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Thursday, March 24, 2011


Utley's utter stool?

I thought it was a lawn chair and like Martinez lawn chairs have alot versatility too. . .

Where's Polanco?

- Early last week, he was supposed to be back by the weekend. Then it was Monday. Then it was Wed. Today it was Thurs and still no real word on when he will be back in the lineup.

Not really concerned yet but if he isn't back in the lineup by this weekend then his elbow is likely hurting alot worse that he let on.

Polanco update:

"Phillies right-hander Joe Blanton starts in a 1:05 p.m. ET Grapefruit League game Friday against the Atlanta Braves at Bright House Field. The game is available on MLB.TV. Third baseman Placido Polanco said he will be back in the lineup. He has been sidelined since March 15 because of a hyperextended left elbow."

Prediction: Blanton gets traded tonight and due to miscommunication still pitches tomorrow and then reports next Tuesday to his next team.

This post would suggest that Jason scored some pretty good pain meds from his urologist.

Having been operated on by my urologist this week myself, I disqualify myself from analysis.

re: trade

If utley is out all year, then I would go after Kelly Johnson as people mentioned. He has reverse splits - .849 OPS vs LHP, .789 vs RHP, so i dont think his handedness should be an issue.

I guess the question would be price. Its kind of hard to tell which is better - trade earier on before Dbacks are "out of it" and would ask for more or wait til the deadline when the price may be lower but other contenders may bid against you.

And obviously...all depending on Utley's status.

Prospect-wise, you might be looking at one of the lottery ticket OF types, I could see Arizona looking for some young hi upside prospects moreso than established AA/AAA guys.

I'd be thrilled to see Chase by July... and shocked to see him sooner.

season = over. probably.

lorecore said: He has reverse splits - .849 OPS vs LHP, .789 vs RHP, so i dont think his handedness should be an issue.

Why would it matter if he's lefthanded. In this senario he would be replacing Utley who is also lefthanded.

Hmmm, if it's a stool and not a lawn chair, then the battle for 2B is a lot tighter.

While Chase's lawn chair has the much higher OPS, his stool is a lot more evenly matched vs. Castillo. Although it still possesses the higher 3 yr UZR, although it bats LH. I'm still leaning toward any of Chase's sitting implements over Castillo, though.

Oh, and BAP, I sure noticed Lidge crapping on the floor yet again today, but I didn't post anything, as my emerging pessimism, particularly toward Lidge is starting to get me a bad reputation. Especially after bashing Coste's commentating preparedness.

That said, did you expect him to NOT crap on the floor?

Mike, sooner or later Chase would be back, which would leave us with the incremental lefty hitter. Not exactly something we lack in this lineup....

Although, in the short term, you're right, not an issue.

How would selig feel about chase playing the first half of the season in a rascal?

Just browsing some Dback farm system rankings and top10 - they could actually use a toolsy OF. Their best outfield prospect ranked #6 in their system - Marc Krauss was 22yr in A+ ball last year and is said to be a lumbering slugger type with not much to offer on defense.

That actually fits right into Bud's core 65-90 demographic.

Texas Rangers keep Feliz as closer leaving room in their starter pool for a certain big kentuckyian.

From the last thread:

"If Rube refuses to trade Blanton for Young because he thinks the upgrade doesn't justify the asking price, I have no problem with that. If he refuses to make any trade because he's happy with the current situation, I have a problem with that."

Krukker: Exactly

Iceman: I mentioned his 10/5 rights in my post to you.

"DPatrone: Michael Young is not a good enough baseball player to justify the next three years of his contract, even at half-price." "What do you do with him in '12 & '13?

Jack: This is what you're missing: How is Michael Young at his age & 50% of his salary coming to the Phils any worse than Ibanez coming to the Phils at age 37 for 31 million? Young plays LF if/when Utley comes back. He also hit 21 HR and knocked in 91. Not bad.

Now whether we get Ramirez, Johnson, Young or whomever, bear in mind that our 2b/RH bat situation needs fixing NOW.

No, RAJ does not have a crystal ball, and possibly was unaware of the severity Utley's condition. But when you're talking about a problem with a bone like he has, it's not a short-term thing. We cannot under any circumstances go to war with the lineup we have now, agreed? We need an 2b-man and OF depth. Rowand if released, comes to mind. If he's here, being RH, then I have no problem with Johnson and his LH bat. If we can get 2 RH bats all the better.

But WE knew there was a problem. Now it very well be that Amaro has a trick up his sleeve. I hope so for the team's sake.

