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Friday, January 29, 2010


Rolaids Fireman of the Year on his future.

I was checking out Bastardo's playoff stats this morning...17 innings, 4 hits, 3 walks, 26 strikeouts...era 0.53

Glad to see Rube thinks Bastardo's future is in the 'pen. The guy doesn't have either the assortment of pitches or the command to be a starter. This will disappoint the Bastardo-is-the-next-Santana crowd here, but it's where he belongs. He should do just fine as a 1-inning fireballer, as long as his command progresses.

From the last thred (more like a fiber lol) I am not that excited about Contreras. He's an average pitcher gotten at an average price. He is not a strikeouot pitcher (6.6/9IP) but he has decent control with a lifetime ERA of 4.61. His rubber arm makes him more attractive, but I think 1.5 Mil is about right for his skill set. To me, it's a "shrug your shoulders" type of acquisition.

I always liked Bastardo. I think he is the final piece in the bullpen this year. I also like the Contreras blog article ... I was thinking that he was a legit stiff. Hopefully he can take ALOT of innings away from Ryan Madson (my least favorite Phillie).

This is great news. Because IMO and according to many BLers the bullpen is going to be our achilles heel(if this team HAD to have one). However, if Bastardo continues to step up in ST, the pieces we already have,a healthy Romero and a healthy Lidge we are looking at a pretty impressive bullpen.

The Contreras signing is fine as long as you view him as a bullpen piece. Some posters here have this fantasy of him seizing the 5th starter job and throwing out a 15-9, 4.25, something that would never happen. He did a nice job down the stretch out of the 'pen for the Rockies last year and that's exactly where he belongs.

Robby J, BP projects a negative VORP from Contreras for this year. I think they must share your sentiments.

Something interesting I dug up this morning while looking at info on the Super Bowl. Below are the up to the minute odds to win the World Series. Pretty interesting overall.

Yankees 11/4
Red Sox 6/1
Dodgers 12/1
Cardinals 13/1
Angels 14/1
Giants 16/1
Mets 18/1
Braves 18/1
Rockies 18/1
Cubs 18/1

From this Vegas obviously thinks it is going to be a Sox/Yankees vs. Phillies World Series.

I am surprised that the Braves are so low, except maybe Vegas isn't as impressed with their rosters as some BLers have been? Also, it is interesting so far how low the Giants odds are. The only way they make the playoffs is if the Dodgers aren't as good and they take the west, right?

I love it. I really like Bastardo and I'm glad to hear he's been pitching well. I would love to see him find a spot in the bullpen this season.

If Contreras pitches 60 - 80 innings with an ERA of 4.00 - 4.50 (around league average) then he will be a good addition to the team and bullpen.

IMHO, the greatest need in the bullpen, ass-u-ming Lidge and Romero are healthy (and they're both throwing without far), was for a couple of guys who can pitch multiple innings and take the pressure off the back end of the 'pen.

Why? I just don't see the Phils getting very many innings from the 5th starter this year. I hope I'm wrong.

Contreras helps fill that need.

Robby and Smokey, does the BP projection assume Contreras will be a starter or reliever?

Clout: Actually, most of us always saw Bastardo as being a reliever. And personally, I think he'll turn into a damn good one.

As I recall, you completely dismissed JW when he suggested that Bastardo would start the year in the Phils' bullpen this year. Do you still think that's so unlikely?

Jack: If he doesn't have command problems in ST and Ramirez can't open the season, I like his chances. Actually, I don't recall you ever mentioning him being better as a reliever when he was brought up and put in the rotation last year. You only said that after he flopped badly, as I recall.

AWH- I was just opining from a cursory glance at his lifetime stats. Smoky Joe saw the BP projection. My point was that there are plenty of Jose Contrerases (in terms of ERA,K/9,etc). He's Value Village with a touch of versatility.

Clout: Ramirez? I assume you mean Romero. Even if Romero is healthy, you don't think Bastardo makes the team as the 2nd lefty?


My position has always been the same on Bastardo, that I understood why the Phillies were trying him as a starter (he had been starting very well in the minors last season), but that his ultimate position would be as a very good lefty reliever in the majors.

At least you still Joe Savery to hold on to.

Clout: BA, Law, and Sickels all have Bastardo as a significantly higher prospect than Savery. BP will too once they release their prospect rankings for the team.

Do you still hold onto your belief that Savery is a better prospect than Bastardo?

I wonder where Bastardo's velocity is at as a reliever. He was able to sit 91/92 as a starter (other than that Padres game where he hit 95 a couple times). Hopefully that means a bump up to the 93-95 range in short bursts of relief work.

