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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

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Think the Phils have known this for a while and that's why they are looking everywhere for pitching right now?

I mean, I know the rotation's been horrible, but it is possible they knew Brett was hurt, too...

Just a thought.

After going 8 innings against the Yankees? I kinda doubt it.

If Myers is out for any prolonged period of time, guess the Brad Penny rumors will pick up steam. I live in Florida, where I'm a sports writer. Covered several Red Sox games and Penny's velocity looked good in the spring. With Smoltz rehabbing and Clay Buchholz dominating in AAA, I could see Penny getting dealt sooner rather than later. It's not as if the Red Sox don't have more pitching depth behind those guys (Masterson, Bowden, etc.) The Phils or whoever acquires him might not have to part with a top prospect, maybe a few lower-tier project type guys.....

Myers has looked good the last few outings. Doubt there was any reason to believe he was hurting but you never know, I suppose. Think the pitching rumors hinge more on the poor performances of Moyer and until last night, Blanton.

injured spinning around to watch the long balls?

How the hell are the Muts still hanging on with 6 of their starters out. Its time to put them away...

Jason: I guess you're right. I just read that link you put up there from Lauber and apparently, this is something he's been dealing with for years, but is just now really starting to bother him.

Wonder if he's ever used Cole's chiropractor for it?

Lenny,
The Mets' starting pitching (after a pretty bad start) is pulling it together lately. Livan Hernandez has especially been a pleasant surprise but expecting that to continue wouldn't be wise. Tim Redding scares me at No. 5 and Oliver Perez has shown no signs of righting himself. The Mets really don't have the prospects to get a big bat and a starting pitcher (unless they're willing to deal guys on the current roster like Parnell or Murphy), so they'll have to choose one or the other. A lot depends on if Sheffield can continue to produce or if Murphy hits enough at first. Both the Mets and Phils will have some tough decisions to make in the coming weeks...

Another point Lenny: As the Phils have seen this year, playing the Nats is always a time to get well in a hurry, regardless of who is in the lineup. The Mets are lucky in the sense that these guys are out in a pretty soft spot in the schedule. Upcoming series with the Marlins, Pirates and then the Nats again I believe.

No Kendrick. PLEASE! We have seen that song and dance, only to get cut in by reality that whisks away any fawning ideal that some of us might have had for Kendrick.

Kendrick is more than adequate to fill in for Myers for a few weeks. If it's something more serious, they'll probably look elsewhere. For now, I'm glad they have KK.

Myers had been pitching better, but for some strange reason I think they'll be just fine without him if he has to miss much time.

What the hell was up with all the booing of Helms? Did he kill babies or something? Okay, he had a lousy year in '07. So go f*cking boo Pat Gillick for it. Some people are beyond ridiculous.

Jack: I'm not sure what kind of value Howard has around the league. But I'd be pretty surprised if you couldn't get, say, a Matt Cain type of pitcher for him. That, plus the $14 or $15M in salary to spend on another starting pitcher, could really reshape our starting rotation. Would we lose something without Howard's homerun power? Of course. But if you could trade away a great power hitter for, in effect, two solid starting pitchers, I'd take that tradeoff. Besides, the loss in offense might be less than everyone thinks, because Michael Taylor looks like he's going to be a terrific hitter.

Howard possesses one great skill, which he performs better than anyone else in baseball. It is an important skill, but the notion that he's an elite player is pure bunk. Elite players deliver when the game is on the line; they don't hit .141 after the 7th inning -- which is what Howard hit last year. Then again, he seems to be improving in this area. This year, he's hitting .164.

Kendrick is NOT "more than adequate" to replace Myers and, if Myers misses a substantial amount of time, we will definitely not be fine.

Vance Worley will get the call, if Myers is DL'd.

He pitched last night, so he would be right in line, to take Myers's spot in the rotation next week in San Diego (back near home for him too). Myers would be scheduled to pitch again on Tuesday in SD.

Carpenter would also be in line before KK. Carpenter has been much steadier (and flat pitched better) then KK. Plus, he didn't embarrass himself in Washington a few weeks ago.

But, if it comes down to a choice between Worley and Carpenter, it will likely be Worley. The FO is very intrigued with him.

Few thoughts:

- Say what you will about Myers' limitations/deficiencies playing through pain has never been one of tbose issues.

- Myers really is only a slightly above average starter at this point but the Phils don't have a replacement for him and the failoff between Myers and Park/KK would be huge if Myers is out for an extended period.

