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Monday, December 15, 2008

Comments

The 46 year old uncle comparison is priceless.

Regarding the post at the end of the last thread by mvptommyd's backup, I'm not going to repeat the endlessly repeated stats that show Burrell is superior to Ibanez. I am not going to comment on the abject stupidity of someone who says a player who's never played a day in the bigs is superior to an established veteran.

But I will say that until we see how the season plays out with off-years, injuries etc., you really can't declare that this pitching staff or that lineup is better than 2008's. We know how 2008 unfolded. Even the wisest among us cannot know how 2009 will unfold. Thus, the chance that the most uninformed of us will be right is very small.

So far, I like the moves Amaro has made. I like the Mayberry trade, the Park signing and the Moyer re-signing. It's not as if Moyer's fastball can get any slower with age. He keeps himself in shape and is as good at mechanical anaylsis as a coach, so when his command starts to drift, he fixers it. At $15M for 2 years, he's not a bad investment.

Even Amaro's big mistake, Ibanez for 3 years, could turn out to be OK if Ibanez is able to repeat his once-in-a-career season vs. LHP this year.

But when one of the dimmest bulbs in the marquee makes declarations that this is an upgrade or that is an upgrade, it should be taken, as Jack said, "with a grain of salt. Or a million."


Wow clout, why so mad? Because everyone on here needs to agree with you? Only time will tell but according to posters in the last thread, they agree with me and also point out about you being negative about other players picked up last year. Negative, clout. No that's a shocker.

Also, feliz was not brought her to be a offensive juggernaut. Sorry stat man. He was brought here for defensive reasons, which he has done pretty well by the way.

Clout and co. Maybe you are so hostile towards the front office even after they deliver a winner here because deep down you resent them and wish you had there positions and careers. Well sorry guys never going to happen, so hey how about being positive for once? Give it a shot, you might even be surprised that the FO over the post wade era.

The FO post wade era have been pretty accurate on all their pickups that many fans hated.

Where do I start. Jenkins, dobbs, werth, eyre, blanton, vic in center, madson not being traded. So I think the FO knows a tad more than the average fan do.

Sigh...

Anyway, moving on...I saw on ESPNews that Uncle Jamie's contract is 2 years for a grand total of 13 million; not at all cost prohibitive. Good move by Jr. and the Phils on that one (and also to Uncle Jamie for taking the home town discount).

The FO post wade era have been pretty accurate on all their pickups that many fans hated.

Freddy Garcia and Adam Eaton say hi.

Jeltz

You might want to recheck your sources. The deal is 2 yrs/ 16 million. 13 is gaurenteed not the grand total.

Ae,

Sorry 2 bad out of roughly 20 moves or non moves at last years trading deadline that ended up imploding ( Marte and mahey). I will take those odds every time.

those salary escalators are pretty steep: if Moyer makes 31 starts and pitches 190 innings, his base is actually $11M for 2010. not that it really changes that much, but it is more money that can't go to Hamels arb/Howard arb/Werth FA/Victorino FA/etc.

that's incorrect, tommy. ESPN says "he will receive base salaries of $6.5 million in each of the next two seasons."

Glad to see my hard work on the graphic is reciprocated with this scintillating conversation.

Ae,

Unless it changed in the past 30 minutes. It is 16 mill total over 2 yrs. 13 million is garenteed. you are such a dope it isn't even funny. Now I see why u and stat man post together. Go to phillies. Com or maybe they r wrong too lol.

Well Satchel Paige pitched when he was 59...

Why is it necessary to waste your time arguing over the base salary of a contract?

Regardless of the money involved - great signing. Personally, I would like to see JA Happ win a spot in the rotation with a strong spring training. I am also hoping that Carrasco dominates AAA and can help us next summer.

JW - Double thumbs for the logo. Arguably my favorite part of Beerleaguer is the logos you create. In fact, I have seen other blogs copy your retro baseball card theme with current players.

Pops,

Your right and I hope both of those things happen.

Moyer came down quite a bit in his final price (especially the ridiculous 2 yrs/$20M) although I am sure he has plenty of incentive targets especially in 2010.

Thing that amazed me most last year about Moyer (and there was alot) was that he didn't wear down in the second half like in '07. Pitched very well down the stretch and was a key reason why this team made the playoffs.

