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Tuesday, November 25, 2008

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Durbin is one of those guys that you need to breakthrough and have a career year in order to win the World Series. Frankly, if Durbin can even give them league average ERA (4.00-4.50)/stay healthy this year I would be happy.

That is the amazing thing about Eaton. He actually pitched tolerably well until the wheels just fell off in July. Kind of unusual you see that happen to a veteran like Eaton but at this point he is a lost cause.

Only thing is I am wondering if is the Phils even give Eaton a shot to win a job on the pitching staff in spring training. One of the more subtler stories going into spring training.

Durbin may not be in the postseason highlight videos, but he did chip in during some of those October wins.

A scoreless inning in game 2 of the NLCS (Phils up 3 at the time)...

And got an out in both WS games 3 and 4 when Charlie was playing middle inning matchups.

Nothing earth shattering, but just about everyone on the roster had a moment or two in that postseason.

From Phillies.com-
What's taking Moyer so long?
Jamie Moyer wants to return, and the Phillies want him back, so what's taking so long? At this point, it appears the two sides can't coordinate schedules. One person familiar with the team's thinking believes it's a matter of time for an announcement, and the 46-year-old may sign a multiyear deal. -- Ken Mandel

I remember that about early season Eaton and Kendrick, and that's why I'm completely comfortable heading into '09 with Kendrick, Eaton, Happ, Carrasco, and Carpenter battling it out for the 5th spot in the rotation. (With preferred winner being Happ).

The night of the world series victory, I poured a few sips of my wine out of my glass to honor this season's MIA: Eaton, Kendrick,Taguchi and all of the other mostly minor-league players who contributed their two bits (or two hits in the case of Chris Snelling). We might not even remember these players at the end of a season, but small contributions here and there from the most unlikely places put the phillies into the playoffs.

Eaton, Kendrick, and Taguchi didn't help us win anything; their efforts were net losses for us. They won despite them.


Wow Jason, it's amazing to get some perspective on Eaton like that. Looking back on his game log, he allowed 3 runs or less in 9 of his first 12 starts, including back to back 1 run starts against the Rockies and Reds. He actually was a very solid contributor for a good chunk of the season. It's funny how early season contributors like Pat, Coste and Durbin become so forgotten.

Carson -
I still kinda view Mandel as mostly propoganda. I do kinda buy that, since it is early in the off-season and they have a couple more weeks to get it done, the delay might simply be scheduling.

In re: Drew Carpenter
As much as I like his first name :-), I have removed him from my mental list of people who may ever contribute. After 2008, he's in the same league as, say, Tyson Brummett on my list (or maybe a younger RH version of Brian Mazone).

It'd be nice if Kendrick or Eaton figured something out. It'd be nice if Carrasco developed quickly. It'd be nice if Happ got enough starts and proved that he is deceptively fine when left as a SP. It would be even nicer if they were all afforded the possibility of working out their various challenges while Derek "10 GB/game" Lowe filled the second spot in the rotation.

Unless Brett Myers and his final season of his contract at $12 million is traded (and there's been no indication of such), there's zero chance Lowe becomes a Phillie. Wet dreams are fun while having them, but when you wake up to reality...ugh!

"What I did not do is just flat out state that we'll be better just cause we'll be better and won't miss Burrell's bat in the line up (still untrue, btw)."


Nice try Lazarus. Lol! I never said that either. You're ditorting my position.

You're a weasel just like clout.

Please, keep that conversation to the last thread. Everyone else has moved on...

Wow - I've been defrauded.

That wasn't me that made the last post under my screenname. I am more than willing to leave the format of that discussion behind - if not necessarily the content of the debate about what will happen if Burrell doesn't resign.

An interesting question is who would falsely post under my screenname, and why they did it.

Jason, if you can check IP addresses, I'd appreciate it if you could ban that imposter.

The link on the upper right under Phillies News:

"Amaro upbeat on Utley surgery"


has some interesting tidbits:

Yes, they are talking to Madson to about multi-year deal, and he seems interested.f


No time frame on Moyer, but they're talking.


No pressure is felt by the Phils to ink Howard or Hamels to LT deals. (IMO, why should there be?)

And most importantly, the surgery on Utley's hip was apparently "very successful ".


GET WELL SOON, Chase!!!

Carson
1) Thanks for the image.

2) Yeah, I agree on the likelihood of the Phils signing Lowe.

