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Tuesday, June 26, 2012


Anyone who thinks we should add another fading arm to this awful bullpen is out of their mind. Ruben needs to do his job and move pieces if he needs to in order to sure up this staff.

If we're paying him nothing, then yeah. Have you seen the bullpen? Who exactly would you miss out of that sad bunch?

Minor league deal only.


NEPP: Betancourt and Belisle are both owed $4M next year, so you'd think the Rockies would be plenty interested in moving on from that if they consider themselves uncompetitive. And its not like the Phils couldn't use either of them next season at the current rate their pen looks.

Sell, Sell, Sell.

Chris: "Another fading arm"? Qualls is the only guy out there who meets that description. The rest of the pen is full of young pitchers who stink.

Could he possibly be worse than Michael Schwimer? Bring him in on a veteran minimum deal. If he really is done, cut him loose.

The pros and cons are amazing here. I voted yes. The cons first. The walks are an issue, we've all seen the tightrope act since his dominant '08 season for the often injured hurler. Part of me doesn't want to see the World Series hero come home only to get booed out of the park if he struggles. Yet, when you survey what we have with young rookies getting thrown into the fire or loaded bases in the 8th inning with the game on the line, you almost long for a guy like Lidge. Someone who's been there and done that. Also there is no need about Charlie using him for his closer, no matter what either right now. So yeah, sign me up for Lidge down the stretch.

Uh, HELL NO. We've already got his alter ego, Chad Qualls.

Right handed middle inning reliever might be the most easily obtainable commodity in major league baseball historically over the last 10 years - probably longer, how the hell did it become one of the most glaring holes on our team?

I like the Belisle/Betancourt suggestion. The key is that both are signed for next year, so if the Phillies stay out of contention you still get value from them.

I caught the 9th inning of the WAS/COL game last night. The Rockies broadcasters mentioned that Belisle and Betancourt are close friends and really feed off each other, for what that's worth. Maybe you could get them as a package.

After that quote in Spring Training, it appears that the Nationals are probably even more talented than he anticipated.

Betancourt will have a higher asker price too than Myers.

Adams (who was the belief relief pitcher on the market last year and was under contract this year) got the Padres two B+ starting pitching prospects from the Rangers (Wieland, Erlin) last year

For the Phils to a Myers/Betancourt at the deadline, it will require them to at least give up one of their better starting prospects (Colvin/May/Biddle). Betancourt will require at least that and another very good prospect too.

There isn't a bat in this system right now that is really going to be able to be the lynchpin either of any trade unless Brown somehow gets thrown into a trade.

System would be a lot more stocked right now if they hadn't made the Pence trade & had Cosart/Singleton/Santana there.

Betancourt has been around the block a few times (37 years old). Phils have been down that road before.

Not worth trading a good starting pitching prospect for a middle reliever.

31:45:33 until Chase Cameron returns and saves our season.

And for the record, I think MG is overstating the market for middle relievers. I don't think a B+ prospect will be traded for a middle reliever alone.

Jack - Then the Phils aren't getting any real relief help. Certainly not the power-throwing RH reliever they desperately need out of the pen.

I would gamble on Lidge & hope that Dubee can't straighten out his mechanics a bit. Just a question of how healthy he is. Just mind be completely shot at this point.

If it means sending down Schwimer, so be it. Yeah he has pitched a bit better in June but he isn't anything more than a backend/organizational filler type.

Fastball command isn't good enough and his slider is a below average pitch. Maybe if he learns that cutter & can mix it he has a future in MLB. His straight-as-an-arrow 92-93 fastball and below average hook won't get it done at the MLB level over a longer period.

Any word on Wednesday's pitcher yet? My vote is for Cloyd. As far as relievers go, I'd rather take a chance on Myers' "craziness" than Lidge's dead arm.

Trevor May for Betancourt and Belisle? Stay off the drugs!

Jack - It's this simple. Besides Brown, the Phils don't have enough of anything of real value in the minor league system right now that will bring them a quality setup arm besides one of their better starting prospects.

Otherwise it is dumpster diving for Amaro which means signing Lidge & praying he can give the Phils a boost for 5-6 weeks.

If he can somehow locate his fastball, yes. If not, no.

David Murphy keeps harping on the fact that Amaro should have done a better job in the offseason with getting additional relief help & needs to get the job done now.

There was largely a ton of crap on the market this offseason and veteran setup arms command $3-$4M right now on the market. Generally closer to $4M.

There isn't going to be a ton of relief talent available at the deadline, going to be a ton of potential buyers especially for anyone who has swing & miss stuff, and the Phils don't have much to barter with.

