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Thursday, July 23, 2009


In re Qualls: If I've seen it once I've seen it a thousand times. Too many good arms in the pen can absolutely ruin a good team.

Donc: Amen brother. Why don't 90% of Blers understand this?

If we can get Marco Scutaro in the Halladay deal, they better do it. But something still tells me Halladay will be a Blue Jay August 1st.

Lee, is my guy. I see his chances of being a Phillie at 40%.

MVP: Your sarcasm meter needs new batteries.

donc: You're being sarcastic, right? And mvptommyd's sarcasm meter is broken, right?

Scutaro > Bruntlett. I would take him in a heartbeat. He'd hardly be a throw in, however.

Does Mathieson get a shot at the rotation next year if he's healthy. He was a pretty highly regarded prospect before 2 TJ surgeries. If hes fully recovered arm wise, he might be a nice piece to keep around.

I recall his first start this year as him sitting 92-95 and hitting 96 mph. I wonder how accurate the numbers are on him. It'd be great to get him back...even in a BP role.

40% of Lee...good luck with that. I love how you just pull crap out of your 4th point of contact.

CJ: Yes and undoubtedly yes.

DonC and CJ: I am serious. WE DON'T NEED ANOTHER BULLPEN ARM. To get Qualls it will cost us 2 prospects. I ask, why do that deal?

Marco Scutaro projects as a Type A free agent right now...HE IS NOT GETTING THROWN INTO ANY DEALS. Where did this rumor start?

You guys are so entertaining here with all your sayings. What, so NEPP I am not allowed to put odds on it?

Any thoughts to Pedro having an opportunity to reinvent himself as a closer?

MVP: My reason is simple. It's the queasy feeling I get any time the Phillies have a slim lead in a ballgame after the 7th inning.

We've dealt for BP arms in the past. Romero, Eyre come to mind. We may not go after Qualls--that's true that he may cost too much--but it's not a stretch to think we might deal for a cheaper option (or get it as part of a SP deal).

How about a multi-team deal? I'd like to see Rube get really creative like the Dodgers did last year except well, Boston, had to trade Manny.

****You guys are so entertaining here with all your sayings. What, so NEPP I am not allowed to put odds on it?****

Do whatever the hell you want just stop hijacking threads with your BS pissing contests and asinine comments. The discussion level is about 100 times better when you're not around.

75% chance Stalin doesn't rise from the dead. PROVE ME WRONG!

****We've dealt for BP arms in the past. Romero, Eyre come to mind****

Romero was a waiver pickup in June I believe. Eyre was a cheap August pickup. Both were scrapheap guys that have turned it around in Phillies uniforms.

NEPP: Toronto son says Ricciardi is going into fire sale mode if they deal Halladay, meaning just about everyone is available. They said they could throw in Scutaro to any deal, but I would think that prospect haul would have to be enormous so I don't see it happening. All these articles just contribute to the madness.

Scutaro=Type A (somehow). You'd have to give up the equivalent of two top picks to get him "thrown in". That would be moronic for a league average SS who'd be riding our bench.

I saw that report on MLBTradeRumors and they'd be idiots to not simply hold onto him and then offer Arbitration and collect the picks. Some team out there will give him a contract.

NEPP: Yep, you're right. I know we still gave up a prospect for Eyre (Schlitter), but forgot how late in the season it was.

Maybe that's the route they take here and wait until we see what we've got with Pedro and Myers before taking action; I'm just hoping we're still atop the division when that happens. I'm not as confident that we've got this thing locked up as some others are.

Teams that go on 10-game winning streaks are just as capable of going on 10-game losing streaks, even good teams like the Phils.

NEPP: If you are Scutaro and look at what happened in last year's FA market, don't you accept arbitration? He'd probably get more money there.

I completely agree with your above comment on the winning streak.

I also think any bullpen help will come in August as a waivers trade. Or if we keep Lopez, he can be moved to the pen in replacement of Durbin. Add Myers into the mix and the BP is not an issue.

*****Re-Post from last thread. Only becasue I worked hard on typing it******

CJ/BAP: I'm not trying to trap you guys here. I'm genuinely curious as to what you expect out of Moyer based on his spot in the rotation.