3) It's kind of a shame that the so many good FA pitchers are available this year. Next year we'll be getting back $8.5 M for Eaton, $3 M for Thome (according to some), $4.5 for Feliz, and $6.25 M for Jenkins. (Well, and maybe $14 M for Burrell.) (The "OTOH" moment is, of course, that there will need to be someone in LF, someone at 3B, and lots of arbitration chickens come home to roost.)

Still, not counting Burrell, that's $22 M coming off the books in 2010. And, if you figure that Myers will be demanding more than they're willing to pay, it jumps up to $34 M.

Incidentally, my prediction about left field is that the Phils will wait until after Manny is signed by someone, then find some way to fail to give Burrell a package he can accept.

After he declines,they will comb the dregs of the inexpensive end of the FA pool and sign Kevin "The Delaware Destroyer" Mench to platoon with Geoff "Jiltin'" Jenkins.

woohoo

Please pick a handle and stick with it. IP addresses can be tracked.

Sorry for going off-topic again - but one last of-topic post.

"IP addresses can be tracked."

Isn't posting under someone else's handle a "bannable" offense?

And it would be appreciated if you could give us the other handles used by the imposter who posted under my handle up-thread.

As far as the early summer pitching is concerned, it's interesting that the wheels seemed to fall off of both Eaton and Kendrick. Two starters.

I wonder why.

Durbin, OTOH, was perhaps a victim of overuse. It's almost like Joe Torre was the manager (scsm).

No matter. It turned out as well as possible for the Phils, and all of the pitchers mentioned contributed in some way. We, as fans, should appreciate all of their contribrutions.

It will be interesting to see what happens with the starting rotation in ST.

Will Eaton be given a chance to compete? Will he be showcased in hopes that they can dump him and part of his contract? Can Kyle Kendrick beat out JA Happ for the 5th spot in the rotation? Will Carlos Carrasco shoe up and blow them all away and wind up as the #5? Will Andrew Carpenter show up in shape and ready to compete, and does it really matter?

All of the above questions are actually good problems to have if you are the Phillies. With a dearth of starting pitching around MLB (just look at the Yankees), the Phillies seem to be headed into ST next year with a surplus of guys who have performed, with some measure of success, at the MLB level.

There are not a lot of teams that can say the same.

Phils management should "honor the pitching heroes of early summer," as the title of this thread suggests, and show some confidence in its current pitching staff. The Phils don't need to mortgage the farm to obtain guys like Burnett, Lowe and Peavy. The Phils have all the pitching they need to win another World Series. With or without Moyer, they can already put together a very strong 5-man rotation and still have a few live arms waiting for their chance to break into the starting rotation. Realizing that perspective through the retrospectoscope is 20-20, the biggest busts in acquisitions for the Phils in recent years have been in the pitching department. The Phils have spent inordinate amounts of money on a handful of pitchers that didn't pan out and have gotten rid of even more promising pitchers who have become successful with other teams. I think that acquiring Juan Cruz makes some sense as we speak, but other than that, I would leave well enough alone. Like many other Phillie fans, I have pulled for Adam Eaton and hoped we would finally find the magic. Unfortunately, he hasn't despite more than his fair share of chances. I think the time has come for the Phils to accept the Eaton acquisition for what it has always been and to move onward and upward. The Phils don't need more expensive pitching. They need more hitting and the understanding that pitching doesn't have to be that good if you score enough runs.

"The Phils don't need more expensive pitching. They need more hitting and the understanding that pitching doesn't have to be that good if you score enough runs. "

But isn't that also true from the pitching perspective? If they allow fewer runs, they don't need to score as many runs.

"The Phils don't need more expensive pitching. They need more hitting and the understanding that pitching doesn't have to be that good if you score enough runs."

True, however, if the pitching is stellar, the bats won't be under so much pressure to score 8 runs per game.

I like pitching. I think pitching should be the priority of EVERY offseason. Starting pitching is the single most important aspect of the game, and there is always room for improvement. Until your rotation consists Hamels, Webb, Peavy, Halladay, and Lincecum, there is work to be done in the pitching department. Therefore, if you have a shot at a Derek Lowe type and the right deal comes along, you take it. I don't think you pass because you would like to allocate resources to get a right-handed power pat to play left. With the dearth of pitching in the MLB and the unpredictability of injuries, having excellent starting pitching is a must.

*TO CLARIFY AS TO NOT BE MISCONSTRUED* I don't think it is possible to get the aforementioned starting rotation (I'm not that stupid), just highlighting the point that there is no need to ever stop looking for quality pitching. Pitching wins championships. Ask YOUR 2008 WORLD F'ING CHAMPION PHILLIES.

Re: imposters- sounds like a mystery. Calling Sherlock Holmes! Hmm, let's see, whoever it was called clout a weasel. That narrows it down to, well, everyone but clout.

