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Saturday, December 19, 2009

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As averse as I generally am to signing old players, there is only one guy on that list who we know has good control & there's only one guy on that list who has the ability to miss a lot of bats. Among the trio of MacDougal, Smoltz & Rodney, Smoltz is, by far, the best choice. So long as he pitches strictly in relief, he might well be the best choice of anyone left on the FA market.

If they can somehow convince Park to come back by telling him that he'll be in the mix for the 5th starter job because of Moyer's uncertn health and also sign MacDougal, they'll be fine.

Eyre is nice, but not essential

clout:

From last thread... I'm hopeful that Moyer has a great year, but he's "Washed Up" (tm), so it's going to be awful tough.

surfing stats while procrastinating studying for exams and came across this:

your major league leader in runs created off the slider...

Ryan Howard - 16.3 runs created over average off sliders.

how is that possible? I wish I could sort this to specifically "LH pitchers throwing sliders" and see what it looks like then

Assuming Romero returns healthy, Eyre is unnecessary. But I'm not sure we can assume Romero is healthy, so I suppose that's why there's a minor league offer to Eyre.

I'm guessing the Phils feel they'll be just fine with Bastardo or Escalona from the left side if need be... what ever happened to Zagurski?

"Even with his walks, who would you rather have pitching the 9th inning right now, MacDougal or Ryan Madson, knowing Madson's track record in save situations?"

Ryan Madson. He's five times the pitcher MacDougal is.

I'd be fine with signing MacDougal on a minor league deal, but no more than that. I'd much prefer to take fliers on guys like Brendan Donnelly, Joaquin Benoit, and Russ Springer -- they may not have "closing experience," but they've each been vastly better than MacDougal over the course of their careers.

How are we strapped? I thought there was $10-15 million left to go get to the $140 million cap prior to the Lee-Halladay swap? The $6 million back on the Halladay trade means that that deal only subtracted $750,000 from the that number. So, even if RAJ is playing it safe and keeping $5 million in reserve for the season, that still would mean that he has $4.25-9.25 million to play with. Right?

BAP~

This is what happens when you have a self-imposed salary cap. All of the decent relievers are gone and now we have to choose from what's left which isn't much or go with the young guys. Either way we might be in trouble.

You know, some of the criticism I get on this site is unfounded as a lot of what I post makes sense. I knew this would happen. You could see that the probelems we now have 'pen were coming as RAJ did not adress the issue.

The Halladay and Lee deals could have waited. As we all knew and now know, this is the only team that Doc wanted to come to.RAJ should have taken care of all of the clubs' major needs first. RAJ did things backwards, and he paid a high price doing it.

Now there's very little money left. And they've got a lot of b---s to offer Eyre only a minor league deal. Did they really think he would've accepted that?

The only real options left to me are Smoltz (43) and Mc Dougal (hard-trhower, capable of closing, but wild). Rodney (same as Mc Dougal, but more expensive) is probably the last option.

"Bullpen is such a crapshoot, and if he's half the cost, why not roll the dice?"

Agree completely. Although I'm sorry to note the possibility that Amaro's interest in McDougal is being driven by the same notion underlying his interest in Rodney--that a save count is necessarily a mark of goodness. If it happens to lead to the correct outcome in this case, so be it, but, nevertheless--it's frightful to think that our front office still places significant value on bland counting stats. Not a mindset conducive to long-term success.

MPN- how much remains in the budget needs to account for the arbitration raises coming for some players.

TNA: Yes, those raises have been incorporated into those budgetary assumptions by Martino, Murphy, Zolecki, Lauber, etc.

CJ, Zagurski? Hmmm, I haven't heard that name in a while. Are there any updates on him?

The FO knows the condition of Eyre's arm better than anyone. From what we've heard, he couldn't even raise his arm to his shoulder or straighten it during hte playoffs. They also have the medical reports from the surgery.

I'd trust they know what they're doing here.

MPN, the estimated payroll (after the arbitrations) is around $135-136 million right now. I'd guess we have closer to $5 million left at this point...at best.

We're at $118 million before arbitration

Arb guesses:

Blanton - $8 million
Vic - $5-6 million
Durbin - $2 million
Ruis - $1.5 million
Total - $17.5 million

We also will be renewing:

Happ - $450K
Francisco - $450K
Bastardo - $400K
Kendrick - $500K
Mathieson - $400K (if he makes the team)
Total - $2.1 million (estimate)

That actually puts us at $137 Million in committed payroll.

