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Monday, June 22, 2009

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When it rains, it pours...Who's next, Chad Durbin? I knew Condrey wasn't feeling well, but I thought it was his back. Maybe it was, initially. Hope the rest helps him get back to performing the way he did earlier this season. Really hope Lidge and Eyre make it back soon.

Here we go, the implosion begins. Condrey was actually filling the role well this year.

All teams go through these patches, but the good ones come away from it stronger. Escalona should do fine.

I still believe the Phils should be stretching their starters out more. 100 pitches should not be the limit. Get them to 115, 120 and save the bullpen.

SAVE THE PEN!!!

So we keep saying "Better now than september." What happens when the Phils finish the season a game back of the Mutts? Will we not look back to this injury-ridden June as the reason the Phils didn't make it?

I was about to post about how now is the time to put away the Mets with Beltran joining their injured list, but the Phils are pretty banged up too. I hope we see some healthy bodies for the big July 4th weekend showdown.

Len- are you really comparing the Mets' injuries with the Phillies' injuries? Seriously?

Unless they wanted to lose more games, I don't see how the Phils could have avoided stretching the pen this season. I mean, the starters have stunk--what can you do?

Its a long season and the bullpen is so important down the stretch that sometimes the staff has to bite the bullet. We are now seeing what happens when the pen gets overused.

I thought Condrey was made of steel. At least Durbin is still healthy, knock on wood.

Please let's not get carried away over Condrey's injury. He likely won't be back until after the ASB now (given he likely makes at least 1-2 rehab appearances) but the reality is that the Phils have two just as capable right-handed relievers in the pen in Durbin and Park.

Frankly, I was kind of surprised that Cholly started to go to Condrey in so many tight situations late last month and earlier this month. Condrey's stuff is still pretty pedestrian and there are times this year he has really struggled to throw a strike.

His peripherals all have regressed a bit from last year and he likely has benefited from some very solid defense behind him again. His FIP ERA is 4.35 right now and that's nothing special. Condrey is a capable reliever who can go multiple innings and is likely better than what you find on most teams at the back of the bullpen. This guy still isn't Eyre or Lidge though.

The bigger issue is that Condrey could go multiple innings if needed in mopup and it is pretty clear that a guy like Escalona isn't suited for that role.

What the Phils should do is when Lidge returns this week is put Bako back in the minors, keep Escalona on this team as an extra arm, and use Mayberry as your RHP off the bench. Highly doubt this happens though.

Im thinking of starting a special organization to protect the phillies bullpen and put them on the endangered species list

another thing....who would have thought the day would come when we would be calling clay condrey going on the disabled list a major blow????

For those that want a reprieve from Phillies stuff there is an excellent Bob Costas hosted special on umpires right now on MLB Network.

He has Bruce Froemming (probably one of the best umps ever even though he is a villian in Philadelphia)

Steve Palermo (another really good ump but primarily known for helping out a woman getting mugged in a restaurant parking lot in and taking a bullet to his spinal cord that ended his career in 1991.)

Don Denkinger (best known for making the wrong call at first base in the 9th inning of Game 6 of the 1985 World Series).

First segment was about instant replay use. Right now they are discussing the words and phrases that will immediately get someone tossed.

Repeats at 11 if you want to catch it from the start

Noticed a couple players who were DFA'd / released today who might be of use. Luis Ayala is available and could at least eat up some bullpen innings while others get healthy. I have a feeling we are about to see what Chan Ho can really do in the bullpen, as he is likely to become one of Cholly's favorites now. Willy Mo Pena also got his walking papers from the Mets and at the very least would be a much better RH option off the bench than the Gnome. Ayala and Pena are both horrible, but perhaps not more horrible than say Taschner and Bako.

ill take a condrey injury for a beltran one. too bad we'll be hoping for a marlins/braves injury by the end of this week the way the mets/phils are playing.

THE SKY IS FALLING!!! THE SKY IS FALLING!!!

2 years ago, who would have thought we'd ever see the day where the words "Losing Condrey...is a rather big loss" would be posted on beerleaguer, and not in jest?

what was condrey's records for call-ups/send-downs a couple of years ago? does escalona have a chance to break it?

This was our chance to build up a huge lead on a brutally injured Mets team. The fact that we haven't done it and have actually lost games in the standings is a scary scary sign. I could see us collapsing late in the season very easily due to our lack of pitching.

Why not Pedro Martinez???