Anyone think Castillo travels North no matter if he's 0 for Clearwater or not? I think they'll want more of a look than the remaining 5 days.

I, for one, am buying a Wilson Valdez jersey.

What did Castillo do today? I think if all he does is so he can field the position decent enough he well be our starting 2b. That's not necessarily what I believe is correct but I think that's what I think the Phillies are thinking

"That said, did you expect [Lidge] to NOT crap on the floor."

It might surprise you to learn that I hadn't really thought about it one way or the other. But now that you've asked, I guess I'd compare it to when my son was almost fully potty-trained but would occasionally slip up & crap in his bed. My reaction at the time was that it was no great shock, but I had hoped it wouldn't happen again.

Of course, Lidge's latest bed-crapping wasn't literal, but metahporical. But I think my sentiments are about the same.

So DPatrone's plan is that we trade for Young, and then when Utley is healthy we move Young to left? Michael Young has never played the outfield in his career and Patrone thinks on a team that should be playoff bound that is a good idea. I'll save you the trouble of waiting for your phantom e-mail friend. That's a horrible idea.

On that subject though. Here is the minor issue with the possible hole at second or third.

The best options for the line-up are probably in this order: Ramirez, Johnson, Young.

Overall for the team the best options are probably in this order: Johnson, Ramirez, Young.

As far as ease of acquiring (based solely on the team's willingness to trade the guy) it probably goes in this order: Young, Johnson, Ramirez

So really the Phillies need to decide which is the most important. I think going after Johnson is probably the best move if Utley is going to be out all year. Young would be good as far as the versatility he brings but that would require moving some contracts and having him accept a bench role.

Also if I had a guess- Castillo is going to be on the opening day roster. Jim Slaisbury was saying tonight on CSN that the Phillies like his ability to take pitches.

Jim Slaisbury was saying tonight on CSN that the Phillies like his ability to take pitches.

I'd like his abiltity to take pitches a lot better if he had the ability to hit the ones he didn't take.

If there's some way to get Johnson or Ramirez, great. Let's do it.

I've been talking about Young mainly because he is known to be available, and Blanton/Young is an obvious match for both teams. Who knows if the other guys are available and whether there's a match. Nothing stands out to me.

It sounds like just about everyone is in agreement that in light of the latest on Utley's situation, something needs to be done.

I hope the word doesn't get out that Looey likes to take pitches.

krukker: "in light of the latest on Utley's situation"

Until his situation is - out for season - Im not pulling the trigger on a trade.

This team should win the division without Utley...the world series? Not so much.

lorecore: I'd say it's the other way around.

In a short series, starting pitching is paramount. When it comes to offense, you never know where it'll come from. Great players can go cold over 5 or 6 games, while journeymen like Cody Ross & Edgar Renteria can turn into superstars. So, if the Phillies can get to the playoffs without Utley, I still like their chances to do well. But, even with our starting pitching, I think it's a real question whether an offense without Utley would score enough runs over the course of 162 games to get us into the playoffs in the first place.

Interestingly and ironically, Kelly Johnson was drafted in the same round as Chase Utley.

TTI~ You think putting Young in LF is a bad idea. and you may be right. Point is, is that if we do trade for him, If Utley comes back,and J-Roll re-signs where do you play him? 8 million for him to be a super-sub? Now that's a bad idea.

Look, I'm all for getting different player than he, so long as it helps. And I don't have any "phantom" friends. My friends are real. What I hear is real. I just rather not say anything. It's peaople like you, who give people like me a bad name. I can tell you this. There is nothing in the fire right now. If something does happen, more than likely it'll be minor. While I'd like to have a player like Young here, whom I think is the best RH bat available, being that Texas needs a starter, I don't think it'll happen. It all comes down to money. Supposedly it was written in the Inquirer the other day (I did not see it, it wasn't on-line), that Texas wanted KK +. I can't see Amaro trading KK instead of Blanton due to the $$. If Blanton were to go instead, the salaries would wash, and the Phils would actually pay Young 8 million next year which is less than Raul makes this year. That's why I suggested LF. No other reason. But you don't put anything positive on anything I post, so I have to spell it out for you.

If you think Valdez and Castillo are the answer at 2nd so be it.

Again If I could get Johnson and a RH hitting OF'der I'd do that before Young. The guy who fits that mold is Rowand. But if he's released, the Phils wouldn't be the only team interested. As for Ramirez, nice player but I wouldn't trade Blanton for him, and I don't think KK gets him.