Maybe another reliever but we're tapped out if $140 is a hard cap.

"Even with his walks, who would you rather have pitching the 9th inning right now, MacDougal or Ryan Madson, knowing Madson's track record in save situations?"

Beerleaguers are still convinced that Madson's "stuff" = an ability to pitch effectively in the closing role that he has NOT, despite several opportunities in which to do so, displayed. Either the Phillies (a) sign a possible Lidge replacement, or (b) should Lidge remain injured &/or just plain bad, they will flail around scouring the active roster for a replacement, sending the entire bullpen into disarray in the process (see: 2009).

NEPP: That spreadsheet has Halladay's number at $15.75 million, not the $9.75 million that it is with the $6 million back in the trade.

Winners don't go after garbage like McDougal. The inignity alone of sniffing around after the leavings of the worst team and the worst pitching staff in the National League is enough to make me sick. Long as we're shooting crap, I'd rather do it with with Mathieson or Escalona.

****NEPP: That spreadsheet has Halladay's number at $15.75 million, not the $9.75 million that it is with the $6 million back in the trade. 8***

The spreadsheet also subtracts $6 million for the money returned in the deal...(look at the bottom where it lists that along with commitments to guys no longer here).

Mea culpa, the minus $6 million is in the spreadsheet. My bad.

Yeah, we're a lot closer than I realized to the cap as well. Kinda crappy.

****Winners don't go after garbage like McDougal. The inignity alone of sniffing around after the leavings of the worst team and the worst pitching staff in the National League is enough to make me sick. ****

You could have said the exact same thing about Chad Durbin in the 2007 off-season...that worked out pretty well in 2008.

NEPP: I'm not sure if those numbers for Eaton and Jenkins carry over to this year. They may have been paid out at the time of their releases, but who knows.

Its possible...Cots is usually pretty accurate though.

For what its worth, its not my spreadsheet...however http://mlbcontracts.blogspot.com/

is usually pretty good on stuff like that.

One note I noticed: It still had Moyer at $6.5 million but we know he reached several incentives and will actually make $8 million in 2010.

DPatrone: Now you're faulting Amaro for getting Halladay to soon?

To=too

When amaro jumps on someone like Placido or a bench player people say he set the market and didn't wait it out. If he waits it out and tries to find value then they complain that they don't like the options that are left.

Rube can't win.

Hope we sign one of the 4 guys mentioned and they end up pitching well. And one more value village flier. And also that one or two young guys step it up.

Looks like the pen will be a crap shoot. But that is the case with most teams.

the BP is always a crapshoot. Its not as if we had this dominating pen going into 2008.

Lidge was coming off knee surgery and some very up and down years in Houston.
Madson wasn't a 97 mph fastball guy, he was our 7th inning middle reliever.
Romero was one year removed from being outright released by the BoSox for wildness. Yeah he had a few good months with us in 07 but he was hardly a "sure thing"
Durbin was a failed starter who we thought might be an okay mopup/emergency starter


Bullpens are always a crapshoot. Its ridiculous to think otherwise.

Honestly though, a good bullpen stems from a good pitching staff. If your starters go deep into games (like ours did in 2008), the bullpen stays fresh and pitches well usually. If you get a lot of 4 and 5 inning outings, guys get overworked and are burnt out by July. If Halladay, Hamels and Blanton all carry their load like they are capable of, I'll bet our BP will be pretty solid. If Lidge bounces back (like he is capable of), then we could be in great shape. If not, it won't matter as we won't be doing anything anyway.

The bullpen may be a crapshoot but, even in craps, some bets are a lot better than others. Betting on MacDougal would be like betting on snake eyes: if you hit, it will pay off nicely, but the odds of your hitting are very slim.

I thought the idea was to upgrade the bullpen looks kind of the same to me.

Shaping up as a real nail biting year, we're hoping Hamels, Lidge, Rollins, and JC are better. Is this too much to hope for?

"Beerleaguers are still convinced that Madson's 'stuff' = an ability to pitch effectively in the closing role that he has NOT, despite several opportunities in which to do so, displayed."

I'm not saying I'd feel 100% confident if Madson took over as closer, but surely you can't think he has no chance to ever be an effective closer because of a couple of rough outings in the role? You'd really weigh Madson's small sample size struggles more heavily than MacDougal's suckitude over the last 3 years (91 ERA+, 6.7 K/9, 6.6 BB/9, 1.77 WHIP)?

