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Tuesday, November 11, 2008

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I put all of the credit on that fearsome presence at the Hot Corner that is Pedro Feliz. He mentally unraveled the opposing team just with his presence on the diamond.

Pat Gillick knew it when he signed him. UC knew it when he kept running him out there night after night and all of us should show Pedro the proper respect.

"then I remember that Cole Hamels notched five incredible wins"

Except it was 4 wins. They say the short term memory is the first thing to go...

Edmundo: I heard it's the second thing to go.

AWH: Calm down, dude. No need to rant for 7 paragraphs about me. I was merely saying that I thought your philosophy of not valuing draft picks because they don't help with the current window is misguided. My theory is that those draft picks help to create new windows of opportunity long-term, and that's a good thing to be focused on, as well as winning right now. Personally, I hope that there's a focus on building long-term in the front office.

This group of players has won a title and most of them aren't going anywhere for the next couple years. It seems to me that you can makes tweaks around the periphery, like we have the last couple yers, and be able to compete for a championship, without having to sacrifice things like draft picks and prospects than can help us to compete in a longer-term window.

I hate to be the voice of reason here but...


...odds are we aren't repeating in 2009. Our pitching staff is gonna suffer a hangover effect. Hamels was over 250 innings for the year at Age 24. Moyer is almost certainly not gonna repeat his 08 effort. Blanton and Myers should be good but then who knows? Happ is an okay 5th starter and we have Carrasco nearly ready but we have no idea if the Bullpen does as well. IF they stay healthy (which is a big IF) then Lidge, Madson, Romero, & Eyre should be solid. Which Durbin do we get though? The unstoppable middle reliever from the first 4 months or the guy that couldn't get outs in the playoffs? Was he not as good in the final part of the season due to overuse or due to better advance scouting by our opponents?

Howard SHOULD be better next year as should Utley. Rollins should give a similar performance to 08 and Vic should continue to improve. 3B is a question mark and LF is a huge question mark.

I would put our odds of repeating in the 10-20% range.

So I'm gonna sit back in my WS hat and my WS T-shirt and enjoy our Championship team with the knowledge that it might be another 28 years till we win again. Its all good though as WE WON THE WORLD SERIES!!!

Before anyone predicts that the Phils won't repeat in 2009, think back to last year at this time. At that time, did anyone - ANYONE - predict the Phils would win the 2008 World Series? Not that I remember. Most had them finishing 3rd behind the Mets and the Braves.

I'm not saying the Phils WILL repeat. I'm saying that no one should feel extremely confident about making any predictions.

Ken Rosenthal had an interesting article today: Looks like Randy Johnson might not be going back to the DBacks due to salary issues with the team. As he's chasing 300 wins (5 away) he'll definitely be playing next year. I'd sign him in a heartbeat as he's still a decent back of the rotation presence even at age 46 (his age in 09)

"Not that I remember. Most had them finishing 3rd behind the Mets and the Braves."

A minority of people thought the Braves would be better than the Phils. At least, on BL.

I predicted 93 wins at the start of the season and here's my BLOG entry from March 25th on the Phillies (where I predicted we'd win the NL East)

"First Place - Philadelphia Phillies: It will be very close...very close for the Phillies to repeat as NL East champs. The acquisition of Johan Santana by the Mets was not the deathknell that many in Philly thought it to be. The Mets have just as many question marks as the Fightin' Phils. A truly outstanding lineup featuring 2 MVPs in Rollins and Howard along with the best 2B in baseball Chase Utley has not weakened one bit this off-season. The siging of Pedro Feliz will add another 25 HRs to the mix and moving Shane Victorino to CF will allow him to showcase his blazing speed and powerful arm. LF Pat Burrell is in a contract year and is always good for 30 HR/90 RBI and the RF platoon of Geoff Jenkins and Jason Werth should be solid. The pitching is questionable after Brett Myers and Cole Hamels but the Phillies lineup should score enough runs to keep them in almost every game. Look for a disappointing 2nd season for 1st year standout Kyle Kendrick but hopefully Jamie Moyer has just enough left in the tank and a combination of Adam Eaton and Kris Benson (when he's back healthy) will be just enough pitching to win another division. 90-95 wins"

I was way off on Eaton/Benson and Feliz's impact but I think it was a decent prediction overall.

