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Thursday, March 19, 2009


Whoops, new thread.

I had just responded to your point, bap, that Stairs can only do what he does against RHP. So if the Phils are set on sending Mayberry to Lehigh Valley -- which is a good idea IMO -- then why not deal Stairs to an AL team for a PTBNL and sign someone like Jay Payton (RH hitter with the ability to play all 3 OF spots at least passably, has hit a respectable .278/.328/.457 against LHP the last 3 years).

I don't think anyone believes the Phils would trade Feliz and let Donald/Dobbs man the hot corner all by their lonesome, at least not before the season starts.

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.

king myno: Moot point. The Astros would have zero interest in a Pedro Feliz at $5M. They had Jose Castillo, a Feliz clone with a slightly worse glove, last year and didn't bring him back. They may have an interest in Jason Donald, however.

Friar: Yeah, I think the Phillies will make the type of move you're talking about. Stairs will effectively be given away just to create a roster vacancy. Maybe the Phillies then sign a right-handed bat like Payton, or maybe they fill the vacancy with someone already on the team -- either Mayberry or Donald being the 2 leading candidates. They would have to be nuts to go into the season with 3 of their 5 bench players being left-handers who can only hit right-handed pitching.

"A RH OF and LH reliever will almost certainly be among that group."

The catch is, will that RH OF and LH RP be sitting in the marekd down corner of the clearance bin in the discount section of the Not-Even-A-Dollar store - an essential requirement for anyone to be signed by the Phils.

I'm sure Ed Wade would love Jason Donald... but what, really, do the Astros have to offer?

Suddenly, I wish the Phils were an AL team. This line-up is good offensively and defensively (especially in the outfield):

1. SS J. Rollins S
2. CF S. Victorino S
3. 2B C. Utley L
4. DH R. Howard L
5. RF J. Werth R
6. 1B R. Ibanez L
7. 3B P. Feliz R
8. LF J. Mayberry R
9. C C. Ruiz R

J.R. King: You think Ibanez is better defensively at first than Howard is? Ibanez has played a total of 36 games at first in the last 5 years.

As a team with such a strong window to win in the next 3-4 years with elite middle infielders, I would not be opposed to shop Donald. His value is probably as high as it has been, and really doesn't offer much help to the club this year. His only immediate value may be converting into our everyday 3B in 2010.

I would target pitching, any and all kinds, if someone can match the type of talent that the Phils would be giving up. (which at this point looks to be a very good hitting top-of-the-order shortstop who is very close to being MLB Ready). He may or may not be that in the future, but if you trade him now, thats how he should be valued.

clout: True. But as someone said, I can't think what the Astros have that we'd want. Gas Can back?

Nice outing by Blanton so far today. I'm prety encouraged by the general pitching by Phils starters in spring training (absent KK, of course).

Giles is late for his date at the glue factory.

CJ: I'm not sure about Ibanez' defensive abilities at first. Charlie can go either way with that.

My main point is that, if the Phils bring up Mayberry at the beginning of inter-league play, they won't have to insert Bruntlett into the lineup like last year. That killed me.

This game reminds me of the poster a couple days ago who delighted us with this when comparing how the Marlins and Phillies stack up against each other:

Volstad >> Blanton

CJ: I agree regarding Blanton and the rest of the starters. The thing that's encouraging about the Phils this year is the pitching depth.

Once Cole gets healthy and stretched out, they'll have 6 decent candidates for the rotation, plus KK stashed in Allentown in case of multiple injuries (which means no more John Ennis emergency starts).

NCPhilly, that was a new poster with the handle of boob, oh wait....I mean b00b.

Hmmm, maybe the first one is correct, because as I recall, some of us nominated him for a place in Sir Alden's group.

Count me in the group that thinks Blanton is going to have a good season for the Phils. I see him winning a lucky 13 games.

It certainly has been refreshing to see the Phils beat teams with pitching and defense over the past year instead of having to outhit them. Let's do it again.