No, and not because I don't think he has a chance of being effective.

Use this season to give opportunities to bullpen prospects to prove themselves and gain major league experience. Sink or swim and hopefully improve in 2013.

If not this season, when?

Reasons that people will cite for not signing him:

1. We're out of it anyway so it's better to give the young guys a shot.
2. His ERA is over 9 and he has more than a walk per inning (in just 9 IP).
3. He's 35;
4. He's a Phillies retread;
5. Once you sign him, you'll never be rid of him no matter how badly he does.

The first reason is just a rant; it's not actually true. The second reason is neither here nor there. I mean, of course he has been awful; if he had been good, he wouldn't be on the waiver wire. But relievers run hot & cold all the time. JC Romero & Scott Eyre were doing no less awful when we signed them off the waiver wire, & both were very productive for us. And the last 3 reasons are just abstractions. Now here are 4 very concrete reasons for signing him:

1. Michael Schwimer
2. Joe Savery
3. Jake Diekman
4. Chad Qualls

Quite honestly, I don't see how anyone who is thinking rationally could say "No" to signing him. Exactly what is the downside?

Schwimer has had relatively decent command at the minor league level. He has a 2.9 BB/9 in 112 IP at AAA and 3.2 BB/9 in 45 IP at AA. Shown he can do it there.

Just hasn't done it at the MLB level so far and been really inconsistent.

I have noticed that he is mixing in a cutter more and more it seems this past month & going away from his fastball a bit. That's not a bad idea. Curious to see what Dubee would say about that or if that is at Billmeyer's suggestion.

I've heard the Rockies have no interest in moving Betancourt because he's locked up for next year; guess they're hoping to be considerably less crappy in 2013.

BAP - Diekman stays because he is a LH situational reliever. Ditto Qualls and his warts.

Savery is the long guy. The issue comes down to whether you think Lidge could give them a lift over Schwimer. I would personally take that gamble & hope he can like he did in '10 & '11 in the 2nd half after injury-plagued 1st halfs.

Lidge's upside is notably higher than Schwimer.

Betancourt and Myers are "closers" so they obviously will get more in return so they are off limits - Belisle is a good target. Same thing with Shawn Camp on CHC.

Chad Qualls & Brad Lidge are the same pitcher, only Lidge has progressed even farther down the drain. Bringing him back would be certifiably INSANE.

lorecore - Belisle will probably have a lower asking price and isn't a bad option. Problem is I imagine several teams will be in on him.

Camp isn't a bad guy to take a flyer on if the Cubs are only seeking two middling prospects (C/C-) if the Phils are in striking distance and need a RHP reliever.

Stunned if the Phils bring Lidge back either. Amaro hasn't such any sentimentality towards bringing back discarded Phils' players so far as his tenure as a GM and the Phils didn't even offer Lidge a contract this year.

I agree with some of the others above that Lidge would be worth it if he wasn't getting paid much. That said, if he was struggling with the Nats it could only be worse for us. The only thing would be if he was just going through an unlucky patch. I'd still be curious to see if he could do better than Qualls because it's hard to imagine that not being possible...

Probably get eaten alive for this, but what about Francisco Rodriguez? Would the Brewers be inclined to trade him as a potential salary dump? He's pitching to a ~3 ERA, no idea what kind of package it would take. Also, luxury tax, clubhouse cancer, Brewers still in the race, etc, etc.

yes, on a one day contract so he can retire as a Phillie. He then reenacts the clinching of the 2008 world series and tears his ACL in the processes.

A couple people have said we already have Lidge in Qualls. What the hell are you talking about? They're right-handed, middle-aged and I guess kind-of look alike, but they are completely different styles of pitcher.

Lidge has a career 11.9 K/9, 4.3 BB/9. Qualls is 7.0 K/9, 2.5 BB/9. Lidge throws a four-seam fastball (41% career GB rate), Qualls throws a two-seam fastball (57% career GB rate).

I seriously have no idea why people are saying Brad Lidge and Chad Qualls are the same pitcher. Can somebody please explain? I'm not trying to be sarcastic, I really have no clue where this is coming from.

Qualls isn't even that bad, by the way. If there were a Qualls clone available for the veteran minimum, I think the Phillies would be better off demoting Schwimer and adding another Qualls.

Here's my issue, Charlie uses only who he trusts when the game matters. (unless its that all important tie game on the road then everyone gets a chance except for one guy)

Sunday's use of Bastardo in the opening of the 8th pretty much showed that despite some ineffectiveness the day before and 30 pitches he had more confidence in him than any other member of the staff...