NEPP, just curious, how many cups of coffee do you drink during the day?

Um...Alot. Why?

I've asked this before, but have yet to get an answer: what about Junior Griffey in left field to replace Burrell? Even at 39 he can't be any less athletic in left field than PtB. Or is the fact that he's a left-handed bat the showstopper here? Or does he really just have nothing at all left in the tank?

It just seems like you talk a mile a minute. And you post more than anyone else here. You're addicted to Beerleaguer.

It just goes to show you that championships and even regular season records only happen in the regular season.

I remember on paper the mets had a perfect rotation that couldn't be beat, etc. etc.

We started the season with Eaton and Kendrick and finished with Blanton and Happ.

Lidge was supposed to lose his head.

When we look back at preseason predictions, it's almost laughable. Seasons are not set in stone, they mutate and defy both logic and expectations.

I'm off work today so I'm basically not doing anything else than post here. I don't post as often when I'm actually working (most workdays).

On Predictions: I was stunned that I got 4 of 6 division winners right this year. I was way way off on alot of things (Detroit getting 100 wins...I mean WOW) but 4 of 6...woohoo.

I will take 10-20%. Those aren't bad odds. I think a more realistic % would be about 5. Repeating is tough to do.

We will need significant contributions from Happ and Carrasco, along with a Free agent SP and LFer. I would take Burrel and Moyer. Would be happier with Sheets.

Anyone think 3 years 25-30 million gets it done with Sheets? Not a bad risk, gave about the same to Eaton.

I keep hearing the 5 Cole Hamels wins number too. Why is that? He won game 1 against milwaukee, games 1 and 5 against LA, and game 1 against tampa. He came out for a pinch-hitter when game 5 resumed, and they went up that inning, but then it got tied again after that.

So it's 4 wins. Or am I missing something?

NEPP - you are the exception. Good prediction - other than the Feliz offense thing. (That should inspire many posts, if Beerleaguer posters stay true to themselves.)

I'm always fascinated to read everyone's posts. I've learned a lot. The predictions are interesting, but I still say that predictions should be taken lightly, especially at this time of the year.

It would have been 5 October wins for Cole Hamels if it wasn't for that Baldelli HR in Game 5 of the World Series!

Salomon Torres retires today...not that he's great, but helped stabilize the Brewers pen a little. Makes them another team really in need of a closer:

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2008/baseball/mlb/11/11/torres.retires.ap/index.html

CY: No way 3 years 30 mil gets it done for Sheets. Not sure what that number will be but while he is very injury prone he is also an ace talent that produces like that when healthy.

Grif,I'd take a flyer on Ibanez before Grif.

NEPP: "I'd sign him(Randy Johnson) in a heartbeat as he's still a decent back of the rotation presence even at age 46."

If nothing else, at least it would spell an instant endorsement deal for Moyers and Johnson for BEN-GAY or Cialis.

"Howard SHOULD be better next year as should Utley. Rollins should give a similar performance to 08 and Vic should continue to improve. 3B is a question mark and LF is a huge question mark."

I would forecast JRoll to have a better year at the plate than '08. Maybe not like '07, but he had a pretty tough time this year, and unless he's starting to decline, I say he bounces back.

From everything I've read, Ibanez is god-awful in the field. Might make us long for the Pat Burrell years. :)

Don't have to worry about Ibanez,Phils will be outbid. The Boston Globe's Nick Cafardo reports the New York Mets are very interested in free-agent OF Raul Ibanez (Mariners). Ibanez seems to fit what general manager Omar Minaya is seeking in an outfielder.

