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Monday, March 23, 2009

Comments

In 2007, Kyle Kendrick started Game 2 of the National League Division Series against the Colorado Rockies.

I guess those pre-Clout Day starts meant something after all.

I agree with Sophist and AWH on Marson. I'd trade him for Buckholz but not for Bard. Simply based on the fact that I think it's a bad idea to trade a guy with a good chance to be an average or better everyday catcher for a minor league relief pitcher.

Kendrick was the man for us for a good stretch. Hopefully he can regain his pinpoint control.

Prediction: the next player to be voted off the island will be Marcus Giles.

I think we are looking at Park as the #5 and JA Happ as the lefty out of the pen with Eyre moving into the Romero role.

Jumping over to the Marson to Red Sox trade rumors, I'd jump all over either deal in a heartbeat. Varitek said Bard has the best stuff he has ever caught. Bucholz seems to have gotten his act together after a rough year last year. The Red Sox would really have to think highly of Marson to deal either pitcher for him.

Bard could end up being the 8th inning guy for the next couple of years and taking over for Lidge once his contract is up. Bucholz and Carrasco give us a couple of live arms and could replace Myers and Blanton if/when they leave as free agents.

I don't get all the Ruiz hate. Don't forget how he did at the plate in the postseason when it really counted. How many times did he turn the lineup over? Anyway, with a lineup featuring Rollins, Utley, Howard, Ibanez, Victorino and Werth we can sacrifice some offense for good defense. I'm perfectly fine with Ruiz.

i also see a lot of assumptions that marson will be be a top defender and a success handling the staff. based on?

AWH/Sophist:
1. There are more Bards than Marsons out there; as much as I want that to be true, that's really hard to prove, much less believe. But I believe the Phillies could use Bard more than Marson given that they are stocked at catcher and don't need to rely on a consistently productive bat.

2. Yes, the Red Sox are looking for Vtek's long-term replacement, someone who is a really strong defensive catcher who can catch Wakefield THIS YEAR. Marson, despite his talent, is not likely that guy.

3. Yes, there aren't many McCanns and Mauers of the world. But Marson is no McCann or Mauer. He's more like Kendall (better leader, but worse defensively).

4. The Phillies don't have a patchwork catcher situation. Ruiz is clearly number 1 and Coste and Paulino are his backups. Ask most of the Phillies' pitchers. They have complete confidence in Ruiz.

5. AWH asks: Who would be more valuable, a hitting catcher who can handle a staff and catch 120-140 games, or a reliever who might make 60-70 appearances?
First of all, it depends on who's already in your organization, but secondly, I ask: Who would be more valuable, Joel Zumaya or Jason Kendall? And this I ask within the context of the Phillies and Red Sox organizations.

I think that the opinion on Bard is going to depend on how much emphasis you put on the closer role, where I believe Bard's best-case scenario lands him for the vast majority of any career he might have.

Obviously Gillick thought that it was a key role to go after Lidge (and it was not solely to move Myers back to the rotation). Where Ruben falls, I have no freakin' clue, though.

I, for one, don't feel that a closer as a "specialist" role is as valuable as a sound game managing type of catcher, who can at least produce average catcher offensive statistics (that may be where this whole decision lands - what is Marson's offensive capability at the MLB level?). But if you have other prospects at the same position, it's silly to stockpile and not trade away.

hippo: I haven't seen any assumptions that he'll be a "top defender", but I've heard nothing that would preclude him from being competent defensively.

TNA: Which Jason Kendall? Bc the one from 5-10 years ago is certainly more valuable than Zumaya.

Has anyone brought up D'Arnaud as a reason why Marson would be expendable? If they're comfortable with Ruiz now, I see no reason why they wouldn't be for the next two-three years, giving D'Arnaud time to develop.

too bad that deal to Japan didn't go through- could've used that $1m to sign a lefty reliever.

I don't get the Ruiz-hate either. Frankly, I think Ruiz has a better chance at a solid major league career as a catcher than Marson does based solely on Ruiz's ability as a game-caller and on defense. Marson is still developing that part of his game, and I've got a wait-and-see attitude when it comes to him repeating his offensive output from last season. I'm hopeful Marson will be awesome, but I think it's VERY premature to suggest he's our catcher of the future!

My apologies if this was mentioned in any of the other talkbacks, but Schilling has announced his retirement.