- The offense has covered up a bunch of the pitching deficiencies on this team including some of the worst starting pitching in MLB and the worst closer in the league but I don't know even a league-leading offense could cover up a rotation of Hamels-Blanton-Moyer-Happ-KK/Park/??? which would be among the worst in MLB.

- Shame to see Myers get hurt in a year where he actually trained/took care of himself this offseason for a change and is in a walk year.

denny b - I was at the Nats game Carpenter pitched and he did not look like a MLB-caliber pitcher in his debut. Carpenter struck me as the kind of guy who would struggle to give the Phils much beyond 5 innings out each night and have a decent chance of getting shelled periodically.

From MLBTradeRumors.com:

Would Peavy Play In Philly?
By Tim Dierkes [May 27 at 11:06pm CST]

Sorry, we don't have the answer yet. MLB.com's Todd Zolecki posed the question to Jake Peavy's agent Barry Axelrod, and Axelrod said:

"I have not discussed Philly with Jake because nobody has asked us to discuss Philly. He has a strong preference to play in the National League. He also wants to play for a contender. Both of those two things play into Philly's hands. The personnel is awesome. If there is one downside, it's the geographical difference for him, given that he has made his family home in the San Diego area."

Axelrod didn't talk about his client pitching in a hitter's park, which has to be a consideration as well. Do the Phillies have the goods to pull off a deal? I think so. Pitchers such as Kyle Drabek, Carlos Carrasco, Kyle Kendrick, and J.A. Happ could be appealing to the Padres to various degrees. And Jason Donald could help the Padres.

One thing is clear and that is that the Phils are going to make a ton of pitching roster moves in the next week or so with Myers' potential injury and Romero's return on June 3rd.

After this year,Thome's salary comes off the books and so does Eaton's. That's $15.5 million. Let Myers walk after this season and that's another $12.5 million. $28 million should be able to buy some pitching.

I don't think the Phils would call up a starter from AAA to take Myers slot. I expect Park to take his spot and Escalona gets recalled. When Romero is back, they will decide between keeping Taschner and sending Escalona back or releasing/trading Taschner.

BAP: Trading Howard would be stupid to do so. The offense will suffer -- since the start of 2008, Howard drives in more than 19% of base runners, top 5 in MLB. His job is to drive in runs and he does that better than almost anyone. He is not an elite player but so what? While Michael Taylor may be great in AAA, it is AAA. I want to win this year and there's a better chance of that with Howard than with Taylor or someone else. They need another starter but trade away a prospect or two.

Jenkins' sizable salary also comes off the books.

"Howard possesses one great skill, which he performs better than anyone else in baseball. It is an important skill, but the notion that he's an elite player is pure bunk. Elite players deliver when the game is on the line; they don't hit .141 after the 7th inning -- which is what Howard hit last year. Then again, he seems to be improving in this area. This year, he's hitting .164."

This analysis sounds like pure bunk to me. First of all, Howard hit well in late innings in '05, '06 and '07. The trend which you seem to be claiming singlehandedly makes Howard a non-elite player has only been the case for 8 months. Moreover, even if Howard had been a poor hitter in the late innings his whole career, the fact that he's been one of the ten or so most productive hitters in baseball each of the last three seasons, and baseball's most notable rookie the year before that, would seem to make him an elite player, unless for you the elite is only composed of three or so guys.

Wow, going back through your game post has to have been the most comical five minutes of my life.

EFF, as usual you should be ashamed of yourself for what you write. Your obsession with trying to discredit every single thing the Mets do is downright weird. If they got lucky on that homerun by Murphy, then so be it. It would have been second deck in CBP, so its kind of mute. Can't tell you how many times I've watched the Phils get "lucky" over the past few years, and what I call luck, you perceive as something else.

As far as your Santana ramblings, EFF,
he had his worst start in a long, long time tonight. And he struck out 11, posted a quality start and earned a win. I'll take it.

But I understand it. I know people like you. And its ok, man. I'm pulling for you. We all are.

Let me get this straight... you guys are proposing to deal Howard for a Matt Cain type? Howard isn't elite?

We'll see what you guys say in September, when everything he touches flies over the wall, no matter where he is playing.

Until then, looks like it's going to be another tight summer between the Mets and Los Phils.

"After this year,Thome's salary comes off the books and so does Eaton's. That's $15.5 million. Let Myers walk after this season and that's another $12.5 million. $28 million should be able to buy some pitching."

