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Friday, December 17, 2010


Fail a physical?

Damn. No more fat jokes.

I'm really not sure why he was in the plans anyway. Besides, we'll be rocking a 5-man bullpen with this rotation, right? Lidge, Madson, Contreras, Bastardo, Durbin.

Yeah something must have happened with the physical. I think you hit it spot on MG.

Alternatively (and this isn't likely), he's backing out because he got a better offer. In which case, he's a jerk, since he already agreed in principle to joining the Phillies.

I can't say that I'm terribly broken up about this but I do wonder what happened. I thought the deal was long ago finalized.

This does, of course, leave us without any proven major league LOOGY, which is a problem -- albeit one which I assume they'll address in short order.

Damn: no more "served up a grand slam special" jokes.

I wonder which side parted.

The best part about this news: no more having to scroll through a 408-post thread.

Wow. This news has the needle on my Give-A-Shitometer moving exactly not at all.


Phils still really need a veteran lefty out of the pen unless anyone on here thinks Bastardo can actually stay healthy and being effective for an entire season.

Anyone . . . ? Anyone . . . .?

Personally I'd love to see Pedro here, not just to pad the resume of our current staff, but to provide some insurance in case of injury. Maybe he could even start out the season in the Chad Durbin role, then depending on Kendrick's performance possibly move into the 5th starter slot.

As far as LOOGies go, who's left? Zagurski?

Beimel? Anyone? Anyone?

Well, it's obvious now that Ruben has lost his touch.

I'd give Bastardo better odds than Reyes, health wise and performance wise. I'd rather give Meyer, Zagurski, and Escolona the shot than Reyes as well.

Oddly, I'd say not signing Reyes improves Amaro's offseason grade. Contreras at 2 years and 5 million is a crazy deal, considering some of the three year deals being given out. And a second lefty in the pen is not a necessity - especially if our starters stay healthy and continue to work into the 7th, as most of them are accustomed to doing. Why not just go with Bastardo until he either gets hurt or proves to be ineffective. They have other internal options, and the odds are high that there will be multiple veteran lefties floating around all season.

PhilliesRed: I was with you on your first sentence, but you lost me with your second. Zagurski & Escalona are not major league pitchers and it's highly unlikely they ever will be. Meyer is just a lottery ticket and, even in his one good year, he had reverse lefty-righty splits.

Reyes wasn't my first choice, but he has a 13-year track record of being a mostly decent LOOGY. If the Phillies aren't signing him, they need to find another established major league LOOGY. I would suggest someone like Beimel or Byrdak.

Agree that this is a good thing.

Anyone know how much the Yanks have offered Feliciano?

Phillies Red - Zagurski? Zagurski stinks. You mean his straight fastball that sits at 91 max and his offspeed stuff that doesn't break. Good enough at AA/AAA. Not at the MLB level. The only thing he is good for is depth at AAA.

Meyer is a guy who has been terrible at MLB level. He also has reverse splits & gets pounded by left-handed bats. Another depth guy.

Escalona isn't even a viable option. He finally did add some bulk to his frame the past 2 years but no way he should see time at the MLB level. He's behind Meyer and Zagurski.

Don't understand why this is mythical 'replacement level' as if you can plug any left-handed reliever at the MLB for a lengthy period & expect him to give you quality results. At best, you have a short stint where a guy like Meyer isn't overexposed & he able to contribue a bit.

2 years 8 million.

G-Town: "Give-A-Shitometer". Classic.

I'm trying to figure out if I should feel as badly as Yankees' fans did when the didn't get Cliff Lee.

...................ummmm, no.

Re: Zagurski

If he actually had decent command on his fastball, he might be a viable option at the MLB level. Just doesn't. When he rears back to add another 1-2 MPH, it is all over the place generally.

BAP, yeah, I see what you're saying. I guess I just don't think that a second lefty is needed, and as Reyes seems like a roll of the dice, why not just try other, cheaper, younger options.

Regardless, it seems like patience is a virtue here. LOOGY's tend to be available in spring training, and it's nearly impossible to predict LOOGY performance accurately, so be patient and spend prudently.