If Moyer can give the Phils another year of 4.50-5.00 ERA and 10-14 wins next year over the course of 30 starts, then it was a solid signing.

@J.Weitzel: I prefer the former Moyer open-mouth picture. Better old man value.

@mvptommyd: For some reason you feel any criticism of the Phillies is unwarranted. I really don't understand what is wrong with questioning a move the team made. Clout said he was fine with 3 of the 4 moves, that is not being overly negative, it's just that he has an opinion of his own. There is nothing wrong with feeling a power RH bat is better for this line-up. After all, we had one last year in Pat Burrell (when we won the World Series). Clout is completely right, we don't know if this team is better now than it was last year, with Ibanez or without. It is not being negative, it is being realistic. Can you predict the future?

Your opinion is as worthless as all of ours, get over yourself and spare us of this torture.

Most amazing thing is that in 74 GS since Gillick acquired him, Moyer's W-L record is 35-21. I can't imagine that Gillick ever thought that Moyer would give that kind of prediction when he basically picked him up to land a hand during the unexpected playoff run in 2006.

A few posters here suggested the Phils would be a 92-95 win team. Not here to stir the pot, but I don't see it. Ibanez will give you more production in RBI's and average/OPS over Burrell but I don't see how they match or get more from Lidge, Madson and Moyer. Throw in Utley out for a couple months. Rollins could have a better year, but where are the extra couple wins over last year, where the Phils got so much unexpected production?

That being said, I still believe the Mets are around 89-92 wins. Putz is the X-factor, he can mean a big swing. Unlike many Met fans I don't expect it a lock to get 158+ games played by Reyes, Wright, Beltran and Delgado again all with great production. Tatis and Church will probably cancel each other out and maybe Murphy adds a little. They should get more wins out of Santana, Maine, the 5 spot, and about the same from Pelfrey. Perez will win more if he is back, as will anyone who they sign (Garland, Lowe) over his 9 wins.

One last thing - It is impossible to root against Moyer. One of the few guys I can remember in recent Philly sports history who gets a universal "thumbs up" from arguably the most fickle sports town in the U.S.

Rollinsux - Agreed. Now it depends on the Mets remaining moves but likely for the 3rd season in a row that team that gets closest or get over the 90 win threshold will take the NL East again.

On a real positive note - Utley supposedly says he will be ready to start on Opening Day. Probably incredibly premature but this would it pretty ideal if Utley could get back 2-3 weeks after Opening Day.

Yet again, my mantra is ".500" for April. My biggest worry is that this team opens slowly and faces a big deficit by Memorial Day.

clout: On you're Burrell POV...I don't completely disagree with you, but I think it is going a little too far to say that Burrell is "far superior" to Ibanez. I mean come on, they are both solid offensive outfielders and I don't think it will affect the offensive output of our lineup too much for the better or the worse. And 3 years/30 mil isn't that outrageous of a contract...overall, I think it will turn out to be an OK deal, although I will miss Burrell.

MG: Yeah, Moyer is kind of on the list of random role players who the city loves. A step below the Dawkins', Trotters, Mike Richards and Chase Utleys of the world. More of an Aaron Mckie type, a local guy who everyone respects and no one really has a bad word about.

Rollinssux:

1. I think the 92-95 prediction is a little lofty myself. I would feel more comfortable estimating 89-92 wins (as you did for the Mets).

2. I don't think that Utley will miss a couple of months. Will he be back for opening day? According to the man himself - he's optomistic, barring any setbacks.

3. Add Randy Wolf to the list of someone the Mets might sign to fill in the back of their rotation. (Mets.com)

I know, it was predicted last off-season that the wild card would arise from the NL East, but you have to think there's a really good chance of that actually happening this year.

RollinSux - If the Mets add Lowe and another productive bat to play LF, then I would say they would be the favorites and that Minaya addressed every need the Mets really had this offseason given that no team was going take Castillo.

A few thoughts on things that could hamper the Phillies next season. (Things I find fairly realistic, not along the lines of a meteor smashes the team plane and we have to trot out the Iron Pigs for the rest of the year.)