You're leaving out the other half of the equation though. Howard is due a 4 million dollar raise, Utley 4 million, Ibanez 5 million, Werth 5 million, Hamels 2.5, and Madson 2.5. That's 23 million right there. Blanton and Victorino will both get fairly decent raises through arbitration, Ruiz and Coste will both be eligible for the first time. If payroll stays the same the phillies will likely only have a few million to spend, even with all that coming off of the books. There isn't much available for starters this off season, so the few that are there will definately get overpaid.

Do we have enough to get Jake Peavy and would he agree to the trade? Those are two very interesting questions. Salary wise, take Myers and Jenkins off the books for next season and they could pay Peavy. I think I'd take my chances with a Hamels/Peavy top of the rotation for a few years.

Obsessed Mets fans can find fellow fans at one of the following links, where their wittle feelings won't get hurt by negative things written about their team by Phillies fans:

Blog for Mets fans

Blog for Mets fans

Blog for Mets fans

Blog for Mets fans


EFF, you just gave too much "link-love" to Mets blogs. One link was more than enough...

Believe it or not, Ankit, there are Mets fans who come here claiming there are no places for Mets fans to comment because one blog turned off their comments!

If they come here, they might read mean things about their team.

Or, they could just open the NYPost:

FERNANDO Martinez was born to be a Met.

For in what other organization or on what other team would this 20-year-old prove that he belongs by doing what has come naturally to so many in Queens, which, quite simply, is not running hard out of the batter's box?

Its been unfortunate to have them here for the past few days but may be they have seen the light in what a real fan blog should be. Its only a matter of time before they realize they are rooting for the Dark Side and will want to become Phillies phans.

Not a doctor but the Myers injury sounds bad. Sounds like one of those "we have to open up the hip and clean it out to fix it" type of deals where he'll miss a few months.

So, yeah, WE NEED ANOTHER STARTER.

bodenhopp = kendrick

Honestly, this Peavy guy sounds like a total tool. This is coming from someone who used to root for them when they were my "Underdog NL" team for awhile. Yes he is a good pitcher but that varies by year. Peavy is always either lights out good or mediocore, he seems to alternate the years. We keep thinking we'll get the 2007 Peavy but that may not be the case. I don't think we should trade for him as good as he is, as his contract makes it hard for us to make any future moves or retain current players. We should try giving our kids a shot at the major league level before we blow our farm on one pitcher, which seems absurdly risky to me. Truth is, is that if we are going to trade for a high end pitcher than we should go for someone like Oswalt or Halladay. They are a little bit older but their also much better. The one "high end" pitcher to stay away from? Erik Bedard.

One thing that people ignore, is that if the Phillies are going to trade away their best prospects for good players now, they are just mortgaging their future. Its okay to trade prospects for proven players if the Phils are willing to spend over slot at the draft, something the Phillies have always been reluctant to do.

Trolls

Murphy in today's DN suggests that Rube is eyeing a trade for pitching and bench help.

Jeez, I hope so. . .

The way Peavy is acting, the Pads will become desperate by the deadline and will probably lower their price for Peavy to one of the few teams that he would consider - not that Philly is even one of them yet.

It'll be pretty irritating if he holds out for a particular team(Cubs/Dodgers) and they end up getting him for peanuts just because they get desperate to move salary. Of course if he did that to get to Philly then I'm all for it, but I doubt he's eager to give up a homerun into the left center flowerbed and have to actually take heat in the media for not pitching his best.

When I first started reading this thread I was thinking I had something to say about the pitching situation. Then I read Ankit's post at 1:36 am. It's been said. The starter who fills in for Myers will be Park. The reliever who fills in for Park will probably be Escalona (though Koplove might be a possibility given we already have two lefties in the 'pen).

In re: Howard, I also believe Ankit is right on, except he/she left out the other factor: Howard's presence in our line-up changes its effectiveness. I know it's been a while, and the stats are not readily available, but I seem to remember something about Utley's numbers when Howard is out of the line-up. Maybe it wouldn't be so drastic with Rauuuuuuul. But still.

Myers being injured makes Penny more palatable - meaning I'd only have to drink two (rather than four) pitchers of Flavoraid™.

Let's get Oswalt! (Since Bourn and Costanzo worked for Lidge, we'll send Ed Wade some more of his favorites. How about a five-for-one: Kendrick, Carpenter, Slayden, Zagurski and Overholt.) (Can we toss in D'Arby Myers maybe and make it a 6 for one?)

Re: MLBtraderumors

Ok, they can have Kendrick and Happ for Peavy.

The High Cheese link mentioned by clout is here.

