majors, and he deserves some starts while Myers is out. No one else is ready either to do it. Carrasco is too inconsistant at AA. Castro can't do it. Benson isn't healthy enough yet. Brummett just got to AA, so he isn't ready. Outman is now a reliever. Blackley has been injured, and has not been solid enough to promote. Bastardo is currently hurt. Happ is the guy. Plus, I think he could really benefit from being around Moyer and Hamels. Especially, Moyer.

Swindle has done everything that has been asked of him, at every level in the system. He is getting lefties out and throwing strikes. The pen has needed a 2nd lefty all year. He will strictly be a lefty specialist. Give him a shot. The numbers don't lie. They are tremendous. Plus, Romero will likely slide into the setup role, now that Flash will be gone. So, that lefty will definitly be needed now, to be used in that tough 6th or 7th inning spot.

3. Send Ruiz down to AAA and call up Jaramillo. Ruiz is lost at the plate. He is losing AB's to Coste. He needs to go down to AAA, play everyday, and find some confidence. Ruiz has always been a decent hitter. But, he can't hit anything right now. Jaramillo has been gunning out everybody in AAA this year and after a dreadful start, has hit solidly for the past 2 months. Plus, if he comes up and shows something, it might help his trade value, if the Phils make a deadline deal.

This team has been very conservative with moves over the years. But, its time to shake things up a bit and promote the guys that have EARNED it. Not guys hitting .170 at AAA, just because they are on the 40 man roster. Not guys hitting .200 at AA, for the same reason. These are 3 guys, that have earned a promotion with their play. And, as bad as this team has been going, adding a few guys to the roster, who have been doing a good job, can't hurt.

And, one last one...

Don't fool with Durbin. He is thriving in the role he is in. Don't screw with a strength of the team. This isn't Cy Young we are talking about. The team has caught lightening in a bottle with this guy this year, so ride it out and keep him pitching in the same role all year.

Before beginning my tirade, let me make an attempt at rationality. The Phillies have currently lost 8 of 9. Although the current stretch feels like an unprecedented display of ineptitude, it isn't out of the ordinary in a 162-game season, even for a good team. Last year, they lost 8 of 10 to open the season &, 6 of 7 during a later stretch. In June, 2006, they actually lost 6 straight, then won 2, then lost 7 more in a row -- only to come back and finish just 1 game out of the playoffs.

That said, it is time for the FO to do something. They have not merely lost 8 of 9. They have lost 5 straight series & are on the verge of making it 6. They are in their third straight week of sustained losing. There is always a balance to be struck between panicking at the first bad stretch, and sitting back & doing nothing while Rome burns. In the Phillies' case, the scale is about to break because the balance is weighted so heavily in favor of the latter. The season is 3 months old, we have a decidedly mediocre 43-38 record and, even before our losing skid, we've had plenty of areas of weakness on the team. Yet our FO hasn't made a single transaction all year that wasn't injury related. I don't think any other team in baseball can say that. Do SOMETHING for crying out loud! Even a minor move, like waiving Taguchi & calling up Snelling, or waiving Condrey & calling up Swindle, would at least let the fans & players see that the FO is actually paying attention & trying to improve the team. It's incredibly frustrating watching our FO sit back and do absolutely nothing while the Phillies piss away what, only 10 days ago, was a 7 1/2 game lead over the Mets and Braves.

The Phils are 4-12 in games in which Myers starts. His ERA+ is 80. Is there a worse opening day starter in the league?
@Sophist: Just one came to mind.

Zito's record is 3-11. His team's, when he starts, is 4-12 (he missed a start -- against he Phils, coincidentally -- when he was briefly moved to the 'pen). His ERA+ is 72.

But don't get me wrong. "He's better than Zito" isn't meant as a rebuttal. Myers is draining. And I'm just watching.

Good morning.

I would be more bummed out than I am, but:

1. I am getting loss anguish fatigue- it's beginning to seem normal

2. Myers started, so my expectations were in line with what happened, and

3. Grand Slam for Pete Happy! It just makes me smile.

Have a good day.

