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Saturday, July 17, 2010


Mark Ellis and Ben Sheets for Kyle Kendrick. Deal.

though Oakland isn't going to move Mark Ellis and Ben Sheets isn't scheduled to pitch this weekend.

Getting Polly back will be a real boost.

Maybe he can take his bat and give Werth a little lesson in hitting. I'm really perplexed about Werth. At the end of last season, BLers were worried about the Phils prospects of affording, signing, and/or losing Werth for 2011. Now the feeling is to call up Dom and bench Werth and/or trade his sorry behind. My how the mighty have fallen. Every time I think of him, the image of him and Howard smoking cigars after the NLCS pops in my mind. I think he needs to quit smoking and start getting his bat back smoking.

"Now the feeling is to call up Dom and bench Werth and/or trade his sorry behind. My how the mighty have fallen."

Yes, they have, and it's a shame but sports is a job where if you perform you're loved, and if you don't, you're hated.

It's the same for everyone, all over.

I'm sure Mr. Werth knew what he was getting into, and has the grace and dignity to handle his prolonged slump accordingly.


"though Oakland isn't going to move Mark Ellis and Ben Sheets isn't scheduled to pitch this weekend."

Who else could we be scouting?

Werth has completely lost touch with the strike zone. I don't know if a day on the bench would do him good. But, a right handed batter on a sunny, breezy day at Wrigley should be taking a few hacks, not 'working the count' waiting to see Lilly's curve /trying to take a walk.

Out of total curiosity, at what point in a prolonged offensive slump by several players do you look at the hitting coach?

At what point after starters are consistently left in too long do you look at the pitching coach?

At what point do you look at the manager and say you need to do something?

If Jerry Manuel survived last season in Queens, then surely Charlie Manuel will tough it out in South Philly.

The kicker about Werth is that he wasn't bad through the first three months of the season:

          OBP   SLG
April    .402  .584
May      .340  .573
June     .396  .488
July     .275  .227(!!)

His July, though... wow!

Ibanez's production in left field is much more cause for alarm:

          OBP   SLG
April    .341  .338
May      .352  .456
June     .292  .375
July     .326  .419

Outside of a decent May, Ibanez has been league average at best. In my opinion, that's where you upgrade. Exactly how, though, is something of a sticky wicket.

I'm sort of agnostic about Ben Sheets. He could be very good, but his 2010 stats say he wouldn't be meaningfully better than what we already have. The idea of trading Kendrick for him seems foolish to me. Why would you trade a cheap back-of-the-rotation starter who is under team control for the next 2 or 3 years for an expensive 2-month rental whose 2010 numbers are actually worse than Kendrick's? And throwing in the extraordinarily mediocre Mark Ellis wouldn't change my opinion.

And throwing in the extraordinarily mediocre Mark Ellis wouldn't change my opinion.

Posted by: bay_area_phan | Saturday, July 17, 2010 at 10:40 AM



Why do you believe Ellis is "extraordinarily mediocre"?

Ben Sheets? He doesn't have the same life on his fastball and his plus curveball is an average pitch at best. He basically went from a hard-throwing righty with a devastating curveball to a guy with a more modest fastball and 3 average offspeed pitches. He still is a legit MLB starter Is an upgrade over Moyer or KK? Probably. Just no longer any kind of difference maker though either. Depends on what the asking price is.

Mark Ellis is a guy I would be much more interested in the Phils acquiring. Not the same player he was a few years ago. Still, he would be a clear upgrade offensively over the likes of Valdez/Castro. I could see him giving the Phils a line of .275/.340/.400 the rest of the way for the Phils. He is also a good clubhouse guy who I am sure would fit right in.

OOML: The answer to that question seems so self-evident to me, that I'll answer with a question of my own: what makes you think he ISN'T extraordinarily mediocre?

Its funny how on here the idea of trading Werth for Haren got generally shot down although I would have done that in a heartbeat if he had any validity.