The MLBTR line is below:

"Would Peavy Play In Philly?
By Tim Dierkes [May 27, 2009 at 11:06pm CST]
Sorry, we don't have the answer yet. MLB.com's Todd Zolecki posed the question to Jake Peavy's agent Barry Axelrod, and Axelrod said:

"I have not discussed Philly with Jake because nobody has asked us to discuss Philly. He has a strong preference to play in the National League. He also wants to play for a contender. Both of those two things play into Philly's hands. The personnel is awesome. If there is one downside, it's the geographical difference for him, given that he has made his family home in the San Diego area."

Axelrod didn't talk about his client pitching in a hitter's park, which has to be a consideration as well. Do the Phillies have the goods to pull off a deal? I think so. Pitchers such as Kyle Drabek, Carlos Carrasco, Kyle Kendrick, and J.A. Happ could be appealing to the Padres to various degrees. And Jason Donald could help the Padres. Talking to David Murphy, Phils GM Ruben Amaro Jr. admitted he'd like the improve his pitching and add a bench bat.

As far as Peavy to the White Sox, the pitcher's former teammate Scott Linebrink believes that deal is dead (they spoke about a week ago)."

I also would do Happ, Kendrick and Donald for Peavy. But SDP would not (unless they truly are desperate). And it would still leave us with rotation slot open.

But I could live with a rotation that begins Hamels, Peavy, Blanton.

andy: too bad we can't throw in Greg Golson and Chris Roberson or Wade would have already signed off on that deal.

phaithful - Maybe we can coax him in with Durant?

Actually, getting serious about Oswalt, the guy that might begin a package who Wade might go for is Vance Worley. He drafted him out of HS before we re-drafted him out of college. If we begin with Worley and add in a couple of Those Dudes, do we think we could persuadeWade? Would we be willing to part with our best AA pitcher?

I don't know. It feels a little like beginning to deplete the system; but a bird in hand is better than one which might never make it out of the bush leagues.

At best, Worley might become half of Roy Oswalt - I think at least. But is a ½year of Oswalt really that much better than multiple years of a cheap ½Oswalt? Not the easiest answer.

bay_area_phan: Your Ryan Howard trade/disparagement talk makes me wonder if you're not writing a Sociology paper. I'd hate to think that you were serious. You know you're in bizarro world when the most reasonable assesment of our elite 1B comes from "Phils Suck."

Gary Tang (and others) re Peavy: While I would try to get the deal done with pieces we're not likely to miss (Kendrick, Donald, Marson, Carassco as opposed to Happ, Drabek, Taylor, Brown), I don't agree that the Phillies would be "trading away their future."

Peavy isn't a one year rental. He's under club control through 2013. While a lot of money is coming off of the books in the winter of 2009, there are very few quality starters available. If we acquire an ace, it will have to come in a trade. Granted, that's a lot of guaranteed money to throw at one pitcher, but having Peavy and Hamels at the top of our rotation will make Philly a better club than having Donald on our bench and Kendrick and Carassco at 4 and 5 in our rotation (which looks to be the best case scenario for both of them).

The money coming off of the books will help offset Peavy's contract and the pick up his 2013 option, and it's likely more value for the money than anyone they could find in free agency. There's no reason not to aggressively pursue him.


Side question: If Myers has chronic pain that prevents him from pitching deep into ballgames for the rest of the season and we do somehow manage to acquire Peavy, does anyone have any opinions about moving Myers to the pen for the rest of 2009? A rotation of Hamels, Peavy, Blanton, Moyer, Happ with a pen that includes Park, Romero, Madson, Myers and Lidge would be pretty formidable.

If Myers has serious hip problems, he is probably done for the year. That assumes a lot, but I just can't see how a pitcher could do much of anything after a serious hip surgery.

Would anyone be surprised if Charlie eventually has the WS patches removed from the home jerseys? Not that I think it really matters, but the symbolism could mean something, and Charlie usually has a good sense of the mood of his players/the locker room.

as bad as it would hurt our rotation, seeing Myers go out for the season in his contract year and ruin his free agency $$ would be a pretty thick silver lining for me.

I really need to go back to the offseason when I said we should be serious bidders for Derek Lowe. Sinker ball, ground ball pitcher in a HR park. He would look effin stellar right now... ugh.

phaithful -
Just to thin out the argentum layer for you: It might also damage his FA status, meaning he might fall from a type A to a type B, or more likely from a type B to nuthin'.

Um...Oswalt is signed through 2011 with a club option for 2012. Its far more than 1/2 of a season for any trade of him. And it would cost a lot more than Vance Worley.