Winning doesn't come easy, at least not for this bunch of chuckleheads called the 2008 Philadelphia Phillies. 4-12 over the last 16 games is an accomplishment, an accomplishment that's worth a boot to the nards. Winner, winner, chicken dinner...you suck! No more excuses blamed on the weather, bad luck, tough schedule, ingrown toenails, the Writers' Strike, or distractions caused by the New Kids On The Block reunion. It's time to balls up and earn your paychecks. Like a foul-mouthed Nike, Just F*@king Do it!

Myers sucks. With his latest effort his Road ERA has to be up in the 8+ range...(it was 7.56 going into the game).

My quick estimate: Brett Myers has an 8.54 ERA in away games. That's pathetic.

Nope, F#&#ed up the math...its "only" 8.24...that's much better.

This loss is on Myers, but let the record show that the runs that proved to be the margin of victory for Texas were given up by the bullpen.

As a middle reliever, Condrey's job is never more important than when he comes in with a lead or a tie game. It seems that in those situations he's at his worst. He is only reliable when the game is well out of hand or the Phils have a big lead.

Well... Phils are 2-8 in their last ten, Myers is 3-9 a little more than a week from the AS break, No full time starter is hitting over .300......

BUT......

The Phils are somehow, almost magically, holding on to first place.

If god himself told me those stats prior to the season I wouldn't have believed him...

They're probably gonna drop out of first before they get their @##es straight and realize that playing like little leaguers isn't gonna cut it.

Keep Durbin in the pen where he's thriving and belongs. If Happ wasn't doing well, I could see moving Durbin, but there's not reason to mess with him.

My stoopid theory on Happ is that they truly believe he will get eaten alive at a Major League Level and, since they'd like to trade him just before the deadline, do not want to expose him. That seems a little too clever for the Phils' FO, however. A more likely theory is that he's been an outspoken critic of cigar-smoking.

BedBeard: Agreed. Happ is the obvious choice. It's time to find out about him. RSB had a silly post yesterday comparing Carrasco to KK saying, "Part of the reason why KK got the nod over Happ is the same reason why you'd think Carrasco would: his stuff, his repertoire translated better into major-league success."

In fact, the opposite is true. KK was, and is, a soft-tossing finesse pitcher, just as Happ is. Carrasco is a hard thrower with command problems still mastering his secondary pitches. Last night's performance was the latest example.

And let me be claer: Carrasco is a superb prospect. Probably the best in the system. But he's not ready yet. Maybe in Sepetember for a look-see in middle relief, but not now.

Yet another article that does NOT mention Happ as an internal option:

http://www.philly.com/philly/sports/20080628_Myers_and_Phillies_lose_to_Rangers.html

This is the 3rd article i've found over the last several weeks that does not even mention Happ as an option to help this team, yet Benson is sited. Are these writers getting info from the F.O. that Happ isn't good enough?

dnny b: Your posts are always well reasoned. I'd make one slight adjustment: Ship out Condrey and give Swindle a shot. Romero is not a good choice for setup. He had a great run last season, but that was a career best. His performance this season is more normal and he just walks too many to be a quality setup. It's going to have to be Gordon UNLESS they move Myers to the pen or make a trade.

Swindle, a classic minor league lifer, throws so soft that you have to wonder about his ability to make it in The Show. Guys like him have plenty of success against overanxious minor leaguers, but major leaguers know the zone better and will wait on his stuff. I think odds of success are slim. That said, he can't be any worse than Condrey. Given him a month in middle relief and see what happens.

BedBeard: I wouldn't read too much into that. I don't think a single writer mentioned KK last season until he was recalled.

I keep thinking about the Dempster fella in Chicago and how, when told he would move to the rotation, manned up and worked his ass off so he would, I don't know, be prepared for the regular season.

Sounds nothing like #39.

I hope that quick exit last night from the clubhouse took him right to a freaking gym.

All you need to know about Myers problems right now: He threw 66 pitches last night, 33 were balls.

Location, location, location.

Don't screw with Durbin. Something that hasn't been mentioned in awhile...if the Phillies are going to keep Myers up, then he can switch spots with Madson. Madson seems to have his act together for the most part this year. He can't do any worse than Myers and may even surprise. Get a decent lefty and send out Condrey. Eject Jimmy Rollins out of the number 3 spot in the order! Move him to nine (this weekend) until he gets his stroke back. He's been horrible!

