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Thursday, December 09, 2010


Jose Mesa on line 3.

Good news. Can a full year Roy O trim The Durbinator's innings enough to keep him stronger in September?

Durbin Lives!

Patrone's gotta be loving this-Reyes, Durbin, Martinez!!!

Hey, whatabout me? Hello?

All set to go. The last piece.

Though I have moved on to my academic career (I am currently teaching teaching law at Oxford), I would like it to be known I have taken the precaution to keep my teeth sharpened for such an opportunity. I await your call.
Turk M. Wendell, esq.

I think if Durbin is in house the bullpen is pretty much going to be set going into the year.

It's going to be:


Not sure how I feel on that. I'd say it's probably about the same as what we had last year. I think Reyes is probably equivalent to Romero in many ways.

The big key to the season will be Baez having a good year. If he pitches well that means the Phillies don't necessarily always have to go to Contreras in the 7th. That would allow him to split work with him and might keep him fresher throughout the season.

There's no way they do a multi-year deal with Durbin. Otherwise, why would they have declined arb?

They better sign him for less than he would've made in arbitration. 1-year, $2 million. That's it. Max.

TTI: I wouldn't count on Baez. He's been in decline since 2006.

No, the big question is Bastardo. If he makes a significant step forward, then we have an additional live arm to bring in late in games and two legit lefties in the bullpen for the first time in forever.

I don't know if Bastardo will make a big jump, but he's got one of the better arms in the bullpen, if he can just harness the stuff.


Props to the fake J.D. Durbin comment. We'll always have The Real Deal's complete game shut out against Jake Peavy in '07!

Don't forget about meeeee!


Joe Savery - I've been trying to forget about you for years. Go away.

Every move this offseason by Amaro has been a lateral move including Reyes for Romero.

MG: I don't know, Durbin seems like an upgrade over Durbin.

I want to know what Pedro is doing.

I'm not terribly enamored of Durbin but he's been a fairly reliable reliever over his 3-year Phillies career & he has a good track record when it comes to staying healthy. Barring a spring training implosion, I'd assume Bastardo is in as the 2nd LOOGY. That really just leaves one bullpen spot that's open to competition -- with Baez, Herndon, & the loser of the Worley/KK battle as the 3 leading candidates. Frankly, Herndon & Worley/KK bring more to the table than Baez because they have the ability to pitch multiple innings -- which isn't something that anyone else in our bullpen is really capable of doing.

I think our goal is to have the oldest 25 man roster in the major leagues of the last 25 years.

I guess Rube hasn't figured out yet that baseball is getting younger in the post-cheater era and that teams are more then ever trying to add youth and energy to teams. Its also a more cost-effective way of doing business.

One thing is for certain...with Ryne Sandberg (who is used to winning in the minors) running the show at Lehigh and the players they should have, they might win 100 games next year.

The Phils right now have the feel of a team that is on a slow downslide and without any new blood and new bodies, that slide is only going to get more procipitous.

Durbin should have been sent packing. He gave the Phils about all you could have asked for. He threw a lot of innings and somehow got a lot of outs with mediocre stuff and command. Let him go. The one place this organization MAY have some depth is in the bullpen. Give a few kids a chance. Like just about every other team in baseball does.

To combine the previous posts, I'd like to see Pedro return, Kendrick in the pen and Worley and Herndon stashed away in Allentown, but for some reason, I think that if Pettitte retires and Pedro returns, he will be as a Yankee.

It just seems like something that both parties would do.

While some things change, dennyb's monthly declaration that the team is in a 'procipitous' decline stays the same.

denny b, your theme is so consistent, I'm never sure if you're completely serious or only half-serious. With that said, I tend to share your desire to see youth served in relation to the bullpen. It is telling, though, that those with the most knowledge of the arms 'down on the farm' seem bound and determined not to let them get to Philly in 2011.

Durbin is alright, and for middle relief that's good enough. However, Rube better not be laying down a multi-year deal worth anything more than $1.5M annually. Honestly, middle relief is a place to save money on a team and let guys work through growing pains coming up from the minors. I liked Durbin, but I really didn't want him back.