CJ: "I'm guessing the Phils feel they'll be just fine with Bastardo or Escalona from the left side if need be."

What could possibly go wrong? Two rookie pitchers with command issues who've never spent a full season in the big leagues. Sounds pretty solid to me. Sharp observation, CJ.

CJ & awh: Zagurski spent the whole year in Reading this year. Threw 53 innings, struck out 63, surrendered 42 hits and walked 27. Command's the last thing to return after TJ, so he'll get a bump to Lehigh Valley this year to see if he can make progress on that front. It's not out of the question that he could help the bullpen in a second lefty role if he pitches well and some injuries befall the Phils.

clout: I suppose they could go with a near-50 year old with an ERA near 5. I'm sure that would be your preference.

I'm looking at Cotts' list of FAs, and, even if you exclude all the Type As, it still seems to me that there are plenty of decent relievers on the list. Many of them look a lot better to me than MacDougal or even Rodney. To name a few: Jason Isringhausen, Matt Herges, Bobby Howry, Kiko Calero, Claudio Vargas, and (if he's willing to pitch relief) Braden Looper.

On top of that, I always think it's worth looking at the list of starters to see which guys might be able and willing to pitch relief. Generally, you'd be talking about guys who might still have decent stuff, but who are at the end of their careers or have had injury issues. Jason Schmidt, for example, has talked retirement. Might he be willing to try a relief role as an alternative? What about Odalis Perez? Or Bartolo Colon? Or Jose Contreras? Since starters usually have better command, and a better all-around repertoire, than relievers, I've always tended to think that failed, or washed up, starters can still be very good bullpen candidates. If the Phillies are really focused on the trio of Smoltz, Rodney & MacDougal, they would do well to expand their gaze a bit.

Bastardo has playoff experience...he's a post-season veteran.


On Moyer, they say that 47 is the new 45 when it comes to LHP.

awh: Zagurski rehabbed at Reading last year after losing a full season to Tommy John surgery. He had an impressive 10.3 K/9 in 53 IP, which suggests he didn't lose his slider, which is his best pitch. His fastball is just average. His walk rate at Reading, however, was a full walk-per-9 above his career number.

He turns 27 next month so he's no longer a real prospect but because he's a lefty, he'll get chances. He needs to start the season at LV and spend at least 3 months there. He was never a hot prospect (except on Beerleaguer) although he might've made the bottom of BA's Top 30 Phils prospects list a time or two.

I'd say 2010 will be the year in which he either shows he can be a decent LOOGY and gets called up in July or goes the Zach Segovia route.

CJ: Actually, Moyer pitched well in relief last year and & is still pretty tough on left-handers. Plus his slow stuff tends to work better when the opposing hitters have spent the last 6 or 7 innings looking at 90 MPH pitches. He's not a classic LOOGY, since he can pitch to more than 1 batter, but he could very easily be the 2nd lefty out of the pen next year. In fact, he's probably a safer bet for the role than either Bastardo or Escalona.

Of course, $8M is a lot to spend on your 4th or 5th reliever, but that $8M is already a sunk cost, so it's neither here nor there.

Rob: I'm very confident Hamels and Rollins return to form this season. Very.
Lidge won't return to 2008 form, but he will be much improved and reliable.
JC is an unknown.

I would be completely happy going into 2010 with the following BP:

CP - Lidge
SU - Madson (RH)
SU - Romero (LH)
RHP - Mathieson
LRP - Bastardo
RP - Kendrick/Moyer (whoever doesn't make the rotation)
RHP - Durbin
Bargain basement reliever - whoever Rube signs.

There is no reason to rush another signing at this point. Let the market set, see who's still standing when the music stops and get a great bargain.

Personally, I'm surprised we jumped on guys like Castro and Gload so quickly. Wouldn't someone like Ryan Church look a hell of a lot better than Gload coming off the bench? Or any of the other non-tenders. There will be plenty of guys left wanting jobs come February/March.

BB~

I'm not faulting for getting Doc at all. But RAJ had a bigger need in fixing the 'pen, which he has yet do. He had Lee at the top of the rotation. He knew that Doc's first (and probably only) choice was Philly, as he had a FNTC.

He probably wanted to get Doc's contract ( and cost certainty) out of the way. But by doing that now, he doesn't have much available on the market for the bp.

