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Wednesday, June 24, 2009

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Too bad. Depending on who the prospects were, that probably would have been a good deal for the Phils.

Spilborghs would be an upgrade to the bench but Mayberry looks like he can at least fill that role adequately even if he might be overmatched against better RHP pitching especially if they have decent offspeed stuff in their arsenal.

Really comes down to Marquis > Happ. I do think that is an upgrade for this season and would better position the Phils to make the playoffs again this season. That really is the goal and should be the barometer of a successful season as making the playoffs in MLB.

One of the likely issues with any major deal the Phils are going to make for a starter is that they are going to have trade some talent potentially already on the MLB roster including Happ, Bastardo, Madson?, etc. Question of how much they really move forward in a trade if they have to give up a contributor in a trade to get a starting pitcher which is likely.

J.A. Happ for Jason Marquis and Ryan Spillbourghs? I think Jason Marquis and J.A are about the same pitcher right now ( I don't have the numbers in front of me) don't like the trade

More I see of Happ, the more I think his value is as a starter that the Phils control at low dollar potentially for the next year or two. They likely are going to need at least one (probably two) lower-cost options in their rotation next year and that is why I would imagine the Phils are reluctant to trade Happ. At worst, Happ could be shifted back to the bullpen as a long man as the Phils will likely have at least 2-3 openings next offseason to fill in the pen too.

Reposted from 2 threads ago:

Now that they are without Myers, the Phils need to keep Happ AND add a pitcher. It will take more prospects, of course, but Happ is very valuable to a team who can consistently turn 6IP/3ER performances into wins.

I'm glad this deal didn't go through. Is Marquis pitching better than Happ this year? Yes. Would Spilborghs be an upgrade to the bench? Yes, although I don't know that he'd be any better than Mayberry. But trading Happ wouldn't solve the problems at the back of our rotation (and, despite yesterday, I still consider Moyer part of that problem), since we'd be trading away one of the guys who ISN'T at the back of our rotation. This would be like a lateral move, with a short-term pay raise and a long-term pay cut.

BAP: Since you'tre on the record as saying Moyer is washed up, at what point do you admit you're wrong?

Marquis is a clear upgrade over Happ at this point. Frankly, I don't understand why fans have been so enamored with Happ's performance as a starter so far.

He has had real trouble locating his fastball in his last few starts and really leaned on it or his cutter heavily. Basically, Happ is just throwing a 4-seem or 2-seem fastball in about 85% of his pitches as a starter.

That might work as a long-man out of the pen for an inning or two but that just isn't a recipe for long-term success as a starter.

Phils clearly need another starter at this point and a guy like Marquis would be a clear upgrade over Happ or Bastardo.

Marquis is off to a nice start, but making a deal for him scares me, especially if it includes a member of our current starting staff. I'm not really that high on Happ (think he's fine, but nothing special) and Marquis probably will help this team, but I'm not sure how much of an "upgrade" he is.

Over Moyer's last 7 starts, despite a 2-3 record, he gone at least 6 every time, ERA 4.18, WHIP 1.26, K:BB 27:8. This turnaround is quite refreshing.

We have no idea who "and prospects" were. If it included Taylor or Brown, it changes how we would perceive this trade, no?

C'mon Marquis is a better pitcher than Happ at this point. Happ has been really fortunate his last few starts (his last in particular) that he didn't give up 4-5 runs at least.

Reality is that you won't make it as a starter throwing a 4-seem or 2-seem fastball 85% of the time over a prolonged stretch. McCarver (who is a knowledgeable guy and I think unfairly gets a bad rap with fans for stating the obvious) said it best during Happ's 1st start against the Yanks - you can make it for a while if you can locate your fastball but you inevitably have to mix in at least 1-2 or two average offspeed pitches in there.

Happ's real value to the Phils at this point is that he is a low-cost option they control for the next 2-3 years at low dollars.

"In Reading, Michael Taylor hit his 13th homer of the year, and his fourth homer in as many nights in the RPHILS loss last night. Taylor was 3-5 on the night, raising his average to .336."

Bedrosian's Beard writes: "I'm not really that high on Happ (think he's fine, but nothing special)"

There's something to be said about that. Starting pitching is a tough business, and even so-so guys are desirable, especially ones with low price tags.

