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Wednesday, August 11, 2010



Jack - I agree that Baez and Herndon haven't been any good. I think everyone agrees about that. Tell me, though, where my reasoning goes wrong:

You want an upgrade to Baez/Herndon. This would be either a major upgrade or a minor upgrade.

Do you want a major upgrade? I think replacing Baez/Herndon with someone like Contreras would be a major upgrade. But where exactly are those kinds of bullpen pieces available, and how much are you willing to spend for them? We saw the price of relative mediocrities at the trade deadline.

Do you want a minor upgrade? This seems to be what you have in mind. But why on earth should we be making a big fuss over a minor upgrade to the last arm out of the bullpen? And why should we think a minor upgrade should matter over the next 50 games?

You've characterized posters here as absurd for not wanting to better the team, but you haven't specified what kind of upgrade your looking for, and why you think it should make such a big deal.

I remember 1958. I had chicken pox. I'm sure it was the cause of my present case of lazy hands.

Polly was a great signing by Amaro...he doesn't get enough credit for the moves that have worked this season.

Scott Eyre says it would take him about three weeks to get into pitching shape. That would put him squarely at the deadline for playoff eligibility. There is no way the Phillies can ignore him. He was great for them the last two seasons.

Why in the world didn't they go to him a couple of weeks ago and sign him up? Did they think Romero was going to magically get better? Did they think Bastardo was going to improve? Clearly they didn't think Bastardo was going to be other than what he is because they left him in AAA for quite a while as he was shutting down just about every minor league hitter.

Why not have Eyre preparing to save the Phillies from lefty hitters for the last month?

There is no way the Phillies can ignore him.

Wanna bet?

If we can't revive Pedro let's shoot for the Eyre of the Ti'er.

"Why in the world didn't they go to him a couple of weeks ago and sign him up? Did they think Romero was going to magically get better?"

On August 1st, JC Romero had a ERA of 2.67 and was doing the job most nights out.

His "problems" have only been going on for the past 10 days.

The reason that Rube didn't do anything, is because there was no issue on August 1st.

Scott Eyre? Really? The guy is retired. Move on.

Personally, I think I'd like to see Bastardo get more then 1 appearance before we deport him. But then again, I don't jump to conclusions on players after 1 AB or 1 pitching appearance.

If Romero is hurt, then the Phils are screwed. And because they have used every last dime already for 2010, they aren't going to get anything (and nothing is available anyway) on the waiver wire any better then what they already have.

The whole "LOOGY" thing is a bit overrated anyway. This team is going to sink or swim because of their 5 starters and Madson and Lidge. Those 7 guys will tell the tale for the rest of the season.

When Madson and Lidge are going well, it doesn't matter if a lefty or a righty is up there. Same thing with Halladay, Hamels and Oswalt.

For me, getting Oswalt right is FAR more important then the use of a lefty reliever against 1 hitter in the 7th inning once or twice a week.

optim: I think you're missing the point. To repeat something I said in the last thread, Herndon & Baez are doing more harm to the team than can be measured by just looking at their numbers. They're harming the team by creating complete inflexibility in our roster -- Baez because of his salary, Herndon because of his Rule 5 status.

We've already been forced to get rid of one reliever who had actually been productive, just to accommodate 2 guys who Cholly never uses, and who stink it up whenever he does use them. We've also been forced to keep Mathieson in the minors all year, even though he could potentially help us. More recently, we've been forced to keep Bastardo there even though we badly needed a 2nd LOOGY -- and, now that we've finally called him up, we're stuck with a 4-man bench. Not to mention that our closer stinks and we couldn't really think about upgrades, since there was no room in our bullpen to put him. All this, just to accommodate 2 absolutely lousy relief pitchers who only pitch in garbage time.

romero is definitely hurt. he feels numbness in his fingers when he throws. that's nerve impingement. not gonna clear up by itself

I agree on all your points, but what do you mean by "getting Oswalt right"?

He said he's going through a dead arm period, and his last start was very good for a pitcher going through a dead arm phase. I expect him to be a great number 3 going forward.

bap: What is your solution to Baez's salary this season? Were you against signing him before the season? I'll admit the 2nd year was suspect, but his signing was greeted rather favorably by Beerleaguer.

Romero looked great 10 days ago? Okay. But they obviously feel having a second lefty is now important. Otherwise they wouldn't go short on the bench and bring up Bastardo.

