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Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Comments

Phillies >>>> Pirates

Dom Brown at AA is not unreasonable. He'd be younger (Age 21) but he's supposedly a top prospect...challenging him could be a good thing.

The thing I worry about with promoting Brown straight to AA is that it's considered the hardest jump in the minors. I worry about destroying his confidence if he hits .180 the first month.

If it were my decision, I'd send him to Clearwater; if he rakes, you can always promote him to Reading at midseason.

That's GREAT news about Dom Brown. How many fast-track prospects to the Phils really have?

Also, D'Arnaud's season in the minors this year could say a lot about Marson's future.

I agree with you, Friar.

Friar - I am on board with your comments as well. It does seem however that the Phils have been very cautious moving prospects through the system and avoid "double-jumping" young players.

If they do start Dom at Reading (which I doubt will happen), they must know something about the kid that tells them he can handle it.

that settles it, call 'em up.

D'Arnaud went 3-3!? Trade Marson tomorrow. And Brown had two doubles? Hell, cut Ibanez. These kids are obviously ready for "The Show"

I highly highly doubt they'll start Dom. Brown at AA...I almost guarantee he'll finish the season there though.

Albert: Your sarcasm is almost appreciated, but had those two players struggled in their first game, it's a good bet someone on Beerleaguer would seriously suggest that the performance means they aren't really prospects.

BAP, how can you say that Happ is better than Ohman as a reliever? I can't find one single stat that would suggest that.

Happ has only 35IP so it is pretty foolish to even try to compare based on nubmers, but in those few IPs he doesnt even come close to the LHB splits that Ohman's career numbers do, and Ohman actually has slightly better RHB numbers as well! Which obviosuly means his overall totals are also better.

Ohman is also 30 and coming off a pretty solid year with the Braves. I can understand why you wouldn't want to pay $2mil for him with Eyre already making $2 and JC comingback in June - but you can't flat out say that Ohman isn't better than the options we already have, that is false.

And as clout/NEPP pointed out earlier, and to a point that I was trying to make earlier.

If phils didn't sign Eyre so soon and he was still a FA, I can't imagine anyone in the mjaors signing Eyre for $2mil before they sign Ohman for the similiar amount.

Also, as I believe maybe beard pointed put, Happ is more effective against RHB so he wouldn't be the kind of LH pen guy that Ohman would be.

JMARR: that's a good point. Whereas clubs like the Mets have made a habit of fast-tracking guys (Fernando Martinez springs to mind), the Phils rarely do so, as you noted. That's why it'll be all the more interesting to see where guys like Brown, Mike Stutes, and Vance Worley end up -- since the Phils had been making noise about starting the latter two in Reading as well.

You're absolutely right CJ. We are Phillies fans though, we reserve the right to cheer players Tuesday and run them out of town by the weekend.

Lastings Milledge.

b-a-p: It may be easy to claim that Happ would be better than any LHRP that's out there. But statistically, to this point
(Happ as a starter IP: 27.2 ERA: 3.58; Happ as a reliever IP: 8 ERA: 7.88), he has not been much of a reliever at all. It has amazed me that people have consistently overlooked his performance last year when advocating him as the substitute for Romero. He has not shown the ability to get up in the middle of a game, warm-up quickly, and pitch, say, twice in three days. Until he proves otherwise, J.A. Happ is a SP.

Friar - Agreed 100% about Brown. It will be interesting though to see if the Phils push anybody unexpectedly to the Reading roster early in the season. RPhils should be better than last year but it still looks like a roster largely of non-prospects and minor-league vets with a couple of exceptions again.

Any argument about Happ -- either pro or con -- must begin by acknowledging that we're dealing with small sample sizes. Nonetheless, small sample sizes are better than no sample sizes (a statistician might well tell me that's not true, but I'm going to go with it anyhow).


