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Sunday, March 17, 2013


I think we can scratch Zach Miner's name off that list of possibles at this point.

Please stop with this Cook nonsense. I do not believe he has an inside track to anything. In case of injury, they can scratch together enough innings out of Durbin and Valdez without the need for Cook.

Murph said Roy went to concert last night. Maybe paps spiked his vitamin water and now he has back door trots. Now we have to wait till next start. Jim s has his scouts 85-88

We might not see the need for Cook, but the Phillies want all of the starting pitching depth they can get and it sure looks like Cook will have a big-league job, at least for the first few weeks of April until the Phils see they don't need him.

Nice swing by Kratz.

This is the situation Revere is built for. Since he doesn't strike out much, this should be a near guaranteed run.

Double? Okay then.

Cook is NOT making this roster. For one thing, he's not a reliever. For two, he doesn't have the strikeout ability to be an effective reliever. For three, he has been flat-out awful for 3 years in a row. For four, "long relievers" are actually needed to pitch for just 1 inning far more often than they are needed to pitch 3 innings -- which is why no team devotes a dedicated bullpen spot to someone whose only attribute is the ability to pitch multiple innings. For five, they just used Chad Durbin and Raul Valdes in 3-inning stints yesterday, which is a pretty good indication that those are the 2 guys whom they are looking at for that role.

Did I cover all the reasons?

Revere's been hitting, but we just don't know enough about his defense to judge his worth as a player.

I'm going to go out on a limb and say that Revere will be an elite CF defensively.

Liking the move to get Revere so far. I've always said that sports is entertainment and he has been fun to watch.

You covered plenty of reasons, BAP. It's not an argument that Cook should make the team. It's an argument that he probably will.

Decision has to be made on Cook by March 26, which probably won't leave the Phillies enough time to be absolutely certain that Halladay will be ready for the season.

If the Phils want to stash Cook in the minors it costs them an extra $100,000. Giving him the big-league roster spot over the $100k might be deemed more economical. The Phils would have to be in deep love with Michael Stutes to spend $100,000 just so he makes the team the first week over Cook

BAP, how is Cook all that different a prototype from Kendrick, who made the team as a long reliever in the past? one of the factors involved is to have someone available as a possible swing man. If it isn't Cook, you'd think it'd be Lopez.

Hard to believe the Phils care about the $100K.

Kyle Kendrick is Nolan Ryan compared to Aaron Cook these days.

Cook is nowhere near the skill level of Kendrick at this point in their careers. Cook has been flat out terrible last 3 years.

Corey: I won't say it's impossible that he makes the team. After all, the Phillies are good for at least one totally confounding roster decision per spring training. But I just can't see keeping a guy on the roster just for that rare game when your starter gets knocked out in the 2nd or 3rd inning. Besides, it's not like you can predict when such an event will happen. It's possible it could happen at a time when Cook just pitched the previous day & isn't even available to pitch 3 innings. Better to pick someone like Valdes, who can pitch 3 innings and actually brings some other attributes to the table.

They can bring anyone up from AAA for a spot start on short notice. KK was kept on the roster in the 'swing-man' capacity because he's successful against RHB and capable of pitching an inning or two in relief- which he did quite a bit between starts.

Cook is useless in this capacity and would be useless in the bullpen. He can't strike anyone literally, he can't. He gives up a ton of hits so you can't bring him in with runners on. He's been terrible for three years, as BAP pointed out. It's just completely useless and a waste of a spot.

If they want Cook as a 6th starter, stick him in AAA where he belongs and call him up when someone gets hurt. The team has three guys who can pitch 2-3 innings on any given night. All of them are better than Cook.

Tmac and Sarge just reminded me: Doc didn't get to hit today.

Love watching Doc "try" and hit.

This is the first game I've actually watched on tv this spring. I'd forgotten how annoying the Phillies' announcers are.

"This is the first game I've actually watched on tv this spring. I'd forgotten how annoying the Phillies' announcers are."

I can understand your need to repress the memories.

I'm loving Galvis's pop this spring.

8 straight balls for Aumont.

It's spring training, so it doesn't matter. But Cholly ought to just make it a matter of policy that, when Aumont comes into the game and walks the first 2 batters, he gets lifted immediately.