(Reposted)

Its time for a shocking reappraisal of the situation:

1.) Hamels is the rotation: It is ridiculous to assume that Kendrick/Myers/Moyer/Eaton can be expected to do anything consistently. Eaton stinks, even if he only doesn't look as bad as Myers mostly because of good luck. Kendrick may have pitched good in his last start, but it is impossible to ignore how bad he has been at certain points this season. Moyer, I love him, but I have to be realistic. How much can they count on Moyer to pitch like he has been recently. He is just not likely to keep it up. Even if he does, then it would be Moyer and Hamels as the only starters that could support the team. Most likely it is just Hamels. We need another pitcher as a sure number two, and soon. I have completely given up on Myers as a candidate to fill that role.

That much said, Phils also need a contact bat that is a good hitter. I propose Randy Winn. He is a switch hitter with 10-20 HR power, and will bat close to .300. He will steal around 10-25 bases. This would allow Werth and Jenkins to be expendable for trades for a pitcher. Additionally, Winn could probably had at prices that won't break the bank. He could be a true 2 hole hitter with speed and a good defensive player.

As far as catcher goes, they should probably promote Jarmillo. Doesn't he bat Switch? He could bat with one arm and outperform Ruiz, so his hitting designation is largely irrelevant at this point. Just get him up as soon as possible.

I went to the game last night and I watched the entire game starting from the phillies early warm ups. There is something else going on with the team that is concerning. They look exhausted... Rollins especially. There is little life or pop in anything he does.
I think the lack of offense has been putting too much pressure on the staff hence their downward spiral.
Howard is absolutly lost at the plate... LOST.
The only player that has any life to his bat right now is Utley. The 7 runs last night were deceiving because they didn't put any pressure on the Rangers all night.
Lets hope they right this next Month but right now they look lifeless and dead in all phases of the game.

Should they bring up Happ to start in Myers spot, it would work out perfectly.

Happ starts today against Syracuse.

The Phils have a day off on Monday. In Atlanta, Kendrick will pitch on Tuesday. Eaton on Wednesday and Myers spot would be Thursday. You can pitch Happ on Thursday in Atlanta, on his regular rest. Atlanta is a team that lefties have had success against, and Turner Field is a big ballpark, so that might be a good spot to bring him up and make his first start of the year.

Then, Hamels would make the 1st start of the Mets series, next Friday. Moyer would pitch on Saturday, KK on Sunday and perinneal Mets killer Eaton would start on Monday (Happ would miss the Mets series). He would then start again, when St. Louis comes in on that Tuesday.

Its layed out perfectly, should the Phils do the right thing and promote him.

I'm okay with swapping Condry and Swindle and letting Ruiz figure things out back down in the minors.

At a minimum, though, what I'd like to happen is for Madsen and Durbin to be left in the bullpen, Gordon goes on the DL, Myers slides to the 'pen, and Happ gets called up.

GM Carson:

I never considered the possibility of a "New Kids on the Block" reunion as a possible source for the Phillies woes. However, I must admit that the mere mention of such outrageousness has forced me into a bedridden fit of nausea, and I would be hard pressed to blame the Phillies for going into full fledged panic upon hearing such news.

It seems like there a lot of posters here that are very familiar with our minor league prospects. I personally am not, so thanks for the scouting reports. There seems to be one recurring theme concerning the pitchers. We almost never seem to have anything but soft tossers. Even at the major league level we've always been short on flame throwers. Wagner and Lidge are the only really hard throwers I can remember for quite some time. I know velocity isn't everything (see Kyle Fahrnsworth) but it can make up for a multitude of sins. I get jealous when I see other teams bring numerous guys out of the pen that hit 95+ on the radar gun. We currently have only Lidge that can do that. The Red Sox have 6 or 7 guys that can light it up like that. (I know because they are on ESPN 12 or 13 times a week.) Maybe I'm addicted to speed, but I wouldn't mind seeing some live arms down on the farm for once.

Denny, I totally agree with what you said. Happ, Swindle, and Jaramillo all deserve their chances and now is the time since Myers and Ruiz are awful and Gordon is injured and just taking up a roster spot. I also agree that Durbin should stay in the bullpen, he is pitching great and I don't want that to chance because it would only weaken this bullpen. Plus I don't think he would be much better in the rotation than Happ, but he would obviously be better than Myers at this point.

