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Friday, March 25, 2011

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Contreras to closer - the TRUCK stop!

Sign Kenny Powers!!!

Kenny Power is currently in Myrtle Beach - which is actually a Braves farm team, altho its referenced as the Rangers AA club.

madson has got this....SAID!!!

Hey - no closer, no 2nd baseman, no problem.


Is it too late to start rooting for the Braves?

When a closer loses velocity like that and has a history of injuries, is there any realistic hope we get a salvageable season out of him this year?

Just upping the degree of difficulty to earn more style points when we win the WMFC and boost season in review DVD sales next winter.

Well damn. This means Baez will see meaningful innings early on. I see him as the key to the whole bullpen with Lidge on the DL. I have confidence in the others stepping up, whether Madson or Contreras closes. If Baez does alright stepping into Contreras's old role, then we'll be fine.

Another ARI, I guess. Just all the ARIs Lidge has had throughout his career. (If only he'd started in the majors at age 6, he coulda been great.)

phlipper - forget the Braves. Hang out on Chisox Beerleaguer. (But you'll have to change your handle to, like, chipper. Which will make you sound like a Braves fan anyway.)

May, Mathieson, & Valle to KC for Soria & Mike Aviles. boom, problems solved.

Maybe its a blessing in disguise that we don't have to run Lidge out there early and have him get his brains beat in.

Lidge doesn't have much left, so maybe he saves some bullets for late in the year.

Is anyone moderately surprised?

Don''t be surprised is this is the 60-day DL.

its a shame to say... but with this team lately, April/May just feels like extended spring training.

This gives Madson an audition to earn his next contract that's for sure. Maybe Lidge will use the time on the DL to get fully healthy and get back to 100% by mid-season, which would almost be like acquiring a bullpen arm at the deadline.

career=over

Scene this morning at the awh abode:

awh gets up, takes the dog for a walk and feeds the dog. awh has a cup of coffee. awh logs on to BL and catches up. Later, awh checks back in and sees a new thread with the headline: "Breaking news: Sore shoulder will send Lidge on DL".

awh yawns and pours himself another cup of coffee, and wonders if there will be anything new or exciting happening with the Phillies.

This is Madson's shot at proving he can be a closer. This is his free agent year and he is looking at big money if he can be the guy in the 9th inning. Look for him to succeed.

I think Madson gets 1st shot at the closer role, because the Phils need to see if he can be the guy (and worth closer money) after Lidge's contract runs out.

I'd be more worried about this if we didn't have a rotation that will lead the league in complete games.

Madson will be the closer, and I expect him to be great at it. Lidge will return by mid-season in an 8th inning role.

The only one of us (people who care about Phillies) who didn't see this coming was Rube, I presume.

Jbird, I like the idea of tradig for Soria, that would be awesome, but I don't think KC would give him up for the package you propose.

According to Cots Soria is under club control a a bargain price until 2014. Here's his contract:

09:$1M, 10:$3M, 11:$4M, 12:$6M club option, 13:$8M club option, 14:$8.75M club option ($0.75M buyout for each option)

So, even if all the options were bought out he costs the club $6.75 MM for 2011. If he performs for the entire contract they have one of the best closers in the game who will only be 27 this May.

That represents HUGE value to any team.

It might cost more in prospects to trade for Soria than any other reliever in MLB.

Opposing GM: "hey Rube, I got a spare bullpen piece slightly overpriced, a young 2nd baseman (not a great hitter) and a slightly experienced outfielder...you can have them for Blanton and Singleton and one of your AA studs"

Rube: "Nope, we don't have to really start winning until July. We'll be cool."

5 aces? did we just trade for cc?

You know why this is bad? Gives Mad dog a chance to step up.....he will because its his contract year and we will lose him to a team willing to pay him 12-15 mil a year.....you watch...

Jbird - I like that trade. Ruben would like that trade. KC would giggle for hours, after they fininshed guffawing, after they picked themselves up off the floor they were rolling on, over that trade.

awh: the problem with trading prospects to KC is they have a stacked system. Catcher might be their only non-strength (now that Wil Myers has officially moved). If I'm the Phillies I consider trading Colvin or Cosart for a guy like Soria, But I wouldn't part with Singleton or Brown because this offense is in desperate need of a makeover in the next 2-3 years...But then again, KC is stacked with pitching prospects too. I guess really the Phillies are going to roll the dice, hope Baez has a mediocre rather than tragic year and hope Utley comes back by the All Star game. I still think the Phillies win the NL East despite their current tribulations.

The gods are angry. We flew too close to the sun w these four aces.