Great outing by Blanton. 5 IP, 1 H, 3 K, 0 BB. And Howard knocks in his ML leading 15th spring training run. 1-0 phils.

Clout - I am willing to bet the Phils add a player too and if Hamels starts the season on the DL it will certainly be another reliever (lefty is possible).

BTY why is Mosebach getting so many innings in spring training? Are the Phils trying to see just how many runs he can give up before they return him to the Phils or are they seriously considering having him on the Opening Day roster even though he has been lite up all spring?

They are curious to see if he can harness that 97 MPH fastball of his...if he could do that he'd be worth keeping.

Werth has really come on strong after his slow start in the spring, eh?

PtB just hit a 2-run HR for the Rays...he seems to really be liking this DH thing. I think he is going to do really well for the Rays this year.

They are now my AL team to follow, provided we don't meet again in October.

Dull Spring. No rookie phenom, no heartwarming story, no surprises. KK still can't pitch, Paulino, Giles, Jenkins still can't hit. And it's still an open question whether Coste has anything left.

MG: my exact thoughts. I havent looked at the numbers either, but it does seem that Moseback has been piling up the IPs these past few weeks.

Its easy to forget that Blanton was a 2008 Opening Day pitcher. Obviously Oakland did not have a great rotation after losing Haren(trade) and Harden(DL), but he still was a top of rotation guy for the A's for the past 3 years. So to have him as our 4th starter is pretty good value.

Blanton: 6 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 3 K, 0 BB

Joe's making a push for that Opening Night slot.

curt, Coste hasn't even had 15 PAs this Spring.

Do you think that is an adequate sample size to make a determination?

Do you think Wade would take Donald and Stairs for Oswalt?

That's a signature Ed Wade trade.

CJ - My great gramma's dead chihuahua plays better defense than... (you know this is just sarcastic hyperbole, right?)...Ryan Howard.

Poor Joe Blanton. If only this start was tomorrow. Then it would REALLY count.

joe: Forget givin either Donald or Stairs, he would absolutely go crazy over Jenkins. Jenkins is his favorite kind of player, used to be good but now is just old and sucks.

oh and he costs more than he's worth, another thing Eddie loved.

awh - pray tell what sample size is required for a "determination" that "it's still an open question whether Coste has anything left"?

Funny that Blanton was underrated at the time of the trade although there was pretty much universal agreement on here that it was a positive move just for the fact that it meant that Eaton was no longer going to be in rotation. Purely addition by subtraction.

Funny how Blanton got so much credit because he didn't lose a start (Phils went 9-4 in his 13 starts while Blanton was 4-0) but the reality is that the Phils scored a bunch of runs for him (5.7/game) and that Blanton generally really struggled with his control most outing including a walk rate of 3.95 BB/9 although oddly he struck out 6.2 K/9.

It resulted in Blanton running up high pitch counts early and barely making it into the 6th inning most starts.

I do think that Blanton will be a solid starter this year for the Phils if he can keep the BB/9 under 3.00. If not, he likely is going to struggle to be an "Innings Eater" again and likely post a pretty mediocre ERA especially at CBP where walks once it gets warm have a real tendency to really hurt the pitcher.

What I don't understand is this absurd notion that Mayberry should make the Opening Day roster and then take away ABs potentially from either Ibanez or Werth by starting him more frequently.

Phils need a 5th OF who is a right-handed bat but Mayberry isn't the answer right now. Letting him sit on the bench and grow roots isn't going to him much or the Phils much either.

Almost inevitably Vic will have at least one trip to the 15-day DL this year. Plus, Werth has a questionable history status and Jenkins/Ibanez/Stairs aren't spring chickens either. At some point Mayberry will likely be up with this team but he (and the Phils) would be better off if he opened the season at Allentown, played everyday, and hopefully was productive enough to warrant a call-up when it comes.

I think Blanton was the steal of the trade deadline last year. Not CC, not Manny.

Country Joe "that's just dirt on my hat" Blanton.