BAP: I said 4th starter becasue my guess is Moyer would start before Lopez in a playoff game. More becasue Lopez has a track record of coming out of the pen.

CJ: I'm not someone who thinks W/L record is totally useless. It can be depending on how the person using it wants to interpret it.

I checked out all the 4th starters in the league for rotations. There are 3 guys with sub 4.00 ERA's. League wide the 4th starter is 142-156 with a 4.90 ERA. That W/L record roughly equates to 5-5 with a 4.90 ERA.

Moyer is 9-6 with a 5.65 ERA. As I pointed out though in his last 12 he is 6-4 with a 4.43 ERA. Two of those wins were the benefit of big run support. Overall 4 of his 9 wins are the benefit of 5 or more runs support. He receivied ridiculous run support in 3 games (10,11,13) but in those games he has given up 6 runs in 18 IP. That is a 3.00 ERA.

The point I'm making is- Moyer really is about where you would expect a 4th starter to be at this point. his ERA is high but that is because he was downright awful in 2 straight starts in May. Without those 2 starts his ERA is 4.80 on the year which would be below the league average at that spot.

It's easy to look at his ERA and say, "Bad pitcher, he's cooked," but when you dig a little deeper into the numbers you see that what you're getting from him is pretty close to what the league average is.

You mean Hall of Fame 2B Joe Stalin of the Moscow Reds?
His daughter went to Stamford, right?

Great post JW. Mathieson returning to achieve major league success would be a great story. They should leave him in relief for 3 reasons: his stuff profiles well as a reliever, they have good organizational depth at starter (but could use some cheaper relief options to replace Eyre, Park, and Durbin next year), and hopefully it would be easier on his arm to only pitch an inning or two at a time.

The real question about Moyer isn't "is he cooked?" but "can we do better?". His league avg-ness for a 4th starter is great, but if we can do better, he ought to be replaced. If we can't, then he should stay.

Didn't Matheison originally come up as a reliever and then they moved him to the rotation?

Also I recall him being primarily a fastball pitcher, with good movement, and secondary pitches that were works in progress. Projects real well as a bullpen arm next year I would think. Maybe in the Durbin/Park role to start if they can get him stretched out.

****NEPP: If you are Scutaro and look at what happened in last year's FA market, don't you accept arbitration? He'd probably get more money there.****

Maybe, he's only making $1.9 million this year so his arbitration award probably wouldn't be that high. He might want a multi-year deal at this point since it might be his only real chance to ever get one.

Bubba, I thought it was Vassar, but I've been wrong before.

I've always thought throwing out someone's worst starts (i.e. throwing out Moyer's two worst starts to say his ERA would be 4.80) is wrong unless you also throw out his two best starts to even things out.

Part of the problem with Moyer this year is that the casual fan sees that ERA of +5 and would never think to compare it to the league average of #4 starters throughout the league. The casual fan is more likely to simply BOO him come a five inning five run game. Also the casual fan is going to remember that Moyer really pushed for more money this year, yet his performance is subpar compared to last year. Casual fans don’t seem to like seeing someone get a large raise and then under performing (this seems to be some of the angst with Howard and certain fans).

I think you also can't necessarily compare Moyer to the average performance of other 4th starters because of the Phils overall payroll is well above average. Regardless of the sunk costs with Eaton/Jenkins/Thome. It just seems to the casual fan this guy Moyer is really getting paid a lot and is performing like one of the worst starters in the league.

Here's something from the Buster Olney piece posted on the last thread that bothers me a little bit:
"There are at least a couple of folks within the Phillies' organization who privately argue that there is no need for the Phillies to get Halladay, that the team's success last year is something that the team can ride for awhile. Even without Halladay, one executive argues, these Phillies are good enough to contend for a title in 2009, and this is accurate."

Last year's success is something that the team can ride for a while. Really? Wow.

My question is why play? Why play if the objective isn't to win it all? I thought we were over this "just be competitive" BS.

I realize I'm contradicting myself a bit here because personally I am worried about the Phillies overpaying for Halladay in a trade. However, that isn't to say I don't want Halladay or that I don't see a need for more SP help. It's only because I worry about the Phils making a bad deal. I absolutely want to win and win now, so long as we are this close and the door remains open. It's disturbing to read this sort of thing about the FO, even though we've heard it for years.