Plus Soria has the Phiilies on his NTC list, but I think, only so we'd have to increase his salary. Would love him, though.

On a different topic, the Yanks will sign Millwood. They must be pretty desperate. I guess the Blanton-for-Rivera deal fell through.

rauls grandpa - we have AA studs?

At least Madson, Contreras Baez have experience as closers.

TTI~ Not saying Young left is a good idea, saying "where would you play him next year if he were to come here". They may have to try him in LF. He would have to player somewhere. That's all. But I said, if we could get a RH bat and say. Johnson, that's fine too and a better fit than Young. Just don't know if you can get him.

I've been in conversations recently. Lotsa Young talk. Maybe Rowand. But no Johnson talk. I get the feeling that nothing will happen, at least not by opening day. Gotta go.

Losing Lidge isn't that much of a big deal for the first 4-6 weeks. Unlike Utley who won't contribute in a meaningful way this year, Lidge still might even if it is in the 2nd half.

Lidge is basically like Gordon was in the last year of his contract year. Willing but not often able due to a concoction of various ailments. Basically just a broken-down reliever. If the Phils can get 2 good months it will be a bonus.

His contract extension will go likely go down as one of the worst values in Phils' history. 2009 was one of the worst seasons by a reliever ever and they got just ~2 good months out of him in 2010. Basically might only get 3-4 months total out of a 3-year contract where he was a meaningful contributor for over $36M dollars.

Essentially a Faustian bargain. Win the 2008 WS but have him play a big role in you losing the 2009 WS and being a notable drag on payroll/performance the next 2 yeas.

Bed's Beard - really? a guy who plays in KC would put Philadelphia on his no trade list? He must really enjoy pitching in obscurity.

A community project on b-r.com has attempted to "rank" the best players in MLB history, as well as the best active players.

They rank 3 of the Phillies active pitchers in the top 10:

Active Pitchers Top 10:
1. Roy Halladay (2355)
2. Mariano Rivera (2310)
3. Johan Santana (2153)
4. Tim Hudson (2091)
5. Roy Oswalt (2091)
6. CC Sabathia (2089)
7. Trevor Hoffman (2019)
8. Tim Lincecum (2005)
9. Felix Hernandez (2001)
10. Cliff Lee (1965)


Link: http://www.baseball-reference.com/friv/ratings.cgi

Since Lidge is DL bound does this mean Stutes or Matheison starts the year in the Bigs?

Phils need a bat. That hasn't changed even with this development. Still curious to see how healthy Vic is going to be.

Silver lining - The Phils will likely finally get a chance to see how a guy like Mathieson looks even though I imagine that Cholly will treat him as a leper in the early going.

timr, excellent Greek mythology reference!

We have it all here on B*L, don't we. ;)

JBirdc: the 2nd part of my post is the important part-he put big market teams on his NTC so if they wanted to acquire him, they'd have to renegotiate his deal.

Why even bother discussing Soria? He has a no-trade clause here, Royals would demand a king's ransom including MLB-ready prospects which the Phils largely don't have, and the Phils much bigger needs for a bat.

I have no issues with Contreras closing and the rest of the bullpen should be able to get by in the interim. Madson is the lynchpin anyway. Just hope Madson doesn't kick any inanimate objects again because if he goes down then they have real issues in the bullpen.

Agree w/ Tim. Stutes was throwing well this spring. Bring him back.

More and more it looks like this team will get out to a slow start in April. I just wonder if they will be able to pull their annual 2nd half run which has been a tradition under Cholly ever year he has been a manager here.

Besides the 2009 Yankees being a better team - Lidge and Hamels are probably the biggest reasons we lost the world series. However they were the biggest reasons we won the WFC and both had very good 2010s.

Until Lidge replicates his 2009, I'm not going to put him into the category of worst values of history.

- the $10M AND Gavin/Gio that Garcia cost us.
- all $24M of Eaton
- save Gm5 Part 2 leadoff double, all $12M to Jenkins
- David Bell's $17M contract

All come to mind before Lidge, especially 1 year shy of his 3year deal.

BP to start the season:

Contreras
Madson
Romero
Baez
Kendrick

Next 2: 6 to choose from: Pick-em

Worley
Mathieson
Stutes
Herndon
Zagurski
Meyer

Oops, forgot one.

Bastardo
Worley
Mathieson
Stutes
Herndon
Zagurski
Meyer

awh: No Bastardo?

Maybe signing Lee was excessive... that money should have been offered to Werth or Crawford.

MG: Have you seen the Phils April Schedule?

Jack, you're too slow. :)

What are the odds, really, that one of the four aces goes down at some point this year for some length of time? I'm starting to think pretty good.