Last year, Happ had a 1.06 WHIP and a .209 BAA against left-handers. Ohman's numbers were .098 and .200, so he was better than Happ but the difference was modest. Against right-handers, Happ was slightly better than Ohman -- 1.48 and .247 for Happ, 1.52 and .256 for Ohman. The only way you could conclude that these guys are not statistically close to even would be if you looked at Happ's career numbers, instead of just his 2008 numbers. But his career numbers which are skewed by a single horrendous outing in 2007. That outing occurred when he was injured & never should have been called up in the first place. Including it does not really give you an accurate picture of Happ's present ability.


As for whether Happ can pitch as a reliever . . . well, I'm a bit skeptical about the idea that a pitcher who can pitch well at the beginning of the game is incapable of pitching well in the middle of the game.


I am sort of arguing against myself here because I would rather have Happ as the 5th starter than as a reliever. In reality, though, the 5th starter will probably be Park and, if it is, then we don't need to pay $2M to a LOOGY. And even if Happ ends up in the rotation, I'm not so sure $2M on a second LOOGY, who will be dispensable after 50 games, is a prudent use of money. But it's not my money & if they want to sign Ohman, I'm all for it. I just don't accept the premise that he's some sort of great bargain or that he fills a critical need. If he were a great bargain, he would have been signed by now.

BAP: I can agree with all that.

I too think that Park being the fifth starter will be a short lived experiment with less than desirable results, so I'm pulling for Happ to win the job right away.

I'm not too hard to prove wrong, so hopefully Park does just that and really locks the 5 spot up.

MG: "RPhils should be better than last year but it still looks like a roster largely of non-prospects and minor-league vets with a couple of exceptions again."

RPhils last year featured Carrasco, Marson, Donald, Bastardo, Harman, Escalona, Brummett, Garcia, Golson, Castro, Outman, Carpenter. That's plenty of prospects of varying skill level, with pretty much all of them age 23 or younger.

"a pitcher who can pitch well at the beginning of the game is incapable of pitching well in the middle"

There is considerable difference in knowing that you're going to be on every five days, to have a schedule for where you need to be, and never knowing, having to rush to get ready, and then, often, come into a pressure situation: rushed warm-ups, plus the high stress of not knowing if you';re gonna pitch, plus having to do it back to back days, or two out of three, or three out of seven, even.

Maybe he can learn. But not everyone can simply play left field, say, or first base. Not everyone can just become a relief pitcher when the SP thing doesn't work out.

I'd rather they (negotiated with and) signed Ohman.

I think Happ sample size is way to small to compare him to an established reliever like Ohman. I do not like the idea of Happ out of the pen, as he really has the makeup of a starter. Good thing I'm not the one making the decisions about these type of things.

b_a_p: I don't think they should pay $2 million on a second LHRP unless they have an opportunity to pick up a guy who has consistently shown he can produce against righthanded batters. I wouldn't pay $2 million for Beimel (or Eyre, for that matter). But I would pay $2 million in a heartbeat for Ohman.

Maybe I'm overvaluing Ohman because I remember him having so much success against Howard, but I don't think he would be dispensable after 50 games. I'd keep him and J.C. and go with the hot hand late in games.

(Also arguing with myself a little: I agree with you that Happ would be better in the rotation. He's better than Park and I don't think a second lefty is a big enough priority to warrant changing the rotation.)

Vs. Livan Hernandez

Rollins: 9/50 in 53PAs (.502 OPS)
Utley: 8/24 in 26 PAs (.721 OPS)
Howard: 3/18 in 20 PAs (.750 OPS)
Feliz 4/18 in 19 PAs (.485 OPS)

Vic is 1/2 and Werth Ibanez Chooch never saw him.

As hittable as he is, I hope the Phils can improve their numbers off of him, especially if he stays in the Mets rotation all year.


I meant lefthanded batter, by the way

"He has not shown the ability to get up in the middle of a game, warm-up quickly, and pitch, say, twice in three days."

Amen.

I trust Charlie and Rich to make the right decisions as to the makeup of the pitching staff.

I thin k whoever they decide to go with as the #5 will be fine.

My only concern is something that has only been discussed here on a limited basis, and is something no BL'r has an answer for:

The psychological impact on either pitcher who does not get named the #5.