What the heck do we have Majewski down there for?

The problem with Pedro is he's yet another guy who would go at most 6 innings. Manuel is right when he says they need a horse.

Speaking of The Pen, does anyone know of any viable streaming options for MLB Network? There's some great programming on there that I simply have no access to without a cable subscription.

Clay: That's what I thought, too... until I checked out his game logs recently. Not. Good.

For what it's worth, I'm available if any Phillies front office guys are reading. A fair comparison of my pitching is probably going to be somebody like Charlie Hough, as even I have no idea where that 58mph fastball is going.

I'm available immediately, and thanks to Verizon's latest sale, my agent now has a Blackberry Storm to answer any interested parties.

I agree that we need a horse...we could also use a experienced 5th starter. Pedro could be effective...especially if his velocity stays where it was in the WBC. We're losing games in June that we can't afford to lose while Rube looks for a fix via trades. Pedro, while pricey, could be a perfect stopgap solution till the height of trade season.

"Losing Clay Condrey... Is a rather big loss"

LOL. I think I've just heard it all. I guess Eric Bruntlett and Jack Taschner would be labled big losses if they hit the DL.
Seriously, Clay Condrey is hard to replace? A pitcher who has stole money pitching 5 runs up or 5 runs down for 2 years. Condrey has been over exposed this year and this gives the team a chance to put his mediocre butt back in blowout role he belongs.

Why not Majewski instead of Sergio??

but a baseball source familiar with reports from the workout said Martinez's fastball was clocked most often in the 85-mph range.

Pedro

Clay: Majewski has been so-so.The LV bullpen guy who's been the most impressive has been Mike Koplove and they probably should call....oh, wait.

Please don't call up KK.

***

but a baseball source familiar with reports from the workout said Martinez's fastball was clocked most often in the 85-mph range.

Pedro
***

Odd, he was clocked in the low 90s during the WBC? Propaganda perhaps (The WBC readings)? My interest is significantly less if that is the case.

Mike77: Sounds like you're pumped for Escalona and Taschner to step into those spots Condrey was filling. Best of luck there.

Condrey was probably this team's most consistent overall pitcher the first month of the season and into May.

Joke all you want about two seasons ago, but Condrey's story isn't much different than many veteran relievers. It's not like bullpens are comprised of blue-chip prospects. It's usually a mix of journeymen, young fireballers and failed starters, like Condrey.

The money that Pedro is asking for is also insane. When there was talk of scouts taking a look last week, they were saying $3 mil for just the back half of the season. For someone who is two years removed from having a barely replacement-level season, and one year removed from a whopping 0.1 WAR, that seems pretty damn steep. Lord only knows what his conditioning looks like, too. Dice-K seems like a cautionary tale about over-valuing WBC performance in that respect.

I really wish they found a way to keep Koplove. Maybe we could re-acquire him from Cleveland in exchange for a lower level prospect.

Pitching staff is going to be a crap shoot until Lidge/Eyre are back. I just don't understand why they don't go with the extra arm (either Walker or Escalona) instead of Bako.

Bako getting a start once every few weeks and serving as the backup catcher in case Coste hits is a ridiculous usage of a roster spot that is screaming right now for an extra bullpen arm.

Amaro's was supposedly building up depth this offseason to deal with injuries in the bullpen. He largely has been found wanting as his general moves at handling the roster so far. Pretty fair to say that his tweaks (unlike Gillick) haven't made this a better team so far and that if anything they potentially are costing them some games.

Meant the bullpen until Lidge/Eyre are back because it is going to be a real crapshoot with a rotation of Hamels-Blanton-Moyer-Happ-Bastardo even with the quite solid pitching by Hamels and Blanton over the last month or so. You have Moyer who at best is a marginal 5 starter at this point and too erratic LHP rookies in the rotation.

Rich Hoffman made a really good point on DSL today in that when the Phils had a real hole begin to appear in their rotation last summer they were generally able to pitch it pretty quickly.

Eaton hit the skids in late July and was replaced by Blanton. Kendrick also began to falter after the ASB break and the Phils had Myers ready to slide into the rotation. This year there really isn't anyone ready to come up and make the kind of an impact that Blanton or Myers did last year.

Amaro can tout his horn all he likes about the current state of the farm system (and there are a few reasons to do so) but the reality is that the Phils would be really crossing their fingers by throwing a Carrasco or Drabek into the rotation in late July/early August if Amaro's fails to come up with a starter via trade.