The guy here the Phils should have signed was Choate who got almost an identical contract with the Fish, actually is very tough on left-handed bats, and doesn't have the health-related questions Reyes does.

Cliff Lee or Hamels to bullpen????

ok.... probably not.....

G-town...give us a warning next time, I just spat pepsi all over my keyboard.

Did Arthur Rhodes sign yet? Other possible names: Will Ohman, Joe Beimel, Ron Mahay.

I'd bet Reyes failed his physical. Too many red flags with this guy anyway.

PR: The Phillies have gotten by with 1 LOOGY in the past, but you really do need 2 left-handers in your pen. Besides, banking on Bastardo alone would be a huge gamble, both because he hasn't proven his ability to be a successful major leaguer and he hasn't proven his ability to stay healthy over a full season.

Maybe we could trade Oswalt for Happ who has more BP experience?

"Amaro: Your destiny lies with me Mahay. Gillick knew this to be true."

MG, I guess I just disagree. If we're talking about a strict LOOGY, it seems to me finding a successful one is about having options: see if they work, if they don't, move one. And the real key is exactly what you said: avoiding overexposure.

Anyway, Reyes was pretty bad last year, as far as BB% went. K% was also down. As Eric Seidman of baseball prospectus just tweeted, Meyer for basically peanuts is better than Reyes at $1.3M.

Don't understand the love that Mathieson gets on here, the hate that Francisco gets, and the understand that you can just pull a lefty retread like Meyer/Zagurski/Escalona out of the AA/AAA team & have him perform capably at the MLB level.

Mahay: "No . . . (not without a guaranteed MLB contract)"

Maybe we could trade Blanton for a good LH reliever if we pay some of his salary?

BAP, sure, two is preferable. I guess what I'm driving at is that while two is preferable, the prices for relievers are crazy right now. Assuming the Phillies do operate under some kind of budget restraints, putting money into a LOOGY who will literally pitch to 2-3 guys a week seems foolish, especially if there are multiple, though admittedly not desirable, internal options.

In the end, I bet the Phils do pick up another vet. I just hope they don't pay a lot for it.

Eyre is a prime example of how the Phils ought to approach this: just wait for a vet to shake free; pick him up, and if he doesn't cut it, cut'em.

Phillies Red - On that very note, I mentioned contacting Eyre a few weeks ago and got hooted down. But it looks like he may be the best available option of he's in any kind of shape.

Rube should slip a million dollar bill into his wallet, then take a trip to Florida to visit Scotty. I'll bet that after a whole year of playing with the kids and doing chores for the wife, a million dollars for about 40-50 innings during 2011 will look pretty good.

Phillies Red - The Phils traded for Eyre in August and had to eat a significant portion of his remaining contract in the process in '08. It was roughly $1.3M.

Yeah they did pick up Romero which worked spectacularly in 2007 in May but how often do veteran relievers fall into your lab like that? Also remember that the waiver-wire priority list functions according to a team's record.

Well, MG, in fairness, I seem to be the only one advocating retreads over expensive vets.

And for the record, I like Ben Fran just fine. Though I am optimistic about Mathieson.

Romero was in June. You get the point. It is nearly going to next to impossible to pick up a quality LOOGY on the waiver wire and the asking price at the trading deadline for LOOGYs has generally been a bit expensive (although there are a few exceptions like Javier Lopez who was acquired by the Giants at the deadline this year).

Phils should bring another LHP reliever into the fold because while Bastardo has promising MiLB numbers, he's not a known quantity and he's prone to injury in his short career.

No reason to spend multi-millions on it. I'm not advocating something like what the Yankees did with Feliciano. Nothing more than something like the Reyes deal should be their ceiling. But going into the season with Bastardo as the LOOGY is a risk.

This club will only need relief pitching one out of every five starts, so they'll be fine.

I believe Pedro and Eyre will be the mysterious Phillies saviors touted on Beerleaguer this season the way Ransom and Rizzotti were last year. If only the FO would unleash them, everything would be fixed.

MG: You don't get the hate Francisco gets on here despite leading the charge on it many times?

Thank you God. Again!!

