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Monday, March 30, 2009


What a bum Giles is. Surprised it took this long.

I mentioned in the last thread that Tigers are shopping Marcus Thames, a high SLG RH OF, but want reliever help right now. I doubt Majewski could hold enough value to get Thames, but I dont see anyone else they coudl afford to trade, since the Tigers want a reliever right now with Zumaya on the DL.

The FO probably considers Thames' contract prohibitive.

Problem is that the Phils have no payroll flexibility left. In 2 months, it is likely that some teams are going to be forced to trade salary because of weak attedance/crappy ticket sales. Detroit and San Diego come to mind. Seattle will also be looking to move veterans although not necessary primarily due to cash.

If Cairo and Bruntlett both open the season the bench along with Coste as the only right-handed bats, then Amaro gets an "F" here. There were plenty of veterans floating around who could have filled a right-handed bat off the bench role. Instead Phils just signed the pu-pu platter of marginal utility infielders and wound up with Cairo instead.

Sending Mayberry down to the minors for the start of the season is the right move. Watching him yesterday, it was obvious that he has regressed from the player who, just a few weeks ago, looked capable of challenging Werth for a starting outfoeld position.

The kid is a well conditioned athlete with a good eye, Ryan Howard type power and surprising speed. What he appears to be lacking now is the ability to think like a major leaguer and handle all the ups and downs like a pro on an everyday basis.

Yesterday's at bats were what I talked about in earlier posts. He is looking for too many pitches and waiting for pitches he can hit out of the park. He needs to learn how to hit what's thrown at him and become a defensive hitter when he has two strikes. He was occasionaly guessing at the plate when I saw him in Clearwater a few weeks ago. It now appears that he's guessing a lot more often.

This kid is the real deal. My earlier hopes that he would be wearing a Phillie uniform on opening day are eased by my belief that he will be wearing a Phillie uniform for many years to come. All I can say is the folks in Allentown are in for a real treat this summer.

Anyone else notice Charlie's comments about the RH bench bat a few days ago? I forget a lot of it, but I do recall him making the point that Bruntlett and Werth could be "emergency catchers." Thought it was odd that he'd bring that up, unless there was a motive behind it (btw, I love Charlie flexing his power/influence by saying stuff like this. He has no problem trying to light a fire under someone's ass anymore).

I know this was talked about with Werth before, but if Charlie is 'forced' to use Coste as his primary RH bench bat and even remotely consider emergency catchers as an option, a further move NEEDS to be made.

Ibanez's power is mostly to center RF and RF. Not an extreme pull hitter but he isn't going to be taking advantage of shorter fence down the LF field line either.

As for drop in 2Bs, it is much more due to regression to mean than CBP. Unlikely that Ibanez hits 43 doubles again this year (a career high last year by far). It is much more likely to drop down to the 30-35 range where it has been the last several years.

It wouldn't be that big of a deal because his .SLG would dip only slightly (likely 10-15 pts lower if his other numbers relatively the same).

SLG though is going to be the key number for Ibanez though because he likely will hit for a pretty decent AVG. If his SLG is .480 or better, than he is fine for LF. If it dips to .440-.450, that is below average for a starter in LF.

What are the odds that Bruntlett plays every position in the field at one point except pitcher this season? I seriously think they are better than most people think.

MG: I don't see Bruntlett playing CF this year unless there's an injury to Victorino or Werth.

Reposted from last two threads (too many in one day!)

Today, I get to hear the Houston radio broadcast of today's game. On Friday, I heard innings 2 through 8 while driving from Houston to New Orleans. The detail that Houston announcers gave to the Phillies during Friday's game was minimal. All I heard was how great the Houston fielder's were. I was lucky to hear who was pitching to the Houston batters. I guess its ST rules. They are better during the regular season.

Chan Ho Park starts. I'm starting to believe if he does good here, he'll be the fifth starter and Happ will land in the pig slop.

Gary Majewski is reportedly is the same boat as Mayberry Jr. and Ozuna, according to ESPN's Spring Blog. Here's the link if interested.....

"Watching [Mayberry] yesterday, it was obvious that he has regressed from the player who, just a few weeks ago, looked capable of challenging Werth for a starting outfoeld position."