BTW, the David Price lovefest continues as he's declared one of ESPN's NEXT athletes:

http://sports.espn.go.com/espnmag/nextathlete?id=3633940

"Ibanez seems to fit what general manager Omar Minaya is seeking in an outfielder."

Aging, Overpriced, and having a latin background?

What still amazes me is the number of fortunate bounces, breaks, and matchups the Phils got this entire offseason. Yeah a few things went against them but I can't remember a Philly sports team being on the end of so much good fortune over an extended time span in the playoffs.

no baseball team has repeated since the Yankees in 2000. clearly there's extremely, ridiculously long odds against the Phillies doing it again in 2009. 10%-20% is just crazily optimistic.

Ibanez has much more left than Griffey, but the Phillies need Burrell's replacement to be right-handed. Neither Griffey nor Ibanez fits the bill.

MG, yeah, I guess you're right. The Phillies didn't show up and hit and pitch, especially pitch. Damn that Cole Hamels is one fortunate guy. He sucks, really, but boy was he fortunate he got all those breaks. I mean, he has no fastball, and that changeup really blows. And to think
Bud "The Dud" Selig actually was kind enough to let him pitch in that rainstorm until he couldn't even grip the ball anymore and then gave up that run..............man, that was fortunate.

And that Howard guy.....boy the Philies and he were fortunate he didn't hit well except for a couple of games. Ditto with that guy Burrell....why, he was lucky just to get his bat on the ball. And that lucky ass second baseman Utley.....boy he was really fortunate on all those defensive plays he made. And those HRs......wow, how did he do that.....close his eyes and swing?

And that Phillies bullpen, especially that guy Lidge.......fortunate the whole way....he doesn't even have a good pitch and can't throw hard.....boy was he fortunate to get people out. Why, the baseball gods MUST have been putting the mojo on opposing hitters, wand willing them to miss the ball.

And most of all that guys Stairs. He had never hit a HR in his whole life......then he steps up, closes his eyes and swings as hard as he can and makes contact? Unbelievably fortunate. I'll bet if you checked, he probably paid that pitcher to hit his bat with the ball.

Oh......wait.....

Hey phans - sorry if you've seen this before, but certainly this bit of parade magic deserves its own article, no?

http://www.i-am-bored.com/bored_link.cfm?link_id=35480

AWH's point about draft picks is a good one. Beerleaguers, including me, way overrate the value of draft picks. Maybe 1 in 3 actually produces real value and I'm talking about the top 3 rounds. Later rounds the odds are more like 1 in 8. So all the folks who think losing a quality player to free agency is no loss at all because of the draft picks you get, really have no clue about what those draft picks produce.

Frankly, if I were inclined to ignore lefty-righty issues and just go for the best bat available, I'd try to bring Abreu back. He is the best hitting outfielder on the FA market save for Manny. And, even though he'd create a serious lack of balance in our lineup, I wouldn't totally slam the door on him as a possibility. It would certainly be unconventional to have 3 straight left-handers in the middle of the lineup but, if the alternative is a Jenkins/J-Mike type platoon, I'd opt for the unconventional route of 3 dynamic left-handed bats. It's certainly not ideal though.

clout: I agree... although even the Phils should be able to hit on one or two if they have a total of five first round picks!!

Of course, I don't see that happening. I think the Phils will re-sign both of their Type A free agents and I don't think they'll sign anyone else's.

And re: Moyer... I think getting two draft picks for him is a fairer trade than getting two for Burrell. It's not often you can flip a 46-year old pitcher with an 80 MPH heater for 2 first rounders!

That Hardball Times article about Myers makes points that I've been talking about on here for awhile: His success is dependent on his curveball and his location. When he was going poorly he was throwing his crappier pitches at the expense of his curve. When he returned from the minors, the number of curves he threw increased dramatically.

From HT: "While Myers' fastball returned to form after his trip to Triple-A, what really made the difference for him was how he used his pitches. His slider, which doesn't have great movement, took a back seat to his curve ball, which is an excellent pitch, especially in strikeout situations."

