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Wednesday, December 22, 2010


Why did they keep Drew Naylor and release Jesus! Sanchez?

Higher strikeout numbers. More potential to help a bullpen.

Scouting the Sally on Julio Rodriquez:

Why is Exxon playing winter ball?

What advantage is that to him or to the Phils?

limoguy: With marginal vets like Valdez, I don't think the team really cares either way. If he wants to go home to the D.R. in the offseason and play ball in his hometown league, I'm sure the Phils are fine with him making some extra change and getting some ABs in.

It's pretty common for replacement-level major leaguers to hop around the winter leagues as veterans. The teams really only concern themselves with their prospects and their stars (who mostly wouldn't play winter ball anyway).

Ok, for awh, let me qualify that last statement: That is an inference I've made based on my experience following baseball and does not represent an absolute truth.

Good to see all dem prospecks gettin lotsa rest.

He's making a hometown appearance.

Jack, glad to see you're now with the program!


Who has a better 2011? Hamels or Oswalt / Hamels or Halladay / Hamels or Cliff Lee.

are we all so sure its halladay 1, lee 2, oswalt 3, hamels 4?

I could see hamels having a monster year.

Shawn: If Hamels ends up having the best season on our entire staff, I would be surprised but not completely shocked.

Based on how I think they'll do in 2011, my rankings would be: 1) Halladay; 2) Lee; 3) Hamels; 4) Oswalt.

And, before TTI or Iceman go accusing me of being negative about Roy Osalt, let me say that I think they'll all have good seasons if they stay healthy.

Oswalt/Kendrick(with a new Oswaltion 12/6 hook).

What kind of money is on the line for Hamels for a 150+ ERA year this year?

I think it will be Halladay - Lee - Oswalt - Hamels, with Halladay being the only guy whose spot is on merit. The rest will be slotted to 'split the lefties'. I will go on record now as predicting that, if Hamels is slotted 4th in the rotation, he will win more games than he has previously, without regard to whether his peripherals are much better or worse than 2010.

Interesting to see what 18 year old righthander Josh Warner from a place called Surfers Paradise will do in the minor league camp this spring. He gave up his first earned run in the Aussie League this morning our time. In four outings for Brisbane he has struck out 12 in 11 innings walking two and giving up only three hits for a nice WHIP and ERA.

Yeah, Hamels' current status as one of the best pitchers with a mediocre W/L record may get lost if he manages to stick around with Doc and Lee and things go as planned.

Among starters with at least 100 decisions, at least 120 ERA+ -- Hamels is top 15 in lowest win pct. (.571), lower than King Felix (whose ERA+ is 10 higher) by .002.

Smoltz is in the top 20 too. Wonder what that is all about since you'd think he'd benefit from Maddux-Glavine in the same way.

Drew Naylor will someday be seen at the Zen. Most likely in a seat next to me after paying for his ticket.

Why he is on the 40 man over Jesus or even Yohan is a bit of a mystery. I know those guys were all fighting for the 39th or 40th spot, but either would have been a better choice than Naylor. Sometimes the last man on the roster does actually contribute, as rare at that might be.

"but either would have been a better choice than Naylor."

Probably not.

Where is Carlos Rivero?

Sophist: Why would playing with Doc and Lee affect Hamels' W-L record? Isn't that just dependent on the offense, not other starters?

I'm unclear as to how Doc and Lee would help Hamels win more games, unless you think that Hamels would now be lined up against more 3-4 starters instead of 1-2 starters? I suppose that's true, but I think that sort of goes out the window during the season because of different off-days, injuries, etc.

Nice answer, Jack. Makes sense. Thanks!

BAP - Your such a downer. Each of them will win 20 games and finish 1-2-3-4 in the Cy Young Voting.

Jack, in the long run he'd face more 3-4 types than in previous years. It's not perfect, but I'd imagine there's a reason guys like Kyle Kendrick get such good run support year after year.

