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Sunday, March 29, 2009

Comments

What evidence is there that Park is headed to the bullpen?

None. Just seems to be the conventional wisdom is what I meant.

Clout - good morning to you, haven't been posting in awhile. I tend to feel "nervous" about the decision to give the #5 spot in the rotation to Happ and place Park in the pen. Not that I think that is the wrong decision - in fact over the course of the season I believe that the Phils would benefit greatly having Happ in the 5th spot and Park pitching anywhere from the 6th to 7th inning(s).

I just have this sneaky suspicion that Charlie and Dubee are going to go with the "veteran guy" with a "proven track record" and send Happ down to AAA not that the trade was made for the 2nd lefty ....

I really am holding out hope that:

Myers
Blanton
Moyer
Hamels
Happ

Lidge
Madson
Durbin
Park
Eyre
Taschner
Condrey

Is what we are left with after we get to the portion of the schedule where a 5th starter is needed .... I just feel like I am going to be disappointed however.

So far, I'd say Amaro has shown a Gillick-esque (also, Paul Holmgren-esque?) skill at getting something for nothing.

Golson was a lost cause here, and Paulino seems like a lost cause in general. Meanwhile, Mayberry shows flashes of at least being a RH bench bat someday, and Taschner should at least fill a need for 50 games.

And we all know it's the little moves that got us from 80-ish wins to WFC anyway.

king myno: Good post. Amaro has only just begun, but he looks better than Gillick so far to me. Gillick made a ton of bad deals to go along with his good deals.

clout: Agreed - I think Ruben came into this offseason with the right mindset. Unless there are mitigating circumstances, I think the absolute best thing a championship team can do is give the same roster a chance to do it again.

I remember when the Sox tried to "upgrade" with Edgar Renteria and others after 2004. They had a lot of turnover, and you could tell it wasn't the same type of team next year.

Not an exact science, obviously, but everything they've done so far seems (at the very least) rational, which is a nice way to make moves.

I think the biggest difference between Rube and Gillick seems to be the former's aggressiveness. He has been extremely pro-active. We may regret some of the moves that he has made eventually, but he's no coward that's for sure. It is pretty obvious with the increased revenue that a world series win brings Amaro had some more money to spend. But I wonder if Gillick would have come out with guns blazing as Rube has. And I am not knocking Gillick but it does seem like a refreshing change.

A few weeks back there was a post somewhere, I can't remember where, that stated that Charlie and the staff have to justify the 25 positions going north to the FO. Given what I have seen of Amaro's moves, it will be interesting to see IF Happ even makes the big club this spring. IMO, I equate Happ, with only a half season of record, to be the equivalent of KK. Park, Majewski, and Koplove have extended ML experience; something you need to start the season with, not necessarily finish it.

The one thing I like about this team is the complementary use of character as a characteristic in choosing the lineup. Many news quotes have stated the Phils have a lot of "character" guys on the team. It is an intangible that statistics never capture. That is why Jenkins and Ibanez brought in. Good players but also good team members.

Werth, Dobbs, Paulino, Lidge, etc were often brought in because they had something to prove that a change of scenery might help them. So far, 3 for 4 success rate ain't bad and we will see how Traschner fares.

Club is put together many ways. Where clubs go wrong is they go away from their success formula that got them there. So far the FO has kept to the formula. Will be a LOT of fun watching the WFC defend their title.

Bold prediction: Will defend it better than the last WFC club!

donc: In fact, Gillick did come out with guns blazing. The difference is that Gillick's moves, for the most part, were bad or getting 20-cents on the dollar. Here are Pat's first 5 transactions as GM:

1. Acquired CF Aaron Rowand, LHP Daniel Haigwood and Gio Gonzalez for 1B Jim Thome and cash
20-cents on the dollar. Thome had a monster season for the Sox and Rowand’s impact on the Phillies was minimal due to injury. He had a great second year, but no where near the production Thome gave the Sox. Gio was part of the Garcia package.

2. Signed free agent RHP Julio Santana to a one-year contract.
A complete failure.

3. Signed free agent INF Abraham Nunez to a two-year contract.
Nunez was a lifetime .240 hitter with no power and poor OB but a decent glove who had a career year with the Cardinals in ’05. He was a disaster.