1. Utley misses a month to start the season, or returns too soon and re-injures himself.

2. Father Time finally catches up with Jamie Moyer. It's hard to see him pitching like last season, but then, if someone had told me he'd win 16 games before the beginning of last year I'd have accused them of being drunk, so who knows.

3. Hard to see the bullpen, particularly Lidge with a season like the last one. I wouldn't expect a huge drop off, but the Phillies didn't lose a single game after leading going into the 9th which was pretty remarkable once, can't see that two years in a row.

4. Tougher competition from other clubs. I'm not a super-big fan of intangibles, but, having played for a long time, am willing to allow for. One of the ones I am most familiar with is the additional energy that is often felt when playing against the league's elite, which the Phillies are now a part of.

Things that could positively influence the team's record next season.

A. Cole Hamels get better run support. Given his abilities, it seems like a statistical anomaly for Hamels to have won only 12 of his starts. (sort of a reverse Moyer)

B. Ryan Howard remembers that the games is April and May count, too. Seriously, I know all players go through ups and downs, but if he could develop real plate discipline, his numbers would be jaw dropping.

C. Myers v2.0 and Blanton should be an upgrade over Myers v1.0 and Eaton/KK. This is probably where possibility of winning 95 games most likely would be decided.

D. Jason Werth blossoms. He played himself into a starting job convincingly last season, and has some major pressure on him given the Ibanez signing. If he responds for a full season, he could certainly up his VORP. I like the fact that he's healthy and looking at FA soon.

I still cant believe that we're world champions. Everyone needs to chill and just enjoy it...we're doing the right things. We still have a chance to defend it. its a great time to be a Philly fan. Perhaps the best time ever.

Rats, that was supposed to be 14 wins for Hamels. sorry.

Lots of people seem to consider Park an upgrade over Seanez. One problem with that: Park gave up 12 HR in 95 innings. Seanez gave up 2 in 43 innings. Like the Ibanez-for-Burrell decision, this seems more like a sideways move than an improvement. The established performance levels are about the same, but the new player provides a little more flexibility than the outgoing one.

What alarms me most about Park are his splits. For his career against right handers he looks ok, but against lefties, the 1.63 WHIP is ugly. That, and a tendency to throw meatballs.

Park has more upside than Seanez, who could never be trusted to pitch in any important situation. Plus, if he works out, he would give Cholly another option for long relief & would provide some insurance in the event of an injury or the very real possibility that Durbin reverts to pre-2008 form or Romero melts down because of his wildness. But, given his recent -- and even not-so-recent -- history, Park also has a very high likelihood of being a complete and total bust.

Mets only seem to have one left hander in their pen these days - Pedro Feliciano, the original Pete Happy. Has Minaya forgotten that they play the Phillies 18 times? Maybe the Ibanez signing won't be so bad after all...

Also, I know it probably won't happen, but it really gives me the willies that the Phillies are even entertaining the thought of Park being in our starting rotation. I take some comfort in knowing that, if given a few starts in spring training, he'll probably fail spectacularly. But, then again, spring training is a small sample size and the competitition is not the greatest. If Happ has a bad game or two and Park pitches a couple of decent spring outings, next thing you know we could be opening the season with a No. 5 starter who is even worse than Adam Eaton.

bap, I doubt they are seriously considering it. Probably along the line of emergency plan if the injury bug bites really hard.

Glad to see my hard work on the graphic is reciprocated with this scintillating conversation.

Jason, if you don't like the scintillating conversation, maybe you could ban a certain scintillating poster.

mvp: You are entitled to be clueless but you are not entitled to just make stuff up. No one -- literally not one single poster -- criticized the Greg Dobbs signing. There were a lot of yawns, to be sure, as he was not exactly a household name at the time. But, contrary to your assertion, there wasn't a single word uttered on this site in opposition to the signing.

Also, I don't recall anyone on BL being against the idea of making Vic the starting centerfielder. It's possible there were 1 or 2 out there who didn't like this move, but it was a decidedly minority position.

Madson had a few BL detractors but, for the most part, that was coming from the lunatic fringe, as opposed to the regular posters whom you have spent the past 2 days arguing with.

And Jenkins? We'll be paying him $6.5M next year to ride the pine. And you're citing him as an example of the front office's GOOD decisions?

