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Tuesday, August 12, 2008

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Last night seemed the kind of game you get when you make sure these guys who travel constantly around the country with very few days off don't get their greenies any more.

I'm not usually one to bitch about umpiring unless it's really bad, and with all of those questionable calls last night I'm shocked Manuel kept his composure. Umps will make mistakes, but all of those mistakes at once put them in an awful limelight.

My 2 cents on Kendrick- without him we wouldn't be in the playoffs last season, and we wouldn't make the playoffs this season either. He is very hittable, but he does normally does well with damage control, but naturally he's going to get battered around sometimes because of it. I'm glad we have him and look forward to having him the next few seasons at least.

From today's DN: "Put it this way, before the All-Star Game, it was feeling a little, maybe like I had a tiny bit of tendinitis in there, not bad," Lidge said. "If I would have just thrown regular at the All-Star Game it probably would have gone away, because I had the other three days off over the break. But that didn't allow it to recover. It didn't help it at all. I don't want to say the All-Star Game caused it to be bad, but obviously it didn't help it."

Clout- I read that too, and immediately thought "F.U. very much Clint Hurdle".

Phils now 23-26 since the high water mark of June 13th. Good thing the pen never blows saves!

From previous thread: Prospect maven John Sickels has updated his report on the Phillies top 20 prospects. Has nice things to say about my fave sleepers Dom Brown and Michael Taylor. About Golson he says, "I still don't trust Golson to develop into a useful player, the BB/K/AB ratio scares me a lot."

Bad news for Phils tonight- rookie pitcher facing them and he's a lefty. Ryan Howard already in a 1-16 slide is batting only .189 with a .595 OPS against lefties. Tell me why exactly he sits in the cleanup spot again when a south paw is on the mound.

Carson - Because, um, uhhh, um...

Carson:

Because Charlie Fuqua Manuel is at the helm. I'm sure you knew that answer to your own question, but I figured I'd provide a response.

Cholly should shuffle the deck tonight. Get Werth up high, put Vic down low. Move Pat the Bat to cleanup.

Always a minute late. Story of my life.

Whoa, Jason, let's not get nuts. I don't know if Cholly has it in him to make that many changes in one night.

At least the Phils showed a little fight last night rather then just getting their doors blown off. Seems the top of the lineup is starting to come back to life which is SO important for this offense.

I think Kendrick will be most useful in the future as a long relief guy that way he doesn't have to repeatedly go thru the opposition's lineup.

Do you almost get the feeling Charlie stubbornly keeps Uts and Howard 3-4 so that the one time Howard does kill a pitch in a big spot agaisnt a LHP, he can say "Told ya that wuz gonna work out."
Problem is: once in a blue moon for that strategy doesn't justify the means.

Also, Carson, I took a look at the Phils drafting of HS pitchers over the past five years. I'm not convinced that I'd qualify the Phils' drafting and development as "pretty good luck." The four you mention are notable, but there are some substantial failures, too. Brad Baisley is the poster child for "not very lucky pick." But Brandon Workman is also a different kind of poster child - good choice but poor management of the offer.

Most years they mainly took HS pitchers in the last 15 rounds as D&Fs (when that was still operable) and as flyers. They have seemed to increase their interest in the last two drafts, however, picking 8 or 9 HS pitchers in the top 20 rounds.

Notable quirks: Vance Worley, HS pitcher in 2005 is also Vance Worley, College pitcher in 2008. And Dom Brown was taken as a HS pitcher in 2006 round 20 - that, actually, might qualify as good luck.

As far as Pettibone, hmmmmm...maybe he's better than a "meh." But if they sign the last two guys (Coy and Weber) in the top bunch, they'll have had, IMO, a good draft.

Kershaw is going to be tough. The LH's in the lineup really need to draw some walks or take advantage of major location problems. If they just go up hacking (as usual against a LHP) then it could be a long night.

Chase Utley had one of the best at bats by a Phillie this season in the 9th inning of last nights game. He fought off brutal pitches from Broxton and finally deposited a weak hit into the outfield. It showed a lot of character IMO. Broxton had pretty much overpowered everyone else.

