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Monday, January 10, 2011

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If Lidge is consistently good (he doesn't have to be great, IMO) out of the box, then it will help settle the entire bullpen. I wonder if he recovers some velocity on his fastball, with the offseason rest?

Also, does Villar's ranking in the HOU system say more about Villar or more about the HOU system?

Hasn't been the same since Ryno bumbled into his knee in celebratory fashion.

You do have to give Lidge a ton of credit for returning (close to) form last season after the 2009 debacle. Charlies deserves some of that credit too, even though he drove us crazy with the way he refused to give up on Lidge two years ago.

Lidge is about to have a great season. Healthiest he's been since WFC. And this is the option year, right?

timr, I think Charlie believes that confidence is a major part of the game. If a manager doesn't have confidence in a player, then it could cause doubt on the palyer's part. That's not good, wspwcially for a pitcher, who has to throw with conviction.

My guess is that Charlie also hoped that somehow Lidge would turn it around in '09.

I don't think the Prince of Darkness is done yet. He's obviously still got Ed Wade on a string. I say he flips Blanton for Hunter Pence and gets Fast Eddie to pay most of Pence' salary.

donc, if that happens then Ruben would get GM of the decade awards 9 years early.

With Ed Wade who knows awh. Haha.

Ed Wade is like an ex-girlfriend who just can't help herself from making occasional booty calls.

Phillies and Astros scouts probably had pages and pages of notes on prospects stemming from all the scouting they did for the Oswalt deal.

Bahamas Baseball? It's just not cricket.

A 23 year old who flamed out at AA?

Sometimes it's just better to let an Escalona go for nothing. When we say we'll take a bag of balls, we mean a literal, not figurative, bag of balls.

Might as well have been Adan Cartwright along with a piece of the Ponderosa.

Regarding UC confidence in Lidge, hey why not, I mean look how good its working with Torre and Broxton!

29 errors?!? Really?

Cartwright is less of a prospect than Escalona, but the alternative was nothing at all. It's a position thing I suppose, with the Phils' minors quite thin in middle INF.

awh: "Despite his reputation for rigidity (with ceratin spots it's somewhat true), Charlie plays with the lineup fairly often"

That is an understatement. Listed below are the season, number of games with identical lineups(counting the pitcher as "Pitcher"), and rank in the majors for that year:

2010: 23 games(1st overall)
2009: 29 games(1st overall)
2008: 19 games(1st overall)
2007: 09 games(13th overall)
2006: 15 games(3rd overall)
2005: 29 games(1st overall)

To put in perspective, only 6 teams since 1965 have used the identical lineup more times than Charlie in 2005 adn 2009:

1965 Reds: 36 Games
1998 Braves: 33 Games
2003 Braves: 32 Games
2001 Astros: 32 Games
1998 Blue Jays: 30 Games
1995 Indians: 30 Games

CARTWRIGHT!!! FOUR!!!

jason.tp - If you want someone to challenge baseball orthodoxy, Cholly ain't the man.

I've said it before and will repeat it again. I'm thrilled with Lidge's re-emergence as a solid closer late last year, but remain concerned about the loss in velocity. In his lockdown year of 2008, I remember him cranking his fastball up to about 96 when he needed to. Couple that with his slider, add some command, and you have one tough, filthy hombre to hit in a closing situation.

Seems like his average velocity might be down more than 2 mph. I do not have average speeds (is there a site), and maybe it's just my getting old, but I kind of remember fastballs late this past year in the high 80's to 90 range?

Can't imagine that major league hitters will not start dialing in on this over the course of a season.

Funny how great these prospects become once they are in different organizations...

yeah just to add - I'm not saying Charlie is right/wrong because of those lineup numbers, just pointing out.

At one point I was interested in mapping out lineup frequency in correlation to runs scored, but kind of lost interest and never did. Maybe if another political battle breaks out I'll go back to it.

One thing is for sure (that isn't really hard to imagine) - All of the teams with extremely low lineup frequency(2-5 games) are always among the worst offenses in the league.

Mister Zoomer: I think with Villar, it's both:

1)indictment of the Astros system.
2)Shows the depth of the Phils system*.


*Their depth being guys like Villar who are young, have certain talents, but are raw.

zoomer: What prospects would they be? Care to name one?

Lidge had a remarkable second half. A lousy fastball forced him to throw a whole lot of sliders. And even thought the hitters knew mostly what was coming, they still couldn't hit it. That is a rarity in baseball. And if he can continue it this season, there is no reason the Phils can't take a chance on him doing it for a couple more seasons. Although, they can't afford to pay him what they've paid him in the past, there's no reason they won't offer him 7 mil per for two seasons. Unless they've run out of money, what with paying Hunter Pence and all.

