Monday, June 11, 2007

No Way Jose

Like my jheri curl?I want everyone to think back to their childhood and try to remember what you were doing when you were 7 years old. I know what I was doing. I spent most of my time playing Super Mario Bros. on Nintendo, sorting through 1986 Topps baseball cards looking for the most valuable ones (Don Mattingly, Wade Boggs, etc.), and mowing down opposing batters with my 20 MPH heater in little league (I know, not much speed on the fastball, but I had pinpoint control and Kevin Brown-like movement.) I know what I wasn't doing. I wasn't fathering children, like our recent signee Jose Mesa. How I never heard of this before is unbelievable, but on Jose's official MLB biography it lists a daughter, Yamely, born in January of 1974. If that date and Jose's birthdate is correct, that would make Jose 7 years old at time of conception. Damn, my stuff was good in Little League but it didn't help me pull tail. What was Mesa throwing down in the D.R.? Hats off to Jose Mesa, child father, aka Padro Nino.
Say No To Jose !!!
Speaking of Padro Nino, today is Day 4 of my "Say No Way Jose Campaign." The campaign, like my fire "Fire Charlie Manuel" project, consists mainly of constant, relentless complaining about and mocking of said target. Feel free to join. And click on the image to the right, it makes a fine desktop background. Confuse your co-workers as to your strong objection of elevated areas of land with a flat top and sides that are usually steep cliffs...
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Replacement
It looks like Freddy Garcia will be sidelined for an extended period of time. The Phillies starting staff, a few months ago had a surplus of arms, now is one short. Who will replace Garcia in the rotation? The Phillies announced on Monday that AA pitcher Kyle Kendrick will pitch against the ChiSox on Wednesday. Before I heard the news, I wrote about some possible options here:

JD Durbin - Durbin was a second round pick out of high school for the Twins in 2000, and was a pretty big disappointment for them until this year, when he was released at the end of spring training. The D-backs picked him up, he pitched 2/3 of an inning and gave up 7 runs. He was disignated for assignment and the Red Sox picked him up, but designated him before he even pitched. The Phils then had their turn. They designated Durbin also, but this time he cleared waivers and was sent to Ottawa. In Ottawa, he has started 7 games and has a 5.13 ERA and a 1.56 WHIP.

I've never seen Durbin pitch so I don't really have any clue what this guy has in the tank, but he did have a 2.33 ERA in 16 starts for AAA Rochester last year as a 24 year old. And in his first 5 years of pro ball, between rookie ball and AA, he never posted an ERA above 3.19. He's been from Minnesota to Arizona to Boston to Philadelphia in a short period of time. That has to effect a pitcher's mental approach and hurt the ERA. But regardless, he's not throwing well right now, so I say leave him in Ottawa until he starts pitching better, then consider him for a few starts.

Of course, whatever Durbin's skill level, he did have a pretty decent Myspace page at one time. That alone may qualify him for this team.

JA Happ - former Northwestern Wildcat lefthander and Phillies' 3rd round pick in 2004, Happ went from A to AAA last year and had great numbers. This year, he is 1-2 with a 4.09 ERA. I would much rather see Happ get a start or two befor any other minor league pitcher. Then again, he's on the disabled list, which isn't conducive to pitching...

Kyle Kendrick - Kyle is pitching well right now in AA Reading (4-7 , 3.21 ERA, 50 K to 18 BB.) That said, it's AA. Remember the last AA to MLB starter for the Phils, Zach Segovia. He had a 3.11 ERA over a whole season in AA then got lit like a torch in one start for the big club this year. AA to MLB is not a jump to be taken often with pitchers, leave the kid in Reading. (Like I said, I wrote this before the announcement. Obviously the Phils don't agree with my theory.)

Tomo Ohka - Ohka was released by the Toronto Blue Jays on June 7th after he posted a 5.79 ERA in 10 starts. He had good numbers through 2005 pitching in the NL. The switch last year to the AL was not so good. If he clears waivers and the Phils can sign him for cheap, he may not be a bad verteran option.