I know everyone thinks the need for the bullpen will be minimal, but I think you need to re-examine that premise.

The starters are mostly not getting any younger. They are at an age where the manager is going to have to make sure they don't overdo the innings. While they are all pretty healthy physical specimens, pitching is a game of attrition. I sit here with a surgically reconstructed shoulder as proof of that.

These guys will put a lot of innings on their arms if the pen isn't used as a precaution. And I hope Charlie will realize that the Phils have a multiyear investment in these guys maintaining their performance. As your pitchers age, the pen become a lot more important than people are giving it credit for. A guy like Takahashi would have been a great pickup. But as I said, Scott Eyre on a cost effective contract might be a good option.

Clout - Pedro and Eyre have actual major league credentials, which the other two never have.

Saviors? Doubt it. Pedro will likely price himself beyond the Phils. So, I suppose you have a problem with approaching Eyre and giving him a tryout? Are you a Reyes man? Interesting.

Rotoworld is saying it was likely the physical that killed the Reyes deal. Makes sense.

aksmith: Have you read anything that suggests Pedro is even interested in coming back? And for what amount? I can't imagine he'd pitch out of the bullpen.

Well, sadly, I'm not sure Eyre is a viable option either. Basically I just don't think the Phils should spend more than a million, or as Sophist says, $1.35M, on a position that sees huge swings in performance - even for established guys. A proven LOOGY will cost money, likely more than $1.5M. If a cheap option is available, go for it; if not, I doubt it's the end of the world, or the Phils season.

There is no shortage of veteran LOOGYs who can be had for $1-$1.5M. sophist mentioned several of them above.

I suspect that the source for the Pedro Martinez speculation was a tiny blurb on mlbtraderumors a few days ago suggesting that Ruben inquired on Pedro during the winter meetings. In the same breath, the blurb stated that Pedro Martinez is nowhere near gameshape.

"While they are all pretty healthy physical specimens, pitching is a game of attrition. I sit here with a surgically reconstructed shoulder as proof of that. "

Is that generally the now-accepted conclusion?

I read a few articles about it a few years ago and it seemed to me then that the thinking was generally split down two lines:

1) Guys have a finite amount of pitches in their arms.

2) Guys with good mechanics can pitch however long they want...only think to be wary of is fluke injuries, but those you have no control over, so let them pitch as often as they want (within reason.)

Is the consensus now #1, or is there still a healthy debate?

"In the same breath, the blurb stated that Pedro Martinez is nowhere near gameshape."

So he's sitting underneath the mango tree waiting for the bus?

The part about being nowhere near gameshape stuck out to me. I had flashbacks of late summer Mike Zagurski flab jiggling.

aksmith: FWIW, I totally agree with you on the bullpen and the need to add a LOOGY.

Who is this LOOGY we're all talking about? It can't be Dennys Reyes. The guy gave up a whopping .862 OPS vs. lefties last season.

There's LOOGYs out there who actually got out lefties last year. We'll go get one of those.

Pedro Martinez is done. Stop talking about Pedro Martinez.

Signing Pedro is a bad idea but, considering he's one of the best pitchers of all time, I do kind of understand the nostalgia for him. I don't really understand the nostalgia for Scott Eyre, who was nothing more than your garden variety LOOGY, the likes of which are in plentiful supply around the major leagues. We don't need to pluck a 39-year old injury-riddled player out of more than a year of retirement in order to fill our LOOGY need.

I'm already tired of the "sign Pedro" brigade. He didn't even pitch last year, that's a red flag to me.

Once Juan Castro was gone, Benny Frank was probably the least popular Phillie.

BAP: My theory on the nostalgia for Eyre is this: Eyre was actually a LOOGY who, ya know, got out lefties. And sometimes righties too. So he did his job.

Based on the series of Maalox Moments that were our LOOGYs for 2010, Eyre looks great by comparison.

CJ: I was just reading the thread where we were about to sign Reyes & you were scolding those who objected to the deal. Now you're celebrating the fact that he got away.

Since posters like Iceman and sophist like to accuse me of allowing my reflexive pessimism to get in the way of my objectivity, I just thought I'd point out your contradiction as an example of how reflexive optimism can also get in the way of objectivity.