And my god, I love him for it.

joe - Manny was by far the biggest the trade deadline difference maker and the Dodgers essentially gave up a little more than magic beans (LaRoche who looks more and more like a bust and a A starter) to get him. They only had to pay his salary.

In return, the Dodgers clinched the West and made it to the NLCS. I am willing to bet the small portion of the salary the Dodgers had to pay was easy covered by the additional revenues from two rounds in the playoffs/increased ticket sales this year.

"Funny that Blanton was underrated at the time of the trade although there was pretty much universal agreement on here that it was a positive move."

Quite true. I thought it was a great move and I said so at the time.

MG: But the Phils are WFC because of the Blanton trade!!!!

When the trade happened, this is what I said (check the archives):

"Great trade! The Phils will likely win 9 of his 13 starts and Blanton will go 4-0. I also think we'll win the World Series and Blanton will hit a home run."

CJ - Blanton's impact was overrated during the year. It was just that Eaton had started pitching so poorly that just about any credible MLB starter would have been an upgrade.

Most starters will have a very strong record over a stretch when a team scores 5.7/runs a game for them in the NL. If you go back and look at his 13 starts, there was only 1 start (Aug 2 vs Cards where Blanton went 7 IP and gave up 1 R) that he was the true difference maker.

Most of his starts were littered with 5/6 IP and 3-4 ER or the "Cory Lidle" special. Blanton did pitch a little better in his 3 postseason starts but reality is that Blanton was more "lucky" than good last year for the Phils because guys who walk nearly 4 BBs a game and aren't strikeout pitchers you usually have pretty mixed/poor results.

If you want a difference maker down the stretch in the rotation, it was clearly Myers.

b_a_p: "Quite true. I thought it was a great move and I said so at the time."

Sarcasm, check.

Wasn't Blanton's walk rate a bit of an anomaly last year? I mean, when he first came up with the A's, he had similar numbers to last year in terms of walks/SO's, but he had improved them every year (SO's went up, BB's went down) until last year.

Could it have had something to do with the 230 IP he had in 2007 (most of his career)?

MG: From what I gather, all the Phillies pitchers are lucky to get wins because they play on a team with a good offense.

Joe Blanton came in and acquitted himself very well for what he was asked to be: a 4th starter.

And, the trade was even better because of his very good start in the World Series.

Just made the mistake of glancing at the Blanton archive. As usual, be very grateful that BL posters aren't running this baseball team:

"Readers drop the hammer on Blanton deal"

Manny was a 2 month rental, and while he put the team on his back and drew fans, he ultimately could be worked around in their subpar lineup.

Blanton was under control for 2 more years, and was a rock solid starter for the phils. he also seems ot fit in with the "philly scene"... which of course, doesnt show up in stats...

CJ - No but the reality is that when a team scores 5.7/game for a starter in the NL that team is going to win a majority of those starts unless the starter is one of the 2-3 worst in the league and/or they have a truly horrendous bullpen.

There are lots of reasons why the Phils won the World Series but Blanton is done there on the list. He was generally a medicore starter but it was enough of an improvement from the July version of Eaton to enable the Phils to win the NL East again.

Great news from

"Cole Hamels long tossed with Jamie Moyer from about 150 feet Thursday morning at Bright House Field and said he felt fine."

Full story here.

don't know if this was posted about before, but olney on has an "interview" with moyer. read it when you get the chance.

MG: You're selling Blanton short (and I'm not surprised). He had a 104 ERA+ in his 13 starts as a Phillie and won a WS game in a strong 6 inning start. Do you really believe his walk rate was more important than his ERA? Blanton pitched very well for the Phils as a #4 starter. He wasn't brought in to be anything more than that.

How is selling a guy short who averaged just a little over 5 IP a start, had control issues with just about every start, and got robust run support?

Blanton did pitch a bit better in the postseason but to say he was a key reason why the Phils won the WS is a bit of a stretch.

I am arguably the biggest anti-Myers fan on here but he was the guy who was the difference maker down the stretch last year in the rotation. He came back and was simply dominant.