Heyman's latest article on CNN/SI reports the DBacks want '2 starting pitchers' and 'bullpen help' for Haren. Yeah, right. A team that is pitching deficient is going to give up even more pitching in return.

Frankly, I don't think Werth has that much trade value right now for several factors -

1. Only a team that is going to contend would want to trade for him and they would have to have a hole at LF/RF/DH.
2. He has slumped mightily this month which might give potential buyers a little more hesitation/2nd thoughts.
3. Phils would probably ask for players already on a MLB roster in return to help fill some of their needs which complicates making a trade.

Werth is still a very good player. If Amaro can move him though for pieces that really help this team this season down the stretch or a very interesting prospect or two, I hope he makes that deal. Werth isn't going to be resigned by the Phils and I have pretty strong feeling that any team that gives him a 4-yr/5-yr deal at $16-$17M is really going to have indigestion from that deal.

Dunno, Sheets was throwing 94mph strikes after 100 pitches last time I watched him pitch.

MG: Alot of those objections can be bridged if you can get a 3rd team involved...who will get the prospects and provide the major league talent to the Phils.

Of course, getting a 3rd team involved is a bit tricker.

I guess I'm just not as pessimistic that a good deal could be done for Werth.

via @brookob

Placido Polanco activated; Juan Castro released; Shane Victorino batting first; Jimmy Rollins hitting third; semicolons are cool!


BAP - Ellis meagre? - Yes. Ellis especially in CBP as a notable offensive upgrade over a month of the Valdez/Castro duo of .600 OPS? - Yes

This season is far from lost though. Division? Probably. The Phils don't play the Braves that much at all directly any more this season (6 times) and it is hard to see them really making up ground any real ground on the Braves with Utley out.

The WC though? That is a completely different story. Phils are a whopping 2 GB of the Rockies. Yeah there are a ton of teams squeezed in there between the Rockies/Phils (Giants/Cards/Dodgers/Mets) but it is still there for the taking.

The problem is that I don't think this team as currently constituted can make the playoffs. They need help. Biggest need is a 2B upgrade but there are 3-4 others that could use a boost too.

As for the 'buyers' controlling this market - BS. There are way too many teams in striking distance that have 3-4 needs too. It is a clear sellers market right now unless some teams are much more strapped from a cash flow perspective this season than MLB has let on.

Amaro is going to really going to earn/not earn his month at the break this year. If he comes up empty with no upgrades and the Phils don't make the playoffs, his 2nd year will have been an incredibly disappointing one.

Getting Polanco back should certainly help. If they released Castro though, does that mean Polanco will play 2nd instead? Thought they would just send back down Ransom if Polanco was going to stay at 3B because they need a true middle utility INF on the bench.

Werth must be getting the day off.

OOML: The answer to that question seems so self-evident to me that I'll answer with a question of my own: what makes you think he ISN'T extraordinarily mediocre?

Posted by: bay_area_phan | Saturday, July 17, 2010 at 11:17 AM


It's not self-evident to me. Little help please...

Perhaps the most extraordinary thing about Ellis is how he played close to 200 error free games (need to verify how many games it was exactly) at 2nd base (2005-2006) and turned 170+ DP's in the same time frame yet was not awarded a Gold Glove.

I said it before on the other thread, but I'll say it again. If the Phils miss the playoffs by a minor magin--like 2 games--all I'm going to think to myself is "Gee, I wonder if CL in our rotation instead of KK or Donut Joe could have won those 2 extra games for us."

MG: Ellis is obviously better than Valdez, but he's a big step down from guys like Kelly Johnson & Ty Wigginton. To be honest, I would have been fine with getting Mark Ellis if the trade had happened right after Utley went down. But the longer Amaro waits to make a trade, the sooner it will be until Utley returns (and, hence, the more diminishing the returns on any trade). I just don't see the upgrade from Valdez to Ellis making much difference over a 3 to 5-week period.

OOML: That was 4 years ago. He's not the same defensive player anymore and, even if he were, who cares? It's not Wilson Valdez's defense which needs upgrading.