Side note, for those of us that believe stats may have some actual use, there was a very interesting article posted at Dugout Central a few days back.

http://www.dugoutcentral.com/blog/?p=2141

There are going to be times that Park's control disappears completely and going to result in some real bitching on Beerleaguer.

If Phils are counting on Park to give them about 50 innings out of the bullpen next year, then it probably is okay. Park as a starter in CBP will be a disaster.

Was just looking at Jamie Moyer's career numbers. He has definitely had one of the stranger career trajectories in baseball history. Was a below average starter for about the first 6 years of his career, and didn't really break out until he was 33 or 34. I wouldn't bet on it to happen, but if he somehow does win 15 or 16 games again next year and then has another decent season in 2010, then he will definitely deserve serious consideration for the HOF.

Lazarus: Great post.

I like the Moyer signing a lot now. It was a very fair deal for the Phillies and a fair deal for Moyer. He adds a lot of leadership to the team. He is also an anomonly so all this age stuff doesn't really count to me. Like BAP posted above me, Moyer's strange career trajectory makes him enough of an anomonly to take a reasonable $7.5 million or whatever it is gamble on. He's just a good guy to have on the team.

I also like the Park signing. I mean it could be a bust, but the gamble isn't that big. There is a chance he will become this year's Durbin and he is good insurance in case we get a few injuries.

I am disappointed that we will not get Derek Lowe. I think the ownership owes us and can't cry poverty. I have written about how I got my ticket six pack last week and they have a great deal more tickets sold than last year. They are probably looking at a 90% sellout rate. They also have loads of new World Series merch. I was by the Majestic Clubhouse Store last weekend and an employee told me they had over 1000 people there in one day. They are making lots of money.

I think the Lowe signing is really important since the starter free agent market is so weak next year and its almost a sure bet Myers will be gone. Lowe will simply get Myers money at that point and we are still set with a #2 starter not to mention we would have a killer rotation this year.

BAP the HOF is so subjective that you could even be correct under those circumstances, as he would then be pretty close to 300 career wins. As a fan I'd love to see that.

Len, I'm a Lowe fan, too, but I thought the Phillies had a better chance of trading for Peavy than signing him, which is to say, absolutely zero. He would be very successful here I think, but he alreay has the WS ring, so I think it's more about the $$ than anything else for him at this point.

Yeah, maybe Utley will miss 'months' of 09, but maybe he comes back and plays like he did the first few months of '08, before his hip really started bothering him.

Both he, Feliz and JRoll played through some injuries last year that people tend to downplay because they played so many games, but the Phils weren't as universally healthy last year as it's made out to be.

Jason, I just want to applaud you on the Grand Pappy Moyer graphic. I often borrow (ahem, steal) your pictures to use at later dates, and that's one for the "ages" right there.

EFF: The Phils might have had nagging injuries, but good fortune shined on them in general in regards to their health. No injuries in the rotation or bullpen except for Seanez and Gordon. Definitely not the carnage a team like Atlanta or the Mets witnessed.

Considering that Moyer wouldn't be the worst pitcher in the Hall of Fame if he were inducted (Catfish Hunter, I'm looking in your direction), I wouldn't be opposed to the idea. It'd be kinda hard to see a guy with a career ERA+ of 106 making it though...


And before you say, "But NEPP?!?, Hunter won a Cy Young!!!" Yeah, so have Barry Zito, Pat Hentgen, and Bartolo Colon...I doubt anyone thinks any of them will be in the HoF either.

The Phils win the World Series, yet all their fans can do is go on the internet, like Comic Book Guy of The Simpsons fame, bitching and complaining about things that they know little to nothing about.

Speculation of how many wins a team is good for in December is ridiculous. Arguing salaries is equally ridiculous (you might as well argue concession stand prices and the contracts they offer unionized plumbers to maintain the facilities). Comparing past front office deals to current ones is groundless since neither Wade or Gillick are responsible for the current goings on. Drudging up every fanboy obsessive statistic in the universe is pointless. Fantasy baseball titles are won with individual stats. World Series titles are not.

Take a deep breath, relax and just enjoy the damn game for a change, will you? We're World f'n Champions.

MVP, is that you?

Sure, other teams had worse luck with injuries, but part of it is who they decide to have on the roster.

