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Saturday, June 18, 2011


Vance Worley vs. King Felix. Feels like a win.

Ichiro 3, Phillies 2

I love West Coast games, but at the same time hate it because we have to wait all day and night for the game to start.

Weekdays, I mostly DVR the game and watch after my kids go to bed so, I'm watching at the same time as these west coast games. Difference is, I have to sit through the damn commercials for this series.

#1 reason the Phils lost last night: JW used an opposing player in the thread pic.

LV sat Larish, put Overbeck at first and let Tag Bozeid man the hot corner. Crossing my fingers that old Tag will replace Mini-Mart. He'll still be below mediocre, of course, but that's a vast improvement over Michael "Ill-equipped for even AA" Martinez.

And Schwimer got beat up a bit, which is pretty bad timing considering the recent arrivals in A-town.

Figured the Phils wouldn't hit the guy last night. I guessed that somewhere around the fifth or sixth inning they'd scratch out a hit.

So I didn't watch the game. I hate watching when I know they're going to lose and these interleague games in cavernous stadiums are simply the worst. I didn't look at a boxscore or even watch a recap.

Oddly, they have a better chance of winning today. Though that's not how I'd bet it.

Atually, SLO, I've decided to check in on game days and if JW shows an opposition pic in the header not to watch or post. Cause it means an automatic loss.

Crossing my fingers that old Tag will replace Mini-Mart.

Posted by: Andy | Saturday, June 18, 2011 at 01:39 PM

I don't know why you guys keep talking about that. Unfortunately, Mini Mart is not going anywhere. If he was going anywhere he would already be gone. Whether we like it or not, they see something they like.

After being around +105 last nite, the Phils are going in as +135 dogs tonight with Worley vs Felix.

Only way the Phils are ever +135 again is when they play their entire AAA team for the last week of the season once they clinch homefield.

Nats leading 3-1 going for 8th straight since Zimmerman's return and Werth leading off.

One potential note of interest: Phils v. Mariners is the MLB.TV FREE GAME of the day today.

They won't hit toniht either. May get swept in this series. I wouldn't be surprised.

Zimmerman's only been around for 4 games before today.

Mick O:

What does MLB.TV FREE GAME mean? I have DirecTV (worst company on earth, by the way). Does this mean I can tune in on MLBN? Or must I use the interwebs to watch it?

Didn't see game. What's Pineda's stuff like?

If we're going to talk about Oswalt's woes this season, I think it's important to pinpoint things more precisely. To say simply that Oswalt is not the same pitcher he was last year is a little misleading.

After Oswalt's first four starts this season, he was every bit as good as he was for the Phils last year. He pitched 24 innings, struck out 21, gave up 15 hits, 6 walks, and had an ERA of 1.88. There could be no complaints with the Oswalt that started the season. Then, he hurt his back.

Since he has been hurt, Oswalt has pitched like a mid-rotation guy. Pretty good, but not vintage Oswalt.

It's an injured Oswalt that we have been seeing lately, not a washed-up Oswalt.

They won't hit toniht either. May get swept in this series. I wouldn't be surprised. Posted by: DPatrone | Saturday, June 18, 2011 at 02:56 PM

That's what I love about this place. The eternal optimism.

Phillies struggled with the sticks ...

The Phillies are vulnerable to Pitching.

Derek - I agree that Oswalt is probably still nursing a sore back. And I think that's gong to make it easier for the Phils to say goodbye after the season. They'll need the money to sign Cole and Mad Dog, and probably to replace Raul and maybe even JRoll.

Oswalt is a great pitcher, but 16 mil for this version of Oswalt is way too much to spend.

Oswalt is a great pitcher, but 16 mil for this version of Oswalt is way too much to spend.

Agreed. Even so, I feel he gets more criticism than he deserves. Oswalt keeps the Phillies in practically every game he starts, including yesterday. I just wish this damn Offense would pick their starters up more often, the way they did after sub-par Halladay outing the other night.

How quickly a 7 game winning streak is forgotten. Then again, that is nowhere near as impressive as an 8 game winning streak, so I kind of understand it.

OP, LMAO! Nice.

Hey, this team sucks because they can't possibly go 162 - 0!

Pineda was very good last night and Hernandez will likely be the same tonight. No big deal if they lose both if they salvage the Sunday matinee with Hamels on the mound.