The Phils could have gotten creative by trying to defer a small portion of Doc's or Moyer's salary to free up some $$, but it their policy not to defer money. So while the rest of the team looks very good, the 'pen still needs upgrading. I believe he was so intent on getting Doc that the 'pen was neglected. Yes, players want to come to a championship-caliper team, but most players won't take less money to do so.

Also, what are they gonna do about Werth? I read where and extension for him doesn't look likely. I know they project Dom Brown as a corner Of'der but I think he's a LH hitter. I don't know if he'll ready by '11 because truthfully I've never seen him play.

Now I did see Howard play here in Richmond before they called him up. Richmond no longer has a AAA team but a AA team in the Easten league so hopfully I'll get to see Reading this summer.

So the dilemas continue for Amaro. Are you going to be happy with Bastardo and or Escalona in the 'pen? I know I won't be. But it may be that way.

Its Dec 19th...Rube has PLENTY of time to find a couple of BP pieces. There is no reason to go nuts spending for BP pieces.

bap: My response to clout was a joke.

You see, he can't seem to differentiate between what I personally believe is best for this team and I what I guess the team will actually do.

But I'm used to it by now.

DPatrone: I don't think the Phils can defer any money in a contract that's already signed.

And there's virtually zero chance of both Bastardo and Escalona being in the pen, barring injury. I wouldn't be surprised if one of them was there, however.

Sorry, have to do it. Last time. From Bill Simmons weekly column on espn.com:

GREAT CALL OF THE WEEK
The Mariners just made a trade this week so ridiculously one-sided for them that I had to turn this space over to the biggest M's fan I know, David Schoenfield:

"As a Mariners fan, we've had three only things worth watching in recent seasons: Ichiro beating out infield dribblers, King Felix waiting to harness his talent and Franklin Gutierrez running down fly balls (he played the best center field I've ever seen in 2009, and we've had Ken Griffey Jr. and Mike Cameron out there). Well, watching Yuniesky Betancourt play shortstop was exciting in a bad way. But while the M's won 85 games last year, we knew they were playing a bit over their heads. So you can imagine our reaction when Seattle acquired Cliff Lee. Wait, we have two aces now? And we only gave up a reliever with a 5.09 ERA in Double-A, a Class A pitcher with a 5.12 ERA and an outfielder who hit nine home runs at High Desert? OK, there is a chance one of Phillipe Aumont, Juan Ramirez or Tyson Gillies will turn into a solid major leaguer. I don't care. We have Cliff Lee, pitching in the absolute perfect ballpark for him with a great defense in support. Plus, we signed Chone Figgins from the rival Angels, who also lost John Lackey. For the first time since the early aughts the Mariners should be legit contenders. So, Jack Zduriencik, you deserve credit for making the Miler Lite Great Call of the Week and ensuring the suicide rate in Seattle will drop 14 percent this winter.

P.S.: Now if we could just land a DH/left fielder with some power and a good on-base percentage ... wait, Z just traded the worthless carcass of Carlos Silva for Milton Bradley?!?!?! Merry Christmas, M's fans! Merry Christmas!"

****DPatrone: I don't think the Phils can defer any money in a contract that's already signed.****

The onlly way to do it would be to negotiate a buy-out/deferment and that would mean getting the player to agree to it. In Moyer's case, I doubt he'd be willing to do it unless he knew he wouldn't physically be capable of pitching and he didn't want to retire (as that would mean he didn't get the $8 million he's owed). Of course, in the long run, it would end up costing the phillies as they'd have to pay out a good amount more than the $8 million though it would be over several years...and then we also get into current day value vs future inflation issues, etc, etc.

PhillyFriar: I don't especially care for the MacDougal option, either; "suckitutde" is an apt description. Nevertheless, Madson has had his chance(s). Let him pitch the 7th or 8th (depending on Romero's health/effectiveness), but don't try to pass him off as a viable replacement closer. He's not.

DITHL+ for 2009:

Madson: 174+
MacDougal: 132+
Mo Rivera: -734+


As you can see, Madson had more instances of DITHL in 09 than even MacDougal.

Its something to consider.

While that fan may be correct, Bill Simmons is a hack. Sorry, I just had to throw that out there. I am not a fan.