So if you want to comment on what you'd like fine. If not fine. But I am not stupid. Maybe I'm a lot smarter than you think.

Dude, we're screwed.

Krukker~ Agree on Young/Blanton obviously. What I can't fathom is why some people think it's bad.

He may be 34, but he could do some damage here, based on his HR/RBI totals from last year. He could play 3rd and Polanco could move to 2nd. I believe Utley 2-3 months at a minimum. And who's to say he wouldn't try it in LF next spring? Seems like a fit to me. Don't see it happening though. Just don't think Amaro would do it. Also, Texas could be asking for more than what the Phils would want to give up. They do need a starter though as they're keeping Feliz as their closer.

Lopez form the Rockies is intriguing as well. I don't know what their pitching needs are though. Johnson is too but the question needs to be asked why would the D'backs trade him?

Dom, I think you're overreacting to the Utley situation, because...I think you're selling the rest of the players on this team short.

You seem to be saying that without Utley at the beginning of the season that they'll fall so far behind the Braves (the most serious division rival) that they won't be able to make up the games even if he does return.

Seriously, you sound like you're in panic mode.

Now, if I'm wrong about what you think then please correct me.

Personally, I think the rest of the players - particularly the pitchers - on the team are good enough to stay in the hunt until they find out whether they're going to get Utley back or not.

Ruben has plenty of time to make a mid-season trade, IMHO.

Would it be nice to bring in a better player than Wilson Valdez or Luis Castillo to play 2B? Obviously. But I think your continual focus on Michael Young is misguided. For a variety of reasons I don't think they'll make a deal with the Rangers, the most obvious one being that the Rangers want way to much for a declining player with a grossly bloated contract. Forget about the money, away from Arlington Young hasn't even been an average offensive player in 2 of the last 3 years, so I think the Rangers way overvalue what they should get for the player.

All of you who are clamoring for Amaro to work something out for Young are ignoring the elephant in the room - a very simple FACT that is staring you right in the face:

If Michael Young were still THAT good the Rangers wouldn't have signed Beltre in the first place.

They know what they have in Young, and that's why they replaced him.

Hey there's no need for panic a week before the season begins. Everyone is concerned with the loss of a key figure like Chase Utley...and we knew all along that we probably can't have an equal player to Jayson Werth in right field. Obviously Amaro should have his eyes and ears open but let's see how things play out a bit so we know what would probably be the best fix and which needs should have first priority. The top teams and especially one that is built around pitching don't need to make panic moves ... only well-thought-out calculated ones.

AWH~ Just saying that Young (save Utley when healthy) is a better offensive option at 2nd than anyone they currently have. I think they replaced him because he's getting along with the GM there. I've been told he's not happy DH'ing.

But I'd be happy with any decent RH bat they could get. I wouldn't feel so bad if RAJ had brought in a RH bat after Werth left.

My feeling is that when you have to go with bench players in everyday you eventually find out why they're bench players.

But you're right, this team still has a lot of offensive weapons and if they perform as they're capable of, we'll be fine. But if the offense struggles, could be another story. But I think we win the division anyway. I should've said that. In fact, with their rotation I still think they're the class of the league. Their offense just needs a little balance. I guess we'll see what happens.

Dom: Considering the need he would fill, the apparent availability, and the match up of the players who would be traded, Young is by far the best target. But as I listed in an earlier post, a Young acquisition would not be without its faults.

As others are saying, Johnson and Ramirez are better matches and would fit better on this team. The problem is that they are far less likely to be moved, and their respective teams would likely ask for players (prospects) who we are less inclined to move than Blanton.

Count me out for Lopez. Dude is a Pedro Feliz clone with probably a worse glove. Unless he is literally free or available for a non-prospect, then we can get him as a marginal improvement over the Martinez/Barfield ilk. He is not a solution to start at 2B for a team expecting to compete.

Dom, let me deal with your last post to talk you off the ledge:

You: "He may be 34, but he could do some damage here, based on his HR/RBI totals from last year."

Me: Take a look at his home/away splits and keep in mind he's a year older. This isn't the Michael Young from 2003-2007 anymore. It's the Micahel Young who only hit 5 HR in 361 PA away from Arlington last season. (Ben Francisco has almost 3 times that kind of power).

You: " I believe Utley 2-3 months at a minimum."

Me: I believe he's
out for the year, but them again I'm a Philly pessimist.

You: "Also, Texas could be asking for more than what the Phils would want to give up."