Not to sound like Seth Meyers, but really? All those ST at-bats caused him to regress? Really? It couldn't be that he's facing better pitching as it gets closer to opening day, or that he's just not ready to face a steady diet of MLB pitching? Really?

Cubs will not be the 2009 WFC as they have sent good luck charm So Taguchi to the minors.

I was hoping for an upgrade at utility infielder this offseason so the idea of Bruntlett playing every position but catcher is scary.

Not really surprised by any of the moves. Mayberry is better off getting Triple A at bats than sitting on the bench at the major leagues. Giles never showed anything.

The concern for a righthanded bat off the bench is real, but the fact that it is our biggest concern now shows you how good this team is. Most teams are begging for 4th and 5th starters and help out of the bullpen at this point. Most teams would kill for this starting lineup too.

I think our best bet is that a team takes Kyle Kendrick a few months into the season. I wonder if we could work a Jenkins & Kendrick for a good righthanded bat and that would even out salary wise. I would keep Kendrick for the time being though as he is still good insurance. You never know when 2-3 starters will go down to injury.

Jroll moonshot, holla. 1-1

So when the opposing manager brings in a lefty to face our lefties in the 8th or 9th, Charlie counters by bringing a big righty bat off the bench, the right-handed bat of....Miguel Cairo?

clout - who are these lefty bats for whom Cholly will pinch hit? Not Uts, Ryan, Raul.

Sure, for bench balance, the ideal Phils bench would have a better spare RH bat, but the way the 2009 Phils lineup is constituted, this problem is being way overblown.

doc: I think you kind of taught yourself a lesson over the past few weeks.

Against what everyone else recommended to not get caught up in a few looks, you kept campaigning that Mayberry is the real deal beacuse you saw him with your own eyes a handful of times.

And now after a few bad performances you have written him off to Triple A for the first few months.

I think the majority of the posters are inline with the theory that he has a valuable skill set and with more discipline and experience he could be an impact player in the bigs. While most figured this by looking at his whole body of professional work, you figured it by obessing over a week of ST games and then dismissing his chances of Opening Day after one televised game.

@thephaithful amen

In Doc's defense, it is fun to get excited about a guy like Mayberry.

Bonehead -

I agree with you. The problem is not that we do not have a RH stick with pop on the bench (yes, it would be nice to have of course), it is in having our top three RBI producers all swing from the LH side of the plate, we are simply making it easier to neutralize our line-up making one pitching change instead of 2 or 3 for the opposing manager in the late innings.

The order of the line-up is a bigger issue than the lack of a RH stick on the bench as Utley, Howard, Ibanez will not be PH for under any circumstances by Charlie.

clout: your memory is probably better than mine. but were utley or howard ever pinch-hit for against lefties last year? and given ibanez' reputation as someone who can somewhat hold his own against righties, do you think Chollie would ever pinch hit for him as well? the point is that sure, an opposing manager could bring in a lefty to face utley-howard-ibanez, but that doesn't really necessitate a pinch-hitting response from the Phillies.

Rather, the situation that requires a RH PH mainly occurs when hitting in the pitcher's slot in single-switch and double-switch situations. The thing that is hopefully different this year is that Chollie can keep Ibanez in the game defensively and use Bruntlett (or Cairo as it were) as a pinch-hitter as the situation arises, giving the Phillies an option that wasn't always there last year.

But all in all, I agree that Cairo is not that big of a threat. But who knows. Maybe he'll become our Fernando Tatis.

Another thing - no need to go after the big PH bat (a la Stairs) until after July when the playoff implications are a bit clearer.

I'd rather have Stairs or Jenkins intead of Cairo. I don't hate Cairo, and I think he has probably more use/value than Taguchi did last season, but Stairs and Jenkins remain better options with the bat and we already have Bruntlett backing up everyone in the infield.

Bruntlett goes yard!

You know times are slow when Brunlett's bat is the biggest surprise of ST.

bruntlett, triple crown this year, baby!

RH-bat off the bench is a less concern I just don't why Cairo makes the roster when you already have a slightly more useful utility infielder in Bruntlett.

Phils likely aren't done tinkering but a bench of Coste, Cairo, Bruntlett, Jenkins, and Dobbs is fairly week and kind of limited.

