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Tuesday, January 13, 2009


At least he's not on the Mets.

From the last thread:

Bap wrote - With the additions of Kawakami, Lowe & Vasquez, they almost certainly have the best starting pitching in the division.

Considering how big a question mark Kawakami is and the fact that tehy still don't have an Ace (Lowe isn't an Ace), they DO NOT have the best rotation in the division.

Braves absolutely do not have the best rotation. Blanton isn't as good as Lowe, but he can hang with him. Braves lack the Hamels-esque losing-streak stopper.

NEPP - It certainly has potential to be the best rotation in the division. (You need to put in a bunch of "ifs," like "If Kawakami..." "If Jurrjens..." "If Campillo...") Even without a nasty, over-the-top Hamels/Peavy/Sabathia ace, they have the potential to be consistently better than anyone. Javier Vazquez and Jair Jurrjens as 3/4 guys could be seriously scary.

That being said, with appropriate "ifs" adorning the names of Moyer, Myers and Blanton, the Phils are not exactly chopped liver.

Lacking an Ace pitcher kills a team in the playoffs. Thus, they Don't have the best rotation.

Any indication as to where Sheets will end up? I wouldn't mind seeing the Phils roll the dice on him. He won't stay healthy, but even half a season of one of the best is worth a decent amount of money.

Incidentally, now that Lowe and Kapler are off the board, should we consider that the prophetic quality of b-a-p has reached its fulfillment. We can now be certain that no further (impact) moves will be made by the Phils' FO.

have the Braves shown any interest in Dunn? right now, I just don't see them having the offense to compete, but adding 40 HR & 100 RBI in the middle of the lineup would be a big way to fix that.

Enter DPatrone with the Amaro bashing......

Andy, I don't understand where you're coming from from with regard to Blanton. A review of his career numbers indicate he's been fairly consistent throughout his career, and eats(no pun intended) a lot of innings, not having pitched less than 194 innings in the last 4 seasons. If a guy is getting knocked around and is inconsistent, it's unlikely he'll reach those totals.

Also, with Moyer I think we know what we're getting. He probably won't be as good as 2008, when he pitched like a #2, but then again, he's not getting paid like a #2 either. Seems to me everyone knows what the expectations are.

Myers? Well, there you might have an argument. He's a guy with #2 potential, but who, from time to time, has a problem with a AAA head. We debated all last season about Dr. Brett and Mr. Hyde. IMO, he's the only question maek of the top 4 pitchers.

It will be interesting to see who wins the #5 slot. Park, Kendrick, Happ and who knows who look set to compete. Personally, I view Happ as having an edge after his performance last season.

We'll see.

@nepp -- ditto. At least he's not on the Mets.

from last thread: i'd also be hesitant to throw out the best "rotation in the division" crown to the braves. sure lowe is nice, and should do reasonably well for them. but vazquez has certainly never been a stud (he had a nice year in '07, but otherwise, that ERA+ has been bobbing 100 for a few years now) and who knows if kawakami will be a Kuroda/Matsuzaka or another Kei Igawa. i like jurrjens a lot but, to me, he has to prove he can last a whole season without wearing down like last year. and that leaves...jorge campillo as number 5 to start the season? meh. hudson may be back midseason, but even then, i think there's better rotations in the division.

Dave X, signing Sheets would be a risky move, but one that, IMO, would certainly pay off in another division win if he stayed healthy.

The rotation would be Hamels, Sheets, Myers, Moyer/Blanton. Also, you'd have Park as the spot starter in the pen, and Happ/Kendrick stashed at AAA if injuries sprang up.

That said, Sheets is apparently still looking for a multi-year deal that is likely way out of the Phils price range.

It's fun to dream, though.

I'm glad the Braves got him instead of the Muts. For some reason, I felt that Lowe would succeed with the Muts, but I don't feel that way about the Braves. I think they just wasted $60 million.