Hope they can patch it together for the next month or so until they pick up another starter (and would be 90% certain they are going to pick up a 2nd tier starter who would be an upgrade to this team)

The old phrase "you don't know what you had until its gone" is very true with Ol' Knucklehead Myers. Even if he had broken Milton's club record of 43 HRs allowed (and he likely would have given it a good run for the money), he was a guy who would average at least 6+ IP/start and give this offense a fair shot to win most games. You can't say that for certain about Moyer, Happ, or Bastardo right now.

Takashi Saito is having a pretty good year and is said to be available. Is it worth trading a top notch prospect or two to rent him? The Sox covet Donald.

Couple things: Um, don't look now but the Marlins and Braves are closing fast in the rear view mirror.

"Donald Fehr Resigns". Nice, but about 15 1/2 years too late. One of the biggest douche bags in modern sports history.

Fehr maybe be a "douche bag" for some reasons but the reality is that the average MLB salary is much higher at $2.9M/year than the highest salary in the game (Schmidt at $2.3M in '85) at the time.

Not only did Fehr win the collusion suits of the late 80s for the players but he was also the clear winner of the '94 strike. It really set in place the nature of the game today including a luxury tax which kept the bottom team owners content enough and prevented the dreaded salary cap from being implemented.

Reality is that MLB is still only the major sport in the US that doesn't have a salary cap and this has greatly benefited the players.

Fehr has his faults regarding his steadfast obstruction in the steroid issue but how would you rather see make the money in baseball - the players who you root for and pay to see or the multimillion/billionaire owners who contrary to the bogus books they showed make an annual profit, enjoy huge tax subsidies, and make a killing when they sell a franchise. I am with the players 100% of the way. I pay to see Utley and not David Montgomery.

This is the time of year when depth and a good bench comes in handy

MG-Fehr may have been the "clear winner" of the '94 strike, but we the fans were/are the losers. In fact, so was/is the game itself. Face it, the mess he helped create in 94 (cancellation of the World Series) indirectly led to baseball as a whole turning a blind eye to the PED mess that has defined a generation. I don't know how old you are or how much you followed it, but people were very disenchanted with baseball after the strike. What better way to bring people back than with a HR race for the ages, which while obviously not scripted, might has well have been. Sure he served his constituents well, but he did the game itself no good. Your point of view is as if the players would have never gotten their money. Also, think of it this way: you can certainly make the point that he helped accelerate salaries. There's actually no doubt about it. And while I agree with you that I'd rather see the players get the money, who do you think ultimately help pay for those said salaries? In large part, the fans. So for many reasons, my point of view: Douche Bag.

Of course, MLB owners were trying to break the union in 1994, after their collusion scheme of the late 80s was thwarted.

Say what you like about Fehr, but his side seemed to follow the rules a little more than the owners' side when it came to negotiating.

And maybe if the owners played by the book the players would have been more willing to agree on steroids testing sooner.

"While Burrell downplayed the significance of the series, he did admit that he was eager to face veteran lefty Jamie Moyer tonight."

Isn't everyone? When Geezer pitches, you'll notice the on deck hitter is always in the batters box about one nanosecond after the hitter departs for 1B.

Up until his lasted debacles, Condrey had been the MVP of the pitching staff this season in my opinion. A rest for him seems needed, but losing all these players to injury sure does suck.

In a strange way I'm almost relieved to see injuries to Lidge, Condrey, Ibanez and sickness to Howard. It at least provides some sense of hope that they are not "washed up" or just plain ineffective. If they can rebound from their injuries and once again be solid contributors, it would do wonders for this team.

sdphillie - if you're also a RHB off the bench better than the Gnome - or an awful LH back-up catcher - you're hired.

Good column by Hofmann in today's DN, making the point that the Phillies real need is for at least 1 and probably 2 starting pitchers.

Those dreaming that Drabek will pitch for the mlb team this season need to wake up. As do those dreaming that Escalona is some kind of answer.

clout - I agree 100% about Koplove, that's the kind of dumb move most people will never hear about that could really be a bandage on their wounds right about now.

For what this is worth (a distraction more than news)Buschini has signed evidentally. I'm not sold on his ability to grow into a real prospect and still look forward to a Colvin and/or Singleton signing.

I wonder what it would really take to get, say, Oswalt and Bedard. (No need to reply if your answer amounts to "More than we have/want to give up." I know that already.)