I guess I just thought we'd turned a corner last season.

"Teams that go on 10-game winning streaks are just as capable of going on 10-game losing streaks, even good teams like the Phils. "

Actually, I don't think this has ever happened. It's crazy to say that 10 game winning streaks are just as likely as 10 game losing streaks. Face it: this is a very good baseball team, given their success in 2007, their WS win last year, and their record in 2009. They chances of the Phillies losing 10 in a row are somewhere between omicron and epsilon, whereas the chances of them winning 10 in a row again are small but conceivable.

"If you are Scutaro and look at what happened in last year's FA market, don't you accept arbitration? He'd probably get more money there."

This is a great point, JBird. At first I thought it was another Jon Heyman report when I heard Scutaro could just be thrown into a deal, but it actually makes some sense. From the Jays prospective they risk overpaying for this guy through arbitration and they are currently trying to slash payroll dramatically. Like you said, the economy is going to cause Scutaro to be cautious and look to lock down the certain money. Last year's FA SS class couldnt even find a home until spring training and that involved begging.

Spitz: You don't think a team as streaky as the Phils could go on an extended losing streak? They did last year. 6 games was their high, I think. So 10-games was a bit of an exaggeration, but it's not out of the realm of possibility.

Many playoff teams often experience a few 5 or 6 game losing streaks per season as well as 1 or 2 6+ game hot streaks. It shows that they are capable of getting really hot for long stretches--essential to a long playoff run--but equally capable of going ice cold (Rockies 2007).

RIPPP: I didn't throw out any of Moyer's numbers. Just presented a way different views of his numbers. When you get down to it he is 9-7 with a 5.65 ERA which I did mention.

Also, I would argue if you are here there is a better than avrage chance you are not a casual fan. BAP isn't. I haven't engaged conversation with CJ a lot, but I'd assume he isn't.

And if a casual fan wants to complain about a guy using a good year to angle for a pay raise, when they would do the same thing, then they are hypocrites.

The Truth Injection: I'm not concerned with where Moyer ranks with other 4th starters... especially considering there are plenty of bad teams out there employing plenty of terrible starters.

I do NOT buy into the theory that Moyer is getting better.

First 7 starts: 8.15 ERA
Next 5 starts: 3.77 ERA
Last 7 starts: 4.91 ERA

Moyer had a nice little stretch in there. And he's sprinkled in a good start here or there. But by and large, Moyer has been a bad pitcher this year.

If Moyer could start against the Marlins or the Nationals every time, I'd say leave him in the rotation. But the rest of the National League has feasted on his stuff.

We can do better, and that should be the only consideration.

doubleh - Your really surprised by that comment about "riding the WS victory for while" in the Olney piece?

RIPPP - Because if you match up Moyer's stats this year with any starter in the NL he generally ranks among the worst ones. It is not a common fan perception.

While some are starting to make the " starting pitching depth" comments again, they largely win hollow. The Phils don't know if Lopez will hold up or what Pedro will give them.

Good or bad, Moyer is likely going to stay in the rotation for the remainder of the year. The only question is if the Phils do acquire another starter who is a clear upgrade.

Moyer might get pulled from the rotation but I would be willing to bet he stays in the rotation for the remainder of the season.

MG: Yes, but I'm actually probably now more surprised that I was surprised by it. I just thought the saw the light. If they thought 1 WS championship was nice, you'd think they'd like to see how it could be topped.


I will repeat what I have been saying re: Riccardi. He's in fire sale mode NOW--- which INCLUDES trading Halladay.. His clock ticks as fast as everyone else when he sees that the demand for Halladay will wane some as we apprroach the 31st.. PLUS Teams who are suitors now won't pay anywhere near the same price for him in the winter due to economy,no immediate need, and prhibitive cost of signing Halladay to an extension. Riccardi has nowhere near the hammer he says he has.I actually laughed at the July 28 ultimatum, ironically showing his hand as weak.

Pedro came to Philly to start. There's no way that 7th inning reliver was on his radar (no matter what he says in public) with his ego. Moyer and Lopez have 2 start auditions to prove who should stay in the rotation when Pedro is ready (assuming he doesn't blow up in his 2 minor league starts).