I wonder if as many people are still thinking it's crazy to predict under 97 wins for this team.

Jbird, it is a hypothetical. I won't pretend I know the team beyond South Philly.

Rather than reflecting a player's personal preference, a no-trade list is often made up of teams who might be interested in the player, and it is often used as a negotiating tool for more money.

Madson is a better pitcher than Lidge. I am eager to see the Madson era begin.

I have no problem signing Madson to a three-year market-value contract. When you consider that Lidge and Madson are being paid a combined $16 million this year, even with an eight-figure salary for Madson, the Phils' bullpen may actually be cheaper next year, especially if one of the prospects like De Fratus, Aumont or Stutes is ready to step up.

The Phillies should probably keep an Ace in the hole at Florida until May. I say Lee.

While everyone has legit concerns, can we spend a day to comb over the rosters of the other 15 NL teams today?

In short - they are awful.

lorecore, the Phillies ultimately paid about $58MM for 3 years of Jim Thome. Was it a terrible contract? No, and they got 2 years of Rowand for $7.6MM additional.

Still, 19MM/yr is a lot.

I heard Ryan Howard was last seen at the Clearwater Mystery Spot...dropping like flies.

This is actually good news, in the sense that it provides an explanation for why he's throwing 86 MPH and is unable to get it over the plate. It's also good because it means that he'll have to somewhat earn his way back onto the roster, and into the closer's role, by getting healthy & having some decent performances at AAA. The Brad Lidge that has pitched in spring training was 100% guaranteed to lose us games in April.

Funny thing on Thome:

Since the Thome Trade:
Thome: 654 G, .267 AVG/.393 OBP/.944 OPS, 142 OPS+, 159 HR, 431 RBI
Howard: 768 G .278 AVG/.374 OBP/.947 OPS, 141 OPS+, 229 HR, 680 RBI

Clearly, Thome would never have stayed healthy as a 1B and he even said as much several times including his trade to the Dodgers where he prewarned them that he was physically incapable of playing the position. Still, its damn impressive that he's kept of the level of production he has given. He's a HOF hitter by any sense of the word. He'll likely hit his 600th HR this year.

Also on the Thome signing: Thome made us relevant as a franchise again. He was worth every penny just because of that.

NEPP: We should probably sign Thome to a $120 Million deal soon, no?

Definitely Jack...definitely.

yeah as much as I love Thome, paying him $22M or so to play for another team is right up there with one of the most wasteful vales this franchise has had.

BAP: Could also mean the guy is close to having nothing left. He seems to be falling a part piece by piece.

jack: your jokes rival awh's.

awh: I'd like to include Stutes because he had a good spring but that usually never translates over to regular season when the games matter. I'd say Mathieson and either Zagursky or Bastardo. If it's a short DL stint probably Zagursky since bastardo is still a little behind from not starting spring training on time.

I don't think Lidge's injury is going to change anything for the likes of Stutes, Worley, and Meyer. The Phillies have already separated the wheat from the chaff, by wittling the competitors down to Baez, Herndon, Zagurski & Mathieson.
Lidge's injury won't change anything, except that instead of only 1 of those 4 making the team, 2 of them will make it. My money is on Mathieson & Baez. I already considered Bastardo a lock even before Lidge's injury, so he's even more of a lock now.

Damaged Goods.

lorecore - Lidge didn't have a great year last year. Hamels did. Lidge has a good final 2 months of the season.

Your right about the April schedule although I just wish the Phils were in the NL Central this year . . .

Bastardo is a better LHP than Romero...at least at this point.

I think this helps out Mathieson significantly.

Worley has struggled this spring, but I could see him replacing Lidge just because he has the MLB experience that Stutes does not.

"This is actually good news..."

HOLY SH*T!!!

Call the FBI. Someone stole bap's computer.

Uh, Awh: You fell for it-his "good news" is something happening that wouldn't appear to be a positive to most people, thus it is strictly in accordance to a standard BAP post.

One week from Opening Day.

BedB, my point is that I find it funny that ba would actually string those words together in any post.

I think they'd want Worley stretched out as a starter in Lehigh more than as a short reliever in the Majors. Mathieson would make a bit more sense but who knows how Rube and UC think.

For all of you Michael Young sychophants, take a look at this post:

http://www.wahooblues.com/2011/03/24/texas-rangers-rumors-michael-young-for-travis-hafner.html/

Key quote:

"Unsurprisingly, other teams aren’t clamoring to acquire a 34-year-old infielder with a declining bat, a poor glove, and $48 million left on his contract over the next three years."

