Pat Burrell’s season-ending stat lines were a model of consistency, including some of the best OB and BB numbers in the league. It wasn’t enough for Ruben and the gang.
If Moneyball is the height of offensive chic, Burrell has been at the fashion forefront for years. On-base, slugging and walks: the 36-24-36 of Bill James baseball.
Indeed, Burrell had all the right measurements, but when it came to walking the runway, he stumbled in five-inch heels. Awkward: a great way to summarize the Burrell era. But in the “looks don’t matter” epoch of baseball evaluation, the Phils are either behind the trends or setting their own, choosing Raul Ibanez over Burrell. Ibanez bests Burrell in many categories Beerleaguer hasn’t paid much attention to since, well, since site inception: total bases, hits, RBIs, batting average, hitting with runners in scoring position. Great numbers for a jock; less impressive for the nerds. It’s easy to see why dividing lines have already been drawn. Time will tell whether Raul’s gang gives Pat’s club a moster wedgie, or whether Napoleon Dynamite-style geek chic is the style that sticks.
Interesting names pepper non-tenders: The Phils, who couldn’t entice Nick Punto, could look at switch-hitting utility man Aaron Miles, who was non-tendered along with 30 others yesterday after playing 134 games and hitting .317 with the Cardinals. Miles was non-tendered last season, but resigned with the Cards. Pitching-wise, Phillies killer Tim Redding was non-tendered by Washington after slumping through the last half of 2008. The Phils are .215 lifetime hitters off the righthander, who shut out the Phils in his first two meetings against them last season. In addition, the list is deep with established talent, including third baseman Ty Wiggington, lefthander Chris Capuano, closer Takashi Saito and outfielder Johnny Gomes.
Bruntlett, Condrey avoid arbitration: The Phils settled up with Eric Bruntlett and Clay Condrey on one-year deals. For Condrey, it was his first season of arbitration eligibility to follow his first full season in the Majors. So congratulations to him. The Phils tendered contracts to all their arbitration-eligible players. Only one player, pitcher Scott Mathieson, who is recovering from multiple Tommy John surgeries, was non-tendered, but then resigned a minor league deal to stay with the club.