Not to be a jerk, but in today's baseball world, nobody is really "useful" as a long relief guy. Durbin started out like that, but quickly became so much more than that. Long relief is the role pitchers get when they're too crappy to start and too crappy to pitch pressure situations, basically bullpen filler.

It may not seem like a major story but the phils signing Jonathan Pettibone (3rd rounder) is among the best best news I've heard this season. It means they may finally be getting away from the slotting handicap they've imposed on themselves.

How dare anyone question me?

I hear I have a pre-game meal of chicken wings and BBQ baked beans coming up tonight. Let's see what I say after that.

My favorite thing about last night's game was Ryan Howard had 2 rbi despite going 0-5, going to show making contact is usually better than whiffing.

JW - Cholly should have shuffled the lineup a week ago with Werth/Vic and Howard out of the cleanup spot.

You have to wonder though if Burrell is already entering one of his funks that he can get into. Usually ends up with very consistent numbers when the season ends but he is never consistent over the course of the season. Phils can ill afford for him to enter a tail spin right now for 3-4 weeks.

Speaking of somebody else who needs to pick it up, it is Howard.

People are complaining about the bottom of the lineup the last few weeks (and rightly so) but Howard/Burrell are giving this lineup right now. Neither guy has done much of everything the past 2 weeks. It is a damn shame too because JRoll has picked it up and Vic is continuing to hit.

I don't expect a stiff like Bruntlett to do much of anything. I do expect Howard/Burrell to knock in runs though.

After the Phillies went 1-8 from 6/14 to 6/24, Manuel batted Burrell ahead of Howard in 5 straight games (once batting 3rd and four times batting 4th). It was with mixed results. The team went 2-3 and scored 4, 0, 7, 8 and 1 runs in the 5 games.

Pat Burrell is 3-30 in August...yikes.

Ryan Howard 1-16 over the past 4 games.

I GUARANTEE you that Lidge's tendinitis is much more serious than the Phils are letting on. If he is hurt, just put him on the 15-day DL and see how he responds. Phils need him down the stretch

I don't understand this idiotic approach where they don't say much about the injury or take any action. Like pretending the injury doesn't exist will make it somehow magically go away.

I would love to talk to some orthopedic surgeons in the Philly area to see what kind of reputation that Dr. Ciccotti enjoys. Also would love to see what other teams/players think of the current training staff which seems among the most ineptitude in baseball.

MG, then why was Lidge available last night and telling everyone he feel ok? I'd normally agree with you based on their past history but I don't remember any player coming out to the media saying "I'm fine" and then get DL'd.

MG- I echo your statements about the Phils and injuries, and I too often wonder about Dr. Ciccotti (seems like a quack to me). Hell, Cole Hamels chiropractor probably holds more medical esteem than him.

Andy: Just an observation. This year, the Phillies spent a couple of reasonably high draft picks on college pitchers from major programs: Vance Worley (# 102) and Michael Stutes (# 346). Both started off in Williamsport, dominated, and were quickly moved up to low Single A Lakewood, where they continue to dominate. The curious thing is that both guys had absolutely terrible numbers in college. Am I to conclude that competition in major college conferences is actually better than at low Single A (seems hard to believe)? That the quality of coaching at the major college level is horrendous? Or that these guys' fast minor league starts are just a statistical anomaly, and they'll both come back to earth pretty quickly?

I don't know the answer. But I do know that their quick success, along with the fast rise of Jason Donald & Michael Taylor through our minor league system, sure does make a compelling argument for spending early draft picks on players from major college programs. It just seems like much better bang for your buck in terms of both likelihood of success and the immediacy of the reward. I don't understand why the Phillies continue to spend their first picks on high school projects who are 5 or 6 years away from the majors, even in the best case scenario. If Anthony Hewitt ever does make the majors (which is a long shot), it will almost certainly be 6 years down the road, after some other team has taken him away from us in the Rule 5 draft.

