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Thursday, June 25, 2009


Sellers, Cervenak, Mahar and Traacy for Lee. That's what we call "sending some dudes".

I stand by my Carrasco and Savory for Gil Meche and Ron Mahay prediction.

I am going to the RPhils game tonight to see Drabek start and have really good seats behind home plate. Looking forward to seeing what he looks like in person and getting a chance to see Taylor too.

Supposedly this Doug Drabek is supposed to attend tonight's game too and it will be his first time watching his son pitch at AA.

And what *did* ever happen to Chris Snelling?

RSB: Snelling is currently in the Pirates org.

Snelling is playing for the Pirates AAA team after spending the early part of the year in Mexico.

Snelling is actually playing for the Iron Pigs current opponents - the Indianapolis Indians - Pittsburgh's AAA team.

MG: I saw Drabek pitch the other week and was impressed at his ability to get out of situations.

One thing I was wondering if you could try to keep an eye on and report back. See how his motion is with the change-up. I noticed a few times (not always, but almost half) his delivery and arm speed would slow down when he was throwing it. Something to keep watch of while he develops.

Truth - Thanks. I will keep a heads up for the changeup release point and delivery.

JR, I think you mean Savery, although he maybe tasty and flavorful, if that's what you mean.

Speaking of the Pirates:

- Everybody is touting how good McClutchen is but I still don't understand why they traded McLouth. They got .60 cents on the dollar from the Braves for him and was it so that a reserve OF like Morgan or Hinske could get more playing time. Really made no sense especially since they have a whopping $19M in guaranteed payroll next year.

- Really goes back to the worst point about baseball isn't that the Yanks or Red Sox spend so much but teams like the Pirates cry poverty when they put a crap annual on the field for the past 15 years and get all kinds of subsidies from the luxury payroll tax/had a new stadium built for them that was largely funded by the city & state.

I won't defend Pirates ownership because their record speaks for itself. However, the McLouth trade may be criticized on the basis of value or talent evaluation, it isn't a move made for purposes of moving salary. They simply disagree with your assessment of what they got in the trade. Morgan may not pan out, but this trade has nothing to do with him. He leads the team in ABs.

Matt (Alexandria, VA)
What are your thoughts on the Phillies prospect Michael Taylor? Seems to be an above average RH OF bat – something the phils will need to break up their lefties. Is he a better prospect than John Mayberry? Thanks

Keith Law
Keith Law
Impact potential, could be a middle of the order guy. Way better than Mayberry.

I'd think Law is aware of Mayberry's pedigree, guess "Matt from Alexandria, VA" should've mentioned that.

Correction, Morgan leads teh team in plate appearances.

My nomination for the most irrational, unformed by factual evidence post of the day:

"Stick Drabek in the rotation and Bastardo in the bullpen. The dramatic decline in Drabek's K/BB rate in AA is somewhat of a concern, but he averages nearly 7 innings a start. He'll be fine."

Sure, there's little diference between 4 games in Double A and three months in a Big league rotation.

MG: Also on Drabek- his curveball is as good as advertised. Good hard downward movement, and stays pretty much on a string rather than sweeping the zone a whole lot.

Also agree with you on the Pirates stuff. Everyone always talks about a salary cap but that just wouldn't be effective. I still say- find a way to implement a cap floor. Something where a team has to spend so much money, or a certain amount of revenue on the payroll. That would at least force owners to spend rather than stockpile cash.

BB: Hilarious. If they had mentioned the pedigree, Law's answer definitely would've changed.

Sergio Escalona: The Latin Clay Condrey

so Drabek's had a "dramatic decline in K/BB" (4 starts?!) in AA, but he's ready to be a major league starter?

To get a Cliff Lee, You gotta part with someone like Taylor. Starks article up on ESPN suggested the Phillies weren't willing to part with Cole Hamels in a Cliff Lee deal....well, no crap. What would be the point of that. There's a lot of Phillies material in the article.