They don't have an ace pitcher? What is Tim Hudson? And even if they lack a true ace, they have 3 No. 2 caliber starters -- maybe 4, depending on Kawakami. And I don't buy that Kawakami is some unknown quantity. The same was said about Kuroda, who was more than solid. Kawakami is not some AAA player getting his first shot at the majors. They play pretty good baseball in Japan.

I knew I'd get howls of protests when I said the Braves had the best pitching in the division, but, unless you think Jamie Moyer is going to repeat his 2008 performance, I don't even see how the point is debatable.

"Lowe isn't an Ace"

What, exactly, is an "ace"? Lowe ranked #17 in VORP among starting pithcers last season, so theoretically he would have been the #1 starter on about half the teams in baseball.

I have been dreaming of sheets all off-season. It doesn't look like the Phils are even entertaining the idea, which is kind of disappointing. His upside is higher than Lowe IMO. And you might be able to get him on a 1 year deal with an option.

Just to be clear . . . I'm glad the Braves got Lowe and not the Mets. The Braves' lineup is terrible, so it's not like I'm living in fear of them. But lineup problems can to be more easily cured than pitching problems. If 1 or 2 guys have breakout years that weren't expected, the Braves will turn into contenders very fast.

Also, Kawakami is not Igawa. Igawa's numbers were already in sharp decline before he came to the U.S. Kawakami's were not.

@AWH -- Agreed.

Given the depth of the 5/6 level starters will have in camp, getting a Sheets would only be risky in terms of cash, but we are likely to be throwing away 8MM with Eaton anyway... what's another 24 for the next 3 years?

But... with a Happ/Kendrick/Park/Eaton around you could take on an injury risk pitcher and hope?

Since when is Tim Hudson an Ace pitcher? Last I checked, he hasn't been an Ace since he left Oak. his starts put him at a very good #2 guy..not a Sabathia, Hamels, Santana type.

bap: hudson will miss at least half of '09, if not all, after tommy john.

and like i said with kawakami, if you look at igawa's numbers in japan, he looks like a known quantity, a solid and reliable starter. hasn't really panned out that way. i think there's an element of risk involved in any japanese import (like Uehara with the O's). some pan out, some don't. i'm thinking he'll probably be at least league average, but who knows what the ceiling is there.

Jason, from last thread, please don't turn BL into an all purpose blog. I don't mind if you start other blogs looking just like this dedicated to the Eagles, Flyers and Sixers, just don't mix sports. I come here to read about the WFC Phillies, not those other sports. Part of me even wants the Eagles to not win the Super Bowl, because it would detract from the WFC Phillies! How sick is that???!!

I'm so happy the Braves signed Lowe. He could've made the Mets dangerous, but the Braves still suck.

Any Sheets contract would have to heavily performance-based to make it worth the risk.

zp: Ah, you're right. I had forgotten about Hudson's surgery. With a healthy Hudson, their pitching would clearly be the best in the division. Without him, it's still pretty good. Whether it's the best in the division will depend on how Myers, Moyer & Blanton do this year.

I agree that you can't really count Hudson since he's out most of the '09 season--but Hudson not an ace? he was top ten ERA/WHIP, top five wins/innings in the 2007 NL, that looks like ace material to me. and he was pitching extremely well last year before the injury.

So, NEPP, how many "aces" does baseball have? And how does a pitcher become so designated?

im personally curious as to how the marlins staff will do this year. they have some pretty promising young guys and some that are finally healthy. without retreads like hendrickson in there, they could (not necessarily will) have the most impressive staff in the division.

I think there are not enough "aces" to go around for all NL teams. Here's my list of NL "aces".


Before his postseason success, Hamels was not on this list. Volquez might be a one year wonder and Nolasco may or may not be an "ace".

In the AL, I'd include:

Ervin Santana

That's it.

AWH: Blanton has only had two seasons with an ERA+ over 100. Several of his seasons have been below 90. The "if" with him is over which Kentucky Joe shows up. With Moyer it's age. We know not to expect 2008 Moyer, but there has to be an "if" like: "If the age based wheels don't completely fall off..." I'm actually, after last year, more optimistic about Myers.