Carson wrote: "My favorite thing about last night's game was Ryan Howard had 2 rbi despite going 0-5, going to show making contact is usually better than whiffing."

Ryan Howard really gets me. With that big infectious smile, you just want to love the guy. You love his NL leading HRs and RBIs, but you don't love his MLB record pace 149 Ks and his failure to win the game for us last night. He's an imperfect player that we love.

Kyle Kendrick is the epitome of a resonable #5 starting pitcher. He can usually give you 6 innings. He does not have an out pitch. He must have pinpoint control to succeed; how many pitchers have pinpoint control?
Kendrick has really been walking the tightrope with his control. Unless he can Mark Portualize himself, he will be a mediocrity for his career. The 3:4 BB/K rate he's putting up this year is haunting him. He's the hard-fighting, don't give up kind of pitcher, but a mediocrity nonetheless. But I do root for him, which of course gets us nowhere.

Pettibone signed!?!

The draft is officially a complete success!

I'm okay with Kendrick being "mediocre" #5 in the rotation. He's cheap, stays healthy, logs about 6 innings, normally keeps team in the game. We're blessed to have him, just trust this.

GM-Carson: Horribly streaky play from Burrell, Howard and even Chase recently. Chase was hitless in the Pittsburgh series before he hit that home run. Even he's had some really, really bad stretches this year.

I wonder what our record would be if our big four (Howard, Utley, Burrell and Rollins) hadn't each sustained multiple periods of complete ineffectiveness?

I still think calling Kendrick a #5 is selling him short. A career ERA+ of 105 suggests differently. I wonder where his ERA+ of 94 this year ranks him among 4th and 5th starters in the NL?

Kendrick's a solid 4. He ocasionally is gonna get killed but most times he'll give you a quality start.

I thought SS, Rookie, and Low-A ball were all considered below college-level competition.

How about Condrey getting out of the bases loaded, no out jam?

I was happy to see the bottom of the bullpen keep things managable after Kendrick blew up. A big swing by Howard or Burrell could have made all the difference in the world last night.

b-a-p: They tried to get Worley out of HS (2005).

Age-wise the College players (21 - 22) should, actually, be on a par, or better, than the A- guys. It may be that they will overmatch guys who have never seen them before better than people from their college conference who are the same age, have seen them before or who have had scouting reports on them. The key is that no one is really showing much, at 21 or 22 unless they're excelling at AA.

I just think Kendrick is completely average and would rather see him go an inning or two than try and have him go repeatedly thru the lineup where they can easily figure him out. And yes i know long relief means you aren't good enough to be a starter and not dominate enough to be a closer. That's how i see kendrick long term.

If/when Kendrick (who is only 23!!!) develops his change a bit more, he will be a very solid pitcher. Its little abrupt to say a guy will never get better considering he's 23 and has been an MLB starter for well over a full season now. Give the guy a break.

"(Howard's)an imperfect player that we love."

Well, maybe, but I'd love him a lot more if his chance of getting a hit off a lefty in a critical spot was better than Ruiz'. It isn't.

Milt: "Ok, Ryan. You, Eyre and Walrond go to the cages and come back when you figure out how to hit a lefty. Until you do, you bat 6th against them."

TK - Just because an athlete touts himself as "ready" to go doesn't mean that the team should use him. Given the Phils long-term investment in Lidge and their need for him for the remainder of the season, it would be wise to shut him down for at least this week and see if the tendinitis largely abates.

It is pretty evident that Lidge hasn't been the same pitcher since the All-Star break. Look at the numbers or even the comments on here when he pitches. Plenty of Beerleaguer posters have noticed that he has struggled much with location and at times his velocity since the break.

Andy: Personally, I'm a bit surprised by the early success of these 2 college pitchers, who were absolutely nothing special in college. Seems to me that the level of competition at A- would be considerably better than the level of competition at a major college program. Most of those guys in college are never going to even be drafted, let alone play in the major leagues. Most of the guys in A- will never play in the majors either, but at least they were regarded as good enough for some team to draft or sign them. And I'd guess that the average age at A- is around 21, so there shouldn't be any great age advantage for a guy drafted out of college.