I would not spend $16 million for this version of Oswalt either, but we should not be ready on June 18 to conclude that that's the version of Oswalt we would get. When you jump to that conclusion, you are saying, in effect, that Oswalt will not recover from this recent injury and that, at age 33, Oswalt will no longer be the pitcher that dominated the NL for a decade.

That is precisely the reasoning that I am criticizing. Let's first see how Oswalt's season plays out before writing him off.

Regarding Oswalt's contract, if the Phils conclude he is healthy enough and if Oswalt wants to continue pitching, I am in favor of tearing up the option and giving Oswalt a two- or three-year deal that's laced with incentives based on innings pitched.

When you talk about using the Oswalt money to replace Ibanez and, possibly, Rollins, that suggests that you have not bought into the Four Aces concept. I disagree. Even without the starting rotation clicking on all cylinders so far, the Phils' emphasis on excellent pitching has been a rousing success. Again, at least wait until the end of this season before drawing up plans for next year.

If it were my money and I concluded that Oswalt was no longer a good fit, I would rather spend the money for another ace than worrying about a right-handed bat for the OF. That's Cliff Lee-Jayson Werth redux, a matter which has been settled, I think.

Regarding the Phils payroll for next year, this has been hashed and re-hashed many times already. The Phils should be able to give new contracts to Hamels, Madson, Rollins and Oswalt without breaking the bank. Although the Phils already have major financial commitments to nine players for 2012, there will be 11 or 12 players on the 2012 roster who collectively will make no than $11 or 12 million.

Oswalt wasn't particularly good. Pineda was. Offense didn't do much.

So be it. Probably lose tonight and win tomorrow with Hamels. We always lose interleague series. It happens.

I have a hard time beleiving you'd be able to get another pitcher with a 3.38 era for less than $16m.

Jbird: That's probably right, but if we need to adjust our perception of offensive numbers in this new low-scoring era, we need do the same for pitching stats as well.

Oswalt's 3.38 ERA is only good for an ERA+ of 114. That's good, but you may or may not be able to get that performance for less than $16 million.

Pitchers with 3.38 ERA are a dime a dozen aren't they?

Jbird - I agree. That's why I keep my fingers crossed and hope that Oswalt will return to full health and also why, if he is healthy, I want to hold onto Oswalt.

He's also averaging under 6 innings a start.

He's been fine, especially considering he's essentially our 4th starter. But if the analysis involves picking up a $16M option (marginal cost of $14M because of the guaranteed $2M option), then I think you have to consider that his performance so far--and obviously this has only been two and a half months--plus the injury concerns. I'm not sure it warrants picking up the option.

Jbird, my guess is you are about to get a visit from the peripheral police.

Buddy Ryan in 2008:

I believe you need to use the internet. and MLBN are technically separate entities if I understand things.

You should be able to watch on the web tonight from here:

Not sure if you need to sign up for a free account but it wouldn't surprise me if that were the case.

I did not watch the entire game last night. Was Oswalt not good? I agree that he hasn't pitched well of late.

I am particularly concerned that he gives up runs early, although he has been keeping the Phils in games, but at 16 million next year with other needs, I could see him not being here next year.

In games like that, the offense cannot wait to get going amd against Hernandez tonight, I can see them not hitting and that is very understandable. I said I wouldn't be surprised if they got swept because for the most part they just do do well in inter-league play. And against inferior teams like Seattle and Oakland, you've got to win most of those games.

We always lose interleague series. It happens.

This is true. It never really ceases to be frustrating, but it is true. If the Phillies can scrap out a .400-something Winning Percentage in Interleague ... well, I'll not be "happy", per se, but I won't feel it has been a total disaster, either.

Except for that interleague series we played against Tampa Bay a few years back.

I mean seriously, GTown, MG, Jack, and others, fretting about a pitcher with a sub-3.50 ERA, one of the best pitchers in baseball for the past decade, based on selectively evaluating stats such as his average innings pitched since a recent injury.

You guys must buy hankies by the ton.

I'm still happy about Jamie Moyer's shutout of the Yankees in interleague play. Whatever year that happened.

Phlipper: Do you even fuckin' bother to read my posts, or do you just start spewing horseshit the second you see my handle?

The later, GTown.

Phlipper: We're talking about the decision to pick up his option for next year, consider it's $16M. Do you have any thoughts on that, meaning do you actually want to contribute to this conversation, or no?

GBrettfan: 1914

Didn't KK shut down the Yankees also? Maybe he's better against the AL than the NL.