There's never any sure thing. And the question marks could all go the Braves' way.

****So, NEPP, how many "aces" does baseball have? And how does a pitcher become so designated?***

Not that many. Lots of teams have #1 starters, far fewer have Ace pitchers.
An "Ace" pitcher is the guy that comes in and we think "Damn, how are we gonna score on him?". There aren't alot of pitchers that you can say that about.

And listen: Lowe has got to be considered at least a 2+. He is seventeenth in active pitchers in career ERA+. And he has had a couple ace-type seasons. His first year as a starter he has an ERA+ of 177. Last year, I think, it was 134. I know that lots of folks prefer an ace who misses lots of bats, but, really, he's better than the average 2.

In re: the playoffs
I don't think the Braves are thinking playoffs this year anyway. They want to 1) win more games than last year; 2) develop some of their young talent more; and 3) kick the crap outta the Dodgers every chance they get. Wren might even order their pitchers to knock down Furcal once a game.

NEPP - So...Redding is an ace...

****So...Redding is an ace...****

LOL...when he plays us he's not just an Ace, he's a first ballot HoF.

IN other words, then, what separates a "#1 starter" from an "ace" is completely subjective, being based on whether the observer thinks his team can score off the pitcher.

In that case, I will not argue that Derek Lowe is an "ace." I will settle for stating "Baseball Prospectus ranked him the 17th-best starting pitcher in baseball in 2008."

WTF...Ricky Nolasco and Matsuzaka gets to be "aces" and Hudson doesn't?

if you're pushing the definition to somehow include those two, then why no Harden? Sheets? Oswalt? Billingsley? Haren? Shields? Lester? Beckett? Mussina? Lee? Saunders? Hernandez?

maybe Hudson isn't on the level of Johan Santana (for that matter, neither is Cole Hamels until he notches a couple Cy Youngs), but he's a pretty damn good pitcher. you could certainly win a World Series with him as your #1 guy.

Beckett? I know he didn't do well last year, but he certainly can be an Ace.

Cliff Lee?
King Felix?

Just a few off the top of my head. If we are being subjective.

With a healthy Hudson -- which I guess probably won't happen until 2010 -- the Braves will, at worst, have two 2+ starters. Jurrjens, if he pitches as he did last year, is like a 2- or a 3+. Kawakami will probably fall into the same category. That's a good rotation. I'm not a big Javier Vasquez fan but, if he's the worst starter in your rotation, you're in very good shape.

you guys should be worry that the mets didnt get lowe, becuase now the mets will probably get perez who the phillies cant beat. anyway it will be a fun year in the NL EAST, it will be a 4 team race.

Can someone please list the NL East rotations at this point for comparison sake?


If you don't see a difference between Tim Hudson and a Santana type pitcher, I can't really help you.

There is a difference and it becomes quite pronounced at times.



I think Hudson has a mutual option for 2010. Those almost never get exercised (because both team and player have to agree that the amount is fair), so he may never team up with Lowe in that rotation.

I'm irritated about the Phillies missing the chance to get Lowe at 4 years, 60MM.

15MM/year for a #2 pitcher is a good deal even at 4 years.

As usual, when it comes to signing starting pitchers, the Phillies would rather overpay for lesser talent than overpay for premium talent. You get what you pay for when it comes to starting pitchers and you're going to overpay either way. Might as well get top talent to get the best return.

Can they still compete? Of course. Do they need everything to break right with the starting rotation? Yes.

This is a missed opportunity the Phillies are likely to regret.

Dice-K and Nolasco aren't even close to being aces. Dice-K was the Red Sox 3rd best pitcher by the end of the year, behind Lester and Beckett.

CY, an "ace" might not make the HOF, however, when he is at "ace" status, he's pitching HOF stuff. Plus an "ace" has to be the no. 1 starter on your staff. The no. 2 pitcher, no matter how good can't be an "ace".

That reason knocks off Beckett, Lester, Dempster, Sheets, Harden, Lackey and Haren.

Cliff Lee and Billingsly are one year wonders.