Clout - Please cease and desist. I think he was just talking about Villar, who is much more highly ranked in the Stro's organization than he would have been in the Phils' org.

You needn't be so literal.

aksmith: Silly of me to read the plural and not realize he was referring to the singular. Obviously you have a translation device that I lack.

"And even thought the hitters knew mostly what was coming, they still couldn't hit it."


That, in and of itself, is a testament to how filthy Lidge's slider is when he's "on".

If he gets some of his velocity back and can spot the fastball, he could be in for a good 2011.

Jim Bowden showing a bit of love for Dom Brown:

http://msn.foxsports.com/video/MLB?vid=a4cdd246-5bbc-42a3-8543-6b23be459528


He's also way more optimistic about what Brown will do in 2011 than I.

Is Ohman at $4M for 2 years a better move than Romero at $1.35M for 1 year?

Ohman for his career vs. LH is .208/.298/.348. He turns 33 this season.

Romero for his career vs. LH is .215/.311/.292. He turns 35 this season.

I don't know what Brown will or won't do, but I do get the impression that most people on BL are very pessimistic on him simply because of 60 ABs at the big-league level, half of which came in a pinch-hitting role getting 1 AB every 3 or 4 days.

awh: Bowden loves toolsy outfielders more than anything in the world. He collected them when he was GM in Washington: Elijah Dukes, Lastings Milledge, Wily Mo Pena etc.

I think Brown is an impact player but I'm not convinced he'd be ready out of the blocks in April.

"And even thought the hitters knew mostly what was coming, they still couldn't hit it."

That's somewhat true but not entirely. Lidge actually throws 2 different sliders -- one that he throws over the plate for strikes & one that falls away into the dirt. So even if the batter guesses slider, he still doesn't know which pitch is coming.

I'm not saying Brown will be a star out of the gate in April. Not at all.

I just find it interesting how down on him people are, based on such a limited sample of seeing him play and getting his first taste of big-league ball. I can't prove it, but I bet if Brown had simply stayed in AAA and kept hitting how he was, people would be MUCH more optimistic about him being ready to be the everyday RF in 2011.

Jack, you're probably right.

Jack: I agree. The fact he didn't look great in 62 MLB ABs has people too negative about him.

OTH, the fact that he looked fantastic in only 106 ABs in Trip A might have made some people (you) too positive about him.

Let's see what his numbers are after 400 ABs in Trip A or MLB.

BAP: I always thought Lidge's problems in 2009 were more about location than velocity on his fastball.

I realize that's apostasy on Beerleaguer.

Clout: That's possible, but I was probably more swayed by his dominant performance in AA/AAA combined for the season (something like 400 ABs I believe), as well as most scouting reports which had him as the consensus #1 prospect in all of baseball at the time of his promotion in August.

I think he's just a huge wild card and someone whose performance could really affect this team at the margin. A big performance (which he has the upside of providing, most people would admit) would go a long way towards reversing the slow decline of this offense, while a disastrous one would really cause problems (though I'm not sure he'd be allowed to play for a long enough time at that low a level).

Villar is a solid prospect. Wade was smart to target him in the Oswalt deal.

He's a decent bat who can stay at SS defensively.

clout - Ohman is a better pitcher than Romero at this point but I am surprised that he got the guaranteed 2nd yr.

Jack: Trip A is a bit tougher than AA, but I firmly believe the kid is going to be a star sooner or later. I think his struggles with breaking pitches at the MLB level are something that will work itself out with experience.

Rockies sign C. Gonzalez long-term at 7 yrs/$80.5M. I like that deal a hell alot more than the Tulowitzki extension (10 yrs/$157.75M) earlier this offseason.

Too bad that the rest of the talent around them is relatively marginal although Helton's deal is expiring at the end of his year (a $4.6M buyout and a crazy annuity payout from 2014-23 of $13.1M deferred at 3%) and ditt on Cook's $10M deal.

Cargo and Tulo are both great young talents. Great up the middle building blocks for a team.

"Although, they can't afford to pay him what they've paid him in the past, there's no reason they won't offer him 7 mil per for two seasons. Unless they've run out of money, what with paying Hunter Pence and all."

AK~ Come again? (Pence)

clout: I assume your 6:27 post was intended at awh, since he was the one who mentioned velocity. My comments were just about his 2 sliders.