Park seems to be emotionally invested in starting (remember, he didn't play in the WBC and his team lost) - to the point that if he gets stuck in the pen he could be "lost" for a while. How many games could that potentially cost the team if he's brought in when the game is close?

Happ might not be as affected emotionally as Park, but we still don't know what the Phillies plan to do if Park wins the spot. Will Happ get sent down so he stays stretched out, or will they stick him in the pen?

If they go with 11 pitchers early it could look like this:

SP: Hamels, Myers, Moyer, Blanton, Park;

RP: Lidge, Madson, Durbin, Eyre, Condrey, Majewski.

That would keep Happ in Allentown and stretched out in case Park falters.

When they go to 12 pitchers (before Romero comes back) they could either add Koplove, 1.42 ST ERA (which would add some good PR, i.e. local S Philly guy makes good!), or if Park falters and Happ goes to the 5 spot things would look like this:

SP: CH, BM, JM, JB, JAH

RP: RP: Lidge, Madson, Durbin, Eyre, Condrey, Park, Majewski.

When Romero returns Majewski would obviously be the odd man out.

In any event, I hope they all pitch well and make Charlie and Rich's decision really hard.

I also hope they continue to pitch well theeafter and add some minor league depth to a pitching staff that was extremely fortunate last season in the injury department.

Phargo- How are you doing- surviving the floods?

Many, many young starting pitchers swing between starting and relieveing their first couple years. Happens all the time. Didn't seem to hurt Chad Billingsley.

The Pahithful,

That just tells me they're due!

My vote doesn't count, but my vote goes to making Happ either the 5th starter on the Phils or the no. 1 starter with the Ferrous Piggies. I don't want him in the 'pen. We saw what happened to Mad Dog's head when he was a sometimes starter and a reliever. He only came out of his funk late last season.

Hi Bubba-

That's nice of you to ask. I just heard on the radio that they are considering Fargo about 95% done with sandbagging. It's pretty impressive considering that they had forecast having to fill and place about 2 million bags. The Universities have cancelled classes and the kids are really working hard, and folks have come from all over to help.

My own place is only a block from the river, but a bunch of houses in the neighborhood were destroyed in the 1997 flood, so the city bought them and built a levee which I think should go to about 42 feet- current projected crest is 41 feet.

It's pretty scary but everyone is pitching in and so far things are looking pretty good. If the permanent and temporary dikes hold, I think we will be mostly okay, and we don't generally get dike-destroying hurricanes around here. :)

I post this for davethom.....from Ken Rosenthal's latest on foxsports:

"Chris Coste has secured his hold on the Phillies' backup catcher spot, making Ronny Paulino available."

I'm surprised no one has mentioned that if we give Ohman the 2M that he wants and he and Eyre do well,we have a valuable trading chip when Romero gets back. We could trade either one for a hole that develops,or for prospects. If we got prospects,we wouldn't be paying the second-half salary of the MLer.

Way to go Costey!

Goody, pretty good point. However, if teams dont want to spend $2mil now, why would they take on $2 mil and then have to give up talent as well?


From rotoworld.com:

Clay Buchholz allowed just an unearned run over six innings Wednesday as the Red Sox beat the Reds 2-1.

He again went without a walk, and he now has a 15/3 K/BB ratio to go along with his 0.46 ERA in 19 2/3 innings. If only he had a rotation spot, we'd be pretty excited right now.

****Goody, pretty good point. However, if teams dont want to spend $2mil now, why would they take on $2 mil and then have to give up talent as well?****

Because they wouldn't be paying $2 million...they'd be paying less than $1 million if it were a July trade. Also, they'd be in a pennant race and those do weird things to GMs trying to keep their jobs.

Though I doubt we're gonna want to trade away a bullpen piece in a midst of our own race...unless of course the plane crashes and we're out of it in late July somehow.

Yeah, with his .185/.267/.333 splits, Paulino might be the single biggest bust of spring training. Still, Jason Jaramillo's splits with Pittsburgh are .148/.233/.148, so we can take solace in knowing that we at least got the better end of the trade.

the phaithful: If a contending team desperately needed a loogy due to injury or whatver, they would only be paying the second-half salary + an expendable spare part or prospect.

