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Friday, January 22, 2010

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He fits the age requirement.

Jose Contreras is still alive?

I wanna see a shuffleboard match between Contreras and Moyer, winner gets the #5 spot in the rotation!

I would also like to see what the "Chicas de AutosAhora" over in the Merchants section is all about.

I did not see this one coming. Unless I actually had been paying attention.

As long as Contreras isn't going to be peeved when he's shunted to the pen (which he will be) it's very possible he'll be fine pitching in relief. But if they're going to push KK out of the spot just because Contreras will be unhappy, then this is more of a problem than a solution.

Putting Chopper in instead of Happ last season was a mistake. And proved that ST competitions are meaningless when it comes to predicting regular season performance.

But the major downside may be that this may preclude the team from picking up a LOOGY.

how much?

3 years/45 mil. But that's just going off Rube's past history :-)

Uggie Urbina couldn't get work release?

low risk/medium reward. Pretty much all that the phillies were able to afford under their budget cap this year.

Im looking at his numbers - pretty surprised they are not that bad. In the last two years he's thrown 252IP at 97 ERA+, with a reasonable 2K/BB (6/3 per 9).

Does anyone really believe he's 38 years old?

"if they're going to push KK out of the spot just because Contreras will be unhappy"

Hmmmmm....what if they push him out because he's getting hit around?

Although I believe even Kendrick will outpitch Contreras.

Stick him in the bullpen. He'd be a terrible waste of a fifth starter because you know he's going to be replacement level. At least Kendrick has a shot to reestablish something. Learn from the Chan Ho Park mistake and see if an old dog can learn new tricks in the pen. They need relief most anyway.

I'm not a big believer in Kendrick (would love to be surprised though). Contreras on a one year deal as the #5 starter is a pretty good move, especially if he can maintain what he did last year. If he doesn't workout there are plenty of fallback options. (Kendrick, Pedro, trade)

thephaithful: He's above average for a 5th starter in the league. Although some will disagree saying anything less than a 4.5 ERA for a 5th starter is a failure.

less than a 4.5 ERA for a 5th starter is a failure.*

ugh....MORE than a 4.5 ERA for a 5th starter is a failure.*

He did pitch in Colorado last year. Chicago's kinda hitter friendly too and an old defense behind him. An era+ of 94 seems pretty good for a 5th starter. Maybe I'm not interpreting that number right, but our #3 pitcher last year had an era+ of 105. 11% difference? Anyone know the average era+ for 5th starters?

As a fan ho came of age in an era where the team did not do what it takes to win. . . I'm kind of enjoying this recent Phillies run.

It's pretty fun. RAJ is spending like a drunken fratboy and I do not mind.

Highcheese says he is going to pitch in the Pen. Possibly filling the CHoP role.

Didn't we get Baez to fill the CHoP roll????

39 pitchers in the NL had a 94 era+ or better. So that makes an era+ of 94 roughly a #3 starter? I know there's more to it than that. Just say'n' his era isn't the be all end all of the discussion.

That's all well and good, JBird, but right now the Phils need relief and 94 is pretty marginal. I'd rather use that 5th starter slot to experiment, to see what they have in Kendrick. See if he can return to that 118 ERA+ of 2007.

Kart Racer - We understood what you meant, more or less.

This guy is the definition of league-average with a career ERA+ of 100, but given his age, I'd suggest he's below league-average. He has only 14 relief innings in the last three seasons.

If Kendrick gets beat out for the 5th spot by Moyer (coming off of pretty serious surgery) and/or Contreras, then I don't know if I can be optimistic about KK going forward.

If Kendrick gets beat out for the 5th spot by Moyer (coming off of pretty serious surgery) and/or Contreras, then I don't know if I can be optimistic about KK going forward.

Don't tell that to J.A. Happ.

Maybe I'm reading too much into this, but does this mean they are perfectly comfortable with Bastardo/Escalona fighting it out for the LOOGY spot?

Or Brandon Duckworth. . . oh wait. (remember that 121 era+ in 2001?)

JW - I have a feeling that for Kendrick to return to a 118 ERA+ every left-handed batter in the NL will have to come down with some kind of injury.

i could see him filling the chan ho park role. if he starts the season as the fifth starter, i will be very disappointed. moyer should get first crack at that, then kendrick, then contreras/hot hand in LV.

Mets traded for Matthews and 21 million. Has this been discussed yet?

"Don't tell that to J.A. Happ."

You think Happ is competing for his spot as well?

