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Thursday, March 19, 2009

Comments

I had to read the " hitter's orgy of the Pacific Coast League" like 5 times...good stuff.

Weitzel, I think you're right. We have no room for these guys. It would be nice to have a guy who could do what some want Mayberry to do - productive right handed 5th outfielder - but I don't think he's there yet based on what I'm hearing. Haven't seen him play, though. As for Donald, he's better in AAA waiting for an injury call-up. Not sure who the 25th guy is at this point, though.

Not since 1981 has this franchise been in a better position to return to the Fall Classic. When you think that nearly all of their starting 8 are just entering their prime production years and they have some depth and tradeable commodities at AAA, it's almost better that they didn't make a major move that could harm chemistry.

The article on espn reports Beimel signed for a 1 year contract for 2mil. If that sets the market for around what Ohman will eventually sign for, that would make me tend to think he might be too rich for the Phils. Then again, we are only a little more than 2 weeks away from the start of the season... Maybe there is hope that Ohman won't have the patience to wait for a team's bullpen to sustain injuries increasing his bargaining power.

He would be a great guy to round out the bullpen.

To chime in the discussion from yesterday, JW you nailed it right on the head. Myers is the biggest wildcard going into this season. Every intuition I have is telling me that he will be a disappointment this year, but for some reason I am hopeful that he can string together a good year.

From the previous thread:

Old grandad mentioned something I've noted before and agree with....tha lowering of the mound may have more to do with pitchers' arm injuries than anything else. Not only can't they get the same downward leverage when they stride, the angle at which the ball approaches the pitcher is flatter. I would think that that helps out the hitter a bit.
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Well, we're a day short of Clout Day, but IMO we should probably wait another week, as the season starts almost a week later this year.
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I'll say this at this point, though:

Who the last couple of guys on the bench are is important, but not THAT important. Remember, they won the WFC with So Taguchi (the good luck charm) as the last guy on the bench, and Bruntlett with his astronomical OPS.

The biggest factor in their ability to repeat will be the health and effectiveness of the pitching from top to bottom, and the depth of the staff.
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Oh, and IMO Beimel was signed not only because he's good, but because the team to beat in the division has three LH power hitters in the lineup, and he's likely to get a lot of work in those 18 games.

Despite the Mets denials to the contrary, for the same reason I would not be surprised to see Ohman wind up in Flushing.

Would love to see the Phils pick up Ohman.

Beimel had a solid ERA last year, but check out his splits

RHB: .263/.363/.337
LHB: .278/.330/.311

A lot of singles, sure, but those are high OBPs from both sides. He let 20 of 60 inherited runners score, which is the 4th worst % among relievers who inherited 50 or more. If you drop the minimum to 40, he fares a bit better (11th), tied with Chad Durbin.

Here's Ohman by comparison

RHB: .256/.341/.359
LHB: .200/.257/.314

35 IR, 6 IRS (17%)

Ohman would be a great lefty specialist to round out our pen. I had no idea his numbers were THAT good against lefties. Too bad we can't afford him :(

****Would love to see the Phils pick up Ohman.****

Yeah, so would I...especially considering we'll be without Romero for the first 1/3 of the season and we'll likely be shorthanded overall.

At this point Ohman is the fat kid who always gets picked last in gym class...If they offered $2 million right now, he'd almost have to sign. He's better than Beimal yet he's still out there...getting late in the day to still be looking for a job.

Wildest speculation I've read on this subject: Phils will keep Mayberry and Stairs will accept a minor league demotion. He'd sooner coach his son's peewee hockey team.

Agreed that both Donald and Mayberry should start in Lehigh Valley, but I wonder exactly what the OF situation is going to look like? I'm not sure if the Phils can afford to carry both Jenkins and Stairs, but I don't trust any of Dobbs/Cairo/Ozuna as the 5th outfielder, especially given the need to limit Werth's and Victorino's ABs a bit in order to keep them healthy.

Is the issue getting overblown? The fifth outfielder last season was So Taguchi. It will be Stairs this year unless he's traded. If he's traded, they'll replace him with someone who will get 100 ABs.

They should pony up the money for Ohman. I mean, once your payroll is 130 million dollars, whats a couple more million?

A trade may be the answer.

They built a nice new rink in Bethlehem, so Stairs could be in luck.

"Oh, and IMO Beimel was signed not only because he's good, but because the team to beat in the division has three LH power hitters in the lineup"

AWH, with all due respect, "the team to beat" is so last year (and the year before). The Phils are now "the team to repeat."

Preach, as you wish. I stand corrected.

"The Phils would be understandably content to let the good times roll, and frankly, would probably see the best results by mimicking the championship roster as much as possible."