I would also DFA Taguchi and bring up Watson from AAA or Snelling if he is not injured (I am not sure what happened to him). I would consider trading Jenkins and replacing him with Snelling if Jenkins doesn't get out of his funk and if Snelling can prove he can stay healthy enough for a platoon/pinch hitting. Than Watson could still replace Taguchi, since he is hitting .300 at AAA, has a some ML experience, and would be a better pinch runner and defensive replacement.

Not sure we want too many fastball pitchers pitching for us at the Bank. Thanks.

Watson is organizational filler nothing more. Snelling is still injured. Bring up Donald who is versatile and can hit...especially against leftys.

johnt: I don't know about fastball pitchers not having any success in hitters parks. (See Edinson Volquez in Cincy, Josh Beckett in Boston, Sabbathia/Carmona in Cleveland, Roy Oswalt in Houston in previous years).

I think the bottom line is that if you throw more pitches that miss bats than ones that hit them, the park you play in doesn't matter.

The fastball pitchers in Boston seem to do OK in their band box.

johnt: I should also add the rest of the Red Sox rotation except Tim Wakefield to that list of fastball pitchers who have success in pitchers parks.

Crap, I mean hitters parks.

If you want to solve the problem,you MUST start at the top. New management,GM, manager?, and even announcers.Get the "wheels" moving!

jr:OMG. Don't get me started on Wheels. He is my kryptonite.

"Kendrick may have pitched good in his last start, but it is impossible to ignore how bad he has been at certain points this season."

And so has Hamels. But you single out Kendrick here?

I was not expecting a good showing on this current interleague swing. But I never expected our hitters to go this cold. Something has to jump start them. I don't condone fighting but maybe Myers will pull a Chacon and blow up when he gets sent to the bullpen leading to end to this teams sleepwalking ways. Pitching had its writing on the wall for months. Hamels is good. Moyer is a grinder. Kendrick is lucky. Eaton is unlucky. Myers is hurt. It's the same pattern week in and week out. If the FO fails make changes this week then I worry about the four game series with the Mets. ABTM

From yesterday's article by by jason: "Beerleaguer will be in autopost mode this weekend."

A few hours later, this headline: "Saturday thread: Myers awful in 8-7 loss to Texas."

I understand how the autopost function might know to automatically spit out a "Myers Awful" title every time he pitches. But I'm amazed it could predict the exact final score.

BAP: That's Good

"He is only reliable when the game is well out of hand or the Phils have a big lead."

clout, while I agree that Condrey should be the last option out of the pen, gamelog evidence suggests that your statement is not entirely accurate.

BTW, the margin of victory last evening was the run given up by everyone's favorite blackbelt.

The good news is that Hamels is on the mound tonight. The bad news is that we face Padilla, who is having an excellent year. The over-under on the Phillies hit total is 4.

Phargo summed up my present feelings about the Phillies: "I am getting loss anguish fatigue- it's beginning to seem normal." With each loss, I care less and less. I tuned in and out of last night's game and will probably do the same tonight. I hope the ticket-buying public does the same, as that's the only message that management cares about or understands.

phillies need AS break to arrive. Now.

either that, or they need a doctor to prescribe them some beanies. this is getting ridiculous.

Clay Condrey is the poor man's Geoff Geary.

denny b - Completely agree about skipping Myers spot in the rotation against the Braves and inserting Happ for at least one start.

actually, in addition to beanies, the team collectively needs some hormone leveling drug. it's as if they're all co-habitating women going through the same monthly cycle.

That was actually Condrey's first loss since 2006. He'd been 6-0 over the last 2 years. That stat, of course, is an artifact of the way he is used. When you are used primarily in blow-out games, it's impossible to get the loss -- although you might win a few games where the team makes a big comeback.

Condrey was certainly a bizarre choice to pitch in that situation. You've got a 2-run lead and the opposing team has the tying runs on base, and you bring in your worst reliever? How about bringing in someone who can get a strikeout or 2?