4. Signed free agent C Sal Fasano to a one-year contract.
Fan favorite, but not much help.

5. Signed free agent RHP Tom Gordon to a three-year contract
A disaster, predicted by numerous BL posters.

Compare to Rube's first 5:
1. Golson for Mayberry.
Looks good so far.

2. Jaramillo for Paulino.
Jaramillo won't hit and the Phils didn't need him. Even if Taschner is a complete flop, this is not a disaster.

3. Sign Raul Ibanez to replace Burrell.
I think it's a downgrade and Rube misjudged the market, but it's no worse than the Thome deal.

4. Signed Rodrigo Lopez.
I like his chances better than Julio Santana's.

5. Paulino for Taschner.
Paulino wasn't going to make the team and Taschner could be adqueate stopgap til Romero returns. Useful move.

It's a bit early to judge Amaro's moves, but compared to Gillick's first 5 I think the results will be better.

Clout: Good points. I was also including Amaro's signings of current Phillies in my comments. I thought it was pretty aggressive to get Hamels, Howard etc. locked up for a couple of years. While these weren't acquisitions, I applaud Rube for getting these done. And I agree wholeheartedly about the less splashy minor league moves. Golson and Jaramillo were long shots to contribute in even the slightest way. For them we get Mayberry (keep our fingers crossed) who while still a bit of a long shot, seems to have serious up side and, effectively, Taschner. We'll see about him but we gave up virtually nothing to get a needed lefty with major league experience. I like how in those moves we gave up very little. It remains to be seen what we've gotten in return, but there is minimal risk to be sure.

Every time I hear that Park is going to the bullpen I wonder just what the guy has to do to start. The guy signed a contract on the condition that he would get an opportunity to start if he performed well, and there is no reason he shouldn't except that the guy he beat out for the slot in the rotation has shown less propensity for being able to come out of the bullpen in the majors. So Park might not get a chance to start only because the guy he beats out as a starter can't relieve? That ought to be Happ's problem, not Park's.

I could understand this if Park was a leftie, but the Phillies need left-handed long relievers and Happ IS a southpaw.

Put yourself in Park's position and you too would think that you're getting screwed if you get designated to the pen if you pitched as well as Park has this spring.

The only thing I could agree with is that Park has a history of injuries and that having him start elevates the risk of injury while relieving doesn't, and Park gets sent to the pen to decrease the risk of injury.

Also Clout, I agree about the Ibanez signing. He did misjudge the situation. Burrell was more affordable than originally thought as was Ibanez apparently. But again Amaro was bold. He knew what he wanted and he went out and got it. I admire that even if it didn't (or doesn't)work out as planned. It just seems like this might not be your father's front office. It could be fun to watch. At least that's my thinking now before our lack of right handed bats does us in etc. etc. :)

I think all the love for Amaro is a bit premature. He locked up most of our core players for the next few years, for which he deserves credit -- although it's likely that any other GM in his position, and with his budget, could have done exactly the same thing. All of these other moves which everyone thinks were so brilliant were, in all likelihood, insignificant. Everyone (including I) liked the Jaramillo-Paulino trade when it went down, but we're already seen how that turned out. Everyone also liked the Mayberry-Golson trade but, the fact remains: all he really did was trade a guy with a 1 in 15 chance of ever being good for a guy with a 1 in 10 chance. And trading Paulino for Taschner is like swapping a $500 American muscle car for a $550 American muscle car. Yeah, I got the better of the trade, but not in any meaningful way.


RA's 3 most significant free agency moves were to sign Ibanez and Park, and resign Moyer for 2 years. Those players are 37, 36, and 44, respectively. All 3 moves have plenty of potential for disaster.

BAP: I don't mean to go overboard either. It is extremely early in the Rube regime. I just think the guy is a little bolder than what we've seen in the past. That could all change. I just happen to be encouraged so far.

Although I'm a fan of what Rube's done so far, I agree with bap that there is "wheels come off" potential with some of the signings. Also, Amaro is working with the goodwill of a world championship, while Gillick was given the then-daunting task of turning underachievers into real winners.