Now watch him retire the next 3 guys.

nik: He actually threw a strike after going 3-0 on the 2nd hitter. Don't slander him.

This is a guy (Aumont) who would have been a top candidate for the 8th inning if Adams weren't signed.

There are people that exist that actually wanted that to happen. It still blows my mind.

And I really like Aumont, for the record. But the idea that he should handle any part of the 8th inning to start the year is absurd.

Sometimes Aumont just needs to find his arm slot...thsi was one of those times.

Ok, that policy I suggested 5 minutes ago is now under reconsideration.

A hit is a hit.

The second out was a guy that swung wildly at three breaking balls that were out of the strike zone.

Again, love Aumont and want him in the bullpen. Don't want him anywhere near the 8th inning.

Ruf feels like he is slowly, slowly warming up.

You could practically hear Wheeler give the air quotes when he said "stomac virus."

On the plus side, Sarge & T-Mac were around to completely take my mind off Halladay with Sarge's St. Patrick's Day hat & glasses. What a great gag.

"Now watch him retire the next 3 guys."

OK, bap, could you please tell me what teh "Pick 6" number is for this evening.

I wonder if this charade regarding Halladay's health will reach the epic lows of the Freddy Garcia injury when Gillick went on the record saying the Phils had their own medical staff given him a physical (only for it to be revealed shortly later that Gillick lied and the Phils backtrack), repeated claims that he was healthy all spring and well into April, and my favorite was Garcia's claim that he liked wearing band aids with the worst lie ever to try to cover up the cortisone shot he had recently had.

Really down on this team's playoff chances after today. A productive Halladay vs whatever flotsam the Phils put out there is worth at least 4-5 wins this year.

This team have a better overall staff than the 07 team by a decent margin yet but bit nearly the same offensive fire power.

Jordan Whatcott? Who?

rolo: Your best bet is to take whatever numbers I don't take.

I can understand why Amaro is interested in a backup catcher too. Kratz has had the worst spring of any positional player who will be on the Opening Day.

Not that I have much faith though the Phils will get someone who will be a real improvement over Quintero offensively at this point. Phils don't exactly have a very strong background the last several years at evaluating the catcher spot either going back to the Barajas signing and pretty much until now.

you can't spell Phillies without lies

NEPP - surprised me too. miner somehow still pitching with the MLB club and Valdes starting yesterday instead of a younger arm the Phils would have liked to have another look at gives you a good perspective on the almost complete lack of organizational depth this team has right now.

Probably bottom 5 in MLB.

Dom Brown is having a heck of a Spring.

So having the minor leaguers work out with the minor league groups shows that the team has no organizational depth? I don't understand that line of thinking.

stating--I'm surprised there hasn't been more talk about the likelihood that the team knows Halladay is hurting and that this is disinformation in the event that they need to swing a trade or otherwise respond to his absence. I'm not buying that this is a simple stomach issue, nor do I blame them for not speaking publicly about his health.

Corey et al--why is Cook assumed to be the choice over Rodriguez? I haven't noticed an appreciable difference this spring and actually like Rolo's stuff more than Cook's (though if they play more than a month of the season with one of either, I think we're in serious trouble).

NEPP--Brown's spring gives me hope about this team, especially his D, which seems to speak volumes about where his confidence is at these days.

NEPP - yup and he is flying around the basepaths and showing good range this spring.

Doesn't remotely look like the guy who was basically a station to station guy due to his hamstring issues.

Redburb - no just the caliber of players who are still getting regular PT yet and on the mound.

Philly: Cook and Rolo were about equally terrible last year, but Cook was the better pitcher in his prime & is 3 years younger. So, at least with Cook, there is the tiniest bit of wiggle room to dream that he might return to being an effective big league pitcher. Granted, that wiggle room is miniscule. But it exists -- which can't be said for rolo.

And this is in no way an endorsement of Aaron Cook. But if the choice is between Cook & rolo as 6th starter, I'd choose Cook.

Not me, bap? Screw you.

Ryan Lawrence ‏@ryanlawrence21

Papelbon had same ailment today, by the way.

Halladay still wanted to give it a go today. Really no harm in trying if it was a stomach ailment, right?

Ryan Lawrence ‏@ryanlawrence21

Charlie said Halladay threw up after first inning, felt bad before taking mound, too.