Thanks NEPP,you beat me to it. My 1-finger typing is afully slow.

Phargo, I live in New Orleans and work in Houston. In 2005, I evacuated New Orleans for Katrina. We had flooding and were away for a week. My job got blown to Houston. While in Houston, we had to evacuate for Rita in 2005. In 2008, we had to evacuate New Orleans for Gustav over Labor Day weekend. Then we had to evacuate Houston for Ike. Do you have to evacuate? You can click on my name to go to my rarely updated blog page. Click on the October and November Archive links and I have some hurricane related entries.

A 42 foot levee to hold against a predicted 41 foot crest is scary. Check with the BL statmasters and you'll find that the sample size is too small; that the Verducci Effect may hurt the levee's strength if asked to go much beyond what it did last year; and the fact that the weathermen are ALWAYS WRONG!

Good luck, phargo. My heart and prayers go out to you. There aren't a whole lot of Phillies fans around the country. We need you to take care of yourself so that you can continue to comment on BL!

ah true.

I doubt that Ohman stays unsigned much longer, but i also think that its pretty weird he is still unsigned right now.

I was reading through MLBTR live chat they did this afternoon, and there were lots of comment about the Braves pitching prospect Tommy Hanson, saying he's a NL ROY candidate (Cody Rasmus of STL also mentioned a lot) if the Braves put him in the rotation.


Lowe
Vasquez
Jurrijens
Kawakami
Glavine/Hanson

If/when Tim Hudson gets healthy, thats a sick rotation.

Phargo

Our prayers are with you.

BAP, glad to know that, in addition to clobbering the Pirates in the minor league head to heads yesterday, we also bested them in the swap of third string 'tweener catchers!

Thanks Fred and Doc, I really appreciate it.

It seems sandbagging has cranked back up- the new crest forecast just came out this morning and now they are planning to go out and augment levees up to 43 feet from the standard 41-42 feet. They are desperate to have volunteers on the overnight shift, so I am hoping to go in tonight at midnight. I love sleep, but things are getting a bit scary...

Some students just came by- they are evacuating- but I don't think there have been any orders yet.

Uff da. Thanks again.

AWH

I agree that psychological well-being is one of the most important determinants of any player's performance. To be sure, there's a lot of psychological issues here over who gets to the the 5th starter, and more importantly, who doesn't. Happ could lose his confidence if he's sent back down to AAA and Park could resent being sent to the bullpen if he feels that he should have been given the first chance to start because of his seniority, experience and sacrifices - such as giving up the chance to pitch in the World Classic.

I saw Happ, Park and Majewski pitch in spring training. If it were my call, Happ would be my 5th starter and Park would be my long reliever and emergency starter. I'd make it very clear to Park that he's the next starter in line if any of the other starters get injured or lose their stuff. Happ does not have the make-up of a reliever whereas Park has been a starter and reliever.

Happ looked sharper and harder to hit than Park who throws a lot of high heat and can get tagged. I saw Coste take Park long in a simulated game, followed by a line shot by Feliz that nearly took Park's head off.

I was not that impressed with Majewski. His ERA doesn't reflect the fact that he gave up a number of runs in spring training from inherited runners.

I'll be happy with either Happ or Park as the 5th starter. Pitching is a strong suit for the Phils this year, and if everyone stays healthy and focused, the pitching staff could be one of the best in baseball.

Doc, you have echoed my biggest concern going into the season:

"if everyone stays healthy".

The Phillies were extremely fortunate last season with regard to the health of their pitching staff. None of their starters was seriously injured or missed signinficant time because of it (though you could make the case that 60% of the rotation missing time because of ineffectiveness resulting in demotions yielded the same result as injuries).

IMO, SP and BP depth will be the key to the season, as I expect (though I pray it doesn't happen) some of the pitchers to miss some time.