At least Giles will have someone with whom he can reminisce over the glory days. Morgan Ensberg, who once hit 36 homers, was released by Tampa.

Are we sure that Cairo makes this team in place of Stairs?

clout's rhetorical question about a RH bat coming off the bench to pinch hit for Howard, Utley or Ibanez is pure genious.
There must be new strategy being used in MLB when you use your 5th or 6th reserve to pinch hit for a player in the heart of your lineup.

Weren't certain posters last year loudly advocating Ensberg as a better option at 3rd base than Pete Happy?

CJ: Sadfully it may be true. I am praying they leave Stairs on the roster for at least a day or two so he can another round of applause.

If it wasn't for Jenkins, then Stairs would be much more useful.

Now, now, sifl. Don't you be visiting the archives.

Why is Sam Parlazzo stupid? Another runner gunned down at the plate with 0 outs. Moron.

Howard through out at the plate, after being waved around third!

How hard is it to find an experienced 3B coach?

I meant: Howard thrown out at the plate, after being waved around third!

We did score on the next at bat.

yeah wtf is up with this guy? so many time people are posting that he is getting guys thrown out by miles.

So do we think that Mosenbach has a shot to make the team if Park makes the 5th spot? If that earlier link to ESPN Spring Blog is true about Majewski, and Trashner takes up the secone lefty spot from Happ, Mosenbach is pretty much the only one left.

Babe Bruntlett!!! Spring Training 2009 MVP!!!

Man, the Astros blow. They have 100 losses written all over them.

Perlozzo was watching Steve Smith video from years past. If he's been this bad in ST, I wonder how bad he'll be in CBP where it seems to take a while to gauge when to send a runner.

We won't be pinch hitting for Utley, Howard or Ibanez, but there will be plenty of occasions when we bring in one of our left-handed bats to pinch hit, only to have the opposing manager counter with a LOOGY. Then what?


Keep an eye out -- Howard is an error away from his second ST Howard.

Don't worry Denny, Ed Wade - who obviously should get the majority of the credit for the Phils' WFC multiple years after he was fired - will turn into a champion.

Just let him finish in last place for a decade or two, gather up a bunch of high draft picks, then continue to make stupid moves in the offseason that prevent his team from getting over the hump, and then get fired and watch a real GM come in to put the pieces together and make them a winner. Then you can credit Ed Wade as the real reason they won and how horrible the new winning GM was because he only won a championship and didn't "collect top value" in his trades.

Stros are a lot more fun than an AL East pitching staff.

How many runners has Perlozzo gotten gunned down at home this spring? Haven't paid close attention but it seems to be at least 5 or 6.

How about Moises Alou as a RH bench player? How much could he cost at this point? He should be able to supply 200 ABs w/o seeing the DL. Kinda maybe?

I'm not giving Ed Wade the majority of credit. He certainly did contribute, but he didn't even have final say in the draft.

Hamels line today in a minor league appearance:

4 IP, 10 H, 3 R, 1 BB, 5 K, 64 pitches, 44 strikes.

Not a pretty line at all. Wonder what his velocity and stuff were at. If his fastball was only topping out in the mid-80s like it was earlier in camp, then he is still hurt and likely the Phils' rushed him back too quick.

"Phils' rushed him back too quick"

He has a say in it, as well.

B-A-P - Then what?....Then bring in Coste to PH. Not ideal, but for as often as this will happen, its not the great big crisis that this is being blown up to be. Besides, when your scenario happens, its not such a bad thing because the opposition has now used up its LOOGY for when Uts, Ryan, Raul come back around.

bonehead: im with you for the most part, but amazingly this type of stuff seems to happen the most when you're not properly ready for it.

Kind of the like the whole addage about the ball being hit to you if you dont want it. You go in with a poor RHB bench and guess what will end up biting u in the ass a bunch of times?

Bed - Yeah but a bunch of athletes want to compete and be out there on the field especially with the start of the season coming up. A team has to prevent a player from doing long-term damage to himself possibly especially given the amount of money they have invested in him.

Totally jumping ahead at this point and we have to see what the Phils/Hamels' say (or likely don't say).

thephaithful -

Not really.

Alby -


phaithful - Are you saying its kinda like not having a punt returner on the roster, then losing the first game of the year because your makeshift punt returner fumbles a punt to lose the game? ;)

Some good back and forth on the RH bat off the bench.