Grienke? Be serious! 13-10!!!

King Felix? Who is King Felix? He's so well known that his nickname means nothing to me, but he's questioned as a possible "ace"? Give me a break.

I agree that the Lowe signing was a missed opportunity by the Phillies to lock up a number 2+ pitcher for only $15million/year, but in the same breath, I also can't blame them. They simply do not have the payroll flexibility right now to commit that kind of cash to a new player. These arbitration awards are holding them hostage and I hope the FO learns a valuable lesson from this experience. I hope we see long-term contracts tendered to our young talent once they arrive in the big leagues, ala Pedroia and Longoria.

clearly my bachelor's degree in English did not prepare me to understand the semantic complexity of the word "ace".

somebody asked earlier for the NL East rotations and i thought it'd be an interesting comparison... so, as reported from each team's depth chart, here goes:

Johan Santana
John Maine
Mike Pelfrey
Tim Redding
John Niese
Bobby Parnell

Ricky Nolasco
Josh Johnson
Chris Volstad
Anibal Sanchez
Andrew Miller
D. Meyer

Derek Lowe (not yet listed on Depth chart)
Javier Vazques
Jair Jurrjens
Kenshin Kawakami
Jorge Campillo
Jojo Reyes
Charlie Morton
J. Parr

John Lannan
Scott Olson
Daniel Cabrera
Shawn Hill
Colin Balester
S. Martis
Jason Bergmann

Cole Hamels
Brett Myers
Jamie Moyer
Joe Blanton
Kyle Kendrick
Adam Eaton
Chan Ho Park

NEPP: I'm curious. Why question marks about all the Braves' starters but no question marks on Moyer and Myers?

Definition: ace - Plural of ay. As in "How ace did Vinny Barbarino say in that episode?"

it should also be noted that the Phillies had listed Carlos Carrasco as #8, but as a "prospect". no mention of JA Happ however?

How can people make the statement that the Braves have the best pitching in the division now with their current bullpen? Their bullpen was generally as atrocious at their rotation last year (at times even worse due to injuries).

Gonzalez is likely to improve this year as it is his 2nd year back from major arm surgery but he was never a true workhorse in Pittsburgh. Braves need at least 55-60 innings from his this year. My bet is that he is that he posts decent numbers but struggles to keep his job as the closer this year. Same for Soriano except the Braves need more from him (say closer to 70 innings).

As for the rest, color me unimpressed. Moylan will be back sometime in the first half but the rest of the guys strike me as being pretty mediocre. They have a couple of guys (Carlyle, Bennett) who aren't good enough to start or really to consider as decent back-end pieces in the bullpen either. Acosta isn't bad but his control comes and goes like the wind. Some outing he will throw 14 or 15 pitches and only throw 4 or 5 strikes.

Maybe everything lines up for the Braves pen just as it did for the Phils. Gonzalez rebounds to being an effective (not elite) closer, Soriano stays healthy, Acosta becomes a reliable setup man, Moylan returns in the 2nd half as a lefty arm they need, and they are able to get enough decent innings out of the middle relief from the likes of Bennett, Carylyle, Ridgeway, and other holdovers.

My bet is that the Braves' bullpen is improved from last year but still a mixed bag. Even with the Lowe and Karakami signings, Braves are looking at around at 85-max win season and that just won't be good enough to win the East or take the WC. Yeah maybe the Braves take the NL East as a sleeper pick but they need a ton of things to go right with their bullpen and to consistently find enough offense all year so that they don't have to win a bunch of 4-3 or 3-2 games.

Myers: Marlins have the best potential for a great year, but are also highest risk due to extreme youth and inexperience.

Phillies and Braves are very close. Braves lack true ace with Lowe, but Jurrjens has big upside and Vasquez-Kawakami are solid veterans.

Those who think Kawakami is total mystery are same goofs who thought Kuroda was nothing special. Kawakami is very comparable talent.

I like whoever is Phils #5 better than Campillo or Reyes.

Rest of division isn't nearly as good, even if Mets re-sign Ollie.