I like Contreras on a one year deal. If Kendrick tanks and Moyer can't get healthy, we'll be happy to have a guy who can post a 5.00 ERA out of the 5th spot, because I don't see anyone in the minors who is a sure bet to do that.
His FIP the last two years has been 4.2 and 4.1, so there's still some talent there.

did sarge disown jr. yet?

Kurkijan (sp?) just said on ESPN that Contreras is 5th starter insurance if Moyer is not ready to start the season.

I'd sure like KK to beat him out for the job and Contreras to settle into a bullpen role.

But can he pitch from the bullpen?

Cip - Yes. But if you want to add your "tee-hee," to everyone else's feel free.

he pitched from the pen in colorado.

My two cents on retaining Werth: I hadn't really thought about the possibility of a back loaded contract. I think years will be huge, as that is Rube's m.o. If Werth was willing to do a 3-year extension right now with numbers like 8/16/17, then that's a deal we might make. If he wants to take a chance that he can repeat last year and go for Jason Bay type money, then we probably lose him.

MVP - I think JW means that Happ was beaten out for a rotation spot by moyer and it turned out alright for him.

mvptommyd: What JW is saying is that losing out in a training camp battle to Jamie Moyer will not end your career as a starter. After all, JA Happ lost out to Park and Moyer last year.

Saw him pitch out of the pen a couple of times last year with the Rocks. Looked to have very good velocity in those outings. So, yeah, he can probably do it.

I did see that Charlie took a shot at Chan Ho, saying he had to work around a lot of physical ailments, and he couldn't go a lot of days. But I don't think I saw anyone on the team pitch 2 and 3 effective innings out of the pen in important situations as often as Park did. Don't want to hear Uncle Charlie taking the same shot at Contreras after this season.

Technically, Happ lost out only to Park. Moyer wasn't competing.

But MVP is correct in suggesting it's something of a make-or-break year for KK.

The Current TSN scouting report on Contreras:

Assets: Contreras brings an impressive arsenal highlighted by a hot dancing fastball and a wicked splitter. All his pitches have excellent movement.

Flaws: The great movement on his pitches can be a downside, in that he too often loses command and the strike-zone. Gets rattled, and then gets hit hard.

Career potential: Streaky mid-to-late rotation starter.

So it seems Dubee's job is to keep him from getting "rattled."

@euphronius

"As a fan ho came of age in an era where the team did not do what it takes to win. . . I'm kind of enjoying this recent Phillies run."

Uh, thanks for sharing, friend, kudos and hugs to you. But it's safe to say most, if not all, of the people here could claim they "came of age in an era where the team did not do what it takes to win". It's not that big of a deal.

/rant over.

AK - If Cholly is taking a shot at him at the end of the year maybe he will have pitched as well as CHoP. That would be fine by me.

CJ: True, but the circumstances are completely different. If you remember Romero was busted for "PHD's" so the Phillies needed another lefty out of the pen. Since Happ was in the pen for the end of 2008, Charlie was comfortable with him there to start 2009 as well. Happ wasn't "punished" or "outpitched" by both Moyer and Park. So to say that KK could face the same situation as Happ is dishonest and unfair to Happ.

Last year's battle for the fifth starter's spot involved a lot more talent than this year's will: CHP vs. Happ in 2009 has become KK vs. Contreras in 2010. Yikes.

That said, I think KK can step up and be a decent starter and Contreras can be valuable in the pen, so I guess I'm okay with it.

Also, you only "kind of" enjoy the losingest team in professional sports going to 2 straight World Series (and winning one of them to boot)?

I hate you. I hate you. I hate you.

I'm surprised there hasn't been more chatter about this quote from Amaro today:

"We can not operate with nothing but $15- to $20-million players. And if there’s any indication, how much the [Matt] Holliday and [Jason] Bay signings have on direct impact on where Werth may be at the end of this year, we’re going to have to sift through it and figure out what’s best for the organization."

Given that it's pretty obvious Werth, unless he gets hurt, is going to be a "$15- to $20-million player," this does not sound good for the chances of a re-signing.

clout: Correct. Unless 1 of 2 things happen after this season:

1.) Werth decides to take a back loaded contract to the tune of 5 yrs/72 mil with breakouts of 8,16,16,16,16.

2.) Phils extend their payroll to $160 mil

I think both won't happen.

Clout: Werth's probably gone, unfortunately. At least we should get 2 good picks for him.

mvptommyd: Actually, Contreras has a much better starter's resume than Chan Ho Park had... so it's more embarrassing to lose to Park. Not to mention, if KK doesn't win the job, he'll likely have a role in the bullpen, just like Happ did.

