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Friday, January 02, 2009

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I'll go out on a small limb and predict we get some okay production from Jenkins this year. Of course I felt the same way last year and even in the 2nd half of last year...I keep thinking he'll bounce back to a somewhat respectable level of production.

Where is Jenkins going to play? I think he could improve, but where?

Someone told me Eaton was heard muttering something like, "I'm only 1/2000th like Bernard Madoff."

Jenkins makes a heck of a cheerleader. He was usually first off the bench to celebrate a big hit.

Jenkins is a class act. That kind of stuff didn't go unnoticed. The problem is age, the big drop in production, injury, along with the fact that he won't be given an opportunity for regular playing time now that Werth becomes even more vital from the right side.

I'm far from convinced that Werth is a full time player. His swing at the righties is still coyote ugly. But you're right, he'll be out there every night whether or not he should be.

The Dodgers are reportedly talking to Andruw about buying out his contract. The idea would be to reduce his one-season salary by spreading out the payments over several years, increasing his overall salary. Maybe that's the tack Amaro should pursue with Eaton.

MG, I don't think Andruw is going to play anywhere in MLB next year, or ever again. He's not even hitting in winter ball. He's reportedly going to have a knee operation. Maybe that's the reason he showed up so out-of-shape last year, so I suppose there's a slim chance he'll pull out of this. But the odds are against him.

****Where is Jenkins going to play? I think he could improve, but where?****

I agree that he's kind of limited with our OF set. Perhaps they could use him to spell Werth and Ibanez from time to time...and of course he'll be our starter in RF for that 3 weeks when Vic or Werth goes down with a nagging injury.

I just keep hoping for some kind of bounceback as we seem to be stuck with him unless we eat his salary.

From the beginning Chuck was very critical of Jenkins' mechanics at the plate. On a few occassions I heard him refer to a hole in Jenkins' swing. I wonder, did they try to change him at all last year, or simply let him go? Maybe, if they were working with him, a new swing will click in this year.

Happy New Year! WFC! Beerleaguer is the best!

From the last thread the argument of 1960's talent vs. todays and the drop off of African Americans discussion, I think that baseball suffers because of lack of media exposure. Football and basketball ball gets loads of coverage for it's free minor league system called college. A major college football program gives out almost ten times the scholarships than its baseball team. College football and basketball is on TV all the time. The college drafts for both those sports are heavily covered and anticipated. Top draft picks in both sports normally start on the big league team at game one.

In baseball, the college player quits the team after his junior year. College baseball is rarely on TV. A college player drafted high in the draft, may make the big club in three or four years. He may get to start in Clearwater or Lakewood. A year or two later, he makes it to Reading.

Athletes have big egos. Which sport would you choose to pursue from high school, one where you're on TV all during college and go to to the top pro league level as soon as you leave; or one where nobody sees or hears about you and you toil for years at whistle stop towns in Nowheresburg, Iowa? That's why baseball suffers IMHO.

"With pitchers and catchers just a month and a half away..."

Anybody else read that and feel goosebumps?

Any chance we get one more arm for the bullpen? Juan Cruz anyone?

Back to JW's question...where are the Phillies going to send these bad contracts? I don't see any major league teams that would be all that interested in adding either of these players (especially Eaton) without the Phillies eating all or at least most of their contracts. So I think it's a fairly legitimate question to ask and one I don't see an answer to.

The worst part...these two bad contracts are preventing the Phillies from offering a contract to a guy that COULD help the team (namely, Derek Lowe).

I think Cruz is a good idea.

Cruz is a great idea...especially since all he'll cost us is a 2nd round pick now. Acquiring Cruz would give us the best bullpen in the NL easily.

The only downside with Cruz would be losing yet another draft pick. But his presence would definitely improve what's out there even more.

NEPP - That's another way of looking at it. "If all we're losing is our second round draft pick..."

We could then sign Lowe and still pick Tim Moss in the fourth round.

Cruz or Lowe at the cost of a 2nd round pick is far easier to deal than a 1st round pick. If I had to pick one of the two, I'd much rather have Lowe but Cruz could at least be possible...if not bloody likely.

I like Juan Cruz's stuff, too. But where does he fit into this bullpen? Certainly not closer; most likely not as a set-up guy, either...maybe as the 7th-inning guy? How much do you invest in your 7th-inning guy? How much will it cost to land Juan Cruz? Would he even want to be a 7th-inning guy?

7th inning guy, maybe even setup. Everyone is expecting Mad Dog to come back and dominate like he did in September and October. We have seen Ryan dominate in stretches and I'm not convinced he is "the man" for the entire season just yet.

Cruz fits in the 2nd righty setup guy with Madson and slides into Madson's spot after the season ends. Or he makes Madson expendable. We're almost certainly in for a letdown from Durbin so I wouldn't mind having another legit righty arm out there that isn't named Condrey.

Jeltz: Those are all valid questions, but I see it like this: you can never have too many good bullpen arms. Relievers tend to be up and down by nature. Durbin was an invaluable contributor for most of last year but he struggled down the stretch and, considering that he has been terrible for 90% of his career, it's fair to wonder what we'll get from him this year. It's also fair to wonder if Romero can keep getting away with his high-wire act of managing to be a successful reliever while walking around 6 batters per 9 innings. Or whether 36-year old Scott Eyre can stay healthy & be effective again, after pitching only 25.2 innings last year. And so on.