Personally, I think fastball velocity is overrated. Even with a 90 MPH fastball, I have no doubt that Lidge can be a perfectly good closer if he can throw that fastball for strikes. What I don't know is whether Lidge can have sustained success without throwing the fastball for strikes, but simply relying on his 2 sliders. That was essentially the formula he followed in the 2nd half of last year.

If Lidge can throw both versions of his sliders effectively, he will be solid.

NEPP - He actually threw 3 versions last year. The one that was ankle high, the other one at the knees, and that backdoor slider which he seemed to used alot more of in Aug/Sept when he starting throwing so many sliders.

DPatrone - Tongue in cheek. Someone earlier said Rube Jr. would pry Pence away from Eddie Wade. Don't think that's going to happen.

Towards the end last year Lidge actually throws yet another slider. It is the "Oh Jesus Please" which barely crosses the plate and Chooch has to dig out and hold onto and everybody says "Oh Jesus Please when will this at bat be over".

I know that we're all supposed to dismiss it since the circumstances render it all but irrelevant, but you can't help but assume that folks are dubious on Brown not just because of the 62 MLB AB's, but also because of a crappy Winter Ball showing. Try to dismiss it out of context all you like, but I guarantee that had he hit .500 in the same Winter Ball stretch, there would be a vastly different prevailing opinion.

That said, I still stick by my presumption that he will be the starting RF (with occasional respites against LHP, but not ALL LHP in a true platoon) come Opening Day. And if clout's presumption the he'll improve with MLB experience rings true, I don't think that's a bad plan at all.

I do agree with clout, that a "Plan B" would be nice for Dom Brown, but firstly, I think that there's time for that pending what happens in ST if he shows he's not ready and secondly, as wildly as he COULD fail (necessitating Plan B), the odds are that he'll wind up somewhere between "miserable failure needing a contingency" and "Rookie Stud Star contributing considerably" out the gate.

CarGo strikes me as a more of a Coors Field invention than Tulo. His home/road splits are EXTREME, and he struggles against breaking balls outside of Denver. For that team, though, it's a fine signing.

AK~ I did see that earlier post, but one never knows about RAJ. I learned two things about hime this off-eason. 1. Never believe a word he says publicly, and 2. He just might have another trick up his sleeve.

Now I believe he'd LIKE to trade Blanton, but he looks great as the #5. So I think rather than trade him for nothing, Rube knows he has/adds value to the Phils rotation. I'm wondering if KK could go, as he'll be much less expensive to whomever would take him, and I wouldn't much care for what they got in return.

re: Bowden on Brown. Funny, just today I went looking for my favorite reason to feel good about Dom Brown's chances for 2011: http://mlb.mlb.com/video/play.jsp?content_id=11117709

Yeah, it's just one homer (I'm guessing there's no video of the spring training bomb he hit off Verlander), but that is a lot of fun to watch. Hopefully, there's a lot more where that came from.

Cargo has big splits but he is still a decent hitter on the road and he's a very good defender. I dont think he's a complete invention of Coors but I think he'd be more of an .800 OPS hitter if not for his home stadium. The kid has all the tools in the world...and he even knows how to use them.

" I wouldn't much care for what they got in return."


DomP...you should care. We've discussed ad infinitum on this site the "infamous" Sackman chart that detail what type of production teams' get out of SP slots.

I'm confident enough to say this:

KK will never win a CY, he'll never transmorgrify into Roy, Roy, or Cole, he'll never be a team's ace (well maybe in AAA) and he'll never get traded for the kind of package that Cliff Lee (either trade) or Zack Greinke got in return.

But he's only 25 years old, pitched 180 innings in 2010 with a 4.73 ERA, and has a lifetime ERA of 4.69 (that's ACTUAL performance). If b-r.com can be trusted, his "162 game average" is 32 starts in a season.

Sure, he' not Roy, Roy or Cole...heck, he's not ever as good as Joe Blanton, but a pitcher who can take the hill 32 times a year and pitch 180 innings to a 4.75 ERA has value in MLB, and if he's ever traded they should get something of value back.

Here'a a question for the board:

How many MLB teams have a 5th starter better than Kyle Kendrick? Teams and names please.

NEPP - The odd thing about CarGo is the fact that his K rate is so different home v. away. He strikes out about twice as often on the road and walks about half as often...The only thing I can see that would cause that is the difference in breaking pitches at Coors v. ballparks closer to sea level.

Awh: Not taking salaries into account while also accounting for upside, I'd take the following over KK.

