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Monday, January 26, 2009

Comments

from last thread:

@clout -- to me, the emotional press conference indicates to me, that Park DESPERATELY wants to be a successful starter in this league again. He knows that to win the job, he has to be in camp early and working towards those incentives that gets him to $5MM.

All this is, is a guy who really WANTS to win the competitition to be a starter. Not that it was handed to him.

I don't see the Phillies would feel obligated to anything concerning Chan Ho Park other than give him an opportunity to start. They DO feel he would have value in a role that offers flexibility and insurance in case an injury to an pitcher in the Starting 5.

Happ might be slotted to fill the Role of Romero, if only because of the side of the mound he throws from. Which would give Park a slight edge. But the Phillies need to fill 2 roles, 5th starter and the 7th/8th inning role that Romero held for the first 50 games.

Park is more likely to fill the second than the former.

Back to the contract, considering the historically CHEAP FRONT OFFICE as many like to contend here, why would they FEEL obligated to start a guy because they are paying him 2.5MM, when starting him will MORE likely get him incentives that will tip the contract closer to 5MM???

2.5 is a drop in the bucket... and would provide zero obligation for anyone. If Park wins the job out of the gate, it was because he earned it. Not that it was promised him. But you can pat yourself on the back if it happens.

Mike C: "If Park wins the job out of the gate, it was because he earned it."

That should be pretty easy to determine. He'll have pitched better than all the others, no?

I disagree about the Park comment. For whatever reason, the Phils' FO just doesn't seem that high on Happ despite his decent stats in a few limited starts last year and solid & steady progression thorough the minors.

My bet is that the only way Happ wins the rotation spot is if Park gets lite up and Happ pitches. Even if Park pitches adequately, I bet he gets the nod (at least out of Spring Training but it won't last more than 6 weeks).

Saw this on MLB Trade Rumors: The Astros also avoided arbitration with right-handed pitcher Geoff Geary. Geary will earn $1.7MM plus incentives. Geary, 32, went 2-3 with a 2.53 ERA in 55 appearances in 2008, his first season with the Astros.

Good for Lee Harvey Geary, getting his first over-$1M payday. He's had a longer, better career than I ever thought he would.

MG: I'll take that bet. I think Happ has the advantage going into the season as the #5.

I've missed out on the past few days of convo about it, but put me on the side that belives Park was brought in for the pen and spot starter if needed while the team depends more heavily on Happ to pitch well enough to keep them in games.

As much as I want Happ to be the 5th starter, the fact that CJ, Mike Cunningham and thephaithful are all certain that Park won't get it, makes me equally certain that he will. It's unfortunate.

Park wasn't brought in to be a long reliever out of the pen. Two simple reasons why:

1. Phils wouldn't have paid him a base of $2.5M
2. Phils already have that guy in Condrey

Park will either be the go-to RHP in the 6th/7th inning in close games (him or Durbin) in at least the first 2 months of the season or the No. 5 starter.

As for Geary - I always root for a guy like him. A scrappy, general good guy who largely got by throwing strikes and having slightly better stuff than most fans/scouts generally gave him credit for.

Funny thing is that Geary may mind up being the best part of the Lidge trade for Ed Wade (master of getting .20 or .30 on the dollar for trading an established player).

It is a little strange that Chan Ho Park earned that much from a club that seemed pretty high on Happ late last year. Maybe they were just talking him up to increase his value, but I thought Happ made a fairly convincing case that he deserved to stick.

Who knows. I wonder, too, if his spot in the bullpen during the postseason had something to do with fears over baseball taking immediate action against Romero.

Either way, I don't have a preference who wins the 5th starter job. Rich Dubee deserves our trust and will make the right call.

MG: calling a white guy scrappy, eh? racist!


clout: Ha, you remind me of the bratty kid in kindergarten who says I want team1 to win but I know team2 will. And then whatever happens he can claim how great and happy he is. Congrats on proving other people wrong or having what you hope for come true - whatever makes you feel better.

Happ is clearly who should be the 5th starter. Park, Eaton, Kendrick, and Durbin have all failed. That being said, Park has the "experienced starter" tag on him that may mean he has it locked down. Similar to the Twins giving Livan Hernandez 23 starts for no reason.