That being said, even if forces beyond his control dropped him into a very favorable situation, Amaro looks to be a rational, smart guy. Maybe keeping all the arb-eligibles was a no-brainer with all the money piling in, maybe he had to fight for some of it with ownership, but he'll get the bulk of the credit for it if it works out, and it's certainly not something we would have expected several years ago.

You guys are misjudging Ibanez. The man is an RBI machine and his defensive and running skills have been badly misrepresented. Additionally, he's a team player and a very positive presence in the clubhouse. By the end of the year, his current critics are going to be his fans. I predict that, if he stays healthy, he'll have at least 100 RBIs this year - which is the reason the Phils acquired him. What's more, Ibanez will have consistent RBI production throughout the entire season.

The initial press about Burrel was that the Phils offered him $22 million for 2 years which he flatly turned down. It was only after Burrel turned down $11 million a year that the Phils made the same offer to Ibanez. The initial press releases have been since challenged but Amaro initially responded to the reports of the Burrel offer by saying that the Phils do not talk about ongoing negotiations. Burrel eventually accepted less than the Phils initially offered him, but if there is any truth to the initial rumors, Burrel was offered his job back but with a cut in salary.

Only Burrel and Amaro know what was actually offered, but in my opinion, the Phils have significantly improved their left field position by acquiring Ibanez. I've always routed for Burrel, even when he was getting booed by his own fans, but I've always recognized his weaknesses and inconsistencies, and accepted him for what he was worth.

I am now accpeting Ibanez for what he is worth, and after the initial culture shock of having to get used to a new environment and having to prove himself to arguably the toughest fans in the wide world of sports wears off, the Phils will realize that they made the right move when they acquired him. The events of the off-season have turned Burrel into a martyr and Ibanez into a pariah but a few game-winning hits will quickly turn Ibanez into a fan favorite and mollify the departure of Burrel.

b-a-p:
I wonder if the age of those three is mitigated, in Junior's mind, by developments in the Phils' system. Taylor and Brown, for instance, and Donald - along with Carrasco and a finally healthy Drabek. It might be that the wheels fall off, only to be replaced by "younger, faster and more athletic" wheels. Just a thought.

Incidentally, I would disagree with the scale presented by clout on a few of Gillick's deals. "Disaster" is a little bit strong for, say, Nunez or even Gordon. "Less than beneficial," even "costly." I would, however, agree with the overall characterization of Gillick's first many moves. To this point the "student" is outstripping the "master."

I'm sure, however, for fans outside the knowledgeable Philadelphia base, Gillick will be credited with being some kind of guru whose wisdom brought our fair city its second championship.

Pshaw!

"I'm sure, however, for fans outside the knowledgeable Philadelphia base, Gillick will be credited with being some kind of guru whose wisdom brought our fair city its second championship."

Nah. He's just the guy who kept the pieces worth keeping, and filled in the missing pieces. No big deal.

I love everything I hear about Ibanez. If he were a right handed hitter I'd be thrilled with the move, at least in the short term. Alas he is not a right handed hitter. Thus my optimism is tempered. I am not completely negative on his signing. I do believe we are getting a good ballplayer. I'm just not sure about the fit is all. And King Myno makes a good point. While locking up a lot of our best young talent seems to be a no-brainer, it is impossible to know how hard Rube had to fight for that opportunity. If he did have to buck ownership he deserves a lot of credit.

curt: Kept the pieces worth keeping? Like Adam Eaton and Tom Gordon?

Gillick got the job done for the year 2008 and deserves all praise. But looking at his track record in trades and signings, did it ever occur to you that another GM taking over the core handed to Gillick might've had 2 or 3 WFCs?

Of course it didn't.

Andy: So you think two years of Nunez at $3.35M for an OPS+ of 57 and 44 was "less than beneficial"?

Not a disaster?

What would you call Hamels being out for the season? A "slight setback"?

Good grief!

The philles success should be measured by) good scouting, patience in developing in house talent, luck, hardwork, character(brett myers personally being a bit of a crumb excluded) and a positive atmosphere in the clubhouse created by Manuel.