I guess the rangers are national league now

My thoughts are that your notion of worthwhile salaries is skewed, Jack. I've got no problem with paying that amount to have a top quality pitcher like Oswalt in the starting rotation. He's arguable a #4 here, but he's a #1 if not a #2 for practically any other team in baseball.

Meanwhile, you are constantly posting how one player or another isn't worth their salaries. The problem is that other teams will pay quality players those salaries. If you were a GM, you'd be sitting around with your thumb up your butt and wind up putting together a team of low-salaried AAA players. Thankfully, the Phillies FO isn't afraid to spend, and consequently we have a team with the best record in baseball with an unprecedented run of success in recent years.

Jack - How many of those 3.38's will still be around at the end of the year? My guess is that by season's end, Oswalt's ERA+ will be a lot higher than 114, even if it's still just 3.38.

G-town - That was a great start, but I think he was referring to the one two years before that one.

Phlipper - I think you're missing the point. It doesn't really seem that Roy O has his heart in baseball anymore. He's earned a lot of money and he's got back problems. And he loves being home on the tractor.

If he returns to his previous form as the season progresses and says he really wants to continue pitching, then yeah, he's well worth the money. If he is up in the air and has to be persuaded and looks like the guy with the low nineties fastball and spotty location as the season progresses, then he's not.

Doesn't seem that hard of a decision to me. Good Roy worth the money. Bleh Roy not. And please don't try to tell me 3 and 4 runs in seven innings is a 16 million dollar pitcher. In these days of declining offense, I see a lot of guys with ERAs in the threes who have no business being there in a normal season.

Phlipper: So your position is that the Phillies don't have a budget? Ok, fair enough. I love that they spend money on good players. But that only goes so far. Do you seem them spending on Madson and Rollins as well? And on Hamels, who needs a contract for next year and potentially beyond? And on a corner OF as well, considering they have a serious need there?

And this issue is that the way he's pitching right now, Oswalt would not be a #1 starter anywhere, and barely a #2, which is kind of what you'd like for $16M, no? He's pitched to a 3.40 ERA since coming off the DL which is above league-average, but not by a whole lot in this low run-scoring enviornment. His peripherals are worse than that, and he hasn't gone deep into games, either. Also, there is kind of an injury concern there, right?

I laid out an argument there. I think there are strong counter-arguments. But your response is ... the Phillies should just spend no matter what he does?

HammRadio: I was referring to the season Interleague series, not each individual Interleague series ... although the Phillies will almost certainly lose most of those, too.

Andy: I think they were still known as the NY Highlanders then. Are we counting that?

It seems like some people's judgement of Oswalt changed after he decided that he wanted to be with his family after a natural disaster instead of playing baseball. He hasn't been super sharp, but it seems a little premature to count him out just yet. Who knows, maybe after a WFC he might decide to pitch a while longer.

Jack - you laid out an argument based on a sample size of 7 freakin' games - as he's come back from an injury. It's absurd. The hand-wringers were out in full force about Oswalt's back when the Phils picked him up last year. How'd that work out. Based on the track record available, he's a top shelf pitcher by any reasonable standard. There is great value in having a pitcher of his quality rounding out your rotation. Huge. Your whole argument is based on ignoring the realities of the difficulties of replacing him and the realities of the implications to your team if you don't.

aksmith - I completely disagree with your assessment of Oswalt's mindset. He has looked to me like one of the fiercest types of competitors you'll find in major league sports. I see little reason to think that someone with that mentality is just going to lose interest all of a sudden. I suspect that like others, you are being swayed by a small sample size in drawing over-generalized conclusions.

"And this issue is that the way he's pitching right now, Oswalt would not be a #1 starter anywhere, and barely a #2,"

Jack - I couldn't have made my argument any better than you just did. You want to make decisions with wide-ranging implications based on seven games. Fortunately, the Phillies FO doesn't panic as you seem to think they should.

Rollins 6, Victorino 8, Utley 4, Howard 3, Polanco 5, Ibanez 7, Gload 0, Brown 9, Ruiz 2. Worley pitching.

Oswalt is one of the very best pitchers of the last decade. That pitcher's well worth $16 Mil. next year. Of course, that pitcher could opt out of that one year deal and get more dollars and years somewhere else.