It's not just KK. In each of the last 4 seasons, the Phillies' worst starter, by ERA, has nonetheless reached double-digit win totals. Some of this is simply because
the Phillies have had good offenses. But some is because of the matchups. If you're a 4th starter, you're definitely going to see considerably more matchups against the other team's middle and back-end guys over the course of the year.

Good scouting report of Valle here

I am soooo glad I picked up the Australian Sports Package (only $2500 a season on FIOS), those performances make it worth my time to set that alarm for the games. The missus and I were going to go to Phantasy camp down there but the only location available was Bocamilla. I just said "No worries, mate."

Sophist and b_a_p are explaining my prediction. It doesn't work out exactly but, it tends to follow suit early in the season and most managers (not Manuel in 2010) reset the rotation so that he matches strength on strength after the ASB. I think Hamels will get some more favorable matchups this year plus, he's just g__da__d due for some favorable results.

If Hamels is the #4 SP then expect him to be matched up many times against other #3,4,& 5 - thus he will have a chance for a monster year, maybe the most wins/ win%

Pencil Hamels in for 20 wins. It's time. That leaves 49 wins to divvy up between Halladay, Lee and Oswalt.

Conservative prediction for the Big 4:

Halladay: 34 GS, 234 IP, 27-3, 2.34 ERA
Lee: 33 GS, 231 IP, 29-4, 2.74 ERA
Hamels: 33 GS, 225 IP, 24-7, 2.91 ERA
Oswalt: 34 GS, 217 IP, 22-5, 3.21 ERA

Combined: 102-19.

I figure conservatively on a 125 win season next year.

My girlfriend in high school gave me a nasty case of Felix Caspedes once.

I don't know what the Phil's individual pitching stats will be, but I would presume that Chooch oughta lead the league in catchers' ERA.

It would nice starting out 42-2 before interleague play.

Now that we have 2 AL #1 pitchers, I'd like to think we'll do okay in interleague play.

I would love to see a study of pitching matchups over the course of a season. I don't think its anywhere near what some people think.

The guy who struck and killed Angels pitcher Nick Adenhart was sentenced to 51 years-life today. Terrible story, bears keeping in mind during the holiday season. 3 lives ruined (4 including the guy who was convicted, he was only 24).

Picked up Cespedes myself after a commercial transaction.

My hope is that Oswalt has the best season of the top four. He is certainly capable, and I want him to force the Phils' FO into some serious soul searching next off-season.

I predict that all four will have fine seasons and that Lee will be fourth best.

I'm already miss'n Joe Blanton in the rotation. Can't the Phillies wait until he reels off his yearly 8 game streak before trading him for the final piece.

i would love to see some pitching match up statistics.

I've tried before but its too arbitrary. I've gotten pretty good with retrosheet, but still can't really come up with a good SQL code to prove any of the things bap and sophist are saying.

jason: This isn't scientific and I don't have the time to finish right now. But in KK's first 10 starts last year, the opposing starters were:

Craig Stammen
Craig Stammen again
Tommy Hanson
Rodrigo Lopez
Jon Niese
Brad Penny
Greg Smith
Charlie Morton
Daizuke Matsuzaka
Chris Volstad

Among that group, about half are fringe major leaguers, another 2 or 3 are back-enders, 2 are injury reclamation projects who essentially pitched like back-enders last year, and exactly one is a front-line starter. That only gets us through one-third of his starts & I'm in no way suggesting that it proves my theory. But it does show exactly the pattern I would have predicted.

I just noticed how the Strange Days cover is an accurate depiction of our bullpen and bench.

Every dirty dog will have its day

bap: here is hamels:

j marquis
j marquis
n robertson
k benson
t lincecum
a wainwright
k kawakami
d bush
j lackey
m pelfrey

pretty mediocre but i will admit there are a couple studs there that raises the list above kendricks. Now lets see Hamels last 10 when we aren't in april/may and rotations are still in tact for the most part.

ra dickey
j sanchez
bud norris
clayton richard
c capuano
a miller
adalberto mendez
b beachy
p misch

yeah a couple nice pitchers on here, but for the most part a complete random draw that you'd get if we just took 10 random box scores and wrote the pitcher down.