Stupid deal...Durbin was average at best last year.

Durbin's ERA+ for the last 2 seasons now...101. Woohoo. We're still looking at him as that guy with the amazing first half in 2008.

Look at it this way...our bullpen, which was brutal at times last year, will be essentially identical in 2011. Hell of a job Rube, hell of a job.

I would not be surprised to see Durbin get something like 2 yrs/ $3-3.5 MM. The conversations are probably proceeding along the lines of "less money/more years" - sort of like the 3 deals the Yankees reportedly offered "he who shall not be named".

Doesn't Urbina get out soon?

Jack: Baez is in decline since 2006? I guess we just pretend he wasn't good in 2009?

It's just a hunch but I think Bastardo is going to be really good this year out of the pen. My guess is he was told before he left for the off-season that he was going to be their left-handed option and he was told specifically what he needed to work at (control). That may have something to do with why they didn't go after a guy like Feliciano.

Baez means something because for much of last season the team was generally playing with a 6 man bullpen since Baez was pretty wretched. if he can improve he gives them another solid option and takes some workload off the other guys. Of course, bullpen arms being fickle and all he'll probably be great and one of the other guys will falter.

STHS: for setting a guy on fire? I hope not. Though, I bet he has an intimidating mound presence now. . . Maybe we could send the rest of the bullpen down to Venezuela all tricked out in commando gear and bust him out?

Urbina isn't decisive eenough to be a closer or a even a seventh or eighth inning guy.

i'd say dousing someone with gasoline, lighting them on fire and hacking at them with a machete is fairly decisive.

Maybe middle relief for Urbina. I found the quote by A.R.Orage: "When you have shot and killed a man you have in some measure clarified your attitude to him. You have given a definite answer to a definite problem. For better or worse you have acted decisively. In a way, the next move is up to him."

now we havie a fat version of romero..what an improvement.. of all off the leftys avail..raj signs zag's bookend.. o brother!

****i'd say dousing someone with gasoline, lighting them on fire and hacking at them with a machete is fairly decisive.****

Yeah, but he didnt even do that well as the guy didn't die. Wouldn't that be considered a "Blown Save"?

Oh, and his sentence ends in word on whether he'll get released early on "good behavior".

You could probably use him to send a message in the fourth inning of blow-out where the other team just keeps stealing bases on a bruised arm catcher.

I would hate to be a young player in this organization,you get NO shot.

"I would hate to be a young player in this organization,you get NO shot."

And who is not getting a shot who deserves it? I guess you can make a case for Mathiesen, but I don't think he even makes the Top 10 prospect list of a mediocre farm system.

I'm not a big fan of the 2010 Durbin version. Maybe Rube knows more than we do (ya think??!!) about Durbin's condition. From my position, a thousand miles plus away. I'd send Durbin packing to somewhere else.

If Durbin's contract is for 1 year, I don't see the harm.

Don't know why Scott's coming on here saying we need to remember him. He's yesterday's news, baby. Meet the future.

I will give back to this organization exactly what they gave to me.

In 2021 Urbina will be Contreras' age, I think, so good for a two-year deal.

Unfortunately for his victim, Urbina has never generated many misses.

I don't know why people keep saying the bullpen will be the same. There is a major difference in that Chollie wioll actually have 100% more left-handed pitchers out there. I can't remember the last time the Phils started a season with 2 LH RPs.

**** I can't remember the last time the Phils started a season with 2 LH RPs.

You'd have to go all the way back to 2009 with Eyre and Romero.

Okay. I remember feeling pretty good about Eyre and Romero. (Despite my Alzheimer's). But how many times in the last 5 years?

NEPP - Romero was not on the opening day roster in 2009. He was in drug-induced pergatory.

CNNSI Beat Writer Tom Verducci says the Phils are shopping Joe Blanton.

Gotta be a method to the madness behind that.

Who are we targetting? Greinke? a full time RF?

The last time the Phils broke camp with 2 LH RPs was in 2006.

Actually, I was wrong..Romero was suspended for the first 50 games so Eyre was the only LHP until June.

