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Saturday, March 21, 2009



I listened to your interview with Eskin and I have to disagree with you on one point: You say Chan Ho Park will get the fifth starter nod because the Phils need Happ in the bullpen.

I think the Phils pick their #5 starter based on who they think will be the best #5 starter. That may be Happ. That may be Park. But I don't think getting a second lefty is THAT much of a priority as to influence their thinking regarding the rotation.

It's kinda like their decision to move Myers to the bullpen (which got a lot of digital ink on these boards if I recall correctly). They sacrificed 150 innings of Myers for 75 innings of Myers, which a lot of people were unhappy about. But Myers at least pitched the 9th inning with the game on the line. In the case of Happ, he'd be a situational lefty called upon to pitch in the 6th or 7th while Scott Eyre waited for the 8th. That isn't a big enough priority to change their mind regarding the rotation.

Bottom line: If Dubee and Charlie think Happ can do a better job in the rotation, he'll be there and we'll all have to wait for the second coming of J.C.

F' basketball, I'm solely a baseball guy. So Phils will be on my tube.

J.R.: Love the "second coming of JC" bit. If i had a website, I think i'd have a digital calendar counting down the days "to the second coming of JC".


Demote KK now. He's just bad anymore. He needs to go to the minors and redevelop himself, a 3rd pitch and confidence are much needed.

Cholly rolls out his small ball lineup for the TV show.

KK's just the emergency starter today.

Something just popped up on a wire service--

"Eyre hit in face by batted ball"

I tuned in late... you guys know anything about this?

Solid outing by KK. 5 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 4 K. Tough first inning, but solid the rest of the way. Hopefully that's a boost to his confidence.

On the other hand, John Maine is HURTING. Another terrible outing. 4 IP, 6 H, 5 R, 3 BB, 2 K. His spring ERA is still over 10.00. He's gotta be hurt. KK's having a better spring than him!

I agree with Weitzel that Park will likely be in the rotation, assuming he doesn't falter in the last days of spring training. Unless Happ is dominant, I don't see Manuel as likely making him a 3d lefty in the rotation.

Eyre got hit by Stairs in BP. Loose tooth.
Not serious.

Eyre is pitching....definitely not serious.

KK didn't have a bad outing, given his recent ST performance. Granted, Cuddyer was the only true big league bat he faced.

On another note: I wonder if Manuel thinks Stairs is intruding on his turf when he (Stairs) gives out batting advice to other players. Manuel's comments, given the context provided in the Inq., seemed brusquely defensive. Made me believe that Stairs is about to draw the short straw for a spot on the bench.

The blind squirrel found a nut....Bruntlett homers.

re: catcher

I realize Paulino is in camp, but why didn't the Phillies take a flyer on Bard? The Nats just signed him to a minor league contract; which in my mind is a complete steal. The guy gets on base, and unless he continues to regress since the beginning of last year, he'd be a great backup catcher.

TNA: Catcher is already something we have plenty of. Coste was a more than capable backup last year. Paulino is a young catcher with options and promise. And we've got two catching prospects in the minors.

CJ - Let's say Ruiz goes down. Who would you rather have catching on a daily basis and hitting 8th, Coste, Paulino, or Bard?

If Bard can take good ABs like he did before last year, his upside is way higher than anything the other catchers can offer.

If last year wasn't, this will definitely be Coste's last year.

The Marson era has nearly arrived!

From that Stairs today Inq today it is pretty apparent that Stairs isn't making the Opening Day roster.

Only question is are the Phils able to trade him for "future considerations" or "a player to be named later" or are they willing to just eat his $1M salary.

If the Phils do go with a bench of Coste, Dobbs, Cairo, Bruntlett, and Jenkins, it will be one of the weaker ones in the NL and my bet is that lack of a right-handed PH gets exposed real fast.

Frankly I don't understand why the Phils are so infatuated with this notion of "versatility" this offseason/spring. Versatility is great but what purpose does Cairo serve on this team when you already have Bruntlett?

Basically people have raved about Amaro's job this offseason but I am in the "wait/see" category. He did a nice job contract extensions with some players but he also had plenty of additional money to accomplish this with.

As for FA acquisitions, will see. Resigning Eyre/Moyer were clearly the Phils' goals but the Phils clearly overpaid for Moyer. Ditto for Ibanez and Park.

Gillick game up "aces" on his moves to acquire pitching last offseason and this was really the key to the WS. Lidge shined, Durbin was a big surprise, Romero was very effective again, and even Seanez positively contributed. We'll see what Moyer/Park/Eyre do this season.

re: versatility

If everything else is constant, then versatility is important; as in if all the "RH-bat" candidates hit the same, why not pick the guy(s) who can play more than one or two positions?

My feeling on this is that they should pick players with high-ceiling potential. If they don't produce, drop them and bring in someone else, which is doable with the Phillies' depth and the supply of available players on the FA market. This is somewhat akin to day-trading, but I think if you're going to day trade in baseball, this is the year to do it.

CJ - Mets are going to be in trouble if Maine struggles this year. Everybody points out to the Wagner injury/bullpen struggles but the Mets replacements for Maine in the rotation the last 5 weeks struggled too (Niese, Knight, etc).

Mets have a couple of guys battling for the 5th starter spot but there isn't a ton of depth there either.

has anyone looked at the April schedule yet?
the phils can't afford to have a losing record at the end of the month; almost half of the 22 games in April are against Washington and San Diego. the rest are against teams like MIL, ATL, and COL - teams the Phillies completely dominated last year - i think they lost something like a combined 4-5 games to all three teams last year.

"Phils clearly overpaid for Moyer. Ditto for Ibanez and Park."

Hindsight is 20/20. I wasn't keen on any of these guys, but I like that the FO identified who they wanted and went and got them. In the past, we always signed whatever FA scraps were left after everyone else had had their fill.

Oh, and chances are our 25th man is still on someone elses ML roster.

"If the Phils do go with a bench of Coste, Dobbs, Cairo, Bruntlett, and Jenkins, it will be one of the weaker ones in the NL and my bet is that lack of a right-handed PH gets exposed real fast."

I agree but this assumes that is the bench for the whole season. I think it's fair to assume that even if he's likely to start the season in LV, Donald is likely to play a role for the ML team at some point.

If he replaces Cairo/Bruntlett, the bench gets better and there's a fair chance at some point they cut bait on Jenkins. Lots of things are likely to change as the season progresses.

So to summarize my rambling, I agree the bench doesn't look great at the moment but I'm not going to worry about it yet. There's still way too many variables out there.

It's been a whole lot of fun following Mayberry Jr. around this spring. From watching him hit tape measure shots with Ryan Howard during BP at Disney to his missile lauches at Brighthouse, Jr. he has made this spring special for us spring training junkies.

Today was no different: a hard hit bad hop single, a nearly .400ft. bomb that the wind held up at the base of the wall in center, a stolen base and finally a double that represented the tying run in the 9th. And he looked super human chasing down fly balls in center field.

Seems like this guy has earned the right to make the opening night roster. With Feliz and Utley apparently healthy they do not need another infielder like Cairo but do need a big right handed bat sitting there on the bench to give Charlie options or to give the slumping Ibenez a day off or even to steal a base close and late. Jr. has shown power to all fields this spring and has yet to be thown out stealing. He would be lethal at CBP or any other park that Charlie would care to use him.

If Ruben and Charlie go north with 11 pitchers Mayberry should be a lock for one of the 6 bench spots for the April 5th lid lifter.

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