He's been getting by on more guile than stuff since he went down with the back problem. The location's off, the hard curve isn't there, the high fastball isn't as lethal, etc. He's off right now but, still taking the ball and giving them 6 decent innings, give or take. I don't see how anyone's making decisions in June about what happens next year since, it remains to be seen when and if he regains his form on the mound.

If Gload gets an XBH I might well sh*t myself. The question is, am I concerned enough to throw some plastic down on the couch?

"I have a hard time beleiving you'd be able to get another pitcher with a 3.38 era for less than $16m."

First of all, if he keeps pitching as he has since his injury, he probably won't end up with a 3.38 ERA. As for whether you can find another pitcher with a better ERA for less money . . . I'll say the same thing I said with Rollins (and the same thing I'd say with any player): the analysis does not begin & end with whether the guy's direct replacement is going to be better. You also have to consider whether, for the same money, there's some other player out there, irrespective of position, who would be of more value to the team than Roy Oswalt. To use the example I've used before: we replaced the excellent Jayson Werth with the horrible Ben Francisco & the thoroughly underwhelming (so far) Domonic Brown. But we then turned around & paid Werth's money to Cliff Lee. We're arguably a better overall team as a result.

Oswalt, right now, is a middling, 6-inning starting pitcher. For $16M, I don't expect middling; I expect an impact player, irrespective of position.

I suppose Gload in the lineup means he can run around the bases, right? They've just been saving his legs / hip for interleague.

Gotta love how the Braves are delayed down 2 runs in the bottom of the 5th w/ 2 outs. 1 out away from being official... Lucky them....

GTown - Hilarious!

I just looked it up. It happened last year, which is what I thought. Almost exactly one year ago. Here's an article about it:

But Moyer only pitched 8 innings (which was great), and the final score was PHL 6, NYY 3.

And apparently, he gave up 2 of those runs. I could have sworn he'd shut out the Yankees. Maybe in '09?

Don't you hate when there's something that you KNOW you know, but you can't remember it exactly?

Can't wait until Oswalt rattles off 4 or 5 7IP, < 3ER starts in a row.

He's fine. His velocity was up at 93 last night. He'll be right as rain in no time.

Oswalt for 1 year at $16 million with no longterm committment is a good deal. I'll be a little less enamoured with any extension that takes him out more than an extra year. If the Phils decide to change out Oswalt's salary for a left fielder, great that's fine. Doesn't mean Oswalt wouldn't still be worth it. Incidentally I'm not sure what Outfielder it's going to take $16 million to sign when 36 yo Lance Berkman and 35 yo Carlos Beltran are the cream of a very weak crop of outfielders.

GBrettfan: So far as I can tell, the game you cited was the only game in which Jamie Moyer faced the Yankees as a Phillies Starter. In fact, I can't find a single instance of a Phillies pitcher shutting out the Yankees since this:

Yankees at Phillies, 2 Sept. 1997

Not exactly the first name that might pop to mind, eh?

I still don't get posters who obsess about player's salaries as if they're part owners. Who gives a damn how much profit the Phillies make? Care about the quality of the player, not the salary. You don't know what you're talking about anyway.

Hail yes Cloutius.

Yeah, GTown, my memory obviously elevated Moyer's performance. I guess 8 innings of 2-run ball was, for Jamie Moyer, about equivalent to a CGSO for someone like Halladay. And I also guess that I am getting old.

GBrettfan: It's OK, we all are. And hey, look at Old Phan. Dude's at least twice as ancient as anyone here, & he's still semi-sentient.

Clout, as usual I think no one cares in the abstract what the players or owners make, it's just shorthand for trying to make a guess at what will actually happen using the economic self interest of the players and owners as a guide.

Clout - Yeah, we wouldn't care about what a player makes if the cigar billionaire owned the team 100 percent. But as it is, the Phillies are pushing the Yankees for salary level without nearly the revenue stream that the YES network alone brings in. That means paying top dollar for declining vets isn't likely sustainable. And what we all want is sustainable excellence.

That's the only reason anyone here cares about salaries. If Ryan Howard can get overpaid for his production, good for him. But in a world where at some point there has to be a cap on spending, that is a problem.

Pay Oswalt 16 million? Sure. They can pay the bat boy 16 million if they can still have a WS caliber team. But it is something to be concerned about. He's getting older for a bat boy and his bat handling skills can't stay at this level forever.