HH: Thanks for bringing that up. I meant to comment on that during the last thread but got interupted with work. That is disturbing and I'd kind of been keeping my eye out for signs of complacency in the FO. With the way they have spent money in the ensuing months I'd have to say it hasn't been a problem. If they stop spending at this point it may be. As some have pointed out, you can no longer accuse them of being cheap. But in the Olney piece posted earlier, I thought the most relevant points made were about legacy. We have a chance to do what the Red Sox have done. We've all already noticed an increase in Phillies colors in enemy ballparks. Some are fair weather Phillies fans. But I'm sure the reigning WS champs have a lot of new fans now too. Win another WS or two in short order and you could really raise your national profile. I think that is reason enough to do everything possible at this point. Ownership has to realize the windfall they have realized is because of the championship. Winning pays big time.

CJ: Again the numbers don't tell the full story. When you look closer it is not as bad as it is at first glance.

Against Fla/Wash Moyer owns a 2.90 ERA
Against the AL he has a 5.82 ERA
Against the rest of the NL he has a 7.11 ERA- largely due to 2 very awful starts. Within those 11 games he was really good against the Mets twice, the Reds (a game he lost) and the Dodgers (a no decision)

I still say- focusing on his numbers is the wrong argument. If we were discussing the money being paid him, I'd understand the argument more. There are reasons he has the contract he does but it is a debatable point. Just referring to him as being "washed up," and citing his ERA is a bad argument when you go for a closer look.

Pedro's contract includes per appearance incentives. I think its $75K through the first 6 or so appearences, and then that jumps to $125K per appearance after that. Does anyone know if an appearance only counts if it is a start? If not, I think Pedro is incented to work out of the pen.

HH, in response to your question above - yes, I expect the Phils to go on a 5 or 6 game losing streak. As you already stated, that is very different than a 10 game losing streak. And I don't think a 5 or 6 game losing streak will allow the Braves or Marlins to overtake the Phils. This division stinks - the Braves are on a run right now because the Giants have a AA offense. Phils will have a comfortable lead for the rest of the season.

hh: Maybe you're misinterpreting that "ride out" comment. You're interpreting it to mean that some in the organization think they can ride out the good will they earned from winning it all last year. Maybe what Olney meant is that some in the organization believe they can ride with the guys that won in for them last year. Then again, Olney makes his living by being a writer. You would think he would know how to be precise. Precisely construed, your interpretation is the correct one.

I would agree that, if they want to punt away the season, and ride out the good will earned by the WS victory, that is an utterly despicable sentiment. If the Phillies choose not to make a Halladay trade out of concern over giving too much, that's a baseball decision and that's fine. If they choose not to make a Halladay trade because they feel they're already playing with house money after winning it last year, that would be a business/PR decision and that is NOT fine.

Truth - That is an odd way to support point point about Moyer. With the exception of 4 starts against Nats/Fish, he is getting hammered. As for his other numbers, they have all clearly slipped this year.

Doesn't mean that Moyer is all of a sudden washed up but he isn't a guy I want to see starting a playoff game this year either.

I don't see Lee here. Assuming Moyer and Happ stay in the rotation you'll have 4 southpaws. Beware of assumptions.

b_a_p: I agree 100% with everything you say, and I really do hope I am misinterpreting it.

A team that has only won 2 WS championships in 126 years does not have the luxury of making such PR/business decisions. They are not the Yankees. Even so, I can not imagine anything even resembling a statement like that coming out of a Steinbrenner's mouth.

The acid test in my opinion is do you have confidence when a certain pitcher takes the mound. In Jamie Moyer's case, at this point, the answer for me is no. That may not be unanimous, but I'm sure it's close. If someone else comes along with a better chance of winning, we should go with him. Pedro? Halladay? Doesn't matter. At this point I do have a level of confidence in the rest of our starters. Hamels is shaky these days, but I fully expect him to pitch well every time out. And Lopez has only started 3 games but so far I like what I see. I'll root like hell for Moyer and I'm not sure he's cooked. But right now he's our least reliable starter IMO.