I'm not confident with the rest of the bullpen either... with good reason... (they can't hold leads or prevent games from getting away)... but you can't just use a two or three man bullpen...

this use this guy at the last resort style of bullpen just punishes you when the situations change...

So signing Lidge would give Manuel another guy to trust.

As long as its only against Right hand bats...
At this point he's a ROOGY... Used properly, Lidge could help...

Unfortunately... that's the real key...

When these bullpen collapses occur like 2007... i really wonder what Dubee's job in the dugout is.

Sunday's visit to Bastardo after walking two then promptly gave up the 3 run homer reminded me so much of 06 an 07 it made me sick. Dubee would visit Mesa or Rhodes and the next pitch is in the seats. THE VERY NEXT PITCH.

There was no... "Why Not" button so I voted yes.

MG: Savery would be the one to go. 4 left-handed relievers in your pen is way too many and Savery: (1) isn't as tough on lefties as Diekman; and (2) hasn't been nearly as effective as Valdes.

Savery is the "long man" only in the sense that he's the guy whom Cholly brings in when we're losing by 5 runs and our starter exits the game in the 3rd inning. But the reason he has been assigned this task is not because he possesses any special qualifications for it. It's simply because he is the worst guy in the bullpen. If he goes, then someone like Schwimer or Valdes would get that role. All are perfectly capable of pitching 2 or 3 innings.

***Betancourt has been around the block a few times (37 years old). Phils have been down that road before.***

He should be cheaper due to his age at least....I'd rather target Belisle (who is just 32).

DH Phils: Yeah, amazingly enough, Qualls is probably our 3rd or 4th best reliever (depending on how you feel about ... Diekman. Yikes).

Not sure whether that says more about people being out to get Qualls or more about how awful the bullpen is as a whole. Probably the latter.

DH Phils: They've both had issues locating their fastballs, throw sliders which often don't slide & have a distressing tendency to hang balls out over the plate. And yeah, that they're also both old, white & RH doesn't exactly help. I feel the exact same way about Qualls coming into a game as I did when Lidge was w/ the Phillies: if the batters are patient, he's gonna blow it.

FWIW, I voted yes to Lidge.

Jack: Papelbon, Bastardo, Diekman/Qualls? I give the edge to Diekman, as he still has a chance to improve. Qualls is who he's gonna be.

Aumont friend or jc then that bum

Aumont definitely needs more time in AAA and Ramirez has been up in AAA for maybe 1.5 weeks...

Is anyone else joining me on the Raul Valdez bandwagon?

On Lidge: I vote "No". Right now, I do not see Lidge as an upgrade over any bullpen piece on the active roster. However, if RAJ offers him a minor-league deal for depth, then I guess that would be OK. Who knows, maybe he could turn-it-around?

BAP: "Exactly what is the downside?"

Well, the downside is that, at this point in his career, Lidge cannot pitch as effectively as
1. Michael Schwimer
2. Joe Savery
3. Jake Diekman
4. Chad Qualls

or BJ Rosenberg, for that matter.

I'd give him a minor-league deal and put him in Lehigh to see if he can figure things out.

Zero cost to do that.

Does Lidge make the Phillies Wall of Fame when he retires?

For everyone saying "he can't possibly be worse than the crap we have", I present the following numbers:
Schwimer 4.80 1.267 1.25
Savery 4.43 1.279 2.60
Diekman 3.86 1.571 2.10
Qualls 3.86 1.451 2.38

Lidge 9.64 2.464 0.91

Yes, it CAN get worse than what we currently have. We could have Lidge setting fires on the mound on a nightly basis.

A resounding NO.

I am on the Valdes bandwagon. He's looked better than most everyone out there.

I'm also on the re-sign Lidge bandwagon. I'm sure that he could be had for peanuts, and he is a clear upgrade over Schwimer, the closest thing to a 7th inning RHP in the 'pen at the moment. Amaro has given no indication that he is interested, however.

Is anyone else joining me on the Raul Valdez bandwagon?

Jack: What the hell. I'll jump on.

I believe Danys Baez is still alive...

Does Lidge make the Phillies Wall of Fame when he retires?

Posted by: NEPP

He shouldn't so yeah he probably will. That thing is a mess.

"Chad Qualls & Brad Lidge are the same pitcher"

Quite possibly the dumbest comment in the history of BL.

Urbina get out of jail yet?

So how white hot is Young James?

Also, is Utley bigger up top or is it just me?