Roy Oswalt:

Hasn't pitched enough IP to be a 'qualified starter' but here are his rankings with a minimum of 60 IP (67 starters in NL):

3.38 ERA (26th)
4.06 xFIP (52nd)
1.30 WHIP (33rd)
5.32 K/9 (52nd)
2.34 BB/9 (17th)
2.26 K/BB (41st)
75.9% LOB (59th)

He's been an above-average pitcher but not a frontline starter either. Giving up his share of base hits too.

The issue isn't so much his fastball velocity. It is more so his overall velocity. People get caught up in but the biggest difference to what I see with Oswalt since he has come back has been with his offspeed stuff.

His curve is sloppy and slow without a classic 12-6 action. As a result, he has lost a bit of control on it. Would love to see the numbers on his curve this year so far and % of strikes/% swing & miss. Biggest issue though last night was his changeup. Never really found it all night. That happened a month ago vs. Rangers when I saw Oswalt pitch but he found it later in the game & was locating it/throwing it for strikes. Basically his most important offspeed pitch the last year or so.

He is still a good/very good pitcher because he still throws fairly hard, has 5 pitchers although he really doesn't use his slider that much (4-seam, sinker, curve, changeup), and doesn't get rattled on the mound easily.

He doesn't have the same level of overall control right now or the same velocity though. With it, he isn't an elite pitcher. On nights like last night where he struggles to find his changeup all night he is going to be hittable.

Oswalt's pitching hurt. When healthy, he's an Ace.

Not worried about how he's pitching in June as long as he's back in peak form by late Sept.

Still, I doubt we see him back due to his high pricetag and the realities of having to fill holes in LF & SS as well as extending Hamels & Madson. There simply isn't enough $$ to go around if we assume that the current salary level is the max that the FO is willing to go.

Didn't take long for people here to turn on Oswalt.

And anyone saying things like "He doesn't have his heart in baseball anymore" without knowing anything about the person besides the fact that he went home after his hometown got ravaged by a tornado deserves an MVPtommyd-like banning for stupidity. Yeah, he hasn't been elite this year, and yes he's probably pitching hurt. There's no reason to take it any farther than that. But someone on BL always does.

NEPP - Pretty much. Oswalt is the #4 starter. As long as the Big Four are starting every 5 days, they win the NL East. Felt that way the past ~3 weeks or so now regardless of the rest of the team.

Put one of those guys on the shelf for an extended period then things get interesting again in the NL East.

So noting Oswalt's downturn in performance over the past 6 weeks is 'turning on him?' Good to know.

Yeah I did think it was foolish that he was doing heavy manual with a bad back. You could pretty much read between the lines that Amaro was not too pleased either when he found out about it and rightly so.

Carlos Carrasco is still a damn intriguing pitcher. Just hung a change in teh 7th for the first hit surrendered out of the infield. He's throwing some filthy, no-hit type stuff, overall. 3 hits through 6+


The reason I come on Beerleaguer is for the cutting-edge long-distance psychoanalysis. Don't you go bashing it!

MG- Amaro was clearly displeased with Oswalt but, I don't know that there's enough info available to make a judgment as to what he was doing, why , or what effect it had. Mostly a waste of time speculating on his off-field activities, his desire, etc. On the field, he's regaining velocity on the fastball but, his off-speed stuff is sloppy and his overall command is not Oswalt-like.

Carrasco finally bleeding a bit. Doesn't look like he has much left in teh tank over 100 pitches.

Iceman - Nobody is "turning" on Oswalt. I'm not even basing his desire on going home to clear his property. He is reportedly conflicted on whether to retire and has been saying that for the last couple of years. If you've ever been in a job where you have to keep deciding whether to retire, you'll know that often means you have one foot out the door mentally.

Anyone here would love to have a healthy, committed Oswalt. I'm just not sure that he's either of those things right now. When he is healthy and pitching like he can, it's an absolute honor to watch him. I drove to San Diego earlier in the season to watch him pitch. So, maybe someone else "turned" on Oswalt. But I haven't seen it.

Braves have 4 hits and three errors and are tied in the ninth. Strangest season in a while.

Hugh - Yeah you will not have the particulars obviously but it was clear that Amaro didn't realize that Oswalt was doing heavy manual labor and was pretty furious. It was pretty interesting that night to see Amaro's body language/reaction was asked about it & his reaction on Comcast. He was pissed & didn't want to talk about it.