It's not a big surprise when Moises Alou pulls up lame in his 40s.

When you have several starters pitching for you who are the same guys who pitched for ya in the early 90s, you're taking a big risk.

"That being said, I still believe the Mets are around 89-92 wins."


Actually, Rollinsux, they may win more than that - and so might the Phillies.

Assuming they both stay healthy, the addition of Rodriguez and Putz improves the Mets pen significantly, though Wagner was decent last season until his arm blew out. So, the question for the Mets pen is 'what will 2 more months of a healthy closer, and a full six months of a top setuo man mean in terms of wins. IMO, at least 3 more, maybe 2 times that. It will really only matter if the Mets have the lead or are close.

All else being equal, what will probably determine the division winner in 2009 is the performance of the bottom of each team's rotation - what they get from their #4 abd #5 starters.

JW - The Rule 5 Draft graphic actually held a special place in my heart. Jim Ed is always a welcome face.

I know this has been covered in some depth previously, but can anyone share with me the extent of Jason Donald's experience as a 2nd baseman? Utley's comments yesterday were promising, but I am still hesitant about the prospect of seeing a first month with the roaming gnome starting at 2nd. If Futley is not on track, will these two be competing in ST?

NEPP, Catfish Hunter is in the HOF because he was the ace on three WS winners, and pitched on 2 others.

He won 224 games by the time he was 33 yrs old, and had to retire.

I'm not saying I think he belongs, I'm just indicating why he's in the HOF.

If you look at the HOF roster that was voted in by the BBWA, there is a strong correlation with playing of championship teams, regardless of how good a player's vareer actually was.

He got some reps in at 2B in the AFL...other than that, he's never played the position outside of pickup games. He was a All-American SS in HS.

I know WHY he's a HoF...just saying that its not all about overall numbers as Hunter clearly demonstrates with his career 104 ERA+.

Oh, I heard on the way in to work that Furcal agreed to a deal with the Braves pending a physical. I haven't seen anything on-line that make it a definite signing but another team in our division likely got a little better.

Gotta hand it to the old man, getting 2 years guaranteed.

@ MVP from last thread.

I leave work at 5:00, and don't post on BL 24/7 so I didn't get a chance to respond.

I was wrong about OBP. My apologies. Can you admit that you were wrong when you said a sac hurts your average? Doubt it, you are too full of yourself.

I am not a big stat guy to begin with, my main argument if you read back is that GM's and everyone else with any sense value Stats along with their evaluations.

It's amazing how you can piss off so many people even if they agree with you. Which I do on Ibanez.

How can you not see that blind optimism is just as bad as blind pessimism?

http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20081216&content_id=3718632&vkey=hotstove2008&fext=.jsp

If the Braves land Furcal, it means they can/will move Escobar for Peavy.

NEPP: It's not a done deal, but the Braves have joined the bidding per Rosenthal. The move makes sense only if they trade Escobar for pitching.

"...just saying that its not all about overall numbers as Hunter clearly demonstrates with his career 104 ERA+."

I think that's why some folks think

True, NEPP, by ERA+_ he shouldn't be in the HOF. There is much lost in that stat, however.

Hunter was a dominant pitcher on the world stage in multiple World Series. Perfect game. Only the fourth (and last) pitcher to win 20 or more games 5 seasons in a row. Steinbrener said: "Catfish Hunter brought respectability to the Yankees. Without him, we would never have been world champs. If he never pitches another ball, he has been worth every cent."

Highest paid pitcher in 1975. 8 time All Star. He was voted into the HOF by a 76% vote.

And the most important stat: One of the best nicknames in the history of the game.

Furcal + Peavy?

That would definately put the braves in the mix. I don't think they have the ammo right now. They could use a bat in the outfield as well.

****NEPP: It's not a done deal, but the Braves have joined the bidding per Rosenthal. The move makes sense only if they trade Escobar for pitching.****

Oh okay...they made it sound like it was only pending a physical on XM175.

****Hunter was a dominant pitcher on the world stage in multiple World Series. Perfect game. Only the fourth (and last) pitcher to win 20 or more games 5 seasons in a row. Steinbrener said: "Catfish Hunter brought respectability to the Yankees. Without him, we would never have been world champs. If he never pitches another ball, he has been worth every cent."****

Very good points...much the same argument I make whan arguing in favor of Schilling being in.