It's not often you can flip a 46-year old pitcher with an 80 MPH heater for 2 first rounders!


This is exactly what I was trying to say. How many more seasons will Jamie Moyer pitch? And how many of those are likely to be as good as 2008? He could pitch well another two or three years, but the odds of that happening are kinda long. Less long, in fact, than either a first-rounder and a sandwich pick turning out to provide value.

That's it.

But I'd still try to sign him and Burrell. Better to count on the stewers you have than the eggs you want to count so badly.

Andy: I agree. Sign Moyer to a one-year deal. If he refuses and signs elsewhere, enjoy the two draft picks.

I wouldn't be surprised if Moyer accepted arb. he'd probably get a very decent payday that way.

clout: " [Myers'] success is dependent on his curveball and his location. "

Wow, this statement is ENTIRELY false. Brett Myers was sent to the minors to improve on the velocity and location of his FASTBALL. Before he went to the minors, he would leave his fastball right over the plate, it would get hit, and he would be afraid to use it. If what you're saying is true, then he would have had success in the beginning of the season as well as during his poor start in Florida in September, because he used all off-speed pitches, curveball included.
Myers is effective when his fastball is on the corners and he can occasionally throw in his devestating curveball. His fastball makes his curveball even better than it already is (i.e. When Myers was a closer.)

The whole race discussion from last thread is really kind of silly. Alby, I'm not going to dismiss your opinions because I've read some of the history and understand the past that goes into your thinking about how the Phillies treat black players. Thing is though, the past is just that. That is something we've learned in the past week with events that are far bigger than anything our Phillies front office does from now til eternity.

I find the discussion ironic considering two of the biggest stars on the team are African Americans, and are big proponents- along with the organization- of the RBI program. I find it ironic considering the team just hired a person of Latino descent to be the General Manager of the team.

Milton Bradley is a fine player but he is a player with a past that far exceeds the color of his skin. He has had run-ins with his manager, fans, teammates, and umpiries in his career. Most recently he tried to go after a broadcaster for remarks he didn't like about a comparison with him and Josh Hamilton.

Your position is that if the Phillies don't offer him a contract it is based on the color of his skin. You need to ignore a lot of other factors to jump right to that conclusion. The Phillies have a good clubhouse and good chemistry. Bradley could mess that up and I understand the Phillies being pensive about disrupting it.

Racism is something that has a ways to go yet before it dies. But pinning people in the present with sins from the past only extends the timeline before it fades away

clout: Even your own quote from Hardball Times doesn't support your claim -"While Myers' fastball returned to form after his trip to Triple-A..."

Myers' fastball RETURNED TO FORM - his curveball is not effective when his fastball isn't effective, therefore, the success of Myers depends on his fastball.

Good Fastball + Good Curveball = Ideal Myers
Good Fastball + Average Curveball = Success, but not idea
Average Fastball + Best Myers Curveball = ineffective

You can still count me in the minority that thinks it's a bad idea to resign Moyer -- maybe even a VERY bad idea. This is essentially an odds game and here's the way I crunch the odds:

Odds of Moyer repeating his 2008 performance: 10%

Odds of his incurring a serious injury or losing it altogether: 30%

Odds of his pitching like the back-end starter he was in 2004-2007: 60%.

Odds of finding someone on the FA market or already on our own staff who can repeat Moyer's 2008 numbers: 35%.

Odds of finding (at worst) a serviceable back-end starter in the event Moyer leaves: 70%.

Obviously, I'm just plucking these odds off the top of my head & there is plenty of room for disagreement on my individual numbers. But the point behind my odds estimates is this: if we sign Moyer, there's a better than 50-50 chance we'll get the 2003-2007 version of Moyer. There's a reasonable chance that we'll get something worse than that. And there is almost no chance that we'll get something equivalent to the 2008 version of Jamie Moyer. If you're happy with Cole Hamels, an erratic Brett Myers & 3 back-end starters, then signing Moyer stands a good chance of succeeding. If you think we should strive to find a legitimate No. 2 starter, then signing Moyer effectively closes the door on that effort. Anyone who believes that Moyer is going to repeat his 2008 performance is simply letting blind optimism obscure his judgment of reality.