Truth Injection: But the numbers do support that Moyer should be replaced.

His WHIP is currently his second worst in the last 9 years, just a tick behind what it was in 2007.

He's giving up more hits per 9 innings than he has since 1991.

He's allowing the second most HR per 9 innings of his career.

He's already hit 7 batters this year putting him on pace for a career high.

His batting average against is the highest it's been since 1991.

His slugging against is a whopping .506, thie highest in his career.

His only saving grace right now is that his walk rate is better than it's been his past two years.

I guess what I was trying to imply by the whole casual fan stuff back in my post was that sometimes baseball, and more specifically baseball related stats and analytics can lend itself to over thinking, data mining, and questionable logical statements related to causation. In Moyer's case, I think the casual fan looks at how he pitched this year and quickly comes to the conclusion that Moyer is not a very good starter, and in fact, a very bad starting pitcher. And sometimes it is that simple.

I think we just need to let Jamie pitch the last 2 months of his career in peace. Every other start expect to lose. Then come October he is done and we go forward towards our 2nd straight World Series. Doesn't that sound reasonable? If you still disagree and think we don't have the division wrapped up, see the numbers I calculated from the previous thread.

In order for the Phillies to LOSE the division. Say the Phillies play .500 the rest of the way( which won't happen)....

Braves need to go 40-27

Malins need to go 40-26

Mets need to go 45-23

In conclusion, I am not worried about the Division.

I'm getting sick of reading about Ricciardi. I think he's enjoying his month in the sunlight, as he knows his career is toast. I have a bad feeling that he's going to queer the deal and Halladay goes somewhere else. As much as I'd hate to admit it, I think I agree with (it's tough to type) mvptommyd. I think we'll get Cliff Lee in a cheaper deal.

Lake Fred: Yes, finally someone seeing the light. By this time next week, hopefully many others open their eyes and see what Ricciardi is doing.

CJ: Our number 1 starter is 5-5, 4.72

Can we do better?

Smoky: "Question for Clout, Denny B, or anyone else on BL who is knowledgable on the Phillies farm system, and scouting in general.

It seems as if Toronto is going to be "exchanging names" shortly. What if they love Drabek to the point that they value him significantly more than other Phillie prospects. What if they gave Philly two choices: Choice 1 would be something like Drabek, Donald, Marson, but Choice 2 would be Carrasco, Knapp, Taylor, Marson, meaning we would have to maybe pay more in total to keep Drabek. Which would be the better deal for Philly? Is such a scenario ridiculous?"

I don't think that's a ridiculous scenario at all. I'd do choice one in a nano-second.

Tommy, what LF is saying is that Halladay will be moved, just not to Philly. You say he won't be moved at all.

I agree he probably won't come to Philly, but I think he will be moved.

I just hope you're both right and we add another SP and don't just ride out the "good will from 2008".

Lake Fred: Ricciardi is becoming quite annoying. It seems each hour there is a new stipulation, which is then changed, and then no longer there, and then another stipulation.

It is getting to the point where I am ready for the 31st to come and go and just see if the Phillies do anything, and evaluate it then.

Also, what do you guys think it would take for Lee? I am not his biggest fan, and would not give up Drabek for sure. Don't know if I'd give up Brown or Taylor either, so in that case I guess my opinion would be do it if the cost is cheap, but not giving away one of the top 3 prospects.

doubleH: Your right. Just glancing through it looked like he said not at all. Well yes, I am still going with Halladay in Toronto come August 1st.

But I also think Lee has a better chance of coming here than Halladay.

The problem is, you have a million different sports writers attacking the Halladay rumors from so many different angles trying to out-scoop everyone else.

DoubleH: What if on August 1st, we have Lee and an upgraded RH bat. But no bullpen arms. Would you be happy with that?

If Rosenthal is to be believed, sounds like the Rays are moving in on Cliff Lee.

mvptommyd: Yes. Lopez or someone else could pitch out of the pen if need be. Moyer's not going there; he would be a disaster in the pen, I think.

We could wait until the August waiver wire to try to pick up a BP arm then if need be.

Bed Beard: And a million different posters on blogs.