MLBtraderumors per Ken Rosenthal says it is just pending a physical to be taken today.

The Moyer signing is a big blow to those who insist the Phillies are cheap. They wanted Moyer back and got it done basically on his terms. If they were cheap they would not have gone the second year.

One of my friends that is a braves fan said they may just move Kelly Johnson to the outfield.

Does his bat play out there?

Per the AP, ae and Jeltz are correct and our resident buffoon is wrong on Moyer's salary: It's $13M guaranteed with fairly steep incentives that could push it to $20M.

NEPP -
Mac Tonight cannot be mvptommy. He did not misspell any words, used punctuation and wrote in complete sentences. His invective was, relatively, subdued.

In re: the whole statistics versus "observation" skein - I never saw Lou Gehrig play in person, but only know about his career from those silly statistics. But I did see Tommy Hutton play, and know how he looked out there on the field. I even saw him terrorize the Mets. So I guess, as far as I'm concerned, I have no choice in the matter: for me Tommy Hutton is clearly the better first baseman.

Kelly Johnson has an okay bat for a second baseman. His bat kinda plays, maybe, in CF.

uh oh. "Among the new free agents who hit the market when their old teams did not offer them 2009 contracts, the Mets have expressed interest in Tim Redding, according to another baseball official."

CY: K.Johnson would rank near the bottom of all left fielders in offense. I think that would be Plan C for the Braves. Plan A would be to deal Escobar, whom the Padres covet, for Peavy, although it would take more than just Escobar alone.

I think Johnson's bat definitely plays in center. maybe even if a corner if you had to, especially if he hit more like '07 than '08.

A Mets Tim Redding signing would pretty much be the death knell to the Phillies 09 season. We're talking about 3-4 no-no's against the Phillies if that happens.

Of course, when your leading slugger in the OF was Francouer, with 11 HRs in 599 ABs, well, Johnson doesn't look too bad.

Andy: His bat might play there, but his glove wouldn't. There's speculation the Braves might move him to LF, but I haven't read anyone from the Braves doing the speculating. Johnson played quite a bit of LF in 2005, but has never played CF.

a .795 OPS would be bad from left, but it's still better than the Braves got last year from Gregor Blanco.

maybe I'm overrating Johnson, but I think he's a pretty decent hitter. not a ton of power, but solid OBP.

Johnson's 12 HRs would be a powerboost to their OF...imagine if he had 16 like he did in 07...serious upgrade for them at that point.

If I were the Braves, adding Furcal, my temptation would be to try Escobar at 3B and move Larry to left.

"...serious upgrade for them..."

NEPP: my sarcasm/irony meter just fell off the wall screeching like an airraid siren.

That's what I'm here for Andy.

From now on, I am checking this site like I do my email, because frankly people here can't read and isn't worth my time when I have so many other things to do.

Clout: I said last night and from the beginning the Deal was 2 yrs with 13 million guaranteed with incentives to push it to at least 16. So yes I was right.People on here were saying 13 is the top he can make, whcih is false.

CY: I will admit I was wrong, i couldn't remember if a sac fly hurt your on base percentage or BA. Obviously, it hurts your OBP not your BA I was wrong about that.

"my main argument if you read back is that GM's and everyone else with any sense value Stats along with their evaluations."

As you stated above and i COMPLETELY AGREE. Most people on here look at stats. You need to evaluate the guys skills then look at his stats, then come to a conclusion. If a guy has mediocre stats and your evaluation of him is an all star, you will sign him. However, if a guy has good stats and when you watch him play looks like he never played the game before your not going to sign him. Thats how the game works. This is the reason why Carrasco isn't up yet. His numbers look decent but in their EVALUATIONS he isn't ready yet.

I actually use stats to quantify what I observe on the field...not the other way around. I much prefer to watch the Phillies on TV or in person than follow a boxscore. That's why I watch as much baseball as I possibly can during the season no matter who's playing. You could ask my fiance as she has pretty much come to accept my obsession with the sport as I at least take the winter off from watching other sports...at least since the NHL lockout killed my interest in hockey.

mvp - well, we are both wrong and now in agreement. works for me.

on Kelly Johnson: I pray he ends up in the outfield and that the Braves don't get Peavy.