Unless.....clout purposely called himself a weasel to throw everyone off the scent.

So, I suspect everyone.

More than a few reports have stated that the Phils tried to acquire Manny Ramirez from the Red Sox last year. If the Phils wanted Ramirez last year, why wouldn't they want him this year after his imperessive performance with the Dodgers and the Phils dire need to improve left field? The Phils need another dominant bat in the lineup, and if they can find the money for overpriced pitching, they can find it for a future Hall of Famer who can help the club win a few more World Series.

Vernon Wells is now being mentioned as a possible replacement for Pat Burrel. Wells has a very expensive back-end loaded contract that will earn him the same kind of money that the Dodgers have already offered Ramirez for 2009. Wells is a decent player but not on the same shelf as Ramirez. For similar money, there is no comparison.

Of all the recent posts on this board, one is noteworthy. The suggestion that the Phils acquire Ty Wigginton, who the Astros are trying to unload to free up money, was a very good one. Wigginton is an impressive right-handed hitter who can play 2B, 3B and the OF. He is making $4.5 million and Ed Wade is trying to move him. Wigginton could be the answer for 2B this year until Utley returns, the answer for 3B next year when Feliz turns free agent and the answer for another right-handed outfielder. He could probably play every day at multiple different positions. I previously posted that my optimal 2009 acquisitions would be Manny Ramirez and Tad Iguchi. Although I still like Iguchi, I think acquiring Ty Wigginton makes a lot more sense. If the Phils can't or won't acquire Ramirez and Wigginton, I think trading for Ludwick and Schumaker could also work. If the Phils really need to stretch the envelope and platoon in the outfield, Gabe Kapler appears to be the best available option. Beyond that, I think Phils management has lost sight of what it will take to defend their world championship.

The Veterans Committee of the "Hall of the Very Good" is due to vote in a few weeks. I'm hoping that they give a nod to Dick Allen. Good arguments made in the link below.

http://www.dugoutcentral.com/blog/?p=2084

I have an on topic question for everyone:

What is wrong with Eaton and Kendrick that you believe cannot be worked out in the way Myers worked it out?

OR

Why does everyone seem so quick to write-off Eaton and Kendrick? Why do you think they cannot be effective in the future?

B/c Eaton sucks, and it's very evident.

MAYBE Kendrick can get it together, but he'll likely need to add another pitch(?), which despite being a major leagueish pitcher, isn't always easy to do.

Moving forward, would YOU want the defending Champs to have either in your rotation?*

*I'm ok with Kendrick being a #6-7 pitcher.

well, the situations with Eaton and Kendrick are very different from the situation this year with Myers, who had already been a good-to-very good pitcher before struggling this year.

Eaton has literally never been an average major league starter; only in his first year in the league did he have an ERA+ of 100 or greater. and he's already 30, 3 years older than Myers--at a certain point a player just is what he is.

Kendrick on the other hand simply does not right now have the pitches he needs to be an effective major league starter (unlike Myers who did have that ability but needed to refocus). it's possible that he could still be an effective starter, but he would need to actually pitch differently than he does today.

Shane: Eaton & KK are different cases. There are numerous differences between Myers & Eaton. Myers was pathetic for only a few months, whereas Eaton has been positively awful for 3 years straight. Plus, Eaton was never any good to start with, whereas Myers was.

KK's situation is somewhat analogous to Myers', although Myers certainly has much better stuff than KK has. Kendrick has to throw strikes to have any chance of being effective and, late last year, he just lost the ability to throw strikes. There have been a few major league pitchers who suddenly lost the ability to find the plate & never recovered it (Steve Blass, Rick Ankiel, and our own Joe Cowley come to mind). More likely, he WILL recover it and will be the effective back-of-the-rotation starter that he was before his brief melt-down. However, I would certainly not plan on him as part of our 2009 rotation. I think he could really benefit from spending a half to full season at Triple A, where the Phillies apparently have an excellent pitching coach.

hey, let's everyone post the same thing at once!

although I don't think Kendrick's situation is really analogous to Steve Blass Syndrome. I think it's more a matter of not having the pitches to get people out rather than not being able to locate those pitches.

Shane: There are significant differences in the cases. I'll take them one by one.

Myers: He came into his own as a starter in 2005 posting a 118 ERA+ and followed that up in 2006 with an ERA+ of 120. In 2007, he had a very solid year, but it was out of the bullpen as a closer. He was not prepared to be a starter when 2008 started and the trip the minors likely helped get him back on track.