Domonic Brown?

clout: Sounds like Amaro is voicing what most of us have been either saying or thinking... that Werth will likely price him out of the Phils future with another good season.

CJ: I am not arguing "which is more embarassing". I am saying last year we NEEDED Happ in the bullpen. So Happ didn't "lose" the starting job, he just was more needed in BP to replace Romero. We do not need KK in the BP.

You are dodging my point.

Off Topic:

Phillies announced they will be having autograph signings @ the Majestic Clubhouse store:

Brian Schneider on Monday January 25th from 6-7:30

Placido Polanco on Saturday January 30th from Noon-1:30.

Reading posts on here is like listening to my italian aunts bicker back and forth over the best biscotti and meat gravy recipies. I love it.

Clipper please tell your aunts it is not called gravy, it is called sauce.

Brian Schneider you say?!? What day is Juan Castro stopping by?

mvptommyd: Happ lost the job out of spring training. You can't go back and chang the facts. Perhaps it was convenient that Happ was left-handed, but Park won the job.

As mentioned here many times, who hits right handed if Werth leaves? Dom Brown is lefthanded... My biggest issue with the Halladay trade is that they traded Taylor away. That bothers me even more than Drabek! It would have been perfect to have Taylor who is right handed replace Werth in right next year and Brown replace Ibanez in left the year after that. But hindight is 20/20.

CJ: I believe your interpretation of Amaro's quote to be 100% correct. It may be the first step in a PR campaign to let us fans down easy as it becomes more obvious that Werth won't be re-signed.

I'm amused by all the people who wanted to keep Taylor over Brown ONLY because Taylor happens to be right-handed.

By most accounts, Brown is the superior prospect with a much-higher ceiling. Now, I know there are some who like Taylor as much... and maybe a few who like Taylor better... but in general, Brown is the superior prospect.

Am I wrong?

Brown probably won't be ready to start 2011 anyway. He'll probably spend most of this year in AA and get some AA and AAA time in 2011 before coming up midseason or for a cup of cpffee. He's still in place to be Ibanez's replacement

That quote from RAJ makes it pretty obvious what the plan is with Werth...That would likely make next year's lineup:

Rollins (S)
Polanco (R)
Utley (L)
Howard (L)
Ibanez(L)
Victorino (S)
Francisco (R)/Brown (L)
Ruiz (R)
Pitcher

All the thunder in that lineup is LH...LOOGY's will have a field day against them. Oh well...It's actually not as LH heavy as I thought it looked at first, but still...

2011
Jroll
Polanco
Utz
Howard
Raul
Vic
Franciso
Ruiz

2012-
Jroll
Polanco
Utz
Howard
Victorino
Franciso
Brown
Ruiz

Doesn't seem like that big of a deal that Brown is LH. I would just like the better player.

Werth is great but it's probably unwise to sink too much money into OF positions on long-term contracts. It would be better spent on Howard, IMO. Werth does have an injury history FWIW, and you do have to take that into consideration when assessing a lengthy deal.

If he has another year this year like last, he is going to get paid. And it's not going to be by the Phillies.

CY: Jimmy is a FA after the 2011 season.

So our 2012 lineup is:

??
Polanco
Utley
Howard
Vic
Francisco
Brown
Ruiz

mvp - good catch.

Resign Jimmy or move vic up to leadoff. Most SS are RH anyway, so it doesn't kill my point that our lineup wont be that lopsided. still have 4/5 hitters that bat RH

OT: Does anyone else read the comments on the Philly.com sports site? Is it just me or are those posters absolutely moronic?

1 talking about trading Werth and Hamels to the Angels, another talking about cutting Ibanez to save money...do these people know anything about how baseball works?

CY: To piggyback off that point.

Do you think we should resign Jimmy?

clout: Unless the Phils up their payroll to $155M, I can't imagine a scenario in which he's back. What other high-dollar player would they get rid of?

I love Jayson Werth... he's been an amazing find for this team and I suspect he'll have another great year. He deserves his payday, but it won't come from the Phils.

To the above question about Escalona/Bastardo, yes I think they are very confident that one of them will become their LOOGY. I think it will be a good battle in ST.

I think it also says that they are confident Juan Carlos is going to be good to go too.

Having watched Contreras pitch many times, he will frustrate the hell out of you. He can go 3 or 4 innings, where he looks literally unhittable. And then one hit or one missed call, can suddenly ignite a big inning and he implodes.