And Romero was hurt to start 2010 too so we started the year off with Bastardo as the only LHP in the BP.

****Who are we targetting? Greinke? a full time RF?****

The asking price for Greinke is reportedly 5 prospects including 2 top pitching prospects. I honestly dont think we have that.

Ooh, I hope we shop Blanton so we can start KK and Worley...that'd be fun.

I don't mind the Durbin signing (for one year at low dollars, say, <$1,75). I think he gets a bad rep. The stats don't back me up, but I don't think his '09 and '10 were as bad as they appear. I think he had a few melt downs in extremely high leverage spots (which is just as bad), but overall I think he is serviceable. I believe he is a guy that falls off a metaphorical cliff when overused, as opposed to simply "wearing down". If his appearances/innings are limited, he could be effective.

Bullpens are always difficult to analyze. Who knows what this 'pen will do. On paper, it doesn't look that strong. If, however, Bastardo and Baez have good years, and all else stays equal, the 'pen could be pretty darn good. Not thrilled with the Reyes signing. But, if Bastard figures it out, Reyes becomes the second lefty, which is fine.

Drew, you forgot to put in the quote marks. As with any rumor this time of year it's a quick toss out to rumor eager fans: The Phils are "shopping" Joe Blanton.

It's kind of like Junior standing up in the middle of the winter meetings and making an announcement, "I wonder if anyone who wants Joe Blanton can meet me over by the podium after this session. Thanks."

CNNSI Beat Writer Tom Verducci says the Phils are shopping Joe Blanton.

Isn't this always the case? It must be tough for Blanton to go out every fifth day knowing that he is not necessarily pitching to help his team win, but to audition for his next job.

Billingsley, I agree.

I wish it was someone better than Reyes. But when I look at, say, the 2007 bullpen, guess what? This pen does not look that bad. Really, it mainly depends on what Lidge does at the end of games.

Joe's going out to pitch thinking, "Chollie's got pizza in his office if I can keep from melting down..."

The big question isn't the bullpen, which is largely lateral movement with middle relievers anyway. It's RF. We lost 145 OPS. How will Rube replace that?

Really, it mainly depends on what Lidge does at the end of games.

Absolutely right. I tend to think that is the case with most 'pens. If the closer is good, and all of the other pitchers are in their appropriate roles, there aren't many issues. Disturb the roles and all hell breaks loose. I don't know why that is, but it seems to happen more often than not.

Durbin basically lost us the NLCS with his complete and utter meltdown appearance there.

****How will Rube replace that?****

He wont.

That's also why I kinda hoped we sign Fuentes as the LH RP. In a pinch he could close or set up.

Oh well. Rube signs two pitchers, one neck.

One more complete game SP artist would alleviate some of the BP burden.

"The stats don't back me up, but I don't think his '09 and '10 were as bad as they appear."

I think the stats DO back you up, at least for last year. A 3.80 ERA, 8.3 K/9, and .246 BAA are all quite good. Still, I kind of share NEPP's view: the bullpen was a weakness for most of last year & our solution was to bring back all the same guys, save for replacing Romero with a nearly identical pitcher.

Durbin basically lost us the NLCS with his complete and utter meltdown appearance there.

Is that sarcasm? If not, that's a bit of hyperbole there, no? It was a big loss, no doubt, but to put the blame on Durbin for giving up 2 runs in the 8th of Game 4 is a little much.

[I guess my soft spot for Durbin is beginning to show in this thread.]

Amaro is going to bring Durbin back? Unless the guy was pitching with exposed nerves and tendons in his right arm last season, there is simply no reason for this. There will be a half dozen or more righthanded relievers sitting out there without jobs when the music stops playing. And at least half of them will be about as good as Durbin and will play for major league minimum or thereabouts.

Maybe Rube Jr. is aware of a medical problem that kept Durbin from functioning effectively last season. But absent that, this is a mistake. If Durbin were a lefty, this would be a no brainer. But for a righty, this is dumb.

