A lights-out rotation will allow the Phillies to experiment with their fifth starter, the bullpen and in other areas.
Halfway through yesterday’s J.C. Romero update, it occurred to me that the rest of the baseball world cares little about whether or not the Phillies secure Romero or any of the other remaining retreads. If the Phils do nothing else all winter, they’ll still be the odds-on favorite to win the World Series. Outsiders would need a microscope to expose the blemishes Beerleaguer has monotonously dissected since the end of the season. Perhaps it’s time to digress and reconsider, or, to put it bluntly, stop being a whiny little bitch. The Phillies just signed Cliff Lee. How much more can they possibly retool, knowing that nothing is certain? Knowing there’s always a Cody Ross poised to morph into Babe Ruth?
If anything, we can all agree that, eventually, youth must be served. It’s a luxury few teams can afford while simultaneously chasing down a title. I think we can all agree that the Phillies have lost a half-step. Fortunately, they're positioned to inject youth into “non-essential” areas. For example, they can either roll the dice with an aging free agent specialist like Romero, or finally see what Antonio Bastardo can offer. It’s arguably the biggest risk the Phils stand to take, and the poorest example of the point I’m trying to make (Adding a bargain-basement lefty like Dennys Reyes to compliment Bastardo made a lot of sense). The better examples are in back of the rotation and in the middle-inning role that Chad Durbin has filled for the last three years. How long can the Phillies allow these types of pitchers – Kyle Kendrick, Vance Worley, David Herndon, Scott Mathieson, Justin De Fratus – to bubble up to the surface? That’s why it’s obvious to me that it's time to move on from Durbin. Offensively, the Phillies were never serious about keeping Jayson Werth and shopped him this summer, all because they felt comfortable with Domonic Brown’s future and the idea that an inaugural platoon with Ben Francisco would bring out the best in both of them.
‘Tis the season for optimism. After all, we've already seen that holiday miracles can happen ...
Transaction: Jesus Sanchez, 23, has signed a minor league deal with the Brewers. He was released by the Phillies during the Winter Meetings to clear room on the 40-man roster. A converted catcher, Sanchez, the last remaining piece of the 2006 Bobby Abreu deal, was 9-7 with a 2.99 ERA for Clearwater.