Stomach virus? Stomach virus? I'm a damn 2 time Cy Young award winner and we talking about a stomach virus. Not Tommy John surgery. Not torn rotater cuff. Stomach virus. Stomach virus. Not bone spurs, or even bone chips. Stomach virus.

@ChrisBranchTNJ: In short: Halladay was already sick, wanted to pitch anyway, then puked. According to Charlie. Said Doc should be ready for 1st start

Let's see what he looks like in his next start before we buy this BS excuse.

BAP--Rolo threw 6 innings last year. The year before with the Cubs he threw 97 to an era+ of 88.

Cook that last two years has thrown less than 100 innings and posted era+ of 76 and 77.

Neither is a longterm answer, but I would make the case that Rolo might hurt you less in the short term than Cook--at least, it's not a slam dunk either way.

And can I mention how much it pains me that we are having this conversation in the first place? I am not throwing in the towel on this season by any means, but I think, as a fan of this franchise and knowing their history in not talking straight about injuries, that it is possible that Doc might not be answering the bell this year. Guy's a warrior, but I hope to god that high-level discussions are happening with the front office and ownership about contingency plans in the event that this team is competitive without Halladay (they could be) but in need of some pitching resources to hang with NL competitors through a whole season.

NEPP: Well, after he gets shredded in his next start, it will be because he got out of his normal routine because of the abbreviated start due to the stomach virus. Beauty of an excuse, right??

Ryan Lawrence ‏@ryanlawrence21

Kratz on knowing Halladay was sick pregame: "Yeah I saw. I saw. There were some symptoms." Added Halladay went to tunnel during Nat'l anthem.

Ryan Lawrence ‏@ryanlawrence21

Kratz on how Halladay looked compared to last start: "Oh, my. A lot better." Added: "Sinker was sinking, cutter was cutting."

Just one of these times I'd like to see Halladay's stuff actually be 'better' instead of just hearing from the catchers & pitching coach that his stuff is better when nobody else is watching.

Believe it or not, I do buy the stomach ailment thing. I'm not sure why, but I do. I'm just not believing a word they say about him being healthy physically, stomach ailment or not. Sooner or later, the excuses are going to start running out.

I believe he was crapping himself and throwing up...I also think there's something else wrong with him.

Was it MG who previously suggested Halladay may have some other un-diagnosed medical condition?

how long before doc is making his "luckiest man" speech?

STS- that was me (and to a lesser extent BAP). I declared BL Bankruptcy on the whole issue.

Horst and Valdes can pack their bags. Everyone knows that a second lefty on the roster out of ST is completely superfluous and anathema.

“The Only Thing We Have to Fear Is Fear Itself”. The screen door runs be damned.

I don't doubt that Halladay was sick today. Starting him today just didnt make much sense then. For a team that won an award for injury prevention in '08 from the baseball trainer's association, this team certainly hasn't seemed like it has done very well in that deptarment at all.

Just didn't show the same velocity or movement he did his first 3 starts in ST today. Even during Halladay's 3rd start vs Nats with the diminished velocity Halladay's body language looked right. He was working quickly and not going off the rubber much at all. Today he looked wrong from the get go.

Still willing to give the team the benefit of the doubt and see what Halladay looks like his next outing. Even the Halladay you saw in his 3rd start this spring can be a real asset for this team even topping out at 88-89.

If Halladay struggles to reach 88 and is generally at 85-86 then the Phils have been lying for the 10 days regarding Halladay's health status. Rather the Phils just take the Pats approach by supplying only a minimal amount of info and not going into specifics. That is what I would expect instead of Dubee's comments this week.

Answer: Cook and Lopez

Question: Who are two starting pitchers who you don't get stuck seeing?

I got stuck with one of Cook's starts last year when I was up in Boston visiting friends and saw Cook at Fenway. I always liked going to a Wakefield start because I love knuckleballers and there was actually a good chance if he could give the Sox a solid outing especially if it was a night game and he had his mojo working. Cook is just a one-trick pony whose trick is well past expiration.

Iceman: His stuff in one inning of work did look better than his last outing. However, it was still not where you would like it to be. Also, I can see why people see the stomachbug thing as odd in this instance. it certainly appears to be.