And anyone who spends part of their post saying this -- "A lot depends on Baez having a good season" -- should have their BL privileges suspended for a month. Baez appeared to be throwing with good velocity and pretty good health last season, and he stunk. I think that's enough to prove that he's a waste of a roster space.

Guys like Durbin and Kendrick are good company men. Work hard, stay out of trouble and add just enough junk to the ball to stay even with the hitters every year.

"Maybe Rube Jr. is aware of a medical problem that kept Durbin from functioning effectively last season."

How is a 106 ERA+, an 8.3 K/9, and a .246 BAA not "functioning effectively?" Do you really think you're going to find "a half dozen" guys on the scrap heap who can equal that? You'd be lucky to find a half dozen guys on the scrap heap who can equal Baez's 2010 performance.

Things that have me cautiously hopeful:

1. Amaro is reportedly shopping Blanton.
2. The last time he did so, it was followed soon after with the Lee/Halladay trade.
3. Grenkie is likely to be dealt.
4. The Phillies have had internal discussions about Grenkie.
5. Grenkie is under team control for 2 years - Oswalt's option would not need to be picked up for 2012 if finances do not allow.

I've gotta admit, it's fun to chuckle about what the BL comments would be like for an Urbina return to Phils' pinstripes. And what form Jason's graphic might take. It could be almost as good as a couple of the Tiger Woods threads late last year.

About trading Blanton:

Suppose Amaro is shopping Kentucky Joe to bring in a RH OF bat? For example, let's say the Yankees miss out on Cliff Lee and Zach Greinke. Suppose the Phillies offer up Blanton for Nick Swisher (obviously some prospects may be involved bu this is the heart of the deal). Good or bad?

Or, let's move to other right fielders. Say Blanton for Corey Hart of the Brewers, who are always desperate for good pitching? Or Toronto for Jose Bautista? Or Houston for Hunter Pence? Or San Diego for Ryan Ludwick?

Bautista is the one player on that list I would not be happy to see wearing a Phillies uniform. But the rest? All pretty good right fielders, though Ludwick's numbers tanked in San Diego he'd be back in a hitters park with lots of lineup protection. Pence is also a good, dependable RF.

Yeah, no one on the list equals Jayson Werth. No one will. But considering how strong the front 3 are, Blanton for a right fielder, a good one we can control for the next 2-3 years, seems like a very good deal, and you move Brown up for 2012 into LF or RF.

Godfather: I think Swisher would die of a broken heart if he was traded away from the Yankees.

Jbird: of course he would. Who wouldn't? The entire post is speculation along the lines of what RH OF bats are out there who are any good.

Godfatehr: Toronto doesn't really need pitching, so I think you're safe on the Jose Bautista front. And, I don't think Blanton is enough to reel in a competent RF.

Blanton by himself? Maybe not. But a prospect or two (not a major one) could sweeten the pot enough.

So, a 106 ERA+ is suddenly good for a relief pitcher?

He's a middle reliever who is murdered by LHBs (.936 OPS against).

I'm for it if its like a 1 year, $1.0-1.5 million deal. If its multiple years, then please God no!

Blanton, Mathieson and Rizzotti for Greinke, right?

Hell, throw in Bastardo and we should be able to get Billy Butler as a RH bat on the bench.

NEPP: Is the average ERA lower for relievers than for starters? I ask this without any intended irony; I do not know the answer.

As for Durbin . . . yeah, he's a flawed and inconsistent reliever. Personally, I think they could have done better. But I wouldn't really count him among the team's problems last year.

I do have my concerns that the trio of Contreras, Durbin & Lidge are all due for drop-offs this year. The Phillies got absolutely optimum performance out of all 3 of these guys last year and the overall results were still pretty mediocre. If a couple of these guys have bad years, our bullpen is going to be a huge problem area.

On another topic, am I correct that 2011 is Cole Hamels' walk year and, if so, shouldn't we be very concerned about that?

****NEPP: Is the average ERA lower for relievers than for starters? I ask this without any intended irony; I do not know the answer.****

I'm 99% sure that the average ERA+ is higher for relievers than for starters.

Cole is under control for'll be his final year of arbitration.