From Cots:

09:$14M, 10:$15M, 11:$16M, 12:$16M club option ($2M buyout)

*Oswalt may opt out of 2012 option & take a reduced buyout

*full no-trade clause

oh, and we are not getting Peavy, very, very unlikely. He has some beefy no-trade as we all are aware, and he will not want to come to Philly.

Oswalt is interesting.

My thought is that we will get a pitcher from the BoSox...Penny, or another one of their 7 SPs waiting in line...

Yeah. Masterlock. Shoulda gotten Lowe the first time (pre-LAD); shoulda gotten him this time, too.

In re: Peavy
My one concern is his exaggerated motion. He seems to put a lot of effort into his pitching. I really wonder if he's not a candidate for injury and even early retirement.


Mac - Agree with most of your post.
As Bob also pointed out in his post above, you're statement that money will come off the books next year is inaccurate.
Right now, the Phils have $95MM committed to 11 roster spots for 2010. If one assumes that Blanton, Vic, Ruiz will be retained and paid via the arbitration process, now its approx $108MM for 14 roster spots.
Add Peavy, and now its $123MM for 15 roster spots in 2010.
If one further assumes that 2010 payroll budget is $135MM, then that only leaves $12MM for the remaining 10 spots.

With the existing championship-caliber core, we were all mostly happy with how the Phils aggressively signed their players this past offseason (Hamels, Howard, Ibanez, Moyer, Werth, Madson), but they left themselves with little payroll flexiblity.

Ankit: Did I say this year? I very distinctly said "in the off-season." If we make the playoffs again, then maybe I wold agree that we should stick with the status quo. But if not, and if Howard's numbers end up around last year's again (and I realize that's a big IF at this point), I would definitely explore a trade.

Tray: I don't know what stats you're looking at that lead you to conclude Howard hit well in the late innings in 2007. He hit .223 after the 7th inning that year. Even in his MVP year, he hit .267, which was .46 points below his .313 overall average. Howard can't hit left-handed pitching and anyone with a good out-pitch -- which most late-inning relievers have -- will almost always strike him out or induce him to hit a ground ball. Hence, he's terrible in late inning situations and will always be. I don't know how this point can even be debated. When the game is on the line in the late innings, Howard is not an asset; in fact, he is an enormous liability.

One thing that I don't hear brought up is that Amaro insists that he is looking for pitching/bench help, he also has mentioned several times since the season starter about the limited ability to acquire additional salary. One thing to acquire a right-handed bat for the bench if Mayberry doesn't work out/someone cheap becomes available. I don't doubt the Phils wouldn't hesistate to cough up the $750k-$1M with the strong attendance they have had.

Even if they Phils have the pieces for an Oswalt or Peavy (and they want to come here), are the Phils really willing to take on another $6-8M this season alone in salary? Bigger difference between say $1M vs a $7-$8M commitment this year alone.

Plus, no one has really brought it up but Amaro will spent dollars this offseason and you have to wonder if it was money that was really well-spent including resigning Moyer & Bruntlett, signing Moyer, and signing a bunch of MLB journeyman to round out the T-AAA team for "depth." So far not one of those "depth" signings has made a positive impact on this team.

Howard is so bad in late innings not just because of the pitchers he faces, but also because he refuses to take a walk. Maybe he's trying too hard to be a hero, but pitchers don't need to throw him strikes, or even just barely miss the plate, in order to get him out; he will get himself out 9 times out of 10. Any reliever that throws him a strike is an idiot, and I'm sure the scouting report is out around the league. The eighth inning last night was a perfect example. The pitcher had already thrown 25 pitches, if Howard walks, bases loaded, crowd screaming, pitcher scuffling, Ibanez up...but Howard won't take a walk.

WS patches should come off at the All-Star break.

My two cents:

I usually enjoy reading BAP's comments, but his "trade Howard" logic puzzles me. BAP must be on left coast drugs today.

Trading for Peavy? I vote "No!". I hear that his stats are built on pitching in that hitters wasteland in San Diego for half his games. His road stats are not so stellar. That would be what the Phillies get...his road stats.

I'd take a flyer on Penny. We still have young pitching talent on the farm, so a half season of Roy Oswalt would be a good thing. I'd do a temporary band-aid on the starting rotation for this season, rather than trade away the farm for Peavy.

Anyway . . . forget I ever wrote the post about trading Howard in the off-season. I was pissed off after the game, and I broke my own rule -- the rule which says it's idiotic to talk about what hypothetical trades one might or might not make 6 months down the road when the season is over and final numbers are in. Obviously, there are too many variables involved to know what I will want to do in 6 months. If Howard hits .280 with 50 homers and a .365 OBP, I clearly won't be too hot to trade him. And if he hits .235 with 40 homeruns and a .315 OBP, I suspect that trading him will be a very popular topic on BL.