If Happ can improve his control, I think he can be steady.

Happ his holding hitters to about a .230 average, but I do worry that the league will eventually figure him out, for the reasons MG mentioned. Happ relies a great deal on deception.

I think that trade would have helped a lot. Even if the pitchers cancel out, you get a bench player much better than anyone you have now.

I don't know where this myth came from that Happ is a 1-pitch pitcher. He's got a changeup that is plus and a curve that is average and a cutter/slider that is improving.

That said, odds are that Marquis will have a better season this year than Happ or Bastardo, so he would be an upgrade. If you think the core has another 3-4 years of contention then you probably don't do the deal. If you think the window is closing, then you must do the deal or risk losing this opportunity.

Clout: I rarely see the hook from Happ.

As doubleh said, we don't know who the prospects were and that's a major part of the discussion. If it was Happ, Carpeter and Slayden that's one thing, but Colorado's MO is to ask for a Happ, Marson and Knapp type package.

I agree with clout that this deal would have led to a better 2009 season.

Would the amount that the trade helped in 2009 offset what the phils would lose in 2010-11? I dont think so, unless Marquis continued to pitch at his current level and won Game 2 of the first couple of playoff series, then I'd think it would be worth the added challenges they would have be faced with in 2010-11.

clout - Yeah Happ's changeup is supposedly a plus pitch but he has been using it that much or been able to throw it for a strike with any kind of consistency so far.

As for his curve, Happ has basically mothballed that since the beginning of the year. He might use at most 1-2 times a start.

Happ really has been a 2-seem/4-seem fastball guy so far. If he mixes in his change for a strike and has steady location with his fastball repiotre, he can't succeed as a starter but his changeup right now just isn't an effective pitch and he has had real issues with controlling his 4-seem fastball the last 3 starts.

clout: "Washed up" -- to me -- means incapable of being a serviceable starter over a full season. As long as his ERA stands near 6.00, there's no way in the world I see sufficient evidence to change my opinion. The real issue, however, is not whether he is capable of being a serviceable starter over a full season, but whether he is capable of being serviceable for the next 3+ months. Even on this, I remain skeptical.

The results were good yesterday but the command was not -- just as it hasn't been for most of the year. For a guy who throws 80 MPH fastballs, 4.5 walks per 9 innings and a 58:43 strike:ball ratio is not a great formula for sustained success. Moyer actually got better in his last 2 innings. For the first 4, he was all over the place and had nearly a 1:1 strike:ball ratio. He was very fortunate to get out of yesterday's outing with such a good stat line.

Your hear some comparisons between Happ and Moyer but I don't get that right now. Happ can be deceptive with his fastball at 88-89 MPH. Moyer is at 81 MPH. In fact, no other starter in the league has a lower MPH on their fastball than Moyer say a unique exception like Wakefield.

Moyer is also throwing a ton more breaking stuff. He uses changeup and curveball much more than Happ does and relies even more on his location than Happ does to succeed.

Moyer maybe a good role model for Happ to emulate but I don't get the comparisons between the two besides they both are LHP and rely on location to be effective. Mechanics and release points are different both guys (largely due to Happ's height) and they really aren't that much alike.

BAP - That's what I saw too. DSL and Bottalico (who really doesn't bring much to the table so far) blathered on about what a great start it was from Moyer.

He was "ok" but I saw a guy who greatly benefited from a very liberal strike zone on the corner/aggressive Rays team that was desperately trying to make something happen down 6-0 in the 1st inning.

Anthony Hewitt - Family friend who was a minor scout for a long time for several organizations saw Hewitt play recently and he has "bust" written all over him. You shouldn't be flummoxed by younger opposing pitchers who hadn't had much experience beyond high school and really heavily rely upon a fastball to get by.

Hewitt is young and you have to give him some time but you have to wonder if he will ever even make it too MLB at this point.

MG: You're off on the 85% number and overall that number is a little deceptive. On the season Happ has thrown his fastball roughly ~78% of the time. However- 12 of his 18 appearances were in long relief when the Phillies were down or up a bunch of runs. The mission in those situations is to just throw strikes so you rely on the fastball far more than anything. If you take those game sout his ratio drops down to roughly ~60% for the fastball. That's a huge difference.