I don't think Gillick should get much of the credit(with the exception of Lidge, which is all gillick and for which he deserves a lot of credit).

Most teams would be salivating to have a young no 1 starter who already has proven success in the post-season and is only beginning to develop his all-star caliber career and a plethora of above average/all star position players who are in the prime of their careers.

You can't buy that, which is what the Yankees don't understand and which is why they will fail to make it the world series once again, despite a flurry of spending in free agency.

Ah, sure, clout. Might've. Or might 've not. Speculate away.

But here's an objective test for you: identify every GM who has joined a team with a history of no playoff appearances for at least 10 years, and achieved 2 postseasons and 1 WFC within 3 years of taking the job.

You know you're wasting your time watching these games when you see Rollins sleeping out there like that.

The core of the team, as clout said, course, was brought here by the Wade regime. Gillick deserves little credit, in truth.

The one major move by Amaro-Burrell/Ibanez so far sucks in many, many ways, not the least of which is the net loss of several draft picks.

Wouldn't be surprise if Ibanez has a decent '09, but we've been down this road before-Feliz, Jenkins-where a guy in his mid '30's is brought in and is expected to hit a lot of HR's in CBP-and it doesn't happen.

curt: Objective? LOL!

Q: Which of the following Phillies starting 8 (Rollins, Howard, Hamels, Utley, Ruiz, Victorino, Werth, Burrell) were acquired by Pat Gillick?

A: Werth

Yep, Gillick is the greatest. No other GM could possibly have done as well with the team he inherited.

Doc - There is no way Ibanez has 100 RBIs hitting 6th most of the year in this lineup. Not with only hitting 20 HRs a year. If he hits over 20+ HRs and gives them around 80 RBis, that's fine. I just don't know if he hits 20+ HRs again this year.

As for his defense and base running - they are below average/poor as you would expect for most larger men in their late 30s playing a game with men 10-15 years younger.

If Ibanez hits .285 with 20-25 HRs (.350/.480/.830) and isn't terrible in the field, then the Phils largely got what they wanted this year.

However, if Ibanez' power dips a little bit to say 18 or 19 HRs and he hits less doubles (CBP is not a 2B-friendly ballpark compared to Safeco) his SLG will likely dip to .440-.450.

That likely would give Ibanez a line of .350/.440/.790 which would be among the worst OPS among LFs who were considered full-time starters last year. Even there will people who tout his .280 or so AVG and his possible 70-80 RBIs but they would both be somewhat hollow numbers.

You don't pay a guy $10M a year to give you below average/poor defense and speed along with below average power & SLG in LF.

clout: To be fair, Gillick also acquired Moyer, Blanton, Lidge, Durbin, Romero, Eyre, and Stairs. Without those guys, there is no WFC. And, without Moyer, Iguchi, Romero, Dobbs, Werth, and Lohse, there is no NL East title in 2007. Could another GM have gotten these same players, or better ones, under the same budgetary constraints that Gillick had? Maybe, maybe not. But you could say the same thing about just about ANY manager, coach or GM in any sport. Fact is, we judge GMs by their results. While Gillick failed spectacularly with a lot of his big-ticket acquisitions, he did well enough on the little stuff that, when you balance the ledger, I don't see how anyone could conclude that the end result is a negative.

BAP: Who concluded that the end result was a negative?

Judging a GM is not some arcane exercise. A GM can be judged on his player moves. How many were good, how many were bad. It's not rocket science.

I don't know how I feel about Gillick's tenure yet. If this team hadn't made the playoffs last year with a 2nd dynamic Sept. run, he would have to be considered a disappointment. They obviously won the World Series though so that Gillick is hailed as a genius.

The truth is that it is somewhere likely between. In fact, Gillick reminds me very much of a top management consultant at this point.

He has had one notable success (Blue Jays) that he helped to build from the ground up into a very successful organization. He also knew that it was best to leave on top of success instead of staying too long.

Since then in true management consultant fashion, Gillick has gone to three teams (Balt, Seattle, Phil) to help them get over the hump. Each of these teams had already have a decent core group of talent but had struggled with to achieve what was expected of them (e.g., making the playoffs).

At each of his last 3 positions, Gillick has generally had a decent amount of resources to work with and made some pretty significant changes right away.