Kendrick: Kyle posted a remarkable 119 ERA+ in his rookie season despite jumping right from AA in the middle of a playoff chase. He was clearly pitching over his head. His peripherals suggested he shouldn't have been as successful as he was. He, unfortunatly, lacks a changeup which could help him get out left handed hitters who, up until now, have hammered him. Time in the minors could very well help him become a back-of-the-rotation starter. He's still young.

Eaton: Adam sucks. He hasn't posted an ERA+ over 90 since 2003 and he was above league average (103 ERA+) just once in his rookie season in 2000. This will be his 10th year in the league. There is nothing to turn around. He sucks.

Ha! Looks like everyone had the same answer.

The easiest difference among the pitchers: STUFF. Myers' stuff can be great. Kendrick's stuff can be good. Eaton has no stuff.

Maybe Kendrick can turn into a power hitter that we can plug into left field, a la Ankiel? Or does that require PED's?

Eaton has great stuff, he's just crazy. When Eaton's on, he throws 94mph with movement and a nice hard curve. Then he starts missing his spots, falls behind in the count and throws a fat pitch right down the middle. Eaton isn't an effective pitcher, but that has nothing to do with his "stuff".

baxter: We can agree to disagree on Eaton's "stuff." I think it's significantly over-stated. I can't remember him ever having an out pitch.

I don't know if I'd use the word "great" to describe Eaton's stuff, and I don't recall his ever hitting 94 MPH while a member of the Phillies. But I do agree with baxter that Eaton has major league caliber stuff. He just has no idea where that stuff is going when he throws it.

Kendrick is the only one here worth discussing going forward, as Eaton is a lost cause and a sunk cost. He's just a bad MLB pitcher. He should be happy he made 24 million from us, and go home.

Unless Kendrick either gets more GBs or more K's, he will not be a very successful major-league pitcher. Some of us realized that last offseason, but now it is certainly clear. He just can't generate enough outs without hoping that balls are hit to where guys are.

Some people claimed that he was a good enough GB pitcher to get away with a lot of contact, but in reality, his GB rates were nowhere near good enough to sustain his low K rate. A 44% GB rate and under 4 K/9 is not a usable MLB starter; it's a ticket to the minors. The only person with comparable GB and K rates who has been decent is Paul Byrd, and Byrd has MUCH better control than Kendrick. Byrd hasn't walked over 2 batters a game in 5 years; Kendrick hasn't ever walked under 2 batters a game.

Kendrick still has a chance, but he needs to do one of three things: Improve his GB rates, his K rates, or reduce his BB rates. Doing 2 of the 3 would be for the best.

ae: Not to rehash an old debate, but the numbers contradict your argument. During KK's excellent rookie year, he averaged just 1.86 walks per 9 innings -- which is downright spectacular. Through July of last season, he averaged 2.66 walks per 9 innnings -- which is pretty solid. Over the last 2 months of the season, when his ERA soared, he was averaging 5.56 walks per 9 innings.

The numbers point to some rather obvious conclusions. When Kendrick's walk rate is spectacular, he is a very good pitcher. When his walk rate is decent, he is a serviceable back-end starter. When he can't throw strikes, he is not a major league pitcher. There are a handful of starting pitchers out there whose stuff is good enough to overcome serious control problems (i.ei. Scott Kazmir, Oliver Perez, Dice-K). KK is not one of them.

It would help if KK could develop another pitch but he can certainly be a passable -- even an above average -- major league starter with the pitches he has. But he has to throw strikes.

"Kendrick hasn't ever walked under 2 batters a game."

I'm doing you a favor, Jack. I'm pointing out an egregious error before clout has a chance to jump all over it (although he'll probably do so anyhow). As a rookie, Kendrick started 20 games and lasted at least 5 innings in 19 of those games. He had fewer than 2 walks in 15 of those starts.

Last year, when KK's control was good but not great, he had 10 starts before August 1, in which he pitched more than 5 innings and walked fewer than 2 hitters. KK's first August start is the date I identify as the date when the wheels fell off. He actually managed to pitch 6 scoreless innings that day but he walked 5 batters. After that, his season fell apart quickly.

jack: I probably misread your post. I took you to mean that KK had never had a game in which he walked fewer than 2 batters. I think you probably meant that he has never had a season in which he walked under 2 batters per game ON AVERAGE. Still, that assertion is wrong. See my response to ae's post.

but BAP, he wasn't pitching away from contact. his opponent BA in 2007 was .280. in 2008, opponents hit .324 off him in August, .306 in July, and .404 in September. that's my point.

additionally, the comparison to pitchers like Blass or Ankiel is off because those pitchers did have excellent stuff, but simply lost control of it. with Kendrick, I see a guy with pedestrian stuff who was able to get by on excellent control until hitters became more familiar with him. I guess in some respect that's a chicken-and-egg argument, but that's what I saw this year.

