Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Phillies Phillers

No More No-Hit:
I have stupendous news to share with concerned Phillies fans- the often ridiculed and regularly mocked Abraham Nunez has signed a minor league deal with the Brew Crew and is nothing more than a non-roster spring training invitee. This means no more No-Hit!!! The man could pick it at 3rd base, but he was to offense as a penny is to Donald Trump. It's hard to imagine making millions one season then not being assured a job the next...'tis the story when you suck I suppose.


Show Me the $$$:
What to do with Ryan Howard? I briefly touched on this touchy subject a few days ago, and I feel it's time to revisit it. I like Ryan Howard and want him to remain a Phillie for at least 4 more seasons. I also would like a happy Ryan Howard, which means upping the money proposal may be a good idea, and ideally laying down a decent chunk of change for the next 4 to 5 years for the mammoth slugger. I'm not in favor of anything beyond 5 years because of Howard's body type, which happens to be humungo like Snuffleupagus! Not to say he won't still be mashing homeruns into his mid to late 30's, but why risk it? If come season 5 on the contract I propose above and Ryan is still proficient offensively and able to handle the defensive load, approach him about an extension. A deal of 5 years and 70 million dollars could please everyone (Howard is happy he's getting paid, fans are happy they have their awesome 1st baseman locked up, and the organization is happy because of future playoff appearances). Patty G had this to say, "We're going to make every attempt to get something done prior to the hearing. Ruben is handling it, and he's had some very good discussions with Casey [Close, Howard's agent]. Hopefully we can get a meeting of the minds. We're open to anything."


Start or Finish?:
In 2007 Brett Myers went from Opening Day starter to strikeout crazy closer. For the '08 season he's slotted back into the rotation as the #2, behind King Cole. When the Phils first acquired Brad Lidge to become their closer, which allowed the transition of Myers back into starting, he didn't come off very pleased- saying "That sucks, but oh well." He has recently been quoted as to saying, "I liked having the chance to pitch every day or every other day as opposed to every fifth day. I hate waiting those four days in between starts. Having the chance to be out there with the game on the line is exciting. It's what fires me up. I like that. The music is blaring and my adrenaline is pumping. As a closer, you can get by with two pitches and sometimes one pitch. You only need three outs sometimes. As a starter, you need your three best pitches and you need to throw them all well the whole game. I've started my whole career so I'm ready to get back to it. I'm ready for the challenge." My personal opinion is Brett is needed more in the rotation and could be a helluva pitcher if he learned to control his temper and keep focus throughout an entire game. I just hope he doesn't pout and start throwing tantrums after a poor start like he did after poor relief know calling reporters "retards" and whatnot. I also hope Brad Lidge's surgically repaired knee is ready to go come opening day because I don't like the prospects of Tom Gordon closing again or the eventual heated debate of Myers returning to that role.



GM-Carson said...

ESPN's Buster Olney posed these questions in his blog about the Big 3 of the NL East:

Atlanta Braves: Can John Smoltz, Tom Glavine and Mike Hampton take the ball for 85-90 starts? Can Rafael Soriano stay healthy?

New York Mets: Who will take the ball at the front end of the Mets' rotation, and is that good enough to overcome the Phillies, Braves and the mental ghosts of last September?

Philadelphia Phillies: Will Brad Lidge be dominant Brad Lidge, or will he give the Philly fans reason to boo him? Can the Phillies hit enough to overcome the lack of depth in the rotation?

Corey said...

we need a reason?

GM-Carson said...

Only isn't from Philly, he doesn't understand that we can and will boo at anything.

Bob D said...

I believe there was a question of who has options left on the 40man roster.
Those with 0: Rosario, Snelling, Bohn, Ennis. 2Rule 5's: Blackley, Holdzkom.
Those with 1: Castro, Youman.

Myers to close in 2009, that will be when the rotation is Hamels, Drabek, Savery, Kendrick, & Happ. with the pen of Myers, Lidge, Mathieson, Madson, Bisenuis, Castro, Romero, and Blackley.

goDuke said...

Olney isn't from Philly either... but he's always on Mike and Mike in the morning... so he's ok in my book. I think the Phils will do right by Howard (I don't know why I think this... I'm probably wrong) and this will be the year they push like 90 wins.

GreggyD said...

I don't see Savery and Drabek being in the rotation in 2009. Both of them still have a lot of work to do and they'll be lucky if they get a late September call-up. You didn't even mention Carlos Carrasco and he will most definitely be in Philadelphia before either of those guys.

Lake Fred said...

I glad No Hit is gone for good. The only scenario I can see that is bad is that he gets cut by the Brew Crew and after a mid season injury in the Phillies infield, Junior signs No Hit to be a fill in utility player. Oh, I hope that's only a bad dream.

GM-Carson said...

Bob D- I will be pissed if Drabek, Happ, and Savery are being relied on to hold down the rotation...too young too fast.

If No-Hit Nunez returns to the Phillies SirAlden is already holding me responsible.

Bob D said...