Having guys like Happ, Majewski, Koplove and even Kendrick, - all who have had some level of success at the MLB level - either stashed at Allentown or in the back of the Zen pen, will be critical to the Phillies success. Then, while they don't have stellar MLB track records, if Woods and Borkowski are in Allentown, there is an ample supply of pitchers who won't be "deer in the headlights" if called up in an emergency.

Some, in my view, are likely to pitch some innings with the big club this season, regardless of where they start.

Can anyone tell me what Happ has left to prove at Triple A? Anyone think him spending another year there will be helpful? Or would it be smarter to keep him at the big league level even if it was in the bullpen?

It seems to me he's better off facing big league hitters from now on.

I agree: Keep Happ in the big leagues, no matter what.

I think with KK a non-issue for the roster that Happ has to stay up with the big team whether he's in the rotation or the bullpen. He needs to throw to as many major leaguers as possible. Lots of prospects start in the bullpen (Joba, Max S., Kershaw, etc.).

clout - Not arguing about his destination, just his usage. In the bullpen, to this point, he looks to be a mop-up guy. (Of which we already have one of the best in Condrey, who should not be placed in any more substantive role.) Maybe Happ would get the hang of it. Maybe.

I just wish that CC was replaced with a real LHRP.

(That was the "non-Carlos Carrasco" CC, incidentally.)


(Oh, and phargo, godspeed and keep dry.)

Oliver Perez bombed again. That Mets rotation sure is rounding into shape!

Getting back to the lead story...all the discussion of whether Brown will start at Reading missed another name in that game. Cody Overbeck was at third for the AA level team. I doubt that's where he will begin the season.

Anytime you can have a stud like Livan Hernandez as your #5 you know you've got a great rotation.

The "AA" team sure seems to look like the actual Clearwater squad...not Reading. Overbeck and D. Brown are both good bets to start off there, not Reading.

Happ chats with Moyer in the Bigs will help his game more than rustic oinks due North.

Clout - No Happ has nothing left to prove but here are some counterpoints to the "second lefty in the pen"

- Happ clearly was uncomfortable coming out of the pen last year and has never really been in this role for any period of time in the minors

- If one thing is clear about Cholly by now, he never uses a rookie out of the bullpen if he can help it. With Condrey (long-man) and Eyre (veteran lefty) in place, I am willing to bet Happ basically get mothballed in the bullpen. Your talking once a week/1-2 inning use.

- Does it makes sense to have a guy in the bullpen who Cholly won't use unless he has absolutely has to?

- If Park does bomb out as a starter by May, the Phils will likely need to Happ down anyways to Lehigh Valley for a start or two to stretch out his arm/build up his pitch count again.

- Phils clearly have shown that they don't think they need a number of lefties in the pen the past 2 seasons. While I am not crazy about Eyre, this isn't 2007 either when the Phils went into the season with the unproven Zagurski as their only lefty and a shaky bullpen.

Does anyone else think maybe they just gave lipservice to Chan Ho that he'd get a shot at starting so he'd sign?

I mean not as a total lie because if Happ and KK bombed in ST he would get the spot. But just in the sense they were giving Happ the inside track all along and preferred him as the starter and Chan Ho as the long guy/6th starter.

I don't know but most people here seems to think Chan Ho as the inside track over Happ and I'm just not so sure.

No, I think they promised Chan Ho that it would be an open competition and it seems like it will be. Park (despite his somewhat off outing this week) has impressed me this Spring. I won't be devastated if he's the 5th starter going into the season.

That said, I've made my official prediction for the Phillies in 2009: 89 Wins and a division crown...feel free to click my link for my other inane ramblings in the 09 season.

FWIW, I was off by 1 win last year when I said 93 wins....I also called the 07 division crown.

Jeltz: I think Charlie and Dubee pray that Park gets bombed in a Spring Training start so that they have an excuse to make him the long man.

Park clearly has his heart set on starting, but I just don't see him as the best option. He should take heart in one thing, though: When the Phils have their first injury, he'll be ahead of KK and CC and he'll get his chance.

Well, I don't think they were praying that he'd get bombed. More along the lines of Happ just having a really good spring so they could tell Park that Happ just earned it.

