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Friday, July 18, 2008

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Has anyone seen any reports on what medical exams the Phils will give to Blanton? An MRI? I haven't seen anyone suggest he's hurt, but his badly deteriorated K/BB ratio is often a sign of hidden injury. And Conlin raised the issue of his poor mechanics, which sometimes leads to injury. Blanton has been used hard in his ages 24-26 seasons. I just hope the Phils have done their homework on his arm health.

Clout:

If history repeats itself, the Phils rushed in a mediocre, over worked pitcher to sure up the rotation. Let's hope this isn't the case.

I'm about 55/45 on the deal, leaning ever so slightly to the positive. In essense, our rotation was a 1, (Hamels) two 3's, (Moyer/Kendrick) and 2 5's (Eaton/Myers)before the deal. Now, we're looking at a 1, three 3's, (with Blanton) and a 5 (Myers). That may be optimistic, but by all accounts looking at Blanton's career numbers, he's a 3. Here's hoping.

Lastly, I'm reminded of the words of Earl Weaver. Check out his rant on the "Baltimore Orioles Baseball Network." There's a clip of it on youtube, just type in Earl Weaver. Caution: Not for younger audiences.

With that said, let's go out and get Matt Holiday. It's friday, and i'm in a dreaming-type mood.

The best thing that can be said about the deal is that Carrasco and Marson are still in the system.

One thing for sure....

Happ went down to AAA, and completely dominated last night. Those 7 innings of no hit ball with 12 K's, had to get Patty G and Cholly's attention. I almost expected him to have a bit of a letdown performance, but that was far from it.

Hopefully, he isn't down there long. He belongs in Phillie pinstripes.

Again, Patty now has 6 starters for 5 spots. And, Eaton is #7 on that list.

There isn't room for another starter, so anyone thinking they could make another move, aren't being realistic. These are the starters (health permitting) they will go to war with in the 2nd half.

But, a trade of one of those 6 starters, is not out of the question. Especially, if you are looking for another quality hitter and/or a couple of prospects, to help replenish what was just lost to Oakland.

From the last thread:

MG: Well, I don't think anyone would argue that Eaton is a bad deal. Jenkins, certainly right now looks like a bad deal, and we're all waiting for him to show us something.

Feliz is obviously a divisive topic around here, but I'm not sure paying 4 million for a starter on a good team can be considered a "bad" contract, especially as it is only through next year. Could we have better production for cheaper? Probably, but again, 4 million really isn't all that much money.

If Blanton gets 5-7 million in arbitration, that's bad, but about the going rate for a league-average pitcher.

Where did you come up with over 30 million? By my count, I have Eaton at 8, Jenkins at 7, Feliz at 4.25, and Blanton at 5-7, which adds up to a max of 26-27 mill.

Phort: I'm with you, leaning slightly toward the positive. You can never, ever have too much pitching. Now they have this delightful situation with Happ pitching well in AAA and impressing the club in his call-up. I think they re-audition Myers in the rotation, and if it fails, form a ridiculously good bullpen with Myers in the 7th and 8th inning and recall Happ.

As for Eaton, I'd rather adios Seanez, who's breaking down, than designate Condrey. Condrey's fine; he doesn't deserve to be shipped off just to find a spot for Eaton.

This trade has settled in my mind right now better than it did when it broke last night. Several beers and some pancakes has helped that, however. He's not a difference maker, but he might be a decent addition. Let's go Joe.

Although not a total loss, Blanton could not be any worse than Eaton. But I do have concerns since he has tendency to be a flyball pitcher and is far from overwhelming.

The Randy Johnson AB was the straw that broke the camel's back for Eaton. Can't happen. He's just too weak.

Just curious why everyone seems so certain that if Myers fails in his return to the rotation, that we could just throw him back into the bullpen and he would automatically revert back to last years form?

If he does continue to fail as a starter it is probably mostly due to mental issues of him wanting to be a closer. Will his dream of being a closer be satisfied by becoming the 7th/8th inning guy? Will just moving to the bullpen allow him to get his screwed up mechanics back in order?

I still think(hope) that he is going to come back in the second half as a starter and get his act together. However, if he does fail at that, I don't think that a move to the bullpen will fix everything.

I'd go so far as to say if Eaton does what he's supposed, they're content to sit on their hands between Myers, Happ and Eaton.

Wes: I think people see Myers as a guy with good stuff who'd rather mix it up for an inning then establish this and that. And he was good at it last season.