2010 ERA+:

Durbin 106
Greinke 100

So, we should trade Durbin to KC for Greinke straight up then, right?

if the past patterns hold true the durbin signing could be a stopgap until guys start shaking loose in the mid season

I guess you can argue how much durbin is worth an extra 500k or 1mil isn't breaking the phils bank

I don't mind bringing Durbin back for 1-1.5 million a year. He's 5th/6th inning relief, their long reliever. That's it. He's durable, dependable, and you don't use him in high leverage situations.

Really, who's out there who's that much better? I can't think of anyone off the top of my head, not someone you could get at this price.

I think Hamels has 1 more arb year, right?

This is the biggest news to come out of the winter meetings with regard to the Phillies? And the post on Kendrick and Durbin as "good company men" sounds like it comes straight from David Montgomery himself. Company men are reliable, but contribute nothing toward progressing, in this case winning. It's the kind of complacency that will make us perennial contenders for the next couple of seasons at best. Durbin's performance in the NLCS was more the rule than the exception for him throughout his stay with this team, and should have been his swan song.

Heck no, keep Durbin!

****think Hamels has 1 more arb year, right?

Yeah, he does...and if he has another great year like he did in 2010, he's gonna cost us a freaking ton. Hopefully, Rube manages to sign him to a reasonable extension (like 4 years, $60 million)

Durbin is yet another player we will continue to write checks to based on 1/2 of a decent season in 2008. See also: Greg Dobbs...

*missing Gillick*

I think we finally are free of Dobbs.

Maybe Rube is trying to move Blanton to make room for the only free agent pitcher whose middle name is Phifer. (Isn't it obligatory at this point to mention this?).

By the way, for anyone that wants to see an actual college football playoff game, the Delaware Blue Hens host New Hampshire tonight at 8 PM on ESPN2.

from ESPN's rumor central:

The Philadelphia Phillies, who may wish they could bid for Cliff Lee but likely fall short when it comes to available payroll, could attempt to land right-hander Zack Greinke via trade, Jim Salisbury reports.

The biggest question isn't whether the Phillies would like to have Greinke or even whether they could afford him for the next two seasons. It's whether or not they could afford the trade price.

The Phillies top three prospects may be outfielder Domonic Brown, right-hander Jarred Cosart and first baseman Jonathan Singleton, and it might cost Philadelphia all three, and maybe more, to pry Greinke from the Royals. The fact that a numbers of other clubs are interested, such as the Toronto Blue Jays and Texas Rangers, doesn't help Philly's chances, and both of those teams appear to have more young talent to spare.

General manager Ruben Amaro admits, however, that such a deal is a long shot. "We have explored and tried and talked about acquiring some significant players," he said. "We've tried to shoot for the moon on some things and laid some groundwork, but the possibility of them happening is kind of remote."

Jack: Based on several signings so far this off-season, Durbin at $2M per year would be above market.

If we end up emptying out our farm system for yet another massive pitcher trade, I might smash my computer. We'd have to give pretty much every top prospect we have left to do it and we'd still have a gaping hole in RF. Greinke is only signed for 2 more years anyway...has Rube got a spot reserved on Daulton's spaceship after the 2012 season or something?

****Based on several signings so far this off-season, Durbin at $2M per year would be above market.****

Yup, pretty much. I'd put his actual 'value' at about $1.0-1.25 million. Maybe with incentives that take it to $1.5-1.75 million

I was just thinking about Reyes and Romero and I realized one thing that Reyes has going for him. There is 0 chance he puts anything vaguely nutritious or supplemental in his workout regimen which might get him into trouble. Mantecca is not on the banned substance list.

Really what's with all the Durbin hate? We are discussing 1 or 2 million dollars a year here. If he's signed it will probably be something reasonable. 2 years would be fine with his track record of at least being serviceable.

"The Phils right now have the feel of a team that is on a slow downslide and without any new blood and new bodies, that slide is only going to get more procipitous."

Nothing says downside quite like having Halladay, Oswalt, and Hamels at the top of your rotation.

It's worth remembering that the Giant's just won a wold series with a lineup full of the Cody Ross's of the world.

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