NEPP-- I've read in on a couple blogs, i believe in lauber's and murphy's that Moyer will reached some bonuses and will be making 8mil this seaon

murphy broke down the next couple of seasons payrolls

http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/phillies/Money_Cash_Pros_A_look_at_the_Phillies_finances.html

Simmons got boring and ridiculously redundant by about 2003. Honestly, how many 90210, Swingers, and Karate Kid references can one fit in an article before it becomes unreadable.

pb, that is completely correct. Moyer reached his 150 IP, 160 IP, 23 GS and 25 GS milestones in his contract and those added $1.5 million. I believe I mentioned that in a previous post. Cots has not updated their spreadsheet to reflect it yet. Our current committment before arbitration is actually $119.5 million as a result.

M's fans should ask Cubs fans what they think of Bradley before they rejoice too much.

Agree NEPP. He did a good job of mixing sports fanaticism with pop culture, but it's gotten old and stale. I'm sick of every article revolving around the Patriots/Celtics/Red Sox with references to Boogie Nights, Rockie, and Entourage.

"I thought the idea was to upgrade the bullpen looks kind of the same to me."

In the aftermath of the World Series, Beerleaguers generally agreed that improving the bullpen should be a top priority for the Phillies in the off season. As things currently stand the Phillies will be entering '10 w/ the same bullpen they had in '09, minus solid contributors in Park & Eyre. I suppose the team is counting on Romero & Lidge coming back 100% healthy & effective (& remaining so), w/ Mathieson, Bastardo &/or Escalona stepping in for Condrey & Eyre. I say, "Good luck w/ that!"

G-Town~

That's my point exactly. Fix the areas of need first, then go for the brass ring. Last year, RAJ didn't improve the bemch, it showed. This year it's the 'pen and it will REALLY show.

Amaro has shown very good skills as a GM but for some reason he can't seem to set his priorities correctly. Nobody is gonna be happen with the 'pen. Nobody.

Lidge Madson Romero will make $20mil this year - pretty hard to tell the team the first priority should be to sped mor money on the back end of the pen.

Like it or not, this team's ultimate success will be determined by Hamels and Lidge - and there is nothing you can really do to change that.

i missed last thread, so just waned to post here that congrats to jroll for getting his option picked up.

regardless of what people say, Rollins got this franchise on the right track from day 1.

His walkoff vs. Broxton might be my favorite phillies 'play 'of all time and will always remember running around the concourse without even waiting for chooch to cross home.

While upgrading the bullpen was (and is) certainly a priority for the offseason, I honestly don't know what people are expecting the Phillies to do here.

The best relief options on the market didn't fit into the budget and wanted to close (Soriano, Gonzalez, Wagner, and Valverde). Matt Capps is going to sign somewhere where the closer's job is up for grabs. Park is the best option from a cost-effective standpoint, and he has the crazy idea in his head that he's a starter. And the other "proven closers" on the market (Rodney, Gregg, and MacDougal) will certainly be overpaid, and aren't appreciably better than what you'd get out of signing some under-the-radar guys like Brendan Donnelly, Joaquin Benoit, Russ Springer, Ron Mahay, and Will Ohman.

This quote:

"The prevailing theory in NY is that Yankees GM Brian Cashman wants to save future payroll for a more aggressive free-agent run next offseason."

from an article on Matt Holliday by Bernie Miklasz in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch made me think of one thing:

Either Jayson Werth or Carl Crawford will be in the Bronx in 2010.

http://www.stltoday.com/stltoday/sports/columnists.nsf/berniemiklasz/story/6D52C51159609E42862576910014E1B7?OpenDocument

Don't get the hate for Simmons now. It has almost become cache to be anti-Simmons. His stuff on basketball is still interesting although I wish he actually wrote more columns than podcasts.

I don't hate Simmons, I just find him boring and thus I dont read his columns anymore. There was a time where I read every single column he put out...he simply lost his edge/interest for me.

Oops, I meant 2011.

Ugh. It is getting pretty definitive now that this bullpen is going to stink next year unless Lidge and Romero are healthy and effective next year. You don't have a mediocre group, subtract a number of key contributors from that group (Condrey, Eyre, Park), and have a quality unit.

It is funny when people are touting guys like Zagurski as a solution. Zagurksi was a guy who had mediocre stuff to begin with and simply can't be relied upon to throw strikes with any kind of consistency. A LOOGY who can't throw strikes with consistency? = Fail. If a guy like Zagurski sees alot of time with the Phils' bullpen next year, they will be among the league's worst.

MG: Who's touting Zagurski? Someone simply asked about his status.