ATL: Mike Minor; CIN: Bailey/Leake/Wood; LAD: Jon Garland; BOS: Matsuzaka; CHW: Edwin Jackson; TB: Jeremy Hellickson

You might quibble with some of them.

Clout, et. al.

I was always a fan of Villar but now he has gold glove potential? Really?

Drabek went from possibly ending up in a closer rule to a top of the line starter in one winter.

Gavin Floyd just got better, so that doesn't count.

I've seen talk of Carlos Carrasco moving into the middle of the Indians rotation.

I don't know Clout, it is just something I see off and on with so many prospects leaving the system.

Zoomer - eh, I really dont follow too much.

Carrasco was the Phillies #1 prosepct for what, like 2 years running? His last season in the Phils system he was downgraded to mid rotation potential, which is what he is still is today - with a more likely back end future/reality.

Drabek had extremely high praise and potential when in the Phils system, and was known to be "untouchable" right up until the day we found out he was being moved for Doc.

Knowing Clout, I'm sure he'll bring up how "highly touted Donald and Marson were by beerleaguers" with some type of exaggeration, but still - they were two prospects who held high ranking as Phils farm hands and now seem to have either stayed put or even lowered expectations instead of a rise like you state.

But for just Villar - Yes I agree with you, that I never saw many reports creditting him with a Gold Glove MLB career, and pretty much anyone in the Phillies top 10 would be heralded as the Astros future savior.

Didn't Villar have 40 errors last year at the time of the trade? Minor league errors are to be taken with a grain of salt to some extent, but that's a lot. He was noted to have great range, however.

Cartwright, as a 2B does not help the Phils depth problems at middle IF really. If there is an IF position where they have depth it actually IS 2B (see Garcia, H., Hernandez, F., and Hernandez, C. - all of whom look to me to be better than Cartwright). I'd like it better if he got a marginal SS or 3B.

In re: Mister Zoomer's post
I'm not sure that people consistently are rated higher once they're out of Philly's system. In fact, some dip dramatically (Michael Taylor, for instance). I think it just sticks in our craw when someone like Villar is unnoticed by us and then turns out to get good press after the trade.

ALSO: it often depends on how you (as an individual) feel about that prospect. When the Phils dumped Matt Maloney for Lohse I was not in the least disappointed. But when Maloney threw a few major league innings there were some folks who were outraged that we had given up such "valuable property". OTOH, few people were as outraged as I was by adding Gio to the already disasterous Garcia deal. It's all perspective - and a reminder that you can't count your prospects until they're hatched...

...which we need to keep in mind relative to Dom Brown. Until he shows the ability to lay off major league breaking stuff out of the zone, he has not matured into the impact player that all those scouts drool over. Quinlan's acquisition (as limited as his abilities are) may actually give Brown the time he needs to get his groove back at AAA before ascending to glory later in the year.

Villar was projected IIRC to be an extremely fine defensive SS despite the high error rate. Again, though, projection is not the same as reality. So who knows...

Andy: I'm not saying that Brown was teeing of on breaking pitches - but I find it hard to single them out when the majority of the strikeouts/swings and misses that I rememeber were fastballs just under his hands.

Eh, the discourse in general here is too fast for me to keep up with and too divisive for my tastes. Logging off.

from BA's chat on where Villar would rank if he was still a Phillie:

"... I'd probably put Villar at 5, but he's a tough guy to rank. His tools are pretty huge, and so are his strikeout totals. ... Villar's tools, just raw tools, are better than any other SS in the minors not named Manny Machado."

The Golden Girls chat room is just as divisive, be forewarned!

AWH~ Right NOW on ThIS team, Blanton is a better #5 IMO. And the argument could be made that KK is better than Joe. KK is probably more tradable than Joe because he is younger and cheaper.

I'm not the GM, but if I were I wouldn't trade Blanton unless I got the proper RH bat in return. I don't you could get that for KK, though he is a very valuable insurance policy.

One question I'd like to ask, and I don't have time to research this, is that over the last 2 years has the run support for KK been better than for Blanton? KK has a decent W-L record, but is some of that due to run support?

Bed's Beard: Bea Arthur over Betty White, hands down.

Jbird: that is probably the most optimistic i've ever heard of Villar.

Jason: Which I think was the point Mr Zoomer was making, may he rest in peace. Drabek leaves and KLaw's evaluation goes from a future #3 to future #1, Villar becomes a future GG after leaving, etc. It may just be that prospects involved in major trades get more publicity and the new team's desire to make sure their fans don't think they got snookered.