Interesting to hear Cholly say at the end that he hasn't had to motivate the team, or that it's had good chemistry for "the last 2 1/2 years." He was obviously on board when Gillick swept out the old guard.

"last 2 1/2 years we've definitely had that fire..."

"I wonder, too, if his spot in the bullpen during the postseason had something to do with fears over baseball taking immediate action against Romero."

It was my understanding that due to union regulations, the team was not aware of the situation while Romero was still appealing the ruling with MLB.

http://www.hardballtimes.com/main/article/best-outfield-arms-of-2008/

Interesting stuff. Vic among the strongest arms in CF. No surprise there. Burrell rated strongly too (again no surprise as the Phils have had a ton of OF assists the past 2 seasons).

I was surprised to see Ibanez rated as having a pretty decent arm. Better than I thought. Guess we find out over the next few seasons.

I don't get where 2.5MM is some magical number for a 5th starter.

It seems to be a fair price for a veteran middle reliever with the years of service that Park has. Geoff Geary just got a 1.7MM pay day. Durbin received 1.63MM. Both were in their arb years of service. 800K more seems about right for a veteran middle reliever. Veteran starters usually command double that. Park can only make that "IF" he starts and builds up the incentives.

He's not being brought in for the Condrey role. I have no idea where that comes from. It's more likely that they feel that Park could be worked in a role that Durbin was last year, and that Durbin's running out of gas that he wasn't the guy for that role and would be more effective used sparingly.

IF Park wins the 5th starter's job as clout thinks he already has. Do you think Manuel is going to be more comfortable with Happ or KK coming out of the pen, or Park who's done the job before?

nice link about outfield arms, sounds like the guy does some serious homework.

One thing that stuck out to me is there are more plus players than minus. I thought a stat based on league averages like that would show the majority of the players in the negative, or at least closer to the same amount of +/- players

I always like the 'scrappy, generally good guy' too... especially when there is no hope to win anything.

Park would have the 'upper hand' in the competition for the 5th spot more for being Right Handed than for being paid $2.5mm. Not too many teams throw 3 Lefties in their rotation.

Park was signed to take the place of Chad Durbin's production in the bullpen. Nobody is expecting Durbin to duplicate his production from last year. Madson is taking on Tom Gordon's role in the pen from the start of last year. Scott Eyre is taking Romero's temporarily. Durbin takes Seanez's role. Condrey does'nt have the ability to pitch in any high leverage situations(Kyle Kendrick would get Condrey's cushy job if it were up to me).
Basically, 2.5 mm is the value attached to the Chad Durbin role which was shown to be so important last year. The existance of incentives in Park's deal were sweatners to lure him east, and are a back-up plan based on lack of supreme confidence in J.A. Happ.

Whoever griped here yesterday about the Yanks signing Pettite for only $5.5 million didn't mention the potential "additional $6.5 million on performance bonuses and bonuses based on time on the active roster."

Check out J-Roll take a ball to the face, along with some other funny MLB pics.

Re: arm strength. I think Raul actually has more OF assists than Burrell. Can't remember exactly, but it was either just last year, or the last 3 years total. Something like that.

Pat had more in 08 than Ibanez (12 v. 10) but Ibanez is better over the past 3 years (30 v. 26). Both have underrated arms and limited range though.

Probably have to give Ibanez the edge as the outfield he plays in is a freaking cornfield whereas LF at CBP is a tad smaller.

Sorry, that's 30 vs. 28 for the last 3 seasons. Burrell had 28, not 26, I typed the wrong number by accident.

and its also 9 for Ibanez in 08 vs. 12 for Burrell...man, I need more coffee. The 30 vs. 28 is correct though.

thephaithful: Few have been as consistently wrong as you, but I didn't make your posts so it's not me proving you wrong.

BedBeard, NEPP: You make the same mistake on assists that others often make on HR and RBI. In comparing counting stats you have to include playing time or the stat is meaningless.

Ibanez 30 assists came in 3851 innings.
Burrell 28 assists came in 3214 innings.

That is a BIG difference.

FWIW, Ibanez has better range than Burrell, but Burrell has the better arm.

mikes77, you seem to be fairly clairvoyant regarding the Phils' intentions with Park. You also seem to be implying that the Phillies "lured" him somewhat deceptively. At least that's how I read it.

Please calrify.

Thanks.

