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Monday, December 27, 2010


JC Romero will be the Phillies LOWGY (Lefty One Walk Guy) once again in 2011.

Ain't no money left in old Monty's cupboard. Lets get one of the Hairston boys and get on with this season.

"At the very least, the situational lefty issue is off their plate." and off the plate as too. Well played Mr. JW.

A "terrific" second lefty? Huh? I can think of at least two other far more appropriate descriptions of one of the most frustrating, can't-find-the-plate situational relievers in the Phillies' pen that start with "terr" but have a different suffix: try terrible, terrifying.

Left-handed One Walk Situational guY.

Note the caps.

Worth the gamble.

The pool of lefty relief was a bit shallow in the first place. It's obvious they weren't going to go after Fuentes. Reyes, Romero, Biemel, Ohman, Mahay, at the end of the day will probably put up similar numbers. Best to go with the devil you know at this point.

What about Joe Beimel? I wanted to buy a Phils '97' jersey, yo.

(1) Very nice, Andy.

(2) I don't mind this deal for the money JW proposes.** I guess I have a soft spot in my heart for JC. I always thought he got a raw deal in the PED situation, and he seems like a likable guy. I wish he would throw a few more strikes, though.

(3) And ...Reyes, who allegedly flunked his physical... No way! Not that physical specimen. Say it ain't so.

**I've heard the term "vet minimum" used countless times, but is there a "veteran minimum" salaray? I just looked at the CBA and it only lists minimum salaries for MLB contracts. It only distinguishes between MLB and MiLB contracts (which depends on service time). It does not differentiate any service time in MLB contracts. Am I missing something?

at least this will stop you guys from talking about the stupid fake trade rumor

Glad to have you back THROW STRIKES!!

Well, the news could be worse.

They could announce a trade of Hamels for Upton.

Busiest offseason ever and the roster is the same. Baseball is a mental game.

I'm thinking JC was signed to spice up the Hamels/Upton trade.


I know his control has made him almost useless at times, but I still think he can be effective. And if not, he's still a badass.

Badass and shiny pinstripes tipped the scales on this deal.

I was gonna tie in a Hamels-Upton trade rumor/joke, but I see it's been expounded on already.

Not sad to see Romero back, a "better the devil you know..." type of situation, I guess.

I keep having this dream. One day, JC will wake up one morning, go to the ballpark, and have filthy command. Hitters will be so frustrated they'll start to think their facing a reconstituted Sandy Koufax. This will seem, to Phillies' fans, as though they are in some kind of an alternate universe.

This will cause such disorientation among the fanbase, that they'll collectively doubt whether or not it's really the Phillies that they're watching:

"Who's playing 2B today, Marlon Anderson?"
"Is our GM named Woody?"
"This great ballpark can't be ours, we must be in Baltimore."
"This is great, I came down to the ticket office and got my box seats on the first baseline right before the game!"
"Wow, beer is only $2."
So you think Robert Person is pitching today?"

I'm truly hoping that all of JC's relatives gave him remotes for Christmas - that's the only was he'll possibly have any control.

And for Chooch this season - a pack of 100 index cards for when JC is called in. They're all printed;

Where's Durbin, in Limbo? What the hell, they may as well sign him too at a fire sale price.

Big Truck

There's your bullpen. No room for Durbin.

I'd rather have Romero than Reyes. That's about all I can say.

I see that even the picture is on the fully extended back-hand side for Ruiz.

Ten million bucks says he's the primary LOOGY and that he gets brutally overused by UC as a result of his veteran status.

not with this rotation

Romero and Baez. The Vet bias.

if you give me 10mil:1 odds, you're on.

Well, the team barber they've got that going for them...which is nice.

If none of the 4 aces are injured when the season starts I'd rather only care a 6 man pen and a larger bench. I'd really like to have a guy you can't hit a lick so it doesn't matter that he's not getting any AB's that can play defense and has speed. Greg Golson where are you? Still with the Yankees?