"If you don't see a difference between Tim Hudson and a Santana type pitcher, I can't really help you. There is a difference and it becomes quite pronounced at times."

Is it a difference statistics might help elucidate, or are we sticking with the "ace because NEPP says so" definition? Because looking up the stats on those you dubbed "ace," their stats are all over the place. You have Lincecum on there based on one great season. YOu have Zambrano on there even though he has been below 120 in ERA+ the past two years. You have Ervin Santana on there despite the fact that his best season of ERA+ was 121.

Basically, those you say are aces are, by definition, aces, and those you say aren't, aren't. Unfortunately, the designation can't actually be discussed because, as you indicated above, you can't even explain what "aceness" or "ace-itude" consists of, other than you know it when you see it, and if you don't see it, it ain't there.

In short, this is why statistics were invented -- so that we can carry on discussions on a higher plane than "because I said so."

I am very glad that Lowe didn't sign with the Mets. One last thing that Minaya really need to get was another frontline starter and Lowe would have fit that bill perfectly for next season.

Way things are shaking out again, it looks like the Phils approach of maintaining status quo this winter will enable them to have a very viable shock again in the NL East as it is hard to see any team right now pushing more than 90+ wins.

Phils have been fortunate the past few years that the NL East hasn't had a really good team (94 or more wins) like it generally had the previous 15 years or so prior to the 2006 season. I could easily see the Phils sneaking away with the NL East again next year with only 88 or 89 wins.

'06 Mets did win 97 though. I forgot how good Beltran was that year.

'06 Mets did win 97 though. I forgot how good Beltran was that year.

I hope they consider Happ for the 5th spot and that the depth chart is just accidentally missing him. Eaton and Kendrick are both very poor pitchers, and while Happ is nothing special, he is probably at least better than they are.

****NEPP: I'm curious. Why question marks about all the Braves' starters but no question marks on Moyer and Myers?****

There are definitely questionmarks...the same as any other NL East rotation. My point is that I dont think there is any rotation that CLEARLY is the best in the division.

On a statisical cutoff for an Ace starter, I would put the bar at an ERA+ of 140 or above for Ace with guys in the 120-140 range (Hudson, Lowe, etc) considered very good starters. Its rough and arbitrary...and completely my personal opinion.

MG: I think my statement was that the Braves have the best "starting pitching" in the division. That was before I realized that Hudson was on the shelf. Even without Hudson, their starting pitching is pretty solid. With him, it would unquestionably be the best rotation in the division. The Braves have some big problems but starting pitching isn't one of them.

Fresh from Chan Ho Park tearfully announced he won't play in the WBC so he can concentrate on being a starter for the Phils.

xfactor: Lowe's a solid and consistent starting pitcher and I think it's pretty clear from my previous posts that I would have liked the Phillies to get him. But you'll have a hard time convincing me that 4 years, $60M for a 36-year old pitcher is a bargain. I'd say it's a pretty steep price which the Braves are likely to regret by about the third year of the contract. In some ways, the signing is a bit of a head-scratcher to me. Overpaying for a 36-year old starter only makes sense if you plan to be competitive immediately and, at least as of today, it's hard for me to see the Braves being competitive immediately.

FWIW, here's Keith Law's report on Kawakami, who he ranked #42 in this year's FA class, behind fellow Japanese pitchers Uehara (Orioles) and Tanzawa (Red Sox):

Kawakami reminds me too much of Kei Igawa to ignore it, but he's here on the basis of a pretty strong track record of missing bats in Japan. He sits in the upper 80s with a very straight fastball; he's been more homer-prone in Japan than Igawa was, and that pitch's lack of movement is the major reason why.

He throws a potentially above-average cutter and can generate some ground balls with it, but it's not a clear out pitch. None of his offerings (he also throws a slow curve and a forkball with good-not-great diving action) is good enough to project that he'll strike out hitters here as he did in Nippon Professional Baseball. He throws a ton of strikes and was mostly durable through his career in Japan, although he missed some time in September with back trouble. He's a back-end starter for a National League club.

every time I read a story about how Park can't wait to start next year, I die a little inside.