I disagree with this premise because the Phils cannot be content with the status of their quo if they want to repeat as world champs. Most other serious contenders have done some serious rebuilding, improving and augmenting this off-season and will give the Phils better competition than they did last year.

If you were at spring training this year and saw John Mayberry swing a bat, you'd realize that he immediately makes the Phils a better team. Sure, he has some growing to do, but the Phils could figure out ways to get him in the lineup and allow his growth homers and RBIs to help the Phils rather than the Iron Pigs. Ibanez, Werth and Victorino will all play better with a day or so off each week and Mayberry could be a more than adequate replacement against both right-handed and left-handed pitching. If any of the outfielders get injured, which they always seem to do, Mayberry might wind up stealing the show. I like Geoff Jenkins but he is the Phils' expendible outfielder. I'm sure there are teams that would be willing to trade for or acquire Jenkins, even if the Phils have to eat part of his salary. Matt Stairs is the keeper. For $1 million a year, he gives 100%, gets the big hits and is even learning how to dive at balls in the outfield. He is more dependable off the bench than Jenkins as a hitter, and the Phils don't need Jenkins for his defensive abilities. They have other players who can fill in defensively in the outfield. I don't see Stairs ever playing in the minors again.

I realize that Eric Bruntlett is starting to hit but a returning regular season .217 hitter with underwhelming defensive skills needs to be improved upon if the Phils are to defend their title. Seeing Donald, Cairo, Ozuna, Giles and Bruntlett playimng side by side in spring training left little doubt that Bruntlett was low man on the totem pole offensively and defensively. Of the rest of the crew, my money would be on Donald as the Phils 5th infielder and future third baseman. He is a much better defensive third baseman than he is a shortstop in my opinion. If the Phils feel the absolute need to get Donald more seasoning in Allentown, I'd keep Cairo. The wires are buzzing about an undisclosed team offering the Astros a third baseman since a heart condition has sidelined Boone for the entire season. The Phils could very well be that team and Giles still has enough pop in his bat to be the player.

As far as catching, Paulino is probably redundant and the most tradeable. Ruiz and Coste will have nice years for the Phils and Marson needs at least another year of Iron Pig seasoning.

The Phils need to improve their lineup to defend their world championship and these are the ways I think they can do so.

Stay well.

Tomorrow is clout Day? Do I need to wear anything special, like wearing green for St. Patrick's Day? I'd imagine a clout outfit consists of Converse old style sneakers, baggy worn blue jeans with a few holes, a wife beater shirt, and if it gets cold...a faded red Phillies hoodie sweatshirt.

"Is the issue getting overblown?"

Of course it is, Jason, but come now... isn't that what Beerleaguer is for?

If I want to read about Cole Hamels and his "need" for a personal chiropractor, I'll go to Philly.com.

If I want to argue who the 5th outfielder should be and whether or not Dobbs' glove offsets his offensive production, I'll go to Beerleaguer.

Truth be told, I'm on Beerleaguer about 12 to 1 over Philly.com.

Exactly, Friar. Beerleaguer: Home of Jake Woods breaking news.

The Feliz lovefest is on the philly.com forums as well. One thread was proposing that the Phillies just have to pick up his 2010 option. He sounds like an all star the way he is described.

5th outfielder is definitely overblown. Jenkins will spell Ibanez, Werth, and Vic. Werth will slide to center when Vic sits. Obviously Stairs is better suited for the AL, but he gives the Phils a professional hitter and legit power threat off the bench. Haven't seen enough of him to know if he can play OF at all. I figure he cannot be much worse than Burrell though. Dobbs and Bruntlett can play OF in a pinch.

"Matt Stairs is the keeper. For $1 million a year, he gives 100%, gets the big hits and is even learning how to dive at balls in the outfield."

matt stairs is 41 year old designated hitter who should only be in the field in a pinch. i don't think under any circumstances the phillies would want him diving at balls in the outfield.

also, getting jenkins taken off your hands in the current market at his inflated salary might as well be impossible. as luis gonzalez is aware, there's not much of a market for declining corner outfielders.

mayberry seems like a good kid that could eventually be a decent major league player, but it's important to not get too excited about a few good games spring training games. he'll get his chance in the future.

I like Mayberry's raw talent alot but he's showing some holes in his swing against more advanced hitting...I do think he has a chance to be a Marcus Thames type of platoon threat if he continues to improve. The fact that he is a plus defensively at both corner OF spots and has been put in CF a few times speaks well of his athleticism.

I mean to say "holes against advanced pitching, not hitting"...i.e. his SO rate is quite high...like Ryan Howard in the 1st half last year high.