There was no down side to getting Eyre ready.

Move on? Sure, he's retired. And he's so retired he already said to the media he can get ready in three weeks. And Pedro was so retired last season that he pitched down the stretch for the Phils, and was approached by them again this season.

Nobody is retired if they're still effective. They are only retired for sure when nobody asks them to play anymore. And since Eyre has already said he'd only pitch for the Phillies, all they had to do was ask.

And it's not like nobody was wondering if they were going to do it. I posted a couple of weeks ago wondering if they had him getting ready. If I thought of it, I'm pretty sure Rube Jr. must have or one of his "brain" trust.

Why not DL "lazy hands" and and bring up Johan Flande for a try out. He's on the 40 man roster and has pitched great outside of Reading.

Flande? He'd likely be about the tenth choice in the minors for the Phils currently.

yeah he'd fair poorly.

denny b - You can post some absolutely loony things, but I think you're on the money here.

I will add, though, that Romero looked very, very bad in his first few outings. As if he had absolutely no idea where the ball was going to end up. He righted the ship for some time, however--as you say, he seemed to be perfectly fine two weeks ago. Hopefully he can do it again.

Just when we thought this team was over it's ennui, Romero comes down with a case of lazy hand. Go figure.

In following the Phillies, I'm now aware of such malodies as a "lazy hand," and a "bulky knee." Does Ciccotti have access to WebMD?

For the record, I'd welcome seeing Baez cut loose. I do think he could be effective next year, and that we could regret the decision. But I don't think it'd be a terrible move.

My point is the same one that I have seen others (Sophist, CJ) make: it's not obvious that there's much to be gained in upgrading, Baez (I think Herndon is here to stay). It would be nice to fill his spot with someone Charlie trusts, but I don't think it's the most pressing need on this team.

BAP - I think you're overstating the peripheral damage Baez and Herndon are doing to the team. (Tell me that Figgy isn't the productive reliever you're talking about. The love he's getting is beyond me.)

And as far as Mathieson goes, my guess is that the FO sees in him someone who they're not ready to throw out there against major league hitters. His velocity is wonderful, but, lest we forget, Danys Baez throw pretty hard too.

CJ: For the record, Baez's signing might have been greeted "rather favorably" by most of Beerleaguer, but I was dead set against it from the start. Everyone who loved it was blinded by the fact that Baez had accumulated some saves over 5 years ago; thus, he must magically be "closer" quality and ready to step in for Lidge. People were actually calling for that.

This ignored the fact that he'd been hurt for much of the last 3 years and barely effective when he did pitch. His K rate had declined significantly, and he'd always been inconsistent with his control. In 2007, he was terrible. In 2008 he didn't pitch. In 2009, he was mediocre, but with declining strikeouts, and benefited from a .239 BABIP. The warning signs were all there, you just had to look. Apparently the Phillies didn't, and neither did most people on here.

And anyway, the 2nd year is hugely relevant here. If there were no 2nd year, I think it's obvious the Phillies would have DFA'ed him earlier in the season like they did with Castro, especially as they were already hamstrung one bullpen spot with Herndon. If you're going to take flyers on random bullpen guys, do like they did with Contreras and make it a one-year deal. This minimizes the risk if it goes badly. It was obviously a mistake not doing that with Baez.

I don't understand those who think that Baez is expendable and Herndon is not. Whether it's Rule 5 status or a somewhat lucrative 2 year deal, both signs point to neither of them going anywhere.

I'm with BAP here, too. If you HAVE to get rid of one of them (they won't), why on earth would you get rid of a veteran with some MLB success over an unproven cast-off? And that's BEFORE you factor in the financial component.

Hey, Dom Brown is a lefty, and he pitched in high school. Send down Bastardo instead when Victorino comes up. Problem solved.
Yes, I'm kidding.

Optimispun: For the record, in June, I would've found a way to either get Herndon permanently from the Angels (seems like all you'd have to do is just offer a C-level prospect for him, but I don't know), make up an injury and DL him, or DFA'ed Baez in order to keep room for Figueroa.

You can mock Figueroa all you want, but he pitched well out of the bullpen for us and has continued to pitch well out of the bullpen for Houston. His stats would be up there among our best relievers this year--3.38 ERA, 1.02 WHIP, 6.8 K/9, 3.11 K/BB ratio. In his career he has a 3.42 ERA as a reliever in 137 innings (4.93 as a starter). He strikes me exactly as the type of guy who can't cut it at the MLB level as a starter, but can make a useful reliever-- a lot like Chad Durbin, actually.