As a hitter, Ellis is a .700 OPS guy. That's better than Valdez, but it's pretty damn mediocre. I find it hard to believe that a 3 to 5-week upgrade from a .600 OPS guy to a .700 OPS guy is the ticket to saving the PHillies' 2010 season.

Ben Sheets? Haven't the team doctors had enough to deal with this season?

I missed the game yesterday. I've read comments that Blanton didn't pitch well - and I would have fumed about walking the pitcher with bases loaded - BUT if he only gave up 3 runs, he got the job done. Are the complaints about his performance due to him not looking sharp enough to give hope that he can continue to pitch 3-run outings? B/c I'd put this one, yet again, on the offense, myself. And yes, on Madson. Solo HRs happen from time to time, but it's about getting the job done, and if you're given a tie to hold, you need to hold it. Still, no relief pitcher succeeds every outing.

This team needs a shot of energy and enthusiasm. We thought Howard could carry them in the past, but even he can't do it alone. Good for him for being the lone beacon of light in the dim and dismal lineup. Hopefully, Polly will be able to help, too.

But it simply seems they can't it going this year.

unfortunately if they keep playing like this and let easy opponents like the cubs eat them up the rest of the way, then the Phils will likely miss the playoffs by a larger margin then 1 or 2 games. I had the displeasure of having to watch that travesty on thursday night at Wrigley. You would have thought the cubs just won the world series with the way those fans were grateful to see their team beat up on someone for the first time all year.

I certainly think they have it in them to turn it around, but the clocks ticking. If they take some hard luck losses against a good team when their hurt, then so be it, but watching them just get spanked by a team of the cubs caliber is just bs. It's that pirates series all over again.

Castro released? That's good.

Castro released. Wow- who says Amaro doesn't know how to just call a guy a sunk cost and dump him?

Shouldn't have signed Castro to begin with. Now bring up Dom Brown.

The reality is that Jelly Donut Joe pitched his best game of the year, but made 2 huge mistakes that negated his effort.

Blanton made more than 2 mistakes in the Lilly AB.

Ball 4 was the mistake.

I don't think Blanton was that bad yesterday. Too many mistakes, but 4 hits against Lilly is the problem.

Bedbeard, agreed.

2 mistakes? Even Halladay makes one or two mistakes in a game. Well, not every game, but some. 3 runs is 3 runs. Even if he was sloppy, he kept the Cubs to 3 runs. Isn't that the bottom line, and all we can expect of a pitcher?

1. Only a team that is going to contend would want to trade for him and they would have to have a hole at LF/RF/DH.

Exactly. And how many contending teams have a hole in their outfield? And how many of them have a surplus of pitching?

Answer those questions and you'll have a sense of how likely it is that Werth will get traded.

Personally, I couldn't care less about Werth's "attitude." It's easy to think we can judge a player's attitude but what do we really know?

I can just imagine what BL will be like if Werth gets traded and then subsequently goes on a tear while the Phils' offense flounders.

Why, we might even find a few negative posts here if that happened.

When this is your offense, you can't even afford to give up 3 runs and win.

Blanton is not the problem. Yes he made mistakes yesterday. In the course of throwing 100pitches you are going to make mistakes. Trading Lee was and remains the original sin of this year’s Phils FO. And if we trade for a pitcher that will be the proof of the pudding that will end the discussion on whether Lee should or should not have been traded (irrespective of what we got in return).
BUT the main problem remains that the Phils are unable to string along hits and score regardless of the composition of their lineup and that is the number one problem. Reading the Werth piece should wake us up to the fact that there is also a clubhouse problem. Clearly someone has to go and probably more than one. As for Cholly, I just don’t see them making a move there given all the other problems. But he will be gone at the end of the season if they don’t get in.
It is really sad that the FO blew this season. To some extend the root cause has to be the Lee trade; after all the message you are sending the team is we are not going to do our best to field the best team possible. It’s a throwback to when Rollen wanted out because he didn’t think the FO wanted to win badly enough to spend the money on a winning team—just enough to fill the seats. It has nothing g to do with the Phillies not being a first tier market. It’s about poor and very short sighted management.