Generally, more of his moves have been positive than negative although Gillick was just like any savvy top management consultant in that he made his changes (in some cases to the long-term detriment of the team), enjoyed varying degrees of success, and left while things were still pretty good.

Key lesson of any top management consultant (as Gillick has been during his last 3 GM jobs) is to come in, assess, make some pretty big changes, enjoy some initial successes, and don't stick around for the tougher issues down the road.

clout - I see you have no answer to the objective question. If you ask nicely, I'll give you a hint.

bap - The BL geniuses who like to denigrate Gillick's achievements point to the guys who were already in the organization when Gillick got here - several of whom turned out to be pretty good ballplayers. But of course, it is to Gillick's credit that he held on to the talent, while shipping out lots of dudes (even "core players" from Wade's tenure) who weren't getting it done. And then, as you mention, he went out and got the guys who did get it done.


clout: Well, I would guess that, by that methodology, just about every GM would rate out poorly.

curt: Gillick's guys got it done and Wade's couldn't? You are further out of touch with reality than it appears.

Phillies biggest strength in 2008 was their bullpen, and Gillick built that pen out of nothing.

Bourne for Lidge, JC off waivers, Durbin for under a million.

Gillick also signed Moyer and traded for Blanton to give the Phils a competitive rotation, and also made the right move with Myers to get him back on track in 2008.

I'm not going to argue that Wade left with a core in place or that Gillick was perfect, but the moves he made for our pitching staff were incredible and deserves all the credit in the world.

BAP: Really? Every GM's track record on personnel moves is the same as Gillick's with the Phils?

Yeah, what was Gillick thinking by trading Thome away and letting Ryan Howard play in the bigs? What an idiot compared to Ed Wade and Rube Amaro.

Blanton really looked good today.

clout: "Judging a GM is not some arcane exercise. A GM can be judged on his player moves. How many were good, how many were bad. It's not rocket science."


Possibly the funniest thing I've read all week. Clout has spent the past three years "judging" Gillick's moves, and declaring them to be pretty awful. Meanwhile, all we've done is win.

And of course, Clout's record as a fantasy GM leaves a whole lot to be desired. For example, Clout was actually happy with the Adam Eaton acquisition though, projecting him as our new #3. On the other hand, Clout was probably the first to point out that the Brad Lidge trade was a bad deal. I could go on, but hey, we all make mistakes. Lots of them.

thephaithful: Irrelevant. Did Gillick get fair value in the Thome trade? Or did he get 20-cents on the dollar?

Clout - still no answer, I see.

If it was irrelevant of who would replace Thome at 1B than he would have never made the trade in the first place.

Your evalution of a GM is so horribly wrong. WINNING is why GMs make moves. Were the Phillies a better team after the Thome tradE? Lets see, two division crowns and a WFC, largely due to the offense of Ryan Howard.

curt: Sorry, you're dead wrong on Eaton. I noted his IP per start was among the worst in the NL on the day the deal was made. In fact, before the 2007 season began I wrote, "Eaton is a 5 or 6 inning starter who gives up the longball. He can be a decent 4th or 5th starter if he stays healthy."

I did have questions about Lidge given his 2 rough years in 06 and 07, but my concerns weren't exactly unique to me.

You on the other hand declared the Abreu trade a great one the day it was made and declared Burrell washed up when he started slow in 2007. I may be wrong but not as spectacularly wrong as you usually are.

Ellisbury put a good charge in Durbin's pitch in the 8th. Before that, Durbin was looking sharp. They said he's been learning from Lidge how to throw a better slider.

salmon: i like all of the many ways that the ibanez/burrell trade has went wrong already.... considering the season hasn't even started yet.

clout: Did Gillick have any other options with Thome?

clout on eaton:

willard: As I said on an earlier thread, I think the Eaton signing is a good one as he was the best of the second tier pitchers except for Padilla (and I hope that irony isn't lost on anyone.)
But all this does is get them back to 5 starters after losing Wolf. They have no one in the minors ready to step in, so they need at least one more vet who can start when Lieber or Moyer show their age or Hamels gets hurt again. A swingman like Bautista would fit the bill. But now they must turn their attention to the bullpen and sign at least 2 pitchers, ideally one who can close when Gordon breaks down and one who can set him up.
P.S. One positive about Eaton that hasn't been mentioned: His home/away splits the past 3 years have been pretty even. So the extreme pitchers park in SD and extreme hitters park last year didn't impact him much. He will give up HRs, however.