Why are people down on Ruiz?
.219 Avg?

The Phils pulled the plug on KK a week ago - the day after his last start - pay attention to what they do, not what they say.

Any time the Sox make one of their arms available, I'm interested.

Brian G - the question is asked within the context of the phillies/red sox orgs for the next, say, 4 years. and yes, let's say marson develops over the next two years into kendall of 5 years ago (i think that's optimistic). given the current phillies team, where is there more need. the window of this team is 3-4 years (before its core splits up or declines). in that time frame, do we need marson or do we need Bard? in that time frame, bard is more valuable. Marson is not incrementally that much better than Ruiz, if at all. Bard would be an instant shut down reliever who, given a half-season more seasoning, is incrementally much much better than our 7th inning RHP relieving option (Durbin). Bard also has closer potential, meaning he could slide into Madson's spot with little loss of performance, if not a performance increase.

Anyway, this debate is pretty moot because I seriously doubt the Red Sox would trade their best (or second best now that Tazawa is there) minor league pitcher for Marson. They'll probably end up trading Delcarmen for Teagarden or Salty.

Ruiz's minor league numbers at both AA and AAA were actually significantly better than Marson's. Admittedly, he was also considerably older than Marson, so a comparison of their numbers isn't really fair to Marson. But I bring up Ruiz's numbers only to point out that he does seem capable of actually giving us decent numbers from the catcher position. Since he's already 30, he isn't going to have a long prime. But I could easily see him being a better offensive catcher than Marson over the next 2 to 3 years.


Of course, Ruiz also needs to go out and prove it. If he hits .219 again this year, he will not be the starting catcher in 2010, no matter how good his defense is.

Ruiz's playoff performance did a lot to silence the (mostly) deserved criticism of his performance for the majority of last season. He was downright atrocious, at the plate, at times.

Phils weren't satisfied with Ruiz last year in the 1st half and rightly so. You can generally have one really weak offensive positional spot in your lineup. Phils already have that at 3B. Having 2 creates a bit of a problem especially when Ruiz was hitting around the Mendoza line with zero pop prior to the ASB.

No player in MLB starts everyday with an OPS under .600 regardless of how good defensively they are. Just giving up too many outs in the lineup.

Ruiz basically lost his starting job mid-season as Coste caught a bunch of games in June/July. Only regained it full-time again in August when Coste faded due to age/overwork. Plus, Ruiz did manage to hit a bit better in the 2nd half including significantly upping his OBP.

Just go back though and look at the moves the Phils have made the past couple of years. It tells you volumes of what they really think of Ruiz and/or Coste. 2006 - Fasano, 2007 - Barajas. Even last offseason the Phils were rumored to be looking to bring in a veteran backup.

If Ruiz can hit .240/.250 and coax a couple of walks like he did in the 2nd half last year, then he is a valid option to start everyday. Won't result in a turn of runs/RBIs but it will help to turn over the lineup which just didn't happen enough when he was hitting in the 8th hole last year.

Daniel Bard reminds me of an older Jason Knapp. Bard went to UNC and Knapp was headed there until we signed him. I like Marson but Bard sounds like fair compensation.

Bard might throw harder than anyone in pro ball. Imagine him taking over for Jamie Moyer in the middle of the 6th inning.

You know who I'd really want? Tazawa...not going to happen, of course, but I'd be willing to significantly sweeten the pot for him. How about Savery+Marson for Tazawa?

bap: I agree. If Ruiz does not bounce back offensively, his defense won't be enough to save him for another season. Frankly, I think that's one reason Paulino was brought in.

I'm on the side that says Ruiz is the least of the Phils concerns. His light hitting isn't much of a concern in this lineup. And I do agree that he should be better this year. His clutch hitting in the postseason should help his confidence. And I think it's easy to take his excellent defensive ability for granted. How many Brad Lidge saves did he rescue by doing a Bernie Parent.
Having said all that if Marson's the real deal then the decision is difficult. Don't just give him away for the sake of making a trade but a serious pitching prospect has to be considered.

If the Sox did offer Bard or Buchholz for Marson, I would think long and hard about this if I were the Phils. Buchholz is appealing because the Phils don't have a ton of high-ceiling starting prospects besides Carrasco who likely make the team in the next year. Likely going to be at least 1-2 spots open in the rotation next offseason too with Myers impending FA and Moyer's age as a huge question mark.