For now, I can only say that it's very frustrating to see him come up in the 8th or 9th inning with men on base and to know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, what's about to happen. If he's an elite player, he must be the only elite player in baseball who you DON'T want at the plate in the 9th inning of a close game.

EFF:

Much more fun coming to other blogs than Mets blogs. Instead of just sitting there and posting:

"WRIGHT!!!!"

or

"SHEFF!"

or

"MUUURRRRPHHH"

everytime something good happens, like you guys do, I like to actually talk about stuff.

And on the Fernando Martinez thing, I'm not quite sure what you mean. Reyes' big baserunning blunder came because he thought the ball was a homer. No one else really dogs it all, so I'm kind of curious as to what you mean and what the NY Post means.

If I can recall, the last star player to be benched for not running out a pop-up in the infield was Jimmy Rollins. Am I wrong? No, I don't think I am. Just a little confused, as you continue to make a fool of yourself over and again.

Does Fernando Martinez belong on the Phillies?

MG: The answer is no. The Phillies increased their payroll 30%. They will not want to take on what Peavy will require. And they will not want to give up what it will take to get Oswalt for a 1/2 Year (both very understandable). The reason thy signed Moyer to a 2 yr/13 mil contract was mostly due to him helping them win the World Series and a "good graces" thing. Which I was and still am all for. Finally, why on here are we so concerned with the last guys on the bench in AAA. Honestly who cares? Mayberry is here now and looks good. I couldnt care less how good the AAA club does, only about the "prospects" that are there.

IF and it is a big IF Myers goes on the DL for a couple of months. I wouldn't trade for a strarting pitcher. I would bring up Carrasco. If he flops, then make a trade for someone NOT names Marquis, Penny or Bedard.

SmokyJoe - That is part of it. The other part is that Howard's performance against LHP continues to go down the crapper. His numbers against LHP this year are pathetic so far.

Howard's raw power is incredibly impressive and he is still going to get his share of RBIs but any manager late should do three basic things against Howard:

- Bring in any LHP to face Howard
- Put the shift on if nobody is on
- No circumstances give him a first-pitch fastball

You basically can pretty much neuter Howard in this fashion. Surprised at how many managers yet don't do this though or don't do all facets of this.

Cholly makes it that much easier for an opposing manager to when he puts Utley-Ibanez-Howard back-to-back in the lineup. Still don't understand why he does this.

BAP - There is a big difference between the largely groundless "trade Howard" talk and his failures in late innings.

Last night was a perfect example in the 8th vs. Nunez. Instead of just trying to make contact and hit a single to make it 5-4 or take a walk and left Ibanez have a crack at Nunez with the bases loaded, Howard was swinging for the fences the entire AB.

He missed badly on a 95 MPH fastball right down the pike and then whiffed on an awful pitch (rising fastball he never would have touched let alone put in play) on a 3-2 count.


One thing with Howard, other than the horrible stats vs LHP this year and last, is his success against different types of pitchers. He absolutely crushes "finesse" pitchers, but struggles against "power" pitchers. The definition of these is kind of sketchy, but it seems obvious watching him: If they are a hard throwing strikeout pitcher, he sucks.

MVP: So who's left? You concede that Peavy is too expensive, and you don't want Oswalt, Marquis, Penny or (for reasons I don't profess to understand) Bedard. That leaves . . . um, pretty much no one. If Myers turns out to be on the shelf for awhile, then we suddenly have 2 big holes in our starting rotation instead of just 1. Considering the circumstances, I'd say that pretty much any of those guys I just listed would be good acquisitions at this point.

The Phillies will not call up Carrasco, with his 6+ ERA at AAA. I agree with whoever said that Worley has moved ahead of Carrasco on the totem pole for major league call-ups. But they may both be behind KK and Rodrigo Lopez.

Another guy to keep your eye on: Gustavo Chacin, who was once a pretty good major league pitcher, before a series of injuries. He finally made his first start of the season at Reading this week, and pitched well. If he makes 5 or 6 good minor league starts, and the Phillies still have problems in their rotation, I could see him getting a call-up. He's more intriguing to me than KK or the quintessentially mediocre Rodrigo Lopez.

Amazing. The guy has more RBI per AB than any other player in the history of the game except Ruth, and people want to trade him for prospects.

Seriously, amazing.