From last thread:

- Eaton is at $9M ($8.5 M with a $0.5M buyout for '10)
- Jenkins is at $8M ($6.75 M with $1.25 M buyout for '10)
- Feliz is at $5.5M ($5M with a $0.5M buyout in '10)
- Blanton say at $5-6M (arbitration eligible)

At least $28.5 M and possibly more if Blanton has a good 2nd half. Considering the Phils payroll is likely to be around $100-$105 M next year, this is nearly 30% of it spent on players that aren't going to help you win. Really can't argue that fact.

Funny because the fan base will piss and moan this offseason when the Phils let Burrell walk and resign players at $.50 on the dollar to replace him.

From the last thread:

For the record - I would have much rather had the Phils roll the dice on Dushscherer than Blanton. Blanton is the name but Dushscherer has the better stuff/more potential to make an actual difference with this team in the playoffs. Instead the Phils got an "innings-eater." Like a QB in football who can "manage the game." It means he is adequate at best and in some situations really sucks.

One thing that might be interesting if the Phils slide back Myers to the pen as a setup man. Counting on Gordon to contribute in any substantial the rest of the way is crazy and Phils pretty much emptied expanded their tradeable commodities. Might get a lefty for the pen but any kind of real impact setup guy like Fuentes is probably out of the question now too.

That said, they're certainly shopping Myers at this point, who's owed $12 million next season.

I wonder if the Phillies could resign Burrell, knowing that the payroll will be way up for next year, but the year after that be considerably down, so they only have to take the hit for one year.

RSB is right. If Gillick is able to ship off Myers and the $12M the Phils owe him next year to a sucker team, then I will be much more optimistic about the Blanton deal. That $12M the Phils owe Myers is starting to look really ominous to their plans this offseason.

Normally Conlin is a curmudgeon but hard to ignore his column today on Myers. At this point, I wouldn't even mind seeing the Phils ship out Myers and a guy like Golson in the same deal if they can clear off Myers' contract for next year (even say $9-$10 M of it) and maybe even get an arm they might be able to use for the pen this year/next.


Happ's great start in AAA is exactly my point. We could have just kept him in the majors, and kept Cardenas.

I don't know, I just don't trust fat pitchers. Not with my game, or with my hamburger.

Does anyone know why Blanton wasn't on the A's starting rotation for the '06 playoffs? He pitched in relief but he had started all season that year and won 16 games.

Phils already had a SP 'safety net' with Myers and Happ. They even had a safety net for the safety net with Carrasco. After considering all factors, all these options are roughly equal to Blanton; and Phils keep their prospects.

TK: Because Blanton isn't good.

People keep talking about how good it is that Blanton "isn't just a rental". Oh great, we have mediocrity locked up for the next couple years. Fantastic.

And as far as "this helps the team now".. I don't know that it does. Because he's taking starts away from Happ, who could probably be better than him. Also, on the "you can never have enough pitching" line of thinking. Agreed, that's why we should've signed Kyle Lohse for 5 million.

Sorry, still bitter. I was hoping to wake up this morning into a world where it makes sense to trade one of your best prospects for a fatter version of Adam Eaton to replace Adam Eaton. I didn't.

I believe we DFA Taguchi, give Eaton BP for a week in AAA, then call him up as a right handed bat... I vaguely remember hearing he can hit, even though he hasn't shown it this year (probably hes focused most of his efforts on not sucking at pitching rather than hitting)... that way we can get something for the rest of the 24 mil we owe him... just another option haha

I'm not being serious here

In the ALDS - the A's went Zito, Loaiza and Haren in Games 1-3. In the ALCS - the A's went Zito, Loaiza, Harden and Haren in Games 1-4. I guess they considered Blanton the 5th guy and I'm not sure why Harden didn't throw in the ALDS unless they held him out up 2-0 and going home (not that being up 2-0 helped the A's much in divisional series prior). Loaiza was only 11-9 with a 4.89 ERA in 06, so I'm not sure why he got the Game 2 assignment both times. Blanton did throw two shutout and hitless innings in Game 1 against Detroit. Of course the A's were already down 5 runs in the 8th and 9th innings when he threw.

the guy hasn't thrown ONE inning for us yet, and we're already throwing him to the wolves. let's reserve judgment for at least a couple starts...

there are a lot of dynamic factors in play and i think the differences between the Oakland and Philly offenses will give Blanton the confidence to go after the strike zone.

He gives up most of his hits up the middle, so hopefully, utz and rollins can cover more ground than crosby and ellis.

