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Monday, July 28, 2008

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Ding, dong, the witch is dead.

I'm not sure it was the back-to-back jacks that did Eaton in... I think it was the shot he gave up to the pitcher in the next at bat.

Put me in the "dump Seanez" camp, too. He needs to be replaced. He's out of gas. The numbers show it. He can't be trusted to get outs at this point. Condrey is our blowout guy... we don't need two of them.

They probably convinced Eaton to take some time off, build up some arm strength, work or relieving, and that he'll be recalled once rosters expand in September.

This just in, loud cheering and gasp of relief heard emanating from Phillies nation. Champagne pops and beers heard cracking open around the greater Philadelphia region.

They're going to say it's to get him acclimated to relief? Eaton did excuse his performance yesterday with talk about how his poor body is so used to starting, not pitching two days in a row...

I am glad Happ is finally back with the big league team, but I hope that they don't move him to the bullpen. He's still better than Adam Eaton, But Happ is used to being a starter and should stay in that role. Send Myers to the pen instead.

Shucks. I was hoping you guys would keep him around longer...

Say hello to Happ.

Yay!

Darn, I'm going to the Phanfest tonight and I was hoping to catch a glimpse of Eaton.

There is still the open question of Myers who has shown no sign that he belongs in the rotation.

I hope that Happ is called up & not part of another misguided trade.

I'll take what we can get regarding Eaton, but I think this just opens the door for him to come back and hurt this team down the stretch.

Did they promise to send his personal "tips froster" to Allentown?

About time.

Phanfest tonight? Eaton sent to minors.. It all adds up, this move for purely for his protection. I'd imagine he would have gotten mauled if he showed up to the festival.

Jon Heyman on 950am now.

"There is still the open question of Myers who has shown no sign that he belongs in the rotation."

That's absolutely correct. Is Myers in the rotation/Happ in bullpen the best use of your players? I'm not sure.

Happ should start and Myers to the pen(set-up). If he can't handle that--- GOOD-BYE!

Myers to the pen is what I'd do. Or somehow work a deal with him in it.

Myers gets a few more starts to keep or lose his spot in the rotation. After which, I believe he and Happ flip spots.

Great news getting Happ back on the ML roster. He needs to pitch against major league talent.

And I don't buy this "he has to be in the rotation" sentiment. Plenty of future starters were groomed in the bullpen. Frankly, there is nothing more to be learned in the minors for Happ.

And if Myers goes out his next start and bombs, we have a replacement ready on our roster. In the meantime, having another lefty in the bullpen will be very valuable. In 14 PAs against Happ, lefties hit .083.

If Myers struggles again in his next start, I'd slot in Happ and move Myers to the pen. Let him set up for Lidge. It sounds ridiculous, that a guy making that much per should be an eighth inning reliever, but he's left the team with no choice.

At this point I am probably just as concerned about Blanton as I am Myers.

With the back end of the bullpen a little tired and worn out, I'd put Happ in the rotation and Myers in a set-up roll. I think Happ can be dependable and keep the team in the game, although Myers upside as a starter is higher. This is a huge start for Myers tomorrow. He had one start to get back into the swing of things, but if he can't put up a good outing against the Nats, I don't think he deserves to start over Happ.

Correct... Myers gets at least one more start. He's only had one start since returning. His control was off... but, frankly, that's just not been a problem in his career. If he can avoid the wildness, he's got a chance to really help this team. If he bombs out... Happ is ready to step in.

I think Joe is right, as this oprganization clearly believes Myers has better stuff than Happ and just needs to get his head together.

But it would probably be better for all involved if Happ went to the rotation and Myers became a setup guy. Myers may actually dtill have a chance at being a decent reliever. As a starter, he is done.

Hasn't Myers said he only wants to be a closer? He may just need to be released if he makes a stink about not having his coveted closer spot.
But Happ is real exciting. Hopefully he'll have some Kendrick success being so new to the majors.

"His control was off... but, frankly, that's just not been a problem in his career."

Myers is a crazy person. He looked completely out of it in his last start. Its MORE worrisome to me that, in his first start back, suddenly he couldn't put the ball over the plate, something that wasn't previously an issue for him. I mean, he's just not all there.

It's about time. Been waiting for this bum to be demoted since they signed him. Hopefully Happ can pick up where he left off.

I can understand giving Myers another start. But, we're lucky his control was off, when it was on, the balls were leaving the park.

I've got a question unrelated to the great news of Eaton's demotion. If Manny Ramirez's team declines his 2009 $20 million option, does that mean he cannot be offered arbitration? It makes Manny a lot less appealing if he would not generate draft picks.

