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Monday, March 16, 2009

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No reason to be overly concerned about this situation yet (esp. with Hamels himself down-playing it a bit). But a good argument can be made that going into the season with a young ace is not a good idea. Let's hope Hamels can stay healthy or Myers and one other can out-perform.

This is just the Phillies trying to take some publicity away from the Eagles. /sarcasm //hoping it's nothing

Wow. Slow day of postings. The Hamels news is like an uppercut to the jaw. Everyone's in shock.

I KNEW releasing Adam Eaton was going to come back and bite us in the a$$.

Good analysis, Soph.

Hey, if Hamels has to miss a few starts in April, so be it. He doesn't seem overly concerned with it, and he obviously knows his body.

Better to be over-cautious with any slight injury or discomfort, then try and pitch through it. Santana did the same thing, a few weeks ago.

And, we all know, that starting pitching depth, is one of the strength's of this organization. Our starting rotation at LV, should be stacked with capable arms. So, if you have to use one of them, for a few starts this year (for one of the 5 major league starters), in April or July, then we will be in much better shape, then many other teams (see the Mets) would be.

Chan Ho, looked really sharp yesterday, BTW. Had the Cardinals, completely off-balance and was throwing every pitch he has (and he has a BUNCH of them), for strikes. And, he can still hump it up there, and blow it by you, when he has to (although he has really learned to pitch, in his later years).

Kendrick's goose is cooked, no matter how he does the rest of the Spring. Happ and Park are way ahead of him. And, he's behind Carrasco now, too. And, CC is not going to make the team either. In fact, it could be argued, that KK is closer to Carpenter, then he is a big league roster spot.

Well we should be worried about Hamels because spring training discomfort always leads to problems in regular season, right? Just as good spring training performances by Park and Happ guarantee good performances during the season. That's the way it works, right?

Game is on radio again with Phillies.com. Big kudos to the Phillies for offering more spring training coverage of game action than any other team! That's the way the WFC should act!

clout: Yes. That is correct. An indisputable fact.

clout: I don't see anyone panicking on this board. But, given Hamels' importance to the team, his history of injuries, and the Phillies' history of understating the seriousness of their players' injuries, I'd say it's more than fair to be a little concerned.

Few thoughts from the previous thread:

- Jumping to unwarranted conclusions on Hamels at this point and I don't think Amaro was dodging any questions. Hamels (along with Amaro/Phils FO) won't know anything until Hamels comes back to Philly to be examined.

- Link to the "Verducci effect"

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?search=Verducci+Effect

Hamels threw 262.3 innings last year vs. just 183.3. It was really the postseason that added the extra mileage (35 IP extra).

- I would love to know the rep that Ciccotti enjoys among orthopedic surgeons in the Philly area and beyond. He is part of the Rothman Institute of Orthopedists who are one of the largest in the Philly/South Jersey area.

It would be interesting what their counterparts at the UPenn Dept of Orthopedic Surgery or Virtua Health in South Jersey have to say.

Howard in mid-season form... he struck out looking against Joba on a borderline pitch and he pointed to where he thought the pitch was with his bat. I guess he's working on his umpire communication skills.

Nothing like clout to s$!@ all over a legitimate discussion about our superstar ace having arm discomfort, along with bringing up and immediately dismissing a previous issue he didn't approve of. A triple whammy!

Jayson Werth gets the start in CF today.

Two first inning hits against KK so far. First and third with 1 out.

4 pitch walk, bases loaded with one out vs. KK.

KK in mid-season form too...2 hits allowed in 1/3 of an inning so far.

Struck out Xavier Nady looking. 2 down, bases still full.

Ground out to 2nd to end the inning.

KK pitching to 2007 form. Get men on base. Pitch around the left-handed batter. Get out of the inning with no damage.

Yeah, sorry but a 3.00 WHIP doesn't cut it for me. You can only run on the edge of the cliff so long before falling off.

JW: Any updates on the discussed fiesta de la Leaguer de Cerveza?

NEPP: Give the kid a break. A lineup which features Cody Ransom, Brad Gardner, and Jose Molina is practically the reincarnation of Murderer's Row.

