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Thursday, May 10, 2012

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NEPP: Galvis=Vizquel?

Wanna bet?

Posted by: clout | Thursday, May 10, 2012 at 10:17 AM

I wouldn't bet that any rookie player will have a career that successful. I just think its an interesting comp in the very early going.

The bullpen is probably an easier fix than the offense. Really just need 1 guy to stabilize the 8th. Bring back Brett Myers? Go after Luke Gregorson?

Out of money, out of prospects, we suck. What to do?

I found myself thinking as I read of the upcoming series against Boston that with that club virtually in the same spot as the Phils, if there isn't an alliance to be formed. Swap out bad contracts, prospects, mangers, etc...Both teams could stand to look at each other's situation and see if improvement lies in some huge mega-trade. Hell, it's almost at the point where you do something like that just for the sake of doing it.

I wake up from these games feeling hungover. I love the game and it's the team I followed my whole life. I was happy when the teams of the late nineties and early 2000's won because it didn't happen that often. When you expect it though, it's not fun at all.

***Out of money, out of prospects, we suck. What to do? ***

In a highly ironic twist of fate, we will start selling off expensive players to the up and coming Astros in the next few years as they rise through the ranks of elite AL teams.

The season will never be 'over' with the 2nd WC, just about every team in the league will be within mathematical striking distance right up to the last few weeks of the season.

0-8 in last 8 starts by Doc and Lee is the biggest travesty I've ever seen. Can't go on much longer...can it?

I like the way you think NEPP

Galvis vs. Vizquel. Galvis could equal Vizquel's career ops+ of 82 with only 2 years over 100. I wouldn't bet on any rookie having the type of longevity Vizquel displayed, even Bryce Harper. So far Galvis is topping Vizquel's rookie year.

I've seen a lot of baseball. Teams look awful at times and great at others. This team will pick it up.

It might be time for our starters to pitch 3 inning every other day.

season = over?

Still 130 games to go. I think not. The bullpen can't be this bad all season long. Still have Halladay, Lee and Hamels pitching 3 out of every five games.

Is Uguie Urbina out of jail yet?

If the Phils sweep @ shitifield where they scored 0 runs the whole series, i would name that as the most helpless - but at least they proved they were a decent team in the preceding months before doing that.

Sil: I don't know, Urbina's better known for lighting fires than for putting them out.

"If the Phils sweep @ shitifield where they scored 0 runs the whole series" ** happened at the beginning of the season ** - should have added

How many guys can we go through before we find one who can get outs out of the bullpen?

I heard an intriguing idea on sports radio I don't really like, but does present ground for debate: Use Vance Worley out of the bullpen and start Kendrick.

Yeah, Halladay Lee and Hamels start 3 our of 5 games. But we're 0-8 in thast 8 starts by Halladay and Lee so that only gets you so far

You can basically use any young .200 hitting middle infielder as a comp for Vizquel.

***You can basically use any young .200 hitting middle infielder as a comp for Vizquel.***

You need to insert the words "elite defensive" into that statement but yeah.

I'm sure the Phils are considering Worley for the pen. They have to be at this point.

Where on the spectrum from lunatic to merely quirky is Brett Myers these days? He might do nicely as a solution.

In the last three series, 5 of the 6 losses were attributable to the bullpen, 4 of them blowing leads in the 7th inning or later. That's pretty much all you need to know.

Weitzel - No way not with the way he is throwing as a starter and the spot he will over the longer term in the rotation including next year.

Those injuries though are a huge problem though. Phils right now don't have the depth or a viable option to really replace any of the guys mentioned and Nix/Chooch have been 2 of their 3 best hitters this year.


Myers is making $11 Million this year.