Yeah, oops I left Carrasco off.

Gillick now says Happ and Sergovia both pitched hurt last year. They were both near major league ready the prior year, so they could be sleepers to make the team.

Still rumors of Feliz, Lohse, and Benson out there. Feliz has a great glove and would be an improvement, however as it has been noted he lacks offense other than 'pop'. Lohse or Benson or both would be a good addition to improve the rotation and add depth. Any team needs at least 6+ starters each year due to tiredness or injury. It also put an interesting senario out there of Myers and Lidge closing out games if they go that route. Also could make an extra arm to trade if both are signed and the team wants to add a player (3B?).

furiousBall said...

I can see both sides of how the Phils number is right and Howard's is right. I heard a really good suggestion on 610 by some call-in writer, sign him for a 3-4 year contract (which covers his arbitration years). After that point, you should know what kind of player Howard is and he will get more money now and get a bigger contract sooner too.

GM-Carson said...

If Lidge does well for the first 3 months, I would hope the Phils approach him about a contract extension, because I personally want Myers to stay in the rotation in 2009.

Zack Segovia kind of sucks even if healthy, doubtful he ever amounts to more than a spot starter throughout his career.

Feliz is an out making machine on both offense and defense. Only one of those are a good thing.

Benson may be able to be brought in on a minor league deal where he continues to rehab in the minors until he's ready, if so, that would be great insurance.

GM-Carson said...

ESPN's Jayson Start wrote this about which slugger to build a franchise around, Prince Fielder or Ryan Howard-

There's nothing we love more, here in modern American life, than a young slugger. But in the totally unfair universe of Hot Stove Heater-dom, we have a problem. We only get to build our team around one young slugger -- Prince Fielder or Ryan Howard. Good thing there's no wrong answer, because this debate has been giving me a migraine for a week now.

The case for Fielder
The best argument for Prince Fielder can be summed up in two numerals -- 23. That, friends, happens to be his age.

Last year, he became the first 23-year-old in history to hit 50 homers. And he won't turn 24 until May. So he's four years younger than Howard, and feel free to do that math. If Fielder keeps bopping 40 to 50 bombs a year, he'll be at 250-280 home runs before he even gets to the age that Howard is now.

Unlike Howard, whose fly balls tend to be either homers or outs, Fielder is also a 35-double-a-year kind of guy. So he cranked an amazing 87 extra-base hits last year. Want to know the distinguished group with that many extra-base hits, over the last 60 years, at age 23 or younger? How about Willie Mays, Albert Pujols, A-Rod, Grady Sizemore and Joe DiMaggio? Heard of any of those guys?

Finally, you may have noticed that Fielder puts the ball in play way more than Howard. (Then again, who doesn't?) However you assess the difference between 121 strikeouts (Fielder?s total last year) and 199 (Howard's record-setting whiff total), it tells us Fielder makes many more productive outs than Howard does.

The case for Howard
Go ahead. Try to find anybody who has kicked off a career with a home-run output anywhere near Ryan Howard?s. Good luck. Can't be done.

Nobody in history has hit 47 homers or more in each of his first two full seasons. Nobody. Or here's another way to look at it: After 410 games in the big leagues, Howard is already up to 129 homers. Want to know how insane that is? Here's how insane:

That's 72 more than Junior Griffey, 62 more than Barry Bonds, 54 more than Mike Schmidt, 44 more than A-Rod and 31 more than Albert Pujols at the same stage. The only player in the last half-century who was even within 25 homers of Howard, after this many games, is Bob Horner (who was exactly 25 back, at 104).

In fact, you want to know the player in history who is most comparable? It's that George H. Bambino Ruth. He dabbled in the pitching profession for a few years before finally getting his shot as a full-time hitter at age 25. Whereupon he mashed 54 and 59 homers respectively in 1920-21. Ruth, too, got kind of a late start in his career. But building around him worked out OK for the Yankees, wouldn't you say?

The choiceThis debate was so impossible that I had no choice but to survey a bunch of people around baseball, just to see which guy they'd pick. Turns out they are just as divided as the debate team inside my brain.

The Fielder proponents basically take him because of his age. The pro-Howard camp argue that Fielder's round-mound body type neutralizes the age differential, because it means Fielder is no surer bet to be still whomping 50 homers in five, eight or 10 years than Howard.

In general, though, these guys side with the player they've seen the most. In my case, that's Ryan Howard. So I'm taking him. But as I said up top, there's no wrong answer. So let's launch the debate. This could be the most fun one yet.

GreggyD said...

I think Prince Fielder is an amazing talent and as is evidenced, he can really lace the ball for extra base hits. Now, neither of these guys is in tremendous shape, but I really worry for Prince because he is quite large. I don't know how long he'll hold up with a body type like that. He's only 23 right now, but eventually that body is going to catch up with him and he will start to struggle. I'm not saying Ryan Howard is the smallest guy, but Prince is huge.