I think Cholly manages these games with the same auto-function that jason uses to post weekend posts. The auto-function says, "When you're starter comes out of the game before the 5th inning, it's Clay Condrey time." Never mind the game situation.

AWH: Re: Condrey, I'm not sure what you're referring to. Here is what he gives up in close games:

Within 1 run: 1.076 OPS
Within 2 runs: .810 OPS
Within 3-4 runs: .920 OPS

And, when the game is out of hand, margin greater than 4 runs: .782 OPS, his best work.

One more Condrey stat: In innings 4 through 6, which is when you actually need your middle reliever, Condrey yields an OPS of 1.007.

BAP: Yeah, either that or he called Tony LaRussa. In long relief use your weakest reliever first and work your way through the pen. Manage by numbers. Or maybe he just has a wheel he spins in the dugout. Ding ding ding, its Condrey time.

isn't inability to focus and do work one of the DSM criteria for getting prescribed Adderall? if that's the case, howard and myers should be hooked up without a doubt.

who knows, maybe they were beanie poppers in the past, and with a league-wide severe crackdown this year and impact of the steroid situations arising from Clemens, Roberts, and others, maybe they stopped taking them altogether.

any beerleaguer a doctor? anybody? anybody?

Here's something I'll bet no one has ever said; "Oh good he's bringing in Condrey"

I was at the game too and something is really coming to light to me that reminds me why I wasnt excited about Charlie Manual coming here in the first place. When it comes to important, late game decisions, he really makes some head scratching decisions. I can complain about this because I shouted it out before it happened several times last night but with runners on 2nd and 3rd and 1 out with Hamilton at the plate, you have to walk him. End of story. Im screaming to walk him and they pitch to him anyways. Then, in the 9th inning, I think it seemed like Charlie pinch hit for Pedro. It was hard to tell in the stadium but why would you take out your grand slam hitter? I guess you could never do it but if you were going to pinch hit for anyone, hit for Howard after his 3 K performance earlier in the night. Was there any doubt he was going to whiff?!?

I guess I just get frustrated when I am yelling at the stadium, "dont do this because this is what will happen" and it happened every time from the 8th inning on.

Charlie, get your head together. If you want to make big changes to the lineup, hit Victorino, Worth, Burrell, Utley, Feliz, Rollins, Howard, Coste, and the pitcher. You might think this sounds a little rediculous but get some guys who can make things happen up early. Might even switch Utley and Worth to give Chase more protection and try to get him rolling again. The best thing for Howard is to put him at the bottom of the lineup so that guys start walking him more. Get him on base and get him part of the offense again. Dont put Rollins #3 when he's struggling. Stop basically putting the whole offense on Burrell knowing that if he doesnt knock in the runs, the next 3 guys are striking out. Its a joke and everyone on this board knows it.

Ugh....Sorry for the rant. Im starting to wonder if we can right this ship.

The last 70s and early 80s were about greenies, the 93 Phillies could've been sponsored by Merck or Amgen... maybe the 2007 Phillie pennant run is a poster child for amphetamines? *shrug*

The latest bizarre post from Parker:
"Kendrick may have pitched good in his last start, but it is impossible to ignore how bad he has been at certain points this season."

KK has started 20 games. In only 3 of them has he allowed 5 or more earned runs. That makes him better than Myers, equal to Hamels but not as good as Eaton & Moyer who've only allowed 5+ runs twice each. The fact is, except for Myers, this rotation has very few blow-up games.

And another thing: why isn't Gordon on the DL already? He is serving absolutely no function in our bullpen -- having pitched just 3 times in the last 20 days, pitching terribly in all 3 performances. The Phillies have acknowledged that his shoulder is "balky." So what's he doing wasting a roster spot & reducing us to a 6-man bullpen? The other 29 major league teams all seem to understand that pitchers with balky shoulders belong on the DL. How come the Phillies always have to let the injured player continue playing for 2 months of horrible results, before they finally put the guy on the DL? Is it because they're so cheap that they don't want to pay for the new guy on the roster?