Brett Myers - Looking over the list of jokers above, I think it is clear that Myers needs to be put back in the rotation when he is able.
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Bullpen Help
According to Phillies.com, the team is about to sign this guy (pictured at right) to a one year deal. Little is known about the man, originally thought to be ex-trainer Jeff Cooper. Apparently, GM Pat Gillick was driving through Fishtown yesterday and he washed the windshield of his car. Not having any spare change, Gillick offered him a contract to pitch some long-relief. Gillick described the mystery pitcher as a "veteran pitcher...a crafty left who knows how to get hitters out." He only got a minor league deal, so he'll probably start out in Ottawa.
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Last Night's Game
Nice 3-0 victory over the offensively-challenged ChiSox. Gavin Eaton "clutched up" last night with 7 strong before Uncle Charlie pulled him for pinch-hitter Wes Helms in the bottom of the 7th with men on 1st and 3rd and one out. Of course, Helms hit into a 5-4-3 DP. However, I won't rip Charlie for this one. That fourth run is huge and no need to push your luck with Eaton past 7 innings. So Manuel gets a break from getting ripped on this site...at least for today.
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Tonight's Game
King Cole versus 87 year old righthander Jose Contreras, aka Cuban Morgan Freeman. Mr. Freeman had a good start versus the Yankees his last time out, but in his three previous outings he gave up at least 9 hits per game. Combine that with King Cole's unhittableness (word?), Jim Thome on the bench and Chicago's lack of scoring, and I'm thinking of chalking this one up for the Phightins now . However, I'm heading to the ballpark for this one, so the curse of me being there might be enough to reverse all the other stuff...

Corey

32 comments:

D said...

New York Times has a piece on the Phils approaching the 10K loss "plateau" - http://www.nytimes.com/2007/06/12/sports/baseball/12phillies.html?_r=1&hp&oref=slogin

Maybe we can do a poll for our all-time favorite losses.

D said...

Sorry if that link didn't make it all the way - you can check it out straight from the home page.

Chris said...

A lot of pitchers jump from AA to the majors. AAA is a wasteland for more and more teams.

das411 said...

NO WAY am i reading a post this long this late, but there are pix from my seat right on friggin' top of Shane Victorino for Game 1 here:

http://community.webshots.com/user/das411phils07

and Ozzie Guillen is officially an asshole for not PHing our homey for that chump Terrerro.

BloodStripes said...

Hamels to bring home a W. Phils only 4 games off being the team to beat. Keep it goin' Phils!

GM-Carson said...

I find it hard to believe that we're actually still in "it". "It" being the hunt for the playoffs. This season has seemed so crappy that it should stand to reason that we're almost mathematically eliminated, but yet here we are 2 games over .500 and almost within spitting distance of the NL East leading Mets.

Do I actually think we'll catch them? No, our pitching staff is in shambles. But like I said when I threw in the "towel", I'm still going to root my ass off for them and watch every game.

Hamels really needs to shut down the White Booties offense tonight, it's the worst in the AL.

GM-Carson said...

Funny typo on Phillies.com- "Pat Burrell hit career home run No. 196 in the second inning, passing Booby Abreu for seventh place on the Phillies' all-time list." Yeah, that Abreu sure was a boob!

With Kendrick coming up on Wednesday I expect Condrey to be demoted (must clear waivers). I'd also like to see Mesa released and Coste brought back. Nunez is back to not hitting, Helms sucks, Werth is becoming worthless, leaving Dobbs as the only reliable bench player...we need Coste!

Bob D said...

Wasn't Kansas City the worst in the AL prior to facing our pitching staff?

GM-Carson said...

I think KC was ranked 2nd to last, right above the ChiSox, but the Royals did jump a few spots during the weekend series. Sunday was an absolute mess.

Corey said...

i disagree with the statement that a lot of pitchers jump from AA to MLB. a superficial survery of some top starting pitchers shows that the vast majority pitch in AAA before coming to the majors. guys like Cole Hamels, Tim Lincecum, Felix Hernandez, Ben Sheets, Phillip Hughes, Homer Bailey, Matt Cain, Jared Weaver, Mark Prior, Francisco Liriano, Jon Lester, John Danks, Jeremy Sowers, Jeff Francis, Zach Greinke, Zach Duke, Dan Haren, Fausto Carmona, Adam Lowen, Noah Lowery, Gavin Floyd...

Here are some guys that skipped from AA to the majors: Jeromy Bonderman (who pitched for the losingest Tigers team of all time and lost 19 himself), Scott Kazmir (who pitcher for a god-awful TB team), Scott Olsen (who pitched for the Marlins after they had their firesale) and finally Dontrelle Willis and Justin Verlander (the only two guys I can think of that came up from AA and contributed to a winning team.)

Verlander was a polished college pitcher and high draft pick and Willis was a absolute sensation. Is Kendrick close to either of those?

Bob D said...

The Phills have a lot of good pitching prospects. Most of those are in the lower minor leagues at this time. And Kendrick is one of the good ones. Ideally he would pitch this year in the AA and possibly in AAA and be considered for the majors next year. But with injuries such as JA Happ, Myers, Garcia and the sale of Mazone (3-2 2.21ERA) in AAA to Japan and the release of Germano and his 4-0 2.75ERA record in San Diego has forced them to go with guys with less experience. Wouldn't Germano or Mazone look like a good choice right about now?