Also, with Happ- his fastball has more movement than his slider. Actually considerably more vertical movement. When the fastball has that much more movement than a secondary pitch it's very likely someone will rely on it more.

Amusing to see people tripping over themselves to downplay Moyer's start yesterday.

Moyer did what he does best yesterday. He saw what his strikezone was going to be early and pitched to it. He out-guessed the Rays hitters all day and used their over-aggressiveness against them.

In the 4th inning the Rays had guys on and you knew there were looking to cut into the lead. Moyer got one guy way out in front of a change-up on a first pitch with the bases loaded. He absolutley froze either Kapler or Zobrist by working on the outside of the plate and then dropping a 69 mph curveball on the inside corner. That is why Moyer has so much success against young, impatient hitters. He just is smarter than them and knows how to use their weakness against them.

Earlier in the year we complained that the strike zone was shrinking on Moyer some and he was leaving stuff in the middle of the plate. Last night he gets his zone and hits the spots and people say, "liberal strike zone."

If you weren't so quick to judge in the first place, you wouldn't need to make excuses when things prove you wrong.

Love the trade and wish it happened.

I don't understand Clout's analysis: window closing vs open another 3-4 years. To me, the closing of the window would take 3 years. Besides J-Roll's collapse, what else signals the rapid closing of our window?

J-Roll showed clear signs to decline last season. I was killed on here for wanting to trade him while his value was high. Clout might not believe Donald is a major league SS, but Theo Epstein disagrees...but thats a separate topic

Would we receive compensation for Marquis after the season? Would he be classified as a type A free agent? These considerations should be factored into the deal.

Scary thought: Jamie Moyer's 2009 season is strikingly similar to Adam Eaton's 2007 season.

Eaton's first 14 starts in 2007 (Moyer 2009):
IP: 81.0 (78.1)
ER: 48 (52)
H: 82 (98)
BB: 39 (21)
K: 52 (46)
HR: 11 (16)
ERA: 5.33 (5.97)
%Strikes: 62% (62%)

In those 14 starts, Eaton had 7 good starts (6IP/3ER or better), 3 games where he kept it close (exactly 6IP/4ER) and 4 blowups. He got great run support and the team went 8-6.

Moyer has had 6 good starts, 4 games where he kept it close, and 4 blowups. The team is 7-7 on days he has pitched.

I want Jamie to succeed, both because he seems like a nice guy and because the Phils will not replace him in the rotation this year. But I can't get over his Eaton-esque numbers.

Truth - Where did you get that 60% figure from and does that include his cutter?

As for Moyer's start, it wasn't a bad one and no one was saying that. It just wasn't one where he was painting the corners either. It was functional and that frankly that has been what Moyer has been doing the past month or so. If he can continue, he likely will have an ERA around 5 but be a functional starter.

The fact is that Moyer has pitched pretty well in his last seven starts. The Toronto game looks bad because he gave up 6 runs, but 3 of those were in the 7th when it seemed the only reason he was out there was because the bullpen needed some rest. If he gives us 3 ER in 6 IP I am happy with that, and Charlie should be too. I won't pretend I wasn't concerned when he was struggling, because I certainly was, but he is doing his job lately.

I'm not sure how people are saying they love or hate this trade. We do not know what this trade would have been. Tell me who the prospects were and how many, and I'll give an opinion. But without knowing who was on the table, there's little basis to opine over.

In re: Marquis
He's still not a #2. I hope Junior finds something better.

In re: Moyer's start
Think "both/and." He did well with what he was given. But he was given more than he's had most of the season. Depending on what the strike zone is going forward, it might still be tough for him. But as a #4-5 pitcher? I'll take what he's been acheiving recently. The main pieces of the bullpen got extra rest yesterday. Yippee.

I've been a huge critic of Moyer, but even though I didn't see the game yesterday, I do have to give him credit. It does seem like he's turned the proverbial corner.

Also, I'm glad this deal didn't happen because this team needs Happ. The purpose of getting a new pitcher now is to replace Myers/ get a #2. I agree that Marquis isn't a #2. Plus, if you get rid of Happ you're just relying on Bastardo even more, and I feel like Bastardo is much more raw and less dependable.