Me: Texas is asking more than ANYONE is willing to give up. Otherwise he'd have been traded already.

You see, the Young situation in Texas is similar to the Blanton situation in Philadelphia: The primary motivation for their respective teams to trade them is financial. A big difference is the obvious size of their contracts.

But, a bigger difference is that Blanton actually is a better value for the money he is being paid than Young is - and not by a small margin. Keep in mind a pitcher very similar to Blanton, Carl Pavano, signed with the Twinkies for a contract very similar to what Blanton is making. So that, to a degree, establishes that Blanton is being reasonably compensated for his ability.

However, percepttion is 100% of reality, and Blanton, because of the Oswalt trade and the Lee signing, has been bumped from teh #3 spot in teh rotation to the #5, through no fault of his own. Now, despite his overall performance the last several seasons which would put him in #3-#4 territory, he's "perceived" as a number 5 starter, even though he'd be a #3 on most MLB teams.

The Rangers, OTOH, seem to be asking a price for Young that is based on his performance from several seasons ago. He's not the same player.

That said, I'm glad you're mentioning other players in your posts like Lopez and Johnson, who I think represent far better value than Young soes at this point in their careers.

This is so depressing.

At least they'll be plenty of cheap tickets on Stubhub. Female attendance is bound to drop drastically with no Utley, Werth and Pat The Bat being a distant memory.

Ok, that was sexist. Sorry ladies.

"My feeling is that when you have to go with bench players in everyday you eventually find out why they're bench players."

Dom, that is a true statement that I'm sure EVERYONE here on BL agrees with.

Castillo hasn't been a major league player for over a year.

He can "take all the pitches" he wants. He's old and he's done.

As someone who has a bad knee myself,I can tell you that getting up from a stool is a lot harder than getting up from a lawn chair. If Utley has switched to a stool,he is doing much better. Besides,you can't bat with aluminum in MLB.

Yes! I hope the word doesn't get out that Looey likes to take pitches.

Patrone: You don't think moving Young to left would be a terrible idea? I'm not advocating him being a super sub at 8 million a year either. I'm saying that he may only have usefulness for a few weeks or a month or two. Then he is an 8 million dollar a year albatross that the team really doesn't need at this point. If Polanco or Utley was definitely out for the year than he's a good move. But moving him to a position he's never played before is a horrible idea. I can't even fathom why you would think it's a good idea.

Also, I don't have to give you a bad name. You talk long enough and do it to yourself.

My knees feel much better this morning after a session of pitch and catch with my little leaguer son yesterday afternoo. The idea came directly from Chase. I used our fake wicker bench that was sitting idle on my patio. At least 5' long with a back and arm rests it offered greater range for catching errant throws. Any overthrows he retrieved.

Lidge likely will start year on dl with sore shoulder

Mathieson and/or Herndon?

"Brad Lidge will open the 2011 regular season on the disabled list due to shoulder pain.

Lidge began feeling the new discomfort after his Thursday appearance against the Twins. The Phillies aren't sure yet what his injury is, but they know he won't be ready in a week. Jose Contreras and Ryan Madson are expected to split ninth-inning duties while he's out."

Guess that Lidge asserting yesterday after the game that he would be on the Opening Day roster were a bit premature . . .

By the way, he only touched 87 on the gun yesterday with most of his fastballs at 85-86 while mostly throwing sliders.

Turning out that Lidge's extension is going to be even going to be worse than the Flush Gordon contract. At least the Phils got a 5+ decent months out of Gordon over the course of his 3-year deal. The Phils have gotten only 2 months so for on Lidge's current deal.

I think Uts is essentially out for the season, but will have a couple of unsuccessful attempts at coming back during the season before he finally has to be shut down. As such, we're probably looking at a trade deadline move for a 2nd baseman, but nothing right now.

Meyer - Mathieson. Need a guy who throws hard and can get a strikeout. Phils already have KK slated for the pen even though I would rather have him open the season in AAA as a starter instead.

Big Truck for closer:

Rather have Contreras be named the closer and Madson the setup man. Challenging tommymvp here but this is one time where I think it would help if Cholly clearly named each guy's role.

BAP: I guess thats another way to look at it.

My thought was based on - we play pretty crappy teams during the regular season and very good ones in the post season.

To be honest, the Phils without Utley are still my favorites to win the World Series - I just think it would be very dumb to cling on to being a slight favorite with Valdez than improve your chances by upgrading.

Contreras to closer - the TRUCK stop!

Yo, new thread

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