I think from the beginning Ricciardi wasn't thrilled with trading Halladay but at the same time wanted to generate interest in his club and bring his career back to life. Now, the time is almost here and he is trying to back himself out of a corner he painted himself into. So he set all these deadlines. Now he is saying he is going to start "exchanging names". What does that even mean? GM's have been negotiating with him for 3 weeks I thought? I am telling you come the 28th, he is going to extend the deadline to the 31st. Then the 31st at the stroke of midnight, he is going to say "it was close, but not good enough". Then 5 weeks of our lives will have been wasted debating this topic.

I agree with Truth to this extent: it's really not about Moyer's numbers. If it were, then Hamels would be the next guy on the chopping block after Moyer -- and I think it's fair to say there's no one who would argue that that should be the case.

Moyer's numbers matter only insofar as you think they're predictive of his performance for the rest of 2009. It is here that we run into considerable differences in interpretation. Most would probably agree that, if he's trending upward, it's a good sign. But does this mean that his early season miseries have ZERO predictive value? Those miseries happened, so they could certainly happen again. And exactly how many games constitute a trend? As CJ and clout have shown in their competing arguments, Moyer may or may not be trending upward, depending upon where you decide to place the cut-off line (this is why full-season stats tend to be more meaningful). And what to make of his age? clout treats it like it's a totally irrelevant point. I would argue that it's the single MOST relevant point, because it gives us a background context in which to interpret his overall numbers. Since no non-kunckleballer has ever succeeded at this age, it seems to me that Moyer's overall bad stat line is far more likely to be age-related than slump-related. If it's age-related, it isn't likely to improve in the next 2 1/2 months.

yes, his name is Roy Halladay

doubleH: With you 100%. Moyer would be a disaster in the pen. Lopez,Pedro or Bastardo in the pen. Then if need be in August get a guy off the wire. That is EXACTLY how you obtain relief pitching for playoff time. NOT by trading 2 prospects for a guy.

I don't buy this conspiracy theory that Halladay is only on the market to "draw interest" in the Blue Jays and bring Ricciardi's "career back to life". That doesn't even make sense.

The BJ's are actively scouting the Phillies and the Phillies are actively scouting the Jays. What corner is Ricciardi backed into?

If (big if)Halladay is acquired without Happ as part of a deal, who gets bumped from the rotation? Or will there be a six man show?

Dave: Then let's go get him.

Bed Beard: Because now he adding all sorts of stipulations, rules and deadlines. If he wanted to trade the guy, just trade him. Also, now the fans are angry. If he trades Halladay he is basically resigning as Blue Jays GM.

vegas: Who knows, but can you imagine the host of BL threads we could have if that happened?!?

I'm salivating just thinking about it.

Then again, I probably wouldn't be around to post because I'd be dead from the shock of the Phils making a blockbuster trade.

Vegas: Not going to happen. Blue Jays want a MLB ready pitcher as part of the package.

doubleH: Well you may be in shock but because of a different name other than Halladay.

Our BIG deadline deal = Bruntlett for Scutaro :)

You will now have 6 when Pedro is ready to pitch

hh-Good decisions to have. They have been looking at Halladay for years now, I think it will get done and there are no "untouchables."

Trade Pedro back to the Mets for a bag of Jolly Ranchers

Kirk- There are very few "Jolly" Ranchers available in Mets Land.

Some news and notes from the day

- Cards and A's discussing a deal for Matt Holliday

- Hank Blalock on the block

- Victor Martinez and Cliff Lee both on the block

- Rays put Kazmir on the block

We should sign Victor Zambrano and offer him to the Rays for Kazmir...

I saw that the Cards may trade Wallace for Holliday. That doesn't seem like a very smart move for them for a 2 month rental of Holliday. Wallace was a player I really liked in last year's draft and he has hit pretty well this year.

To break up the trade talk a bit, anyone think Chase gets a day off today? He seemed a bit tired yesterday, and I would like to see him rest and be ready for the Cards series.

Brad C: I agree. The only thing I say is. Can you tolerate watching Bruntlett at 2nd for 9 innings?

The Jolly Ranchers in NY are on the DL.

BAP: See, now we are getting somewhere in this debate about Moyer.