Everybody keeps mentioning this #2 starter but just how many of these kind of pitchers have gotten moved the past 10-15 years at the trading deadline?

That would've been an awful trade, especially knowing it would've likely required Michael Taylor or Mayberry to go through. Happ makes 405k this year, and could be re-signed fairly cheaply if necessary next year. Marquis is making 9.8 million in the third year of a 21 million dollar deal, and you know he'll want more come next year.

"Everybody keeps mentioning this #2 starter but just how many of these kind of pitchers have gotten moved the past 10-15 years at the trading deadline?"

Doesn't effect the fact that they likely "need" a pitcher of that caliber.

As for the trade, I think Clout is dead-on that it depends whether you take the all-in for this year view or the extended window view. Marquis for this year might give you a better chance at the playoffs, but not having Happ or Marquis for the next three years leaves another hole to fill in the rotation.

Ideally the Phils get enough from the present rotation to keep them out ahead of the pack, get Myers back in September and go into the playoffs with the same rotation as last year (or subbing Happ in if he is outpitching Moyer or Myers), win it all again and go into next year with Carrasco and Drabek waiting in the wings a la Boston this year with Bucholz and Bowden. A surplus of young quality starting pitching could allow the team to extend that window just like Boston has/will.

I say Curt Schilling out of retirement!!

Truth: With his ERA hovering near 6, Moyer is far from proving me wrong.

And my observation about Moyer was not an "excuse," but a fact. Even with a liberal strike zone, his strike:ball ratio stunk last night. I give Moyer all due credit for making good pitches when he needed to but, if he has a 58:43 strike:ball ratio every time out, he's going to have a whole lot more bad games than good ones.

Over the course of a season, ERA is obviously the best measure of a pitcher's performance. But in a single game, it can be misleading, as it was last night. Funny how, when I made the exact same point about Happ and Bastardo in their last starts, nobody pounced on board to call me a "hater."

I don't think there's any way Drabek is not in the rotation before the 2010 all-star break. I think he'd do just fine RIGHT NOW. He looks relatively polished and has been giving the R-Phils 7-8 innings every start. After growing up in major league clubhouses, pro ball doesn't phase him one bit.

Ideally, you'd like Drabek to get another year or so of seasoning, but we're getting desperate and he's better than the available alternatives. If the Phils threw him out there right now, he has the stuff and guile to keep his ERA under 4.50. I only saw him pitch twice, but he looks like he has that bulldog mentality.

MG: I was going on just a best guess based off what I see. Probably the same way you got to 85%. I did some checking and based on the rough data I can find online from pitchfx sites it looks like Happ has thrown 606 pitches as a starter with 423 being a fastball. That puts him at 69.8% rate with the fastball. So it is between both of our guesses.

AAlso, he doesn't really throw a cut fastball. He throws a slider that has little movement so it resembles a cut fastball. In fact for the most part he throws his fastball and slider/curve and mixes in the change-up. The data shows his fastball is extremely effective versus right handers which would probably be why he throws it at the rate he does.

Truth - His cutter has a lot of movement on it but it isn't a true slider. There is a difference. As for using his curveball, it has been essentially nonexistant.

Happ has been a 2/4 seem fastball guy with the changeup mixed in a bit. He hasn't been bad as a starter but he has struggled to keep the 4-seem fastball down in the count or throw his changeup for a strike.

Maybe Happ does succeed as a starter if he can master his changeup/curveball more. Young pitchers often have issues with those pitches but Happ still looks like a guy that teams will begin to make adjustments on and he has to get that 4.45 BB/9 down by at least half a BB/9 per game.

Truth - Didn't mean a 2-seem fastball for Happ. Happ is throwing the cutter a fair amount and yeah I guess you could consider that an offspeed pitch but it isn't a true slider either.

Sorry to nitpick MG, but baseballs have 'seams' not 'seems'. Apologies again for nerdifying the internet.

MG: I'm aware there is a difference between a cutter and a slider. He just really doesn't throw a cutter. Maybe a few times, but you are acting like it is his secondary pitch and it isn't. His slider works more like a bad cutter. On the pitch data they have him as throwing a fastball, slider, surve, change-up. He also threw one two seam fastball and that was against the Red Sox.