Eaton is being sent to the minors?

I guess the pitching prospects need to get in some BP.

From now on, I'm pronouncing "JA Happ" as "Ja Happ", as in "Ja Rule".

When Myer was sent down there was an agreement that it was only for a certain number of days maximum. This is becasue if he spent too long in the minors it would affect his ML pension. I assume this is the same for Eaton since he had to agree on the demotion. So I think we will likely see Eaton up again before September, or on the DL or released!

Does this mean no more "Eaton has good stuff; his problem is location" posts ?

Alex makes a good point, Happ could also be seen as a starter in place of Blanton if Blanton continues to struggle and Myers regains his form.

baxter: I like it.

(I've actually been thinking of him as "that round-headed kid".)

Anyone heard about a Happ for Grabow trade?

Thomas: If the Sox decline Manny's option he becomes a free agent. But I still think the Sox would get a draft pick.

I only hope we're not beginning a similar song and dance with Blanton.

It's odd to remember that Eaton actually gave this team a solid half season this year in which he got no run support whatsoever. In his first 16 starts, he was 2-6 but had a 4.86 ERA (9 starts were at CBP.) Was he flirting with a 100 ERA+ at the time? Granted he was still getting rocked (with an OPS against over .800), but his walks were kept to a minimum -- a little over 30 in over 90 IP.

Billy Mac: Location isn't key to success?

clout: The Sox can decline Manny's option and still offer arbitration if they want. That would be awfully risky though. Manny would make more money going year to year with arbitration than with a new 3-4 year deal from someone else.

That may be why the Sox are looking into dealing him now. If they know they aren't going to offer arbitration, they might as well get something for him while they can. As long as it doesn't impact the playoff hunt TOO much.

"he was 2-6 but had a 4.86 ERA"

Still sucks in my book, but it's true he didn't get great run support.

Wow, thank the good lord, its about time. Bye-bye Eaton-up, lets hope Myers or Happ can satisfy the need.

Now we can all start worring about Lidge too...

He was actually even better in his first 14 starts (his 15th was his collapse at the hands of the Angels): 80.2 IP, 4.57 ERA, 1.36 WHIP -- mostly H.

I'm with CJ. I see no reason why Happ couldn't be used in relief. The Dodgers did it with Billingsley when he first came up. plenty of teams do it.

MFiP: That's insane. Manny Ramirez would never accept arbitration. He'll probably get $100 million guaranteed from someone in a long term deal. Why would he play one year for $25 million and risk the other $75 million? Of course he'll be offered arbitration and of course he'll turn it down.

I'd like Happ back in the rotation with Myers in the pen. I thought we should have done this 2 weeks ago and given Brett a little time back there to prove he can throw something other then BP and to the backstop. If Myers still has something left in late innings we could have marketed him as a closer for middle relief or another bat. This move should have happened after Happs first start

Beard - It's nothing special, but if he were still doing that consistently well now, we'd feel better about him than Blanton or Myers. He gave the Phils a chance to win almost all of those games. In his first 14 starts this year, his ERA was 4.57. The Phils scored on average 3.86 runs in those games -- and that's total in 9 innings, not just when he was in.

Some talk the Sox will trade Manny for prospects and hope to get Texiera to replace him (bat in lineup, not LF)

CJ: Manny will be 37 next May. He won't get a deal longer than 4 years. He also won't get $20MM per year. Nobody is that stupid.

From mlbtraderumors: Despite yesterday's "highly unlikely" comment from Dan O'Dowd, Rosenthal says the Rockies would trade Brian Fuentes for a young MLB-ready starter.

Happ?

I'll take what I can get when it comes to Eaton. But I share BB's concern that putting him in the minors is only a short-term solution. The first time he pitches a half-way decent game in the minors, we'll be calling him back up to the majors.

Clout, Eaton's problems go beyond location. No movement and avg velocity on fastball, less bite on breaking ball. Here's a little secret for you -- his stuff ain't that good.

Does it makes sense to trade a potential 3-5 starter (inexpensive for the next few years, will pitch more innings) for Fuentes?

I'm not really complaining here, but essentially the Phillies have swapped one starter who's never been a reliever for another. It's an odd time for such experimentation with Happ, who's been effective at both levels as a starter this year. If the Phillies can *finally* bring themselves to cast off one of their mistakes, they can do it again with Myers. At this point, it really doesn't matter what he thinks about yanking him from the rotation. And he should be yanked from the rotation, if not the roster itself. I still yearn for the possibility, however small, that this four-day window could provide the golden opportunity to have him scraped off the bottom of this team's spikes.