Put Gordon on the DL. Demote Condrey. Waive Taguchi. Move Myers to the back of the bullpen. Call up Happ, Swindle, and Snelling or, if he's injured, Slayden or Donald. Any other major league team would have done all of these things by now.

well, if the players who used to take Adderall aren't taking them, they need to adjust their lifestyles. that means less partying. can we put a curfew on these guys?

either that or someone needs to start a brawl to get these guys' blood moving. their apathy is pretty pathetic.

clout, there you go again. You normally make excellent points, but your response suggests that we should have serious concerns about your reading comprehension skills.

Please read my post again. I referred to GAMELOGS, not performance in totality. A cursory review of Condrey's indicates he is not always a failure in close situations, which is what you maintained in your post. That's all I wrote.

Next time, please do me and the rest of the gentle readers the courtesy of responding to what they write.


On a positive note, thanks to you and others for responding to Parker's controlled substance induced post.

AWH: Sorry. I misread your post to mean that you thought Condrey did well in close-game situations.

Line-up tonight I'd like to see:

Victorino (CF)
Dobbs (1B)
Utley (2B)
Burrell (LF)
Howard (DH)
Rollins (SS)
Coste (C)
Jenkins (RF)
Feliz (3B)

And to be honest, I would seriously consider sitting Howard at DH tonight and just let Hamels hit for himself. He has been swinging a much better bat lately than Howard has.

I would also tell Vic, Jimmy and Utley that I want them running by the time the second pitch is thrown to the next batter if they get on base. 2nd and 3rd, every time. I would be hit & Run with everyone except Howard at the plate with a man on (two many swings and misses).

Bottom line, Charlie has to get some life back into this team anyway that he can .... As someone said earlier, the AS break cannot come fast enough

Philly in Big D: Cholly did NOT pinch hit for Feliz. He pinch RAN for him in the 8th with Taguchi. Since Feliz is one of the slowest runners in baseball and represented the tying run, that's not a bad move. However, I generally agree with you that Cholly's in-game decisions are a weakness.

JMARR: I'd use that lineup.

Re: Howard, keep in mind Padilla is a RHP. Howard's OPS vs. RHP is .869. He's had a lot of problems this season and the biggest is his utter failure vs. LHP. But he's still quite useful vs. RHP.

On Myers:

He got called out in the Inquirer, and failed to step up to the challenge. He says he's not hurt, but his performance makes one wonder.

clout says it's about location - do we have another Rick Ankiel on our hands?


Brett Myers seems to be, to a degree, a clubhouse leader. His organization of the ST punking of Kendrick would seem to indicate that. He's reasonably outspoken, and seemingly wants to be THE MAN. The Phillies ackowledged this by making him the opening day starter.


Unfortunately, for Myers, the Phillies and their fans, in the game of "Man or Mouse", the 2008 version of Myers has grown whiskers.

Response to those who said Myers was the worst opening-day starter in the league: Ian Snell has been arguably worse, if one compares their WHIPs (Snell is now on the DL, the same place where Myers should go). http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/players/7411 (note: I don't mention this to exculpate Myers.)

Looking at tonight's starters, Padilla is 10-3 with a 3.74 ERA and 1.37 WHIP, while Hamels is 7-5 with a 3.27 ERA and a 1.03 WHIP. I have to think that Padilla has been lucky thus far, comparing his ERA and WHIP. A correction should be coming soon - hopefully tonight.

Tonight's the night that Taguchi should get a start in LF, IMO, with Burrell as the DH. If he doesn't do something positive tonight against Padilla, a righty (he has a .725 OPS against righties this season), cut him.

2008 Myers has been, IMO, the biggest disappointment this season, with the 2008 Howard a very close second.

Other "disappointments" have been (in no particular order) Ruiz, Jenkins and Taguchi.

Also, while I didn't expect Rollins to repeat last season, he has not played as well as expected. Regadless of what he says, I think the ankle is affecting his play.

It will be interesting to do an All Star break report card on the team, complete with grades.

I agree about Howard. Wouldn't mind seeing him get a seat for a few days. But it should be only against lefties. With a little luck a couple of righties in a row might get him out of this quagmire. I know it's wishful thinking but at this point we are all kind of grasping at straws. The Phils included.

