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Sunday, February 04, 2007


I see interest in Shuey and Hermanson as more desperation than anything. Still believe this team would have been better signing a guy like Burowski or Foulke.

I don't see how guys like Borowski and Foulke, who are major injury risks, represent any less of an indication of desperation than Alfonseca and Hermanson. (Though to consider Shuey is pretty friggin' desperate.) Agreed that the Phillies can't afford to pass over Hermanson - but then again, there's any number of reliever we've said that about in the last few months, only to watch them get snatched up by other teams.

Another interesting couple of tidbits from Salisbury's column: David Bell remains unsigned. Is his career over? And the revelation that Helms only started five games at 3B last year is kind of startling. God, I hope he's not a total butcher over there, making us yearn for the glove of Bell.

If this team makes me yearn for any Bell but Taco Bell, shoot me down

Obviously you'd like to see a clean bill of health before making an offer to him, but I think Hermanson at his peak is a better pitcher than Borowski, and Foulke would never get much of a look in Philly because his out pitch is a change-up; it might have worked for a while because of the league change, but the Phillies historically devalue pitchers who don't throw hard. Of course, if Hermanson is healthy a lot of teams will bid on him; whether Gillick will ante up here when he has failed to do so with other players this offseason (Eaton excepted) will be the $64,000 question -- or, in these inflation-adjusted times, the $6.4 million question.

As for Helms, I didn't realize he was that rusty at 3B. I have a feeling you're going to see Nunez starting 40 percent of the games, namely those started by lefthanders Moyer and Hamels.

If it wasn't for Nunez being able to play shortstop I would be willing to sign Bell as a backup inf. Looking at Hermanson can't hurt but i'm wondering where the 2nd LHP this is going to come from. I hate the thought of our only lefty being Smith.

I agree RSB but I think Alfonseca and Hermanson represent even bigger question marks (regarding health and effectiveness) than Burowski or Foulke.

Still, any one of these guys is not as effective as Gordon if Gordon is actually healthy. Just keep your fingers and toes crossed that Gordon is actually healthy.

malcolm: I can't imagine the Phils will open the season with Smith as their only bullpen lefty.

I like the Hermanson gamble way more than some of these other retreads in terms of potential upside, but the odds of recovery are longer. There is no more difficult injury for a pitcher to overcome than lower back. His was so severe he considered retirement. The Yankees looked at him a month ago and didn't like what they saw. He's probably done.

At this point I'm not sure signing bullpen filler is going to be any more beneficial than just calling up an unknown (or a wash-up) from the minors. Terry Adams and Julio Santana are recent examples of what signing players for the sake of signing players gets you. If the Phils wanted an impact reliever they should have gone after Speier, who probably would have become our best reliever. Even a JC Romero or Weathers would have done, but of course we don't want to spend the money on that and now we're talking about 35+ year old relievers with serious injury problems.

Don't know why we didn't show any interest on Dan Kolb. Pirates got him for around 3 million, which is basically what we will be paying to Hermanson, should we decide to sign him. Seemed as if he got his injuries out the way towards the latter half of last season.

Even if they sign Hermanson, don't you think we'll be seeing Brito and maybe Castro coming in against lefties?

Hermanson is a very nice add if he's either healthy or offers some promise of becoming so during the season. IIRC he's about 34, and it wasn't so long ago that he was pretty effective for the ChiSox.

I think Castro is in line to be the second lefty ount of the bullpen. Brito doesn't have a chance in hell of making this team.

Gillick said Castro's control isn't where they'd like it, otherwise you'd think he'd be in line. Ten days 'till pitchers and catchers. There's a lot to look at in the bullpen.

Brito's stats are interesting. It seems he was primarily a reliever until he got to Reading, when he was converted to a starter. He seems to have found his best success since then.

He seems to have the ability to have some success at the MLB level, but RSB is right. The stats say it's not going to be out of the bullpen.

Glad we did not pick up Keith Foulke. He pitched himself out of a job in Boston and is well on the decline.