I won't be devastated if Chan Ho gets the nod either, I just think he'd perform better out of the pen than Happ. I agree at the very least he's earned the "next shot" ahead of KK and CC.

Jeltz: I believe the exact opposite. You may recall there were several teams vying for Park's services. He said the reason he chose Philadelphia is because he wanted to be a SP and believed he would start here. He also said he was not playing the WBC to ensure that.

The FO, meanwhile, has consistently said Park is just one of the guys in competition for the 5th starter spot.

My opinion? Park never would've signed here without a commitment from the FO that he'd start. In exchange, he agreed he wouldn't play for Korea in the WBC. The Phillies aren't paying him $2.5M to be the 7th-inning-when-Romero-needs-rest guy.

Yeah, what clout said.

clout: I know that's what they said. I was just thinking maybe they just said that because several other teams were bidding for his services. If I knew how to underline because in that last sentence, I would.

I honestly don't know (none of us really do). The Phils were very lucky last year that none of their starters missed a turn due to an injury. That's very unlikely to happen two years in a row so Park or Happ will both end up getting a chance at some point.

Clout: I see what you're saying, but I think they're paying Park $2.5 million to be a bullpen pitcher who can go multiple innings and can join the rotation in case of injury/ineffectiveness.

I'm of the belief that going into the season you need seven starting pitchers (two stashed either at Triple-A or in the bullpen). I think Park was brought in to be #6. Were they lying to him when they said he had an open shot at the rotation? No. But they were hoping Happ would put together a good spring and he has.

I don't think the Phillies FO operates like that, Jeltz. Everything they do seems to be pretty standup from Gillick's years to Amaro. If they told Park that he would be given a fair shot to start, they likely meant it.

Just my humble opinion.

No way Dubee labels KK the favorite if the job was promised to Park. I think Park was promised a fair competition against 3 kids, and was/is confident he could win that competition.

NEPP: I think it's fair to assume that GMs and players (well moreso, agents) aren't always 100% honest when negotiating.

And like I said, it's not an outright lie. At worst he'd be the #6 guy coming into camp and if any of the other 5 guys tweaks a hamstring or something, he's in the rotation.

Maybe you're right, maybe that's not the Phils M.O. Like I said, I don't know. I was just wondering out loud (maybe I should have just wondered to myself).

If Park does end up getting the job, there will be no way to know whether it's because it was promised to him or because he out-performed all the other candidates in ST. But I take Amaro at face value when he says that what he promised Park was merely an opportunity to win the starting job in ST. At most, maybe the Phillies suggested to him that he'd go in as the front-runner. But, given Park's recent history, I doubt very seriously that the Phillies, or ANY team, would have been crazy enough to just hand him a starting job.

JRKing: I doubt they wanted Happ as 5th starter by anything but default. A starting rotation with 3 LHs, 2 of them soft tossers, is an invitation to having your brains beat in pretty regularly by any team with decent right-handed bats (which is pretty much everyone except the Phillies).

My two cents (which ain't what it was worth when I was in the bigs):

I tend to believe the Phils made no commitment to Park but, that they were candid in telling him that they preferred that he contribute as the fifth starter. I don't think they want 3 lefties in the rotation. Whether he starts or works out of the bullpen, he is definitely a valuable piece. The double-down contract is a fair deal for both sides, so long as Happ gets a fair shake.
As for Happ, if he isn't going to go north in the rotation, I prefer that he go north anyway and get a good taste of major league hitting. He's got nothing left to prove in the minors.
That said,I'd prefer to see him used in long relief, not as a situational, one batter guy.

3 Questions- a) How comparable is this group to the '76-'83 Phils b)In this version which year was '76('05,06'07?) and c) how old were the '80 Phils core compared to last year? (i.e. MJS was 22; PF was 38)

Park is putting up some of the best numbers of any starting pitcher in baseball this spring. His 18 strikeouts to 1 walk is the best ratio of all pitchers. He is tied for third in strike outs overall. And is one of the few pitchers averaging more than one strike out an inning this spring with atleast 15 innings pitched. His 2.87 ERA is one of the best. Happ's numbers are good but Park's numbers are over the top. Unless he breaks down between now and the start of the season the 5th starting job should be his.