Posted by: clout | Tuesday, November 28, 2006 at 01:32 PM


A couple of things about Eaton.
Injury history- Lest see he had TJ surgery back in 01-02. He got hit in the finger by a hit ball. Freak accident. Don't see history of pitching injury to worry about.

HR-One season he gave up 28 HR. Has anybody bothered to check on who and what pitchers that haven't given up that much.

SO/W- His strikeout to walk ratio is awesome. This guy must have great control on his pitches.

IMO, he is the #3 pitcher on this staff. Having Lieber as the 4th and Moyer as the 5th this is a pretty decent pitching staff. Much much better then last year.

Posted by: PhillyRocks | Tuesday, November 28, 2006 at 02:17 PM


PhillyRocks: That's where I'd slot him. I like his chances of having a decent year far better than Moyer's or Lieber's.

Posted by: clout | Tuesday, November 28, 2006 at 02:20 PM

The GM adds Werth, Moyer, Blanton, Dobbs, Lidge, Romero, Durbin, Stairs and Feliz to the Phillies and they win the WS... But he didnt do anything?
The GM adds a 25-25 RF, a 16 gm winner, a #3 pitcher, the alltime pinch hitter, a perfect closer, a bullpen innings leader, a pinch hitter who got the biggest hit in the nlcs and the guy who got the game winning hit in the WS.... But his bad moves out weighed his good moves? 'Any GM could've won 2-3 WS with this core.'

Clout, you are the dumbest 'no-it-all' ever, if there can be such a thing. Amazing that there are enough idiots that actually respect your opinion on this blog.

The GM adds Werth, Moyer, Blanton, Dobbs, Lidge, Romero, Durbin, Stairs and Feliz to the Phillies and they win the WS... But he didnt do anything?
The GM adds a 25-25 RF, a 16 gm winner, a #3 pitcher, the alltime pinch hitter, a perfect closer, a bullpen innings leader, a pinch hitter who got the biggest hit in the nlcs and the guy who got the game winning hit in the WS.... But his bad moves out weighed his good moves? 'Any GM could've won 2-3 WS with this core.'

Clout, you are the dumbest 'no-it-all' ever, if there can be such a thing. Amazing that there are enough idiots that actually respect your opinion on this blog.

That reminds me: I need to go back and purge some of those archived posts, like the one where I hailed the Abe Nuni signing.

clout - the difference between us is I acknowledge error. And I don't think you want to start making lists. In addition to being wrong about the Eaton and Lidge deals, there's always the Garcia trade, the one that you liked.

Then there's your take on Vic -- the one who would never be more than a 4th outfielder (on a bad team), and would never be a base stealer.

And you really ought to give up on your old favorite hobby horse - the criminal dumping of Bobby Abreu, that undeniable stud whose loss we would never recover from.

Here we go again regarding the Thome to the CWS trade. I think calling that "20 cents to the Dollar" is nonsense. Advantage to CWS? Fine. But not all that much.

"That reminds me: I need to go back and purge some of those archived posts, like the one where I hailed the Abe Nuni signing"

No Jason, you have appropriate humility for your ability to predict the future. We're all guaranteed to screwed up often at that game - and the proof is all right there lurking in your archives!

clout - Regardless of Nunez' abysmal OPS+s, which may have been "costly," he was not a regular in the line-up. As a utility guy, he definitely under-performed. And there certainly were, and are, a lot better. I would rate, however, the signing of Wes Helms to have a worse impact on the team. And probably no Gillick signing was as much an unmitigated disaster as Eaton. In re: Gordon, however - there were times when he was pretty wicked. Not to the extent that he was paid, however. So while that acquisition was foolhardy and costly, it does not remotely compare with Eaton and Garcia (i.e. disaster).