Often those high assist numbers result from a perception of weakness by 3d base coaches. Curious whether there are stats on percentages of runners thrown out as that would be hard to assemble. In the case of Burrell, I think it's definitely the case that people think he's a guy they can run on, unlike guys like Abreu and Jose Guillen (I know, they play RF). My perception has been that Burrell made up for a relative lack of arm strength with above-average accuracy.

Better range = no 7th inning defensive replacement?

Also, mikes, I went and checked b-r.com just to confirm what I remembered.

Clay Condrey's situational numbers break down thus:

High Levg: .239 BAA, ,346 OBP, .381 SLG, .726 OPS

Med Levg .269 BAA, .338 OBP, .430 SLG, .768 OPS

Low Levg .316 BAA, .369 OBP, .460 SLG, .829 OPS


Are there other websites that have different splits for Condrey in High/Low leverage situations, becasue these numbers don't seem to square with your comment above:

"Condrey does'nt have the ability to pitch in any high leverage situations"


Please advise.

Thanks.

Hugh: Excellent point about how assists can be misleading. After his first 4 years in the league, Roberto Clemente's assists dropped by a third. Coaches learned not to test him.

A better test of an outfielder's arm might be to see what % of runners on second base scored when the ball was hit to him.

Not sure I agree with you on Burrell's arm strength, however. I've seen him fire some BBs.

skeeter: "Better range = no 7th inning defensive replacement?"

Possibly. The Mariners never lifted him for defense, but they were a very bad team. Ibanez is a below average defender, but unless you replace him with an above average defender, which Bruntlett isn't, what's the point? With Burrell, you were going from terrible to average. With Ibanez, you go from below average to average.

****BedBeard, NEPP: You make the same mistake on assists that others often make on HR and RBI. In comparing counting stats you have to include playing time or the stat is meaningless. ****

I merely listed both player's assists for the last 3 seasons. I did not pass any judgment on either. Personally I think Ibanez is a slightly better fielder overall because he isn't hobbled by a chronic foot/ankle injury...Burrell has a very accurate arm though even if it isn't a cannon per se.

****With Burrell, you were going from terrible to average. With Ibanez, you go from below average to average. ****

Pretty much sums it up there. LF is not exactly a premier defensive position...kinda why a bunch of big slow guys with good bats get thrown there traditionally.

Let me throw an old log into the BL hot stove.

When Cholly says, "last 2 1/2 years we've definitely had that fire...". Is that phrase a euphemism for "attitude improved after we got rid of Abreu."??? The timing is right.

LF, NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO!

Please let's not debate that again. PLEASE!

clout, leave it alone, PLEASE!

So what do the Phils have left to sign this offseason?

1 RH bat, 1 bullpen arm? It's becoming clear that we aren't signing another SP.

So who does everyone want?

I vote for Wiggy and Cruz.

AWH: LOL. Fred, you forget there were a bunch of players they dumped about that time, including David Bell. I'll make the same challenge to you as I have to curt and the other defenders of the Abreu trade: Find me one article where anyone -- teammates, sportswriters, management -- ever said that Abreu was a problem in the clubhouse, had a bad attitude, adversely affected the team's "fire" etc. I've yet to see a single source.

"last 2 1/2 years we've definitely had that fire..." Is that phrase a euphemism for "attitude improved after we got rid of Abreu."??? The timing is right.

I think more than just the timing is right.

For god's sake, it doesn't have to be looked at as "Abreu for 'some dudes'". Cholly's statement seems to focus on "chemisty", not "talent". As Clout (I think) mentioned, other guys were traded, not just Abreu.

Moreover, the Phillies team never seemed like a team that airs their dirty laundry in public. I remember John Marzano (pre 2007 season) saying that Myers is not a well liked guy in the clubhouse. Perhaps it's not true, but you never heard that from a teammate of his. So, the "find me an article negative about Abreu" is a bit silly.

BedBeard: Really? I recall an article that talked about Bell being a bad guy.

After getting that WFC, I have great faith in the gut. The following quote, however, seems somewhat divorced from relaity.

Cholly - "I think the key to that is Ibanez hit left handed pitchers real well the last two years..."

Ibanez 2007: .256 .294 .356 .650

{Of course, those numbers against LHP are still much, much better than Feliz' against RHP; but we don't talk about that any more, right?}

or even divorced from "reality"

stupid fingers

Coincidentally, Burrell's lifetime BA is .257.