Rich Hardin? Undoubtedly and "ace". Fragile, but an "ace" no less.


I've been busy all day. All I'm gonna say is at least the Mets didn't get him. But it just proves that the Phils won't pay that kind of money for a pitcher. Going back a couple of threads, I didn't say they are chep. I said they refuse to pay the going rate. They want players to play for them at their number. This just proves it.

Amaro continues to not get the job done IMO. And what's worse is that they're not even talking to anyone. At least not that I'm aware of. And I'm certainly not hearing anything.

The Phillies method of madness has just garnered us a WS trophy...its up to debate whether that was by accident or by design.

****And I'm certainly not hearing anything.

I'm annoyed too...hell, Ruben doesn't even return my call sometimes.

Yikes, the Park situation could get really awkward. Sounds like the FO really puffed this guy up about possibly starting. I really can't see him winning that fifth spot, but I can see him sulking around the bullpen and becoming a disgruntled, ineffective long reliever.

Okay, here's the known rotations so far in order of 2008 finish. Notice, I said known. I'm only listing players that are definitely signed. For example, the Mets are going to add another starter through free agency, we just don't know who it is, so I'm leaving them with just 4.

Phillies: Hamels, Myers, Moyer, Blanton, then depending upon spring training, Happ, Kendrick, Eaton, Park
Mets: Santana, Maine, Pelfrey, Redding,
Marlins: Nolasco, Johnson, Volstad, Sanchez, Miller
Braves: Lowe, Jurrjens, Vasquez, Campillo, Kawakami (I don't know if that's the actual rotation, it's a guess based on old and new players)
Nationals: Olsen, Lannan (the guy who broke Utley's hand in 2007), Hill, Daniel Cabrera (former Oriole), gaggle of AAAA talent for #5

Kawakami's an unknown at this point, we can't be sure how he'll pitch over here no matter what his stats are. It's a decent signing by the Braves, since it addresses their number 1 problem, starting pitching. Should Hudson return to form, I think they've actually got a fairly good group if these guys stay together in 2010.

Atlanta will be more competitive than last year. I think they're a .500 team with Jones in the lineup. Bullpen doesn't seem very spectacular as they appear to lack a true setup man and closer. Offense is really only any good if Jones is in the lineup. Main power threats are Jones and McCann, little else. This is what probably will hold the team back: their offense. Jones has never been healthy for a whole year since 2003 and I doubt that's going to change.

Overall it seems like they have a decent team but are overmatched by the Phillies and Mets. I'd predict they finish in 3rd, in front of the Marlins.

I like how the last line rhymed, "He's a workhorse and a stabilizing force". Nice work MC Weitzel.

I just don't see sheets as being prudent at this point, although he'd be a great idea if he's hanging around in march. I think the team needs to settle its many arbitration cases first, and then move on to locking in Hamels. Sheets would be a nice addition, but with all the raises coming and the amount not certain, it may not be prudent.

Timr: I think they told him he'll have the chance the to start, not that he will be starting. Consider who you have as candidates for the last spot: Kendrick, who fared very poorly before being replaced, Eaton, who's been a bust and should be released in my opinion, Happ who pitched very well but is anything but a sure thing, and Carrasco, who probably needs another year of seasoning at triple-A. It's not a bad move when you look at the 5th spot this way, which was probably Amaro's thinking, and if he doesn't make it, they've signed a guy with a decent track record for pitching out of the bullpen. Note: I said PITCHING FROM THE PEN. I'm aware his numbers as a starter are abysmal in Texas.

Jack: Well, if Keith Law says so, it must be true, right?

timr: A Terry Adams, take two, scenario would be bad....

Couple of additional thoughts on Lowe signing:

1. Have to give Boras some credit. He got got the money Lowe wanted per year just not the additional 5th year (which no team was likely going to give him anyway).