JW - Durbin is going to be one of those under the radar guys again who plays a huge role for this team. Unless he gets hurt, Durbin likely throws 75-80 innings for the Phils in a bunch of relatively medium/low situations in the 7th and 8th innings.

Interesting to see if Durbin becomes even of a fastball/slider pitcher like Lidge this year or if he stays the fastball/slider but mixes his changeup to righties and the curveball to lefties on occasion.

I am worried though a bit about Durbin's number of appearances (71) and IP (87 2/3). His bullpen IP was tops in the NL and his appearances doesn't count all the games where he warmed up which seemed like an awful lot last year.

Same for Madison who threw over 95 innings last year if you include the postseason. At least he is used to being a reliever though

Few comments:

Gordon had red flag everywhere after being criminally abused by Torre for a few seasons. Phils signed him anyways (an in spite of not wanting to sign Wagner for injury concerns that turned out to be well founded) and got 5 (maybe 5 1/2) decent months out of over 3 seasons largely due to injury-related issues. That is a bad signing.

I actually liked the Helms signing at the time given the low dollar amounts. He was a bust and the Phils wisely moved on after a season.

As for Nunez, he was one of the worst players to wear a Phils' uniform in the past 25-30 years. It wouldn't have been a big issue except for the fact that he got loads of playing time in both '06 and '07 including plenty of time as a starter at 3B and a PH option late in games.

2 things:

1.) The biggest thing people overlook in the Gillick/Amaro discussion is the fact that Amaro came in ready to do the job from day one. In Gillick's other runs he pushed a team with a good core over the top and then left. When he did management brought in guys who tried to do a lot of tinkering to stay over the hump. Amaro made the move of saying, "This core of guys-minus Burrell- is good enough to win or contend for a few more World Series so he locked up almost every starter in the everyday lineup. He also locked up the ace of the staff, and the set-up man who really blossomed in that role down the stretch. Add to that we already had the cloer locked up and you are looking at 9 or 10 soits locked up. He didn't try and put his stamp on the team or do a whole lot of messing with the chemistry. Sometimes you can do to much in trying to win.

2.) Were their any reports about Blanton losing weight during the off-season? I thought he looked maybe 15 pounds lighter than he did in October.

MG - "As for his defense and base running - they are below average/poor"

You are not the only one to say something about below average/poor defense on Ibanez, and I had agreed too.

But checking baseball reference I found he is/was a league average LF in both fielding percentage and range factor. I understand defensive statistics aren't taken seriously by some, but they are there, and show Ibanez being league average.

Burrell's fielding percentage is actually lower than Ibanez's and his range factor is way lower than league average, just to compare accuracy of the statistics I guess. I'm not an Ibanez lover, just trying to get to the bottom of the defensive claims.

Why Nunez was one of the worst-players to wear a Phils' uniform in the past 30 years:

1. PH appearances - Remembering seeing somebody run the numbers but Nunez was I think the worst Phils' PH with 50 PH appearances or more in franchise history.

His numbers in 67 PH appearances:

.097 AVG and 1 XHB that translates into a line of .149/.129/.268.

Cholly would have been better off user just about any pitcher at the plate instead of Nunez.

Considering the bad players the Phils have had and their lengthy history, that is a pretty dubious distinction.

2. Splits away from home.

Most of the Phils' players benefit by a hitting at CBP but Nunez was a sub .550 OPS player on the road over two years. In fact, I ran some numbers and nobody posted worst numbers on the road in '06-'07 given a minimum of 250 ABs.

3. Comedically bad 1st half in '06

He hit .136 in 103 ABs before the All-Star break.

Didn't run the numbers here but I bet his pre All-Star break OPS of .362 is probably the worst of halfs of baseball by a Phils' player who got at least 100 ABs in the last 30 or 40 years.

It wasn't that Nunez was a bad utility INF. There are plenty of them around. Nunez was HISTORICALLY bad and that is pretty tough to achieve for a franchise that has had some really weak periods.

Yo, who has time to hang around this stale thread when there's a brand new one involving Damon Hollins?

You notice today Ibanez had 3 hits - 2 off leftie. I agree with Doc, that Ibanez will be better for this team than burrell

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EST. 2005

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