Even if his control improves, KK's career is always going to suffer if he can't master a pitch to retire left-handed hitters. 23/38 K/BB ratio against the lefties, with a .334 BAA in 08.

I bet Gillick is livid at this move by the Pirates. The Value Village has been outsourced!

http://hotstove.mlblogs.com/archives/2008/11/bucs_sign_indian_pitchers.html

Here's the thing... Kyle Kendrick will be 24 when spring training rolls around last year. He was rushed to the majors out of necessity and pitched AMAZINGLY well considering the circumstances. His career is not over. You don't luck into that success. The Phils are 31-19 in the 50 games he's started in his career. 5th starters would KILL for that stat.

Let him work on his change up and work on regaining some confidence in his pitches in the zone. Time will tell on Kendrick's future.

Er... spring training rolls around this year is what I meant to type.

Andy: Yeah, but an Indian fastbowler in cricket only throws an over (6 pitches) before they get switched out. Still, worth a shot.

You don't luck into that success. The Phils are 31-19 in the 50 games he's started in his career. 5th starters would KILL for that stat.

well, except some (including myself) would say you do luck into that kind of success. Kendrick's had fantastic run support (likely because he was often pitching against the back of other teams' rotations) and incredible luck on balls in play. his FIP ERA was 4.94 in 2007 & 5.55 in 2008. his tRA (also peripheral-based) was 5.40 in 2007 & 6.16 in 2008.

Eaton hit 96 mph fairly consistently two years ago. Look at his scouting report-

Scouting Report by Stats Inc.
Pitching
For all the tinkering that he and his coaches did with his mechanics-from lowering his arm angle to dropping a pitch altogether-what "fixed" Eaton was simply making smarter pitches. With a moving fastball ranging from 92-97 MPH, a very big-breaking slow curve, a good change and slider, it didn't make sense that he was getting hit as hard as he was. Making mistakes with his fastball, especially when ahead in the count, turned out to be his undoing. Most of the time it appeared that Eaton was thinking too much about the sequence rather than concentrating on making the next quality pitch.

http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/playerScouting?categoryId=85842

ae: You don't believe a 50 start sample is large enough to equal out a great deal of that luck?

Sure, give me a 10 start sample or even 20 and that's one thing.

I'm not saying luck didn't play a part... it does for everyone... but to attribute his success solely, or even primarily, to luck is a mistake.

BAP: It looks like you're right, although for some reason THT has his rate as 2 BB/G. I don't know what the discrepancy is. Either way, unless he shows consistently exceptional control, he really is going to struggle. And even with great control, with his GB and K rates, he could be a #4-5 starter at best. I get the feeling that we've gotten the most useful innings Kendrick will throw, but as people have said, he's young and could still improve a lot.

Would say that a lot of KK's recent trouble was due to the fact that he was brought up to the majors before he was done rounding out his skill set, and, as has been stated, his lack of an out pitch against lefties means he will always struggle. If he develops it then he certainly has the tools to be at least 5th starter. An entire season in Allentown, with some progress report call ups during the season while working on these issues would probably pay large dividends for the Phillies long term. Eaton, well if he continues to work hard I'm sure he could end up as a mop up MR pitcher for the KC Royals some day..

Eaton sucks. Kendrick might get better if he can learn another pitch.

Guys and Gals: good stuff on Eaton and Kendrick.

Shane, please understand the rest of us. We're not rooting against Adam Eaton. Rather, most of us would like to see him again become the pitcher he was in 2000, when he had an ERA+ over 100.

If that were to happen, he would either be a servicable #5 for the Phillies (most likely), or, they could trade him for some younger talent to get rid of some or all of his contract.

That some people on the board are saying he "sucks" just comes from the frustration of observing him have late season meltdowns 2 years in a row.

RBillingsly is correct. The Phillies are W"F"C because they had above average pitching in 2008, and a stellar bullpen.

The Mets and Marlins, and probably the Braves and Nats will be better in 2009 - at least they'll try to improve.

The Phillies need to improve to stay ahead. IMO, in 2009 they will not be able to afford to have a starter melt down, much less 2 of them.

Throwing 90% sinkers, Kendrick could be a decent long reliever/spot starter. I think thats his future.

Adam Eaton and his contract caused this recession.