2. Seems pretty clear that Lowe was only going to sign with a team if they give him a 4th year. I still wonder though if the Braves didn't outbid themselves a bit ($12M-$13M/year vs. $15M/year) as often seems to happen with Boras clients.

3. On BAP's point, the Lowe deal really doesn't make much sense for the Braves this year or in the future. Likely Lowe doesn't perform at a high level in the 3rd and 4th year of the contract.

As for this year, the Lowe signing still doesn't make the Braves a contender. Also, I can't think the Lowe signing is going to really drive ticket sales either. Yeah, the Braves are clearly better with Lowe this year than without him but are fans really going to be that much more interested in the team because of a 35/36-year old starter. I would say no.

4. Lowe signing in Atlanta vs. NY will be better for him and likely lead to better results. Besides pitching in a slightly favorable pitcher's park and having a team with solid INF defense, it is a team that likely won't have intense focus or high expectations.

Contrary to what Lowe said about loving Boston and having a desire to return to the East Coast, he clearly had a love/hate relationship with the Sox and Boston fans/media when he left.

Lowe clearly floundered at times under the intense scrutiny of the Boston media/fans. As a fan who saw who pitch a bunch it Boston, it was clear the pressure at times clearly got to his head and affected his performance on the field.

I can't imagine that Lowe would have responded well to the NY media/fans if the had gotten out to a slow start with the Mets or underperformed. My bet is that Lowe is a very solid fantasy performer next year for the Braves until I wonder if they are going to scoring enough runs for him to win 14-15 games.

but the money is a lot less as is the commitment...

I will say that DPatrone has a point that Amaro said repeatedly at the start of the offseason that the Phils wanted to improve their pitching, defense, and acquire a RH-bat. While Amaro did maintain the status quo of the team (and likely overpaid to do so), he clearly has not improved the pitching, defense, or acquired a RH-bat so far.

As Lt. Friday would say, "Just the facts."

Since it looks like we're gonna talk about Keith Law now, what do people think of that Abreu trade?


Glad to see you, thought the Lowe signing might have caused you to do something drastic.

Chances are pretty strong that Park's dream of being a starting pitcher will end after he gets pounded 2 or 3 times in spring training. But who knows? My fear is that we could run into a situation like last year, in which none of the 5th starter candidates really distinguishes himself in ST. If that happens, Happ should be the presumptive 5th starter. But I could see Amaro going with Park because he's a veteran. If Park is our 5th starter next year, we may start waxing nostalgic over the Adam Eaton era.

NEPP: I agree. Braves and Phils rotations are very close with Marlins having the most potential for a big year (and maybe most potential for bad year too). I give Phils a very slight edge due to Hamels being better than anyone in Braves rotation.

Clout: Where did I ever give my opinion on Kawakami? All I did was post Law's thoughts on the matter, and I prefaced it with a FWIW. I never said I agreed with it, so I don't get what the point of your comment was.

I just thought I'd post it so people had another opinion on the guy, other than your scouting report.

clout: i agree with you that its the Marlins who have the division's best pitching, although their youth and inexperience will provide some bumps along the road. this is the staff that i worry about, especially with Lindstrom throwing fire from the back end of the bullpen and Ceda there to set up.
i'm glad the Braves snagged Lowe, because the Mets really needed him to make them dangerous, but i still don't put much faith in the Braves pitching. without Hudson they don't have a stopper and i doubt their feeble offensive lineup will be able to support just an average staff. the Mets are one good starter away from having an excellent rotation, but i'm still undecided if Perez is that guy... he always rises to the occassion in big games and the Phils can never seem to hit him (especially now with Ibanez making the lineup lefty heavy), but at the same time any roster holdovers from the "collapse years" are a good thing in my opinion. living in new york, watching the clubhouse coverage of the mets, i can tell you that what hurts them more than the lack of middle relievers (and that REALLY hurt them) is the lack of character guys. if they want to win, they have to remake the attitude in that clubhouse and Ollie will not help to do that.

with regard the Phillies rotation and bullpen, i'd liked to have seen Amaro come through on his stated objective to add more pitching. outside of Park (who i'm actually hoping we mislead with promises of starting...) he hasn't added any pitching that wasn't on last year's post-season roster and I worry, especially for Hamels, about the carryover effect of the extra innings in the post-season. i fear a rash of injuries will plague our pitching staff this season.