Blanton also sucked in the 2nd half that year. That's encouraging...

bob, not only that, but some seem to have Cardenas at Cooperstown already! Everyone, take a deep breath. I think that Moyer may also have a positive impact on Blanton. Just a hunch.

I am less considered about trading away the prospects the Phils did or that fact that Blanton won't be an upgrade over the likes of Eaton. This issue is this - does Blanton realistically make this team a better in the postseason? I say no.

Granted the Phils have to make it there first and I kind of wonder if the Phils didn't at least in part make this deal now instead of even a week later with some key games coming against division rivals who are neck and neck with them now in the NL East.

I was waiting for the first "let Moyer take a look at him"...

Shake the Holliday dream, he is not that good. His numbers are all Coors field, and even Burrell has better numbers there than Holliday does.

Bed Beard, had to be said. He's 27.

Shake the Holliday dream, he is not that good. His numbers are all Coors field, and even Burrell has better numbers there than Holliday does.

Blanton trade has completely overwhelmed the fact that the Phils have a huge series this weekend against the Fish. Besides the fact the Phils have struggled against the Fish, the Marlins are finally relatively healthy. More importantly, their rotation (their Achilles heel all season) just got back Johnson and Anibel Sanchez is slated to be back by the end of the month.

If the Fish can get a legit setup arm like Fuentes (they have the prospects just need the willing part to spend some cash) and maybe another starter to replace Hendrickson (who is just awful) in the rotation, I might have to say they might just become the favorites in the NL East. Lots depends on whether they actually spend some bucks at the trade deadline to win because their team is just a bit short right now.

1) Holliday IS ridiculously good. Just ask any pitcher.
2) Blanton said in the conference call that he's looking forward to playing with Philly's run support, which he saw first hand in the three games the A's played against the phillies earlier this year. didn't the phillies score just 6 runs in 3 games against them? perhaps he can tell the phillies hitters how opposing teams gameplan for them...

bob, MPN and whoever declared it "Wipe the Slate Clean" day are right, there are some reasons to believe that this could work out well.

It certainly doesn't blow anyone away, and Blanton is not going to turn into an ace, but he could pitch better than he did in Oakland for a number of reasons mentioned above, such as: better run support, good defense up the middle and tips from Old Man Moyer.

I also think that the offense will pick it up in the second half. Utley has been bad for a month and I don't see that continuing. Howard as started to turn it on. Rollins seems to play better under pressure, and with the Mets on our backs and the number of remaining games shrinking, the pressure is on.

If Myers can return to form as a starter, Blanton giving us innings, the rotation gets back to solid. This eases the load of the bullpen, which hopefully allows them to continue closing games out.

I am going to move over to the optimistic camp on this Blanton move.

The Phils will give Blanton better run support than the anemic A's but this isn't the 2007 offense either that made a guy like Eaton into a .500 pitcher. Been a lot more famine than feast too the past 5 weeks or so too.

From a Mets fan perspective - I think this is a good deal for the Phils. Blanton is a work horse - he's going to eat up some innings (and perhaps a few cheese steak sammies along the way)and give you guys stability in the rotation. He has also has a decent groundball/flyball ratio which is an important consideration when factoring in the park your team plays in. And the Phils HAD to add starting pitching.

Is he a dominating stud? No, he's a solid middle of the rotation pitcher. But I don't think it's a bad deal for you guys although I don't know the the caliber of prospects you guys gave up.

Sideways.

The Phillies moved their pitching staff sideways.

This is not an upgrade. Period.


And J.A. Happ:

Methinks Mr. Happ's MLB performance hath given him newfound confidence. He knoweth now that he can get out major league hitters.

As we all know, that confidence is worth it's weight in gold.

tom, is that true? Burrell has better numbers at Corrs than Holliday?

If it is, Burrell should be doubly pissed he didn't make the AS team.

Cut Eaton, send Myers to the bullpen or trade him, and bring up JA Happ.

The Dodgers could use a closer now that Saito is on the DL maybe they would want Myers? I would trade Myers and Golson for one of their good lefty relievers.

I will save this about the "innings-eater" argument. There is some validity to that argument given Eaton's 2 recent turd performances. One thing that this rotation has generally done a pretty decent job this year of is giving the Phils' innings. Hamels has been going late into games and Moyer/Kendrick have been fine too.

Eaton was "okay" too but the Phils just can't afford for him to keep having these outings where he goes 2 or 3 innings. They decimate your pen. With Gordon out, this bullpen has already been stressed a bit the past month with Madson in particular carrying a much heavier workload.