Condrey's only real value to this team is as a long reliever. He doesn't have even one above average pitch. Additionally, his control is at best average too. Does this make him a horrendous pitcher? No, but T-AAA teams are littered with guys like Condrey.

just read that the sixers' draft pick, Speights, a 6-10, 255lbs PF/C (with a 7-2 wingspan), said that he threw 85mph as a 14 year old. With a little work, he'd probably be able to throw high 90's. Can the phils make a deal with the sixers and have him be Philly's 2-sport star? Their seasons barely overlap. If I remember correctly, Chris Young of SD used to be a pretty decent center for Princeton (who dominated LA Laker Chris Mihm during the NCAAs) before he got signed by Pittsburgh, and now he's a bonafide all-star. maybe we can get Speights to convert as well?

What worries me about tonight's game is Padilla bringing extra motivation to his first game against the Phillies.

I hope Cole the Ace shows up!

Condrey is lousy. I don't need to check the stats to know that when he comes in I want to grab a bat. Major league hitters practically run to the plate to face guys like him.

I may well be a "minority of one" on the issue, but frankly, I don't share the big clamor here lately for Jason Jaramillo to get an immediate callup. As Manuel recently acknowledged the obvious, Ruiz has been slumping and pressing -- as he has at times in the past, but Ruiz's batting numbers are no worse -- even as they now stand -- than those of a number of other major league catchers. Ruiz's defense is more than adequate, and he had a solid full season in the big leagues last season -- which should mean for something.

Jaramillo, on the other hand, while showing up with a cocky attitude, couldn't hit a beachball in Spring Training, or during the first two months of the International League season either, for that matter. Rather than being the "heir apparent" to the Phillies' starting catching job, as Jaramillo thought he was at the beginning of ST, Jaramillo is merely an "ok" AAA hitter who hasn't yet shown himself to be impervious to slumps at the AAA level. The guy -- at best warrants a September callup this season -- nothing more -- as he has earned no more than that.

By far and away, the Phillies' current losing skid is not due to the catching position. Obviously -- the team's slide derives, for the most part, from the starting pitching failures of Eaton and Myers, and the hitting problems being experienced by the highest-paid players on the team in the 2-6 holes. In this context, putting Carlos Ruiz in the "blame cross-hairs" is foolish.

Amid the euphoria of their earlier surge to the top of the division, when the Phillies still had 30 games until the All Star break, I posted that, considering the schedule, I would be happy with a 16-14 during those games. I would have been OK if they went 14-16, just not 'happy'.

Since my post the team is 4-11.

I knew the competition was going to be tough, but I never expected that they'd go into this kind of funk.

Whither the bats?

"Jaramillo, on the other hand, while showing up with a cocky attitude, couldn't hit a beachball in Spring Training, or during the first two months of the International League season either, for that matter."

davethom, what evidence can you cite of Jarmillo's "cocky attitude"?


Davethom, the Phillies have lost because of the bats getting cold, not because of pitching woes.

During the 4-11 skid I referenced above, the Phillies have scored 61 runs - that's 4.06 RPG. During that stretch they scored 20 in one game agaist the Cards.

The pitching has given up 62 runs during the 4-11 skid, or 4.13 RPG, BELOW the league average of 4.46 RPG.

If you take away the 20-2 Cards game, the Phillies have scored 41 runs in 14 games, and given up 60.

So, in the other 14 games they've averaging 2.93 RPG, and giving up 4.28 RPG - still below the league average in runs allowed.

davethom, it ain't the pitchin'.

Any questions?

I agree with Davthom that the clamoring for Jaramillo is silly. There is not a shred of historical evidence to suggest that Jaramillo would hit better than Ruiz. At best, he would probably hit about like Ruiz is hitting now -- only, without the possibility of getting hot & getting his average up to the .250-ish range.

Now, Marson, on the other hand is a different story.

I was about to write this earlier: "If Jason Jarmillo can hit major league pitching I will be the most surprised poster on Beerleaguer," but it appears I would have some competition for my surprise.

Jaramillo's bat might not be MLB worthy, but at this point, Ruiz's offensive output isn't MLB worthy, either (only Johjima has more ABs with a worse OPS than Ruiz). I like Ruiz, but while we're clutching at straws to fix the offense, why not bring Jaramillo up to see what he can do? Ruiz can work on his stroke down at AAA, Coste's bat gets in the lineup a bit more as he'll probably become a #1 or #1A catcher with Jaramillo, and Jaramillo gets a chance to show if he's anything more than a quadruple A player.