Why in the world does everyone think Amaro isn't going to add a bullpen arm or two?

I was mocking CJ's post about Bastardo & Escalona because he's dead wrong. There's no evidence at all that Amaro plan to entrust the pen to guys like that. In fact, Amaro has been quoted as saying he will add bullpen help.

I'm guessing at least 2 more relievers will be added either from the free agent pool or by trade.

Just heard Montgomery on Missanelli. I get so tire of listening to this liar. Montgomery has been a liar time and time again.

Just a short list . . . Lied in '92/'93 about the Phils' financial situation, was proven to be a liar when the Phils' were forced to open their books by the federally-appointed arbitrator during the '94 strike, was behind the nonsense 'small market' comment that Giles made in '97, and wasn't truthful about how aggressively the Phils' ownership lobbied/threatened/cajoled the city of Philadelphia for a prime-time spot downtown to build their new ballpark with a ton of economic concessions and support from the city. Let's also not forget his initial reaction and despicable comments about Myers' wife during that incident.

It is funny how most of the fanbase cheered Monty and Giles last year after the World Series and somehow forgot what liars these guys were for years nor how the taxpayers of PA and the city of Philadelphia helped to make them incredibly rich by contributing a ton of public tax dollars to the building CBP.

"Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me"

clout - I do think Amaro is going to add another 2 or 3 relievers but they will mostly be minor league signings with a major league salary if they make the opening day roster.

MG, Lidge and Romero being healthy and effective has ALWAYS been a necessity for 2010.

It's interesting when I read things here on BL, when it comes to the Phils BP, and particulary when it come to their performance in 2010.

While the B*L general consensus is that the Phils BP in 2010 was horrible, the stats tell a more benign story.

According to b-r.com the Phils bullpen had an R/G of 4.38 in 2010, vs. an MLB average of 4.61 R/G. Yes, that is correct, they were better than average.

I thought about that for a while and realized the perception of the 'pen was overwhelmingly affected by the performance of Brad Lidge, with his high ERA and his blown saves. So....I went and took a look at the stats.

The Phils bullpen blew 22 saves in 2010, 10% more than the MLB average of 20. Yes, that is correct, the average bullpen 'baked the poodle' 20 times in 2010. The leader in 'baking the poodle' was CIN with only 12 all season. The worst was SEA with 28. Even the vaunted NYY 'pen with Mo Rivera at the back of it 'baked the poodle' 16 times.

My point is that Brad Lidge's historically bad season has really colored many people's perception of the 'pen's performance. Yes, many teams' middle relief, and not their closer, 'baked the poodle', but that's my point: The rest of the 'pen was, as a whole, above average.

While I wouldn't mind them bringing in a couple of more arms, a rebound by Lidge is going to make all the difference in the world, and if the rest of the 'pen pitches as well as they did in 2010 then I think we will be quite satisfied.

Phils' bullpen was overall a mediocre unit last year. You can't remove Lidge's performance from the group too.

It was good/very good the first 2 months of the year when the starters were among the worst in the league (worst starters' ERA through Memorial Day except the lowly Nats). Injuries and general overuse though contributed to the bullpen though being an average/below average unit the rest of the year.

MG, who removed Lidge's performance?

Also, are you saying they were below average even though they were above average statistically? Please elaborate.

It all depends on Lidge. If he pitched at an elite level last year we would've been looking 100 wins with the possibility for a couple more. My hope is that it was some sort of injury that was just kept quiet and that a true offseason of rest will fix it all up. Still though, the Phillies Pythag last season was 92-70. Happ should regress pretty heavily but you're still looking at a full season of Polanco and Halladay in addition to major rebounds from Hamels and Lidge. Could be a pretty high W total when all is said and done.

Hopefully with Halladay now on board (and his almost automatic 8 innings per start) the Phils won't have to carry so much dead wood (also known as pitchers who just eat up roster spots and hardly ever pitch) in the bullpen next year.

Go with a 11 man pitching staff. Add a 12th for certain times during the season when the pen is tiring. Teams used to be fine with 11 man pitching staffs. With the quality starters the team SHOULD have, 11 pitchers is probably enough.

So what would you do if you were choosing between Smoltz and chan ho park? I think the phillies are making a mistake not just stepping up and getting Park back. As a reliever from the beginner of the year, his style as a reliever is aggressive and I could see him closing.

Hilarious!!!!