For all of those people still holding faith in Kendrick- stop it, it's foolish. He had his time of usefulness, but that time is not going to be in 2009 with the Phils.

Jason Donald makes a nice play at third according to the announcers.

The good news is that Hamels doesn't have any pain WHILE pitching. This is all just about working out the cobwebs.

Sorry BAP...what was I thinking.

FWIW, Jose Molina is one of the top 5 hitters in the Majors with the last name Molina.

One hit in the 2nd inning. Much easier inning for KK including his second K of the game.

MPN: Yeah, I wanted to do one final headcount to gauge interest. Thinking McFaddens for it ... Who's interested? I'm taking off work Friday.

One thing I am glad about is that Hamels isn't pitching in the WBC although didn't Hamels report earlier than needed for camp this year? Wonder if a case of too much too soon although he really hasn't throw in any game situations at all.

If he needs to miss a few 4-5 starts in April to reduce his workload and wait until the warmer weather in Philly arrives in May, so be it.

As several others have pointed outs, the Phils have some alternatives that can patch them through for a few weeks. Plus, it looks like Utley/Feliz will be back and healthy to start the season.

Just as last season, I am hoping the Phils just even finish .500 in April. For whatever reason, this team stinks the first 7-10 days of the season since Cholly had been their manager and performs at a below average clip in April.

April results
2005: 11-14 4 GB (5-5 first 10 games, 4-3 1st week)
2006: 11-14 6 GB (4-6 first 10 games, 1-6 1st week)
2007: 12-14 4 GB (2-8 first 10 games, 1-6 1st week)
2008: 16-13 - GB (4-6 first 10 games, 3-4 1st week)

Under Cholly in April the Phils are 50-55 in April (.476), 15-25 the 1st ten games of the season (.375), and a lowly 9-19 (.321).

Have to be careful of small sample sizes but it is pretty hard not conclude that team and manager don't come out of the gate very gate and I am not expecting much different this season either although the early schedule is somewhat favorable with arguably 2 teams that are going to be among the worst in the NL this season (Nats, Pads) in the 1st 2 weeks.

JW: I'm game. What time would you arrive at McFaddens?

Nice running catch by Ibanez for the first out of the third. Lead-off man walked.

Player who walked stole second. Weak grounder with 2 outs tips off Howards glove, error on Donald on the throw. Player likely would have been safe at first, infield single credited. Run scored when ball got past Howard. 1-0 Yankees.

And Jenkins can't come up with a tough catch and run scores from 2nd. 2-0 Yankees.

A better inning again for KK. Lead off walk was bad, but had a chance to be out of the inning with no damage (likely would have been with Feliz at third as opposed to Donald).

That's why KK isn't viable...you can't always depend on your defense to make every play. Even when he's on, he gets hit fairly hard.

Still keeping that WHIP well above 2.00 for the game...and this is barely even an MLB lineup he's facing.

Agreed, Nepp. Defense evens out over time. Good defense has saved KK from damage on numerous occasions. Sometimes bad defense gives one back. When you're pitching yourself into trouble nearly every inning, and when you allow almost every batter to put the ball into play, you're significantly increasing the odds that defensive lapses will result in runs for the opposing team.

It wasn't the great defense that really benefited KK but the fact that the Phils' scored an obscene amount of runs for him. Among the league leaders in 2007 and had great support again in 2008.

Pretty clear he needs to go to Allentown to get out of the limelight, work on his control/changeup, and hopefully have some positive results that rebuild his confidence.

Unrelated topic....Am I missing something with Seth Everett? He doesn't seem to bring a whole lot to the table. The more I hear him, the less I respect his work.

Donald unable to handle a hot shot right at him... all runners end up being safe. Bases loaded, 1 out in the 4th.

Shot down to first, gets by Howard, two score. Announcers think he had a play to at least knock it down. Sarge says it has to be an out.

Then they get Swisher in a run down and the guy takes off from third and they don't even try to throw him out going home.

No breaks for KK today... but you know what they say. You make your own breaks!