By the way, in case anyone even bothers reading Conlin anymore, did I not totally call that Rollins-Allen column which he finally unfurled today? The man is apparently incapable of commenting on anything without linking it to some contrived parallel from the past.

Total hypothetical question:
If Happ (and other prospects) got you either Manny, Fuentes, or Atkins, who would choose?

Only theis franchise would hold onto Eaton in the minors... That being said, I am glad he is gone and hope to never see him pitch another inning for the major league club ever again! Not in September! Not next year! Never! What a horrible signing! As I said the day this bum was signed, I could see newspaper captions that read something to the effect of EATON ALIVE! Man, were they ever!

And again, I'll ask: for all this talk of a 'need' for a second lefty reliever, when has not having one situationally hurt this team? It doesn't strike me at all as having nearly the kind of importance as the team seems to think. Having a second lefty is nice, but essentially a luxury. It's not a valid enough reason to divert Happ's progress, especially when a far more glaring need exists in the rotation.

Thome comes off the books after this season. Phils will cut their ties with Eaton in the off season.

Atkins would be an awesome addition! Nothing like bringing in one of Chase's buddies from college! I wonder what it would take to get him? Maybe Vic straight up? Maybe Vic, Feliz, and some money for Feliz's contract? I'd look into it.

bob: Atkins.

Putting Eaton in the pen for any extended period of time is just plain pathetic. A notoriously slow starter, his sole purpose would be mop-up duty. They need to bite the bullet and release him outright.

"Does it makes sense to trade a potential 3-5 starter (inexpensive for the next few years, will pitch more innings) for Fuentes?"

Happ yes, Carrasco probably not. If Fuentes walks, you get two high picks for him.

AWH - Intuitively Happ for Fuentes doesn't sound good. Happ is a lefty after all, who's been extremely effective against LHB this year. He's also proven he can miss bats. He's young and cheap. I say keep Happ as a lefty out of the pen and possible SP replacement. He'll be in the rotation next year.

Colorado will not be trading anybody at the deadline.

They are red hot right now, and are getting back into it, in the West.

If anything, they will look to add somebody, and not sell off anyone.

Although I hate Eaton, I disagree with those who say they never want to see him pitch another game in a Phillies uniform. If the Phillies can clinch the NL East before the last day of the season, I would be more than happy to see Eaton starting some of the garbage time games, so we can set up our starting rotation in the order we'd like for the playoffs.

Is Fuentes seriously a Type A FA? Does it work the same for relievers and hitters? He's been good, certainly, but it's ludicrous to give the same compensation as losing Manny Ramirez would...?

B_A_P- that's a brilliant idea for Eaton. Now all the Phils have to do is actually play good consistent baseball, take over 1st, and actually put some distance between them and #2.

BAP, I'd rather see young arms who haven't proved they suck time and time again over Eaton in regard to those garbage games.

I have a confession to make: I'd rather see the Phils trade Kendrick than Happ. There, I said it. I feel better about it.

I can't disagree Bed Beard. Wasn't Happ the K leader in AAA? That's gotta count for something.

Here's my problem with this whole series of moves and maybe this is just me:

Why not DFA Eaton when Myers was added back to the roster, keep Happ in the rotation, and hold off on the Blanton deal for a couple weeks?

Happ earned the right for a few more starts base on his ML (and AAA) performance. If he (or Myers) totally craps the bed in the rotation, then make the Blanton deal like today instead of two weeks ago. Were other teams really beating down the A's door for Joe Blanton? If Happ and Myers pitched well enough, you don't need to make the Blanton deal and they'd still have Carrasco (who I agree isn't ML ready yet) as a backup plan if Myers and/or Happ failed miserably in August/Sept.

There certainly may be variables I'm unaware of but I would have done the moves in this order:

1. Demote Myers
2. Call up Happ
3. Recall Myers
4. DFA Eaton
5. Trade for Blanton (if necessary)

Instead the Phils did this:

1. Demote Myers
2. Call up Happ
3. Trade for Blanton
4. Recall Myers
5. DFA Eaton

Preferably, I would have rolled the dice with my scenario and maybe have been able to keep the two prospects and have the same net result.

Beard - That's funny. Just don't start saying Kendrick's bad at times.

Just a feeling, but I doubt either Happ or Kendrick are going anywhere. At this point, I'd rather see Myers shipped out before those two.

BedBeard and Jon, that's exactly why I posed the question.