Though IIRC, his slider was hit or miss at times last least in the Majors.

More propaganda to support not signing a real relief pitcher. Sorry, Bastardo is not the answer!

Jack: I'm not ready to give up on Savery. Guess we have different recollections of what you posted about Bastardo at that time. Kind of like when you said you never said Feliz was a gold glover.

Bastardo is not the answer for the Phillies. This is Amaro selling us propaganda to support the team being too cheap to get us a bonafide left handed specialist to complement J.C. Romero.

I agree about Savery. He could still mature into a nice big league pitcher. Even from the pen he would not be ready for 2010 though.

Bill: "cheap"? Cheap, you say? Really? Did you see this teams payroll just 2 seasons ago and how it has grown each year since?

Also, bullpen is the one place where the guys are never a "sure thing". So it makes no sense to spend alot of money in this area. Look at recent big bullpen pickups and tell me how they worked out for teams? Here I will even start you out on names and tell me how they performed. Putz, Wagner, Marte, Mahey, Fuentes, BJ Ryan, etc.

Those names tell you why you don't spend alot on bullpen guys.

Don't hold your breath waiting for Joe Savery. If he were going to be any good he would have shown it by now. He should go back to hitting and playing 1b.

Bastardo only has 2 pitches. He could be a good relief pitcher but the game in SD showed he's not a ML starter at this point.

Here's hoping Bastardo can take the JC Romero role b/c it wouldn't surprise anyone if he doesn't come back from his injury.

Yeah, Bill, the Phillies can hardly be called cheap right now.

Clout: Feliz was a Gold-Glove caliber 3rd baseman before he got here and in 2008. He regressed defensively last year, though still was above-average.

Ryan Zimmerman is the best defensive 3rd baseman in the game though. He deserves the GG.

I just re-read my last post. It kind of had a negative tone to it. Didn't mean to do that b/c I'm very psyched about this team. I think the starting 8 is among the best in baseball. I think they'll score more runs than last year. The starting pitching is solid. I believe Cole will be better than in'09, Happ & Blanton will keep them in most games and Halliday is a beast. I fully expect a 5th starter to emerge (hoping for KK). I'm not worried about the BP. Lidge will be better than last year, Madson will be fine in his role, Durbin does what he does and I'm hoping for Jamie to perform well in long relief. I like the Contrares and Baez signings. Bastardo will also help and if JC comes back, we'll be quite good. I also think the 4 main starters will go long enough in games to keep the BP from getting into too much trouble. Lastly the bench is better than last year. The Phils will win 97 games and roll into the playoffs. I do worry about the lack of a 2nd Ace in October, though. Cole will need to step up like he did in '08 if we are to have another parade. But we'll have fun this summer and cross that bridge later.

What I don't get about Bastardo is how wrong the scouting reports were on him. They said he threw 87-90 with a good changeup and rudimentary slider, then he showed up throwing mid 90s, with a decent slider and terrible changeup.

I don't think anyone really bought the Santana comparison, they just kept repeating the Jason Stark comment. However, Stark listed scouts from other teams as his source...not their best work

Hopefully our prospects will continue to be over-valued, like those on other successful clubs.

Then again, Toronto DID ask for Anthony Gose maybe our prospects aren't as bad as Keith Law thinks.

NEPP - In that Pads start, Tony Bastard was sitting around 95 for the first three innings. It seemed to hinder his control, on one hand, but also took the Pads completely by surprise.

If he can command at 93 and use that nasty breaking pitch of his, he could be extremely effective as a reliever.

Plus...the name.

They said afterward the 95 mph was the result of adrenaline and overthrowing...however if its in a short burst, he might be able to do it with control too.

I am not, by any means, encouraging the Bastardo/Santana comparison...but idn't it take Santana a few years in the bullpen (and a rule 5 selection) to become a good starting pitcher?

BTW, NEPP, ar you around Burlington? I can't wait for -30 tonight...

Bastardo has a good fastball and 2 decent pitches overall. That's the epitome of a decent reliever.

The fact that he's LH makes him fairly valuable as well.

Just checked his velocity from last relief in Sept (in his one appearance then), he was sitting 93/94. His overall average for the year was 91.7 (includes his 5 starts earlier in the year).

93/94 with what I remember being a deceptive delivery is fantastic.

Yup, I'm sitting in my office in South Burlington at this very moment. Wicked cold this morning, wasn't it?

Yeah, I walked into the office at 7:30 this morning and it was sure looks like a nice day out though!

Sorry, that was -13 with the wind chill...

Sunny and clear out the window...never think it was that cold out otherwise.