I know BA loves tools, but Villar at #5 if he were still with the Phils?

I don't think so.

If Mister Zoomer thinks the discussion he prompted is too divisive, it's a good thing he didn't comment about the Abreau trade.

Beerleaguer - it ain't for the weak hearted.

The Blanton discussion is puzzling to me. No one, anywhere, has ever suggested that Blanton wouldn't be a better #5 than KK or Worley.

The SOLE reason for trading him is that the current payroll is too close to its upper limit to allow Amaro the kind of payroll flexibility he wants in-season. Every story about trading Blanton has said that. And it's why they want to trade him now, before the season begins, assuming they can find a team to take his salary.

Clout~ The discussion is simply this, and it's not an alrming one. Last week RAJ said that Blanton would be staying for now. OK great. Mkaes sense. If so KK to the 'pen and don't re-sign Durbin.

My point was that Blanton as the #5 would be better than KK anyway. I said "the best rotation on the planet". There's no reason to trade Blanton unless you get exactly what you want and I'm not talking about salary relief. KK provides an experienced starter and an insurance policy against injury.

RAJ is telling us while he'd like trade Joe for salary relief he doesn't have to. So why trade him at all?

"The SOLE reason for trading [Blanton] is that the current payroll is too close to its upper limit to allow Amaro the kind of payroll flexibility he wants in-season."

Exactly right. If you think that everything is likely to go smoothly, or that the Phillies are so good as to overcome any injuries or other glitches that arise, then there is no reason to trade Blanton, who is clearly the 5th best pitcher in their rotation. My own view is that problems are inevitably going to arise and, in a tough division, it's not inconceivable that those problems could derail the Phillies' playoff hopes if they aren't addressed. KK is a drop-off from Blanton but it's a drop-off that I'd gladly accept in exchange for the flexibility to make mid-season moves.

At this point, unless the return is too good to pass up, I'd keep Blanton until July.

Some contender is bound to need a replacement for an injured starter. If it's us, we have an in-house replacement with Kendrick. If it's someone else, we probably stand to get a better return by shipping Blanton to a team desperate to remain in contention mid-season.

Hell, look what we gave up for Blanton in the summer. He's the same guy for the most part, and he's signed through next year at (or close to) market value.

"RAJ is telling us while he'd like trade Joe for salary relief he doesn't have to."

Which is exactly what any GM would say if he's desperately trying to trade a guy. Besides, while RAJ has said they don't have to trade Blanton, he has also said that, if they keep him, they won't have the payroll flexibility to make mid-season moves. I'm pretty sure that Blanton will be gone by opening day & that the return will mostly be in the form of salary relief.

"One question I'd like to ask, and I don't have time to research this, is that over the last 2 years has the run support for KK been better than for Blanton? KK has a decent W-L record, but is some of that due to run support?"


DomP, IIRC KK gets the best runs support on the team. My guess is that it's by virtue of being matched up against the other team's #5.

Still...he wins...he pitches well enough for them to win th emajority of those games. And isn't a win in the #5 spot just as valuable as a win in the #1 spot?


My only point in my response to you above is that I DO CARE what they may get back for any starting pitcher - anywhere in the rotation.

Jbird listed 8 guys who he feels are better #5s than KK. I won't quibble with them. But that tells me that KK is in the top 3rd of the #5s in MLB. Not great, but certainly what you would want on a championship calibre team.

BTW, would KK be a 3 or 4 on a team like KC or Pittsburg? It seems to me that on a few teams he's move up the ladder a little.

AWH: There are some other 5's who are probably about equal-ish. I just eye-balled a list and picked out the sure bets that I'd take. Left off guys like Slowey or Gorzelanny or Volstad who are probably in the same area code as KK. That said, I'm not knocking him, I think he's a serviceable #5/swingman as long as he's cheap.

Here's a thought:

The Yankees are waiting for Pettitte to make a decision, but have been discussed as a possible trade partner for Blanton, because of their ability to take on his salary.

Is it possible that the Yankees have told RAJ that they would prefer Kendrick - because of undisclosed salary considerations of their own?

I was at Yankee Stadium last year when KK shut down the Yankees for 7 innings. Maybe that's ingrained in Cashman's memory. (Of course KK has stunk it up against the red Sox.)

I can't imagine the Phillies would get anything of note back for KK.

For the 10000th time:

The trade of the 5th starter is 100% based off of financial flexiblity.