I DVR'd the game while i was out and kept off the internet just so I could watch Doc's start to have my own opinion of how he looked.

You can imagine how thrilled i am to be 20min into my recording and seeing Zach Minor warm up.

Cook's last three years: 318IP, 5.54 ERA, 1.572 WHIP- 82 ERA+. 11 hits per 9 innings. 3.7 K/9, 1.18 K/BB

Rolo's last three years: 304IP, 4.83 ERA, 1.451 WHIP- 86 ERA+. 10.4 hits per 9 innings. 5.1 K/9, 1.91 K/BB

The numbers are easily with Rolo as the guy who has the flimsiest chance to be half-decent as a spot starter. It doesn't matter what Cook did in his prime. The last three years, they've both sucked, but Rolo has the edge in every single relevant statistic.

The one thing that Cook has going for him is that bizarre 5-start stretch last year where he pitched to a 2.16 ERA (with a CGSO in Seattle). He managed that while striking out 3 guys TOTAL and pitching to a .190 BABIP. But after that weird stretch of luck he had a 6.98 ERA the rest of the year with a more realistic .332 BABIP. He managed 8 quality starts (out of 18) in 2012.

The last time Rolo started consistently (2011 with Chicago) he had 6 QS out of 16 managing a 4.50 ERA as a starter. Those were the only 6 starts where he managed to get to 6 innings.

Both of them are crappy choices, but Rolo is less crappy. I don't see Cook managing another lucky stretch like he had last year.

This feels like getting back together with a woman who cheated on you in the past.

I want to believe. I really do, but this is the Phillies and the health of a player that we're talking about.

Take all information with a mountain of salt.

Roy Halladay has some type of medical condition and they have not diagnosed it properly. Over the past two seasons there are times when Halladay starts sweating profusely and runs completely out of gas. Could it be sunstroke or something??? It usually happens during day games in the sun! He can't take high humidity or high heat. We've seen it happen MULTIPLE times in the past. Now they say it's a "stomach virus". Come on! Get some real doctors in there to help Doc figure out the issue!

Cards interested in Betancourt.

If the Phils could get anything for him that could be potentially of any use, that would be a huge win.

Something completely not related to Doc sunstroking out, but just found it interesting that the lady who inspired the novel then the movie "The Natural" has died. She is the one who shot Roy Hobbs(Robert Redford). I thought that was the Hollywood treatment added to the film, but it was true. Eddie Waitkus actually played for the Phillies then. He was the inspiration for the movie. Just a side note that I thought was interesting. Now back to Doc and the marinara sauce that is running down his sleeve.

ESPN says that Galvis has homered 3 straight St. Paddys Days. Was he in camp 2 years ago?

After pitching only 1 inning, Doc will feel the need to throw 130 pitches on his side day, and feel lethargic on his next start.

Galvis did have a HR in 2011 - can't confirm day tho.

Yuni, JMJ, and Cash for Any of there quality prospects

"The Angels have acquired minor league pitcher Mike Cisco from the Phillies for no compensation. Alden Gonzalez of explains the Phillies had an excess of pitching in Double-A and Triple-A and they wanted to make sure he’d go somewhere he’d have an opportunity to pitch. The Angels liked him and have a spot for him in their system."

Really? We couldn't at least get 10 bucks for him? The dude wasn't all that awful.

I have never heard of a team just giving another team a player/prospect for nothing. Not even 'future considerations?'

Don't want to stir up the faux outrage over this, but why would they do this?

"Really? We couldn't at least get 10 bucks for him? The dude wasn't all that awful."

I hear the Angels have offered to fill our soda machines for a week.

Well at least Jimmy Rollins is on the Cleveland Show.

Iceman, it's possible that no one would have given the Phillies anything back for him, and the Phillies would have simply just cut him, and not gotten anything in return anyhow.

At least this way, they curry some good favor with another organization, and also with the player's association and other players, as they helped this kid keep his career going.

Ok, I just wasted a good half hour of my day writing a really long post, which laid out all sorts of reasons to believe that Aaron Cook's numbers over the last 3 years may actually be due, in part, to a very improbable run of bad luck. Naturally, the post got lost when I went to post it.