Even more coincidentally, his lifetime numbers against left handed pitching are:

.276 .410 .540 .950

"BedBeard: Really? I recall an article that talked about Bell being a bad guy."

Hmm, maybe, but I would love to see a link to that "article". Here's what I found:

"After finishing his postgame interviews, Bell exchanged hugs and handshakes with teammates, and expressed disappointment that the Phillies didn't win while he manned third base.

"It was disappointing, because we didn't win," Bell said. "That's why I came here, to be a part of a winning team. Other than that, I enjoyed my time here, and met a lot of people that are going to be friends for life. That means a lot to me. I'm glad that I got an opportunity to play with them, and make friends that I never would have had a chance to make. That was a positive."

"David's been a great teammate to me, to the rest of the guys," pitcher Brett Myers said. "I'm sad to see him go. I've been with him for four years, so it's upsetting. But it's part of the game. [He's] never clean after the game. [He's] always dirty and playing hard."

The Brewers will find that out soon enough.

http://philadelphia.phillies.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20060728&content_id=1580683&vkey=news_phi&fext=.jsp&c_id=phi

clout: Leslie Guidel, who is a hell of a lot cuter than you and knows her baseball, said that Bobby huff-ily wanted her and her film crew out of his house during a taping of an "MTV Cribs"-like segment for Comcast Sportsnet because his favorite tele-novella was coming on. This doesn't speak directly to your point, but it might speak to diva-ness on Bobby's part...

clout: i found beerleaguer in mid08, so i dont know why you find my track record as being consistently wrong.

Did i predict a PHI/TB WS? Nope.
Did i predict that Lidge would not blow a single save? Nope.

So I can't say I'm always right, but what other decisions that have finalized have I incorrectly predicted? I am pretty sure that all of our disagreements come in opinions such as 08 Burrell vs 08 Howard and the Thome trade value discussion - where we both continue to disagree.

I'm pretty sure our other disagreement was that I think Ibanez will end up being a better fit for this team than Burrell. Time will tell, but i fail to see where I'm proven consistently wrong more than most.

Speaking of bad attitudes:

I find it rather amusing that certain blogs/articles have popped up stating how "sad" it is for Eaton that he won't get a chance to pitch. Excuse me?

Besides the guaranteed contract this year at large dollars, I find it odd that not a single teammate or anyone in the FO has spoken up for Eaton or said something positive about him since he was sent down the minors. Not one. The FO even went out of their way to keep him away from the team the rest of the year.

Plus, what about the numerous post-game comments that either indicated that Eaton was generally indifferent most times and at worst making some weak excuses.

Good riddance.

At this point it seems like Abreu is just a mental signifier, representing something like the "old regime". Saying that for "last 2 1/2 years we've definitely had that fire..." might merely mean that in Charlie's mind, Abreu figures as the last significant holdover from the Wade/Bowa period, and that with his departure the new crew sort of came to pre-eminence (symbolically). And since the new regime has won, and the old did not, it's the former that "has that fire."

In other words, the quote might not be meant to be taken as comment on Abreu the individual--that as particulur player Abreu was fine.

When Cholly was talking about the attitude/chemistry changing, I bet he meant the 2005 club that had the likes of Lieber, Padilla, Urbina, and Wagner on the pitching staff and Bell, Lieby, Abreu, and Lofton.

Not all bad guys by any means but definitely a bunch of players who have been excused over the years of being difficult to deal with by players and managers/having a lack of perceived desire at times.

I don't think Cholly's comment was Abreu-specific -- the team got quite a makeover 2 1/2 years ago. Not only were a few guys shown the door, Moyer was added.

MG, I, too, am perplexed at the complete banishment of Eaton by baseball in general. I admit that he was terrible and I am glad he is no longer considered to set foot on the mound as a Phillie, but he must have some pitching ability that would be beneficial for some bad team in MLB. I don't understand it. What will he be doing in 2009. Will Eaton be pitching for the Iron Piggies? or will he be on the 180 day DL all season? There's more to this story than we're being told. Eaton must be a real a$$hole behind the scenes. Anyone know?