As for Bard, you can never have enough guys who throw hard coming out of the pen. Phils really don't have anybody right now in their system who could be groomed for that role.

Still, the Phils have Lidge (through 2011) and Madson (ditto) locked-up at large dollars relatively for the immediate future so it is no like Bard would be a closer for the Phils in the next few years. Bard may have real value out of the pen but his economic value is kind of limited for the Phils because they already have expensive options locked in as the setup-man and closer through 2011.

PUT me in the TNA camp, not the NEPP/Carson camp.

Lou Marson is NOT the long-term answer at catcher. Ruiz might be and D'Arnaud likely will be. Be fun to see who's right and who's wrong on this one over the next few years.

"My apologies if this was mentioned in any of the other talkbacks, but Schilling has announced his retirement."

That's just Schill being Schill.

I don't hate Ruiz, I'm a supporter of his. However, he's already 30 years old, and we all know that catchers don't hold up much past 33 or so. Therefore, he's not the long-term solution in my opinion.

We can always throw in Geoff Jenkins to sweeten the pot.... I kid I kid.

As most are already saying, dont want to get too caught up as this is just a rumor floating around, and one that could be easily hearsay since Boston is probably linked to every prospect catcher out there this offseason.

Phils do seem to have adecent amount of mediocre MLB talent to spare, whether its in the shape of aging OFers, utility INF, or some prospects that are expendable and desirable at the same time. I really hope they can find a way to turn some of that excess into upgrades somewhere, either for 2009 or beyond.

lol @baxter

Amazing how Harman generated some buzz here and then dropped off the radar with a really poor campaign on a terrible Reading team last year. Figure he is fighting for his professional life this year because another really poor year at AA and likely will be fighting to find a starting job next year in the minors.

Depends on how it breaks out again this year but it increasing looks like both the Reading/Lehigh Valley teams are going to be filled with a couple of interesting prospects and largely a ton of filler. Most teams are like this but the Phils have been among the league leaders it seems in signing minor league veterans to round out their rosters at AA/AAA the past couple of seasons.

Both teams are likely going to be better than last year (hard not to be) but you really haven't heard anyone from the Phils so far come out and tout either the Reading (like Arbuckle did strongly last year) or the Lehigh Valley team.

Marson for a SP and RP from the Sox? Yes, please!

If Bard is indeed comparable to Zumaya, let's hope he doesn't mimic Joel's career. An injury sustained while playing Guitar Hero, a 60-lb box fell on him and separated his shoulder, ruptured tendon in his hand, etc., etc. That guy would be awesome if he wasn't on the DL so much.

but carson, ruiz probably doesn't have the wear and tear that typical catchers his age have. he was a 2B (if i recall) when they signed him as a free agent and played his first season in the minors at age 21 or 22, i think.

MG - Madson and Lidge are relatively expensive locked in as the setup man/closer through 2011. Which is EXACTLY why the Phils need an inexpensive option who can possibly fill either role. If one of them go down, a la the Gordon years, the Phillies are screwed.

So essentially in a Marson/Bard trade, we're trading insurance, although Marson is more like tertiary insurance and Bard is likely the first person to step into either Lidge or Madson's role. In terms of economic value, we'll likely get more out of Bard than Marson over the next three years.

Carson - long-term, with this current team, is three years. after that, all bets are off. and unless marson is likely to become a franchise Mauer-esque player, there's no need to keep him chained as a backup to Ruiz if D'Arnaud can also be developed within that time span and he (Marson) can deliver someone like Bard/Buchholz.

Of course, as I said earlier, I'm not settled on Ruiz as the permanent number one catcher for the next three years...But in my book, he's definitely got more going for him than Marson at this point (for the next three years).

From Zolecki's twitter page, "Kendrick says 'I'll be back'".

I'm actually a little surprised and saddened by KK's demotion this early, though it looked like it was inevitable. I thought, based on Dubee's comments, he would be given a couple more starts. We don't know what goes on behind the scenes, and maybe they felt he needed a wakeup call.

TNA, I think you're taking Sophist's comment out of context, or at least, you're taking it too literally, focusing on the "Bards" and "Marsons", that is, the relative "quality" of the two players. Besides, while the jury may still be out on Marson, they haven't exactly come back with a verdict on Bard. Bard could wind up like Brad Lidge or like Kyle Farnsworth, or even like Mike MacDougal. Marson probably doesn't have the upside of a McCann, but he may turn out to be a superior hitter at the catcher position, something few MLB teams have.