I'm not ready to jump on Werth because of his "attitude", or for what he says to annoying press guys in the clubhouse after a lousy loss. I just want to see those patented 9 pitch ABs from Werth before he strikes out, not one of those watch 3 pitches and sit down ABs.

RK, the Lee trade is over and done and is no longer the problem, as fun and exciting as it is to rehash it.


The Big Picture: he allowed 3 runs in 7 innings &, for most of the game, looked the sharpest he has looked all year

The Small Picture: He once again lost it completely right around 75 pitches and, with the bases loaded, he walked the pitcher (who is 0 for 26 on the season) after getting him down in the count 0-2. The Phillies would go on to lose by 1 run.

Usually, I'm a Big Picture guy. But sometimes the Big Picture lacks nuances that you can only get by looking at the Small Picture. This is one of those times.

BAP, that about sums it up.

The question remains whether the Lee trade was ordered by ownership or cooked up by Amaro. If it’s the former than of course we need not discuss it because its clear these guys will pull the rug out from underneath us for a few dollars. If its Amaro than in some ways that is good because we can then pray for his departure.
The problem is we won't know until someone talks.
BTW I want to amend my prior “stringing hits” to CONSISTENTLY and REGULARLY create runs like the Phils used to. Injuries have been a problem this year but when so many are injured at once than again management is clearly not checking up on the players’ health. I don’t see why you have to take a player’s: “No problem…I am fine” and worse turn the player into a hero for “playing while hurt”. Especially if the net result of such denials is a major injury requiring the player to be out a lot more and fielding a team of cast offs.

BAP - thanks for the nutshell breakdown. I guess since I didn't see or hear the game, my natural focus is the Big Picture.

People that bring up the name Cliff Lee on the blog should be banned.

People that bring up the name Cliff Lee on the blog should be banned.

CHICAGO (AP)—Philadelphia Phillies third baseman Placido Polanco(notes) was activated off the 15-day disabled list and put into the starting lineup against the Chicago Cubs.

Polanco had been on the DL since June 29 with left elbow inflammation. In 62 games this season he is batting .318 with five homers and 27 RBIs. He also played two rehab games with Class A Clearwater.

Infielder Juan Castro(notes) was given his unconditional release Saturday to make room for Polanco on the roster. Castro batted .198 with 13 RBIS in 54 games for Philadelphia this season.

Hey, Castro released! More discussion on that one.

Ellis and Sheets would be cheap, high ceiling options. I wouldn't complain, but there are bolder moves. My guess is that the Orioles price is still sky high.

RK - Polly was hit by a pitch in the elbow. Chase sprained his hand sliding headfirst into 2B. Madson kicked a chair in anger. How could regularly checking on the players health have made a difference with these injuries? Happ was pulled at almost the first sign of soreness and has remained out much longer than anticipated, due to reluctance to bring him back injured. I'm not inclined to judge the medical staff as reckless or negligent.

Jayson Werth pulling a hybrid Mike Richards/Jeff Carter saga it seems. Put me fully on the player's side on this one. These reporters know some fools care about fairly meaningless gossip like this and it feeds the beat writer's ego as well.

The question remains whether the Lee trade was ordered by ownership or cooked up by Amaro.

And if you knew the answer to that question, would it make one iota of a difference?

I heard that that psychologists are evaluating the designation of a new mental disorder for the Diagnostic and Statistical Standards Manual (DSM):

CLDS, the "Cliff Lee Derangement Syndrome."

Gbrett, I heard a rumor that the Doctor sneaked into the clubhouse and strategically placed the chair where he knew Madson would kick it, so yes, I hold him responsible.

Werth has had the batting doldrums this month, hasn't he!

Just heard the Phils struck out 14 times yesterday, 8 times looking. Ouch.