GM-Carson said...

The 5th starter debate will probably shape up to be a good one. Why- Freddy Garcia may be out for the season and we need a replacement and management has already stated that moving Myers back to the rotation is not an option. I wish Kendrick well, but doubt he does well. Brito is hurt, Happ is hurt, Mazone was sold to Korea, Segovia sucked and has been sucking in Ottawa...therefore I like Corey's Tomo Ohka suggestion. He'll pitch as well as Garcia did at least and won't cause us to rush a "prospect".

By the way, although some pitchers do skip AA, most of them put their time in at AAA before they hit the majors...so I agree with Corey on this one.

BenJah said...

wow, at 7 i was way more focused on playing basketball for an imaginary bulls team than i was on girls. i may have even still been throwing dirt at girls, and certainly not impregnating them. holy cow, joe table, who the fuck are you??

GM-Carson said...

From Foxsports- The Phillies have made numerous moves with the Texas Rangers since Pat Gillick became GM, but it's safe to say that if the Phillies make a trade for starting pitching it won't be for former Phillies righthanders Kevin Millwood (2-5, 7.57 ERA) or Vicente Padilla (2-8, 6.28 ERA). Millwood is in the second year of a five-year, $60 million contract. Padilla is in the first year of a three-year, $33.75 million contract. The Rangers also have former Phillies righthander Robinson Tejeda (5-6, 6.47 ERA) in the rotation. He is making $389,446.

*My take- even with our 5th starter currently up-in-the-air, I wouldn't want any of those ass-hats back.

Freddy Garcia's season is probably over. His Phillies career likely is, too. An MRI exam on Garcia's right shoulder yesterday at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital revealed "some pathology" of the labrum and "fraying" of the rotator cuff, the team announced late in last night's 3-0 win over the White Sox at Citizens Bank Park. Garcia will seek a second opinion. As a rule, players don't do that if they're told they have a chance to pitch again soon. They do it when they're told they face surgery. Recovery time following operations to repair such injuries is usually at least a year. He is making $10 million this season and can be a free agent at the end of the year.

*My take- what's 10 mil get you now a days? 1 freakin' win...wow, what a disappointment.

There are former big-league pitchers in the Mexican League such as Jose Lima, but how much of an upgrade are they? The Phillies get reports from the Mexican League, and they will take a look at somebody if he looks interesting, but Ruben Amaro said, "We're trying to do better than what we have here. And if we don't think it's decidedly better than what we have here, then what's the point of doing it? Just to do it? You don't make moves just to make them. We have to make a move that's going to make sense to make our team better, you know?"

*My take- then why the hell did you bring back Jose Mesa?!

No team has ever stunk so often as the Phillies, who, according to the Elias Sports Bureau, have lost more games than any professional franchise in any sport. The Phillies are 14 losses from a particular threshold of ignominy — the 10,000th defeat for a club that has won one lonely World Series title (in 1980) during its 125 years of often dreadful existence. ... The franchise has set awful records for futility — with a collective earned run average of 6.71 in 1930 and 23 consecutive defeats in 1961. And, of course, 1964 brought one of baseball’s most infamous collapses, when the Phillies held a 6 ½-game lead in the National League with 12 games to play and blew the pennant after losing 10 in a row.

*My take- I blame my parents for allowing me to be Phillies fans.

In his 11/2 years as the Phils' general manager, Pat Gillick has made two trades with the White Sox. In those trades, he has dealt Jim Thome (and $22 million), Gavin Floyd and Gio Gonzalez, whom he originally acquired from the White Sox. In return, the Phils have Aaron Rowand, the injured Freddy Garcia, and, indirectly, Fabio Castro, who was obtained for Dan Haigwood, another player acquired in the Thome deal. Since Rowand and Garcia can be free agents after the season, it is conceivable that the Phils will have only Castro remaining from the two major deals.

*My take- Patty G is a moron!

Jacobin said...

I'll reiterate and expand upon what I said in the other thread regarding calling up the AA pitcher. To bring someone in from Reading (like they did with Zagurski), it's only going to cost those cheap bastards a few gallons of gas for the trip down 422. But if they were to call someone up from Ottawa, they'd need to purchase a plane ticket from Canada to Philadelphia (and since Patty G moved from Toronto to Seattle in the off-season, he can't just hide them in his luggage).

Corey said...

don't forget the 3 dollars in turnpike tolls...

GreggyD said...

Freddy Garcia has officially become the best acquisition of the past 20 years...