If Cole Hamels were black, would he be so angry that the Phillies front office would be running him out of town?

I'm with you BAP on Moyer: tread carefully with him. I love the guy, but as someone said above, getting two picks for him could end up being the scenario.

However, if you sign him, lower the expectations a bit.

Can we cut out all the "FO is racist" comments? This has got to be the most ridiculous line of conversation we've had in a long time. The FO is not racist, and there's no reason to even think they are.

I will be stunned if Moyer has a sub-4.00 ERA next season. STUNNED.

He had good peripheral numbers this season...his GB rate increased quite a bit.

Moyer adadpted, and I for one don't think this was just some fluke season.

I don't think Moyer was a fluke this year. I just wouldn't put good odds on any 46 year old pitcher having another season like Moyer did this year.

I don't think Moyer will have as good a season as he did last year. I do think he's very capable of having an ERA around 4.50 which is perfectly acceptable for a #4 starter on a team with an offense like the Phils.

If the Phils do not have a righthanded power hitter batting after Howard (Burrell) then as this year went - left handed pitching will dominate Phils since both Utley and Howard had problems hitting against them. Most of our left handed hitters had trouble against lefties. (Jenkins, Dobbs). Not too sure this year we will have the offense that was in the past. Need a power hitter in Left, batting right not left.

Sam: I don't know the definition of "fluke season." He pitched well. It was no fluke. But I don't think 45-year old pitchers have breakout seasons. I think a lot of things went right for him this year that aren't likely to go right again (See, i.e., Kyle Kendrick's 2007 season).

There has literally never been a starting pitcher who had an above average season at age 46. Even Phil Niekro had a huge drop-off between his age 45 season (which was much like Moyer's) and his age 46 season. While I still think Moyer's a good bet to be a league average pitcher next year, we've already got a few of those in our starting rotation in Blanton & probably Happ. What we don't have is anyone who's a good bet to be a No. 2 caliber starting pitcher. If we sign Moyer, our rotation will be set: one ace, one head case, and 3 back-end starters. That wouldn't have been good enough to win with in 2008 & it sure won't be good enough to win with in 2009, with no Pat Burrell in our starting lineup.

SJ: That's correct. It IS perfectly acceptable for a No. 4 starter. But who are the Nos. 2 and 3 starters? If we resign Moyer, we don't have ay.

And we're also hoping to have the Good Brett Myers next year, not the Bad Brett Myers.

PhilliesPhan: Read the whole article. Then come back and apologize. His threw FEWER curves before he was sent down. Again, you have to read the whole article. His success came about because he was throwing MORE curves and throwing them to a good location. He threw 17% curves before AA and 27% after.

Of course a good fastball enhances the curve, but the curve is his best pitch and he wasn't throwing it, he was throwing weaker pitches. You either don't understand English or didn't read the article.

The article in no way supports your fantasy that:
Average Fastball + Best Myers Curveball = ineffective

For PhilliesPhan, I'm reprinting the conclusion of the HT article in BIG TYPE:

"WHILE MYERS' FASTBALL RETURNED TO FORM AFTER HIS TRIP TO TRIPLE-A, WHAT REALLY MADE THE DIFFERENCE FOR HIM WAS HOW HE USED HIS PITCHES. HIS SLIDER, WHICH DOESN'T HAVE GREAT MOVEMENT, TOOK A BACK SEAT TO HIS CURVE BALL, WHICH IS AN EXCELLENT PITCH, ESPECIALLY IN STRIKEOUT SITUATIONS."