Eyre did his job, but he pitched a grand total of 14 IP in 08 and about 30 in 09. That's 2-3 years ago, and he wasn't the primary LH reliever. Guy's 39 years old and hasn't pitched in a year. I think there are better options in the price range.

"Since posters like Iceman and sophist like to accuse me of allowing my reflexive pessimism to get in the way of my objectivity,"

If you subscribe to the theory of depressive realism, you're actually more objective.

Heather: Eyre did a nice job for us but, if you look at his overall career numbers (a 1.52 WHIP & nearly 5 walks per 9 innings), it becomes quickly apparent that we got lightning in a bottle from him. I'm glad that we did, but it would be naive to have expected a repeat in 2010 -- and it would be REALLY naive to expect it in 2011, after he hasn't pitched in a year and a half.

I just checked Eyre's 2009 stats, and he pitched to an ERA of 1.50...remembered he was good, but not that good.

Of course, his peripherals stats don't really support that ERA....

bap: I challenge you to find where I support the signing. I was merely saying it was stupid to judge the signing based on what Sherill made in Atlanta. But if you can find anywhere where I say this is a good signing, I'll be shocked.

If Jesse Biddle posts a 0.00 ERA with a 27 K/9 in his first two months, maybe the Phils will bring him up to be the second LH out of the pen.

I sure hope I don't have to pay shipping to return my Reyes bobblehead which was delivered on a flat bed truck and weighed nearly 700 pounds

Sounds like Bastardo and Zagurski. With R2C2, they may be all we need. Reyes maybe done anyways.

I don't know why expected that the Phils would actually break camp with 2 LH RPs. Silly expectation.

Rich H: Why do you think Bastardo and Zagurski will be effective big league pitchers?

BedBeard: Au contraire. Benny hasn't drawn remotely the amount of hate that has been directed at Jamie Moyer and Kyle Kendrick on this blog over the past 3 years.

clout: I don't know... it's getting awfully close. Francisco posts a 105 OPS+, is at the least an average baserunner and can field all three OF positions. Plus he's relatively cheap.

What does that get him? Constant calls for him to be non-tendered.


My ongoing point is no need to make more expenditures now. We have enough pitching and hitting to see how some of the young guys play Bastardo, Zargurski someone else. Same thing in right field put mayberry, gload, Benfran, martinez out there. See what happens leave D-Brown in AAA. Get his confidence going and then move from there. Bring up D-Brown and make a trade close to the deadline to fill needs.

But maybe we are getting a LH reliever with a big contract in exchange for Blanton's contract as opposed to eating something.

CJ: Well, those who say that are just silly. Benny is a fine 4th outfielder. Nothing more, nothing less. He is not a person you want at bat in a World Series game, but he's a fine backup.

Given the budget hit caused by the Lee signing, it appears that Rube is committed to a Benny/Gload platoon if Brown isn't ready. I saw today that Nady signed for $1.5M. I wouldn't have minded if that had happened here.

Clout - Anyone who has watched Zagurski and I'll add Escalona and thinks they are or will be effective big league pitchers simply didn't pay attention.

Bastardo? What do you mean by effective? He can certainly be an adequate reliever, even though he's more of a real reliever than a LOOGY. The only questions are can he stay healthy and has he worked on his secondary stuff.

I'd say that Bastardo has definitely shown a ton more at the major league level than Mathieson, who simply doesn't have major league stuff to this point. And he also proves that major league velocity doesn't necessarily mean major league stuff.

Clout, there is no "confidence" that Zagurski or Bastardo will make it in the bigs, same with more at bats and fielding opportunities for Benfran, Gload, Mayberry. But my thinking is this.

Contreras and Madson can get lefthanders out but with the 4 starters we can go a ways and see how these guys perform with more opportunity. Lok we are gonna need to start to fill roster spots with our farm with Lee, Halladay, Hamels next year, Howard, Utley, Oswalt next year? Might as well see what we have.

how bout we steal a 2nd FA from the Yankees..Pedro F. anyone?

CJ: You didn't specifically endorse it, but you did upbraid those who criticized it -- which, at least by implication, is an endorsement.