His slider works more like a cutter and that's what is throwing you off.

And again- his fastball has the most movement vertically of any of his pitches

MG: I'm not necessarily referring to the slider/cutter as a true off-speed pitch. What i'm saying is- a normal slider should have much more downward movement than his does.

His fastball moves up to 6 inches more vertically than his slider. That's why his slider looks more like a cutter. He is changing the grip and the cutter is designed to move more horizontally and it doens't. However, when his fastball has that much more vertical movement it makes the slider look deceptively like a cutter. If you want to call his cutter a flat slider I'd be ok with that.

To be fair- it's not really a true slider or cutter because the movement isn't the norm for either type of pitch.

And while we are on the subject of prospects, it looks like Anthony Gose might be a better candidate than Anthony Hewitt to be a winning lotto ticket toolsy-Golson type pick from last year.

"Hewitt is young and you have to give him some time but you have to wonder if he will ever even make it too MLB at this point."

He aint that young, dude just turned 20 in April. When the Phils constantly go after the "high ceiling" guys they are bound to make msitakes and I think Hewitt will never make it to Reading let alone Phila. Now, I am basing that on 19abs in Williamsport. If he were 18 and not 20 I might feel differently.

The Brown-Gose-Taylor outfield is a big reason I see the window staying open for a while.

BAP: I'm not really calling you a hater. Just saying Moyer did what he normally does last night. You say that his numbers were better thahn they looked last night, but a lot of that has to do with how off-balance he kept the Rays all night.

I vote to keep Happ.

I was looking at some stats and see that Jamie Moyer is the team leader in Wins, Losses, Games Started, Innings Pitched, Hits Against and Earned Runs Against. That's a sorry state of affairs when the "old guy" leads in all of these workhorse stats.

uh Fred he led the team in W's last year and that worked out ok, dontcha think?

Interesting age comparisons on the last few posts- a 20 yr old is not that young and a 43 yr old is the staff workhorse.

Dude, the point is that younger guys like Hamels or Blanton should be leading the team in workhorse stats.

Moyer's 5-6 win-loss record is projected by FoxSports to be 12-14. That's nothing to get too excited about. I'm not excited. Are you excited about Moyer, Dude?

All the young hitters in Lakewood haven't fared well at all.

I'm shocked- SHOCKED- that BAP would claim luck was the reason for Moyer's 'fortunate' start last night. Shocked, I tell you. I'm even more shocked that he continues to use his full-season ERA as criteria for ignoring the drastic uptick in his performance for the past 7- SEVEN- starts.

Again, the burden of proof that Moyer is 'washed up' is largely on those who make the argument. It's hardly feasible that a 'washed up' pitcher could carry a 4 ERA, going 6 innings every start seven outings in a row with some pretty good offenses mixed in there.

Happ's drawback is BBs and deep counts which amp up his total pitch count. He can't go deep into games. Obviously somebody other than Hamels needs to do that to save the pen.

So, uh, Scott Mathieson is set to pitch in a GCL game tomorrow. Gotta wish him well, though he wasn't even such a sure bet before the two tj surgery's. Also, why do i get the feeling that Taylor was the "throw in" in that rockies deal. If he was, I swear to god i wouldn't watch another game. Let's hope we learned from Howard, not to trade prospects like this for garbage filler. I'd much rather trade Werth than Taylor, even this year (though better next), he has a lot more present value anyway. Or does he?

Moyer's last 7 starts:

2-3, 43 IP, 4.19 ERA, 1.30 WHIP, 5.7 K/9, 1.7 BB/9, 1.05 HR/9, 1.30 GB/FB

Pretty decent numbers but the biggest difference is that Moyer is keeping the ball on the ground more (and thus in the ballpark) and walking less guys.

Moyer (nor Blanton/Hamels) have been the issue the past month. It really has been Happ/Bastardo inconsistencies and the offensive dropoff by over half-run a game that have hurt the Phils the most.