And for the comedy hour I point to the win totals of MetsBlog. As we have mentioned BP thinks the Phillies will only win 88 games. Well, our favorite buddy over at Metsblog thinks the Phillies(or winner of the division) win only 85 games. What is everyone smokin'?

Phillies will win 93-95 games and the Braves SHOULD win about 89-92 games (BP projected 85 wins).

After all last season BP projected the Phillies to only win 87 games. Seems like they undercut the Phillies because they figure that one of our big guys might go down and then we will be done. But that hasn't happened. Whenever we have had an injury to a key player, seems like the replacement steps in and we continue to cruise along (for the most part).

awh...I can't get to my BP account from work, I'm just recollecting what I saw last night when they just posted the Dpeth Charts and the new PECOTA cards. I'm not sure if management is OK with it, but I can post some summaries on here later if it's agreeable. The depth chart portion (summarized PECOTA data on the whole team with expected wins/losses) is free content on their site, but only for Philadelphia and Tampa (lucky for beerleaguers). I have a premium membership, but they usually frown on posting pay content to other free sites.

Omar Minaya on Gary Matthews Jr., "“Well, you’re talking about a guy who signed a $50 million contract for five years, a guy who’s a switch hitter, a guy who can play all three outfield positions… I just thought, to get him for the amount that we got him, if you look around, it’s hard to find good defensive shortstops, catchers and center fielders… Is his defense in center field what it was a couple of years ago? No, but he’s got good enough defense, according to our scouts, and we feel he’ll be able to go get it in our ballpark.”

I'm beginning to see what's wrong with the Mets organization. Look at all the FAIL in that statement. It's ridiculously stupid. He signed a $50 contract and we got him for $2 million, HA! Seriously Omar??? That's part of your justification? The Angels couldn't GIVE him away for the past 2 years. He's a switch hitter??? WOW He's good defensively (according to their scouts anyway)? Nope, not in a couple years, jefe. I'm thinking they might want to get some new scouts in NY.

"This will disappoint the Bastardo-is-the-next-Santana crowd here, but it's where he belongs."

WRONG, clout! Johan Santana started out in the bullpen too. So rather than change that prediction, it makes it more likely. Bastardo is still very much on the path to being the next Santana.

" I have a premium membership, but they usually frown on posting pay content to other free sites."

I am confused, what??? You are paying to join their site and use their info. What are they going to do "Ban you for Life"? Whoa, big deal.

Brian G: LOL.

Contreras would be nice in the bullpen, but you know he'll end up as the 5th starter.

****I am confused, what??? You are paying to join their site and use their info. What are they going to do "Ban you for Life"? Whoa, big deal. ****

Well, it can get JW in trouble if its posted here. There are copyright infringements involved IIRC.

James at PP has had to delete stuff like that several times because of issues from BP and other pay sites.

NEPP: So if you cite that site and post their info on here, you can get into trouble for doing so?

Then, what is the point of PAYING a good amount of money to read their reviews, scouting reports, predictions, etc. if you can not post about your readings or disclose predictions made on that site? FWIW, Metsblog posted their complete post on the NL East 2010 predictions. Is that a violation?

I can understand if you "stole" their info as your own, but if you cite their info as their own (BP) then it shouldn't be a big deal. It almost seems silly if true.

mvp - I did think the bullpen was going to an Achilles heel before this team signed Baez and Contreras. I was hoping they would go out and get 1-2 RHP veteran relievers and a veteran LOOGY to challenge Bastardo/Escalona in camp. Amaro largely had done that including signing a few additional guys in the minors too since then.

You laughed at that suggestion and were one of the proponent of the "Phils just fill the rest of the spots internally." There simply aren't 3-4 good arms in this system at AA/AAA ready to fill the bullpen roles out of camp.

I still don't know if this bullpen will be a strength because of what Lidge/Romero will give the Phils. You have to wait until spring training unfolds to see how they look. My bet is that Romero gives them next to nothing this year and that Lidge is mediocre (but a vast improvement) over last year.

It should be good enough and versatile enough though as long as Bastardo is able to function as a competent lefty reliever. Escalona has marginal MLB stuff at best and Zagurski simply isn't a matchup option at MLB level due to his below average/poor control.

Anyone that doesn't think Bastardo is good had better go to Pearl Vision Center. I know what I saw last year. Flashes of brilliance for a guy who has spent very little time in the minors.

MG: I agree with a little of your post, but disagree with a little of it as well. I agree when you say that the bullpen is their "Achilles Heel" as I posted earlier.

I did say the Phillies would most likely fill in the last role internally. I was not expecting another signing(Contreras). I didn't say 3-4 arms though, that is a huge stretch of my words. I said that after the Baez signing,they only needed 1 other arm, because the loser of Moyer/KK will be in the pen.

