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Tuesday, May 25, 2010


Putz. Jenks has been an issue this year and that contract is a problem. Not worth it. Putz may flame out - healthwise - but is a manageable contract with good upside. That said, Putz has been used mostly in meaningless situations this year.

Gavin Floyd and Freddy Garcia are both having terrible seasons.

Unless they plan to turn around & deal Jencks in the off-season (which is possible), he would be a move for this year and next. That would essentially be a concesion that they think Brad Lidge's days as Phillies closer are over.

I don't really care how many saves a guy has in the past. I care about how he's pitching right now. Jenks' numbers look better this year, but he's been pretty mediocre the last couple years, regardless of save totals.

I'd like to wait and see. Consider me cautiously pessimistic.

Jack: Overall, his 2008/2009 stats look pretty good to me. A low ERA, a pretty good walk ratio for a reliever, a high strikeout ratio (at least last year) a low BAA, and an excellent WHIP. There are certainly a few red flags -- the strangely low strikeout ratio in 2008, the high homerun ratio last year &, of course, the lousy start to 2010. But on balance, he looks like a pretty decent bet and he's certainly someone worth watching. It's not like we have to decide today. The Phillies aren't going to trade for an expensive reliever until they have a better idea of what they've got with Lidge. If they do need to find a back-end reliever, it probably won't be for at least another month.

How trade-able is Jenks this offseason? That's a fairly hefty contract for a reliever.

I think Octavio Dotel could be a decent option for the Phillies. Apart from a couple of bad performances in blowouts, Dotel has been great this year. He has the poise and experience to pitch in the ninth.

What about Pedro as a reliever?

Shouldn't we also be asking "What will we have to part with to get one of these guys?" If they will take Joe Savery, done deal. If they want Dom Brown, no way. I'm sure it's somewhere in the middle but where?

If Lidge can't pitch this year, we will need another closer. 100-win seasons are great but if you can't win in the playoffs, it will be a big waste. It's tough to win in the playoffs without a good closer.

Would it be sacrilegious to ask for a bit or temporary orange and black in the beerleaguer header graphic in recognition of that other thing? truly, these are the days when i find myself making deals with the various gods that i don't believe in and trading phillies wins for flyers wins (hence the mini-slump).

I'd be wary of any pitcher coming from the ChiSox. Williams has a history of pawning off damaged goods, and not just to the Phillies.

Beyond the salary, I'd be concerned about how Jenks would fit into the clubhouse. Maybe he's grown up, but he used to have a reputation.

Also, teams notoriously overpay for relievers at the trade deadline. Heathclif Slocumb for Varitek & Lowe being one of the most egregious examples. It usually takes a better than average prospect to get a quality reliever.

Why not use what you have.
Mathieson (S, 7) 2.0 1 0 0 0 2 0 0.79
What does one have to do to get a shot? Mathieson won't cost 7 million.

obviously, if they thought he was ready, he would be up. so obviously, he's not ready. they aren't stupid.

Just like Happ wasn't ready?

Biggest concern on Jenks is that he subscribes to the Prince Fielder/CC Sabathia school of fitness.

His velocity has been the same for the last 3 seasons now (per Fangraphs). He basically throws 92-96 on any given night.

st: 'they aren't stupid' and 'they are always 100% right' are no where near the same thing.

Mathieson is ready.

The guy throws really hard. Throws strikes. Doesn't give up runs. Is perfect in save situations. Can pitch 2 innings.

And he's cheap.

We don't need a reliever anyway. With Madson and Lidge coming back, we will have plenty of bullpenners.

I'd like to see Mathieson get a chance, but not as the closer straight away. Give him some lower pressure moments and see what he can do.

I wouldn't mind seeing Mathieson come up, but obviously not in a closer/set-up role to start.

The other issue is who does Mathieson replace? Herndon has to stay on the 25-man roster. They like having a "long man" who can go a few innings, so Figueroa presumably stays (or Kendrick, once Happ comes back). I guess if Romero pitches better, Bastardo is expendable, but I'd rather have two lefties, and I think Bastardo is a better weapon than Mathieson right now.