And like you, i am not using this to prove my point, as this would be like using a 5 day cold front in philadelphia to disprove global warming across the globe. Just an example that the status of a pitcher does not define his competition.

jason: I guess about the only thing we have proven is that there are a lot of crappy starting pitchers out there.

What time does that Australian League start?Drew Naylor's middle name is Roy.

On the twelfth day of Christmas, the Phillies gave to me...
12 points in the MVP voting for Chooch
11 man hugs from Mike Sweeney
10 smug smiles from Amaro
9 DL stints for J-Roll (guesstimate)
8 lame Affliction Victorino shirts
7 wins from Roy Oswalt
6 straight winning seasons by Charlie Manuel
5 blown saves by Lidge (big improvement!)
4 pitching aces
3 homeruns from Dane Sardinha (really?!)
2 crying teams over not getting Lee (suck it NY!)
1 Cy Young, perfect game, and playoff no-hitter from Halladay
and no more corkscrew swinging strikeouts from Jayson Werth.

haha, nice Carson. Let's hope you're wrong on 9 and 5. I'll settle for 5 Golden World Series Rings (2011-2015). Not too much to ask.

Quincy- the 5 blown saves are what Lidge had in 2010, it's not a prediction. Also, I was exaggerating the Rollins DL stints.

I heard rumblings of a Hamels for Upton trade on MLB Network...anyone else hear that? What would you think of that trade?

I'd take the pitching superstar over the hitting superstar in almost every situation.

You guys are wrong about Felix Cespedes. It's the latin name for the six-footed cat.

The disease is called "Adam Eaton." And you can't have had it, cause it's fatal.

GRAB - dumb idea. Trading Hamels would mean we'd actually have to fix the offense.

Ha If we had Upton and Brown that would solve the youth problem in the lineup tho and we'd potentially have 2 of the best corner outfielders in the game in a few years

Yea, but then you'd have an old pitching staff.

Ha we have an old pitching staff with or without Hamels...he just brings down the average age a bit.

Can't say the idea of trading a maturing young pitcher with a WS MVP already on his resume and a lot of upside left, for a corner outfielder - unless the corner OF was maybe Roberto Clemente or equivalent.

I'd rather have Hamels than Upton.

THough, if I were running a team, a high-end CF locked in for 5 years is probably worth more than a high-end pitcher locked in for 2 years.

I'd still rather have Hamels though as he's a very tough Lefty who I dont think is even in his peak yet and he's a proven winner. Kid Cole has ice-water in his veins.

They're both great players with a lot of upside...The years is what I'm looking at. And the "protection" of a right handed bat in the lineup is also very intruiging. Would you guys be willing to trade Brown and Blanton and maybe someone else for Upton?

Hamels for Upton is pretty intriguing, but I would probably stick with Hamels. IMHO it's probably not even being considered at all, but if the Phillies did make the trade it would likely be b/c they didn't expect to be able to sign Cole longterm.

I'd rather keep our pitching staff together than weaken it to help the offense. Upton is a great young player and he could be a superstar in the making but Hamels is one of the best LHPs in baseball and he's just entering his Age 27 season.

And Oswalt & Lee have back issues that make it iffy for them to stay healthy the next couple years. Hamels mitigates that issue by giving us 4 #1 pitchers. Dont break up the band before they even get to their first gig.

***Would you guys be willing to trade Brown and Blanton and maybe someone else for Upton***

In a heartbeat...even if that someone else was a guy like Jon Singleton or Jared Cosart. Upton is a special player. Hell, I'd even pay some of Blanton's salary.