Hell yes, Lidge makes the Wall of Fame. Perfect season leading to WFS and he throws the last pitch. One of the most memorable moments and seasons in Phillies history and he performed like a champ. Is there some rule that say only a body of work over a long career gets you on the Wall of Fame?

Chad Lidge

Guys we should put Geoff Jenkins on the WOF too!

Would Raul Valdes be the small bandwagon ever for a reliever on here?

Probably right up there with 'Weird Beard' when he pitched well for a stretch in '06. Maybe 'Model Dictators' also late in '06.

*** Is there some rule that say only a body of work over a long career gets you on the Wall of Fame?***

Considering Mike Lieberthal is on our Hall of Fame, I think as long as you are breathing and were once a Phillie, you qualify.

I was a big Fabio Castro fan as well, so take that for what it's worth.

No to Lidge. Every time I've watched him pitch, he's looked awful. The results are an accurate reflection of his efforts. The high Ks are misleading as most of them were from young guys trying to be aggressive after he issued a couple of walks, rather than being patient.

From my untrained eyes, he looks like he has absolutely NOTHING left.

From Lidge's final days here I was absolutely astounded at his inability to locate a fastball. It was unreal. It was like when you first started having kids pitch at the end of t-ball.

I could care less about how goes on the Phils 'Wall of Fame' Actually stopped to look at it maybe 1-2 at CBP.

They could put Shane Rawley ('86 All-Star selection! or as my uncle called him growing up 'Swing and Hit' guy) on there for all I care. Actually it would be kind of funny how long it would take people to really notice.

clout: If I have terminal cancer and have been given 6 months to live, and there's an experimental new treatment that might kill me in 4 months or might give me 5 more years, I'm going with the experimental treatment. That is the Phillies' current bullpen predicament, in a nutshell. Besides, which do we trust more: Lidge's 9 godawful innings in 2012, or recent career numbers which show that, while he's certainly declining, he's still pretty effective?

Lisalberto Bonilla.

I get those of you saying that Lidge is worth a shot just because but this team is frustrating enough to watch right now. If they bring Lidge back and I'm subjected to him aiming more 86 mph fastballs I'm going to have a coronary.

Moyer Career Splits:

Rogers Centre: 107 IP, 5.89 ERA
Fenway Park: 113.2 IP, 6.10 ERA
Camden Yards: 285 IP, 4.77 ERA
Tropicana Field: 51.2 IP, 1.92 ERA
New Yankees Stadium: 8 IP, 2.25 ERA

Not exactly inspiring for a move to the AL East...particularly his new home split.

bap - It would be more accurate to say that you have 6 months to live and the "experimental treatment" could kill you in a week or in 4 months.

Lidge is worse than EVERY option in the bullpen, and probably several options still in the minors.

Beard - That's a possibility and more probably than Friend who seems like more organizational filler than anything given his age (26) at AA, lack of hit & miss stuff, and his control issues in the recent past.

Sure. He can pitch simulated at bats to Jim and Chase when he comes back and sits on the bench for the rest of his career.

Dumber stance:

Cholly is the worst manager in the NL and should be fired or this:

"When you have to decide between sending Martinez or Mike Fontenot to the plate in a crucial spot, you know you aren't in a great situation. When you have to constantly rely on Jake Diekman, Michael Schwimer or Chad Qualls for quality innings out of the bullpen, you can't be overly confident."

No but it is about using the tools you have to the best of your ability to key spots. If the players don't deliver like Bastardo in the 8th, that's on the player & not the manager.

It will be fascinating to see if Amaro does pull an 'Ed Wade' and give up a decent prospect for relief help at the deadline.

Can't imagine that will endear Amaro much to media/fans especially if the Phils end up home in Oct.

***When you have to decide between sending Martinez or Mike Fontenot to the plate in a crucial spot***

Such a tough choice as to whether to use the .345 AVG Fontenot versus the .133 AVG Martinez.

Truly a riddle worthy of Solomon.

Raul Valdes Now An Important Part of Phillies Bullpen

This guy, and a few others like him, are more important to the ongoing success of this team than anything Chase Utley might do. Much to my surprise, the Phils are scoring runs and taking leads. It’s the keeping leads part that’s killing them.

"Such a tough choice as to whether to use the .345 AVG Fontenot versus the .133 AVG Martinez.

Truly a riddle worthy of Solomon."

Obviously the thing to do is to cut them both in half and join the best halves up to create some sort of super Mini-Font.