Blanton to Yanks for Soriano!

I'd like to see Mathieson get some early April innings. I felt kind of bad that he came up while the team is trying to hang in the division race last season and was allowed virtually no wiggle room (for the right reasons too). It would be nice to see if he can hang in the bigs or not and this should help clear that answer up.

There's a lot less stress/pressure in early-April games...that's a great point.

NEPP: When you come in in the 7th inning with 2 outs to close the door in a 2-1 game that was being pitched by Cliff Lee in front of a packed house in CBP...

It doesn't matter if it's April. That's enough stress/pressure. There's no such thing as a game with no pressure for this team until/if they've clinched the playoffs. That's just the nature of the expectations with this team right now.

Jack, I doubt they'd use Mathieson (or any rookie) in such a scenario. They'd probably give him a clean inning or pure low-leverage situations (well ahead, well behind).

Whoever is up to take Lidge's spot (Mathieson, Herndon, or longshot Stutes) simply will be used as little as possible especially with 2 off-days in the early going (Mon, Apr 4 & Mon, Apr 11). My bet is they pitch 1-2 IP.

Really aren't going to go through a stretch where they will use the bullpen that much until they play 2 week straight from April 13-27.

I'm glad people see this as a 'good' thing. But in reality, this is taking an arm out of the bullpen that's proven he can get high-pressure outs and replacing it with someone that, more than likely, hasn't proven they can get ANY outs in the late innings.

The only bright side here is that they're not rolling him out there injured and hopefully limiting the damage he can do to himself and the team. If it means his career is over, though, there is no bright side.

Bottom line: the bullpen, and the team, is worse off for this. How people can consider it a 'good' thing is beyond me considering the bullpen was already filled with unproven question marks.

MG- thanks for letting me know in advance that I should just write off the first half of this season. Let me know when I should start watching.

Anyone know who else is scheduled to pitch today against the Braves after Blanton?

"I'm glad people see this as a 'good' thing."

Iceman, I think you misconstrue.

No one thinks it's a good thing to lose a "healthy and effective" Lidge.

It's only a good thing because right now he's ineffective, and as we found out this morning - obviously unhealthy.

I'll welcome Lidge back with open arms when he's healthy and can get batters out again.

Anyone else see this quote from Rube on Madson's ability to close?

“There’s nothing that Ryan’s done other than his ability – he may have the ability to close as far as his stuff is concerned, but he has not gotten to the point where he would be a guy that we could rely on yet because he hasn’t proven that. Could he prove it at some point? Sure. Could he be a closer at some point? Perhaps. But there’s nothing in his career so far that has shown us that he’s ready to take that step forward.”

It'd probably be better to just move Contreras to the closer role.

Time to bring Mathieson up. Like to see the splitter and 100mph develop and see what he can be

Iceman: Wow.

awh- I was mostly referring to BAP, as he made it clear yesterday that he didn't even want a healthy Lidge on the team. Now he says "this is good news" twice. I'm obviously a blind optimist, but I'm curious how anyone could consider this 'good' news by any stretch of the imagination. Good news would have been he felt no pain yesterday and his velocity was better. This is bad news.

Jack: Rodrigo Lopez

Mathieson!

Iceman: Sounds like Rube applying some reverse psychology to make Mad Dog want the ball in the 9th.

Firing Madson up, I presume? He'll be throwing 110MPH now.

I do agree, though, with JW, that the silver lining here is that April is a bit different than the rest of the year. And they've dealt with missing Lidge in April every year he's been here (except for '09, when he blew saves and went on the DL eventually anyway). It's something they'll be able to deal with for a month or two, especially with this starting rotation.

But down the stretch, as Madson and Contreras get run into the ground by Cholly (and they will be), the next guy you've got in line to count on is Baez. That's a huge drop-off.

Let's just hope this Lidge thing isn't career-ending.

I see this as "good news" because we all know they would have paraded Lidge out there every few days no matter how much he would have gotten lit up if they did not make the determination that he was on the DL.

"we all know they would have paraded Lidge out there every few days no matter how much he would have gotten lit up if they did not make the determination that he was on the DL."

I'm nor sure I believe they would've let Lidge go out there in the 9th throwing 86-88MPH fastballs.

So mvptommy was actually Rube? Who knew!

In seriousness, I'm not too worried about Madson and Contreras. One will close and the other will set up. If the guy they choose struggles, they'll switch. I don't think Charlie will stick with whoever he chooses so stubbornly. That wouldn't be the same situation as sticking with Lidge as closer through his struggles, since either one would just be keeping Lidge's seat warm anyway.

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