The point is that most MLB teams and organizations are in greater need of quality catching than quality pitching.

CJ, no one is suggesting that Marson IS the catcher of the future, only that he MAY BE.

As such, he has much higher potential value than a starter who has not yet proven he can consistently get out MLB hitters, depite throwing a no hitter, or a relief pitcher who the jury is also still out on.

Is Buchholz an potential #1 starter?

Is Bard a potential dominant closer?

Is Marson a potential catcher who can hit .260-.290 with moderate power?

Even if the answer to all three questions is yes, there is still an argument to be made that a top flight catcher is more valuable than a closer, because he plays every day.

Who would affect the outcome of more games?


And as far as a #1 starter is concerned, what level of #1 are we talking......Texas Rangers, Pittsburg Pirates, Colorado Rockies, Washington Nats level.... or Red Sox, Yankees, Phillies or Mets level?

There is a big difference.

The Phillies have probably known for a few weeks that KK wasn't going to be in the rotation to start the year. I'm all for this demotion if it means another start or two for CC. Obviously CC is going to start at AAA, but some extra time with the Phils could really help his development.

hh: The rumor is for a SP or RP. And from initial news, it looks as though the Phils' asking price is too rich for Boston - which seems to be their response to the other teams who are offering up catching prospects.

I think it's an exaggeration to say people here are "hating" on Ruiz. But it does seem some people want to forget he had a pretty miserable offensive season because of his postseason play.

Personally, I think he'll have a better offensive season (he almost has to) and is fine as the starter for 2009. But it seems obvious the Phils management has questions about him as a long-term solution.

As to why the BoSox would consider trading a guy like Bucholz, it's because they probably have more SP depth than anyone in baseball. Granted, some of those guys are injury flyers (Penny, Smoltz) who may be useless. But they're still pretty deep.

So they can afford to move a SP and they know Varitek's days are numbered. And I think it's wrong to assume this is a straight-up deal considering this is all just rumor. Do I think they'd do Bucholz-Marson straight up? No. Do I think they'd consider Bucholz for Marson + another prospect? Maybe, considering their needs (C) and their strengths (starting pitching).

Happ gets a big double play after leading the inning off with two walks. 5-4-3. Runner on third two outs

AWH: Buchholz has a much more impressive minor league resume than Marson suggesting he's much more likely to succeed at the major league level than Marson. Sure, Buchholz first run at the major league level wasn't a success, but he's still just 24. Last year was a breakout season for Marson... let's see him repeat it!

AWH - how about talking about #1 catcher?
the Red Sox have a terrible offensive catcher. ditto the Mets.

also - is buchholz a potential #1? yes.
bard a potential dominant closer? yes

marson a catcher who can hit .260-.290 with moderate power and be an elite defensive catcher for the next 1-3 years? not likely

ruiz a catcher who can hit .260-.290 with moderate power and be an elite defensive catcher for the next 1-3 years? jury is out, but at least half of that package is "guaranteed."

i could be overrating buchholz and bard, but given the reports over the last year with weight given to more recent reports, not by much.

"a guy with a good chance to be an average or better everyday catcher"

What's a "good" chance? That's the nub of the discussion -- not that I think either of those pitchers is available, but I'd take even a lesser pitcher, which is why I threw Masterson's name out there. Some scouts think Marson MIGHT be an everyday catcher -- and others are convinced his bat will never translate to anything decent in the majors.

1 unearned run, through 3 innings for Happ. Command, for both he and Wang, not been very good, on a wet Monday afternoon in Florida.

Yanks are playing most of their regulars (that are with them).

Ruiz isn't going to ever hit .260 or above with moderate power. That much is clear. Question is he capable of hitting enough to justify a spot as an everyday starter. This isn't exactly a guy who has been a staple at catcher able to catch 120+ games the past few years.

Buchholz isn't a #1 but even if he could be a Brett Myers type middle of the rotation starter for a few seasons he likely has more long-term value than Marson.

Paulino's not making much of a run at the backup slot.

AWH: All the players you mention have that potential, but some are better prospects than others. Buchholz has a much better chance of success than Marson. Buchholz is ranked higher by nearly every scouting report. On Bard, the quality is a bit more even, which is why that trade could happen and the Buchholz trade wouldn't.