In fact, if Myers didn't have the horrible stats in his last 2 starts he was arguably the best starter in the NL after the ASB last-year. There plenty of starers out there who will post a winning record if they have a team that scores 5.7 runs/game for them and has a stellar bullpen.

CJ: "Great trade! The Phils will likely win 9 of his 13 starts and Blanton will go 4-0. I also think we'll win the World Series and Blanton will hit a home run."

I remember you making that were dead on!

MG: I don't think I've ever argued that Blanton was a key reason why the Phils won the WS. Perhaps we're arguing past each other.

But Joe Blanton had a 104 ERA+ in 13 starts as the team's 4th starter. I'm not sure how anyone can argue that it was a very important part of our success.

And I would certainly agree that Myers 2nd half performance was significantly more important than Blanton's.

****In fact, if Myers didn't have the horrible stats in his last 2 starts he was arguably the best starter in the NL after the ASB last-year. ****

CC Sabathia was by far the best starter in the NL 2nd wasn't even close.

One actual question this spring about Blanton- has anyone seen how Blanton's slider/changeup looks?

He has a good curveball and decent fastball but the A's weren't able to help him develop a quality 2nd offseason pitch that could fool hitters or throw reliably for a strike.

CJ & MG-
All very logical but secondary to Blanton status as a favorite of a lot of fans- Eaton is gone!

Sabathia was the best but Myers' stats until the last 2 flameouts were:

11 GS, 7-2, 1.78 ERA, 0.98 WHIP, 80 1/3 IP, 1.9 BB/9, 7.8 K/9

Sabathia in the 2nd half was:

15 GS, 9-2, 1.56 ERA, 0.99 WHIP, 115 2/3 IP, 1.5 BB/9, 8.9 K/9

Sabathia was the best pitcher in the NL during the 2nd half but Myers' was the far behind until he had his last 2 meltdowns.

I didn't realize it was that'd be nice if he could come even close to that for a full season.

If Myers can give the Phils what he gave them in 05/06 as a starter, that would be more than fine.

RE Mosebach:
Does it make sense to be putting him in a position to fail now so that when he doesn't make the team and he is offered back to the Angels that they don't want him? If the Phils like his 97MPH fastball like someone said earlier could this be why they keep sending him out? Would this even work?

curt: haha nice work posting that link. Just reading through old comment sections make you feel like your in a twilight zone. After reading a thread, and then coming back to the current one...its like brain freeze.

From the Archived Blanton Thread:

NEPP: "while I think we paid top dollar for Blanton, it did improve our chances to win now."

Booyah! I stand by my comment from 9 months ago.

I agree with the idea that the Phils will probably pull off a few more deals before the regular season moves into high gear. As far as the Astros need for a third baseman goes, I doubt the Phils will be in any hurry to get rid of Donald or Feliz. They probably would be willing to trade Cairo, Ozuna, Giles or Bruntlett. Let's not forget that Bruntlett was an Astro which may or may not be an important factor.

Also, the Giants are looking for a catcher and relief pitcher. It would appear that the Phils could trade Paulino and any of a number of minor league relievers without any undo consequences.

The Phils are still looking for a left-handed reliever. I don't know if either the Astros or Giants have any to spare. If not, any of the players I mentioned might be able to fetch prospects and/or draft picks.

As I mentioned in the last thread, I wouldn't be surprised to see the Phils bundle the likes of Jenkins, Kendrick, Paulino, a minor league reliever and one of their spare infielders to get a marquis pitcher like a Peavy or Halladay.

"We'll see," said the Zen Master.

Stay well.

Zoner Sports is holding a "Best Sports Blog Name Tourney" in honor of March madness. Go vote on 48 of the top blog names around. Unfortunately BeerLeaguer was overlooked.

Click Here, Click Here, Click Here

I forget who said otherwise earlier in the thread but-

Manny was easily the biggest pick-up at the trade deadline. It's not even close.

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