Then just sew the remaining halves together and release the resulting Mini-Fontenstein into the wild to be hunted down by angry villagers with pitchforks.

Will S: "Use this season to give opportunities to bullpen prospects to prove themselves and gain major league experience."

I agree with Will about a guy like Diekman or DeFratus if he ever gets healthy, who has the stuff to be considered an impact pitcher late in games. Schwimmer, Rosenberg, Savery have little potential - i see no reason to waste time getting them some 'experience'. Guys with that talent level are useful for depth purposes only.

Chris: He has pitched 9 innings. They are 9 very bad innings, to be sure. But come on. 9 innings? Do you really think he would put up those kinds of numbers over an entire season?

Even if he we got last year's version of Brad Lidge, he would be a huge improvement on what we have now. Agree with NEPP: sign him, send him to LV, and see how it goes. If he can string together a few decent outings in a row, call him up. If he can't, you're no worse off.

If i had to rank the phils bullpen prospects in terms of long term potential, i'd go:

JC Ramirez

And that doesnt count in a guy like Bonilla who is too far away to consider, i'd probably have him above DeFratus in actual prospect ranking.

bap - If we're talking a minor league deal for the minimum, sure, what the hell? But it's not just about the numbers he's put up in 9.1 innings...Have you watched him pitch this year? He literally has no idea where his pitches are going. When he does throw a strike, it's pretty much inevitably a meatball over the middle of the plate.

His command is gone, and he still can't hold a runner to save his life, so every walk is the equivalent of at least a double. You can almost guarantee that every inning he pitches would start off with a runner on 2nd with no outs, which is why he has an ERA over 9.

You can think he represents an upgrade over the likes of Schwimer/Diekman/Savery/Qualls, but he's quite possibly the worst relief pitcher in MLB at this point.

Chris in VT- your 12.48 post was perfect. Well played !

Also, Brian Sanches might even be worth another shot at this point.

That looks about right to me, too, lorecore.

Is there something wrong with player development in that these guys have big arms, but so far do not possess command, an MLB-ready secondary pitch, and an MLB-ready mound presence?

I know I'm generalizing, but still...

oogie urbina: "Any word on Wednesday's pitcher yet? My vote is for Cloyd."

Cloyd pitched Saturday, so unless they want him going on 3 days' rest, he's out. Elarton pitched Sunday. If they want a guy on his normal pitching day, Tom Cochran (Lehigh Valley) or Julio Rodriguez (Reading) could get the call.

Sure...and while we're at it, let's also bring back JD Durbin (Not Chad) and Adam Eaton.

Life is a highway....I wanna riiiide it. ALL. NIGHT. LONG.

Dave Bush to Japan will be the reason we miss the playoffs by 1 game.

"Poll: Should the Phillies bring back Brad Lidge?"

This question is a joke, right?

I saw the idea when BAP proposed it on an earlier thread, and assumed that everyone would be laughing their heads off too hard to actually take it seriously.

I thought Cloyd was on regular rest on Wednesday - bad math. My moneys on Savery/Valdes et al. for that game.

No, and not because I don't think he has a chance of being effective.

Use this season to give opportunities to bullpen prospects to prove themselves and gain major league experience. Sink or swim and hopefully improve in 2013.

If not this season, when?

Posted by: Will Schweitzer | Tuesday, June 26, 2012 at 11:32 AM

I think you meant sink or Schwimm

Hopefully this Sink guy has a better out pitch than Schwim.

Any word on Wednesday's pitcher yet? My vote is for Cloyd. As far as relievers go, I'd rather take a chance on Myers' "craziness" than Lidge's dead arm.

Posted by: oogie urbina
oogie: Papelbon's next save ties you for 34th all-time.

It will be fascinating to see if Amaro does pull an 'Ed Wade' and give up a decent prospect for relief help at the deadline.

Can't imagine that will endear Amaro much to media/fans especially if the Phils end up home in Oct.

Posted by: MG | Tuesday, June 26, 2012 at 01:14 PM

Wade's relief pickups were dreadful but in which trade did the Phillies give up "decent prospects"? I remember Josh Hancock but nobody else of even negligible worth.

Getting Lidge back is just like having Qualls. Old guys, over the hill who had some success, but now are only good at blowing games and making you wish they'd recapture youth. THAT is what makes them the same. Some idiots on here feel the need to make a statistical comparison every time a player is compared, like Iceman and many others in this thread. Get out of your statistical boxes folks, Qualls and Lidge are clones right now. See the bigger picture and quit with the stat puking.

lore: I think Bonilla is closer than you think.

i got it all.

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