There would be a certain poetic justice in watching the Mets Cliff Lee beat Doc a couple of times in Sept.

Now that Dobbers and Ben Fran have been sharpened up with recent starts, they probably need to start tonight to stay sharp.

Peter Gammons linked the Phillies to Jake Westbrook and Ben Sheets last night on MLB Tonight. I suppose we'll get Fausto Carmona next year!

Jack: Couldn't agree more with your assessment of Mathieson. The issue does not seem to be talent or "readiness," but more of where to put him and who to send down. I agree that thrusting him into the closer/setup role would not be the brightest move, so who goes? Your analysis is dead on. Nowhere to put him at the moment. Therefore, keep racking up the experience in Lehigh.

I'm all for giving Mathieson a shot at some point this season, but the confidence some have that he'll step in and be a reliable reliever on a championship-contending major league ball club is, to me, unwarranted. There's a 'should' and a 'would' to consider with respect to Mathieson in a playoff role: should he be put in a big spot, and would Charlie put him in a big playoff spot? If the answer to either is no, then I think it behooves the Phillies to add an arm to which the answer to both is yes.

Should Mathieson be put in a big playoff spot? At this point, certainly not. If he were to come up and perform well for some large chunk of the season, then perhaps. But now you've introduced a complicating factor that may result in an opportunity cost: if you go in for the Mathieson experiment, and he doesn't perform well, then he shouldn't be trusted in a playoff spot, AND you may lose out on alternatives like Jenks or Puts or whomever.

Would Mathieson be put (by Charlie) in a big playoff spot? This is doubtful. Antonio Bastardo was used in a few big spots last year. But (a) do we really believe this was Charlie's plan A? And (b) do we recall the reasonable reaction, here, and elsewhere? That using Bastardo was a gamble forced by NOT having the right BP pieces?

To comment on the post, Jenks and Putz aren't the worst moves but it depends on the price. I am never a huge fan of going after relievers unless they are really top of the line. Jenks and Putz do make sense due to our 8 and 9 inning issues right now. But I wouldn't over pay if it means we don't get a decent starter.

I wouldn't mind seeing Jenks here either at all. Problem is that he likely commands at least one really good prospects and probably less ones & his price tag next year. It is the same issue with Bell who has probably even a slightly higher asking tag.

Both guys are also in their last year of arbitration eligibility. Jenks wouldn't get much of a raise but Bell will ($4M). Means they likely will both have around an ~$8M price tag. There goes any budget flexibility the Phils have unless they can move Ibanez's contract and some of their lesser deals (Madson/Schneider/Gload).

My bet is they end up with a guy like Putz or Dotel. Both guys come with a lesser asking price, are only signed through this year, and frankly just don't cost the Phils that much dough over 2+ months. Talking $2M or under.

You do have to wonder though how much of this interest is prompted by the fact that Madson still isn't going to be able to get back on a mound for at least 6 weeks (report last night on CSN Philly) and the situation with Lidge.

If they had got a good report from Jobe on Lidge, I would imagine they would be more willing to see what he can do. My bet is that the report was likely pretty negative. Something along the lines of "we have give him another shot, let him have some more rest, and just keep your fingers crossed although the odds of him coming back at this season healthy for the remainder of the season are slim-to-none"

good post by bap at 12:38am...a move like Jenks says they aren't counting on Lidge and anything they get from him is gravy...Jenks is signed this year and next.

re: the flyers post...

call me a strange dude, but i actually root against all other philly teams. i've been doing this since i was a kid. i couldn't stand it when all the talk in the middle of july was eagles and so i started rooting against them. my dream was that the phillies would take over the town one day and while there is no doubt that a football championship would be a bigger deal than a baseball championship in philly, i'm glad that for the moment the phillies are on top.

while i don't hate the flyers as much as the eagles because they've been pretty harmless, i have to root against them in the finals. i want only the fightin's winning championships.