But I'll stop now.

aksmith: The key word in your post is "can." Bastardo certainly has the stuff to be a good major league LOOGY. What he hasn't shown is the command he'll need to succeed. I hope he finds it.

And I agree on Mathieson. I think he's a longer shot than Bastardo. Escalona and Zagurski are fine Trip A pitchers who can be recalled if somone gets hurt.

Don't forget Bruce Sutter is or did teach Mathieson split fingered fast ball.... Wonder how that is going

bap: In no way did I ever endorse the signing. Nor did I upbraid those that criticized signing Reyes. I upbraid those who thought that the Sherril signing somehow set the market. It's a concept that's significantly over-emphasized in free agency.

But I'll stop now that you failed to find me endorsing this signing anywhere.

Reyes quote on ESPN Deportes - I mean they wanted me to lose weight so I would be a key piece in what they are building. Screw that, I'll take my 7 meals a day over a ring any day of the week."

I would hardly lump Bastardo & Zagurski together in the same category. One guy is a 28-year old who has gotten absolutely lit up in his few major league opportunities. The other is 25 years old, has dominated in the minors and, in 18.2 major league innings last year, struck out 26 hitters and held left-handers to a .200 average.

In short, one guy is a legitimate prospect with a future major league career. One guy isn't.

bap: Absolutely right. Bastardo has a legit shot at helping this team this year out of the bullpen. The Little Big Z has a legit shot at helping the Iron Pigs this year out of the bullpen.

Why not consider Joe Beimel?

Arizona, which used to have an awful front office, has been doing some interesting things since hiring Towers.

They signed Kelly Johnson, who had a great year, traded for Dan Hudson, which looks really smart now, and added Zach Duke for $4M, a low risk, high upside deal.

They also dealt for Cuban defector Juan Miranda, who was blocked on the Yankees, and could hit .260/.340/.450 as their everyday firstbaseman.

Now they've added Nady cheap for OF depth and to back up Miranda.

Wonder if the Phils wanted a weight clause. His agent says he's back on the market, so injury doesn't make the most sense....unless it's just his agent blowing smoke.

PhilliesDude: Why not?

Bowlcut: You can be injury-free and still fail to pass the physical.

I kind of wondered why the Cards were so quick to cut ties with Reyes and had no interest inbringing him back. Guess now we know why. What I wonder why the delay in voiding the contract.

On a side note -
Major League Baseball should send the Phillies a few million dollars or some first round draft picks. One of my friends from Chicago read in a paper today that the Phillies acquisition of Cliff Lee has become baseball's biggest off-season news in decades...publicity that baseball yearns for. It has crossed totally into the main-stream news media, talk shows and late-night comedy monologues, and generated amazing activity on blogs and youtube etc....and all this is happening during the most ideal time - the holiday season when there are so many parties and get-togethers for people to keep chatting about it.
So the Phillies make a huge sacrifice by signing Lee (a player we didn't need even if we really wanted him!) and the Phillies give MLB all this free publicity - something their own PR department has never been able to generate. They owe us big time!!

I don't think its a big deal that this fell through but wonder what happened. I wonder if there is a chance Romero will come back now. I think Eyre will just retire, but if he comes back I think it would be for the Phillies.

I read he had the physical on Thursday, that's likely why it took so long.

Now, why scheduling the physical took so long is a different question.

Joe Beimel is also a Pennsylvania boy...maybe it will be good for him pitching back in his home state!

If it's Beimel or Mahay or Oman vs. nobody, I'll take nobody this season. All three of them looked pretty bad last year. Didn't see much of Mahay, but the other two were dreadful.

akmsith: Are you familiar with the year-to-year stats of relievers? Especially those that toss 40-45 IP a season?

Reyes went on a ten day fast to no avail.

Was he really that dreadful? (I didn't really watch him) but he did appear in like 70 games with a 3.40 ERA. In fact over the past 5 years, he has averaged over 70 appearances a season with an ERA in the low to mid 3's.

an aside - He's also a really cool dude with one of the largest internet followings with the famous "Legend of Joe Beimel" youtube vids that went all around the internet.


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