Andy - I think you nailed it.

"Better The Devil You Know" i guess than somebody like Mahay or Biemel who I bet the Phils called too and didn't like the terms they were asking for right now (~$1-$1.3M.)

My bet is that Romero's base than Reyes did but has some incentives that take him in and likely somewhat above Reyes got as his base ($1.3M).

PS since when has "Leslie Gudel" ever broke a story?

My bet is that they literally took Reyes' contract, crossed out Reyes' name and wrote in 'JC Romero' in blue ink, initialed the changed and forwarded it to Romero's agent for signature.

And they likely asked that for the hot tub to convey.

Matt Gelb had a good article putting the bullpen in prespective.

--With Halladay Hamels and two months of Oswalt, the Phils bullpen pitched the least amount of innings the majors (421).

--With a full season of Oswalt and Lee, they're projected to only have about ~340IP by relievers.

--Even if they go below 400IP for relievers, they'll be the 4th team in since 2000 to do so.

Gelb makes a good point about our 2012 bullpen being essentially empty besides bigtruck, and that a boatload of low leverage innings could be occupied by a lot of young guys to help excelerate their progression and hopefully made useful in the very future seasons.

very *near* future seasons

very *near* future seasons

Amaro's first real mistake this offseason. Romero did generally get lefties out last year but he was a pretty poor pitcher overall the last 2 years. Just been very good at getting out of trouble with men on base. Doubt he is as lucky this year.

Hell, in 23 of his 60 appearances last year he threw strikes 50% of the time or less and only got first-strikes against about 47% of the hitters he has faced the past 2 years which is pretty poor. Basically a crapshoot every time out. By the playoffs, even Cholly had lost faith in Romero.

The guy here to sign if the Phils wanted an effective LOOGY who was reliable and really cost-effective was Choate (2 yrs/$2.5M) who signed with the Fish. Phils will see plenty of him this year as he likely often gets the better of the likes of Howard/Utley/Ibanez late in games. - Where are these useful young relievers though in the Phils' system? I keep hearing that there are plenty of 'replacement-level' options. Who? De Fratus would be much better off starting the year as Reading's closer and Worley as a starter at Lehigh.

When I first heard of this possibility about a week ago, I was aghast. That I've come around to feeling less aghast speaks well of the Phillies' favorite PR tactic -- you know, the one where they dangle an unapepealilng rumor out there for a week or two, so that their fans can get used to the idea, before actually closing the deal.

likely often eh

MG: none are useful right now, thats the point. If the Phils find themselves in a bunch of low leverage innings this year, they could use those innings to help make them "useful".

Maybe after a few months in the minors this year the likes of Mathieson, De Fratus, Stutes, Schwimer, Worley, and to lesser extent Zagurski have earned chances to face MLB hitting in low leverage situations and jump start their progresion as viable options in 2012 and beyond.

"There's your bullpen. No room for Durbin."

Two things. First, I don't get the impression that the Phillies are committed to keeping Baez. Second, while I think Worley could be a nice bullpen arm, they might prefer to option him to AAA for another half season or so, & bring in someone more proven like Durbin (or someone like him). If so, that would leave the final spot in the bullpen for Worley, Herndon, or Baez.

Phils are gonna eat $2.5M for the difference between Baez and Drubin

having trouble with the double post/posting too soon today.

The phils are gonna eat $2.5M for the difference between Baez and Durbin(or someone like him), plus whatever their salary would be, just to pitch the 6-7th inning that will likley be occupied by a starter around 66% of the time?

That would be a pretty big waste of payroll in my opinion.

jason: I don't know whether they'll resign Durbin. But, if they don't, it won't be because Baez is locked into their roster; it will be because they think (perhaps "hope" is a better word) that Herndon or the loser of the KK/Worley battle (probably Worley) can adequately fill Durbin's role.