Jack: "Adam Eaton and his contract caused this recession."

Worldwide... or just here in the US? I'm thinking worldwide.

ae: You're basically making the argument that the reason KK lost the ability to throw strikes was because the strikes he was throwing were getting hit hard, so he started nibbling. I don't buy it. While there's no doubt KK was giving up some hard-hit balls, his approach was basically working. Why would KK change his approach and start nibbling when what he was doing was getting good results?

Jamie Moyer is a classic example of a pitcher who gives up lots of hard-hit balls, but still manages to make enough good pitches to get good results. It can be done, & Kendrick was doing it until he lost the ability to make those good pitches.

I still think KK's future should be in the bullpen, in the role currently filled by Durbin. That could change if he ever masters the change-up, but with just the arsenal he has now he'd still be very useful in double-play situations.

I had read the posts and had to go back to work. I was peeved about lumping Eaton with Kendrick. I'm glad that all good BLers put up some logic to defend Kendrick from having the Eaton stank rub off on him.

To Sherlock Squatter, it wasn't me. I wouldn't call clout a weasel. He generally has good logic and facts backing up his opinion. He gets a little short sometimes, but he's not a weasel.

Some words of caution: when clout's a lurking, don't bring up the Abreu trade.

Jason, from yesterday's posting: "It would be a good time to buy low on Hermida, as the Marlins, once again, are in full sell mode."

I really don't think this is true. They have cut bait on a couple of players who provided mediocre production and were about to go way up in price -- Jacobs, Gregg, Willingham and Olsen. They have enough young players coming along to easily spare that group, particularly Gregg, who brought a great young arm, and Jacobs, whose HRs mask an inability to get on base. They always have plenty of young pitching, so Olsen won't be missed, and Willingham simply isn't a difference-maker. Getting Nunez and Ceda in those trades should upgrade their bullpen. I expect them to be at least as good in '09 as they were in '08.

That said, they do seem to be ready to cut bait on Hermida, too.

Jack!! Shhhh! Eaton doesn't know he's caused this new recession. He doesn't realize that his contract is like a subprime loan. He is good money going after a bad value. He was overpriced and not worth the debt. Maybe, Monty and the gang can apply for some Eaton bad contract relief with Obama bailout money financed by the Peoples Republic of China!

Alby: Agreed. His trouble with lefties right now could be avoided in a situatinal bullpen role, and developing a major league calibur change would put him back as a solid back of the rotation starter.

Any depth to a pitching staff is a plus. The Phillies truly were very fortunate to avoid injuries on their staff. Odds of repeating last year's clean bill of health (minus Tom Gordon) are not likely, so having KK(as is) available if needed is an advantage to the team.

I've always been a strong KK backer and I would like nothing more than to see him add a plus offspeed pitch to keep lefties off balance because i think that would allow him to deliver a consistent back of the rotation performance cheaply - which is hard to come by nowadays.

Alby: Although they have lots of nice parts, the Marlins are absolutely in sell mode. They are dealing off parts because arbitration is sucking up much of their available payroll. There has even been talk of dealing Uggla. It's true, they have players in the minors seemingly ready to move into a full-time role, but that's always a bit of rolling the dice. This is standard operating procedure for the Marlins.

Since everybody is talking about KK.... How about we teach him a cutter? It's a natural movement pitch like the sinker and it would enable KK to get in to LH batters. Myers learned a cutter last (maybe two?) year and was effective with it early (I specifically remember him shutting down the Braves on a Sunday night, but the offense didn't show up and I believe they lost). This would seem to be a pitch that it wouldn't take much time to teach KK and could prove to be quite effective to LH hitters, which along with walks are KK biggest problem.

In re: Kendrick
They have pencilled him in as a sinkerballer; but he doesn't get nearly enough GBs. Plus he turns into Eaton when he faces lefties. Last Winter he was working on building strength to give his fastball some added pop and, maybe, to get better sink on his pitches. I'm not sure it worked. The main advantage he still has is that he's young. But if he cannot develop his change to face lefites, or elicit a higher pct of GBs. His future is to be traded by Myers to Japan.

In re: Hermida
I think he will be someone's bargain in this off-season. I'm not sure, with the Mayberry acquisition, with our need for a RH batter, and with Brown and Taylor lurking their way up through the system, that he will be our bargain. I just think it's more likely we'll end up with someone like Mench.

My (cynically pessimistic) best case scenario is that we get Nick Punto.

There has even been talk of dealing Uggla

Hmmm.....
You know that in his minor league career, Uggla played more 3B than 2B? Just a thought...