MyersAtTheBat: I'm not overly concerned about Ollie Perez. The man's 28 years old and has pitched 170 or more innings only 3 times in his career: 2004, 2007, 2008. His statline screams "Injury Liability" at first read, and his line is flat out awful the years he's been hurt. His K/BB ratio is all over the place. It's pretty inconsistent. There's a decent chance he'll be a bust if he signs a long term deal with the Mets.

And as for the complaints about Lowe, remember one of Gillick's cardinal rules: never sign a pitcher to a deal longer than 3 years. Betcha Ruby Jr. is following it to a T, which is why we won't get Sheets, or didn't get Lowe or Burnett.

Ex-Phillies Brian Sanches signed a minor league deal with the Marlins.

I like Happ. But I wouldn't call him the presumptive anything. The guy had 4 starts last year and a total of 31 2/3 innings. Quality results. But a remarkably small sample size.

The door is not closed on Kendrick who had a greater stretch of success even if it was Over his Head via peripherials. KK can't be the first major league pitcher to EVER struggle after 1 full season in the history of major league baseball? To be thrown on the trash dump in favor of a guy who has 5 non earth shattering major league starts, seems premature doesn't it? AND I LIKE HAPP.

I think competition for the 5th starter will HELP this team and in case an injury occurs 1 through 4, could be a stabilizing force through the season.

JacK: I was just raggin' you because it was Keith Law (you may recall your past defense of him when he's been criticized here).


Like I said. at least he didn't go to the Mets. The point I make about this team is that the owers don't see things the way we phans do. I would think that sometimes they would at least have a "go for it" attitude.

My concern over Ruben is this: He basically said he was gonna upgrade the pitching staff and get a RH bat. So far he's done neither.

I just can' accept that. Living down in Va. now, when I do go to a game it costs me a lot more than just the price the tickets. And to me the team losing games is not an option. Now I know you can't win 'em all, but you could put the best team on the field to win as many games as possible. Rube just hasn't done that. If we did our jobs the way he does his, we'd all be fired.

When the going rate is 4/60 on a pitcher, and you know 3/36 won't get it done, why be "interested" (Phils) or make an offer (Mets)? Hell, they couldn't even get Kapler, and he only got a mill. This isn't rocket science. Just because they won the WS doesn't mean they'll win it again with the same crew. Rube should have been full speed ahead, instead he's moving sideways.

Carson: "Ex-Phillies Brian Sanches signed a minor league deal with the Marlins."

Sanches pitching in Albuquerque? Nearby neighborhoods will think they're under mortar attack.

DPatrone - I don't think the phils ever wanted to be anything more than mentioned in news reports regarding Lowe once Moyer got resigned (and Lowe was more likely than not just a pressure tactic on Moyer even before the signing). And I'm fine with that. If I have a choice between not being mentioned at all in connection with free agents and being mentioned in connection with free agents linked to division rivals, I'll choose the latter every time on the off-chance we're able to drive up that player's signing price on our rivals.

clout, LOL!!!

****Sanches pitching in Albuquerque? Nearby neighborhoods will think they're under mortar attack.****


clout wrote: "NEPP: I agree."


I don't believe that's ever happened before.

Mike: Happ has also pitched well at every level of the minors -- and that's no small sample size. By "presumptive" starter, I meant that, if all candidates pitch about equally well (or equally poorly) in spring training, Happ should get the job. But if someone comes in and blows out the competition, he will surely win the job.

That said, spring training results can be incredibly deceiving. Remember how dominant Gavin Floyd & Ryan Madson were the year that both won starting jobs? And remember how well that turned out? A more recent example is Brett Myers, who was lights-out last spring training, then got absolutely pounded for the entire first half of the season.

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EST. 2005

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