AWH - Not saying the Phils didn't play very well in the playoffs (especially their pitching). Still, this team got more than their share of breaks and bounces in the playoffs as most champions do. I just don't remember a Philly team in recent memory get so many fortunate breaks in the playoffs.

Myers is arguably the biggest question for this team in terms of upside/downside. You could make a valid argument that he could win 14 or 15 games next year or take the opposite tack and say he will give up HRs by the truckload again/be one of the worst starters in NL.

I am certain though that you will hear the inevitable articles at some point in spring training about Myers "putting it all together" for a contract year.

My bet is the Phils get what they have out of Myers for most of his carrer. Some good, some bad and 12-13 wins with an ERA somehow slightly north of 4.00.

clout: Apologize for what, his curveball is nothing without his fastball. Plain and simple.

clout: In addition, you did not post a link for the article, so go fvck yourself. And before you say things like "read English," think twice, cause I am 100% sure I am much more educated than you are. People with a GED shouldn't insult people with something greater.

Seeeeeeeeeeeeee...MG wanted me to read something, so he linked it.

MG: Agree with the whole "X" factor/ confidence thing, but I wouldn't trade Blanton. I really like him, and he's undefeated as a Phillie. If anything I would trade Kendrick, but I guess he has fairly low trade value right now where Blanton should have quite a bit.

While realizing it was simply a guess, figuring a 35% chance that a FA can match Moyer's 2008 season is too high. There were only 20 pitchers in all MLB who won 16 games.
I doubt that 35% of the available FAs are capable of going 16-7 3.71 and 197 IP.

As for Moyer's age, obviously it matters, but I think we need to keep it in context. He keeps himself in shape, and he pitches within himself. He's much more likely to repeat his performance at age 46 than someone like our friend Jon Lieber was at 36.
With advances in sports medicine and nutrition, 46 yrs old today does not equate with 46 yrs old when Niekro was pitching.

That said, Jamie Moyer had a pretty outstanding season in 2008 for a pitcher at any age, and I seriously doubt he can match it even if he was 35, not 45.

Re-signing him is a gamble, sure, but he brings more to the team than just his stats. He was a positive influence on Hamels, and he presents a good example for all of the pitchers in terms of preparation, approach to the game, and knowing his job (including things like bunting, fielding one's position, working the umpires, etc).

Time will eventually catch up with Jamie, maybe in 2009, but I think he's at least earned a shot.

MG- I too read that offseason outlook on the Phils by Bob Kaplish (or whatever his name is) and quickly came to realization that he knows very little about the Phillies, any number of BeerLeaguers could have written a summary 10x better. He listed Pedro Feliz as a free agent for crying out loud!

Carson, how true. Any one of us could have written a better article than Klapish. In his defense, maybe he had space limitations, though there is NO excuse for getting it wrong about the teams list of FAs.

Also, in surfing around reading about other teams' needs, I must give the Phillies' FO credit for locking Lidge up during the season. There are many teams that are short a closer, and other bullpen help.

After the season Lidge just had, he would likely be the #1 FA closer on the market, and I wonder if they'd have been able to retain him.

Smart move by Gillick & Co.

I will say, however, that in the article Klapish had one of the dumbest lines ever written about baseball:


"The Phillies have a terrific overcrowding problem on their hands: too much starting pitching going into spring training."


I don't know that there is such a thing as having "too much starting pitching".

Re: Lidge: to paraphrase ESPN (mike and Mike) yesterday, there ought to be a Cy Young type award just for relievers. Lidge was crucial for the Phils this year, and all he gets is a fourth place "attaboy". Not to take anything away from starters, but relievers have a role in a team win. We all know the stats, when leading the game after eight, and consecutive saves. It would be nice to see Lidge recognized.

Re Meyers:

Both Clout and PhilsPhan are right. Myers curve is nothing without a fastball that he can locate. As we saw, they would just lay off the curve and wait for his fastball to miss.

Pitch selection was also a big factor. Why have 6 different pitches if they are mediocre? Just throw the better pitches more often.