IMO, the biggest weakness in the Phillies rotation is that excepting Hamels and Myers (when he shows up), they don't have a lot of guys that miss bats.

Is Fuentes really going to give the Phillies THAT much more than Happ?

I don't know the answer, but, it seems to me, that unless Fuentes is lights out after he would be acquired (and I agree with dennyb that it's unlikely he'll be available), would it really be worth trading a guy you can control the next 5-6 yrs for a 2 month rental?

Yes, BB, you get draft picks, but this is the "oxymoron" we're talking about, and a bird in the hand...................

What do you guys think Myers could fetch us on the trade market, with and without us paying any of his contract?

Joe Blanton, in 8 innings, has struck out 2 batters:

Jeff Francouer
Johan Santana

Without paying his contract: nothing.

With paying his contract: good question, but I really doubt anything of significance.

Jeltzie: agreed totally.

Jon: admittedly, probably not much at this point. Other teams would have to see him as an expensive reclamation project.

Jeltz: Agreed completely with that.

Beard and Sophist: If Clout responds soon, we'll know that he's got the same Blog Alert technology about Kendrick that Davthom has about Coste. Just wait for it.

Those are legit question, AWH.

Fuentes is very good and does provide the draft picks, IF you let him walk. Granted, the draft picks could be "athletes" without baseball skills or a college senior who should've been a 6th rd pick, but if done right, you can have 2 solid prospects.


It is a tough call. Good thing we have this management to make it..er..oh sh*t.

Maybe I missed it, but where has there been any official statement that Happ is back in the bigs?

Speculating about the market for Blanton is just that, speculation. There were many teams that were after him in the offseason, including the Mets and Reds. I imagine there were several teams interested in Blanton.

If Blanton had been traded for over the winter at the close of last season, the move would have probably been praised as a savvy move by Gillick. Now it is widely considered a massive blunder after 1 start and another rain delayed appearance. I admit, neither of those appearances inspired a great deal of confidence, but lets not write the book on the acquisition after 8 IP. The guy has good stuff, and he is not throwing like a frightened schoolgirl like Eaton. When Blanton starts giving up near HR's to bullpen pitchers who have no hits on the season or getting gashed by Randy Johnson, I'll jump on the "Blanton is crap" bandwagon.

RSB has a point on the need for a situational lefty. Is there really one? We know it is great for Phillies' opponents when Utley and Howard are back to back. So if I'm playing against the Phils, then yes, it might be important. Now who are the top lefties (no switch hitters) in the NL East you might summon a guy to just get one batter? Delgado? Yes, right now. Mike Jacobs? A stretch. If the lineup is set with him and Hermida back to back, maybe a little more so. Atlanta and Washington have no true lefties to worry about. St. Louis has Ankiel, Milwaukee has Fielder, Cubs have Fukudome and Edmonds, Dodgers have Ethier and Loney. I'm just looking at the good teams they still play or those they play a lot. And I'm pulling out ANY true lefties these teams have. I am wondering if the Phillies think they need a LOOGY because they see what it does to themselves. The opponents aren't worth worrying about from that perspective.

What's the story with Seanez? It was reported that he met with the brass last night too.

Anyone else see on MLBtraderumors that the Braves had a deal for Bay all lined up that was vetoed by the Pirates owners?

Also, this note from BP.com:

.00000

We carry things to a lot of decimal places here at BP, but the saddest is the five-place zero that indicates that mathematically, a team is completely hopeless in the playoff odds report. The Nats were the first team to hit the Alighieri Number in the 2008 season. The Mariners aren’t far behind, showing only .00005, or five playoff appearances in the million simulations Clay Davenport runs. Five? Wouldn’t you like to know the shape of those five seasons, those historical comebacks or collapses?

Lefties in the AL:

J.D. Drew
David Ortiz
Jacoby Ellsbury
Jim Thome
Jason Giambi
Robinson Cano
Carlos Guillen
Curtis Granderson
Carlos Pena
Carl Crawford
Cliff Floyd


Every contending AL team has at least one very dangerous lefty. In the WS, a LOOGY wouldn't be considered excessive.

"he is not throwing like a frightened schoolgirl like Eaton".

Parker, are you saying Eaton needs to go to the minors for tampon removal surgery?

Atkins: The Rockies are not trading Atkins. He is currently playing 1B, which is probably where he will be playing for the next 5-6 years for the Rockies. Todd Helton is (1) Injured, (2) Old, (3) Expensive. Atkins is the future at 1B for the Rockies, with Ian Stewart playing 3B (where he is now and hitting about .500 since his most recent callup). There has been speculation that Helton is done for the season, so even if they are planning on Helton at 1B (which they are not) in the future, they wouldn't trade Atkins now.