Of course, if Rollins continues to struggle, Howard can't get to .250, Jenkins and Taguchi can't get the forks out of their backs, et al, the Phillies could have Piazza at his hitting prime behind the plate and it wouldn't much matter.

Marson's BABIP is .399. With 2 HRs and only 12.8% of his in-play balls being line drives, he screams sell high.

And just for the record, I'm with the group that thinks Jaramillo will struggle to hit .220 in the majors.

It's not 'clamoring' for Jaramillo so much as saying, hey, can we please try something different? If Jaramillo hits .220 with no power, then we'll have the evidence that he's no better than Ruiz. Until then, there exists a real possibility that he could do better. I don't care about what he did in spring training, or what he has or has not 'earned'. It would be difficult to do perform worse offensively than Carlos Ruiz.

AWH: I am not in the clubhouse, obviously, but there's nothing that indicates to me that Myers is seen as a 'leader' on this team. He is in absolutely no position to be a leader, for one thing. 'Leaders' don't storm out of the clubhouse without a word for reporters after a bad game. 'Leaders' don't just defiantly announce that they're going to 'fight through it'; they actually do something about it. I have serious doubts, even when things have gone better for him, that Myers is respected or taken seriously by his teammates, at least to any extent where he could be seen as someone with leadership merit.

I want the Phillies to call up Jaramillo not because I think he is going to be the Phillies everyday catcher (as BAP said, that will eventually be Marson) but to give Ruiz some time to figure things out. Coste is going to get more at bats than Ruiz right now anyway, so give Ruiz some everyday playing time at AAA to work on his hitting and defense and then bring him back up later. Jaramillo will be able to play enough to keep Coste fresh and his defense should be good and his hitting can't be worse than Ruiz's right now.

Clout: On your earlier post.
"This loss is on Myers, but let the record show that the runs that proved to be the margin of victory for Texas were given up by the bullpen."
What is the purpose of this comment? What record?

"As a middle reliever, Condrey's job is never more important than when he comes in with a lead or a tie game. It seems that in those situations he's at his worst. He is only reliable when the game is well out of hand or the Phils have a big lead."

For the guy who invented the Joe Borowski Memorial "did he get the job done" statistic for relievers, a review of last year's game logs show he got rocked in some blowouts and was very good in every other situation. Yesterday was the first game in the last two seasons where his pitching better could've allowed us to win when we didnt... ie he's done his job.

RSB: Who is more likely to hit, a guy who's never played in the major leagues and whose skill set suggests a .220 hitter at best or a guy already in the major leagues who had the 5th best OPS among catchers last year but is in a slump?

Romero is not a good choice for setup. He had a great run last season, but that was a career best. His performance this season is more normal and he just walks too many to be a quality setup. It's going to have to be Gordon UNLESS they move Myers to the pen or make a trade.

Whoa. Hasn't Romero been much better than Gordon this season?

Brian G: I'm talking about this year, not last year. Please review the Condrey stats I posted above. Then tell me if "he's done his job."

Tray: Romero has not pitched setup this season. But if you think better stats=good setup man, why not Durbin?

Ryan Madson for setup

dave X: His career history in clutch situations is not so hot, but this season he's actually been quite good in the 7th & 8th innings. Has he turned the corner at age 27?

Another reason to choose Madson over Romero: Madson gets both righties and lefties out. Romero OPS allowed vs. righties: .997!

He hasn't? Romero's faced 137 batters this season, and just over half, 73, have been in the 8th. Do you mean to say that in all those cases we were down or tied?

I'm a little surprised at the the focus this afternoon on the pitching.

As I said in my post earlier, the pitching, despite the notable and predictable blowup by the Phillies' chief head case, has not been the problem during this 4-11 stretch.

The 2.93 RPG is lower than the 3.65 RPG that the league's lowest scoring team, the Nats, have averaged this year.


Scoring 2.93 RPG isn't getting it done.

If they don't turn that around it goesn't matter what the pitching does.

Tray: Gordon has been the setup man this season. Romero has pitched setup when Gordon was not available.

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