Whether the upgrade from Herndon/Baez to Figueroa is enough to make a crucial difference in the playoff race, I don't know, but I do know it would make the team better. And when you're in a tight playoff race, anything that makes the team better is a good move. The only cost would have been losing the chance Danys Baez is actually effective next year--and, anyway, there's a chance no one would pick him up on waivers, and he'd stay in AAA with us anyway.

CJ: Not sure why my original opinion of the Baez signing is relevant, but I liked the signing at the time. Baez was decent last year & I thought he'd be better this year, since he was 2 years removed from TJ surgery. So much for my scouting ability.

As for what to do . . . I think I just said it: I'd dump Herndon before Baez. Herndon may have some future value, but so might Baez. In fact, considering that Baez has better stuff & a more proven track record, I think he's decidedly more likely to be of help to us next year than Herndon is. If the Phillies like Herndon that much, they can try to work out a trade with the Angels. Shouldn't be terribly complicated. Do they like him better than one of their numerous AA/AAA relievers (Stutes, DeFratus, German, Schwimmer, Savery)? If so, trade one of them for him. If not, then he's not good enough to worry about losing.

optim: Of course I was talking about Figgy. I'm not among the posters who was torn apart by letting Figgy go, but it's undeniable that he is a better, more versatile, pitcher than Herndon. It's also probable that Mathieson & Bastardo are better, and that Bastardo could have been of use in several recent situations in which we didn't have any available LOOGY.

It didn't get much attention, since the game was a blowout, but we actually used Cole Hamels to pinch hit last night because we had used up our 4 bench players. I sure hope that doesn't happen in a close game. But, if it does, it will be a direct result of having Baez & Herndon on our roster.

Figgy again. I remember it was Madson's 60 day DL stint that exposed Nelson. If the Phils lose out on the playoffs by an extra point I'll be looking back at that miscue.

his (Baez) signing was greeted rather favorably by Beerleaguer.
Posted by: CJ | Wednesday, August 11, 2010 at 05:50 PM

Baez? Color me unexcited.
Posted by: awh | Wednesday, December 30, 2009 at 07:01 PM

C'mon Cuz, Dannys Baez stinks!
Posted by: Joel V | Thursday, December 31, 2009 at 12:36 PM

What a fvcking stupid signing. What if he's terrible? He's a middle reliver for godsake...its not exactly like middle relievers are consistent. Stupid stupid stupid.
Posted by: NEPP | Thursday, December 31, 2009 at 03:12 PM

No doubt there was better talent out there and if Rube sees Baez as the replacement for CHoP that bothers me because I think he's a downgrade. I'm most curious about what they'll be paying him. That will tell us whether they really think he'd be an upgrade or if this is a Value Village signing with a more serious acquisition coming up next. I hope it's the latter.
Posted by: clout | Thursday, December 31, 2009 at 09:09 PM

FWIW, mikes77 disagreed with me that Baez was a downgrade from Park.

On July 8, when he was DFA'd Figueroa had a 3.46 ERA. Pretty good. Herndon's ERA was 3.86 (comparable), and Baez's 4.46. (not very comparable).

At this point, sure, it looks like they shouldn't have let Figgy slip away, but I'm guessing they didn't project him to have the year he's having. That was a mistake.

BUT: mistake as it may be to have let Figueroa go, it wasn't, on the strength of their numbers, terrifically egregious. Nor is it clear that Baez/Herndon have, in tandem, cost the Phillies any wins that Figueroa would have secured.

As far as the likelihood that Matthieson is better than Herndon, where's the evidence? Lots of players can look quite good in AAA only to struggle mightily at the major league level. Do folks think it's just not possible for Matthieson to post an ERA+ lower than Herndon's, at 87? How long are people willing to experiment?

If I read this correctly, lefthanded batters had an .840 OPS against Scott Eyre in his Cubs career.

The difficulty in putting together a bullpen is that its very hard to predict when fringe guys will put it together and when they will fall apart. The fact that Eyre had a good 2-year run to me is almost reason to think he'd be due to stink it up again if he came back.

Wait, I thought batting average doesn't matter anymore.

Wait, 1 out of 28 previous comments even mentions Polanco in passing. I guess it still doesn't, after all.

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