I've seen Sellers play a handful of times and based on his numbers wonder why he isn't up at Triple-A with the possibility of being bench guy for the Phils someday. Dude can probably hit more than Bako and/or Bruntlett.

Jayson Stark says the Phils will trade Taylor but not Carrasco? That kid better have a nice career in red pinstripes.

Even more incredible is that Bastardo is untouchable. For a number 2 starter and chance at another title? Antonio Bastardo?I smell Ruben posturing. Maybe Ruben will send Carrasco and Bastardo for Gil Meche and Ron Mahay.

I can hope, can't I?

Damn Carrasco would be the first I'd trade. He has high value but doesn't project to be an ace. Taylor would be one of the first on my list of untouchables, before Marson and Carrasco.

KRod vs Pujols, 2 outs, 9th inning, Mets up a run...

And, naturally, Pujols walks...

And how is Happ trade bait if Bastardo is untouchable? Does Ruben realize that Bastardo tries to pitch all the way to the playoffs, his arm will fall off? Isn't Happ MUCH more valuable at this point?

To me, Stark's untouchable list makes less sense than the Paul Bako situation.

Interesting stat from Stark, the worst teams in getting innings from their starters.

Wash the worst, Phils next, but 2nd place Milwaukee and best-record-in-baseball Dodgers are also in the bottom 7 in MLB in that category.

Mets win 3-2, take 3 of 4 from St Louis...

Maybe Rube's using a little reverse psychology. He didn't go to Stanford for nothing.

Regarding Taylor, I HOPE he's available b/c the Phillies know he's got a ton of value and could bring the most back in return, and NOT b/c he's available and they look at him as expendable for some reason.

Stark's untouchable list made little to no sense outside Brown and Drabek.

Stark's untouchable list made little to no sense outside Brown and Drabek

Taylor for sure should be intouchable.

Stark as normal delivers the goods. Really strong column but I am surprised that he mentioned the Phils lack of strikeout as a problem. As a team, the Phils' pitching staff is averaging 7.2 K/9 which is above the NL average of 7.0 K/9. Their defense has also been strong even with the week defense the first 10 days of the season and some of the more recent lapses in June.

"The six young players the Phillies wouldn't listen on, the same official said: outfielder Dominic Brown; catcher Lou Marson; and pitchers Kyle Drabek, Jason Knapp, Carlos Carrasco and Antonio Bastardo."

This does NOT mean those players are untouchable. It means they were in relation to the player/team they were talking about and remember someone like Marson might be untouchable in the first round of negotiations, but not in the 4th round.

If you can get a #1 or #2 starter, you include a player like Marson or Carasco or (especially) Bastardo in a heartbeat. Maybe those are the players the Phil's wouldn't throw in for Marquis?

That Dude: That makes sense, but is there a baseball player in the world for whom you would give up Michael Taylor but not Lou Marson?

What Stark was missing though:

If I had to make a documentary about this team this year so far it would be "Year of the Hanging Breaking ball" because the Phils' staff is on pace to shatter the record for all-time HRs allowed in a season.

Franske mentioned on Tues night that was the fastest the Phils' ever had hit 100 HRs in a season.

What he didn't mentioned is that this staff has surrendered a mild-boggling 102 HRs this year or 1.46 HR/9. That puts them on pace to surrender 237 HRs this year. That doesn't necessary sound like alot but for comparison - Mets are only at 0.90 HR/9 and the Dodgers are a meagre 0.77 HR/9.

Even the awful '07 Phils staff with their suspect starting rotation and patchwork bullpen only gave up 198 HRs or at 1.22 HR/9.

NO TEAM THIS DECADE HAS ALLOWED 237 HRs IN A SEASON. '00 Royals and '01 Rockies both allowed 236 HRs and they were both horrendously bad staffs. Both staffs were 29th in MLB in team ERA largely due to the HRs allowed.

I am not sure if Dubee has really poured through the reasons why this is happening but it is killing this team all season.