Brad C: I hope so. Hamels going against a Padres team that flew cross country last night? Phils should win this one in a walk even w/o Chase. Maybe Bruntless can even get a hit!

Paul Hagan reporting that the Kendrick for Willingham deal may still have smoke to it.

Spitz: Only if he uses a tee.


1) Replacing Moyer, who's worse than Hamels by just about any measure you can invent, is a bigger priority. Moyer is our worst starter, and any starter we bring in would bump him from the rotation.

2) I actually am advocating replacing Hamels as our ace. I want to trade for Roy Halladay.

Would BLers be in favor of including Drabek in the deal for Halladay if Scutaro and Bruntlett are included? ie. Carrasco, Donald, Drabek, Bruntlett for Halladay and Scutaro?


You would put Marson in this trade? With our catching situation. We should try to push d'Arnaud, not Marson.

Interesting stuff from Jayson Stark today:

*A Phillies source told Rumblings you can forget that talk that the Phillies might be less motivated to deal for Roy Halladay because they're running away with the NL East. If anything, he said, the Phillies are now even more motivated. "The focus is not just to get there [to the postseason]," he said. "It's to get there and keep going. Making the playoffs is not the goal. To win the whole thing is the goal."

*Meanwhile, as hard as the Phillies are working to pull off this deal, they also appear to be doing everything they can to make it without including either their top pitching prospect, Kyle Drabek, or J.A. Happ, who is currently 7-0 in the big leagues and has become their most dependable starter.

One rival GM we surveyed said if the Phillies have to deal one of those two, it should be Drabek, because there's almost no recent precedent for teams winning after subtracting a significant player from their big league mix to make a major trade.

"If you're a team that's good enough to be in the race, you never want to deplete what you've got," the GM said. "If you're looking for a building block, you can't move one building block out and bring another one in. The idea is to add that block to the group, not take one out of the group."

*Another big decision the Phillies may have to make is which of their highly touted outfield prospects -- Michael Taylor (currently in Triple-A) or Dominic Brown (on the DL in the Florida State League) -- to include in a Halladay deal. One scout who has seen a lot of the Phillies' minor league system says all the people who think Taylor is the more expendable player aren't paying attention.

"I like him better than Dominic Brown, to be honest," the scout said. "I just think you have a lot of guys who will never change their opinion because he wasn't a high pick. But this guy can hit. He can run. The ball jumps off his bat. He's got good bat speed. He's not a dead-pull hitter. He hits gap to gap. You can't throw the fastball by him. He stays on the breaking ball and drives it to right-center. He can throw. He's not a bad outfielder at all. And he plays hard. There's nothing not to like about this guy."

*George Sherrill: Clubs that don't want to add the money are being asked for a "premium" prospect, plus at least two other young players, the official said. But teams willing to assume the salary are being asked for one less player.

The list of clubs still showing some level of interest in Sherrill is now believed to include the Tigers, Angels, Dodgers, Phillies, Rockies, Cubs, Marlins and Brewers.

*While the Phillies stalk Roy Halladay, they haven't ignored their season-long hunt for a versatile right-handed bat off the bench. They were in on Scott Hairston before the Padres dealt him to Oakland, and we've heard they made another run at him after he arrived in Oakland. They haven't given up on Ryan Spilborghs, even though Colorado has shown no recent interest in trading him. And Detroit's Ryan Raburn has been on their radar screen since spring training.

*On J.A. Happ: "This guy has to be the most underrated pitcher in the National League. He's pitching his tail off. He's got the ability to hide the ball and create deception. And he pitches vertical. So even if you're looking fastball, the ball is on you fast. And you see some pretty weak hacks."

A second take on Happ: "I've really upped him on my reports. I used to have him as a No. 4 starter, kind of a poor man's Andy Pettitte. Now I think he's a No. 3. I think he's become Andy Pettitte -- and he's actually pitching better than the Andy Pettitte who's pitching for the Yankees."

Am I the only one who can't see comments right now?


why does every other team have at least four pitchers on their staff that can throw mid to high 90's? and we get excited when madsen hits 96!!

Durbin and Romero have been placed on the DL


I had no idea Romero was hurting?

/tired of Halladay talk and posters making personal attacks at each other.

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EST. 2005

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