Even with Blanton, I am worried that the increased workload on Madson and Seanez' age will begin to wear down the effectiveness of this pen at some point in August. Phils almost need to make another trade for a reliever or move Myers back to the pen too.

Jason- where did you hear/how do you know that the Phillies are "certainly shopping Myers at this point"? i'm very curious.

Cube: Because I don't think a $12 million pitcher that was just in the minors would be on their list of untouchable players.

tom, I checked...it's true. Better BA, OBP, SLG, and consequently better OPS.

I never would have thought.

Is Matt Holliday overrated, or is Pat Burrell underrated?

Eaton says Holliday is not ridiculously good. Holliday's OPS vs Adam Eaton is .664. Holliday is only 2 for 15 vs Eaton anywhere but Coors.

Brian Lawrence and his career OPS+ of 93 also says Holliday isn't that good, ops vs .436.

You can't ignore a .200 drop in slugging when he's anywhere but Coors.

MG, the problems you note (I agree with you) could be partially solved by a more consistent and improved offense.

High scoring games allow a starter to go longer even if he gets knocked around a little bit. (MOTO)

Now that I've had a night to digest this deal, and try to come to terms with it . . . I simply can't. To those who are proclaiming that Blanton is "a solid No. 3," an "inning eater," and an "upgrade over Eaton," I ask: how can you ignore his home/away splits? His ERA on the road has been over 5 for three straight years, and it is nearly 6.00 this year. And, during that 3-year period, he has had quality starts in fewer than half of his road outings. I try to come up with some explanation, which will allow me to conclude that he's better than his away stats would indicate -- and I just can't. The sample size is too large.

Blanton is a major league pitcher and, as such, it's possible that he could have a decent stretch for us, especially since hitters will be unfamiliar with him. But even Eaton has been effective for stretches. Over the long term, it's difficult to envision Blanton being noticeably better than Adam Eaton. Anyone who thinks otherwise is either not paying attention to his road stats or is just deluding themselves into blind optimism.

This is a question I've always wanted to ask Phillie fans. It seems Brett Myers is always mentioned as a 1 or 2 type starter. I am not going to argue about his stuff. His has a terrific fastball and an electric curveball. That being said, he gives up a ton of hard contact (especially for his stuff) and has a lot of trouble mentally. I feel like Phillie fans would think of him like Mets fans think of Oliver Perez. And before you kill me on this, bear in mind that Perez's two best seasons are significantly better than Myers' two best seasons.
Perez-
2004- 12-10, 196 IP, 239 K, 2.98 ERA, 1.15 WHIP
2007- 15-10, 177 IP, 174 K, 3.56 ERA, 1.31 WHIP
Myers-
2005- 13-8, 215 IP, 208 K, 3.72 ERA, 1.21 WHIP
2006- 12-7, 198 IP, 189 K, 3.91 ERA, 1.29 WHIP

Maybe Myers is better than Perez, maybe he isn't. I do know, though, that I would never consider Perez any better than a no. 4 starter. Myers doesn't seem to be qualified by fans and the media like Perez is. Everyone is always waiting for Myers to turn it around. But in actuality, isn't he a high ERA starter who gives up a hit an inning and has some serious meltdowns and mental lapses?
Just wanted to get a feel on how you guys judge Myers.

JW - Maybe I am a biased against Myers (he has been and is my least favorite Phils' player) but I hope the Phils are able to deal him.

Issue is that his performance stuck so bad in the first half that any team that takes him return is going to demand the Phils eat a portion of his contract for '09 and not give much up in return. Phils might just have to hope that he rebounds enough in the 2nd half that he is once again a trade able commodity this offseason.

On the Burrell/Holliday at Coors thing...not only are the numbers AWH posted right, but Burrell is hitting a HR every 14 PAs there, 17.7 for Holliday. Pat has 112 PAs in Coors, so the sample isn't exactly small either.

Good insight on this topic here:
http://broadstreetbastards.blogspot.com/2008/07/david-murphy-on-matt-holliday-in-dn.html

This talk of Holliday being a product of Coors, got me thinking about how CBP has affected our hitters. Holliday does show a big difference between home nd road stats, although I think he is a good hitter regardless.

As for our hitters, I was a bit surprised with what I found.

Howard and Burrell both put up nearly identical home and road numbers.

Rollins and Victorino both put up slightly better numbers at home.

Chase Utley hits a good deal better at home than on the road, but not as drastic a difference as Holliday at Coors vs. the road.