When you have an offense that is built around very streaky hitters whose "high's" are higher than average, but whose "low's" can be really aggrivating, it's only natural to expect that it is a rare occasion when all are clicking on all cylinders.

That being said, it should also be extremely rare when all are in the midst of a "low." We can't afford Burrell to slide at the same time as Ryno, Chase, etc. Unfortunately, it looks like that is exactly what we're in the midst of. It only takes a couple of these guys going cold to create a total team "offensive funk." Thank God (and Burrell) that our April '08 didn't pan out like the last few years. Hopefully we can weather the storm.

My boss is an Oregon State U guy and follows the baseball team closely. His thoughts on Stutes: Called him "Friday Night Mike" (or something like that) b/c they wanted him to have the ball in his hands in the big games. He was drafted last year by the Cards(?) but gambled that he'd do better the following year, which he didn't. College #'s are quirky for the non-studs of the world. He's one to watch, but let's see how he does in the higher levels and maybe he's "just" a reliever in the bigs, but that's ok.

Not to bring up the dead horse of Urbina, but yesterday, Jody Mac had a writer on, either Randy Miller or Jim Salisbury who said that before his trade to the Phils, the Tiger were about to release Urbina b/c of discipline issues, most specifically, a fight on the team plane. He said EVERY other GM knew the release was coming, except for Ed Wade, who of coure, traded for him, despite the possibility of getting him for free in a couple days.

Anyone else hear that story before?

Dave X: "I thought SS, Rookie, and Low-A ball were all considered below college-level competition."

Major college programs, yes.

HS first rounders tend to be of the projectable athlete type (Hewitt is a perfect example) or fireballers with large potential upsides and high risk of failure. The college kids tend to be more predictable, lower-risk, but with less upside, unless you're talking about the first 4 or 5 picks, where you can get both low-risk and high-reward by drafting a college stud (Pat Burrell is a perfect example.)


"I still think calling Kendrick a #5 is selling him short. A career ERA+ of 105 suggests differently. I wonder where his ERA+ of 94 this year ranks him among 4th and 5th starters in the NL?"

I'd be ecstatic with Kendrick compiling a +105 OPS+ for a career. Can he keep that up moving forward? Low K pitchers usually don't last real long*, unless they are very low BB guys too. Kendrick's got moxie but moxie only takes you so far. He needs to pick up a killer pitch or take his control to near historic levels. He walks such a tightrope now, that any injury tweak can push him into Eaton territory.

* Studies done by lots of people with lots more savvy than me have shown this.

Bedrock - yeah, I had heard that story before about the fight on the plane, but NOT the part about the Tigers nearly releasing him. It is ridiculous to imagine that the Phils gave up a guy like Polanco (assuming the story is true) to Detroit when the Tigers were probably just seeking a warm, live body for Urbina. But it also helps explain that the dude had anger issues (see Venezuela, machete, migrant workers).

Kendrick can throw a clunker at you like last night now and then, but for the most part he keeps you in games and the team manages to win most of the ones he pitches. That has to be the bottom line. I don't agree with the notion that a guy who has a winning record yet how gives up more hits than innings pitched is therefore 'lucky'. It *could* mean that in some cases, but not necessarily as a rule. Guys like Moyer and Kendrick win because, by and large, they make their pitches when they need to. Kendrick is a decent option for the back end of a starting rotation. You might not want him starting a playoff game, but he's not a problem on this team.

And by the way, when was the last time a starter had a bad outing (under five innings) before Kendrick's? I think you'd have to go back to Cole Hamels against the Braves. The rotation is as stable and productive as it's been all year right now. That seems to have gone relatively overlooked in contrast to the focus on the offensive struggles. So long as Lidge is okay (which we'll know about soon enough), the pitching will not be a weakness down the stretch.

Edmundo: Well, if you think that a 23-year old pitcher still learning how to throw a change has reached his peak... then I would agree with you. But he's a 23-year old pitcher still learning to throw a change!!

