Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Review & Preview - Vol. 2

Carlos "Cooch" Ruiz
Review: No one doubts the defensive skill of Carlos Ruiz. His offense, on the other hand...For much of the 2008 season, things didn't go so well offensively for "Cooch." In July, Carson called Ruiz "the new David Bell" and Chris Coste was doing a lot of the catching. His final line reflects his season long struggles - .219-4-31.

Then, the playoffs came. He didn't hit against Milwaukee (1-14) but the Phils won three of four and Manuel kept playing him, citing the recent success of the club and Ruiz's defensive attributes. What a good move by Manuel, because Ruiz hit .313 in the NLCS and .375 in the World Series including a homer and, his most memorable moment of the season, the first World Series walk-off hit in Phillies history.

Preview: Everyone is hoping Ruiz can carry some of his playoff success into the 2009 season. But even if he hits .220 again, Ruiz will be the Phils number one catcher and play 120 games. He is not arbitration eligible and will make a little more than the 425K he made in 2008. Like Roger Daltry would say, "I'd call that a bargain."
Chase Utley
Review: Utley started 2008 like a house on fire, jacking 18 round-trippers in the first two months of season. At the All Star break, Utley was the leading candidate for MVP. However, his power surge didn’t continue and he only hit eight homers after the break. In the end, Utley provided the solid, All Star numbers we all expected - .292-33-104.

In the postseason, Utley only managed a .220 average and only three hits in the World Series. Of course, two of those three hits were homers in games the Phils won by a single run. So, we’ll give Utley a pass on the average…

Memorable Moment: I was going to say dropping the F-bomb at the All Star game, the homer in Game 1 of the World Series or his slick defensive play to get Iwamura at home in Game 5.5, but in the end, those moments don’t F-ing compare to this:

Preview: I doubt he gets challenged for playing time in 2009, unless the Phils resign Mickey Morandini. He’ll make a deserved $11 million.
Chad Durbin
Review: It was a tale of three seasons for Durbin. For the first 3/4 of a season, Durbin was fantastic. Through July, his ERA was under two and was locking down the late innings in front of Lidge. Then, his arm fell off. Durbin had never had more than 36 appearances in a season before 2008. He had pitched more innings, but as a starter, which isn't comparable. The fatigue resulted in an August ERA of over 4 that was followed by an ERA of almost 7 the rest of the way.

Success returned for his third season, the playoffs. After Sept. 27, Durbin only pitched in three games. The extended rest obviously helped because he recorded a win in each of those appearances, one in each playoff series, giving up only a run in 3.1 innings.

Preview: Forget penciling in Durbin for the 2009 Phillies bullpen, you can break out one of those giant permanent black markers to do so. Durbin made a Costco-worthy $900k in 2008. He is eligible for arbitration this season and I don't see the Phils trying to lock him up for multiple years like they did with Romero and Lidge. They'll go year by year with Durbin. He should see lots of 7th inning in 2009, though...at least until his arm falls off.
Rudy Seanez
Review: Seanez appeared in 42 games for the Phils and had a respectable 3.53 ERA. However, the majority of his positive contributions came in the first half of the season, when he posted a 2.40 ERA. The second half saw his ERA balloon to 6.08. He did not see any post-season action.

Preview: The Phils got value from the $400k they paid Rudy, but they won’t press their luck in '09 with the 40 year old reliever. Adios, Seanez.



GM-Carson said...

I'm very happy the Phils re-signed Scott Eyre. Having a lefty specialist is a necessity in today's game and JC Romero isn't just a lefty specialist anymore he's a full-blown set-up man. If the Phils keep Condrey only 1 bullpen spot remains open, that was Seanez's spot.

GM-Carson said...

If you'd like to buy a Phillies for President 2008 cap, here's a link. George Phillies that is.

Bob D said...

What, no love for Adam Eaton to take the last bullpen spot?
Amaro already said he is looking for more pitching for the pen, likely a righty and another lefty he mentioned. Retaining Eyre is huge as now the team has locked up 6 relievers (aslong as they offer contracts to Durbin & Condrey)

Look for Marson to take over starting catching duties at some point next year.

Rad said...

Marson replacing Ruiz, really. How much better than Ruiz is he really? I mean they won the World Series so many improvements do they really need.

Nice post

furiousBall said...

I'm interested to see what Kyle Kendrick's role will be this year, I'd assume 5th starter.

Bob D said...

My guess is Kendrick may be used for trade bait along with 1 catcher (Ruiz, Coste, Jaramillo). Amaro has said he would like to add another arm to the rotation, but that also could be someone who may be stashed in the minors or a reclamation project like Anna Benson or was that Kris?

GM-Carson said...

I read that Amaro is comfortable bring Ruiz, Coste, and Marson to camp and letting them battle it out for catching duties. The Phils are very high on Marson and think he can be a started by as early as midseason next year. The kid has a good bat, but I'd be reluctant to hand the pitching staff over to him, because that's Ruiz's strong point. However, the Phils did have Marson travel with them in the playoffs to get experience with the bullpen guys and start to get to know the rotation. Coste looks like an odd man out, but he's still a damn good backup catcher so he has worth to some team some where.

Kendrick needs to develop a 3rd pitch so batters can't sit on his fastball so much. I honestly think his time as an effective MLB pitcher is over. Harsh outlook for a 24 year old.

dr. steve said...

I'd use Kendrick and Coste as trade bait. If the Nationals can take a 6 ERA guy from the Marlins as their #1 Starter, then certainly someone will take a Kendrick who just spend the season improving his stuff.

Because, if anyone asks, thats what he did.

Soss said...

As much as it pains me to see it, I agree with everyone who think Kendrick is done. I think the success he had was only due to the fact that he was knew and batters didn't know what he had.

I personally would rather the Phillies get a mediocre right-handed outfielder and focus on getting a good #3 for the rotation. I doubt Moyer can repeat last year.

SirAlden said...


GM-Carson said...

Sir Alden, pass that good stuff over here, because you must be smokin' something strong if you think Trevor Hoffman would sign with the Phils. He'll get a deal from a team like the Indians in need of a closer, hell they'll probably even go 2 years 10 mil on him.

GM-Carson said...

Brad Lidge finished 4th in the NL Cy Young balloting. Kevin Kennedy and Rob Dibble were pissed he didn't get more consideration saying he should have easily finished 2nd right behind Lincecum and ahead of Webb and Johan.

GM-Carson said...

Click here for some pictures of one hot Phillies fan.

Jimmy Scott said...

I just spoke with Chad Durbin yesterday and asked which was harder, last year as a starter or this year as a reliever. He said this year was physically more demanding because you have to look beyond the baseball card at the number of times he got up to pitch and never got into a game. Plus the daily-ness of it all made it harder too.

You'll be able to hear it on Jimmy Scott's High & Tight in a few weeks. www.jimmyscottshighandtight.com