Who's to say which is more important? I would think that locating his fastball would need to be handled before pitch selection makes a difference.

"The Phillies have a terrific overcrowding problem on their hands: too much starting pitching going into spring training."

Be afraid, be very afraid. Remember when the Phils had too much starting pitching at the beginning of 2007?

Umm...they have a "Best Closer" award already. Its that Fireman one.

PhilliePhan: The link was posted previously, but I'm happy to post it again:

http://www.hardballtimes.com/main/article/anatomy-of-a-player-brett-myers/

Now, please explain to me how the words "what really made the difference for him was how he used his pitches. His slider, which doesn't have great movement, took a back seat to his curve ball, which is an excellent pitch, especially in strikeout situations" can be interpreted to mean that Myers improvement was all about his fastball and that his curve, no matter how good, is worthless without his fastball? I await the erudition of your advanced degree.

CY: "After he came back up. Myers' main off-speed pitch was his curve, with some sliders and change-ups mixed in. He almost completely stopped throwing his change-up to right-handed batters and sparingly used his slider to left-handed batters. His curve, which has great vertical drop, became his strikeout pitch no matter the handedness of the batter."

Finally, after he came back from the minors, Myers threw his fastball LESS often vs. LH batters than he did before, while the pct of curves to lefties increased from 21 to 32%. It would be interesting to see what his numbers were vs. LH batters before and after his trip to the minors.

Obviously, underlying all this is command and underlying that is mechanics. Myers' strike/ball ratio sharply improved as did the speed of his fastball (from 90 to 92) as a result of mechanical adjustments.

Nepp, I honestly never heard of it, but I looked it up, and sure enough, Lidge won this year. You would think that espn would know about it. Anyway, Lidge got his recognition, all continues to be right with the world.

Saying the Phils have too much starting pitching is laughable. There are huge questions about Happ, Moyer, Eaton and Kendrick and injuries can strike any one of the less risky starters: Hamels, Myers & Blanton. And given his streakiness, Myers can be pretty risky.

A Cincinnati paper is reporting that the Phillies are checking in on Garrett Atkins availability with the Rockies -- the Reds are also, allegedly, interested hence the story out there. I'd imagine the trade demands would be similar to those for Holliday as he has two years of arbitration left -- to include 2009.

MPN: Atkins would be a two-fer. His bat would allow you to let Burrell walk AND it would replace the weakest bat in the lineup outside of Ruiz. Acquire Atkins and you can go for a Value Village righty in LF to platoon w. Jenkins/Stairs. I'd argue that a lineup that replaces Feliz and Burrell vs. RHP with Atkins & Stairs or Jenkins would suffer no drop in offense.

clout: Yes, and he and Utley would push the hell out of one another as they did at UCLA. I still would not give up Carrasco, Marson, or Victorino for Atkins, but otherwise I'd be open to seeing what the Rockies would want.

I'm not sure if the reports are 100% accurate, but the Reds and Rockies hit a snag over Garrett Atkins because the Rockies were trying to bundle Atkins, outfielder Willy Tavaras and catcher Yorbit Torrealba but the Reds were just interested in Atkins. Although such a trade would not be the highest possible trade scenario on my list, trading non-essential picthing and bench for the Rockies bundle would give the Phils a consistent hitting and run-producing third baseman in Atkins, a platoon right-handed outfielder in Tavaras and a back-up catcher in Torrealba, who because of the current paucity of catching in the majors, could be flipped to another team. Such a trade would require a commitment to get rid of Feliz, one of the best defensive thrid-basemen in baseball and a proven clutch hitter. Keeping Torrealba would require a commitment to either trade, release or demote one catcher. Based on the world series, my guess would be Ruiz staying and Coste moving. I've seen Tavaras play on multiple occasions and I don't think anyone has brought out the goods on this kid. He has incredible speed that makes one wonder why no one has helped him perfect the art of the infield hit. He has solid defensive potential and could be used in centerfield when platooning with Dobbs or Jenkins with Victorino moving to right and Werth to left. I'm not sure that such a trade would be the best the Phils could do this off-season, but if the Phils are trying to make moves without spending money, this would certainly be one way to add a run-producing bat, a right-handed outfielder and a solid catcher.