Strange but true:

During the last 5 years, the Phillies have survived extended DL stints by Utley, Howard, Rollins, Polanco, Madson, Ruiz, Lidge, Oswalt, and Vic. They have survived 48 starts by Mini-Mart, 34 by Juan Castro, 50 by Eric Bruntlett, 21 by Dane Sardinha, 9 by Cody Ransom, 33 by Paul Bako, 7 by Paul Hoover, 2 by TJ Bohn, and more than I can count by Wilson Valdez. They've survived starts by such pitching luminaries as Nelson Figueroa, Andrew Carpenter, Fabio Castro, and J.D. Durbin. But injuries to Michael Stutes and David Herndon? Stick a fork in them.

Is Scott Eyre still willing to come back?

Moving Worley to the bullpen and (presumably) KK to the starting rotation would be like setting your kitchen on fire because the garbage disposal is broken.

***Moving Worley to the bullpen and (presumably) KK to the starting rotation would be like setting your kitchen on fire because the garbage disposal is broken.***

I like this analogy.

Even more to the point,it would be like sticking your hand into the disposal to clear out what's clogging it...while its still turned on.

As bad as the Phils have been, the other teams in the division are also losing. 5 games out on May 10th? No, I don't think the season's over. Let's see how Diekman plays out. He could be this year's Bastardo.

"I found myself thinking as I read of the upcoming series against Boston that with that club virtually in the same spot as the Phils, if there isn't an alliance to be formed."

Yup. The Phils have to be checking in on Youkilis at this point, as he'd be a perfect fit at 3B/1B. Blanton's been throwing very well and could be attractive to the Red Sox, and Middlebrooks looks like the real deal at 3B for them. Both Youk and Blanton are in the final year of big contracts. If Blanton isn't interesting to them, I'd even consider sending Pence their way, though I'd want a bit more back because he's under team control through 2013.

If the Phils keep losing, they might be one of the few sellers at the deadline, since more teams will try to stay in it for a shot at the second WC. They have plenty of attractive pieces to sell - Hamels, Victorino, Blanton, and Polanco will all hit free agency after the season, and Pence could be dealt as well. Sign 2 of those guys back (preferably Hamels and Victorino) and deal the rest for young position players and prospects, and all of a sudden this team's future looks brighter.

Scott Eyre is precisely the type of fortuitous, available pitcher the Phils need to come up with at this time. Because a trade isn't happening. They need a J.C. Romero, 2007 moment. And they need one before July.

Cliff Lee put it best:

"We've basically screwed the game up as many ways as you possibly could, and every way you could."


But yes, the BP is the biggest problem right now. BP, injuries, weak offense.

Rube's probable line of thinking right now:

"If I can swing a trade for Greinke, that will give me the best rotation in history and magically improve the bullpen and offense!!!"

~trades Worley, May, Valle and Dom Brown for 3 months of Zach Greinke~

Trading KK would come closer to your garbage disposal metaphor.

In the next few months and years we get to find out whether Rube is good at anything other than giving away liberal amounts of other peoples money. The evidence so far is not encouraging.

I'm with BAP...moving Worley into the bullpen would be foolish. His future is as a starter and that is where he has the most value to you. Why screw around with him- especially when he is pitching well?

I'm against taking Worley out of the starting rotation. I think KK has finally shown that he was getting by with luck and junk all along. I think he'll be out the door by this time next year. Since we are in panic mode, I think the bullpen should become a revolving door between the minors and the big team. If you suck twice in a row, it's off to Piggy Land for you in exchange for another live arm not named Schwimmer or Stutes.

"Even more to the point,it would be like sticking your hand into the disposal to clear out what's clogging it...while its still turned on."

Reminds me of the local mechanic out in the boondocks where I was growing up. When told that our car was making a rattling sound, he responded, "What do you want me to do? Get under the car while you drive around, to see if I can find what's causing the sound?"

"They need a J.C. Romero, 2007 moment."

RAJ does the big stuff pretty well (if somewhat extravagantly), but his next JC Romero, 2007 moment will be his first.

Weitzel - Agreed. They basically need good providence at this point for the bullpen with a waiver wire pickup.

Chances of that are slim-to-none though given how thin MLB bullpen are right now & the odds against it.

Romero was the last guy they picked up in midseason off the waiver wire & really provided them with a lift.