The other thing that will frustrate you is the way he constantly nibbles (especially when he gets into a jam). He goes from a power pitcher to trying to be Jamie Moyer in the same inning sometimes. He starts falling behind hitters and he gets smoked.

Maybe Ruiz can help him out. Ruiz will learn to be on his toes back there, once Contreras bounces his customary 6 or 7 splitters a night in front of the plate.

Overall, its another Chan Ho Park signing. Except I think Chan Ho has better stuff at this point and is better suited to pitch in relief.

clout: Definitely agree with your and CJ's take on Amaro's quote. Hadn't seen that. Although it's not exactly surprising they're thinking that way.
And again, there's no way Amaro gives Werth a 5 year contract that takes him to age 36(I wouldn't either). I'd be surprised if he even went 4 years.

You gotta admit, Gillick really did find a couple Diamonds in the rough with his approach.

An elite outfielder discarded as permanently injured. Imagine what he was doing to those poor Indy league guys :-)

A guy who'd been Rule 5'd TWICE. All star outfielder, and general spark plug.

Scott Eyre.

A backup catcher from the Indies...

I guess that someone must have massively improved the scouting system.

Brian G: And clout's point about starting the PR campaign is very valid. Report I saw had Amaro talking about Werth costing too much without being asked about it.

CJ: If so, they are taking a page out of the Eagles' playbook with the PR campaign. This is exactly how they operate.

I'm sure no one will want to hear this, but I think it might make sense to let Howard and Werth walk at the end of their respective contracts. Clearly, if one or both are willing to take team discounts or 3 year contracts, you lock them up. But otherwise you're looking at paying Werth $15-$18M/yr for his 32-36 years, and $20-$25M/yr for Howard's same years. That's a lot of money to pay players who are almost guaranteed to decline through those years.

I'm not saying these players won't be productive in their mid thirties; but I am suggesting that neither one will be worth $17+M/yr when they are 35, 36, or 37. Clearly, it will be a challenge to replace their production, but you can by a lot with that kind of money; and I'd rather invest in youth than aching knees.

Mad Max - either you are not italian, not from Philly or both.

Gravy is made with meat to flavor it.

Sauce is Meatless.

CJ: Nowhere in my comment about keeping Taylor did I say anything about keeping him over Brown. In fact, I said Taylor would have started in right in 2011 to replace Werth and Brown would have started in left in 2012 in place of Ibanez. In addition, it would have worked well because of the righty/lefty stuff.

What I'm getting at is that the decision to trade for Hallady over giving Lee the money and years he wanted is far reaching. In 2011 we might have Roy Hallday on the mound with Ben Francisco in right field when we might have had Cliff Lee on the mound and Michael Taylor in right field. Which would you rather have?

joe - if I'm not mistaken, our buddy Ed Wade got us Victorino.

What's the 2013 lineup??!?

Dukes: First, there were indications that Lee wasn't interested in any extension becaues he wanted to test free agency. Second, there's talk he wanted something comparable to Sabathia's deal.

I just can't see how waiting around for Lee made sense. We got a better pitcher at a discounted price.

The realistic choice is Lee for 1 year w/Taylor and Drabek in the minors
OR
Halladay for 4 years

Red -- "...it might make sense to let Howard and Werth walk at the end of their respective contracts."

2011 is Howard's walk year, yes? If so, I'm guessing that by this time next year we are talking about whether Ruben got enough for him in a trade.

The Phillies have six games in a row March 7-12. The latest they can go without using a #5 is April 11. Then they will need to again on April 18. (just fact-checking the April 26th date in the post)

Obviously my previous post should say April 7-12. I have a lot of work to do to be ready for regular season posting.

MVPTOMMY wrote: "CJ: I am not arguing "which is more embarassing". I am saying last year we NEEDED Happ in the bullpen. So Happ didn't "lose" the starting job, he just was more needed in BP to replace Romero. We do not need KK in the BP.

You are dodging my point."

Happ and Park were put in competition for the fifth spot, even though everyone on the planet knew Happ should start and Park would be better served in relief. Park narrowly won the competition in ST, so he was the fifth starter.

Then Rube wanted to send Happ down to the minors, but Charlie fought to have him relieve in the majors instead. Charlie was angry that Rube forced Taschner on him because "that boy just caint thow strikes."

Rube was persuaded to keep them both because he correctly figured out that Charlie wouldn't use Taschner, and it might cause him to burn out the pen. (If you watched The Pen, you saw all of this unfold.)