If the Phillies plan to keep the core of this World Championship team together long-term, they'll have to rely on cheap young players to play significant roles on the major league level. Gillick's mistake was high-cost solutions to low-priority issues. We can't saddle the club with another huge long-term contract this off-season.

Those "high-cost" solutions did win us a World Series. I'm not saying that there werent' better ways to go about filling those holes but Gillick's method of madness did work.

The Marlins are obviously excellent judges of young talent. But, at the same time, the "young talent" game is an inherently speculative one and even the best judges of talent are going to be wrong at least as often as they're right. The bottom line: if you firesale your roster every 2 or 3 years (actually, the intervals between firesales keep getting shorter & shorter), it is only a matter of time before you get a bunch of prospects who don't pan out & you end up with a roster full of garbage. This, in turn, will mean that the Marlins will no longer be able to flip their existing players for top-of-the-line prospects. The result will be a good 10-year period of total ineptitude, much like the one from which the Rays just emerged.

Through excellent scouting and more than a little luck, the Marlins have done a good job suspending the inevitable. But their decade of reckoning is coming and it will be richly deserved.

Kendrick was only good in '07 because he was incredibly lucky with men in RISP. Once that went away, combined with more walks, he ceased being a pitcher worth starting.

CJ: If they were in "full" sell mode, they'd be auctioning off Hanley Ramirez. This is not a fire sale, these are strategic upgrades. Yes, they don't want to pay post-arbitration salaries for the jettisoned players -- but I would argue that's a logical response to the situation. League-average players are a plus at pre-arbitration, six-figure salaries, a wash or a minus at $3-$4 million a season.

With the four players they have traded, they shaved about $20 million off the potential payroll and added two strong bullpen pieces and a fast (if overmatched at the plate) utility infielder. Given the new pieces on the way (see the recent Gammons blog post), none of these moves makes the team weaker.

My point is that they are selling off very specific parts, not the whole team, which makes it different from some of the previous salary dumps.

Come on Alby, be honest with yourself. Florida is cheap, C H E A P. They get more money back in revenue sharing than they spend on their roster. They are a joke. This isn't a strategic plan on their part, they are just cheap.

BAP: So you think Kevin Gregg, Mike Jacobs, Josh Willingham and Scott Olsen were good players? I don't, yet the Marlins still sold them higher than they bought them.

Here's the payoff from the Gammons piece:

"Essentially we wanted to do two things this winter," says Beinfest. "We wanted to improve our defense and work on deepening our bullpen, especially after trading Gregg." Not that they wanted to necessarily move Gregg, Josh Willingham, Mike Jacobs and Scott Olsen, but those are the rules of the small market with no legitimate venue, rules that can be followed without complaint because of the developmental system.

[Andrew] Miller's upside eclipses Olsen's if his knee is right and he gets his breaking ball over. They think fireballing right-hander Matt Lindstrom takes Gregg's place, with help from Leo Nunez out of the Jacobs deal, Ceda and a couple of other young arms.

Morrison, the MVP of the Florida State League and one of top performers in the Arizona Fall League, is athletic enough to move to the outfield. Second baseman/third baseman Chris Coghlan (67 BB, 65 K, .298 in Double-A) can play second or third. Speedy outfielder John Raynor had a .402 on-base percentage in Double-A, Scott Cousins hit .285 climbing from Single-A to Double-A, and the two best prospects of all -- 18-year-old monster Mike Stanton (39 HR, .611 SLG in 125 games) and third baseman Matt Dominguez, who turned 19 in August -- played in Greensboro.

If Nolasco, Johnson, Vostad and Miller are all healthy this season and a couple of players from the Maybin, Morris, Sanchez and Coghlan group hit, then the Marlins will be a legitimate team for the Phillies and Mets to fear. Because they're so young and they've got these Stantons up and down the system, the Florida Marlins are going to be around for the long haul.

Be honest with myself? What? I have nothing invested here either way. I see a team trading four replaceable players. If you see something different, point it out.

I'm not criticizing Gillick's methods, I'm just saying we shouldn't sign anymore expensive replacement-level players like Jenkins, Eaton and Feliz.

I see a constant pattern of selling costly players and keep their payroll at a pathetic level well below the money they bring in by revenue sharing and nothing else. I see a cheap owner who already destroyed one franchise but was somehow allowed to buy another and do the same thing. Despite all this mismanagement, they still got a new stadium in Miami at the cost of the taxpayer. That's what I see in S. Florida.

Sorry, NEPP, but none of your rant has anything to do with next season's Florida Marlins team.