I disagree when you say "My bet is that Romero gives them next to nothing this year". Based on what? He is throwing and both Rube and Monty said he will be in ST. Also set to return 1-2 weeks into the season.

Also, who is saying ANYTHING about Zagurski? That guy has been talked about finally making it here for a couple years now but like you said doesn't have what it takes yet (if ever).

The 2010 bullpen will be Moyer/KK, Durbin, Baez, Contreras, Madson, Romero, Lidge.

Escalona will replace Romero for a couple weeks and maybe add a bat for Lidge for a week into the season. Lidge is projected to be ready by middle of April.

****NEPP: So if you cite that site and post their info on here, you can get into trouble for doing so?****

No but if you were to do a copy/paste, they apparently get a bit antsy from what I understand.

Tommy: You think Escalona is a better lefty option than Bastardo?

Bastardo is far superior to Escalona.

Also, I totally disagree that the loser of Moyer/KK will be in the bullpen. I believe that Moyer, when healthy, will be the 5th starter, and that KK will go down to Lehigh Valley to remain a starter. They will have two lefties in the bullpen.

If Moyer is completely ineffective, it is possible that they send him to the bullpen and make KK the 5th starter, but I would frankly rather use that roster spot on a guy like Bastardo, who offers more upside out of the bullpen than Moyer. But because of Moyer's contract status, there's nothing you can really do with him if he's ineffective. Put him in the bullpen, or hope he retires.

WillyfromPhilly: This is BLer. Where the only thing that matters are fangraphs, baseballreference and BP. Scouting with your eyes is not allowed.

Also BLers favorite book is "Moneyball" that describes the use of Sabermetrics and modern use of computers to build a winning team with a minimum salary cap strucure.Worth noting that the A's haven't won a thing under Beane when it comes to playoffs( won 76,75,75 past 3 years).

***For the record, I don't think Bastardo is Santana. However he isn't a bum, as some suggest***

Smokey, my main concern was whether Contreras was being evaluated based on being a SP or a RP.

Obviously, there is a big difference.

If their VORP projection was based on his being a starter as opposed to a reliever, shich is how the Phils plan to use him, then I'm not sure how valid the projection is.

Tommy: Are you a professional scout? Do you travel the country scouting the minor leagues?

And I don't know what you're getting at. Most of us agree with WillyfromPhilly and think Bastardo is quite good. It's only one person, Clout, who thinks he's a bum, and ranks him below legendary top prospect Joe Savery.

Contreras signing:

It is pretty clear that Amaro and the Phils' advance scouts saw a guy they think can replace Park in the bullpen. Contreras is a different pitcher though especially because he throws a split-finger fastball. It will also be incredibly hard for Contreras to duplicate Park's ability to keep the ball in the park as a reliever too.
My bet is that he has his ups and down as a reliever but ends up giving the Phils decent enough numbers for their investment.

I just really wonder if the 40-something Contreras can stay healthy if Cholly leans on him early and often in the season. I have a feeling that Contreras logs a ton of appearances/innings early in the season & breaks down or is ineffective by August as a result. Contreras is the type of reliever (veteran guy who Cholly has seen pitch before, throws somewhat hard, and always has had a clear preference to maintain in games or take the mound) that Cholly has shown that he will go to early and often in the 6th/7th innings of closer games.

I am glad though that the Phils clearly have begun to look for certain types of relievers the past few years in FA:

- Veteran relievers who might have been former starters who have a slider or split-finger that can induce a fair amount of groundballs. Also, they have tended to look for guys who throw a bit harder instead of having a bunch of "soft-tossers" who just top out at 89-90 MPH too.

MG, I agree. I have no "aversion" so soft tossers per se, but hard throwers who can locate have a better chance of success than the soft toss locaters.

Now, they have a few guys who will potentiall be in the BP who can dial it up in the low-mid 90's, and a couple who potentially can hit mid-high 90's.

Boston's BP the last couple of years featured a lot of hard throwers. It's nice to see the Phils imitate that a little.

yo, new thread.

Bastardo is far superior to Escalona but i much prefer Mathieson out of spring training if he is healthy. He had an amazing run last year and has the best velocity on the club. You may see all three if Lidge and Romero are not ready anyway

Madson, Mathieson, and Bastardo will be our three most critical relievers by the end of this year.

We can't really expect too much more from Lidge and Romero than being league average when they finally do return from their injuries. But if they are league average, and Baez pitches decently, we'll be fine, because I think the original three I mentioned will be lights out by the end of the year.

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