Iceman: Were you shocked that I said Happ was lucky in his 6-inning, 2-run game a few days ago? Or that I said Bastardo pitched well in his 6-inning, 4-run outing? Somehow I don't recall your objecting to those conclusions. But when someone makes the identical observation about a game pitched my Moyer, I can count on you to show up within the hour to proclaim that it's inconceivable that a 6-inning, 1-run performance could be lucky.

If you and clout would actually read what I write, instead of trying to engage me in a semantical argument about the meaning of the phrase "washed up," you would know that I have never discounted the possibility that Moyer could have a good game, or even a good stretch. Again, I harken back to Steve Carlton's 1987 season in which he went 6-14 with a 5.74 ERA and was, by any criteria, "washed up." Yet, he still managed to have a 6-game stretch in which he lasted 7+ innings 4 times (including 2 complete games), and posted a 3.40 ERA. Moyer's ERA in this recent 7-game stretch is a lot closer to 5 than it is to 4 (4.86).

Yes, if Moyer can hold a 4.86 ERA for the rest of 2009, he would be fine as a No. 5 starter. But you'll have to consider me pretty skeptical, considerng that his overall ERA is just a tad under 6. Somehow or other, you have convinced yourself that only the last 7 games, and not those first 7 games in which his ERA was over 8, are a relevant predictor of future events. Not only have you convinced yourself of this; you actually become angry when someone suggests otherwise.

Just a question: what would Moyer's end-of-the-season ERA have to be in order for you to agree that he's "washed up?" Or is it inconceivable that you could ever agree to that characterization, since he had one good 7-game stretch?

Jason Marquis who will be 31 in August has the following ERA+ for the last 5 seasons:
2004 115
2005 102
2006 74
2007 101
2008 99

and finally... 2009 is 123

Difference this year? 58% ground ball % and 3.2BB/9 which is down from recent years above 3.5. The question is how likely is Marquis to continue these trends. If I had to bet, I'd bet not likely.

By the way, for comparison's sake, here's Happ's ERA+ numbers (small sample size warning of course):
2008 119
2009 125

I'd take the 26-year old Happ this year and for years to come, but maybe that's just me.

If they had Beerleaguer back in 1987, I suspect we'd be having this same debate right about now with regard to Steve Carlton. Here are his month by month ERAs from that season:

April: 5.09
May: 6.04
June: 2.56
July: 7.60
August: 8.78
Sept: 2.93
Overall: 5.74

As for Moyer, I'll be as happy as anyone if he can maintain a 4.86 ERA for the rest of 2009. The fact that he's trending upward is certainly a positive sign. But I fail to see any logic in this notion that we're required to ignore the first 7 starts, and only pay attention to the last 7, when we assess how he is pitching this year & how likely he is to pitch well for the rest of the year.

"I'd take the 26-year old Happ this year and for years to come, but maybe that's just me."

Well, I'd take 31-year old Jason Marquis for THIS year. And considering that Happ is still a real unknown, I might even take Marquis for next year and the year after that. The problem is, we wouldn't be getting him for next year or the year after that. We would basically be upgrading one spot in our rotation for 3 months -- a spot which is not even the one most in need of an upgrade -- in exchange for having a complete void at that spot in 2010.

I'm not a fan of a guy who couldn't hack it in Chicago.

Jason Marquis is a sinker/slider pitcher who has always had a high GB rate, so he's likely to continue that trend. Is he better than Happ in 2009? Yes, at least he has been. Marquis was a 4/5 throughout his career, but has pitched as well as anyone this season.

I basically figure its a long-term 4/5(plus a low ceiling prospect or two) for a rental 2/3 and RH bat off the bench.

I should expand that, Marquis isn't it for us. He's not a 1-2 starter, no matter what his record is in the awful NL West. Marquis is a nice #4, but we have those already. We should not trade any real prospects or current starters for him.

The way I see it, Marquis is a short-term upgrade over Happ. Happ's value might be as high as ever and we have plenty of internal candidates to replace him in 2010. Its unfair to compare Happ to Kendrick, due to Happ's much higher K/9 rate, but I simply don't see Happ ever becoming more than a strong 4, and those aren't hard to come by.

In re: Gose
The best part about nominating him as the toolsiest toolsy guy in our toolsy organization is that when he's finished as a toolsy OF prospect he can give up the hitting tools altogether and re-start his climb as a toolsy LH RP. Just imagine; he could be a middle reliver who can also pinch run and/or be a OF caddy.