What is the main problem with batting Utley 2nd, Burrell 3rd, Howard cleanup and mixing in Vic where he fits, depending upon the starting pitcher?

I think Utley is better served as a #3 hitter, but given the players that the Phillies have, hitting him 2nd seems to make more sense. If for no other reason, this should be done to break up Utley and Howard.

I don't understand why people are so pro or con on Kendrick. His most valuable asset right now to the Phils is that he is dirt cheap while putting up average stats.

In two years, Kendrick's value is going to be alot less as he begins to become much more expensive. Until then, there is no reason why he doesn't have a spot in this rotation.

that urbina trade killed me. i thought it was an idiotic trade at the time when Polanco was leading the phillie offense in devastating people and it wasn't quite the same after the trade.

Polanco is an excellent situational and contact hitter with good speed and a little pop - the exact hitter this lineup lacks. He'd look great either hitting seventh or second while playing third. Wade's in season moves were just some of the dumbest ideas ever.

clout: I know that the rookie leagues are filled with projectable prospects with no baseball skills. By the time you get to A-, however, I would think that most of the players have demonstrated at least some level of success in the lower leagues. But I'll take your word for it that low A is a lower level of competition than major college conferences.

This only furthers my belief that most early draft picks should be spent on major college players. I don't buy this "lower ceiling" business. Why would a player who has already succeeded against a high level of competition have a lower ceiling than some 5-tool athlete who has never succeeded against ANY meaningful level of competition? It's just nonsensical scout-speak that defies common sense. Of course, it's true that college players are older and, therefore, can be expected to have shorter primes than the high school players who make it to the majors. But that's discounted by the fact that: (1) very few of those high schoolers make it; and (2) the college players will start their major league careers much sooner, rather than languishing in the minors for 5 years.

I must admit, I kind of liked the Urbina trade at the time. Of course, my opinion was strongly influenced by the fact that Cholly had been using Polanco in a ridiculous platoon with Utley, while the horrible David Bell continued to start at third base. Had Polanco been starting at third, as he should have been, it would have been extremely hard to justify trading him for a reliever. But the Phillies had sunk a bunch of money into David Bell. It would have never occurred to them to bench the high-salaried player in favor of the better one.

"But he's a 23-year old pitcher still learning to throw a change!!"

IF he learns to throw a decent one, will it make a difference with his existing arsenal? I'm skeptical; I wouldn't build long range plans around Kyle Kendrick.

He has had value to date, no doubt. Average, cheap and keeps them in games is very valuable. He's on such a tightrope -- the odds of him crashing are greater than the odds of a changeup giving him a killer out pitch.

Dombrowski: Hey, Ed, we are looking at trading Urbina...do you want him? We could use an extra infielder, someone from Read-

Wade: INTERRUPTING...We'll give you Polanco for him.

Dombrowski: (clearly stunned)...um, yeah, sure, we'll take Polanco for Urbina...[hangs up phone]...okay guys, let's go party - we just got Polanco for Urbina! And to think all we wanted was some minor league infielder from Reading...

PHIinBK: OK let's make Kendrick a long reliever because he doesn't throw very hard and is totally reliant on his command to be successful. And the only replacement the Phils have is Happ, who doesn't throw very hard and is totally reliant on his command to be successful. Brilliant plan!

BAP- I've posted this before- but an infield of Polanco-Rollins- Utley- Howard for the past few years would have certainly been an improvement over the 3rd base we have had,

Why not make Hamels a long reliever? I like his stuff and think he would flourish in that role.

clout, don't forget about Moyer. He doesn't throw very hard and is reliant on his command to be successful. Clearly, we need to get rid of him, as well. He has no future as a starting pitcher.

Frankly, I think the Urbina trade was great. How else would I have gotten this cool jewelry?

Bed's Beard - Plus. Hamels really only has two great pitches. He'd do much better out of the bullpen, right?

BAP: I think the distinction you have to make is when comparing college baseball to low minors is looking at "major" college programs. The level of play by the best teams in the SEC/PAC-10/ACC, etc. is vastly different from the level of play at most Division III schools.