They might be thinking Cole will want 100 mil when his contracts up and if they can get Upton for 5 years at I think 65 is better longterm. Maybe they trade Hamels this year and then when his contracts up in AZ they'll resign him haha

Cole is probably worth 5 years, $100 million if that locks him up from 2013-2017 (Age 29 - 33 seasons)

Cole was a very good to great pitcher when he was just a fastball/changeup guy. Now that he's developed a solid cutter, increased his fastball velocity and is even making his curve a respectable 4th pitch, he's becoming downright dangerous. His change is still a gimme out pitch. His cutter got better and better as the year went on and his low-to-mid 90s fastball is devastating thanks to his great change.

And yet, Justin Upton is also a very good young RF who is under team control for the next 5 seasons.

Hamels for Upton. Very intriguing. Hamels has much upside, as previously stated, and he makes the Phils rotation downright ridiculous. However, to get a player of Upton's age and potential...well, that would be tough to pass up. Also, Upton will save the team money in the short term. Not saying I'd do the deal, but something to definitely ponder.

I'd love to see Upton traded for Blanton and others...Hate to give up Brown tho...

DWL teams, like most Latin American winter league teams, play to win. They'll use the best players, the players who are producing, and bench the rest regardless of how highly they are viewed as "prospects."

Which makes the lack of playing time for Cesar Hernandez, Fidel Hernandez, Harold Garcia, Michael Martinez, Freddy Galvis (do the Phils lead the league in middle INF prospects who can't hit?), Antonio Bastardo and David Herndon, well, interesting.

Mego: Newman's Sally League reports are first rate and I think his assessment of Valle is on the money. It supports what I've read elsewhere. He's got defensive issues, but they are not insoluable.

I think it will be Halladay - Oswalt - Lee - Hamels

"...even if that someone else was a guy like Jon Singleton or Jared Cosart..."

If you traded away Brown and either of these guys in the same transaction you'd be a true loony. Please tell me you're not that crazy.

Yeah, maybe the D'Backs will take Rizotti and Tuffy.

Rizotti might be an ok trade chip if he has a good start

The rotation will be Halladay, Lee, Oswalt and Hamels or Hamels then Oswalt....does it really matter tho?

In re: DWL playing time
What it mainly means is that those guys are all not performing right now. I think it's pretty clear that, to this point in their minor league careers, Garcia and C. Hernandez have been "able to hit." The question about them is whether they'll be able to hit going forward. Even Fidel has shown some hitting ability, though I see him as the lesser of two Hernandezes.

Andy: Who will have the longest and most productive MLB career: Dom Brown, Jon Singleton or Justin Upton?

I know my answer.

Since it is just idol talk:

Trading Justin Upton for Hamels? Yes. Without a doubt. Hamels is a very good pitcher but he is only controlled through the end of next year. Can't imagine he signs for everything less than under $100M or $20MM/season. Upton is locked up for 5 more years and is just entering the prime of his career where he will arguably be the best RF in the NL.

It would give the Phils a better shot to win this year and in the more longer term.

Upton. Easily.

But is Upton > Hamels + Brown + Singleton?

Not so sure.

Andy: I agree. They are not performing now. Which, as I say, is interesting.

Andy - No although Hamels and Singleton are very tempting.

Andy: I agree, again. Upton for Hamels and one of the other two is an intersting proposition. But not for both.

Indians have outrighted old friend Justin Germano and he could become a free agent. He had a 3.31 ERA and 29/8 K/BB ratio over 35 1/3 innings last season. Durbin replacement?

****Andy: Who will have the longest and most productive MLB career: Dom Brown, Jon Singleton or Justin Upton?

I know my answer.****

Upton. At least if I were betting on it.

I am still not sold on Hamels being extraordinary yet. He still sweats more thann Blanton every time a game is not 705. If he were to go to the AL East he would surely get shoved out of his comfort zone. He would get the chance to prove himself though.

On who in the rotation will have a better season:

I have to argue that the #4 guy will have a large advantage in the Win department. They will be pitching against someone that belongs at #4. I think it's going to be Hamels. 30 or so starts against people like Luis Atilano, Hisanori Takahashi, Ricky Nolasco, and Jair Jurrjens.