The problem with waiver claims like a Romero is that its pretty hard to give them 2 year deals.

Bullpen injuries at the moment:

Michael Stutes (DL, shoulder)
David Herndon (DL, elbow)
Justin De Fratus (DL, elbow)
Antonio Bastardo (pitching through elbow pain)
Chad Qualls (frequently unavailable - foot and/or knee issues)
Jose Contreras (coming off TJ, still not consistently effective)

Position-player injuries:

Chase Utley (DL, knees)
Ryan Howard (DL, Achilles tendon)
Jim Thome (DL, back)
Carlos Ruiz (day-to-day, wrist)
Laynce Nix (day-to-day, calf)
Ty Wigginton (day-to-day, side injury)

No team survives this many injuries and maintains a high level of play. At some point soon, Amaro needs to decide if they can realistically compete for the World Series (not just the second WC). If they can't, he needs to bite the bullet and sell. If he won't make that call, they need to find someone who will.

BAP - Completely agree about Stutes/Herndon. Stutes has been a below average reliever the past year now and Herndon isn't anymore more than an average reliever.

Casting these two guys as critical lynchpins is kind of a laugh. Same with some of the posts yesterday about bringing up Elarton/Bush?! to pitch out of the pen.

Basically what could have gone wrong for the pen has so far. No GM in baseball who would have had contingency plans for so many injuries and guys not working out so far.

The 2 years deals are annoying, but the 4 and 5 year deals are the ones that will leave you with a handful of aging stars and a bunch of AAAA guys.

Theoretically, both Hamels and Victorino can be resigned. However, that means that the Phillies would likely have to replace Polanco with a very cheap 3B option, continue rolling with a very cheap or even league min type OF (Mayberry Brown etc) and have no available cash to fix the bullpen.

I don't seem them going that route. And I believe you can retain Victorino and a fair price. So, based on the numbers, I just don't see a way Hamels stays. If this team is pretty far out of it, the smart move is to move Hamels now and get some value. His 25 mil, and considering that you still have a pretty good pitching staff of Doc, Cliff, and Vance and possibly a promising youngster (May?), gives them a lot flexibility to really upgrade and fix in a lot of spots. The return from the trade allows you to get cheaper at certain positions down the road.

I love Cole Hamels. However, if the pitching depth in the minors is as good as advertised (May, Colvin, Biddle, Bonilla) then its time to find our next Hamels. If the Phillies fail to shed payroll and do it soon, there is no way that they can make this a better team next year. Thats not an opinion - that is fact that is clearly backed up by the Phillies payroll issues.

Mike Gonzalez, who is a more-than-serviceable LOOGY and is an entirely plausible "lightning in a bottle" candidate, was still a free agent until 2 days ago. Then the Nats signed him for peanuts.

"What? Over? Did you say over? Nothing is over until we decide it is! Was it over when the German's bombed Pearl Harbor? Hell no! And it ain't over now! Cause when the going gets tough.. The tough get goin'. Who's with me?"

Charlie Manuel, 5/10/12, locker room speech.

"Amaro needs to decide if they can realistically compete for the World Series (not just the second WC)."

If you get in to the playoffs, you have as good a chance as anyone to make the World Series.

***However, if the pitching depth in the minors is as good as advertised (May, Colvin, Biddle, Bonilla) ***

Hint: Its not.

***Then the Nats signed him for peanuts.***

Literally too...Rizzo actually gave him 2 50lb bags of peanuts he got from the local Costco for a salary.

"Stutes has been a below average reliever the past year now"

Stutes was outstanding last year (3.63 ERA, nearly a strikeout per inning), especially considering he was a rookie. He tired down the stretch a bit but was still pretty effective. They figured he'd be able to help cover the 8th along with Qualls and Bastardo until Contreras was ready, then slide into Chad Durbin's old 7th-inning role.

"No GM in baseball who would have had contingency plans for so many injuries and guys not working out so far. "

Problem is they were relying on subpar pitchers from the get go.