- It is pretty unlikely the Phils would pinch-hit for Utley/Howard/Ibanez with a RH bat off the bench.

- Also unlikely that an opposing team would bring in a lefty to face hitters in the Phils' lineup including Werth and Vic.

I guess as long as Cholly keeps the lineup spread out somewhat and doesn't stack Utley-Howard-Ibanez together the lefty reliever should be less of an issue except in the pitcher's spot.

It will be more interesting to see if the Phils' go back to their ways of struggling against LH starters as they have generally done the past few years with the exception of last year.

With as utility guy you always want a combination of, like, Randy Ready and Bobby Wine: the hitting of the former and the fielding of the latter. It looks like the Phils will get a Ready-Wine combination in Miguel Cairo. Unfortunately, it will be the hitting of the latter and the fielding of the former.

MG: I think you're jumping far ahead on the "Hamels is injured and Phils rushed him back" angle. So he struggled in a minor-league game. We have no idea what he was working on, what his velocity was, etc. The only important thing is that he gets some work in and he comes out healthy. I could care less what his line is, and certainly would not make any judgements about his health based on his line.

Also, Clout, I know you've stated for weeks that you think Park is the most likely 5th starter. Do you still think that's the case?

In the scheme of things, when I worry about issues with the Phils, here's how they rank:
1. Hamel's arm health
2. Hamel's arm health
3. Eyre and Trashner as top 2 LHRP
4. Moyer's age catching up with him
19. 3 LH hitters in middle of lineup
28. Pete Happy batting against RHSP
34. Beginning season with Coste and Cairo as top 2 RHPH

bonehead - yeah kinda like that.

More along the lines of not signing a fullback and losing a couple games because you can't convert on 3rd/4th and short on the ground, haha.

13 to 3 going into the ninth. It is amazing how the 'Stros and the Phils were similar teams a year ago, good hitting lineups with questionable pitching. Now, that description only describes Houston.

go read the other blogs. he was working on his curveball. he's fine. elbow is fine. he says he is definitely going to pitch Friday vs. TB and is in line to start April 10th vs. COL. stop speculating.

Jack: I said that I agreed with Conlin at the start of spring training that Park should be considered the "favorite" to be 5th starter, for reasons beyond performance. I see nothing to change my opinion on that. Do you still think Feliz should start vs. RHP?

BedBeard: If the GM doesn't have final say on the draft, who does?

13-3, Final. Chan Ho Park is you fifth starter, so says I.

Lake Fred - honestly, (and I'm on record stating I prefer Happ as the #5), how can they not give Park the spot?

Based on my math which could be off given B games and such - Park has struck out 25 in 20 innings with only 2 walks all spring. ERA in the 2.50 range .....

I am very surprised at his K/BB rate and K/IP rate as they are markedly off of his career norms. Small sample for sure, but impressive to say the least.

Wasn't panicking about Hamels. The line was much less important than what his velocity was on his fastball which he struggled a bit with in his last start on the 24th. Seems like he is locating it well from the number of strikes but I was curious to see if Hamels' fastball was above 90 consistently today.

Park definitely has done nothing in ST to hurt his chances that is for sure.

I still hope Happ makes it though. Park would (help)solidify the bullpen while Happ can start showing what kind of pitcher he really is, who at the same time has pitched well enough to be considered the #5.

And again, Park picks up another $2.5mil if he hits incentives based on games started. I doubt the Phils will want to pay that when Happ seems to be capable of doing the same job.

"BedBeard: If the GM doesn't have final say on the draft, who does?"

Scouting Director. I'm referencing what Jim Salisbury said to Jody Mac on the air several months ago: They were discussing the draft and Jody mentioned how Wade brought in Rollins, Howard, etc.. Salisbury emphatically stated that it wasn't Wade who had final say on the draft and that was one major demand that Gillick had coming in-final say.

Could he be wrong or trying to not give Wade credit? Perhaps. However, he was very sure of himself.

wade didn't have final say. final say was arbuckle and wolever

There is some merit to what Bonehead says about forcing the opposing team to use up their LOOGY. But most teams have 2 LOOGYs and, considering that all of the events that we're talking about would occur within a 3 to 4-inning window, Utley-Howard-Ibanez would be unlikely to come up a 2nd time, after all the lefties have been used up.