Dull, based on the performances to date I would agree with you.

Caveat: Both JAH and CHP will get 1-2 more starts/pitching opportunities before they break camp.

Chollie and Rich have said they'll wait until the last possible moment to make roster decisions, so as to give all a fair chance.

At this point Park is probably ahead. That could change.

Charlie Manuel, despite all the criticism he has received for various reasons since becoming the manager, has been completely straightforward and honest with the media and fans.

I take him at his word that they haven't decided yet.

Alby: I don't think there are any 5-game series on the schedule,so any one team would not be seeing 3 LH in a 3 or 4 game series unless it was intentional(to offset a lineup like ours).

Park is slated to make a bunch more money if he reaches some incentives as a starter. In fact, he likely could nearly double his base salary ($2.5M) if he reaches his incentives.

Though all along that Park had the inside track on the starter's job. He had to pitch poorly and Happ had to pitch pretty well for Happ to get real consideration. Park has pitched well so far in spring training so I don't know if it mattered what Happ really did given that Park has been very solid so far.

From this morning's South Florida (Fort Lauderdale) Sun Sentinel:

"Pudge Rodriguez is off the market, but the Marlins continue to evaluate available catchers. The latest they may be mulling is Ronny Paulino. The Phillies were expected to deal Chris Coste at some point after acquiring Paulino from the Pirates in December. According to media reports, they instead have decided to keep Coste as their backup and are making Paulino available.

The Marlins and White Sox are among the teams the Phillies have contacted to gauge interest, an industry source said. During the Winter Meetings, the Marlins and Pirates spoke about Paulino but could not consummate a trade.

One rumor had the two sides discussing Paulino for Robert Andino, who is out of minor league options. The Phillies could use another right-handed bat off the bench, but they still have a glut of reserve infielders in camp (Eric Bruntlett, Miguel Cairo, Marcus Giles, Pablo Ozuna). Plus, Andino hasn't exactly torn up the Grapefruit League, batting .196 with a .226 on-base percentage and 15 strikeouts in 51 at-bats."

link: http://www.sun-sentinel.com/sports/baseball/marlins/sfl-flspnewmarlins26sbmar26,0,7315232.story

If ruiz can improve his offense and earn to stay in the lineup around a nice 80% of the games, than I believe Coste will a fine backup/RHB PH.

If Ruiz is flirting wit the mendoza line again, then Coste will be over worked and not availible to PH and therefore very unproductive.

I doubt Ruiz flirts with the Mendoza line again this season. I think he's capable of batting .250ish. His previous season ('07) in the majors, and minor league #'s support this.

Andino sounds like a counter-offer. I bet they were asking about what it would cost to get Ross. (Andino has a strange stat breakdown - signs of good isolated power, lousy BB/K ratio, very streaky, mediocre speed, all as a middle infielder.)

Of course, Mr. dt73, they still might decide that Paulino's Spring is not a limiting factor and go ahead and trade your boy.


(I doubt it, actually, but I thought I'd toss it out there.)

Meanwhile, the majestic (according to McCarver and Buck) David Price was optioned to AAA Durham.

Carson, I agree.

I also agree with Charlie that some of the regulars shoud see improvement this season:

Utley, who's power was clearly hurt by his hip injury, and JRoll - ditto with the ankle injury.

The unknowns, to me anyway, are:

Feliz - how much did the bad back really inhibit him,

Vic - can he repeat last season or even improve,

Werth - will last season be a career year or a breakout year, that is, can he hit 30/90 with 600 AB?,

and Howard - can he get his OPS back up over .950, and was his BA decline solely due to a decline in BABIP and/or was the BABIP decline a function of 'the shift'?


If Howard and Co. "rebound" it could go a long way to offsetting a modest decline I expect in the bullpen.

Frankly, on paper (and barring injuries) the SP (and the depth thereof) looks better going into the season than last year - for one reason - no Adam Eaton.