@ Andy: Escobar and Furcal on the left side would be nasty, at least in theory.

In re: Furcal
It's better to remember the real Furcal than the one who showed up down the stretch for the Dodgers. He came off the DL list blazing, baby - OPS+ 164. He is not quite that hitter - career OPS+ just south of 100.

Braves getting Furcal is really big news, as people are already speculating, now Escobar can be dealt for pitching.

The Braves top prospects mostly reside in the OF and all have big offensive upside, so I doubt that they'd look for Kelly Johnson to fit in somewhere out there for any more than a few months - if any.

Furcal can be an extrememly good player. He has been hampered by injuries, but when healthy can be an instant game changer with his speed and ability to get on base often.

I'd tack a few more wins off those Mets and Phillies predictions if Escobar does indeed get traded for a top of rotation starter.

Furcal hit around .400 for the month of April and then injured his back...he's got a Feliz type injury. He might be brilliant for a month here and a month there but its a high-risk signing.

Braves top prospects mostly reside in the OF

Brandon Jones had a severe drop-off in 2008, both at Richmond and Atlanta.

Jason Perry has hit a speed bump at AAA. Now at 27, one wonders if he's as far as he's going.

Jordan Schaefer is at least a season away.

Anyone lower in the system is still a crap shoot.

Braves need OFs now. Not to mention a 1B who can hit with some pop. I do not see tham having enough power to really destroy anyone in the coming year. Peavy may help them keep other people's scoring down, but they still need to score some runs themselves. Even Furcal won't do too much to help that.

I wouldn't give up on Kotchman quite yet...granted he's more of a Wally Joyner 1B but he might eventually show some pop at 1B.

Am I missing something? What's all this Tim Redding stuff to the Muts? Last week, everyone was writing that he was picked up by the Rox. Am I failing in my BLer duties? Not keeping up with every player in every league at every level? I guess reading all these MVP Tommy D. posts have lulled me into a WFC sleep.

2 of the last 3 Redding starts vs WFC Phils...

July 30, 2008: 4 IP, 7 ER.

September 1, 2008: 5 2/3, 3 ER.

From the news and notes on Redding's yahoo page:

Days earlier, the Nationals and Rockies had discussed a trade involving Redding and Colorado CF Willy Taveras. Both players wound up being non-tendered

Your stats are meaningless!!

Redding was just sandbagging us.

We should sign him to a minor league contract and stash him at AA.

Because I luv puns.

True those OF prospects that i referred too have hit a few bumbs, but remain highly touted guys still. I think they would rather use Jones or Schaefer than convert Kelly Johnson into a stopgap OFer Plus - using either Furcal or Escobar at 2B as others were mentioning is a waste of a good SS. I am pretty sure the Braves wont come into CBP on Opening night with both of those guys on the roster.

Atlanta might not have the firepower as their NL East counterparts, but after a period longer than a decade, they've managed to burn into my brain: never sleep on the Braves.

A handful of people were very optimistic of the Braves in 2008, and it didnt work out, but that is not enough to keep me from thinking they'll be in it until the end.

And I doubt we'll be 9-0 at Turner Field again.

I agree that they'd rather use, say, Brandon Jones in the OF than Johnson. And even Josh Anderson (whose OPS+ is still respectable - mostly because of sample size), would be preferrable to Johnson.

I think if they had to go the "move people around" route, they really would slide Escobar to 5 and Chipper to 7 because they've each played those positions before at a major league level.

Redding is a righty. We clearly added Ibanez for the sole reason of knocking him around, for once.

Incidentally, clout, that Anderson for Villareal swap last off-season doesn't seem to have worked out the way Wade was imagining it. (Anderson, in many fewer ABs, notably, outhit Bourn; and Villareal posted an unexceptional 5-ish ERA.)

Kinda like Kaz Matsui outdid Marcus Giles.

If the Mets really want to put away the Phils, they should sign Tohma Ohka after they ink Redding.

I remember Ohka would have a 6 ERA everytime he came into the game and would completely make the Phils clueless for about 6 innings. never failed.

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EST. 2005

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