Unlike Durbin, Worley, & Herndon, Baez is strictly a 1-inning guy. The Phillies are right to bring him back to spring training because he still has decent stuff and, given his wildly up-and-down career, it's not out of the question that he could be a decent 7th inning guy this year. But I do think he'll have to earn his way onto the roster with a strong spring training. If Herndon and/or Worley substantially out-perform Baez in spring training, the Phillies will just dump him as the sunk cost that he is.

bap: eh, yeah i can agree with that. But I think Baez is competing with playesr already on the roster, so if he loses out, it wont trigger a free agent signing like Durbin, but just a promotion to Herndon/kk/worley.

Assuming Blanton is eventually traded, wouldn't they be smart to keep Worley stretched out as a starter in AAA?

jasontp - Lumping Mathieson, De Fratus, Stutes, Schwimer, Worley, and to lesser extent Zagurski doesn't make much sense.

De Fratus still needs more time in the minors. He only has a few months at Reading. He more of a '12 team. Schwimer too.

Stutes looks more like a fringe MLB reliever/depth guy. Mathieson isn't a MLB-caliber pitcher unless he learns a new trick. Zagurski isn't either. Just strictly an organizational depth guy.

Worley will either start the season in the rotation or at Lehigh as a starter. I would be really surprised if they leave him in the bullpen. Better off stretching out his arm and having him as a possible callup option if needed in June/July.

bap - They won't resign Durbin at this point. Might look for a right-handed bat for the bench who can play that OF but that's about it.

I agree with you on Baez either. People who think the Phils will release him in spring training don't follow this team. He will make the Opening Day roster unless he is injured. If he is ineffective early on, he will just be gradually phased out over the summer.

The only thing I am interested to see yet is if they move Blanton. Really the only 'big move' they will make before the season starts.

Almost have the feeling that the only reason they haven't already is because teams are asking for the Phils for cash as a part of the trade upfront which defeats the primary purpose of moving him (salary reduction). If the Phils could move Blanton without any cash, my bet is that they would have already in a salary dump.

Baez has a guaranteed spot on his Opening Day roster especially since Durbin isn't likely to be back.

"Amaro's first real mistake this offseason."

MG~ You wouldn't call the Reyes "deal" a mistake? IMO, RAJ corrected it the best he could. JC wanted to come back and took a sizable pay cut to do so. At least you know what you have with him.

"People who think the Phils will release him in spring training don't follow this team."

I was following them when they ate Geoff Jenkins and Adam Eaton's contracts, which were a lot larger than Baez's.

MG: Wouldn't Mathieson testing his splitter on MLB hitting be a better test to see if he'll be helpful in 2012 than striking out more than a AAA player per inning for a full season?

Stutes was slightly over a batter per inning last year as well.

Might as well throw Andrew Carpenter in some low leverage innings out of the pen just to see if he can maybe improve himself in short 1 inning spurts instead sucking for 5.

I'm not betting that anyone of those guys will be great relievers, I just think that if our bullpen will be less relied upon at historic levels, why not use that advantage to give some some guys a test in the bigs and hope someone impresses or at least uses it improve themselves in the near future.

BAP - Those are really good points especially the Jenkins contract. Phils' released Eaton though on Feb. 27, 2009 even before spring training. Eaton didn't even pitch in a spring training game.

Phils did eat Jenkins' contract though. I remember being really surprised they released him right at the end of spring training in 2009 (March 31st) after he had a so-so spring training.

Maybe it was all part of RAJ's plan to "sign" Reyes only to fail. So JC would realize he had to lower his price or leave town.

ugh is all i have to say


can we define pay cut? Unless there is proof that a better offer was out there for Romero, we cannot classify him as taking a pay cut simply because he is making less money this year. He just wasn't worth the 4 million last year and now we are paying him in relation to the expected output.