Stark is right and this is a very tough debate. I'll take Howard just because of my Philly bias, but his strikeouts are killer and he really does need to get his average back up while cutting down on the K's. I understand that K's are expected with a slugger of his nature, but not those of the record setting variety.

GM-Carson said...

If Howard can raise his average back into the .280+ range, I don't really care how he's making his outs. I'd love for him to make more contact, because when he does his chances of getting a hit are high, but I'm worried about the average overall.

By the way, I want to know who that little blonde haired white boy is in the Myers photo rocking the Howard jersey.

JohnDewar said...

I really never fully thought it was a great idea to move Myers to the pen in the first place.

How good of an idea did it look when Hamels was hurt and we had to depend on Kyle Lohse and JD Durbin? I wanted these guys to do well, but I thought "Geez, wasn't our opening day starter pretty good? Why didn't he stay in the rotation?"

Even when they moved him to the 'pen, I thought it was temporary until they shipped Lieber's fat ass out of town, but I think the organization eventually pistol whipped Myers into taking to the role.

GM-Carson said...

Myers did pretty well as closer, but like I've said before and will continue to say- he has more value to the current Phillies as a starter.

SirAlden said...

"Pitching in Iron Pig Land - Where Pigs Can Fly" ((UPDATED)) 7 of 12 have Options

HITTERS: Snelling and Bohn (0 Options)

J.A. Happ L Starter
Fabio Castro L Starter
J.D. Durbin R "The Answer" Starter (0 Options)
John Ennis R Journeyman Starter (0 Options)
Travis Blackley L Aussie Starter (RULE 5 DRAFT)

Scott Mathieson R Closer
Joe Bisenius R FireBaller
Mike Zagurski L 7th Inning
Shane Youman L Junk Ball LOOGY
Anderson Garcia R ROOGY
Francisco Rosario R 7th Inning (0 Options)
Lincoln Holdzkom R FireBaller (RULE 5 DRAFT)

Los said...

I get the feeling that we'll see Myers in the closer's spot again this season ...

Bob D said...

Los, I agree. We will likely see Myers back as closer for some reason or another, not that I say it is the best option but that it will likely happen. Hopefully it will be because a few pitchers pitched lights out (Drabek, Savery, Carrasco, Mathieson). These guys are likely midseason at the earliest except Mathieson.

Mathieson I believe will be the sleeper to make the bullpen and if he lands there he may just pitch himself into the closer/setup role.

Bisenuis could end up being a quality bullpen arm but he doesn't throw flames like Mathieson.

The best option for 3rd base is for Helms/Dobbs to have a 980+ feilding % and hit 280+ with good run production from the 7th/8th spot. That is a good possibility as I believe Helms will likely be somewhere between his 2006 & 2007 years.

Same for Howards BA will likely fall between the 300 & 270 averages he had the last 2 years, so a 280+ is not a far push for him but a likely projection.

Now that I got Carson

Bob D said...

all upset about using rookies to pitch I will stop posting.

GM-Carson said...

Drabek has arm issues and as far as I know will miss a lot of the '08 season, so don't count on him at least until '09 and probably beyond.

Bisenius went from an excellent talent to a dud in my eyes. He's still young enough to redeem himself, but I don't have a lot of confidence in that.

If Mathieson is healthy, I agree he could become a quality reliever, although I believe the club is still set on using him as a starting pitcher.

Oddly enough, I think Helms will improve offensely this season too. He was horrible last year, and he's really not that bad.

GM-Carson said...

Rod Barajas signed a 1 year 1.2 mil contract with the Blue Jays. He and Scott Rolen can suck it in Canada together now!

BloodStripes said...

It would be good to see a young bloke like Mathieson come good this year. Last year Kendrick stepped up. There will again be opportunities for rookies this season. The Phils need a young arm or two to show more than promise and deliver.

GM-Carson said...

Mathieson has some filthy pitches, but he needs to be healthy and needs help with his approach to pitching. Usually I would say that's the pitching coach's job, but since Dick Dick Dubee is half retarded I guess Moyer will have to school him.

By the way, it's been nice to have you around again BloodStripes.

BloodStripes said...

Always checking the blog bro. The time lag can suck. I was up late tonight so flicked the switch for my Phillies update. WSBGM's and Beerleaguer are my one stop Phillies fix. And of course. Speaking of which I just read a cool Q & A sesh with Pat Burrell. Said he doesn't even own a computer. What? Pat's not a nerd? Cmon! Get sabremetric Pat.

I hope he really kicks arse this year.

GM-Carson said...

I hope Burrell has a career year, because that would be good for him and the Phils. Despite what Phils fans may think, he'll get a nice contract this offseason, probably from an AL team though.

BloodStripes said...

Being up late this time of year = catching the new days post before sleep.

Its just gone the 26th which means its Australia Day. Maybe me and Blackley can catch up for a beer and talk Phils. I hope he kicks arse this year too.

BloodStripes said...

Now Pat has had some more time under his belt with the Mrs he should be more keen and focused than ever. He should pump out a kid. A reminder of your responsibilities always helps you focus. Ha!