And if you play for an elite program, your chances of being drafted are pretty good. For example, Florida State had 7 players drafted this year. Considering that freshmen and sophomores aren't eligible to be drafted that's a pretty significant number. I don't have any figures to back this up but based on anecdotal evidence from years of following college baseball, I'd say if you accrue significant playing time for a top 25-type program that your chances of being take somewhere in the draft are quite high.

Placido in MI- The weather is beautiful- Wish you were here!

bap: That kind of theory would have called Shane Battier a better prospect than LeBron James.

Sometimes a player who hasn't yet dominated at a higher level still has a significantly better chance of doing so based on the skills and talents that they have. Doing well in college doesn't necessarily make you a better prospect than an untested high school player.

Freddy Garcia to sign with Tigers, says SI.com.

Edmundo: How do you think most starting pitchers succeed in baseball? They DON'T often do it with a "killer out pitch." And the change up isn't designed to be a "killer out pitch." It's designed to make Kendrick tougher on lefties. His sinker isn't nearly as effective against lefties as it is against righties. And how long will he have to pitch successfully before the odds are no longer against him crashing? Three years? Four years?

"He's on such a tightrope -- the odds of him crashing are greater than the odds of a changeup giving him a killer out pitch."

If the odds are so in favor of him crashing, why has he gone over a full major league season with our crashing very often at all?

b-a-p:
My concern with your approach would be missing out on the HS players who will, actually, dominate, who will never go to college. For instance, in the same round that Pat Burrell was taken as the best hitter in college baseball, the Indians drafted a High School kid named Sabathia.
In the same round that the Phils took Hamels out of HS, Kazmir was taken. If you do not take some of those HS players with amazing talent you actually may be incurring greater risk.

It's kind of like having all bonds in your portfolio. It may look more risk averse, but is not, really, a good idea.

And that theory is coming from the guy who's already said Savery's a bust.

Kendrick has had quality starts* in 13 of 23 starts, not counting his 1 inning rain delayed one.

*Yeah, the old lame at least 6 innings and 3 ER or less.

4 of the 13 were the worst possible QS's-exactly 6 innings, 3 ER.

Eaton had 10 of 19.

Myers has 9 of 21.

If Kendrick really was our fifth starter, we'd be in great shape.

"And how long will he have to pitch successfully before the odds are no longer against him crashing?"
If he can maintain a 105 OPS+ (more or less) through 2009, then I will gracefully accept that he has some kind of unusual mojo. Maybe his grit, determination and athleticism are unique enough to boost his border-line talent over the top. We'll have fun seeing how he develops; guys over-achieving or under-achieving are part of the great fun of sports. I am by no means advocating doing anything other than letting him remain in the starting rotation; I am suggesting that a backup plan would be prudent. :)

"If the odds are so in favor of him crashing, why has he gone over a full major league season with our crashing very often at all?"
I'm talking in terms of career, not individual games. Something like having Adam Eaton years, along the lines of a 5.50 ERA.

If Kendrick falters more frequently, I wouldn't be surprised to see Benson called up. That would make the tongue-draggers happy.

Count me as a tongue-dragger

I didn't say take KK out of the rotation this season, i just think that average stuff is better for the bullpen in the long run.

Benson isn't exactly dominating in AAA.

See! That's what I'm talkin' about. Trading for Matt Treanor oughta please those tongue-draggers, too!

Kendrick isn't coming out of this rotation or for that matter Myers. Barring an injury, this rotation is set for the rest of the season now.

Maybe even Nomar

Bonehead - Yup.

One thing to keep in mind about college pitchers transitioning to Class A is that they no longer have to face aluminum bats and can start pitching inside. This is one reason why you can't really project poor college numbers to mean a player won't succeed professionally, and why good old fashioned scouting (as opposed to statheading) is so important when projecting amateur players.

This talk about whether KK should start or relieve is all dependant on the quality &quantity of the rest of your rotation.On the Philles now it's pretty clear he's a starter and will stay one for the foreseeable future.
Some fantasy team with better rotation- different story.

jhs - excellent point.