I still wonder if Dubee doesn't get Lidge straightened out and the Phils don't see much progress with Happ/Bastardo does he get canned after this year. I doubt it as long as Cholly is the manager but there really hasn't been much from Dubee this year on why the pitching staff has been so mediocre or why they are giving up HRs at a ridiculous rate.

That's a bizarre list. A 19-year old lottery ticket is untouchable? A backup catcher is untouchable? Bastardo is untouchable, but Happ isn't?

Trading season always seems to play out in the same fashion. Phase 1 is the empty speculation phase. Phase 2 is when things start to become more concrete. During Phase 1, I always find myself hoping the Phillies will make an impact move. Then, as we move into Phase 2 and specific names start to surface, I always find myself hoping that they don't make any trades at all, for fear that they'll give away a top prospect for relatively little return.

Reason the Phils desperately want to hold on to Marson is that he is the most MLB ready catching prospect they have and this is likely Coste's last year with the team and Ruiz is again showing that he has at least one prolonged stretch of the season (at least a month) where he does NOTHING offensively.

People are killing JRoll but Ruiz has sucked this month offensively. His splits are .176/.263./.235 for an OPS of .498 in 51 ABs. This isn't out of the norm at all either for Ruiz. He has had at least one prolonged stretch in '07 and '08 where he was close to an automatic out for at least 4-5 weeks.

Amaro f@cked up on the catching situation big-time this offseason. Arguably his worst set of transactions as a GM so far:

- Trades Paulino to the Pirates for Jamarillo
- Trades Paulino to the Fish for Taschner
- Signs Bako for catching depth and has him on the roster for a month stealing a daily paycheck

Both Paulino and Jamarillo have higher OPS than Ruiz and have pretty useful this year. Taschner has struggled at best and is at the point where Cholly utterly refuses to use him unless they are getting creamed and Bako is just a dude taking up a roster spot.

Amaro's handing of the catcher spot so far deserves a D and probably closer to an F.

The only way that Stark's bizarre untouchable list makes sense is this:

(1) The Phils know they have to give up at least one quality prospect to get an impact pitcher.

(2) They like their outfield of Ibanez/Victorino/Werth and think they will stay intact until Dominic Brown is ready.

(3) They decide that the key piece to trade is Michael Taylor.

(4) They made a list of players who they will not trade ALONG WITH TAYLOR.

Then it makes sense to hold on to Marson, Brown, Drabek, Knapp, and Carrasco. That still doesn't explain why they would deal Happ and not Bastardo. Even with a healthy Roy Halliday, they still need Happ in 2009.

Does anyone think that the team believes Taylor has a similar value to LaPorta who fetched 3 months of C.C. for the Brewers?

bap - Yeah I was thinking the same with the 7 Stage of (Pitching) Grief about an impact starter.

(Shock) Stage 1 - Man this pitching staff is really shaky in April.

(Denial) Stage 2 - Moyer and Blanton can't be this be this bad.

(Bargaining) Stage 3 - Okay Moyer and Blanton look they might turn it around and maybe Happ/Bastardo can be credible options in the interim

(Guilt) Stage 4 - Why did I pay money to see this team play at home again

(Anger) Stage 5 - If it isn't the starting pitching, it is the bullpen. When is Amaro going to get another #2 to replace Myers?

(Depression) Stage 6 - Amaro only move was to get XXX at the trading deadline to shore up the pitching staff. Oh joy.

(Acceptance) Stage 7 - Maybe this guy isn't so bad and hopefully he gives this offense a catch to win more often than not.

We are at Stage 5 and will stay there until the trading deadline.

Going up to Cooperstown this weekend...first time I've been to the HoF. It just so happens to be Phillies WFC weekend, which I didn't know before we made that's pretty cool.

Should be fun and will at least be a nice distraction from the current state of affairs, although I'm not throwing in the towel by any means. The NL East is full of holes and has been since day one.

J-Roll not in lineup tonight. Vic leading off. Brunlett SS.

Rollins out of the lineup tonight.

CSN reporting that Jimmy's absent from tonight's lineup.