These methods you deplore have won two World Series titles in less time than it has taken the Phillies to win one. And I have pointed out the differences between Larry Beinfest's recent trades and the two major fire sales. All you have responded with is an overwrought diatribe.

Feel free to analyze the trades from a baseball perspective. As for the rest, I agree with you on the facts, but as Phillies fans I don't think we have any room to saddle up our high horses on the ownership front.

Winning 2 WS doesn't make them right. Our ownership group sucks pretty bad at times too but at leaset they compete money wise from year to year.

Excellent posts by BAP, CJ, ae and others on KK.

KK's troubles are twofold: 1. He's a finesse righty whose command must be pinpoint in order to succeed and 2. He cannot get out lefties.

If he wants to remain a starter, he'll need to master a pitch that fools lefties. If he can't, he could be quite useful as a righty killer out of the bullpen (righties have a career OPS of .704 against him).

But if he can't regain his command, then he won't be able to remain in the big leagues.

Not a lot of room on an MLB roster for a ROOGY though. I think if anyone can learn another pitch just through sheer determination, its KK. I guarantee he's been working on his change non-stop since his demotion.

Out of curiosity...what are the requirements for a WS ring? Do you have to be on the PS roster or do you just have to play a certain number of games during their regular season? I know the playoff shares are a team vote but I can't for the life of me remmeber the requirements for a WS ring.

Dave X: I'd love to see a breakdown of success vs. righties and lefties with RISP. I don't think the issue is as clear cut as you suggest.

clout, you are right. Simply put, Kendrick needs to learn an "out" pitch to throw to lefties, and he needs to regain his control. Let's hope he can do it.

The control issues got magnified once he completely lost his confidence and refused to throw over the plate. That's when he started getting hammered.

Dave X: I think your view that KK's success was all due to "luck" is the majority viewpoint on Beerleaguer. Since that is almost always wrong, I suspect it is wrong in this case as well.

Alby: As I said, the Marlins have great scouting & Beinfest is an excellent GM. But the scouts & GM are operating within financial limitations that are eventually going to suffocate them. The issue isn't whether the Marlins sold guys like Gregg, Jacobs & Willingham for more than they bought them for. The issue is that they sold guys like Gregg, Jacobs & Willingham for prospects who may or may not pan out. If they do pan out, they, in turn, will be traded immediately.

No matter how good you are at scouting talent, there is a considerable luck factor involved. When your "long-term plan" consists of constantly recycling every veteran player on your roster, your luck is eventually going to run out -- as happened, for instance, with the 2008 A's (the American League's version of the Marlins). When that eventually happens to the Marlins, they're either going to have to substantially boost payroll or face a decade-long rebuilding project.

As for whether they'll compete in 2009 . . . color me skeptical. Their 2008 success felt pretty flukey, and they've already traded away several of the players who led to that success. If the Marlins think that all these unproven prospects are going to help them compete for the division crown in 2009 . . . well, that sounds a little like SirAlden when he used to proclaim that every third-rate prospect in the Phillies' minor league system was a future superstar.

Barring some unforeseen infusion of veteran talent, put me down for a 90-loss prediction on the 2009 Marlins. And it will very likely get worse after that.

Michael Costanzo will be unprotected in the Rule 5 draft...so we can take him back if anyone still wants him.

11 HRs and 159 SO in 483 AB at AAA last year.

The Fish have decent pitching...I dont see 90 loses...85 is my guess.

Alby: Don't overlook Anibal Sanchez in the rotation. They're young and likely to be erratic, but that rotation is loaded.

I too an unimpressed by the players they gave up. Jacobs was a a NY hype product, Willingham was a horrendous fielder whose bat wasn't enough to offset and Olsen is a head case.

People forget that dumping vets for quality youngsters (imagine what they might've gotten for Abreu) is only half of their MO. The other half is when they think they're good enough they DO spend on one-year stars heading for FA. That's how they won 2 World Series in 7 years.

NEPP: That HR/K ratio is very, very scary.

I know, right? How can he go from hitting 27 HRs in AA to 11 in AAA? Thats a TON of Ks for a .395 Slg.

Something I found interesting on Costanzo...here's a breakdown of his games by position:

3B - 73
1B - 34
DH - 20
C - 5

So they tried him at catcher and as basically a 1B/DH? His defensive numbers at 3B were brutal (13 errors with a .929 FPCT).

"Eaton, Kendrick, and Taguchi didn't help us win anything; their efforts were net losses for us. They won despite them. "

Obviously, but Jason made a good point...there were times in this season that these people were heroes in one game or another. And whether we would have been better is entirely speculative and besides the point.

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