I'm not saying this to be my usual pessimistic self -- because, if I had to bet, I'd say that Romero & Eyre will probably be fine & maybe even Durbin too. I'm just saying: you don't know. And if 1 or 2 of your relievers get injured or under-perform, you sure don't want to be stuck with the likes of Yoel Hernandez or Mike Zagurski pitching in major league games. Cruz would be an additional layer of insurance and he might also give us some flexibility to trade one of our other bullpen guys as part of a package to get a right-handed bat.

Besides, the Phillies' starting rotation basically consists of Cole Hamels and four 6-inning, 3-run type guys. Plus, with our left-handed heavy lineup & bench, I guarantee you that we will struggle to score runs in the late innings. The only way to compensate for these problems is to have as strong and deep a bullpen as you can possibly have. So I'm all for bringing in Juan Cruz.

I'm all for bringing in Cruz as well. But this means either Condrey goes... or Park is in the rotation, right?

Hamles
Myers
Moyer
Blanton
Happ

Lidge
Madson
Romero
Durbin
Eyre
Park
Condrey

That's our pitching staff. To stay at 12, we'd sign Cruz and dump either Condrey (to waivers) or Happ (to the minors).

In a bizarre way, Ibanez could actually help Jenkins and Stairs stay. That's because whoever isn't in the field will be the first PH and smoke out the other team's LOOGY, taking the LOOGY out of play for the middle of the order.

Damn, keep forgetting about Park. I'd still bring Cruz on and toss Condrey into AAA if possible.

With Park, we ain't signing another reliever...FVCK.

I forgot Park too, but you can rank him right up there with Chad Durbin as someone who has a substantial probability of being a complete disaster.

With the addition of Park & the gamble on Majewski, there is no possibility that the Phillies will sign Cruz. But he would still be a nice addition. Majewski is a huge question mark and, while I actually have sort of a spoft spot for Clay Condrey, he's a very limited pitcher.

Condrey is the #1 guy I want in there when we're down 8 or more runs.

Happy New Year everyone!

JW~ Keep up the great work!

The new MLB network is awesome. J-Roll was on last night. Did anyone see the Hot Stove report? Jon Heyman was on and the Lowe situation was talked about. Basically Lowe probably won't sign the Mets offer unless it's rasised according to Heyman. He think the offer could go to 3/45. He said the he thinks the Phils to get in on this situation too. That they've like Lowe for a while. I'm wondering if there is something to that.

Andy is right. Losing the 2nd-round pick at this point would mean losing our top pick, and our only realistic chance of getting something valuable out of what's expected to be a deep draft. No, thanks, unless the idea is to sign Cruz so we can dump Madson. I don't like Madson's chronic el foldo routine in the first place, and he's got Boras as his agent, so he's almost certainly gone after this season -- Boras likes his clients to test the market, and the Phillies aren't likely to play that game.

Signing Lowe, or any talent at that level, would require creativity, something the Phillies' FO has never shown in the 45 years I've been following them, with the brief exception of the Paul Owens years.

I'd love to believe the Phillies would swoop in and "Teixeira" the Mets with Lowe but I don't really see it happening unless they were to unload some salary some other way...not with all their arbitration eligibles unsigned.

BAP: Durbin a "substantial" possibility of complete disaster? I'd say it's possible, but by "substantial" do you mean, say, a 1-in-4 chance? And by "complete disaster," I assume we're talking Eatonesque. I dunno -- a couple of mediocre months after heavy usage doesn't lead to complete futility that often, does it?

It'll be interesting to see Durbin's PECOTA projections when BP comes out with their predictions for 09...I'm guessing his "regression" percentage will be fairly high if only because his season was so good in comparison to the rest of his career.

I think we all have to assume a large regression with Durbin. But is that all bad? He was a MASSIVE part of our early season success as he significantly exceeded expectations. I think going into this year, we won't need him nearly as much as we did last year. I think he'll be able to settle in his most comfortable role and not be overworked.

Yo, new thread...

I made this post repeatedly but the Phils have 3 poor/terrible contracts next year (Eaton, Jenkins, Feliz) that amount to $23M or at least 20% of their payroll this year. Not a single one of these contracts is tradeable unless the Phils eat a significant portion of their salary or take on a equally bad contract.

The only thing that is good is that these 3 contracts all come off the books at the end of this season. However, Amaro went around and increasingly looks like he overpaid for Ibanez and Moyer. Everybody endlessly bemoans the money that Eaton is owed but what happens if Moyer largely turns out to be a similiar case at the end of next year or Ibanez in the next year and half?

That is a significant amount and compared that to the Mets who really only three terrible contracts for next year (Schoenweis, Wagner, Castillo) to the tune of about $19M. You could even argue that Wagner wasn't a "terrible contract" just an injury risk because if healthy he would be a vital cog in the Mets' bullpen again.

Alby: Please explain when Madson folded last season. I missed it.

I'd like the signing of Cruz also. If we could somehow pull off a trade for Peavy (I know many things would have to happen - no trade clause etc.). We could put Madson, a catcher (Marson/Coste/Paullino), Maybe Durbin, any combimation of Stairs/Jenkins etc. if wanted/needed, and any minor league players but preferably not Carrasco or Donald. That would get us a very good starter with a reasonable contract for 3 years, solve the impending Madson-Boras headache, and free up a bullpen spot 7-8th for Cruz. Ok, wake me up!

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