Wholeheartedly agree - they need arms from outside, not from the minors. Escalona is another stopgap, as is Bastardo.

No real love for Fehr as he isa pretty unpleasant personality. Don't necessarily agree with his style - brinksmanship, economic warfare and personal attacks on his opponent but, I can't criticize teh guy for the results he got for the players which is his only obligation. Still, his task during the last work stoppage and in every negotiation since was greatly aided by the fact that his opponents were a house divided. But for that, we could be watching a Players' League today.

pblunts: If you hated the 1994 strike, blame the owners. They were ruled to be in violation of labor laws, and basically forced the strike in order to pick a battle to try and turn back the clock and defeat the last 25 years of Players' Union gains. The owners' proposal would have instituted a salary cap, eliminated arbitration, and lessened free agency. It was a blatant move to keep money in the pockets of billionaire owners and out of the pockets of the players. If you support that, then sure, you should hate Donald Fehr for the strike.

And yes, salaries did escalate. But rising ticket prices and merchandis prices, which I believe is what you are referring to when you say that we, the fans, pay their salaries, didn't occur in order to pay rising salaries. They would have risen anyway. Player salaries have risen as a result of record revenues, not the other way around.

mlbtr mentions the dbacks may become sellers sooner rather than later. wouldn't be surprised if someone like doug davis would pop up on the phillies radar. he's not the sort of pitcher that really sets the world on fire or anything (and he's another lefty), but he's been reasonably solid this year and can give you 7 innings.

zp - If we're looking to ARI, I'd rather cast my web, errr...I mean net in a different location.

Charlie's lineup card is going to look awfully weird tonight. tough lefty in Price, Howard/Ibanez out, Rollins 0 for june, DH in play... will dobbs or stairs get the start?

Vic
Utley
Werth
Mayberry
Feliz
Rollins
Ruiz
Coste
Bruntlett

Ugh... i threw up in my mouth a little.


andy: same here, but doug davis seems like a "phillies name". it's got that lohsey, blantony, moyery taste to it.

I have to agree with Jack in re: 1994 culpability. As much as we get outraged by the salaries paid to the top line stars (because they're so much larger than what we earn, basically - and come for a job most of us would love to do for a lot less remuneration), the owners have managed the debate so that its usually only operating revenues which get discussed. The manner in which baseball franchises serve as very profitable investments is rarely noted in the media, for instance, during CBA negotiations. And we rarely see any discussion of players total incomes relative to those of the owners.

Fehr's approache reminded me of that line from the Untouchables: "You wanna know how to get Capone? They pull a knife, you pull a gun. He sends one of yours to the hospital, you send one of his to the morgue. *That's* the *Chicago* way! And that's how you get Capone."

It wasn't pretty; but it was effective.

I agree and have said over and over again that we actually need 2 starters. BUT given that Moyer most likely won't get replaced, we are left to accept that Bastardo's spot will be the only one to get filled. Given that, I hope we don't get another Blanton to fill his role when what we really need is a true #2.

To reiterate my thoughts on the BP. I think we are overall fine in the BP. I do think Madson's "mental makeup" is not for closing not matter what people say on here. I would mind this being our pitching staff for the last 1/2.

Hamels
#2 through trade
Blanton
Moyer
Happ

Condrey
Durbin
Eyre
Park
Bastardo
Romero
Madson
Lidge

phaithful - I'd rather DH Stairs than Bruntlett, even against a lefty. If Bruntlett's blind squirrel finds the acorn it's only a double. If Stairs catches up with something, only the cover's left, and a long trail of string.

zp - Unfortunately, you're probably right.

thephaithful: I would do the following lineup:

Vic
Werth
Mayberry
Utley
Feliz
Ruiz
Rollins
Dobbs
Coste

andy - yeah you are probably right. Although david price might be losing sleep the past night thinking about The Return of the Gnome - 08 WS Game 2 Bomb.

i think i'd rather have werth cleanup vs lhp than utley, but theres really no right answer here, pretty much a crapshoot.

Also, is it confirmed that Howard is not playing? last I heard he didnt even fly to Tampa.

phaithful - You are aware, of course, that the picture of the Gnome that Weitzel uses for rain delays is not a real photo but a composite of David Price's actual nightmares, right?

why not stick feliz in the 2-hole? he's been hitting the ball the other way a ton lately- he can't run, but if he moves vic/rollins over after a double or a steal...

Who's playing first in that lineup, tommy? Dobbs or Coste?

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