So is CBP really as much of a hitter's park as the reputation it has? Or was it a coindicence that when CBP opened, the Phillies just so happened to have a really good lineup that made it appear to be such a hitters park?

Comparing their two best years is a bizarre way to conclude one pitcher is better than another. Career ERA+ is the best single indicator of that. Myers is 97 and Perez is 95.

Dimaggio: In the last two full seasons that Brett Myers was a starter, he posted ERA+'s of 118 and 120. Over those two seasons, Perez posted ERA+'s of 72 and 67. That means that in 2006, Myers was nearly twice the pitcher Perez was. Perez had a good season last year, but has been a wild below-league-average pitcher this year.

Shakespeare - Myers doesn't have an "terrific fastball" anymore and his confidence in throwing his curve for strikes has been pretty diminished this season because he can't get it over with any regularity.

If the Phils could trade Myers' entire contract for this year and next tomorrow at this point, I wouldn't mind seeing them do it.

Matt Holliday is incredibly overrated. Career .798 road OPS. Is that even above average?

Blanton is not a "b-list" pitcher, he is a "c" list pitcher. The sad fact is that he's an upgrade over Eaton.

Pharmer Dan nailed it.

This will improve the Phils' chances of getting into the playoffs - slightly.

It will do nothing, nothing, to improve their chances of getting deeper into the playoffs. Unless they get a #2 pitcher, they will go nowhere, nowhere I say.

I have a new theory on the reason why Myers has struggled. MLBs crackdown on amphetamines. Myers likes pitching all wired up and without that edge, he's just not the same. The more I think about this, the more it makes sense

I have no idea what it means or how it's calculated but CBP has a ball park score of 105 vs 108 for Coors. Anything over 100 is hitter friendly. For reference Oakland has a 93.

I would say CBP is not as much of a hitters park as people say, but that depends who "people" are.

Jason- solid logic there on the availability of Myers. no FO talk though?
seems to me if they were serious about trading him, they'd drop this charade of turning him back into a starter and just return him to the bullpen where he could either, 1) replace Tom Gordon, or 2) build value for a deadline trade. Myers should absolutely be available, but who would take him now? or even in the offseason? since his minor league stats are not hinting at any sort of recovery...

Others nailed it Shake. Myers and Perez pitch in very different parks so comparing their ERAs benefits Perez. Myers' ERA+ in those years is much better

I thought the informed consensus on CBP was that it was really homer-friendly, but doesn't boost hitters' average. Coors, on the other hand, has huge alleys, more room for hits to drop in, etc.

I am not really asking who is better between Myers and Perez. As you could probably imagine, Perez scares the crap out of me every time he takes the mound (though he is shockingly good in big games) and my preference would be for the Mets to not resign him at the end of the year.
The question dealt more with how Phillies fans feel about Myers upside. Is he a number 1 or 2 level starter? Assuming Moyer retires after this year, would you be comfortable with Myers being the number 2 or would you prefer a more consistent pitcher to take that role and have Myers, Blanton and Kendrick fill out the 3-5 spots? Now that Lidge has shored up the closer spot, I feel like using Myers in the pen would be a bit of a waste.

ACl: what you say may very well be true, can't hurt to ship a case of Red Bull to Dolphin stadium...

CJ: Perez's numbers are seriously skewed by a single lone start on June 2nd when he gave up 6ER and only got one out. Take away that start and he has been a better then league average pitcher with ERA+ of 105 and ERA 3.94.

Sure the start happened but I am pretty sure he started that game with a pulled muscle.

Shakespeare: The Mets should definitely resign Perez. I really do believe that he is more valuable then his final line ever indicates. Most pitchers with 4+ ERAs are just plain bad all the time and never give their team a chance to win. Perez slams the door on his opposition half the time.

I think there is greater value in that out of the #4 spot then just consistently sucking.

"Most pitchers with 4+ ERAs are just plain bad all the time and never give their team a chance to win."

What?? Most pitchers with 4+ ERAs make a lot of 6 IP, 3 ER starts - that's definitely a chance to win.

PhillR: I'm shocked, SHOCKED that you game to Oliver Perez's defense.

Yes, take away anyone's worst appearance and they suddenly seem better. If you want to argue that Perez is not a wild, below-league-average pitcher this year, feel free.


Cube: Myers would be much more valuable as a tradable commodity if he demonstrates an ability to be a consistent starter.


Dimaggio: Myers has proven in his career that he could be a consistent starter. He's only been inconsistent this season. Oliver Perez has been inconsistent for the last 4 years.