A question about Zagurski's status turns into claims that some of us are touting him as a solution in the bullpen.

Typical Beerleaguer.


clout: You don't think either Bastardo or Escalona have a shot at being the 2nd lefty out of the bullpen this year?

denny b: No chance the Phils go with an 11 man rotation. Especially since they're in the NL.

In fact, don't count on Halladay to average quite as many innings per start because there will inevitably be games where we'll need to pinch hit for him.

Dave X - Lidge had surgery, so there appears to have been more to his woes than we knew at the time, and it was something significant enough to require him to go under the knife. So, hopefully both his arm and his head will be healthy in 2010. The first is up to his surgeon, the second is up to him.

Dave X: You're assuming "major rebounds" from Hamels & Lidge, while not mentioning the loss of Park & Eyre, nor the questionable effectiveness of Romero post-surgery. Yes, Polanco should be a definite offensive upgrade over Feliz, & Halladay has been a better pitcher than Lee over the past several seasons ... but will those two moves alone be enough to offset the uncertainties (which, let us not forget, include Ibañez & his .232 BA for the 2nd Half of '09) & losses?

Slocs: Park and his agent continue to say they are seeking an opportunity to start... an opportunity the Phils just can't give him.

im not too worried about the bullpen - the injuries last year, lidge being abysmal and hopefully rebounding this year, me having faith in bastardo/kendrick for inning long stretchs...I think we'll be fine even without adding someone like smoltz. add smoltz and i think we have one of the better bullpens in the NL. not much has changed from 08, when the bullpen was awesome. then again not much has changed from 09, when the bullpen was average. so whats the say '10 won't see the return of a nasty 'pen?

my biggest concern this offseason was the bench and getting offensive production from 3B. the bench is much improved with francisco for a whole year plus schneider/castro/ross (better than bako/bruntlett/stairs), and polanco is a much harder out than feliz.

overall successful offseason, im looking forward to 2010. now if only we could've held on to cliff lee...haha

DPatrone: The list of relievers available this time last week is largely the same as what is available now. Just because you like to hammer Amaro doesn't make you right on things. He didn't miss out on any free agent pitchers because he was working on the Halladay deal. In fact, he was going after guys before that and being outbid by other teams. That was largely before the Halladay trade even came close to being a reality.

On the bullpen: I'm not against them going with Mathieson and Bastardo out there and hoping for some big contributions. Both have potential and have the ability to miss bats. However, you need a veteran arm ready to go stashed somewhere in Lehigh Valley if it doesn't work.

denny b: I have faith that no matter how many innings are devoured by Halladay, Blanton, a resurgent Hamels, etc., our beloved manager will somehow find a way to grossly overuse the bullpen, & sooner rather than later. Luckily, the Phillies have so much depth in their relief corps. that they will be able to easily overcome any potential injuries ...

Aw, crap.

Really?

Really!??!?!

The losses of Park and Eyre are more significant than the additions of Halladay and Polanco?

Chan Ho Park and Scott Eyre?

Eyre threw all of 30 innings last year.

Only on Beerleaguer.

Dave, I tend to agree. While no one can predict things like injuries, etc., these are the factors - in no particular order - that will affect the outcome of their season:

Rollins rebounding so that he puts up full season numbers on par with his second half of 2009.

Lidge rebounding to his career norms (I'm not hoping for 2008 all over).

Hamels rebounding and offsetting...

Happ regressing to a #4-5 starter.

Halladay pitching as to his '02-'09 norms for a full season (3.13 ERA, 214 IP, 1.131 WHIP, 4.1 K/BB).

The bullpen carrying their weight.

I did not mention the addition of Polanco or anything involving the offense because I believe this team has enough firepower to lead the league in runs again, even if they get slumps or down years from individual players. After all, they endured an historic first half slump from Rollins, a near season-ending injury to Ibanez (DL trip, too), a second half fade by Utley, and a bench that performed poorly on the year, with 206 K in 911 PA, and a 2.71 K/BB ratio, and still led the league in runs.

G-Town, while Park was a steadying force in the bullpen in 2009, be careful about throwing to many accolades at Eyre. He only pitched 30 innings in 2009.

Also, do you expect Ibanez, if he stays healthy, to hit .232 for an entire year?.