So, your scenario is just plain wrong from the start. Why should anyone address a statement that is factually incorrect?

Couple of thoughts:

- I am surprised the Phils signed Conteras at this point. Thought they would go after an established LOOGY if they did sign another reliever.

- Have to figure this signing was made possible by the cost assurance they got from the Blanton/Victorino deals in the past 24 hours. Likely have been talking to Conteras other other pitchers like him for a while.

- Thought the Phils might sign a swing man and that guy might be Wellenmeyer who was terrible as a starter last year but could provide some starting depth and serve as a capable 6th/7th inning reliever. Also wonder if Looper was on the Phils' radar too in a similar role.

- Baez and Conteras signings are the kind of signings I was advocating to give this team a little depth. These signings do make me wonder though just how much Amaro thinks he is going to get out of the likes of Romero, Lidge, and Moyer this year. My bet is that he has pretty much written off Romero & Moyer and is hoping that Lidge can come back by May 1s and be somewhat effective if used properly.

I always wonder about Looper too since his dad is the assistant GM.

On Contreras, I'm down with the signing. I was advocating getting a 5th starter type/reliever for depth and I think this fits the bill.

MG, Based on your posts, I think everything the Phils do makes you wonder about Lidge, Moyer, and Romero. But I agree that these are the types of signings we could see coming down the road. With Contreras, I think the Phils actually did a pretty good job. I was digging through some of his numbers over the last couple of years. Nothing special, but he did post FIPs in the 4.1-4.2 range the last two years, mostly in the AL as a starter. If needed (and let's hope it's not) he would be a fine 5th starter, and given a full season in the NL, might post some even stronger numbers.

Out of the pen, let's hope for the Chan Ho effect. Increased velocity and nice movement for short stints of time. All said and done, the upside is a decent 5th starter or Chan Ho level reliever. Downside is he eats junk innings. As long as the price is right, this is a good move; adds depth and flexibility.

Phillies Red - This offseason really has been all about pitching for the Phils. Dominated they big moves they made and the moves they continue to make. Wouldn't be surprised if they continue to tweak yet too and add another veteran lefty to the start of camp.

@mvp - Too early to tell on jroll. have to see who is available. I wouldnt mind exteding him in principal.

@jonesman - when do you think halladay's 1st home start will be? 15th or 17th?

Cy- I would guess they will pick their 5 guys and use them in order and just give everybody the extra day of rest when they have off days. That would put Doc on the 17th. That also feels right to me since I have tickets on the 16th, and that is usually the way these things work.

Dukes -
Honestly, I'd rather have Halladay/Francisco than Lee/Taylor, for a variety of reasons...but that's neither here nor there. Lee wasn't interested in accepting a below-market extension to stay with the Phils long-term, Halladay did. I'll take 4 years of Halladay over 1 year of Lee any day.

Jonesman: The off days, plus the on deck series games mean that, if all went according to schedule, the team would not have to use a 5th starter until the 24th of April (I was two days off on my Tweet to JW).

MPN - that would put halladay on the 15th for his 1st CBP start. Or do you think they will give everyone a extra day like jonesman said which would put him on the 17th. I have tickets the 17th so that would be great.

MPN- any stretch of five games in a row requires a 5th starter. So they will have to go 1 234152 over the first 7 games, even if they move Doc up. (unless they want to start Hamels on short rest)

Jonesman: April weather is always unpredictable, and maybe you are correct that they would default go rote like that, but if they were on a roll, and Cole was feeling good, I wouldn't put it past them, because the off day on the 13th would put everyone back on schedule.

Some teams actually do have a schedule that allows them to go until April 18th before they would need to go to a 5th starter (or use one of their other 4 on short rest). The Astros are an example of this. If Brett Myers ends up as their #3, the Phils will most likely miss him in the early April series, which is kind of a shame. I think the Phils lineup would light him up.

All this talk about trading Werth or Howard before/during their contract years is silly. Let's imagine it is 2011. The Phillies are likely leading the east again and looking ahead to the playoffs. The only teams that want to pick up Howard or Werth are contenders. Are the Phillies really going to trade one of them to a potential playoff foe 2 months before the playoffs start? Is a rebuilding team going to offer anything of note for them? They could trade them to a team that wants the compensation picks to rebuild, but why would a rebuilding team give up any prospects for them? If the Phillies were a bad team they could get a good deal in a trade for them, but as a contender there is no way they trade of these guys.

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