Problem with Stairs is that he's only a professional hitter and a legit power threat against right-handed pitching. If a left-hander is in the game, and you need a pinch hitter, who's it going to be? Eric Bruntlett?

zp: Yeah, I had the same though when I read doc's comment about trading Jenkins. It has been pretty well documented that the Phillies tried all winter to trade Jenkins, but there's no one out there who is crazy enough to trade for a $6.5M platoon player who can't even hit right-handers anymore. Even if the Phillies ate half of Jenkins' salary, there is no way in the world anyone would take him.


Matt Stairs is making $1M this year, and that's about what Geoff Jenkins would command on the open market. If Jenkins has another bad year, my guess is that he gets nothing more than a minor league contract when he's a free agent after 2009.

bap: Exactly. That's why I applauded Amaro's pursuit of Garciaparra, who would immediately have become the go to righthanded PH.

As it is now, I accept the premise that Mayberry should head to Lehigh Valley as he continues to revamp his swing. But if that's the case, I'd deal Stairs to an AL team for a PTBNL, and sign someone like Jay Payton (ability to play all 3 OF spots at least passably, has hit .278/.328/.457 against LHP the last 3 years).

I'll be quite shocked if the Phillies don't add a player or two before end of ST. As we get closer to Opening Day, there will be a sizeable contingent of vets and out-of-options guys getting cut, refusing assignment, offered for trade etc. A RH OF and LH reliever will almost certainly be among that group.

Mayberry looks just like Howard did the year before the Phils finally got smart enough to bring him up to the bigs and he's ready for the majors right now. For the record, I think that getting rid of Jim Thome to make room for Howard was both unnecessary and stupid. Howard was young enough, athletic enough and hungry enough to agree to play another position with the Phils while Thome was still on the roster. I would have brought Howard up to play the outfield and kept Thome at first base. I would have moved Abreu to center and played Howard in either left or right, with Burrel playing the other position. If Howard had any reluctance, I would have reassured him that he only had to play the outfield as well as Manny Ramirez as long as he hit as well. With my plan, the Phils would have had a devastating offense, paid Thome to play for the Phils instead of the White Sox, and avoided the expense of Aaron Rowand. Abreu and Burrel would have ultimately been traded, allowing Victorino to become the star outfielder. The net result would have been an additional year of Ryan Howard at the plate and millions of dollars saved.

Matt Stairs is 41 but he is still healthy, capable and motivated. 2009 is all the Phils have to be concerned about with Stairs. I liked what I saw with Jason Ellison, offensively and defensively, and with a little more seasoning, he could be thrown into the mix as the 4th or 5th outfielder. He's fast, has a good glove and a better than average arm. He'll be able to hit for average in the bigs.

As the season progresses, the Phils won't need Geoff Jenkins as much as other teams are going to need a left-handed power hitter who has defensive skills and the potential to improve with a change in scenery. With Mayberry on board, Jenkins is unnecessary and not as potentially beneficial to the team or reliable offensively as Stairs. Even if the Phils have to eat part of Jenkins' salary, money will still be saved. As it stands now, the Phils will be paying Jenkins in excess of $6 in 2009 to be a mediocre 4th or 5th outfielder and left-handed pinch hitter and poor option over Mayberry or Stairs.

Donald is young, motivated and coming off impressive Arizona Fall League and spring training performances. I would take advantage of that momentum and keep him on board as the 5th infielder and start grooming him as the Phils' next third baseman. Sending him back to the minors could hurt as much as it could help at this stage. By keeping kids like Mayberry and Donald on the major league roster right now with stars all around them, they will play to the existing level and allow the Phils to perpetuate their winning ways for many years to come. Guys like Jenkins and Bruntlett do not give the Phils that option and they do not offer the Phils any advantage over Mayberry and Donald at the present time.

There's still a lot of talk about marquis pitchers like Halladay and Peavy being available. The Phils ould probably assemble apackage of players like Jenkins, Bruntlett, Kendrick, Paulino and either another minor league pitcher or a player from the Ciro, Ozuna, Giles collection and add a big time pitcher to the squad. Even if such a trade required a Blanton or Park, the Phils are in the drivers seat and only look to get stronger.

Stay well.

An OF of Burrell in LF, Abreu in CF and Howard in RF? That would be, far and away, the worst defensive OF in the history of baseball, never to be matched again.

I think the Phils pitching staff would have allowed the most OF hits ever in a season with that defenisve set up.

I'd love for the Phils to sign Ohman if only to keep the Mets from signing him. Perhaps if they can find someone to take Jenkins and be willing to pay all but 2 mil of his salary, that money could be used to sign the lefty. That way, they get their LR without increasing payroll. As for Mayberry Jr., the kid has a lot of tools. Unfortunately, after watching him in 4 games in Florida a couple of weeks back, it seems to me that hitting anything but a fast ball or a hanging breaking ball isn't one of them. Finally, Howard was rehearsed in left field the spring before he came up (when Thome gut hurt). It didn't take long to convince Cholly and the coaches that it was a really bad idea.

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