The gist of the post, however, was that his ground ball rates are still every bit as good as they ever were. But, in each of the last 3 years, one or more of his luck-driven peripherals have been putrid. And it doesn't seem to be anything systematic because, in each year, it has been a different putrid luck-driven peripheral.

The point of my post was NOT that I want Aaron Cook on the Phillies' roster. The point was: he's a better bet than Rodrigo Lopez. He may even be a better bet than Tyler Cloyd. At the very least, my number-crunching convinced me that he isn't the worst guy in the world to have available at AAA.

Cisco was organizational filler. He didn't even get a stiff last year when the Phils were desperate for RHP relief help. He was behind even Friend and JC Ramirez on the org chart but I want to know what guy in the front office thinks this organization is loaded with enough talented RHP relievers that they just gave away 2 this spring (Schwimer and Cisco) for basically nothing.

One of the most common symptoms of a serious shoulder injury is nausea.

I think we should have asked for Mike Trout in exchange.

Kidding, of course!

Not even a Trout-autographed baseball?

I keep having visions that the Cisco giveaway is some sort of prequel to a Vernon Wells-to-the-Phillies trade.

Cook had a near-7 ERA in his last twelve starts last year. His BABIP was actually lower than his career average.

I'm sure the mystery peripherals BAP had in his vanishing post are quite convincing, but the only number you need to know is this one: 1.9. That was Cook's K/9 last year in almost 100 innings. That's a historically bad number.

The guy has never struck many people out, but the fact that he can't miss ANY bats whatsoever is pretty telling for a guy that hasn't posted an ERA under 5 since 2009. You simply can't succeed at this level with that low of a K/9 (KK and his 5.1 K/9 since 2009 is Nolan Ryan compared to Cook in this area).

He's dreadful. There isn't a single relevant statistic Cook beats Rolo in since 2010. If you think the precipitous decline in his results for three straight seasons have been aided by luck, you're kidding yourself. And I'm sure that having the dreadful defense in the corners that the Phillies have isn't going to help him with the 95% of batters he can't strike out.

The Phils will have at least a little depth in the pen with De Fratus and I bet Stutes too. Diekman got sent down today but he is still an enigma who can't develop any consistency. Some outings he is unhittable and others he has trouble throwing a single strike.

Eithe Horst/Valdes will likely end up starting the year at Lehigh too because both are left-handed and I do think Lopez will sneak in their as the 'long-man.' Kind of disappointed by the few times I have caught Horst this spring. His command wasn't as sharp but he didn't nearly have the same bite on his slider he had late last season and I saw a report he was at 91-92 when he was pushing 93 regularly last season late. Predict he will have a pretty pronounced regression this year.

So do we believe the Phillies " Stomach virus...nothing to worry about"

or clout "One of the most common symptoms of a serious shoulder injury is nausea."?

Tough call, since I know I can't believe everything I read on the internet, and I also can't believe everything the Phils say about players health.

Gotta side with clout, but I sure hope to be proven wrong with Doc's next start.

"the only number you need to know is this one: 1.9. That was Cook's K/9 last year in almost 100 innings."

It's actually NOT the only number you need to know. It's a shocking number, to be sure. But it's still just one piece of the entire puzzle -- and a fairly small piece since we're talking about a ground ball pitcher whose strikeout numbers were extremely low even when he was good.

The more significant fact is this: his ground ball percentages the last three years were 58.6, 55.1, and 58.1. Between 2007 and 2009, when he was good, his GB percentages were 57.9, 55.9, and 56.7. So when it comes to his main way of getting people out, Aaron Cook is every bit as good today as he was in his prime.

The luck-driven peripherals I was talking about were things like his .345 BABIP in 2011, his 17.9% HR/FB ratio and 60.2% strand rate in 2012, the fact that 6.6% of balls in play ended up as infield hits in 2010, and the fact that his line drive percentages in 2010 & 2012 were actually better than in his 2008 career year. It's for these reasons that his FIP and xFIP have been dramatically better than his ERA for each of the last 3 years. I realize there are pitchers out there whose ERA consistently lags their FIP and xFIP but, until 2010, Aaron Cook was not one of them. In fact, before 2010, his ERA was consistently better than his FIP and xFIP.