TNA, why is it "not likely" that Marson will hit .260-.290 with moderate power? His double A numbers from last year and his scouting reports don't seem to suggest that?

CJ, we're not disagreeing, but please do understand, top half catching talent, or the potential to be such is in shorter supply in all levels of professional baseball than top flight or potential top flight pitching talent.

No trade is without risk, and if Boston isn't willing to take some risk on Marson then I wouldn't do the trade.

If you read my original post, all I was saying is that given the dearth of catching talent from Rookie leagues up, the Phillies were right to ask for Bard or Buchholz in return for Marson.

There just ain't that many good, or in the case of minor leaguers, potentially good catchers.

Last week I pointed out the (NL favorite?)Cubs' system. Take a look at theirs, and then take a look at a couple of other random teams' depth.

There's not much there.

clout: "Be fun to see who's right and who's wrong on this one over the next few years."

Or it could be miserable. We'll see.

Albert: The scouting reports I've seen on Marson say there's little chance he'll be a power hitter in the big leagues. He could put up a decent BA, .270-.280, but there are questions about his defense. If his defense sharpens then he can be an everyday catcher, but the lack of power holds him back from being a good offense/weak defense type catcher.

I'd much rather be watching Mayberry than Stairs playing OF this month.

TNA, I guess the whole discussion revolves around the word: "potential".

Hold your hand out in front of you - palm up.

In it you will see "potential".

Yes, Bard is a potential dominat closer, but he is also a potential Mike MacDougal.

Buchholz is a potential #1 (I'll take your word for it but MG disagrees), but he also could potentially wind up like Rick Ankiel, the pitcher.

Marson could make it to the big club and hit .280, or he might not make it at all.

Right on, Junior. The reigning WFC team should not bow down to the Red Sox and give up a rarity, a good hitting catcher for a handful of magic beans!

Albert - this is not totally fair, but have you compared Ruiz' minor league numbers and Marson's?

"Ruiz isn't going to ever hit .260 or above with moderate power. That much is clear."


I would respectfully disagree, MG. He may or may not post those numbers, but I don't think it's "clear" that he won't. He had back-to-back seasons at AAA in which he hit .300 or higher, and he also had seasons of 16 and 17 homeruns at AA and AAA, despite having far fewer than 400 ABs in both seasons.


The only thing that is clear to me is that this is Ruiz's make-or-break year. After all, he was pathetic at the plate last year and he's already 30 years old. I think the Phillies brought in Paulino because they saw him as a potentially viable starting catcher if Ruiz should falter again. Unfortunately, Paulino has arguably been the single biggest disappointment in ST. Unless he catches fire very soon, it's looking doubtful he'll even beat out Coste.

If the trade was offered, would you rather have the Phillies with the better of Ruiz/Marson as Catcher, or Ruiz at catcher and Bard in your bullpen?

Considering that next year the Phils could still be playing Ruiz at catcher even with Marson still on the team, I'll take the trade and add another arm to the pen.

The marginal advantage you get from being able to choose between the better of Ruiz and Marson doesn't come close to equalling the advantage you would get by adding a fireballer in the pen and "settling" with Ruiz.

I realize that Ruiz had great minor league numbers, but I think everyone can agree that Marson's ceiling is higher than Ruiz's.

Speaking of Paulino, I wonder where (or if) he fits in the Phillies plans if Coste beats him out for the backup catcher's spot. We know that Marson is slated to be the catcher at AAA and it's a bit difficult for me to imagine that they would demote a 3-year major league veteran all the way down to AA. I suppose they could just release him outright but I sort of doubt they'd do that, considering that Paulino has been a competent big-league catcher and is only 28.


The "organizational math" lends some fodder to the notion that they might trade Marson before opening day, in part to clear a roster spot for Paulino at AAA.

We won the WFC with a catcher who didn't hit. We also won the WFC because a big chunk of our pitching staff had career years. If I had the choice, I'd rather upgrade the pitching staff.

Only if you will agree that his floor is lower.

I hope the photo shoot incentivizes J-Roll to lose a couple pounds and reduce the weight on his ankle. Then again, he did mash in the WBC.

The key question with Marson is this: Can he keep up his OBP ability without showing any power at the highest level. He's shown the ability to be a .270/.360 BA/OBP guy, which would be great for a catcher, but guys who can't hit for power often see their walk rates decrease at the Major League level. This is because pitchers have no reason to pitch around them if the worst damage they can do is a single or a double.