If Romero is earning more than Taschner money (about 800,000), then he is being overpaid. No other team in baseball would have given him a straight major league deal. Hopefully, the Phillies didn't offer him what they were going to overpay Reyes with.

There is a reason JC didn't already have a job. He's been pretty bad for two seasons. There is no reason to give a guy like that much more than the veteran minimum salary.

I'm not a great fan of this signing, but the one attribute which separate Romero from the other mostly fungible LOOGYs on the FA market is his ability to induce ground balls. The Phillies obviously value that attribute, because Reyes had this same ability. Beimel, Byrdak, Ohman, Okajima, and Mahay do not.

I just hope this doesn't turn out to be anything more than a one-year deal.

JC hate is a little stronger than I think it warrants.

Romero vs LHB over past three years: .171/.278/.251

yeah there is some kind of metric out there that says he's the 2nd best lefty specialist in baseball. problems is of course, he walks the park

Romero had 11 walks in 97 plate appearances against lefties last season. He walked 18 righties in 74 plate appearances.

So that's 1 BB every 8.81 LHB plate appearances
And 1 BB every 4.11 plate appearances.

Consider a LOOGY appearance constitutes maybe 0.2 innings, that's one every 4 games or so against lefties, one every 2 games or so against righties.

Clearly he should avoid righties at all costs, but against lefties he's perfectly acceptable.

I'm cool with Romero at a much more reasonable salary although I do like the personality and fun that Joe Beimel always seems to add to a team. (I know that's not a good enough baseball reason to consider him.)
Wouldn't totally relegate Mathieson to only ever being a minor leaguer. He could develop a splitter or other effective second pitch. I have a bud who spoke with him a few times last year up in the Lehigh Valley and was struck by how earnest and serious Mathieson is about pitching. He tries really hard: maybe someday it may pay off for him to earn a spot on an MLB roster. In the two innings we saw him last year, he looked pure nervous.
I feel Blanton should only be traded if we don't have to pick up ANY of his salary. I know teams don't trade for 5th spot starters but surely there has to be some team hoping to make the playoffs where he would be a 3 or a 4 and has the payroll capabilities to afford him.

he's really a 3 on most teams. just not on the phillies

weird tweet from MLBTR...."Blanton, Mayberry, Scheider, Lillibridge, Quentin, Teahen....could be wrong though"????!!!????

I went to a game late last year with a friend who played collegiate baseball and put up some ridiculous hitting stats in the ivy league (yeah yeah yeah - he's still more of an expert than 99% of us).

I asked him which phillies pitcher he would LEAST want to face - he said Romero.

I told him at the time he was crazy. But I keep coming back to that when I think of this signing...

Malcolm: Funny thing is, when he isn't walking right-handed hitters, he's usually very effective against them. His right-handed BAAs over the last 4 seasons: .231, .156, .282, .198. Of course, if he occasionally threw a ball over the plate to right-handed hitters, those opposing batting averages would no doubt soar & many of those additional hits would go for extra bases. So he's probably better off issuing all the walks.

"can we define pay cut?"

Meaning he's making much, much less than last year.

AKSmith~ I don't think it's defined as a veterans minimun (unlike the NBA) but rather the major league minumim which is $414,500.00 for 2011.

loco, was your buddy a LH hitter?

Right, BAP, he isn't as bad as we're making him out to be, but then again, that's the norm here, where we push all the negative elements of a player's game in the front, as to warn us before the coffee even has a moment to cool down.

Here's a key stat from last year ...

Nobody on base: 88 PA, 12 BB
Runners on base: 83 PA, 17 BB
Runners in scoring position: 54 PA, 14 BB

Small sample, of course (but that's what you'll get what any reliever), but yeah - if Romero starts an inning that features primarily left-handed hitters, he should be a good bet.

DPatrone, it isn't a pay cut unless he is able to work somewhere else for a higher salary. If it is between making $1 million or $0.00, it cannot be classified as a pay cut.

bap, good point about Romero. If he could ever master the strike zone, he's be the just about the best releiver in MLB.