Tray: That is exactly right. CBP is the most extreme HR park in the majors, but a small OF area means it's not nearly as friendly for extra base hits as Coors or the D'backs park, for example. Overall, Coors is the best hitters park.

PhillR: I agree that Holliday is seriously overrated. But, again, I don't think his career road OPS is really an accurate gauge, because he has become a much better hitter in the last few years. In 2006, his road OPS was .819. Last year it was .860. This year it's .859.

I suspect that, when Holliday becomes a FA, some gullible team is going to give him a 6-year, $120M contract, under the belief that they're getting a Vlad Guerrero/Manny Ramirez type of player. More likely, they'll be getting about the offensive equivalent of Mike Lowell, maybe slightly better. That's clearly not worth a mega-contract. But, on the other hand, it's good enough to help just about any team in the majors.

Was Holliday crushing a ball well over 400 feet to right field at Yankee Stadium the other night a 'product of Coors'? The 'overrated' label is unwarranted. Holliday would be equally lethal in a place like CBP.

I feel a little better about the Blanton trade this morning, especially considering it might well be a prelude to other moves. I just hate most of all that they gave up Cardenas, who I think is going to be an excellent hitter. I can't believe people like Conlin can just dismiss Cardenas as nothing, since he was 'blocked'. The conventional wisdom also had Ryan Howard blocked by Jim Thome, and they were all set to trade him for Kip Wells. Things can happen in 2-3 years time to unblock quality players. They felt it was necessary to go get someone who was already established, no matter how mediocre, in favor of giving an inexperienced player a shot. Every season, the same pattern repeats at the trade deadline: minor league cupboard nearly barren, trade a solid fraction of what meager prospects you have for a third-rate non-solution. And so the farm system death spiral marches dispiritingly onward.

All this talk about trading Myers actually seems odd to me. If anything, a Myers trade makes even less sense now than it did before the Blanton trade. As we've been discussing for the last 3 months, the Phillies need a No. 2 caliber starter to go with Hamels. Instead, they cashed in their trade chips to bolster the back end of their rotation (if Blanton even bolsters it). That means that Myers now represents the sole chance the Phillies have at getting a legitimate No. 2 pitcher. Admittedly, that's not much of a chance. But it's the only one the Phillies have. So why would you trade it away, just for salary relief? That sounds like the Abreu trade all over again.

RSB: I'm with you on Holliday. I'll take a .301/.400/.459 road hitter off their hands, which is what Holliday is away from Coors this year. And with Blanton, you have one more trade chip if the Phillies wanted to get serious about it.

Saying Blanton is not a "B" list player is absurd. He was one of the main guys being talked about in the off-season as being moved and a big piece of a puzzle. The Reds were in on him for a long time, and they wouldn't give up Homer Bailey.

Sabathia was the best pitcher available. Harden is on his level depending on how you measure his durability. Same with Bedard.

Blanton was after that group of 3 along with Burnett.

Some of you guys are heavily overinflating Cardenas, and Outman. They gave up a guy who has no position to play and might be a viable major league option in 2011. How does that help us now? They got a guy who is ours through 2010.

And despite the ineptness of the Phillies farm system- they can luck into two or three prospects over the next 2 years who will have the same impact as Cardenas.

There is an interesting trade for Holliday scenario over at Phillies Nation. Myers, Victorino/Werth, Carrasco for Holliday? I wonder if Myers has any standing around the league, but it could be a compelling package.

"[Blanton's] ERA on the road has been over 5 for three straight years, and it is nearly 6.00 this year."

That's in the American League, where he faces 9-man lineups every time he pitches. And it's better than Eaton or Myers. No, he won't help us win in the playoffs -- but over the last several weeks, it's become clear that without an upgrade over Eaton and Myers, there won't BE any playoff appearance this year. I"m underwhelmed, but I think it's a lower-risk, lower-upside choice than Burnett, and we don't even know if Toronto was willing to trade Burnett at this price.

MJ: Feliz is not "doing nothing to help us win." He has a positive VORP this year so far; granted, this depends mainly on his high (for him) OBP of about .330, but he's also on a career-high pace for walks (he has 24; career high is 38). In short, he has not been as bad as we feared; he's another league-average placeholder, just like Blanton.