Whey do the Phils overreact and call May up, only to damage his progress?

We are making this more complicated than it needs to be - just take three relievers from the minors with the best ERA, strikeout/walk ratio, pick-a-stat, and bring them to Philly. Give them a chance - they can't possible be worse than what we've seen in the last couple weeks. You never know which one is going to rise to the occasion.

Unlike some of you guys, I like Charlie Manuel, but he is becoming part of the problem. He believes that seasoned veterans (pitchers and hitters) will work their way out of slumps if you give them time. And many times he has been right. But this is painful; they can work on that stuff in the minors; give the young guys a chance!

I'm convinced that half the reason the Nats signed Gonzalez was to keep him from the Phils.

Does anyone have Pedro Martinez's phone number?

Phils followers have not yet seen RAJ operate this franchise at a time when the "wheels are falling off" down on the field. Now is when we all get to find out how good a GM this young man is. I hope he is up to the task.

Easier solution: Sign Oswalt, move Worley to the BP.

That gives you KK as a long man and Worley 7th/8th inning guy and rapidly solidifies the pen.

Why are fans so in live with the idea of rebuilding or "blowing it up"? They jump from "probably won't win the world series" to "gotta start over and finish last for a few years." Teams hit the reset button because they cannot afford to make the changes necessary to compete in the next 3-5 years and have to hope they hit the lottery with 2-4 great young players coming together at the same time. This is not the world the Phillies operate in. The Phillies can keep Hamels and acquire better complimentary parts for next year and the year after that potentially get a big offensive weapon. There is no need to blow anything up.

Should read: "Why are fans so in love with the idea..." dangit.

Ruebens face is all over tv when things are going well. Where is he now?

If the Phillies rattle off 3 wins in a row, this blog will be back to it's cheery self. It's a long season.

NEPP, the point is that the pitching prospects for the Phils are pretty decent. They are going to have to leverage them at some point in order to make this payroll sustainable.

They cannot keep adding 20-25 million dollar players to the payroll.

The Hamels (or Lee or Doc) money would free up some flexibility to address some issues. Sometimes you just have to take a chance on some young guys and hope it works.

"give the young guys a chance!"

Which young guys? Diekman is now up. Savery was relatively ineffective, but he'll likely be back soon. (Sanches stayed because he's out of options and would have to clear waivers.) De Fratus, Stutes, and Herndon are all hurt. Schwimer's been given two shots now and looks like Scott Mathieson all over again - quad-A stuff. Phillippe Aumont has walked 12 in 9 innings this season. Austin Hyatt needs to be starting every fifth day in AAA, as he's likely going to replace either Hamels or Blanton next year. The other guys in Lehigh Valley are all retreads (Elarton, Bush, Valdes).

As for offense, Galvis is already up. Dom Brown's hitting .247/.290/.355 with no homers in AAA. They have no other position prospects anywhere close to ready, unless you want to try Cody Overbeck in Ty Wigginton's slot, which solves nothing since Wigginton's done a nice job so far. Again, everyone else in Lehigh Valley is on the wrong side of 30 (Frandsen, Fontenot, Luna, Podsednik), with the exception of Andres Blanco (28). There are no kids to call up right now.

This is what happens when you get a degree from Stanford instead of Drexler Lebow.

"RAJ does the big stuff pretty well (if somewhat extravagantly), but his next JC Romero, 2007 moment will be his first."

I think the guy is going to be remembered as a terrible GM by the time this whole thing is done, but I don't think this is entirely correct. First off, bringing in Contreras in 2010 turned out be a really shrewd move (which of course he blew by signing him to a 2-year deal immediately after), and actually Nix has been a pretty good "bargain" pickup so far this year. As it turned out, bringing in Valdez for 2010 worked out decently well too.

Obviously he isn't Gillick when it comes to filling out a 25-man roster (ironically, Gillick's troubles were his "big" moves). But nor is he Ed Wade, who consistently made his teams worse throughout the season.