Although it's true Kris Benson isn't "dominating" in Triple A, he has rolled off 5 straight quality starts. Last 5 starts for Lehigh Valley- 33 ip, 36 h, 9 er, 4 bb, 19 k, and 2.45 era.

Yeah Benson didn't look too strong yesterday. Although, Drabek hasn't allowed an ER yet and Carpenter seems to have gotten himself squared awayince being promoted back to Reading, along with Happ, Carrasco and Bastardo has our minor leagues looking OK but Savery is looking pretty weak and Sampson has struggled.

But I'm worried about the hitting. I mean we only have 4-5 guys who can hit on this team and all are streaky. We've got way too much dead weight, nothing in the minors (I'm not a Golson believer). And next year we'll be stuck with Feliz, Jenkins and Eaton and big salaries to Myers, Howard and Hamels(?). Yikes...

It's amusing how every time one of our starterd has a rough night the posts start about moving him to the bullpen. Or he's nothing but a number 5 starter etc. Cracks me up. Hey, sometimes I do it myself, but we jump to some serious conclusions around here. Ryan Howard goes 0 for 12 and people want to platoon him. Like someone posted earlier about Ryno, he's an imperfect player. They all are. Hell, that's what makes this an imperfect team. They sure are fun to bitch about though, aren't they?

The MG- Myers Bashing Train rolls on.

Lame

FYI - from Delaware Online

"Pat Gillick admitted the Phillies inquired about trading for Manny Ramirez. But, as best I could tell, the Phils were far more serious about trading for Casey Blake, who wound up in LA because the Indians preferred the Dodgers' package of minor leaguers (triple-A right-hander Jon Meloan and single-A catcher Carlos Santana) to anything the Phillies offered. And, wouldn't you know it, Blake's two-run homer last night was every bit as big as Manny's two-run double."

Addendum to previous post: I can forgive almost all hysteria spewed during a game. We are fans after all. I personally vibrate during most close games and occasionally levitate during games vs the Mets. But after a night to sleep on it some of the hysteria is comical. I think in KK's case the problem stems from how unimpressive he is. He does a pretty good job. I just think we can't figure out exactly how he does it.

Red Sox acquire Paul Byrd.

Whoever heard of a Byrd being succesful in Boston?

Slocs - why?

Okay.
As per Rotoworld:
With Tim Wakefield hurting and Clay Buchholz struggling, the Red Sox went out and got a veteran starter for the stretch run. Byrd is 7-10 with a 4.53 ERA and the 37-year-old will be a free agent after the season.

donc - Anyone who's parked under a tree there.

Andy- Why not? Clay Bucholz has really struggled recently, and they put Masteron into the bullpen, and Wakefield just went on the DL. So they bought some insurance.

With the shortage of quality pitchers going around these days, a no. 5 starter is somebody that you hope can do the job, i.e., a rookie, a Triple starter, an old retread, etc. I think KK is really a decent no. 4 pitcher. If Blanton and Myers' recent performances are more likely to continue, then our rotation is something like this, making KK our no. five:

1. Hamels
2. Moyer
3. Myers
4. Blanton
5. Kendrick

If this is the case, we have a great no. 5!

It's not even a what have you done for me lately, it's what have you done for me in the last at bat or last inning pitched. RE: KK, there seems to be two sides, one that thinks he's valuable in his role, and one that thinks he isn't, and there doesn't seem to be an easy way for one to convince the other. Such is life.

GPG: I agree on both your points. That's why I say in the heat of battle it's understandable. I know I have virtually no objectivity in a tight ballgame. Every little hiccup, real or imagined, is the end of the world. After the dust settles, cooler heads should prevail. But I do find that Chicken Little stuff extremely entertaining. As for Kendrick, I just can't believe how succesful he's been. But at this point there's not much use saying he sucks. Not with his record and the Phils record in games he starts. Something tells me his winning percentage will be not much better than .500 when he hangs em up though.

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