If Myers did miss a huge amount of time, this team is going to be really hurting. Last year, they could have survived this because the bullpen was generally rock-solid and their other starters (notably Moyer) were having better years. Even KK was ok prior to the ASB.

This year though the Phils have the worst closer in the NL so far and a pitching rotation full of question marks besides Hamels. Moyer looks like a marginal starter at best and it remains to be seen what the Phils will get out of Blanton.

You also have to be worried about Happ's long-term viability in the rotation. He has been almost exclusively throwing fastball and a cutter this year. Unless he starts to mix in the changeup a bit more and regains the feel enough on his curveball to begin using it, teams are going to start making some adjustments on Happ sooner than later.

Basically it was a rotation full of question marks before Myers' injury and I have a hard time believing that this offense can score enough runs to cover up for a rotation of Hamels-Blanton-Moyer-Happ-??? for an extended period of time if Myers is out.

Philiper - Who said trade Howard away from prospects?

BAP - If Myers is out for an extended period, I bet the Phils are going to be shuffling the back end of their rotation pretty much all summer until he comes back or they made a trade.

One thing that would stun me is if the Phils give Park another chance in the rotation soon. That would pretty much strike me as a desperation move and only something you do if another start goes down.

MG: Agree with all of that. Park has had his shot and will not get another. It will be a musical chairs situation in the rotation. I also forgot to mention Carpenter, who will undoubtedly be in the mix. In his start a few weeks ago, he was bad but, until his last inning, he was not so bad that he totally embarrassed himself. And the call-up seems to have bolstered his confidence, as he has made 2 strong starts at AAA since being sent back.

I'm not saying he's any kind of serious answer for the Phillies' rotation. But they gave him the spot start once, and that was when he was pitching poorly at AAA. Now that he's pitching well, I'd have to think he's still near the front of the line to get the next call-up.

PS,

I agree with you that Mets fans' postings are usually not worth reading.

Here's the link to your town's paper calling FMartinez a typical Met:

Mike Piazza, Hall of Famer in waiting who only occasionally busted tail out of the box, would have been proud. Jose Reyes, whose penchant for watching rather than running was at the center of yet another storm...can know that he has set a fine example.

Timo Perez in Game 1 of the 2000 World Series had nothing on young Mr. Martinez.

Reyes' maddening walkabouts persist though manager Jerry Manuel pledged that he would put an end to such indolence the moment he replaced Willie Randolph last June 17. The Mets...now have a reputation as a team on which players young and old don't have to run hard to stay in the lineup.

Maybe you're not old enough to remember Piazza or Timo, but you can't pretend that you've only seen Reyes dog it just once.

And all of this drama comes with an extremely tough road trip on the horizon...things could get very ugly here in the next few weeks.

Reply to Mac Tonight:

Thats my point, I don't think they should either, thats why I call it mortgaging away their future. "Mortgaging" is never used in a positive manner. I wouldn't oppose it if... and I mean IF they were willing to spend over slot which would allow them to recover their farm much quicker.

MG - Fair enough - no one in this thread has suggested trading Howard for prospects (although I've seen suggested here in the past).

But my point is this. Every player has strengths and weaknesses. For only a few players, such as Pujols, are the pluses completely disproportionate to the minuses. But that doesn't mean for other players there is a clear upside. For all of Howard's foibles, he has knocked in runs at an absolutely historic rate. Yeah, the Phils have put a lot of baserunners on ahead of him - but I doubt that they have done so more than any other team in history except Ruth's.

Ryan Howard and Clay Condrey to the Tampa Bay Rays for Ben Zobrist, James Shields, Matt Joyce, and another prospect

EFF,

You still didn't answer my question. Is Jimmy Rollins the last star to be benched for failing to run out a pop-up in the infield?

A simple yes or no will do.

It's a little different comparing Mike Piazza, an everyday catcher with knee and back problems, to young, fast guys like Timo and Reyes.

Should F-Mart have been benched immediately for that? Yes, absolutely. Do I think its a lack of hustle? Not necessarily, more a lack of focus and sign of frustration.

And BTW, Larry Brooks is a renowned anti-Met columnist. Reyes plays his ass off, whether you want to admit it or not. And you obviously don't. You can watch Baseball Tonight anti-Reyes propaganda, you can flip over to the game during commercials, whatever. You just simply don't know what you're talking about.

That's fine. I understand you have to manufacture reasons to continue to hate the Mets. Fortunately for us, your pompous players and broadcasters make it easy to hate the Phils.