The bottom line is that you only get 5 spots on your bench. You need to have some good bats there and you need to have balance. If Cairo makes the roster, then the Phillies will be wasting 2/5 of their bench on guys who do exactly the same thing and can't hit a lick. This would be a bad situation even if the 2 players hit from opposite sides of the plate. That they are both right-handed -- and the only 2 right-handers on our bench -- only makes it worse.

Hopefully the 25th spot on the roster will be someone not presently on the roster.

Well, Taschner wasn't brought in to be the 3rd lefty out of the pen. And he wasn't brought in to earn $800K in Allentown. So it's safe to say that Happ isn't going to be in the BP, which means he's either: 1) the 5th starter, 2) pitching for Allentown, or 3) getting traded.

Since he dominated at AAA last year, it's hard to see him being sent back there -- unless the FO expects he will be needed in Phila before too long. On the other hand, this is a "win now" operation, only trusting kids when no vet option is available. Interesting quandary.

curt: So you think there's no chance that Taschner is sent to Triple A?

Mayberry's final ST stats: .246/.288/.464

Clout - When you start answering my questions, I'll consider answering your silly rhetorical questions.

(In this instance, of course, the answer to your "question" is already apparent in my post.)

Taschner could be sent to AAA--didn't we acquire and then cut Steve Kline last year (or send him to AAA, I can't remember)?

BAP: Presumably you want one RH bat that can actually hit. Coste is the only RH bat off the bench that comes close to that description and Cholly has shown no inclination to use him as primary PH since he's the only backup catcher. Which makes Cairo or Bruntlett the top RH PH.

curt-You just ruined my day by suggesting that Happ might be traded. What if Park reverts or someone gets hurt?

I've been one of Happ's biggest supporters since Day 1 and, when it comes to Chan Ho Park, you won't find a bigger skeptic than I. Over his 15-year major league career, Park has a strikeout to walk ratio of of 1.85 to 1, and he has walked 4.18 batters per 9 innings. In this year's ST, he has an incredible 25:2 strikeout to walk ratio and less than 1 walk per 9 inning. It's rather hard for me to believe that, as he nears 36 years of age, Park has suddenly found incredible command, when his command has been well below average for the last 15 years.

Still, if you declare open competition for the spot, and one guy has clearly out-performed the others, then that guy has to be your starter. While I believe that Park will completely implode at some point this season, he has earned the right to prove otherwise. If nothing else, he's clearly the hot hand right now &, until he cools off, you've got to keep riding that hot hand.

With Park in the rotation, I think both Happ & the Phillies would be better served by keeping him in the pen. Taschner is garbage and, as has been pointed out, he is actually better against right-handers than left-handers. Happ, on the other hand, is much tougher on left-handers, so he is your more classic left-hander out of the pen.

bap - I tend to agree with re Taschner/Happ and the BP. All signs are the Phils do not.

For this early part of the season, in which there are a lot of off-days, the Phillies will probably keep only 6 relievers. Once the season settles in, they will keep 7. There is room for both Taschner & Happ because, as I said in my last post, Taschner's only resemblance to a LOOGY is that he happens to be left-handed.

It also wouldn't astonish me if Taschner were sent to Allentown. Frankly, I prefer both Koplove and Majewski to Taschner. Happ does not need more AAA seasoning. He needs to be in the majors so he can gain experience & the Phillies can evaluate whether he can be a viable big league pitcher and, if so, in what role.

Reggie Jefferson and some other anonymous MLB player now saying Piazza took the steroids.
Ugh. Can we assume anyone pre-mandatory testing didn't take them?

doubleh: Curt thinks Taschner can't be sent to Triple A, but in fact he has options so doesn't have to pass thru waivers. The 600k is no big deal. But the fact is, the Phils don't need a 5th starter until April 19th, so the decision doesn't have to be made when the season opens.

Poor clout, still both reading-challenged and reasoning-challenged. From Lauber:

"Taschner is due to make $830,000 this season, less than what left-hander Will Ohman is believed to be seeking on the free-agent market."

So clout, please explain why you think there's an excellent chance we acquired Taschner to send him to AAA?