CJ, of course, is correct. The addition of a 3rd baseman & a #1 starter to replace the previous #1 starter will obviously improve the Phillies' weakest link, its bullpen, despite the loss of 2 of the most effective bullpen arms from last season.

awh: One cannot merely compare sheer number of innings pitched w/out taking into account the importance of each inning. Yes, Eyre was a situational lefty, but he was a very good one. Until Bastardo or Escalona (& it looks like those are the choices) proves they can do as well or better, it has to be looked at as an area of uncertainty.

So far as Ibañez goes, that "if he stays healthy" caveat is a HUGE if. Regardless, I'm expecting a big drop-off from Raul ... maybe not to the tune of .232, but big nonetheless.

Completely offtopic but am I the only one who wants to keep an eye on Bedard?

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/marinersblog/2010548623_erik_bedard_situation_still_fi.html

We only had Lee for an admittedly stellar 1/3 of the regular season. Having Halladay for the entire season is thus a pretty big upgrade regardless of how big one judges the talent gap between them to be.

The Mariners may have made a nice deal to get Lee for a year for those three A ball chaps, but trading anyone, even Carlos Silva, for Milton Bradley, dooms them to failure. Sorry, it's just a fact.

This team is certainly more than good enough to win a mediocre NL East (likely even 89-90 wins takes the division for the 3rd year in a row) and possibly even the NL.

Bullpen overall was mediocre last year. I don't know how anyone can rationally argue that subtracting Park, Condrey, and Eyre from this unit along with the serious offseason surgeries that Romero/Lidge both had will lead this to even being an average quality bullpen next year.

We have to see what happens yet but it is readily apparent the Phils don't have much money apparently left to spend and was unwilling to really spend much money at all this offseason.

For the bullpen to be even a decent unit right now they need Lidge & Romero to be healthy & effective, hit on 1-2 veteran FA signings, and meaningful contributions (at least 40+ IP of decent work) from 2-3 internal options. Odds of this all working out are slim to none.

Many have suggested the Phils will just trade for a solution during at the trading deadline. That requires taking on a meaningful amount of additional salary in a salary or trading prospects. I can't believe the Phils will be inclined to do much of either.

Yeah other teams in the division have some serious bullpen questions too including the Braves but the Braves have more depth and better quality options right now than the Phils. I would rather have Wagner next year than Lidge too as my closer.

MG: Could be worse, our tax dollars could've gone to the Pittsburgh Pirates.... Oh wait, they did! Our tax dollars also went to Jeff Lurie. I don't think our tears are fueling his G5.

I'd rather have Lidge than Wagner any day. Lidge at least proved that he can win in clutch stretch run & postseason situations. Wagner has always been a loudmouthed choker, & he always will be.

Wagner brings his own series of health concerns. He's no sure thing, either. It'll be interesting to see how he now performs against the Phillies and the Mets, considering his (albeit small sample size, but whatever) history of blowing games to his former teams.

MPN - Yeah it really pisses me off to hear Monty cry wolf yet again about this "team being in the red" or about the debt servicwe obligations the Phils have had.

He conveniently overlooks the fact that taxpayers contributed 51% of the funding for CBP ($174M) and more if you count the infrastructure improvements the city/state made around the area. Building CNP is really key to what enabled the Phils to put a more successful product on the field and have thus greatly increased the potential value of the franchise.

Pirates are even worse because they contributed even less to their deal. Basically around 20% of the cost of PNC Park. Fish are in the same boat as the Fish contributed less than 25% of the cost of the new Marlins' stadium. Rest was financed by Miami-Dade county. It is corporate welfare at its worst.

doubleh: ... & teams he never played for, such as the Cardinals in the '06 NLCS & the '09 Angels in the '09 ALDS.

Wagner's Postseason Career:

6 Seasons (7 Series), 13 G, 11.1 IP, 10.23 ERA, 1.941 WHIP.

Not that Atlanta will make the playoffs next year, anyway, but it's always fun to bash Wags. :-)

MG: Yeah, but if you saw last year's Forbes you saw that the Phillies, prior to `09, only had a debt load of 35% of revenues. So, if the Phillies keep selling out that should lower the debt load even more which should then, theoretically at least, increase the cap. In addition, the recent court ruling that will force CSN to broadcast on DirectTV, etc., might create some leverage to create a Phillies regional network that might also increase revenues. Just several thoughts.

"Regardless, I'm expecting a big drop-off from Raul ... maybe not to the tune of .232, but big nonetheless."

What sort of drop-off? Care to quantify it?

He only hit .272 last season, .006 more than Pete Happy.

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