Seriously though, I actually thought that he might be that number 1 that we have coveted for so long, but I guess not. We all know that is Cole Hamels now anyway. I understand that the rotation is taking a hit, but I won't miss his 1-5 record and his 5.90 ERA. I was just hoping he could pull it together and become trade bait but that theory is out the window now. It just sucks that yet another potentially good thing has turned out to blow.

And hey, as long as we're bringing back old players (i.e. Joe Table), maybe Pat Gillick should give a look to Dave Coggin, Bruce Chen, Amaury Telemaco, and Robert Person. Maybe even Bud Smith???

GM-Carson said...

I'm all for bringing Robert Person back. I remember when he went yard twice in the same inning, a grand slam and a solo shot I believe. I love pitchers that can hit and pitch (i.e. Carlos Zambrano).

Coggin Noggin is a butt-dart!

GreggyD said...

Yes Robert Person hitting those two shots in an inning is by far the best memory that I have of that man. Who knows, he could come back and be Mike Hampton without all of the injuries.

My friend also informed me that we could also bring back Omar Daal, or even bust Ugi Urbina out of Venezuelan prison and just have him light the opposing players on fire.

Jacobin said...

It's $2 if you take the turnpike from the Morgantown/Reading exchange to Valley Forge. But if you come down 422 to the Schuylkill Expressway, there are no tolls to pay. I'm pretty sure when the team was in Scranton, they would give AAA call-ups the official EZ-Pass to use when coming down the northeast extension.

Bob D said...

Lets Bust Urbina and his machettee out of prison

Los said...

So, if the Phils brought back Mesa, is it too soon to call Al Holland and see what he's doing?

TrekMedic251 said...

Speaking of AA-MLB pitching, does anybody know what progress Scott Mathieson is making from Tommy John surgery?

FWIW, I think the Phils brought him up too soon and used him too much for his skill level.

Jacobin said...

It was a good win tonight. Hamels didn't let the early homers get to him and we got timely hitting from Utley and Dobbs again tonight (Dobbs had a nice defensive play too... any doubt he should be playing the majority of time at third?).

It's official, Patty G sucks. Check out this tidbit from ESPN:

General manager Pat Gillick insisted Garcia wasn't "damaged goods" when the team acquired him. Even though some reports said Garcia's velocity was down toward the end of last season, the Phillies didn't make the trade contingent upon him passing a physical.

"We didn't think a physical was necessary," Gillick said. "Our doctors spoke to their doctors and our training staff spoke to theirs and we were satisfied his health was good. Our scouts saw him pitch in September. They thought he was healthy."


They didn't even give him a damn physical?!?! You're getting a guy that makes $10 million a season and you don't give him a physical after a season where his velocity was down and there were concerns about his arm?! WTF!!! I guess Manuel isn't the only person with "manager" in their title that is a total moron at the Phillies.

BloodStripes said...

The King does it again. Too good!

Pacman said...

I'm pretty sure that you can't have kids when you're seven. It has to be a typo. If it's true, it's pretty impressive.

Jacobin said...

Mets lose again... now we're lurking three games behind the division lead. If that doesn't have you optimistic enough, consider that since starting 4-11 the team is 30-20 (the best record over that stretch of time in the NL... of course, those first 15 games do count! Everyone else started the season on time even if the Phillies thought it was extended spring training).

We got a chance to sweep the ChiSox tomorrow with Kyle Kendrick taking the hill... damn, dampened my own enthusiasm there.

das411 said...

COLE = awesome. Leading the league in wins and strikeouts, if he does not start the All-Star Game this year it may be time to add LaRussa to the all-time Philly shit list...

(btw isn't Chen Bruce actually part of that crappy Rangers rotation now too? or was that last season...?)

and what is with this Ozzie Guillen dick move of only PHing Thome when the game is already over?? Now I hafta go to the Weds game too!

GM-Carson said...

Love me some Cole Hamels, but I must admit that the homeruns surrendered (16 total) scare me. At least most of them are solo shots, and he doesn't allow much more in the way of hits.

Hoy crap, only 3 back of the Mets...doesn't seem like that's even possible, but it's true.

Utley is freaking awesome! Dobbs deserves most of the playing time at 3rd unless he stops hitting altogether or becomes a butcher in the field.

klkatz said...

I"m not sure what kind of math you're doing but... Mesa was born inn '66 and his daughter Yamely was born in '74... which would make him 12.... surely, 12 is still young, but definitely not 7...

GM-Carson said...

KLKatz- did you go to the Charlie Manuel School of Math?

74-66=8 (but he was still seven based on the time of year she was born).

Corey said...

klkatz, might want to mix in a calculator or abacus or something to help you with those tricky math issues, like addition and subtraction...