***NEPP, the point is that the pitching prospects for the Phils are pretty decent. They are going to have to leverage them at some point in order to make this payroll sustainable.***

They probably will. May, if he continues to perform like he has in AA will probably get promoted to AAA this summer and get a shot at the rotation next spring. Worley gives them a cheap effective option who will get paid pennies for the next 3 seasons.

None of those guys are the next Cole Hamels but they dont need the next Cole Hamels with Lee and Doc anchoring the rotation.

THey will probably also leverage them with a trade this summer that includes a couple of those prospects going elsewhere.

**Ruebens face is all over tv when things are going well. Where is he now?**

That's not really fair. He's on TV when move are announced or there's a celebration. Otherwise he's still doing the Phillies Pregame once a week and he was just on the radio the other day. What do you want a state of teh union style address on 3, 6 and 10 tonight during primetime?

"Sanches stayed because he's out of options and would have to clear waivers."

Oh, well. Thank goodness that didn't happen. The longterm health of this franchise would have been irredeemably compromised had another team claimed Brian Sanches off waivers.

***But nor is he Ed Wade, who consistently made his teams worse throughout the season. ***

Isnt Ed Wade a Special Assistant now?

"The Phillies can keep Hamels and acquire better complimentary parts for next year and the year after that potentially get a big offensive weapon. There is no need to blow anything up."

Exactly. The team's already committed to competing in 2013 and 2014 with the contracts given to Halladay, Lee, Howard, Rollins, etc. Dealing one or two free-agents-to-be this year should put them right back in the thick of things next year. Most teams won't be sellers because of the second wild card. If Amaro can resist chasing that in 2012 (assuming things don't turn around quickly), the Phils can win big at the deadline and compete for a title in 2013-14.

I get the sense the Ruben imagined he could set the team up with 2+ year contracts at every position and then just watch for a few years. He really over values cost certainty.

NEPP: An interesting comp?

Interesting.

The Phillies will still make the playoffs...

...unfortunately it will be in the Sports Complex corporate softball league. But, hey, a championship's a championship.

Having just defended Amaro, I see absolutely NO reason to believe, whatsoever, that he has the appropriate flexibility and skill as a GM needed to rebuild on the fly and make the team younger and yet more competitive for 2013-14. First off, I don't exactly see the route to doing that, given this team's resources, for any GM, let alone Amaro.

Second, for all the cockiness the guy has, I don't think he has the confidence to try something like that. It takes significantly more confidence to take a step back in order to try and take two steps forward than it does to bankrupt the future in an attempt to win right now at all costs.

Over? Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? Nothing is over until we decide it's over!

Jack: "I think the guy is going to be remembered as a terrible GM by the time this whole thing is done"

One of the reasons this may come true is because of how hard our team has choked in the 2010 and 2011 playoffs. I don't blame Ruben at all for those years, he put the absolute best teams in the majors on the field and they blew it themselves.

MemphisPhan: I'm with you. Out with Savery, Sanches, and Contreras. In with Diekman, Elarton, and Cloyd. It probably won't improve anything, but there's no harm in trying.

I've previously made the analogy to Bill Walsh, who tried like 25 different starting cornerbacks during the 49ers' pathetic 1979 & 1980 seasons. His attitude was, "I don't know if the next guy will be better, but I know the present guy sucks, so let's find out." Eventually, he stumbled upon Dwight Hicks, a CFL washout who went on to play in 4 Pro Bowls. If you know the status quo is awful, I don't understand why you wouldn't try something new. But that's not the Phillies' way.

"The Phillies can keep Hamels and acquire better complimentary parts for next year and the year after that potentially get a big offensive weapon. There is no need to blow anything up."

Posted by: gobaystars! | Thursday, May 10, 2012 at 12:15 PM

gobaystars!, you clearly have spent zero time looking at the Phillies payroll scenarios for next year. You may think that all of this possible, but its not. Here are the facts if you care to consider them (rather than do your normal stomp your feet and act like things like payroll don't exist).