"CLDS, the "Cliff Lee Derangement Syndrome."

According to the DSM, the cure for this was to send the patient on Halladay.

Evidently, they need to find another cure.

I'm not inclined to judge the medical staff as reckless or negligent.

With a larger budget for safety scissors and foam padding at CBP, we'd never lose a man to injury.

I'm not sure that Sheets can become the Ben Sheets of old in the NL, but I sure do believe that the Phils would benefit by adding Sheets and Ellis asap. If the price for Haren is what it is rumored to be, and if you buy that Oswalt wants someone to pick up his 2012 option (something we absolutely cannot do), I don't really see another pitcher out there who is worth getting. Ted Lily, despite his performance against our mediocre lineup yesterday, has pitched about the same as Sheets lately, and will probably have a more competitive market for his services.

A Sheets/Ellis package would help us upgrade in two places, and there is an element of high risk/high reward with Sheets that's also intriguing. Tommy John recoveries often take 18-21 months and Sheets could be entering that point where a pitcher is fully healthy after the procedure. Perhaps his last few starts are indicative of what he could do down the stretch.

Furthermore, he's on a one year deal so I think he's extra motivated to prove himself, and a return to the NL might be what he needs. If it doesn't work out, he can always walk after the season.

What's amazing to me is the propaganda brigade on here (Old Phan, Phlipper, and TTI) who try and dismiss any talk of Cliff Lee as if it doesn't matter.

We traded the one of the top 3 pitchers in baseball (making a significantly below-market salary) for 3 prospects (we won't even get into their quality), before a season in which we were expecting to contend for a world championship. Now that we're struggling, of course it's relevant to discuss. How could it not be? Seriously, how could it not matter that we gave away one of the best pitchers in baseball?

Jack, I think the injuries have played a much larger role in the Phillies problems than a single trade (and by the way, I hated the trade and still do, but what's done is done).
And it isn't like we haven't discussed it ad nauseum. Perhaps you missed those threads.

I don't think anyone thinks the trade was insignificant, Jack. No one liked losing Lee. No one.

+1 on Old Phan.

What's amazing to me is the propaganda brigade on here

Well, Jack, the team does pay me very well to shill for them on blogs..

Old Phan: So if we deal Ryan Howard at the deadline for a couple crappy prospects, you'd be cool with just saying "hey, I don't like it, but what's done is done"?

Jack, I'm wearing my Ibanez T-shirt jersey today. Mark Calcavecchia just picked up his call in play on TOC's 5th. Now there's a man who looks old and past his prime.

Why do we have such a propensity for labels? If someone is more critical than we like, we label them negative or question whether they truly enjoy the team. If someone is more positive than we like, we label them propagandists or say they lack realism.

Fork you, Raul.

Sophist: Yeah, Calc is not exactly having a banner day. Too bad.

Someone might wanna tell Raul that even if he isn't "washed up", he's not exactly a young Rickey Henderson either.

Dictionary Definition of the phrase "pressing your luck:" Raul Ibanez trying to steal 3rd after he successfully stole 2nd.

Whily is Ibanez...I...I don't understand what happened in that inning.

Jack-From your track record, you'd be happy if they dealt Howard.

Abreu / Rolen / Lee. A nice little team there of what ifs.

Ibanez stealing bases. Stealing 3B, no less. Guess he was trying to make something happen. I'm not sure whether to applaud the aggressiveness or bemoan it.

Jack: When it permeates every single thread it ceases to be relevant and just gets downright annoying.

Secondly, not having Cliff Lee is not the team's problem. It's a dumb red herring argument that people keep bringing up because it's an easy thing to say. It requires no thoughtful analysis to type "We lost Cliff Lee." And really- pitching is not this team's problem.

Also, Cliff Lee is not a top 3 pitcher in baseball.

Lastly, stop with the propaganda brigade nonsense. I know it's your manner to insult someone when you post but try to bring something to the level of discourse.

Seriously, how could it not matter that we gave away one of the best pitchers in baseball?