Speaking of Fabio Castro, the following excerpt comes out of today's article on the Dominican Republic's 12-0 victory over Puerto Rico, in which Castro *started* for the DR:

"Dominican Republic starter Fabio Castro had a crafty hand in the victory. The diminutive southpaw allowed only two hits in five innings before yielding to Santiago Ramirez in the sixth.

'I felt really strong and confident about pitching in such an important game for my country,' Castro said. 'I just tried to stay ahead in the count and do the best job I could out there.' . . . .

'Fabio Castro did a fabulous job; all credit goes to him,' (DR Manager Felix)Fermin said. 'He did a great job against a very dangerous team.'"

RSB, you said, "I don't see how guys like Borowski and Foulke, who are major injury risks, represent any less of an indication of desperation than Alfonseca and Hermanson."

RSB, how do you seriously place in the same category a guy like Alfonseca (who pitched 16 innings last year with no saves and a 5.63 ERA) with Borowski (36 saves, 72 games, with almost a strikeout an inning)?

I think it was just yesterday in the other thread that I mentioned that the Phils should take a look into Dustin Hermanson. If he's healthy, which is a big IF, then he'd be a tremendous addition to the bullpen.

Wait, I just had a vision. The Phillies sign the final, winning piece to the bullpen and it is: The guy from American Chopper? Oh, wait it is just Dustin Hermanson, nevermind.

If he is healthy then decent move. He and Flash might be able to push the century mark together if we sign them both to long term deals.

Meh. If healthy, he would be better than Alfonseca, but then again, there will be about 20 guys in clearwater better than Alfonseca.

RSB wrote Brito doesn't have a chance in hell of making this team.

I wouldn't be so sure about that. There is an open spot for a lefty reliever and if Castro doesn't make the team, there is no one else currently on the spring roster. Do you think Jimn Crowell, JA Happ, or Brian Mazzone are more likely ?

I agree with the Terry Adams and Julio Sanatana reference...with the absense of clear cut set up guys on the market, why sign a bunch of overpaid stiffs?

Relievers are a funny business. Most guys, no matter how good they were last year, have the potential to be terrible this year. It takes about 3 years of solid consistency to prove to me that a guy is worth a multiyear, double digit million deal.

So instead of overpaying the usual stiffs coming off a good season, Gillick is stockpiling cheap arms to compete in spring training. I actually like this idea, I just wish our closer wasn't nearing 40, and that we had one more solid reliever. But instead of giving 2 guys 2 year 7 million dollar deals, we can likely get the same production from the two guys that step up in spring training (out of about 7) for about 1 mil each.

What I rally do not understand - why was Florida Marlins trying to sign Alfonseca as their closer if hes as bad as everyone is stating. Florida in past few years has done a tremedous job in recruiting, (Even though most were young). Actually Helms was picked up last year and he had a good job coming off the bench.

Hermanson's 2005 numbers look great. It depends on the health of his back. I'm glad they're giving him a look.

Bobby Livingston might have been in line for that last loogy spot, but baseball said the Phils and D-Rays cheated.

BillyMac - I think Castro would have to have one hell of a brutal spring in order not to make this team. Conversely, Brito would have to post a sub-1.00 ERA to make it. The Phillies are rightfully high on one and not on the other.

DavThom - I'm not comparing Alfonseca to Borowski performance-wise; I'm saying they're both injury risks. Cleveland felt like Borowski and Foulke were worth the gamble, and that's their prerogative. I don't think the Phillies can be blamed for passing them up. Obviously, they felt Alfonseca was less of a risk. He passed his physical; Borowski did not.

Terry Adams!! I forgot about him. Anyway, risk or no risk, Alfonseca's as bad as they come.

I know! How did I forget about Adams? I'll have to add him to my (ever growing) list of cautionary tales of veteranacity.

RSB: I agree with you on Brito but not Castro. Castro has 17 IP above A ball. Phils front office would like to see him get at least a half season of Triple A. If he's lights out in ST he may force their hand, but if he's mediocre or worse or walks too many, I guarantee he'll open in Ottawa or Reading.

I think Brito is still in the mix for an open bullpen spot. If Castro does not make the team, who is the other lefty besides Smith ?

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