Don't look now but the "awful" NL west has a better record than the NL East.

Any interest in picking up Carl Pavano and his expiring contract from the last-place Indians?

Me neither.

Errrr...
I meant reliever. But if he has to go through the minors a second time, he might be a reliver, too.

Bubba,

Sure, but for our Washington (pulling down our record), they have San Diego and Arizona. Look at LA's record and tell me that division isn't bad. Drop Florida out there and they'd be around San Fran right now, which has a better record than us.

Gose is still only 18 and rapidly progressing, so he has plenty of time for that 2nd stint.

By the way, Jason Marquis had a higher OPS last year than Jimmy Rollins does this year. Unfortunately he hits left-handed...

Rich- 4 of 5 places in the standings NL West has the higher win % than the NL East right now.
Fortunately for the Phils the NL East has played down to the NL West levels.

Is Gose really "rapidly progressing?" So far, all he has shown is that he is a terrific base stealer. His batting average stinks. His power numbers stink. And his OBP and strikeout/walk ratio are woeful.

hey lay off jimmy, he finally is finding some consistency to his game, consistently sucking.

Lidge to be activated tomorrow, say the twitterers.

When people say that Jason Marquis is not a No. 2 starter, which version of Jason Marquis are they talking about? The 2004 version, who won 15 games & had a 3.71 ERA and a 1.92 GO/FO ratio, was certainly a No. 2 starter. So far, this year's version looks remarkably similar to the 2004 version -- despite playing in one of the game's worst pitchers parks.

Reasonable minds can differ about how likely he is to maintain this kind of performance. But no reasonable mind could say that he isn't a No. 2 if he DOES maintain it.

Starting pitching is going to be EXTREMELY hard to get. I'm wondering that the Phils didn't agree with the ROckies on the "prospects" and the deal was tabled.

Because of the Rockies recent surge the rumored deal can't be made now. Maybe Jr. should have pulled the trigger. But we'll never know.

Unless the Jays suddenly want to deal Halladay, I think any trade for pitching would be foolish at this point.

I'm not saying that we don't need it, but for the lackluster options available and their massive cost to our farm system, it just isn't worth it. There's plenty of pitchers who have yet to be signed who could probably fill the role just as well (possibly better, considering they've rested for the first half of the season and will be less likely to burn out for the end of the season and the playoffs).

Pedro and Byrd are not even close to being a great idea, but they're the lesser of two evils. I'd take either one or both before I'd trade Happ AND prospects for a half season rental of Jason f'n Marquis.

Incidentally, now is the time they should be talking extension with Myers, at least for the 2010 season. Seeing all of the pitchers still in the unemployment line this season, he may sign cheap in the hope to prove himself for a payday in 2011 (whether that comes in Philly or elsewhere).

Incidentally, if he is able to pitch in '09 and Lidge continues his lackluster season, I wouldn't hesitate to let Myers close and have Lidge set him up. A pen of Madson, Romero, Lidge and Myers doesn't sound too shabby for the post season.

Gose strikes out too much but hitting .255 in the SAL as an 18 year old is pretty darned promising. He's an all-star in a league full of players 2-3 years older than him.

In the "AAA numbers can be deceiving" department:

Adam Eaton pitched 6 innings of 3-hit shutout ball in AAA today. In 19 innings of minor league ball, he is 2-0 (3-0 if he wins) today with 12 strikeouts and only 3 walks. Opposing hitters were hitting only .170 off him coming into today and he had a 2.56 GO/AO ratio, which went up after today's 9 groundout/3 fly out performance.

If Eaton were named Carlos Carrasco or Kyle Kendrick or even Rodrigo Lopez, and he were posting these same numbers at LV, half this board, including yours truly, would be calling for him to be promoted to the big leagues.

has ben sheets signed anywhere yet? the worse that can happen with that transaction is that we lose a draft choice and some $$$

Correct me if I'm wrong, but we wouldn't lose a draft pick for signing Sheets now, because the draft already happened. I'm all for signing Sheets if there's any chance he is healthy.

I believe Sheets is still unsigned.