So we can safely say that Donald needs more work at 3B and that KK can't get a break to save his life...sounds like his 2nd half of 08...now he'll probably try to start aiming his pitches a bunch and get completely hammered.

NEPP: No, he's out of the game now.

KK: right from the mound to the horse trailer.

If Hamels is out and the Phils still need to keep Happ in the 'pen til Romero is back, how dumb will it look not to have worked something out with Ohman?

Oh well, that's good...quite the impressive 2.750 WHIP he posted today.

Andy: Has Ohman been signed yet?

Ohman has yet to be signed. Last report on MLBtraderumors had the Padres hoping he'd drop into the 1M range (isn't that the Phils' open offer range?).

Not sure we can safely say anything today we couldn't yesterday. Especially since none of us can even see the game. Happ and Park still have an edge on Kendrick for the spot.

Joe Beimel is still out there. His ability to keep the ball in the park would come in handy in CBP(despite 2008 stats suggesting its not a hitters park blah blah etc)

If Hamels does start the season on the DL, I wouldn't be surprised to see the Phils pick up a veteran reliever (especially a lefty) if he comes at veteran league minimum around 400k or 450k.

Eventually a Biemel or Ohman are going to get picked up but at this point it looks like it will be a "gold rush" type event where the 1st team to pick up some of the veteran relievers out there will set the market price and other teams will act accordingly. Likely someplace north of veteran league minimum but not much more than that.

Yank batboy just got a PH.

I don't understand why they wouldn't, besides the obvious($).

At the deadline, an extra lefty reliever would be a valuable trade chip.

baxter - Price man. Veterans are overplaying their hands and they better wise up that it is better to play for another year at $400k or $500k with some incentive upside vs. no guaranteed MLB job.

Can they use the mercy rule in ST? Please?

Thanks for all the updates CJ.

I think we all got a little spoiled at how healthy the staff was last year. More than one of these guys is gonna miss a turn this year.

If the season is going to fall apart and the Phillies stink, starting rotation injuries will be why.

The other Yank batboy is taking a shot...but we're countering with Eyre - after 3 guys with 12 ERAs.

I'm not saying I'm gonna blame myself for this Hamels injury thing...but, last night I DID draft him in a fantasy league and I have terrible luck...so, just out of precaution I traded Ibanez today.

KK is really testing the limits of stubborness, but i'm sticking with him for the rotation and a nice 2009.

Mosebach can back his bags because he is headed back to the Angels' farm system. Today pretty much sealed his fate.

Vic remains the last Rule V pickup the Phils made that had a huge impact on this club. Besides Vic though, I can't think of another Rule V this decade that really helped the Phils in a meaningful way.

It's hard to find many Rule V'ers that have impact on the club that picks them. Of course, there are some (Santana, for example).

thephaithful - This year's rotation? Really? You've watched the games, or at least read the box scores, right?

He might be able to do it later, but he sure as hell won't be doing it in a month at CBP.

Very suprising that Kyle Kendrick ran into a lot of bad luck again today in Spring training. It seems he is the only pitcher suffering bad luck on the staff.

Its strange because he always seemed to have such good luck in the past.

I don't think LUCK has anything to do with leaving pitches over the middle of the plate up in the zone. It is more about location then Luck.
Maybe KK should pitch again tomorrow, this way he can have the LUCK of the Irish on his side, that might be what he needs. If it is all that he needs it must be Managments fault for not putting him in the position to be Lucky.

Kyle, thanks for everything you did to help the Phils make it back to the playoffs for the first time in 14 seasons in 2007. I'd also like to thank you for helping win some games in the 1st half of the 2008 World Series championship season. But with all due respect, I hope to God you don't pitch for the Phils this season. Good bye and good luck in the minors.


On the Hamels injury:

First thought: Oh no, the sky is falling.

Second thought: Wait a second, we learned last year the sky does not always fall in Philly. Things do sometimes work out.

Third thought: We so used up all our good karma last year, a disaster like a season ending injury to Cole was just waiting to happen.

Fourth thought: Get real, wait for the facts to come in. 2008's good fortune has nothing whatsoever to do with Cole Hamels' elbow in spring training of 2009.