JBird: "Does anyone think that the team believes Taylor has a similar value to LaPorta who fetched 3 months of C.C. for the Brewers?"

I don't. Taylor is a great all-around prospect, but the rarest offensive prospect is one who will hit 30+ HRs in the big leagues someday, can play a position and generate enough OB so that he doesn't kill you when he's not going yard. That is LaPorta (currently sporting a .920 OPS in trip A.)

I can see Taylor hitting .300 in The Show, but not 30+ HRs.

doubleh: Make sure you check out the video clips of HOFers from their prime.

Bastardo's gotta love having the Gnome behind him.

Rollins is richly deservign of being benched, and I was happy to read about this -- until I saw that Bruntlett is the replacement.

If anybody is interested the Phils game is on MLB TV tonight

Basically, we're stuck with 2 choices. We can have our strong-fielding, .210-hitting shortstop batting leadoff, or we can bench him altogether and have a .157-hitting shortstop who can't field. God forbid our manager come up with some middle-ground solution like, oh let's say, sticking with the strong-fielding, .210-hitting shortstop but batting him lower down in the order.

BAP: And there's the conundrum indeed. I realize the offensive difference isn't much between Rollins and Bruntlett, but in terms of defensive, it's a big drop (even with Jimmy's brain fart last night, which according to Zolecki, he openly admitted was a complete brain fart and he had no explanation for the play he made).

I think it sends more of a message that he was benched, with the manager knowing that his replacement is hitting .157.

benching rollins is not because they think gnome is better, its because benching rollins will hopefully make rollins better tomorrow by giving him a rest and maybe more time to straighten out his problems.

clout: Thanks. I plan on seeing everything. The hubs and I are doing the membership so we can get access to the more exclusive part of the museum. He's been there a few times, for Schmidt and Ripken's inductions.

This is the great part of baseball...the history and how it ties generations together. I love that we can now share it with our young son.

I try to remember all of that whenever I'm frustrated beyond reason with this team. What we are going through now is nothing compared to my Father's disappointment with the 1964 team, which he says to this day has forever tempered his enthusiasm for baseball.

b_a_p: The only explanation is that Charlie thinks the benching will have a long-term benefit that dropping him in the order will not.

Leave it to Charlie to get things about 33% right. Benching Rollins? It's about time. But only 2 days? Bah. And send him right back to the leadoff spot? What the f*ck?!

If I had my druthers J-Roll would sit for a week & be moved to the bottom half of the order for at least a month. That said, I'd much prefer that Rollins be moved down in the order for the long term than this half-assed "bench-him-&-send-him-back-to-leadoff" crap. Honestly, what makes Charlie think that will have any more of an effect than moving him to the 6 hole for a day or two did?

gtown: where'd you get that crystal ball? 33% right?

For Christ's sake Charlie. Bruntlett is neither a solution or an improvement. Bad as Jimmy's been, you're downgrading the offense and defense considerably. Just stick him between Feliz and Ruiz and be done with it.

You know when you are having a crappy season when . . . .

You are replaced a guy hitting .157 on the season and is an impressive 2-23 (2 singles) against RHP.

Gnome won't knock a ball out of the infield tonight against Sonnanstine. Only hope he can work a BB and get HBP.

If I am Sonnanstine (and as badly as I have struggled), I am looking forward to a bottom of the lineup that will likely include an ice cold Feliz & Ruiz and a punchless Bruntlett. Talk about an easy inning right now.

Hey clout,

Honest question about why you think LaPorta has more power potential than Taylor. At the age of 23 in AA, Taylor is currently posting a .978 OPS, .579 SLG, and HR% of .048 (only 273 PA admittedly). Last year, LaPorta at 23 and AA put up a .924 OPS, .539 SLG, and HR% of .051 (433 PA). LaPorta is putting up very comparable numbers now at AAA, but these guys are remarkably similar in their AA, age 23 performance. What have you read, or seen, that makes you think LaPorta has greater power potential?

Yo, new thread

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