Duke: How dare you! (kidding). I am a 4-4 Philly sports fan, but I must say that I generally despise Philadelphia fans, present company excluded, of course. None of my friends are Philadelphia fans because I lived away from Philly for most of my life, only to return relatively recently. I completely understand why other cities hate our teams.

With that said: GO FLYERS!

I have to imagine Jenks' hefty contract would keep his price lower - but that all depends on how many bidders the pale hose have. I hate, hate, hate the idea of overpaying for a reliever. I'd give them Mathieson (gasp!) and a middle of the road starting prospect (JC Ramirez?). That probably paints me as a guy who overvalues his own prospects but I'd rather consider myself someone who hates to see his team overpay for a reliever.

This post is something I've been thinking through for a while. It's not merely a defense of the Cliff Lee trade: it's an argument that it was the most rational thing to do, granting some very plausible assumptions which I believe Rube and the Phillies brass have made. It's relevant because of the current question about adding bullpen help.

Suppose you believe that there are three deficiencies most responsible for the Phillies' loss to the Yankees in 2009: (1) Starting pitching deficits in games 2,3 and 6. (2) A bullpen deficit in game 4. And (3) bench/DH deficits throughout the entirety of the WS. Suppose further you believe that resolving these problems will improve the team to the point that you feel you are now better than your closest rival (the Yankees). What should you do, and by these lights, has Rube acted rationally?

There were two attractive, but competing, ways to resolve problem 1 that presented themselves to Ruben in December: (a): Trade for Doc (slot him in games 1, 4, and 7), retain Cliff Lee (slot in games 2 and 5), and ignore Cole's likely rebound (slotting him wherever). (b) Trade for Doc (slot him in games 1,4, and 7), trust that Hamels would rebound (slotting him into games 2 and 5 of a seven game series), and trade Lee to aid in solving problem 2 and 3. The primary reason people have been angry about the trade of Lee is, I believe, recognition that the possibilities of a Hamels rebound and Lee's retention were not mutually exclusive. Why, then, not opt for (a)?

The reason, I think, is the belief that you'd have Blanton wasted in a bullpen role in the playoffs, insofar as Blanton's value in a playoff game is greatest as a starter. The same goes for JA Happ, making (b) the more rational move.

This may seem like fuzzy logic, but the argument is strengthened if you believe that choosing (b) makes it more likely that you'll be able to solve problem 2, the bullpen problem. Everyone has chided Amaro for "lying" when he indicated that restocking the system was the main reason for unloading Lee. The criticism, to paraphrase, has been: why go all in for Doc, and then trade Lee for future prospects? The mistake in this criticism is failing to see that future prospects are what get you current pieces to sure up your team, e.g. bullpen help when your top two relievers (in terms of salary) can't stay healthy, or a position player, like your all-star SS, say, pulls a muscle and misses the playoffs. Restocking the farm is something you have to do if you believe that unforeseen circumstances will arise (during a season) that themselves threaten your chances in the playoffs if unaddressed. In-season trades, made of necessity, cannot be made without minor league ammo (unless you have your eye on Bobby Abreu).

What about problem 3? The deficit between WS MVP Hideki Matsui and Matt Stairs, Greg Dobbs, Ben Francisco, etc? Hm. Ross Gload, anybody? Problem 3 is still a work in progress, I think. I hope. But, then again, it's not nearly as severe a problem as 1 and 2, which to me are intertwined.


Mathieson threw a 2 inning save last night hitting 99, threw a one inning save tonight hitting 99, broke two bats with his slider for ground ball outs. Dont care if your Pujols, hitting 99 mixed with a slider may be the toughest thing to do in baseball. he is fun to watch, bal just jumps out of his hand unlike any other pitcher here and we have enjoyed him here in LV but it is time for him to pitch for my beloved Phillies.

Please take Jenks. Give us the bat boy. We'll call it even

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