BedBeard: His three year splits (06-08) are .946 Home, .790 away. But his OPS at CBP during that time was a healthy .887.

Atkins career #s at CBP
.289 .413 .474 .887

I'm not really against going after Atkins, in the right deal, but weren't the Rox considering moving him to 1b?

I believe that Baseball Prospectus 2008 called Atkins a bad defensive 1B masquerading as a 3B.
Most defensive metrics have him near the bottom of the barrel.

So Doc: we can send them Eaton, Coste, Stairs, Bohn, Golson, Kendrick, Feliz, Iguchi, Jaramillo and D'Arby Myers.

How could they pass up that package?

(Actually, it would be Phillies logic that if the Phils acquire Atkins they could place Feliz in LF to improve our OF defense.)

Atkins has never played LF (professionally, at least). I wonder how bad he would be out there.

As I've previously stated, I thought the Rockies asking price from the Phils for Holliday was unrealistic. If the Phils were to entertain a trade with the Rockies for any combination of Atkins, Tavaras and Torrealba, or any other trade with any other club, for that matter, I think the Phils should limit their trade list to pitchers who were not on the World Series roster and bench. Also, I would not trade Carasco or Marson. As I have posted before, I think trades should be the last option for the Phils who should try to bolster their current squad internally and through the free market first. The Phils are world champs. In the name of potential improvement, I wouldn't change the team's current chemistry more than was absolutely necessary.

The Rox still have the unmoveable contract that is Todd Helton around their necks. I'm not sure they'd move Helton to the OF to accommodate Atkins at 1B.

Burrel was drafted as a 3B, moved to 1B, and then moved to LF. Atkins could probably do at least Bruntlett-well in LF. You might even play him in LF against lefty pitchers with the Latino Leprechaun (Feliz) at 3B.

I want a third baseman who actually plays 3B and a left fielder who actually is a leftfielder. Shouldn't be too much to ask.

BB - Next you're gonna want batters who can actually bat.

Nah, I'm ok without that.

They way the modern day hitter is raised, Moyer will continue to be effective against most teams. As long as about 70% of the kids coming up to the majors go up to the plate waiting for fastball counts and swing for the fences, Moyer will be an above average pitcher.

When you get into the playoffs, you're going to face much better teams and much more disciplined hitters, and thats when Moyer's lack of arm strength can be exposed.

But as long as the Marlins and Nationals are full of young inexperienced wannabe sluggers, he's going to win a lot of regular season games.

re: Myers first half vs second half

I usually dont go for the 'intangibles' as an argument, but i think Myers' attitude was the biggest change in his performance. Yes, fastball improved. Yes he threw his curve in better situations. But he was such a stubborn jackas in the first half, that even when he had a good fastball, or was hitting his curve, he still found ways to lose. His whole 'closer mentality' that he attributed to his struggles that he thought carried over from the prior season was really just Myers being lazy and stubborn.

Garrett Atkins is a Coors Field artifact. He hit .233 with a .661 OPS on the road last year. In 2007, he hit .254 with a .773 OPS on the road. In 2005, .238/.649. In his 4-year career as a starter, he has had exactly one good season away from Coors Field. The team that trades for Garrett Atkins is going to be sorely disappointed. I hope it's not us.

2008 walk to strikeout ratios-

Garrett Atkins 40:100
Pedro Feliz 33:54


Ruben Jr. has until Friday to sign Pat the Bat and Jamie Moyer before other bids start to come in.
I hope he does- I think prices will go up after that and our needs will still remain.
I don't think Burrell is easily, and cost effectively replaced. And Moyer just fits well here.
Both have expressed their desire to stay.

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EST. 2005

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