So why are we here 2 months later still coming up with other motives and theories about how they are trying to move kendrick instead, or that Kendrick is better than Blanton, or that Blanton will be traded for a player who makes a similiar salary?!

Stop.

jason: While I tend to agree with you, I would ask that you stop as well. If anything RAJ has proven that he may do the unexpected. Plus, it's the offseason and there's nothing else to speculate about.

jason, WHO said KK was better than JB? Did I miss it?

Verducci has a list out of pitchers who are at risk for the "Year After Effect":

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2011/writers/tom_verducci/01/11/verducci.effect/index.html

DPat: "the argument could be made that KK is better than Joe"

Jason.tp ~ We are here discussing this for the same reason people are still talking about the Abreu trade. It's a Phils baseball blog.

Listen I KNOW why RAJ wants to trade Blanton. I undertand completely. And I understand AWH's points on KK. I'm not disagreeing with any of it.

All I'm saying is don't trade Balnton just to dump salary.

The reason they haven't re-signed Durbin is that Blanton is still on the roster. As long as he is, KK will go to the 'pen. Since KK will get ~2 million in arb, there's no reason to re-sign Durbin. Now I believe something will happen. What and when, I have no idea.

I'm not saying what RAJ SHOULD or SHOULD NOT do. What I'm saying is, don't do it unless you HAVE to, meaning if he's told to cut payroll, then cut it. If he hasn't been told that, don't trade anyone unless you get what you need. They need a RH bat. They're not going to get it, so they're better off keeping the pitching until/unless they're overwhelmed with an offer. Right now as is, they have the best rotation in the world with KK as insurance. What's so hard to understand about that?

jason, I agree. No trade will be made just to make a trade. We've seen that a need for a #6 and #7 SP just about always presents itself, so there's no NEED to trade for any other reason than salary flexibility and only KYJoe fits that bill.

As mentioned above, even the KK haters would have to admit, regardless of their definition of "successful at the ML level," that a sub-5 ERA and capability of 32 starts a year is one hell of a bargain considering what we have out of our #6 pitcher.

Blanton will more than likely be gone by the time the season starts, but ONLY if it works out to provide the financial flexibility RAJ is looking for. With payroll at the luxury tax limit, ANY move going forward will be financially based first and foremost. This is precisely why we will have to come to terms with Brown/Gload/BenFran in RF to start the season.

Kutztown - Let me fix that for you:

"Beerleaguer commenting - don't even try it unless you have 2 hours per day to research minor league stats of marginal players."

BTW, in light of the Mister Zoomer sensitivity discovery, perhaps JW should incorporate some sort of disclaimer on the site.

It might be appropriate if a box pops up once you click on post saying something like "Are you sure you wish to subject yourself to the emotional turmoil and ridicule that is certain to accompany posting this comment?"

AWH~ Your thoughts on the Yanks being a potential trade partner are dead on. It's quite possible a deal in priciple has been discussed or maybe even struck. We just have to wait and see.

Again, I'm all for doing what RAJ thinks is best. Finacial flexability is great. Again, I'm only suggesting Blanton stay is case of 1. Injury, or 2. He has value, so get some in return.

Zoomer: When I disagreed with your notion, I just backed up my statement with examples. It wasn't an attempt to destroy your crediblity. And if you kept with it, my very next post said I agree with your main about Villar.

The Phillies signed Cliff Lee......

Still letting that sink in.....

WP - Nah. Just usually a decent and reasoned response that makes for a good discussion although you will get some ribbing from the likes of Clout.

"This is precisely why we will have to come to terms with Brown/Gload/BenFran in RF to start the season."

WP~ I'm sorry, Brown may not be ready, and Gload or Ben Fran don't excite at all.

Zoomer makes a good point though. There is far more argument here than discussion. Because of that I usually don't post much more than an occasional jab or (at least to me)amusing observation. A lot of people on here clearly love to argue. Many go to absurd lengths to make a point which becomes incredibly tedious. That's why many of us probably skip comments by certain posters or whole conversations. I am not an arguer by nature. I don't argue with anyone I'm not sleeping with. It's just not worth it. In the end, though, I come to BL for knowledge. There is a lot to be learned here, whether it be the value of some 18 year old Dominican lefthander or the latest trade rumor. Sometimes you just have to wade through a ton of crap to get it. Hang in there Zoomer. It's usually worth it. But expressing even the mildest opinion usually isn't.

Clout: I would have Villar #7 in the Phils system were he still here, behind Brown, Singleton, the 3 pitchers and Valle.

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