2013
Hamels - 10M raise (assuming 25M contract)
Lee - 3.5M raise (contractual)
Papelbon - 2M raise
Ruiz - 1.3M raise (club option, could be higher if he gets extension)
Victorino - 1M raise (estimated)
Pence - 1M raise (estimated, but this could be higher if he goes to arb or the phils give him an extension)
Nix - 200k raise

Obligated to at least 2M on Polanco, Contreras and Wigginton buyouts

The Phils are already at 175 and have stated that they will not go above the luxury tax. They stand to increase payroll next year by at least 21 million to keep Hamels and Victorino.

Now this 21 million dollar prospective increase would be offset by shedding the salaries of guys like Polance (6.5) and Blanton (10.5), however that leaves almost no money available to actually replace them. Which means those positions could actually get less productve than last year. (You can probably find a minor league arm to replace Blanton, however you will have no such luck finding a 3B in our minors).

The fact remains, that if Hamels and Victorino (especially Hamels) are resigned the Phillies stand to actually be worse next year. The numbers do not lie.

Iorcore: I think 2010 and 2011 will be remembered as Amaro's BEST days. Don't worry, I don't blame him for those playoff losses.

"He really over values cost certainty."

Indeed. The problem with cost certainty is that it also means roster certainty. Do you really want certainty that a 40-year old pitcher is going to be on your team in 2 years? Or that a 36-year old outfielder will be there in 3 years? Or that Danys Baez will be there not only this year, but also next? Or that a replacement level pitcher will be there in 2 years? Or . . . well, you get the point.

**however you will have no such luck finding a 3B in our minors).**

Or via FA...go take a look at the FA 3B for this next winter. Its a pretty grim list.

Jack: yeah, agreed. I just meant that if he really has 'mortgaged' the future and the team declines, it'll look a lot worse when the teams he improved by mortgaging away future season ultimately came up empty handed in the end anyway.

The one thing people fail to do when they project going forward is to admit to themselves that players get worse as they get older (generally speaking).

So when people, for example, say this team will be almost as good as 2011 because they have so many of the same players, they fail to recognize that those some players, if they are older, shouldn't be projected to perform at the same level. Imagine that you are replacing Jimmy Rollins with a player at 85% of his production. Same with a guy like Polanco. Or Victorino. And on and on on.

Guys in their mid-20's you can usually project to play a little bit better the next year. Once they hit 30, you're safer off projecting a little bit lower performance. Of course, the Phillies have FAR more players in their 30s than 20s.

**however you will have no such luck finding a 3B in our minors).**

Or via FA...go take a look at the FA 3B for this next winter. Its a pretty grim list.

Posted by: NEPP | Thursday, May 10, 2012 at 12:47 PM

NEPP, I hear ya. Its not so good. The point was the Phils can use pitchers to upgrade, but they will not be able to upgrade from within at any other position.

3B? what are you guys talking about? We've got Polly on an option for his age 37 season!!

"Imagine that you are replacing Jimmy Rollins with a player at 85% of his production. Or Victorino"

Dude, i'm praying for 50% of Rollnis or Victorino at this point.

I completely agree, JRide. I was building on your point.

"Phils followers have not yet seen RAJ operate this franchise at a time when the "wheels are falling off" down on the field."

May/June, 2010.

The 2 years deals are annoying, but the 4 and 5 year deals are the ones that will leave you with a handful of aging stars and a bunch of AAAA guys.

Posted by: curt | Thursday, May 10, 2012 at 12:01 PM

....and 5 years of dominance in their division?

"Ruebens face is all over tv when things are going well. Where is he now?"

This reminds me of when BL commenters demanded him to hold a press conference and apologize for signing Juan Castro.

"When was the last time the Phillies made you feel hopeless? "

There have been a couple of times over the last few years, including 2008, when I was just about to give up on this team. Just think of all the times that BLer was in full blown panic in the recent past.

And what has happened is that this team has shown that it has the character to dig itself out of those situations and right itself.