Cholly: since we've gotten past the draft, Sheets wouldnt even cost draft choices.

Since his name never comes up though, I assume he's not healthy. Otherwise, he'd be a no brainer over a guy like Pedro.

I think the worst thing that can happen is that you sign him, he doesn't play at all AND you lose draft picks.

Let's not let the fact that Sheets can't place a hat on his head or tie his own spikes get in the way of him being a target on Beerleaguer.

What fun would that be?

Apparently, there's been no recent word on Sheets from his agent, Casey Close. Last thing I read on mlbtraderumors said the agent wouldn't even say how Sheets is doing post-op. Doesn't sound like he'll be back this season.

bap: Gose is 18. Most players his age were just drafted or are playing their freshman year in college. He's hitting .260 in his first look at pro pitching. He also has the most stolen bases in the minors, and has the tools (plus-plus speed and plus-plus arm) to be a stud defensive CF.

The weaknesses you note are real. He needs to improve his BB rate and cut his K's, like many young players. But the potential is also real. At the least, he has a chance to stick as a Carlos Gomez-type, a defensive CF who can steal bases. If he can work on the plate discipline, and even a little bit of power comes as he ages, he can certainly be a Victorino-type CF or better. His potential is very high.

You'd think if Sheets was ready to pitch we'd hear about him, since people are still hoping for magic from Pedro Martinez.

From what I can find on Sheets, it is extremely unlikely he'll be able to pitch this season. From the Jeff Wilson of the Dallas Morning News: "Sheets has started range of motions drills, a precursor to throwing a baseball. Judging by where he is in his rehab, it doesn't appear he'll be ready to be effective late in the season."

Jack: I agree with all that. And I admit, Gose is the first guy I look for when I pull up the Lakewood box scores. His base stealing ability alone makes him a good prospect.

I was just trying to dash any unrealistic hopes. Gose is very young, but saying that he just has to improve his strike zone management to become a good player is like saying that someone just has to learn to play the piano and he'll be a good pianist. Strike zone management is the one skill which is most predictive of future major league success. It is also the one skill where Gose is terrible, and the one skill where it's hardest to improve.

So, while I agree that Gose's off-the-charts base stealing ability makes him an exciting prospect, I also think it's far more likely he'll end up as the next Greg Golson than the next Shane Victorino. Unless he decides that being the next Greg Golson isn't good enough, and he decides to try being the next George Sherrill.

Someone noted a few weeks ago that Marquis is a poor 2nd-half pitcher, which is the half that we would be getting.

From Danny Knobler, CBS Sports:

"Phillies people still wonder whether Erik Bedard (if healthy) could be the guy they're looking for. They wonder whether they could make a deal with the Pirates for Paul Maholm, or even Zack Duke. They wonder who else might emerge in a marketplace that so far has featured the not-too-exciting Brad Penny and Jarrod Washburn."

Maholm? Duke? Do we really need another LH starter?

Bubba,

I agree with you the division is playing down, but we have four decent teams, the NL West has LA, decent/mediocre San Fran and maybe Colorado in the mediocre department, then garbage in the last two slots. We can only really call Washington bad in our division.

Bay_Area, Marquis did not put up those numbers in the 1-2 hole, and therefore falls under that Kevin Millwood gray area, where great numbers don't mean #1 starter material. Even so, take the later performances, like the ones that got him run out of St. Louis and Chicago, and tell me he's #1-2 material. I mean, I'd agree with a move if he were replacing Blanton, but the point here is that we need to replace Myers. We need an absolute #1 or 2, otherwise I'd rather keep taking chances with all these talents in our system.

Alby: Beyond that, if I'm the Pirates I want 3 top prospects for those guys. That looks like a match that won't work.

Dobbs at 1st, Howard DH, and Stairs in LF tonight.

Re: Happ's curveball. He stopped throwing it when he went to the bullpen and he hasn't shown it much as a starter. But he showed in the minors last year and it looked decent to me, although not a good as the changeup. As a finesse guy, the more kinds of pitches he can throw to spots, the more successful he will be.

Re: The Happ/Moyer comparison, in a general way it works because both are finesse lefties. But they throw different pitches and, as someone noted, Moyer's heater is 85 while Happ's is 91.

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