Fifth thought: It is now legitimate martini time, which should bring clarity. 7:00 AM on the way to work was a little too early to start.

Remember, when Kendrick was getting lit up in Spring training last year? Mitch Williams said Kendrick's problem was that his arm was'nt tired enough to throw his sinker properly.
Enough with this Kyle Kendrick nonsense already. He walked through the raindrops without getting wet, in 2007. Be thankful and have fond memories of that.
Trade this guy to Colorado or the Nationals while their still desperate for anything that resembles starting pitching.

Remember, when Kendrick was getting lit up in Spring training last year? Mitch Williams said Kendrick's problem was that his arm was'nt tired enough to throw his sinker properly.
Enough with this Kyle Kendrick nonsense already. He walked through the raindrops without getting wet, in 2007. Be thankful and have fond memories of that.
Trade this guy to Colorado or the Nationals while their still desperate for anything that resembles starting pitching.

Remember, when Kendrick was getting lit up in Spring training last year? Mitch Williams said Kendrick's problem was that his arm was'nt tired enough to throw his sinker properly.
Enough with this Kyle Kendrick nonsense already. He walked through the raindrops without getting wet, in 2007. Be thankful and have fond memories of that.
Trade this guy to Colorado or the Nationals while their still desperate for anything that resembles starting pitching.

Mike77: I am getting the feeling that you want to get rid of Kendrick. Call it a hunch but that's what I think your trying to say.

Did anyone see Kendrick pitch today? Does anyone know what he was working on? Mikes, are you aware of the earliness of the hour?

I prefer Happ but some of these responses are unwarranted.

Off the subject:

Have a cousin and uncle at ST. Both were on the back fields for the past couple of days and they said that Dom Brown was the most impressive player they saw. Hit rockets all over the field apparently. Only second-hand report, but it's nice to hear good news on one of the better prospects in the org.

Sophist: From what the announcers said, KK didn't use the changeup much today. They suggested he knew he's in a fight for a spot and just doesn't feel comfortable using it in game situations yet.

Also... I swear they said he throws a slider. Is that true? Is he a fastball-sinker-slider pitcher... or is it sinker-slder with his fastball being a sinker. I'm just not familiar enough with pitches.

Sorry for the triple post.
Reverand, I hit the post (enter)button so hard it got stuck.

Quote from Brewcrew manager Macha (courtesy of ESPN.com)

"Injuries happen," Macha said. "It's the weather and your wife, you have no control over those two or injuries."

AWH's description of the "Sir Alden Trio" is looking better by the minute!

mike - Why would the Phils trade KK now that is value is diminished even further after a rough spring training? Sell low? No.

MG - I am definitely not advocating trading KK. But players are rarely traded at peak value unless they are packaged with someone else they believe is "low". Rather, other teams probably view KK as a project that has tools they can develop better than what the Phils have been able to do with him. In that sense, buyers would only trade for him when he is "low". If he performed better, 1) the Phillies wouldn't trade him; 2) Teams wouldn't meet the Phillies' asking price.

that said, with the injury risks on this team, why on earth would you get rid of KK? although the phils may seem to have more depth than other teams, the margin is still thin.

TNA: Teams trade high all the time when it's a player who's control they are about to lose.

And although a player like KK is rarely traded at peak value... he's also rarely traded at rock bottom value. It's real hard to believe KK's value can go any lower than it is right now.

And you're right... injury concerns make it stupid to trade KK under almost any condition.

Finally, the guy is only 24. The idea that he can't improve with work at AAA is crazy.

Back in on KK.

His major league experience, even if he was lucky (no maked that damned lucky) in 2007, is not all bad. Something like 23 or so of his 50ish starts were better than "quality starts" (and another like 9 were exactly that). It's nice to have someone stashed at AAA who can, at least, eat a few innings.

Someday they might want to toss him into a package to get who they want. But on this day, with this news, send him down and hope you don't need him.


According to experts consulted by Jayson Stark, our man KK STILL needs to get himself over to Walmart and pick up a shiny new pitch. What on earth is that boy waiting for?