Manny for Texeria: I don't see how that makes any sense. (1) Tex plays 1B, which Youklis (no real defensive upgrade) currently occupies. (2) Ortiz is the DH, and it would make no sense to have Tex replace him with Tex's defense. (3) They have nowhere to move Youkilis to. He has played OF before, but he is not an OF. Besides they have enough OF's, to not have to resort to that. Lowell is more than competent at 3B, and moving Youk to third would mean that Lowell would become a bench player or a platoon. (4) Why would the Braves make that move? They can just let Texieria walk and get the same compensation if they don't trade him. That would be a lateral move for the Braves, and they need to get young OF's or pitching, or both.

If the Phillies traded Happ for Fuentes I would be a very very unhappy camper. Happ could be solid rotation piece practically for free for the next 3 years, and then cost controlled for another 3 after that. To give that up for about 25 innings of middle relief would be really stupid.

wally - the Phils already have one LOOGY. LHB are .085/.167/.155 against him this season. The question is whether they need another.

i think the general theme is not to trade anyone, except Eaton or Myers, and hope we can somehow get Jason Bay and Fuentes for them.

AWH: That would only cure part of the problem. What Eaton really needs, and Myers could probably use, is a brain transplant. I don't know if you have seen "The Man with Two Brains" with Steve Martin, but something along those lines. I think somewhere along the way, Myers had his brain accidentally transplanted for that of a gorilla.

Great Quote from that movie:

Police officer (upon discovering a dead body in Martin's car): "She's not asleep, she's dead."
Martin: "Well, in that case, I better get her to a cemetery immediately."

wally - good points as there are much tougher lefties in the AL than NL (Phils' guys better than most what the NL has to offer). I guess you can consider too that it might be advantageous according to stats to flip a switch hitter around to the right side as well. I guess I'm just not really considering a WS trip a possibility!!

I still believe strongly for the Phils that they are a flawed team that is best captured by the quote I read from a scout last year saying that their biggest failure is a group of solid B players that support their all-star core. In terms of talent (if not current performance), it is hard in the NL at least to top Utley, Howard, Rollins, Hamels and now Lidge. Burrell is now clearly (and was last year too in the second half) part of that group. But who are the B players? Victorino, maybe. Pitching, you'd have to say Moyer by performance. Kendrick by the wins and ERA if not the other periphrals. Werth as a platoon guy, maybe. But whereas Boston can rely on Lowell or Youkilis or even Pedroia (though the last 2 are close to A player) along with solid B young pitcher to help with a core of Manny (??), Ortiz, Beckett, etc., the Phillies have lots of C or worse players. The Mets are similar to the Phils, but one of the main differences that got the Mets back in the race was a clear C or worse player, Tatis, stepping up and elevating an A-level player (Delgado) back to that level as well as getting consistancy from Perez. With the extra financial security though for the Mets with the new field, they can cover up a lot of mistakes that the Phils (Jenkins, Eaton, etc.) may not be able to.

How much more of an upgrade would Fuentes be over taking a shot on Happ at this point? Didn't he lose his closer's job last year? Philly is not a good destination for pitchers who have the potential to struggle.

I just don't want to make another knee-jerk trade.

What does everyone think about the Utley hip injury Gillick alluded to last night? Of course, Utley denies it.

Benz and RSB: Who would you rather see in the 5th inning with runners on in a tight game against Jacobs or Hermedia -- Kendrick or Happ ? That is why we need another lefty in the pen. Cholly doesn't have that option now. Also you want to turn Beltran around for the Mets in addition to Delgado.

Inside/Outside the Parker:

According to rumblings in Boston, they are planning to make a big play for Tex in the off-season. Play him at first and Youks in left.

They might not need Happ as a LOOGY, they need him as a RPWCPAIOTWHTBLH, a relief pitcher who can pitch an inning or two who happens to be left handed.

They need someone to fill the role that Seanez and Madson have been failing at recently (pitching in tie games in the 6th or 7th, or pitching with a big lead later on).

rsb wrote "when has not having one situationally hurt this team? "

Most recently when Swindle was unable to get Stephen Drew out after having him down in the count 0-2 ?

If Ron Mayhay could be had for cheaper than Fuentes, I would rather have him. He hasn't allowed a run in something like 23 straight innings, and is striking out over (or right at) 9 per 9 innings.

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