Usually, the whole rotation order thing is completely overblown as team rotations rarely stay aligned for the season. A few weeks in and its completely random...other than skipping #5 guys with off-days and what not. I dont think that Hamels will have a HUGE advantage as a result of being the #4 on paper.

And Jair Jurrgens is a #4 now?

So say you trade Hamels for you keep Blanton then? Do you pick up Oswalts option at the end of the year?

You obviously have to keep Blanton if you trade Hamels. You cant go into the season with KK and Worley in the rotation and nothing available in Lehigh in case of injury.

I love saying, and hearing Sarge say, Jair Jurrgens.

aksmith: While Sanchez & Flande have more upside potential than Naylor, neither could step in during an emergency at the big league level and help this coming season. Naylor can. That's why he was kept over the other two, who are longshots to ever pan out despite their better potential.

I do think there is a (very) slight edge for pitchers who slot in the 4th or 5th spot in the rotation because of matchups. But beyond the rotation changes due to injuries and off-days that mitigate against that, there is also this: Guys who were slotted 2 or 3 have terrible years, while guys slotted 4 or 5 have very good years. So Jason Marquis was the Nats #2 last season and wound up pitching worse than a #5. While some #5s end up having years more suited to a #2.

Mister Zoomer: Love the name.

clout: If by "step in," you mean step in and get absolutely pummeled, then, yes, Drew Naylor can do that. Would Sanchez or Flande get pummeled even worse? Probably so but, just as Cliff Lee thought there was no material difference between $120M and $150M, I see no material difference between a guy who gives you 2 innings with absolutely no chance to win and a guy who gives you only 1 inning with absolutely no chance to win.

Besides, Naylor is like our 8th starter at best. Assuming we trade Blanton, that leaves the loser of the KK/Worley battle as our emergency starter, with Carpenter next in line. MAYBE Naylor is next, although you could also make a case for JC Ramirez or (more likely) some as-of-yet unsigned veteran off the LV roster who has major league experience.

It's not like I think Sanchez or Flande were any great losses but, if either have any potential at all, they'd be worth keeping over Naylor. He is just occupying roster space.

I'm really not concerned about Sanchez, Flande or Naylor. All 3 were pretty much 40 man roster filler as it was. We can pick up guys off the scrapheap with more value than any of them would ever give us even if they reach their respective potentials.

We're the Phillies, not the Pirates, people. Think how a big-market team thinks.

NEPP: Totally agree with you. I'm not too broken up about the loss of Flande or Sanchez. I was merely commenting on the notion that Naylor might have some actual use to the Phillies. All 3 of these guys were basically just taking up spots on the 40-man roster. The same can be said of a few other guys on our 40-man roster, most notably Brian Bocock.

I think Bocock serves a legit purpose given our complete lack of prospects at SS and JRoll's recent injury issues. Bocock could at least give us good defense at SS if Jimmy were to go down (though Valdez would obviously be the starter in such a situation).

I'm not counting Martinez becuase we dont know if we'll be keeping him due to the restrictions inherent in a Rule 5 pick.

I would not trade Hamels for Justin Upton on a talent exchange. Financially it might make some sense.

I do not think Upton will be a superstar. Granted he finished his 3rd full major league season when he should have been graduating college but I could see his value at a Josh Willingham level (20HR, 15SB, .270/.360/.470). Stanton, Heyward and even Brown could be just as good.

While Hamels has won a World Series MVP and appears to be getting better. Plus he is not even in his walk year yet.
Acquiring an "Ace" pitcher is one of the most expensive endeavors in in baseball. Obtaining a good hitting OF is not quite so difficult.

I could see getting a player like Upton. We all know what the pros of that are. However, I cannot advocate the trading of Hamels to do so. What is the purpose of putting together the rotation that we have only to tear it apart? Of course, then Blanton would be our #4.

I would much rather see Blanton a prospects in a trade for Upton. Happy Holidays to everyone!!!!

Can J.W. quiet the masses by giving us a Merry Cliffmas with Cliff Lee in a Santa Hat in a bouncing head .gif?

pretty please?

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