Klaus - Unfortunately, Abreu is also a mental signifier for a train of thought which holds that since the Phils acheived a WFC in 2008, every move they made was well thought out and well executed. The ramifications of that trade are viewed only in the context of eventual results without consideration of other possibilities at the time. I will say that there was not, to our knowledge, a huge posse of GMs looking to offer something better than Henry, Smith, Monasterios and Sanchez (just like there were limited trade partners available when the Phils needed to dump Thome - as has been noted in great detail elsewhere and does not need to be expounded on here (please!) for several threads at least).

The question remains whether we should be satisfied that winning in 2008 was only possible using the steps taken by the FO from 2006, say, onward; or whether there were other pathways that might have resulted in a quicker or more repeatable positive result. Getting something better in trade from Abreu (better than the money we had promised him and the "change in the atmosphere" of the clubhouse - a difference, we have begun to note, which we can only surmise and of which we can only speculate as to the actual nature and effect).

In that way, the Abreu trade is also a mental signifier, for some, of the history of very bad trades made of veteran players for players of marginal, non-existent, or, at least, much lesser talent - a history which is in part a contributor to the record of 10,000 losses held by America's most heartbreaking franchise.

I just realized that I never finished my sentence in the second paragraph (a true hazard of using parenthetical thought!) and need to do so.

I meant to say something like:
"Getting something better in trade for Abreu might have positioned the Phillies not only for a WFC in 2008, but maybe even more reasonably for 2009 and beyond."

Hey Jason, any reason the Cholly interview is a wav file while the Lamar interview is a mp3? The tech-heads demand answers!

I think we can all easily agree that the World Series would never have happened without the addition of So Taguchi. Without Taguchi, we just missed in 2007. With him, we dominated our way through the playoffs to a WS victory.

Case Closed.

Not that I want to rehash it or wade into any debate about 'changing the chemistry in the clubhouse' - how the hell would I know? - but the Abreu trade doesn't signify for me the history of bad trades by the Phillies. The Abreu trade was a Pittsburgh Pirates-esque salary dump, which is somewhat uncommon in the sad and sordid history of this franchise. Who else did they just give away - Chuck Klein?

"quicker or more repeatable positive result"

Um, they made the playoffs the next 2 years. How much quicker or repeatable are you after?

Teams with So Taguchi on their roster have been to 3 of the past 5 World Series winning 2 of them...Perhaps this is why the Cubs were so quick to pounce on him when he was available. The top minds in the game understand the he is the missing piece to the puzzle.

thephaithful; not to gang up on you, but have some humility. you didnt find beerleaguer. beerleaguer found you.

its funny how you talk about outfield assists. There are teams that will not try to get an extra base on a particular outfielder (Vic comes to mind) so stats on who has more outfield assists really do not take in consideration of the player and his arm.

Lake Fred - I am willing to bet that Eaton's banishment from the team was in large part to what happened during his forced minor league stint.

While Myers generally handled it with humility and said/did the right things even though he had some mixed results, you didn't hear the same comments from Eaton. In fact, it almost seemed as if Eaton knew he was going to get paid next year too and largely just was apathetic especially after his last minor league start with the Reading Phils where he got absolutely bombed.

"Who else did they just give away - Chuck Klein?"

Uh...yeah. Twice.

Lefty O'Doul. Richie Ashburn (unless you think that John Buzhardt was a bargain). Richie Allen (even Curt Flood was not equal value); Scott Rolen (except we got Placido Polanco, but which then leads to: ) Placido Polanco. I do not include Ryne Sandberg, because no one at the time (I do not even think the Cubs) knew that he would ever be able to 1) hit major league pitching, much less 2) mash major league pitching.

(Some might put Thome on this list by I refuse to given the recent history
of contentious debate in all its many permutations.)

.

fljerry - There is a great article on THT which uses a metric for "holds" which compares expected extra bases with actual. By that metric Vic continues to do well in the listing of OF. Others, who also have a reputation for nailing runners, show up as well.

I will give Amaro and the Phils credit on how they handled Eaton. I think he just sees a largely apathetic player who does appear respond well to criticism or appear mentally willing to compete for a spot on the pitching staff.

I think a good number of people would put it in cruise control and not care if you told them they'd make $24 million over the next 3 years no matter how good or bad they do at their job.

clout: Interesting...

A point we diverge on and now I'm being listed as one who is always wrong. Strange considering we're usually of the same mind.