"This is a question I've always wanted to ask Phillie fans. It seems Brett Myers is always mentioned as a 1 or 2 type starter. I am not going to argue about his stuff. His has a terrific fastball and an electric curveball. That being said, he gives up a ton of hard contact (especially for his stuff) and has a lot of trouble mentally. I feel like Phillie fans would think of him like Mets fans think of Oliver Perez."

A lot of it has to do with who was pitching around Myers 2-3 years ago. Fact of the matter is is that the Phillies pitching had been just awful during that stretch, both starting and bullpen, and Myers was the one who stood out because he could strike guys out and pitch longer so there were less relievers needed. On a team with a decent rotation he would have been at best a 4 or 5 guy. But with the Phillies he was one-or-two by default.

Last year he was the closer for the majority of the year, where he did a very good job(though not as great as people like to make it out as). So this year, between Hamels, Kendrick, and Moyer, the Phillies have some of the better starters that we've seen in years, and the bullpen has been near lights out. Result? Myers finally looks like the 4 or 5 level starter he really is.

check out blanton's IP at home and away this year. the A's seemed to be avoiding pitching him away from Oakland.

why could this be?

90ish innings in Oakland for blanton

30ish innings away

hmmm....

"Was Holliday crushing a ball well over 400 feet to right field at Yankee Stadium the other night a 'product of Coors'? The 'overrated' label is unwarranted. Holliday would be equally lethal in a place like CBP."

RSB: Sometimes even the best posters write something ridiculous, when trying to defend their point. So I'm going to give you a Mulligan here. Matt Holliday has more than 1300 career PAs that say he's a good, not great, hitter away from Coors. So now, 1 AB at Yankee Stadium wiped away 1300 PAS worth of data?

A good comparison to Matt Holliday would be Larry Walker, Montreal Expos version. For the Expos, Walker was a .290/.300 hitter with 22 homerun power. Did he suddenly turn into the game's best hitter when he went to Colorado? Or could it be that his numbers became obscenely inflated in the Rockies' home park? Out of a Rockies uniform, Holliday will be like Larry Walker was with the Expos, except that Walker drew more walks & provided much better speed and defense.

check out helton's career home v. away OPS if you doubt the effects of coors field

After reading various things around the web, I'm not sold on either end of the deal. On one hand, Blanton's been particularly unlucky this year. His FIP would place him 2nd on the team behind Hamels. But as fangraphs points out, he's also been lucky with regards to HR prevention. Perhaps not as much luck as simply being in a good park for his skills. CBP, which inflates HRs at a high rate, is not necessarily a very good fit. He gives up the same amount of ground balls as Kendrick, but more flyballs and less line drives. He also strikes out more batters. Based on his peripherals, he should probably be a better version of Kyle Kendrick - HardballTimes puts it at only .3 of an ERA point, though.

Swindled: Let's not get X-Filesish here. Teams rarely significantly affect their rotation simply to guard their 3rd or 4th starter from pitching on the road. If he's pitched more at home than the road, it probably has a lot more to do with the schedule than anything else.

CJ, maybe. i guess you'd have to compare those numbers to the numbers of other pitchers.

it just stood out to me.

bap: my point was that Holliday has tremendous raw power. Outside of Howard, I can't think of anyone in the league with more power to all fields. I don't know how anyone could have watched that HR, *for instance*, and still think he was someone who only looks good because he plays in Colorado. And besides, if he played in Philadelphia, he'd be moving from one extreme hitters park to another. How exactly would he be expected to drop off?

I'd take Expos era Larry Walker. Actually, I think the draw, for the Phillies, is Holliday's high average.

Holliday wouldn't hit .330 here, but he'd hit a lot of home runs. The thing that makes his road numbers look less than superstar-quality is the low slugging percentage - that wouldn't be a problem here. You'd probably see a line of about .300/.400/.560 at our park. He'd be a big addition to the offense.

I agree with both RSB and Truth Injection. By Conlin's logic the Yanks were Ok to deal Gehrig because he was blocked by Wally Pipp. And T.I. is exactly right about the reason for the trade: Immediate help. By definition you have to give up a bit of future to get immediate help without touching your frontline guys.

"I'd take Expos era Larry Walker. Actually, I think the draw, for the Phillies, is Holliday's high average."

Exactly. Don't get caught up just on HRs. It'd be nice to have that average on this team.

Um... incase anyone forgot our City's best chance at a championship plays next weekend!
GO SOUL!!

And the phills are one Asian player from championship contenders. Look at Matsuzaka. Fukudome. Wang. Dude from Tampa Bay. Sick pitcher who just came off DL for the Dodgers. Those players have increased their teams chances of winning a championship...