AWH: I understand what you're saying. I'd say we're looking at this similarly except that even with the derth of catching talent throughout baseball, I'm still partial to another good young arm :-)

I think Marson is probably the most "interesting" prospect in the Phils system just because the huge unknown factor. Last year was a remarkable season for him at AA. There is a huge question about what's next.

Happ with one earnie, in 5 IP today. ERA for the Spring, now at 3.15

Not a great outing, but still an effective one. He, Park and Carrasco have really had strong Spring's, in their quest for that one rotation spot. Very stout competition.

Not that it matters of course, but we've scored something like 5 runs in 5 games against mostly ML pitching...

In his major league career, Marson has an OPS of 1.750.

Case closed. (Not really, just wanted to throw out that stat while it lasts).

Re: offense this ST. Most of the lineups we've been trotting out there lately have been pretty bad. Bruntlett as leadoff? Yuck. Stairs, Donald, Paulino in today--most, if not all, will not be in the starting lineup come April.

Utley hasn't played a full game yet. Rollins and Vic have been at the WBC. I don't think we can accurately gauge offense at this point.

You know, very quietly, The Gnome has had a very good Spring. 2 more knocks today and one of the leaders in Spring SB's in all of baseball. He takes a lot of heat here, but for a utility guy, he is pretty solid.

He and Donald have both looked good, playing multiple positions.

Marson, BTW, only got 1 hit in 20 AB's this Spring. Paulino and Coste, haven't done much better.

Yeah, might have to find a regular position for Bruntlett.

while we're on the topic of trades, how about:

Marson, Donald, and Jenkins for Bay, Buchholz and some some other prospect.

Bruntlett can be the teams professional angler.

Bruntlett has definitely had a good spring, but I'm hard-pressed to agree that he's a "solid" player in any way, shape, or form.

curt: They must have heard you. Scoring some runs now.

I was thinking that Bruntlett could be the team's Orbitz rep...

I'm the biggest D'Arnaud booster in the world and even I'm realistic enough to admit that he's a long long way off from being an MLBer.

GNOME!

This Thompson dude has 1 ML AB - 5 years ago. So close, yet so far.

denny b.: Carrasco had a 5.52 ERA in 14.2 IP. Although he had flashes of brilliance, he did not prove he was ready for the majors (and I didn't quite expect him to). He's bound for AAA where he belongs for at least a few months. Maybe we'll see him in September.

Park and Happ have both had very solid springs thus far.

I offer you the following comparison:


Pitcher A:

Birthdate: in Texas on August 26, 1984

Career MLB line:

W/L 21-13, 50 GS, 276.7 IP, 4.78 ERA, 1.464 WHIP


Pitcher B:

Birthdate: in Texas on August 14, 1984

Career MLB line:

W/L 5-10, 98.7 IP, 5.56 ERA, 1.601 WHIP


Any guess as to who these two pitchers are?

My money is on Park being the #5...he's looked good this Spring and he's the veteran...unless they get another LOOGY for the pen between now and Opening Day that is.

AWH: Kendrick and Buchholz?

Umm...Kendrick and Bucholtz maybe.

"Bruntlett has definitely had a good spring, but I'm hard-pressed to agree that he's a "solid" player in any way, shape, or form"

He's solid, for a major league utility player. We could do much, much worse (and have). Abe Nunez, anyone?

He's a solid, 24th or 25th man, who can do multiple things, on a good team.

im going with KK and Buchholz right? The 21 wins was a giveaway.

dennyb - Bruntlett has hit well in spring training but that largely means squat for a veteran. Bruntlett does have some value to this team as a capable defensive middle INF and against LHP. That's about it.

The reality is though is that he is going to likely get over utilized again this year including a bunch of PH appearances against RHP (Bruntlett is useless in these situations unless he gets a walk or is able to move the runner) and he is a poor option in the OF.

Still don't understand why Cholly insists using Bruntlett a defensive replacement in LF at the expense of losing Burrell/Ibanez's bat in the order. Utter nonsense and arguably one of Cholly's dumbest continual moves as a manager.

AWH: Too easy. A is Kyle Kendrick and B is Clay Buchholz. I'm curious as to what the point is.