Also... I predicted our exact win total last year and have called us a playoff team two years in a row. I was wrong on Burrell getting arbitration, but I think I've got a rather stellar track record :-)

NEPP, I loved your So Taguchi theory regarding WS success and why the Cubs picked him up. LOL.

Responding to Hugh M. gave me the opportunity to take another look at Sandberg. His first full year with the Cubs he was their regular 3B. The team included the following:
Larry Bowa
Jay Johnstone
Keith Moreland
Ferguson Jenkins
Dickie Noles
Willie Hernandez
and was managed by Lee Elia.

The Phils, for their part, had Trillo, DeJesus and Mike Krukow on their roster that year (I'm sure among other former Cubs).

What an insestuous relationship that was.

"What an insestuous relationship that was."

And it appears the Cubs were on top.

Philadelphi is named as one of the 15 "Coolest" Cities in the country. I bet the WFC helped the cause. Here's the link: http://travel.msn.com/Guides/MSNTravelSlideShow.aspx?cp-documentid=843006

Andy,

It wasn't so much incestuous as it was Dallas Green fleecing the organization. At least that's my story, and I'm stickign to it.

Andy, there's some good Phillies names from the past. I used to love Jay Johnstone. I can still hear Harry Kalas' voice refer to him as the "Jaybird" in my mind.

That's two Johnstone references in as many days.

CJ: Huh? You must've misread my post directed to phaithfool

I hope it would be in the top 15 with our without a WFC.

clout: "As much as I want Happ to be the 5th starter, the fact that CJ, Mike Cunningham and thephaithful are all certain that Park won't get it, makes me equally certain that he will. It's unfortunate."

Am I reading this wrong?

I was at the Vet for Jay Johnstone's first at bat as a Phillie. He walked with the bases loaded. The place went nuts which was appropriate.

CJ: The consensus here is almost always wrong. But not you specifically.

On Eaton: I agree. His apparent d-bag-ness might play a bigger role in the Phils' FO giving up on him than any of us know, not to mention why no one wants him at all.

Or maybe he just sucks at pitching.

clout: Well, there's never a consensus with you around ;-)

I think there is a chance Park could get the starting spot, but I think it's a slim one and I'm fairly certain he's not the front-runner. I believe it's Happ's to lose.

donc: We exchanged posts a few days ago about Eaton and the Phillies options and about the MLBPA, and on further reflection, I still hold by my interpretation that the MLBPA would file a grievance if the Phillies put him on the 60 day DL and made him report every day. If the Rockies couldn't void Denny Neagle's deal over his soliciting a prostitute and he had a moral turpitude clause in his contract, then I foresee problems here. Amaro is probably just hoping that any team will pick him up after he is cut and thus reduce the Phillies' commitment by the minimum salary.

If Chan Ho Park can turn back the clock about 5 years or so, he'll win the job. While I am rooting for Happ to get his shot, an emergence by Park would be a very positive development for the Phils.

Park's fastball was the best its been since his early seasons last year. As he works off his FB, that's a positive sign that he'll be decent in 08.

~drinks red koolaid~

Where was I?

MPN: I misunderstood your original post I think. I thought you meant for the Phils to keep him active but not use him which I thought would be allowable but stupid in the "cutting off your nose to spite your face" way. I am sure you are correct that if he's on the DL they can't make him show up for everything and travel with the team. Some of these current posts are in the same vain as what I was saying. The guy doesn't seem to give a rats a$$ about winning. He looks like as long as the checks keep clearing everything is ok with him. King Myno referred to it as d-bagness. That's a bullseye. Pretty sure he's not a guy you want to have around the rest of the team anyway.

No reason for the Phils to publicly bad mouth or demean Eaton. Just issue a brief comment like Amaro did on Sunday and move on. Best for him and the team

As for "chemistry" being a key last year - maybe but I get so tired of hearing how "chemistry" makes the difference especially in a sport like baseball that is largely based upon 1-on-1 situations.

The reason the Phils won the World Series last year was that they had an ace who dominated in the postseason, a competent starting rotation, and a bullpen that was perhaps as deep as any the Phils have had in their team history. '83 and '93 teams might have had better starting staffs but the '08 team had the better bullpen.

I am willing to bet that this team plays exactly like the Phils teams the past several seasons. Good enough to win 88-90 games and make the playoffs with little margin of error.