Stark:
"Kendrick has fallen so far behind J.A. Happ and Chan Ho Park in the Phillies' fifth-starter derby, there is speculation the Phillies could even trade him before Opening Day. "He's got options left, so they don't have to move him. But they'd have to think about it," said one NL scout. "I don't see where he fits, quite honestly. You want to root for this kid, but the more you see him, the more obvious it gets that he doesn't have enough stuff. He needs to come up with another pitch to get the hitters off that sinker."


Huh? So we're supposed to trade a pitcher without enough stuff for... a hitter who can't hit offspeed pitches? or what?

Everyone needs to check out Charlie's postgame http://johnfinger.com/2009/03/16/charlie-not-pleased/>comments from today. Took a page out of Utley's book...

curt: Notice the speculation came from "one NL scout." I just don't beleive the Phils are actively looking to trade KK. There's just no reason to. 1) You won't get anything of value back right now. 2) There's no urgency to deal him. He's got options. Send him down. Let him work on improving his stuff and his control and let's see what happens!

And a caveat... it's not even Clout Day yet! ;-)

CJ, I agree. I doubt there's a realistic trade out there that wouldn't leave the team with as many or more problems. The guys is cheap and 24 with a record of success. Also, it's March 16th. Disable your shift+1 capabilities, please.

Kyle Lohse has had similar inconsistencies in terms of WHIP and ERA (although, some one will say better K/9). Cards are paying him $41M over the next 4 years.

Hey, that might be an argument for dealing him, right? If the Phils had signed Lowe, I might be interested. They need depth.

From hh's link:
"Nevertheless, Charlie says the quality play will improve greatly in another week or so.

“The last 10-to-12 days we’ll really work on the fundamental parts of the game,” Charlie said."

See. Chollie believes in clout day, too.

Sophist - You (of all people) know that Lohse is Kendrick's closest comparable to this point in their careers. The next eight guys are people you never (if you did you won't want to admit that you) heard of.

Yes, an overstatement. Most 24 year-olds with his track record haven't panned out. You can see it in Kendrick's forecasts.

Andy, don't overlook #10, though. Chris Carpenter. Which points to a problem with the comparisons generally. Largely these comparisons are more useless at the margins (for the worse players, the great players, the very young, and the very old). Kendrick falls into that range.

In any case, Kendrick is a young guy and he's cheap. He's in a 3-way race for the least important spot in the rotation, and he doesn't seem ready at the moment to be anything more than a spot starter. But he's 24 and it's March 16th. The teeth gnashing is wasted energy. The status of the 'pen is a bigger concern.

According to Phillies.com, the Phils made some roster moves today:

The Phils optioned right-handers Andrew Carpenter, Drew Naylor and Scott Nestor, left-hander Sergio Escalona and catcher Joel Naughton to Minor League camp. They also reassigned right-hander Blaine Neal, left-hander Antonio Bastardo, catcher Tuffy Gosewisch and Paul Hoover and infielders Mike Cervenak, J.J. Furmaniak, Jorge Velandia and Andy Tracy to Minor League camp.

No shockers there, really.

Sophist - I nearly mentioned Carpenter. If you look at his career, though, you begin to realize that he was pretty bad at the beginning and only got really good at STL.

Then he blew his arm out.

I agree, though, that statistical comparisons are not a very accurate prediction tool. They are best used to show how truly extraordinary players stand alone.

There is absolutely no reason why Kendrick should make the roster, or that he should even be considered for a call up without a significant period of time during which he proves he can pitch in the major leagues. Frankly, even if he mows through the International League, I'd still let him pitch the entire 2009 season for the Iron Pigs.

That being said, unless he is a key element in a trade that brings something special to the Phils like Roy Halladay (which I don't see happening in my wildest dreams), I see no point in trading him. It's not like he's taking up valuable roster space on the Iron Pigs. Then, if he earns a spot on the 2010 roster, terrific. If not, no harm, no foul.

Noooooooo! Not Tuffy!

You mean some pitchers don't get it together until their late 20s? Can that be possible?

clout: You mean guys like Jamie Moyer?

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