Minor League stats
Pitcher A:
W/L 14-35, 544.1 IP, 4.28 ERA, 1.39 WHIP
K/BB: 380/167

Pitcher B:
W/L 13-8, 344.1 IP, 2.43 ERA, 1.01 WHIP
K/BB: 417/95!!!


I don't think that's a fair comparison of pitchers, though--in Kendrick and Buchholz. Buchholz has more pitches already and throws 2 at the elite level (in a C/U and curveball). His fastball is clocked at 92-97. I'd say he ceiling is a little higher than Kendrick's at this point.

Three correct answers, with hh winning the prize for being first.

Buchholz's regression in 2008 was not the stuff of #1 starters.

As a matter of fact, it was worse than KK's.


Maybe asking for Buchholz wasn't enough. Maybe hh is right - the Phils should ask for Buchholz AND Bard! :)

If the bar is Nunez, than yes Bruntlett is a slightly better player because he can actually can play SS or in a pinch the OF.

Considering that Nunez was one of the worst positional players to put on a Phils' uniform in the past 20-25 years, that isn't saying much though.

On the game today, Happ supposedly had some control issues but was generally effective against a Yanks' lineup that included most of their regulars except ARod/Jeter.

As for Paulino, he had another 0fer today and made a throwing error that eventually lead to a run if I recall right. He is definitely opening the season at Lehigh Valley.

David Price:
12-1, 109.2 IP, 2.30 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, 109/32 K/BB

Not sure that being better than Abe Nunez gets you labeled as solid.

I havent seen any type of ST leaderboards, but i'm pretty sure Gnome has about 4 SB, which i can hardly believe is among the leaders. He also has about 4 CS and 4 errors too right?

i got what you're saying denny b., he doesnt kill your team and even helps out once in awhile for the better. I'd go with serviceable over solid.


My point, CJ, is that Buchholz hasn't proven himself to be a sure thing at this point, any more than Marson has. Neither has had extended success at the MLB level.


hh, throwing hard in and of itself means nothing unless they can locate and command.

I remember reading a Conlin article a few years ago about a pitcher in the Phils farm system who could throw well over 100. The problem was he was Nuke Laloosh - didn't know where it was going.

Buchholz celing may be higher, butthe basement is the same place as KK's.

BAP - As for Ruiz, we'll see. I would be surprised if he hits north of .250 though. He can projects out though to what the various projections are saying (.243-.262) with an OPS (.690-.734) he should be a viable enough offensive presence in the lineup to start everyday.

AWH: Exaggeration is not your strong suit! Be careful, too many people here will think you're seriously suggesting that Clay Buchholz is a bad pitcher because he wasn't immediately successful at the major league level.

Miguel Cairo, vying for a roster spot, with his dinger today.

With so many early season off-days (and likely weather problems), I don't see why the team needs to start the season with 12 pitchers. That 5th starter, won't be starting many games early on, anyway. He will be spending most of his time, out in the pen, early on.

Go with your 4 starters, and use a 7 man pen (Lidge, Madson, Eyre, Condrey, Durbin, Happ and Park). When you need that 5th starter more often, then go with 12 pitchers. Majeweski would likely be the guy called up (if he accepts going back to AAA for a while; knowing the plan that is in place).

To start the season, Utley and/or Feliz may need some time off, anyway. So, keeping another man on the bench, makes more sense to me. If you go with a 6 man bench early on, you keep either Coste or Paulino, Dobbs, Bruntlett, Cairo, Stairs and Jenkins; and then spend a few weeks trying to find a taker for Jenkins (while you wait to get back to 12 pitchers). That is a very weak right-handed hitting bench, but I don't see any other options. Cholly won't be pinch-hitting much for any of the 8 starters, regardless of matchup, anyway. Just hope we see a lot of right-handed relievers, down at the bottome of the order, so those lefty pinch-hitters get some hacks. Either that, or Gnome or Cairo are going to have to get the job done, as right-handed pinch-hitters.

TNA, I would rate Price above Buchholz and KK.

AWH: But you do understand that Marson hasn't even had extended success at the MINOR league level. There is a reason that Clay Buchholz is almost universally considered a better prospect than Lou Marson.

From what Tim McCarver & Joe Buck said during the WS, David Price can walk on water and has already been inducted in the HoF...its only a question of how many records he's gonna break during his majestic career.

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EST. 2005

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