Thought the Phils would only win 87 games last year and be home in 2008 and thought they would 88 games in 2007 and make the WC. Both times, this team has gotten hurt at just the right times in late Sept to make the playoff push. I wonder if they do so again because I bet this team will need to do it again to make the playoffs again.

donc: Gotcha.

This is an interesting subject because, by sheer chance, I ran into Harry the K who was enjoying a cigarette at the tiki bar behind home plate at RFK in summer 2007 and I during the conversation I made a negative comment about Eaton, but Harry came to his defense.

"I believe it's Happ's to lose."

CJ, while that may be true, I''m of the opinion that there will be a true competition for the 5th spot, similar to the one that took place when both Madson and Floyd made the rotation out of ST.

Now, that's not to say that Charlie and his staff (assuming the decision is theirs alone) don't have a "favorite" in mind, but I think they'll leave it open as to who wins the spot.

The execption, maybe, is Carrasco, who Lamar said they think needs more seasoning in AAA, but I think it'll be a healthy competition between the other three.

If I had to handicap it the way Conlin did, I'd say Park/Happ are both 3-2, with Kendrick at about 5-1.

Chollie, in the interview Jason linked, said Kendrick needs to work on his slider and changup, and they're certainly not going to let him do that at the MLB level.

That said, it's baseball, anything can happen.

I still harbor and unfounded fantasy that Ben Sheets, the day before pitchers and catchers report, will have his agent call the Phillies and tell them he wants to play for a winner and is willing to take a one year deal with big incentives to rebuild his value. Junior and Co. jump on it and the rotation becomes Hamels, Sheets, Myers, Blanton and Moyer.

Sheets then stays healthy all season, pitchers 200+ innings of sub 3.50 baseball, and the Phillies cruise to another division title.

Then I wake up.

Lake: No access to something to covert WAV to MP3 at the time of the posting.

That's a great dream...I have a similar one.


On Eaton, I kinda got sick of him whining in every postgame interview he ever had when he left the game tied or trailing. Especially when he'd leave a game tied and the Phillies would go out and score 3 or 4 runs to take the lead but not give him the "W". He'd always make some beyotchy comment like "Figures they score now, I'm out of the game"

"Both times, this team has gotten hurt at just the right times in late Sept to make the playoff push."

MG, did you mean - " 'hot' at just the right times" - or was "hurt" what you meant?

I have a feeling if Chan Ho wins the job he'll start out hot and he'll Kendrick the 2nd half of the season. The guy hasn't thrown more than 155 innings since 2001. I would much rather see him in Mad Dog's role from last year (pre August).

as long as we're rehashing the past with Klein and O'Doul, let's not forget about Billy Hamilton and Pete Alexander and Dolph Camilli and Kirby Higbe and Curt Simmons.

thephaitful: clout must've mistakenly copied and pasted his "most consistently wrong poster" post about me in a response to you. Either way, don't try to make a logical argument against it, as he has no interest in making a historical case for the insult. He just does it to get under people's skin when he can't refute their argument.

clout(and fljerry): "A better test of an outfielder's arm might be to see what % of runners on second base scored when the ball was hit to him. "

See MG's link from the last page. They use a fairly sophisticated system accounting for that as well as other factors in rating outfield arms.

I hated the Kirby Higbe trade. I think "Higbe!" is what my Grandmom muttered with her last breath.

MPN: That is interesting about Harry sticking up for Eaton. He seems to be the only one as someone mentioned a little earlier. I do think its a nice development to have a competiion for the 5th spot. The candidates do seem to be a cut above what they have been in years past. And let's face it there were far too many years where we had competitions for the 3rd and 4th spots as well. I love AWH's dream scenario of Ben Sheets on a one year incentive laden deal. In fact I posted something along those lines over the weekend.

NEPP: most of the postgame comments by Eaton that I read were more in the vein of "I thought I threw pretty well out there except for that 7 run 3rd inning. I thought I had my best stuff, but I just got unlucky with a couple dozen pitches."

for awhile i was debating saving them all and making an Eaton excuse generator for my website. his excuses and clueless ineptitude have been worth every penny of his contract to me. i'll be sad to not see him looking bewildered after a 4 inning outing in mid-May, tipping his cap to the other team for "just really being on tonight".

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EST. 2005

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