So, Myers, or Blanton to start opening night??

Are people still surprised/feigning disgust about steroids usage? A lot of them did it, including people you wouldn't think. Personally, I'm not surprised about Piazza at all. There were rumors about him for years.

Clout: I'd like to see Dobbs start more against righties. I don't think I'd do a strict platoon, because as we all know I value Feliz's defensive contributions more than you do, but I would certainly try and get more starts for Dobbs than he got last year--probably close to 2/3rds of the games against righties. And it would depend on who was hitting/playing well at the time. If Feliz is hurt and on the DL, I would certainly do a strict platoon with Bruntlett and Dobbs, which for some reason Charlie didn't do last year.

And I think Happ will be the 5th starter and Park will be in the bullpen. As it should be. I think Park will end up being more valuable out of the pen this year than Chad Durbin, who I think outperformed his talent level last year and is due to come back down to earth somewhat.

" I think Park will end up being more valuable out of the pen this year than Chad Durbin, who I think outperformed his talent level last year..."
Jack, last season was only the second time Durbin had been used exclusively as a reliever. The only other seasons where he pirthed significant innings were seasons in which he started at least 8 games.

So, I could make an argument that if he's not disrupted and distracted by starting, that perhaps what we saw last season is actually his "talent level" as a reliever.

I don't expect the ERA to be as good this season, but neither do I expect a regression to the 4.72 that he had in Detroit in 2007.

What I would really like to know is what you think his "talent level" is?

Why isn't Moyer being discussed as opening day starter? He was, after all, their best starter last year not named Hamels.

Think Park has any value in the trade market after his remarkable ST? Can a newly signed free agent even be traded? I'm sure Park would be more than happy to move to a new team for a starting gig.

I thought you couldn't trade a new free agent for at least 60 days...though I'm probably wrong.

JW-From the last thread,any mag that lays waste to Abreu's fielding can't be that bad.
On the RH bench bat,I know there is room for improvement,but a player that would meet BL standards would probably be a starter on another team(and one of their better hitters).
# of starters in April:A rainout,highly likely in April,could push a game back to an open date or create a day-nite DH,throwing pitching plans out the window.

Well, isn't this interesting. From Murphy on High Cheese:
The modern professional athlete is well schooled in limiting his remarks to platitudes. So Chan Ho Park’s answer to a question on whether he’d be willing to accept a relief role if the Phillies decide to use him out of the bullpen and award the final spot in the rotation to lefthander J.A. Happ was the most interesting thing that happened around the Phillies yesterday.

“Uh, I don’t know,” he said somberly. “Let’s see. Wait, wait, wait, wait. Sometimes I’m crazy.”

That got a laugh and Park wouldn’t elaborate. But it’s apparent that he’s going to be unhappy if he doesn’t win the competition.

I think it is 60 days, or at least some minimum holding period.

I remember because I was advocating trading away Rod Barajas as soon as we signed him.

Will Ohman is now a will be interesting to see how much he signed for.

If they don't make Park the 5th starter, they will have basically completely and utterly lied to him. That's not a good precedent to set when it comes to free agent. They presumably promised him a fair competition during the Spring for the 5th spot. Park has clearly outpitched pretty much everyone on the team. He didn't pitch in the WBC so he could focus on the Phillies...something that he got slammed for by Korea and is a huge deal for both him and his country. He didn't even stay up to watch the final because he was pitching in a spring game the next day. Give it to him or Amaro looks like a complete liar. If he implodes in April they can always swap him with Happ...its not the end of the world.

"That got a laugh and Park wouldn’t elaborate. But it’s apparent that he’s going to be unhappy if he doesn’t win the competition."

clout, they had a graphic up on DNL on CSN tonight.

Happ has pitched pretty well, but park has CLEARLY outpitched Happ if you look at the numbers, especially if you look at K/BB.

Park had been a man on a mission. I actually expected a little closer competition, and I still question whether Park can keep it up for a whole season.

But at this point, if it's based on performance, Park should get the nod.

I agree with NEPP - if Park had lost it to Happ fair and square, you have to think he'd be a man about it and accept a spot in the pen, for now.

But he's been better - he deserves a shot. As we all say so often, it's a long effing season, and Happ will get his shot.

Yo, new thread

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