That said, I just think that this team doesn't have the talent advantage to enable it to dig itself out of a deep hole. It isn't really in a deep hole as of yet. They've come from further back later in the season and they may get key contributions from players that aren't currently available.

I am considering, however, giving up because giving up in the past preceded them turning it around, and I'm quite sure that my giving up was a major causal factor.

NEPP, I just don't understand why there are certain people who can't see that at some point you have to balance out you roster with cheap producers. And to act like we are the Yankees is crazy. The last I looked, they are still around 210M. Thats still 35 million worth of players, and they are still not the best team in the league.

Baseball contracts are an inverse relationship. By the time a guy reaches free agency, they begin to decline at the end years of their max contracts. Therefore as a player gets worse, he gets paid more. That is exactly what the Phillies are experiencing. Plenty of other big spending teams (Dodgers, Mets, Cubs) have experienced multiple seasons of crappy performance because they were unable to move from overpriced production to value rosters.

And that was not directed at you NEPP, just to clarify. Lol.

I've seen posters b!tching about the "gutting" of our farm system (without mentioning WHO they acquired). The only former farmhand who I can see as a legitimate contributor would be Gio Gonzalez. Who am I missing???

Wow! The hand-wringing is strong today.

..."legitimate contributor" at this point in time.

Gavin Floyd has consistently been a 3 Win player since that trade.

"Of course, the Phillies have FAR more players in their 30s than 20s."

This is very true. However, the Yankees have been trotting out an aged lineup for a few years now (this year Ibanez/Abreu replace the likes of Posada, too). Their expectations are not diminished as a result of an advanced average age.

I get it's certainly not a SUSTAINABLE model, for sure, but it's not like we can simply state that age/injuries should have us readjust our expectations and qualify this season as "over."

Basically, you can win with an older roster, but the onus is squarely on the GM to have plans for injuries, regression, etc., as well as a balance with some younger cost-controlled players. This is where Cashman far outclasses Rube and likely always will.

Silver Lining?

After 12 games, the Phillies were averaging 2.92 runs per game at the arbitrary low water mark (14/16 in the league), when the Phillies failed to win a game where Cliff Lee threw 10 shutout innings.

Since then???

The Phillies have average 4.35 runs per game, inching the season average to 3.81 per game, good for 10th.

Of course as the Offense has righted the ship a bit, the bullpen completely immolated.

They are only 5 games back. They are playing like crap right now, but they have plenty of time to right the ship. I like the Diekman call up. Hopefully they can piece it together with him, Bastardo, and Qualls until some other guys get healthy.

About finding a 3B:

Kevin Youkilis is supposedly on the block. He's due $12M this year, with a $13M team option in 2013. That contract length fits perfectly in the Phillies' other obligations, meaning we don't have to overpay in length for a free agent like we usually end up doing. They could even get him without paying in prospects - Boston's in need of starting pitching (Blanton?) and/or an outfielder (Pence?). Polanco swings over to 2B, and Utley (if he can go at all) can give 1B a shot until Howard returns. Even if we have to deal Pence, I'd rather have Youkilis + a Brown/Mayberry platoon in the offense than Pence + Galvis.

Another option is to deal Galvis, who has much more value at SS than at 2B, for a better-hitting 3B/2B type. Galvis will be a major-league contributor, but he's blocked at his best position by J-Roll for several years. Taylor Green (MIL) is similarly blocked by Rickie Weeks and Aramis Ramirez, and Seattle could move Kyle Seager because they have a ton of 3Bs coming up (Liddi, Catricala, Martinez, etc.). Seager would take more than just Galvis, but Seattle needs arms, and the Phils could send a minor-league arm along to get it done.

Polly,

Drabek, D'Arnaud, Gio (that was a million years ago), Singleton, Cosart, Taylor (for what its worth he would be somewhat valuable considering whats going on now)

I'm not saying that I necessarily disagree with these trade, however, Singleton, Drabek and D'Arnaud are blue chip players.

To say that Gio is the only legit contributor is either crazy, or you stopped paying attention to the Phillies like 5 years ago.

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