Phlipper: Yes, he has knocked in runs at a great rate. He has prodigous power, and there are usually runners on when he hits with his power; those are the two traits needed for high RBI totals. There's no denying that part of his production, or the reasons why.

All that said, the guy can't hit late in games, can't hit lefties, can't make contact or draw a walk consistently. Those things all matter too. Like you said, you have to add up plusses and minuses for players. My feeling is that the equation for Ryan Howard equals far less of a player than many on here are willing to admit.

It's amazing to me how overrated Ryan Howard is by fans and media, and how underrated Chase Utley is. There's a mile between them in terms of production to a team.

Phils Suck - You have brought up this point before about what a "hard worker" Reyes is but I have never once heard him commended for his offseason preparation and you have to admit that you never know when Reyes will dog it/do something foolish that antagonizes the other team & sparks them. Great talented but mediocre/poor intangibles at the best.

Jack: It's not like his weakness against lefties is on one side of the equation and his RBI production is on the other.

He has driven in more runs per AB than any other player in the game besides Ruth DESPITE not hitting for a good average against lefties. He has had so many RBI DESPITE not being nearly as productive in the late innings.

His RBI production is the bottom line of the equation that contains pluses like power and minuses like weakness against lefties.

And BTW - he has driven in runs at an historic rate for an offense, while good, overall has not had nearly the same production within an historic context. Think about that.

Take away his RBI production and replace him with a statistically average #4 hitter, the Phils score runs at a lower rate - even if that replacement #4 hitter had a higher OBP.

To make the same point yet another way - if the bottom of the Phils' lineup had a string of strong hitters, then Howards' relatively low OBP would be more of an issue.

The fact of the matter is, however, that while Howard's been here, he has been followed in the lineup but very mediocre #5 - #8 hitters.

Jack: "It's amazing to me how overrated Ryan Howard is by fans and media, and how underrated Chase Utley is. There's a mile between them in terms of production to a team."

Howard career OPS+: 142
Utley career OPS+: 129

I don't think Uts is THAT much worse.

Phils Suck: Chill, dude. This is a Phils blog. We all hate the Mets here, in the most basic sense. And it's not like the Mets have guys who don't do pompous things like finger point at the sky and dance into the dugout.

Both teams are good at getting under the other fanbase's skin, and that's pretty much how rivalries go. Isn't this better than chasing after the Braves year-in and year-out like it was for so many seasons? They are the worst rivals ever, because they (and their fans) simply refuse to play along.

This back and forth on Howard is 98% laughable, but one legitimate point that ws made (by SmokyJoe) is the alarming drop in walks the past 2 seasons. I, and other posters, have noted in the past that we believe this is directly related to the shift: Frustration causing him to swing at balls out of the zone. It is something he is going to have to fix (i.e. take the walks, accept what the shift can give him as Ted Williams did by shortening his stroke and pulling his hands in) or he will indeed end up a .240/.330/.480 kind of hitter.

Oh, and this absurd notion that Howard is overrated and Utley is underrated...I NEVER, and I repeat NEVER, hear anyone calling WIP about trading away Chase Utley. Howard, OTOH, has been under the microscope several times for his slumps and cold streaks. Chase Utley has largely gotten a free pass in this city, the likes of which is rarely seen.

Thanks for the link. We all know the NY Post is only the most credible of all news media and Brooks is the most honest of Met writers.

Was this sandwhiched in between Paris Hilton's night out and the article about the cat stuck in the tree?

Martinez made a bone headed play and most likely won't do it again. There does seem to be a lack of focus coming out of the Met system whether it be Pelfrey, Reyes, Murphy or Martinez who have all made blunders out there this year. It's amazing that such a team full of bone-headed doggers and 3rd stringers are ahead of the Phillies in the standings.

New um...

ThePhaithful: "At best, Worley might become half of Roy Oswalt."

Thank you for adding a much-needed dose of reality to this discussion. I like Worley, but he projects as a back of rotation guy. And that sssumes he makes it. More than half of all pitching prospects fail.

Piazza didn't hustle out of the box because he was posing, not because of his knees. C'mon, at least be honest in your arguments.

I don't know if Rollins was the last guy benched for not hustling. That's the point, though, on the mEts is OK not to hustle, no consequences come your way. Benching Reyes was suggested, but not done.

And it's not like the guy from the Post is the only one to notice FMartinez's play last night, or to point out the mEts lack of hustle over the years.

Even your own broadcasters bring it up from time to time, but you guys are happy with their effort and have found this site to tell us so. It must have been all those Natinals fans booing him last night.

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