MG - Amaro's reaction isn't in question. What's unclear is whether Oswalt did anything that set himself back, physically, aside from leaving the trainers behind. I didn't see any definite indication that he was doing "heavy manual labor." But, if he was, not sure it matters. Having a bad back, the choice is often between painful activity and deteriorating inactivity.

After tonight Carrasco's era will be in the 3's. Bet he doesn't get 16m.

MG's been drawing conclusions based on season stats since April 10th. It's not even NEPP Day yet.

Little Roy will be back, and we'll all laugh about this later.

Bad link, cyclic.

jr: No one in their 2nd full year gets $16M. You do understand how the system works, right?

MG- I didn't mention you specifically. In this thread alone we've got people calling Oswalt a middling pitcher who has lost his love of playing the game- keep in mind this is a pitcher who was dominating before he took leave and then went on the DL. Since he's come back he's made 7 starts and given up more than 3 runs in just 2 of them. It's June 18th! BL has turned on him like a pack of rabid dogs.

"Having a bad back, the choice is often between painful activity and deteriorating inactivity."

Actually most back pain goes completely away within 6 months of initial bouts/diagnosis and only a small handful of candidates are actually good candidates for surgery.

Generally why the you could just as easily argue that Oswalt will be fine in a few months too.

clout: I couldn't care less what the Phillies' owners make. But I live in the real world, so I understand that the Phillies' owners, like all owners, will have a finite budget next year. And in a world where there's a finite budget, the decision to significantly overpay for a player will have collateral consequences on the rest of the roster.

Not sure what your point is there, MG. My point is that "rest" is not always the prescription.

Hugh- you must have missed it. ESPN3 had a running 24/7 cam on Oswalt as he chopped down trees like Paul Bunyan and hauled the timber across acres of land without a wheelbarrow. It was riveting TV. I can understand why fans are apoplectic.

MG- you have this weird fetish for thinking Amaro is some megalomaniacal guy that goes around with an iron fist and gives mafia-style beatdowns to anyone that looks at him the wrong way. How do you know Amaro was 'furious'? I heard him weasel his way out of the question like he always does with stuff he doesn't want to answer. You heard something different apparently- what you wanted to hear.

Iceman - I didn't get the 'lost his love of the game either' talk and thought he did get treated a bit unfairly by some of the media when he went home after a tough stretch that affected his family.

Don't question Oswalt's desire/work ethic one bit. He wouldn't be out there other wise. If anything, he is too damn headstrong as evidenced when he did tell everyone he was hurt in SD.

He is kind of a zero as a personality but which of the Phils' starters besides maybe Hamels ever gives an interesting insights/comments after that game.

There we go.

Oh well.

Also Texas takes the lead.

the tomahawk choppers are about to lose

Iceman - Megalomaniac? No. He isn't a psychotic leader. Amaro just has a big ego and has a leadership style where he isn't afraid to belittle & treat other with condescension even in front of others.

In my book, that's a pretty weak leadership characteristic. Ditto his general refusal to provide even basic answers at time to legit questions.

BAP- I get your point about basing salary on a player's value to the team, proportionally speaking. And unlike most of what you say, I agree with it.

But valuing someone like Oswalt at this point in his career is tricky. First of all, this team is built around starting pitching. Spreading Oswalt's money around for minor upgrades in other areas is not going to make up for the downgrade in a rotation that is being asked to carry the team.

Also, when you pay $16 million for him, you are paying for a guy that, while he may have shown signs of struggling in the past month and a half, has shown he has the ceiling of a #1 starter. If you release him for minimal upgrades in other areas and replace him with a league average starter, you are basically betting that his days as a difference maker are over. Keep in mind, this is a guy who had an ERA above 4 in 2009 and then bounced back with an outstanding 2010.

You're really willing to cut bait on a guy that not only has shown he can carry a team for stretches at a time, but gets better in August/September/October when it matters most, in order to spread that money around for minor upgrades in other areas and put a retread in the rotation? Maybe if he shows absolutely no improvement throughout the season this year do you take that risk, but right now, I sure wouldn't.

Iceman: I don't really disagree with any of that. My comments about Oswalt's salary were based on his 2011 performance to date. But, obviously, we don't need to make any decision on him today and a lot can change between now & October.

Oswalt has generally been a strong second half pitcher & he may well pitch much better in the second half. If he does, and the Phillies win 95+ games, it would be hard to argue against sticking with the same formula when it comes to distributions of salaries in 2012.

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