.231, .156, .282 against RHB
.171, .278, .251 against LHB

A guy who could do THAT consistently would be in line for another $4MM/yr.

NoName, why would the Phillies want Lillibridge and Tehean at this point?

Also, if Pavano goes to the Nationals, does adding Blanton to the White Sox make them the favorite in the AL Central? He's be joining Floyd, Buerhle and Peavy in the Sox rotation.

I agree with Malcolm on Romero. He's a decent LOOGY who totally sucks vs. RH hitters. There is value in that, although not as much as in a LOOGY who doesn't totally suck vs. RH batters.

Malcolm: Also on Beerleaguer, a Phillie is valued at twice his true value while non-Phillies get a 50% discount. Had Romero pitched for any other team over the past few years, this signing would be met with universal condemnation.

BAP: Keep in mind, Romero walked 1 in every 4 RH batters. That makes the .198 BA not so hot because it means that better than 4 of every 10 RH batters is getting on base via a hit or a walk.

I am just hoping any day now that he will admit he hurt himself celebrating the WFC in 2008 or perhaps Jimmy gave him a sh-tload of deer meat last year and he slipped while carrying it and finally today he feels like he returned to Sox 2006 form.

clout: And getting a valuable - but not incredibly valuable - LOOGY at below market value despite him getting substantial pay raises over the last few years while pitching meaningful baseball for your always-contending franchise?

That's good business.

And a long set-up question.

that was lidge who hurt himself in the celebration

awh - yeah he was a lefty of course, but what really surprised me was that he said Romero instead of Hamels. Thought romero was filthier. Maybe it was the $9 bud lights talking.

As for the signing, Romero is a loser but so were all the other options. I'm ok with it.

Malcolm: Assuming he's getting something around $750k-$1M with incentives, I agree.

"Also on Beerleaguer, a Phillie is valued at twice his true value while non-Phillies get a 50% discount. Had Romero pitched for any other team over the past few years, this signing would be met with universal condemnation."

Was Reyes' agreement met with universal condemnation?

Yes st, everybody knows, I just hope that is his excuse too.

clout: Yep. Good BAA, terrible WHIP. I'm not suggesting he's effective against right-handers. I'm only pointing out the oddity that, when he isn't walking them, he's pretty good at getting them out. Of course, that's only because it's hard for hitters to post a good batting average against a pitcher who doesn't throw anything over the plate.

Clout - Your constant whining is annoying. Nobody is HAPPY that J.C. Romero is coming back. EVERYONE and I do mean EVERYONE wanted someone better. He is not a good loogy anymore and really has been less than good for the last two seasons.

But, we know they're not going to spend for a Fuentes or even a Takahashi. In fact, they didn't go after Feliciano or Takahashi even when they hadn't spent any money yet on Cliffie. So, their priorities were always likely were elsewhere.

So, you come along to tell us all that BL posters aren't giving JC any crap because we all overvalue Phillies and former Phillies. What a self-serving bunch of BS.

Ask anyone on here if JC was their first, second or even third choice, and you'll find he wasn't higher than third on even the lists of his blood relatives. The only reason Romero was ever on a list to be considered is because our other apparent option was the execrable Denys Reyes.

So, put a lid on it, Clout. Your condescension belongs in your mother's basement with the rest of your moldy belongings.

If Bastardo throws strikes at 90+ mph with any movement on them and J.C.Romero's elbow? forearm? is OK for the entire season, things could come up roses. So much for the LOOGY -- who closes?

The more I think about it, Lidge's need to throw a 90 mph slider consistently for strikes does not bode well in the long term (like through the middle of May). Lidge's gradual loss of velocity and recent history of injury also gives pause. How about Jose Contreras in the 8th and Madson closing (when that need arises; hopefully not often)?

Lets give Matheson more than 2 innings to prove himself. Dominating in AAA does mean something

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