Jack - no one said that it doesn't matter in the sense of evaluating how we got to where we are now. But perhaps you could explain WTF difference it makes at this point going forward?

Is there some cutoff point at which handwringing begins to actually make a difference in what the team does now or in the future? Perhaps, like, once we've reach 10,000 posts of complaint?

If so, can you let me know that point so I'll know just how much longer I'm going to have to put up with all this pitiful whining?

I wonder how Lopes feels about that one as well, although Prince Fielder may try to steal third with one out and Valdez-Pitcher due up.

Cliff Lee is NOT the sole reason we're struggling. No one can really argue that. But you can't argue that we wouldn't be BETTER with him. And you can't argue that it's foolish that every week or so a Phillies beat writer quotes Amaro as saying he is in the market looking for starting pitching. Something to the effect of, "pitching is what we're all looking for."

Well, guy, you had it. And Lee would have bailed the offense out a few times this year. He wouldn't have single handedly closed the gap between us and Atlanta, but if might have added a 2-3 game swing in this race.

And he sure as heck would have made us better positioned to win if we get in.

phlipper: As long as we're struggling and he's setting the major league record for K/BB ratio in a season, I'm probably gonna talk about it. So prepare to deal with it for a while. I'm sure other blogs would be happy to have your commenting if you just can't deal with it here.

It was a horrible deal, and frankly I think it set a bad tone for the season. Werth and Rollins both publicly noted how disappointed they were with it. I think it's relevant because, even though our starting pitching has generally been good, there's no doubt it would be better with Lee instead of Kendrick or Moyer in the rotation, and I think because it also speaks somewhat to Amaro's competence as GM. In that way, it's relevant because it makes me question the guy making the decisions for this team going forward.

JC Ramirez continues to pitch well in AA and Aumont had 2 encouraging starts in Clearwater. Perhaps all is not lost.

Jack: I think everyone on the blog would like Cliff Lee in the rotation. It would be crazy if someone said they didn't.

But people continually come on here and say that not having him is a huge mistake for this team and it's one of the reasons we are struggling. Starting Pitching is probably the least of our worries- right along with Ryan Howard.

Cliff Lee doesn't need to come up in every single thread. It's just overkill.

I actually like JC Ramirez a lot. I think he's going to be a solid MLB starter.

Anyway, let's just move on and talk about this game. I didn't even bring up Lee originally, others did.

Again, aggressive baserunning fails us.

Base running mistake by Shane? I'm SHOCKED.

Raul has dementia. Shane has ADHD.

Today, I'm playing doctor.

Yo, new midgame thread

TTI: Fair enough. I'll stop bringing it up as far as this season goes, unless we give up prospects for a starting pitcher at the deadline, in which case it's clearly relevant. I will also continue to use it to evaluate Amaro, which I think also makes it obviously relevant.

Otherwise though, I will try not to bring it up.

Anyway, the kind of baseball we are playing right now, it's not really going to matter.

Jack, I'd be more likely to buy into your propaganda if I thought starting pitching was anywhere near the top on the list of problems this team has.

St. Clifton can't win without run support either.

Larry Anderson: "That's Werth's first hit of the series. Seems like it's his first hit since the break!"

TTI and Phlipper, I have to cancel the next "Apologists for the FO" meeting we had scheduled for next week. I'll let you know when I'm available to reschedule.

Maybe I need to update my record-keeping. According to my Beerleaguer catealog, Old Phan belongs to the Blind Optimist Club, but not the FO Apologist Club. They're actually two different organizations & you're only allowed to belong to one.

BAP, shhh. I have been a secret member of the FO Apologist club, but I didn't want that info spread around.

Clutch Ruiz comes through here??

Why did Valdez slide into first there?

what is wrong with this blog,

That's 2 successful suicide squeeze plays with Castro on 3rd in this series alone

Did not see that coming.


We've moved on to the newer thread

But you're right.

Yo, Lawrence. Boom! Outta here!

The comments to this entry are closed.

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