I don't even really know how one would undertake a 3-year comparison of Cook & Lopez, considering that Lopez pitched all of 6 innings at the major league level last year. He certainly out-performed Cook in terms of ERA in 2010 & 2011. But in 2011, Cook's FIP was 4.54 and his xFIP was 4.37; Rolo's were 5.36 and 4.48 respectively. In 2010, Cook's FIP was 4.54 & his xFIP was 4.50; Rolo's were 5.21 and 4.50. FIP and xFIP are generally better predictors of future performance than ERA and that's exactly what we're talking about here: predictions about 2013 performance. Not to mention that Lopez is 37 and Cook just turned 34.

Through 9 starts (51.2 IP) last year, Aaron Cook had given up 8 HR, 7 BB, and 6 K. I'm not sure what the significance of that is, but those 3 things aren't usually in that order. I'm curious if anyone else has kept them in that order that far into a season.

BAP- I'm not going to go back and forth on this because we agree both pitchers are fairly awful. But Cook's K/9 last year was the second worst single season K/9 in the last fifty seasons (min: 90IP) and the 21st lowest since WW2. Again, historically bad. You cannot survive at this level doing that.

Cook's K-percentages since 2008: 10.8, 11.6, 10.8, 10.9, 4.9. His GB% may have been the same last season, but that doesn't account for the 6% drop-off in his K-rate. That 6% wasn't converted into ground-balls: they were mostly hit over the fence. That isn't a coincidence.

If it was a one-year drop-off in results, MAYBE there would be an argument that it was a fluke and he could bounce back. But the results haven't been there in 3 seasons, and aside of 5 fluky starts last year (where he had a .190 BABIP), he had an ERA of 7.

There's a saying that hitters will tell a pitcher the truth about his stuff in the batter's box, and for the last three years, they've told Aaron Cook in resounding fashion, "You suck."

Again, this isn't advocating for Lopez as much as it is rejecting the notion that Cook can step in and be productive. Cook's numbers last year, to me, disqualify him from any kind of consideration for being as high as 6th on a depth chart for a team that has intentions of contending for the playoffs. It certainly disqualifies him from being in the bullpen.

Lopez didn't really show anything last year because he didn't get the chance at the MLB level; but the last time he was at the MLB-level, he fit the role of a 6th/7th starter that could come in an be at least mildly competent. No qualifying starter since Reagan's first term has had a K/9 as low as Cook's last year, and he had an ERA of 7 in his last 12 starts.

Chances are they're both finished, but I'd hand the ball to Rolo before Cook (though I'd hand it to Cloyd or Ethan Martin before I'd hand it to either of them).

Screw the stats, if either Cook or Lopez start more than a couple of games for the Phillies, we are cooked. End of inane discussion.

Between Double-A Reading and Triple-A Lehigh Valley last season, Michael Cisco went 5-3 with a 1.80 ERA in 40 appearances. Doesn't sound like someone you would just give away for nothing. Is there something I don't know?

clout's explanation is completely reasonable...until you account for the fact that the Phillies FO has a long and storied tradition of completely and utterly lying about injuries. Lidge in 09, Doc last year and Freddy Garcia are three of their more egregious examples.

I have no doubt that Halladay has a stomach virus...I just tend to think he's also still got shoulder issues.

***Is there something I don't know?***

His "stuff" is very pedestrian. He wasn't a real prospect.

Thus, he will now likely have a breakout season with the Angels.

Lost in all the debate about whether Halladay really has shoulder issues (deteriorating rotator cuff?) or whether he had a stomach virus is this:

WTF did they allow a guy who is one of the keys to their season go out there when he was ill?

If he really had a stomach virus why didn't they sit him until he was well? In a weakened state from the flu players are more suceptible to injury, no? Did they really potentially risk (I acknowledge the risk may not have been great) getting the guy hurt because they sent him out there? How about making him sicker? And if it was enough to knock Papelbon out for the day WTF were they doiing letting Halladay makethat decision.

IMHO: NOT smart.

Rolo: It could've been very simply- Halladay said he still thought he could go so they put him in. He came out after the first- tossed his cookies and they removed him.

Pitching ill does not necessarily expose him to more risk. Guys play sports all the time when sick.

Jamie Moyer would have puked on the mound and still pitched 6 effective innings...

Still annoyed that that blown out call at 1B on the greatest defensive play I've ever seen by a pitcher cost him an official Win in that WS game.

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