Hey phargo, are you still dry?

I know you said you were going to do sandbag detail at midnight last night, so maybe you're still there or are back home sleeping.

Just wnated to let you know we were thinking about you.

Godspeed.

Adam Eaton update:

After giving up three homeruns in one inning to the Twins, Eaton replies "Obviously, the wind was blowing out..."

And then about how his progress is coming along: "My arm feels fine, the velocity is kind of staying steady..."

Haha, good ol' Eaton. giving up bombs, excuses and creditting his 'kind of steady velocity'

That Eaton line about the wind blowing out is a classic.

classic eaton!!

Royce Ring was placed on waivers by the Cards.

His lifetime splits against LH in a whopping 153 PA are:

.229 .350 .321

One troubling thing is the K/BB.


Could he be the "50 Day Solution" to the JC Romero suspension?

Quick anecdote:

Saw an interesting tidbit yesterday on MLBTR.

The Phillies offered a contract to Rudy Seanez. He turned them down because he wants to stay on the West Coast.

He is still looking for work, apparently.

No.

Interesting anecdote about Royce Ring:

He was taken by the Chicago White Sox with the 18th pick in the 1st Round of the 2002 draft.

Can you imagine how different things would have turned out if the Phillies had drafted him that year - one spot higher?

Classic Eaton...I won't miss that BS at all.

Doohickey: And he was optioned because he's terrible, right?

The only player I can think of who would make you long for Abraham Nunez's bat is Robert Andino.

Slick glove, good speed, can't hit even a little bit. Even his minor league numbers on offense are scary bad.

Today's lineup per Ryan Lawrence:

"1. Jimmy Rollins, SS
2. Shane Victorino, CF
3. Chase Utley, 2B
4. Ryan Howard, 1B
5. Raul Ibanez, LF
6. Jayson Werth, RF
7. Matt Stairs, DH
8. Pedro Feliz, 3B
9. Ronny Paulino, C

Carlos Carrasco is pitching.... Brad Lidge, Clay Condrey and Scott Eyre are also scheduled to get into the game against the Yankees.

With the exception of Stairs at DH and Paulino catching, this, once again, is close to the Opening Day lineup we saw Tuesday. The only difference - Werth and Ibanez have been flip-flopped."

Catchers are a lot like pitchers - you can never have enough of them, especially when your starter gets injured and your back-up is in a slump. There's little question that a number of different teams are going to be looking for replacement catchers as the season moves along. I think it's apparent that Paulino is not in the Phils' long-term plans, but I wouldn't give him away for another utility player unless that player had more to offer than Cairo, Ozuna, Giles and Bruntlett. I'd hold on to him until there was more demand for than supply of catchers. I would get rid of him immediately, however, if he turned out to be more of a head case than previously thought and/or threatened to be a negative influence on the field or in the club house.

The Giants are trying to trade the left-handed reliever, Taschner, and are presumably looking for a catcher. Although Ohman might help the Phils more than Taschner, I'd rather trade Paulino to the Giants for Taschner than to the Marlins for Andino, who hit .167 for the Marlins in 2006 and .206 for the Marlins in 2008. He hit .385 in 2007, but that was in only 7 games.

I've always liked the Rockies' catcher, Torrealba, and thought the Phils might pick him up when the Rockies were bundling Holliday, Atkins, Torrealba and a fourth player in one trade package. Torrealba is still on the trade block but teams are shying away from his $4 million price tag. If Torrealba were in this year's mix with Ruiz, Coste and Marson for the two top spots, I think things might be different.

The Phils have a lot of spare parts this year but I wouldn't get rid of them just to get rid of them. One man's trash is another man's treasure and some of these spare parts may be worth a lot more to the Phils a few weeks or months from now than they are at the present time.


"I don't think there are any 5-game series on the schedule,so any one team would not be seeing 3 LH in a 3 or 4 game series unless it was intentional(to offset a lineup like ours)"

You're missing the point. EVERY team has right-handed bats (except ours). It doesn't matter which team you're facing, it's a disadvantage to start 60% LHPs.

Yo, new thread

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