Taguchi wont cut it. Sign an Asian now!

BAP: "Can someone tell me the point of an "innings eater" when he does it at an ERA close to 5??? Am I missing something?"

Exactly. If Blanton had been on the Phillies all year we'd be talking about demoting him to AAA to help him get straightened out. Instead, we just traded for him as some kind of answer to our problems.

And for those who say Cardenas is blocked. Remember when Ryan Howard was blocked? It's silly to give up real talent for no good reason no matter what level it's at.

All this talk about Matt Holliday is great... but seriously?

I mean, are we seriously entertaining this idea?

1) I don't think they Phils feel replacing Werth/Jenkins is that urgent of a problem.
2) I don't think the Phils have the horses to get Holliday.
3) Even if they did, I don't think the Phils are dealing a Carrasco centered package for him.

Finally... the Rockies are NOT dealing for Brett Myers. That makes no sense. Imagine his HR rate in Coors... ouch.

i'd say adam dunn has more power than holliday. same with pujols, berkman, and carlos lee.

lol @ citing HR derby in any argument.

what the hell. Blanton is 0-1 with a Strike out on the season. How the hell is going to help out our batting order?

CJ,

I think you nailed it on Holliday...but it's nice to dream from time to time.

Swindled: I'm fairly certain the home run being cited was in the All-Star Game itself.

So lol @ your stupidity

the average is definitely the draw on Holliday. it'd certainly helped cure the inconsistency that occassionally plagues the offense... sorry, couldn't help it. but anyway, the price quoted over at Phillies Nation (Myers, Victorino/Werth, Carrasco for Holliday) is just too high. to include Vic in the deal would be a fatal mistake for this season. and if the Phils are going to trade Carrasco, they have to get pitching back in return. our FA pitching acquisitions are just too dismal not to.

ha, right

that makes it logical to cite 1 HR at yankee stadium as proof of someone's power

my bad, injection

and on Myers... clearly he'd be more valuable as a starter, but how many starts do the Phils give him if he fails out of the gate in Flordia?

Let's forget the Holliday dream. I have a better dream, that is just as unlikely to happen, but would be an even better move for the Phils.

Ichiro.

We need someone that hits for high average more than we need more HRs. Plus he is a great defensive player. Vic in center and Ichiro in right, no thirdbase coach would be waving poeple home on that outfield.
And there were some rumblings about Ichiro wanting out of Seattle.

Ok, back to reality, this ain't happening. Seattle is not trading him, and the Phils wouldn't take on that salary. However, I think that would be a much better addition than Holliday.

Jayson Stark just put up a column outlining why the Phils made the deal:

*Blanton may be 5-12 this year. But compared to the guy he's about to replace in the Phillies' rotation (Eaton), he'll look like a regular Brandon Webb. How big a disaster has Adam Eaton been? In his two seasons as a Phillie, he has the worst ERA (6.06) of any full-time starting pitcher in the entire sport (minimum: 200 innings). So no matter how gruesome Blanton's ERA outside of Oakland may be (5.73 this year, 4.78 lifetime), it's still better than what the Phillies were getting from Eaton just about anywhere.

*The other thing Eaton has been as a Phillie is a certified bullpen-killer -- which makes Blanton the anti-Adam Eaton in more ways than one.

Check out these slightly germane comparisons:

STARTS OF 6 IP OR MORE (2007-08)
Blanton 43 (6th in MLB)
Eaton 25 (77th in MLB)

INNINGS PITCHED (2007-08)
Blanton 357 (4th in MLB)
Eaton 265 2/3 (83rd in MLB)

*As vital as it was for the Phillies to upgrade their rotation this year, it was just as vital for them to do that in a way that didn't obliterate their rotation beyond this year. And this trade A) brings them a starter who can't be a free agent for 2½ more years and B) didn't require them to deal away their two most advanced starting-pitcher prospects, Carlos Carrasco or Antonio Bastardo.

So think about how shaky their future rotation would have looked had they dealt one or both of those guys for a rent-a-starter like Sabathia.

Next year, they'd have had no Sabathia. They'd be contemplating the mystery that is Brett Myers. And they probably would have been stuck with the grim prospect of running Eaton out there again. They also can't be sure that Jamie Moyer will be coming back at age 46.

So the only known quantities in their rotation would have been Cole Hamels and Kyle Kendrick. And they'd have had no Carrasco, or no Bastardo, or possibly neither of the above, as an option to plug those holes.

*****************

That last bullet point may be the most interesting...

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