Friday, May 29, 2009

Starting Rotation Conundrum

Already with the worst starting rotation ERA in all of baseball, GM Ruben Amaro Jr. was searching for help. It has been reported he has been knocking on every door of every potential trade candidate (Jake Peavy, Brandon Webb, Roy Halladay, Doug Davis, Erik Bedard, Cliff Lee, Aaron Harang, Brad Penny, Jason Marquis, Chris Young, Roy Oswalt, Zach Duke, and Jon Garland). Now with Brett Myers likely out for the season, and hopefully done as a Phillie (my personal opinion), Amaro must step up his efforts of landing a starting pitcher sooner rather than later. The Phils are in 2nd place, only slightly behind the NL East leading Mets, who have problems of their own. Now is not the time to be cheap, suck it up and add more to the team record payroll. Internal short-term candidates include Andrew Carpenter, Kyle Kendrick, Carlos Carrasco, Antonio Bastardo, Chan Ho Park, and Rodrigo Lopez.

Carpenter- still young at 24, but seems to not have what it takes to consistently retire big league hitters. Maybe I’m selling him short, but he does not inspire confidence. He’s had mixed success in the minors- 28-18 record, 3.72 ERA, and 1.30 WHIP.

Kendrick- helped the Phils into the playoffs in ’07 and started last season off well, but then became entirely too hittable and a bit mental too. He’s having an up and down experience at Triple A Lehigh Valley right now as he’s working on his secondary pitches. ’09 #’s- 4-3 record, 4.35 ERA, and 1.47 WHIP.

Carrasco- the prize possession of the Phils farm system for the past few years has fallen apart recently with the Iron Pigs. Currently 0-6 with an ugly 5.81 ERA and 1.46 WHIP.

Bastardo- a name that is gaining buzz as a prospect as he continues to pitch well at every level. He’d be my interim solution to fill the rotation void. Minor league career #’s- 17-9 record, 2.62 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, 257.2 ip, and 296 k.

Ho Park- should not even be an option, end of story.

Lopez- the MLB veteran hasn’t pitched in the bigs since ’07 and is currently getting hit around worse than KK at Lehigh Valley.

Trade Candidates:
Peavy- wants to stay in the NL and on the West Coast, and has the power to make that a reality. Last time I checked the Phils are on the right side of the Unite States. Still, Peavy would certainly fill Myers shoes and then some, but would take a large package of prospects to land.

Webb- the D’backs suck, but I find it hard to believe they’d be willing to move Webb, who is still injured by the way.

Halladay- is my favorite pitcher in baseball, he’s a workhorse and a true gunslinger on the mound. The Blue Jays are actually competitive this year, and it’s doubtful they’re going to dump him regardless of the booty in return.

Davis- could probably be had on the cheap, and would help our dilapidated rotation, but he’s certainly more of the Blanton acquisition ilk than the Sabathia.

Bedard- always a health risk, but always gives his team a chance to win when he’s on the mound. Seattle is in need of everything, so I could actually see this trade coming to fruition. Of course that would be 4 lefties in the rotation (Bedard, Hamels, Happ, and Moyer).

Lee- last year’s AL Cy Young is back to pitching well again for Cleveland after a rough start. The Indians would want a bundle for him and if I were GM, I wouldn’t be willing to give them what likely will be their demands for a half season fix.

Harang- the Reds are still in contention in the NL Central, so this seems to be a moot point (or as Joey from Friends would say, “A moo point, you know a cow’s opinion.”)

Penny- the BoSox have tons of starting pitching and with Smoltz almost ready to comeback and Clay Buchholz pitching well in the minors, Penny seems to be the odd man out. He isn’t the Brad Penny of old and has suffered through a rough season thus far (5.96 ERA), but I’d like him more than almost any of our internal options.

Marquis- a groundball pitcher that could easily be had from Colorado as a salary dump. If given the choice between him and Penny, I’d choose Marquis (4.45 ERA). Not to mention, he swings a decent stick and would be our 2nd best pinch-hitting option behind Stairs.

Young- at 6’10” he’d be the Phils tallest pitcher ever, and when healthy he does give you quality starts. It’s the “when healthy” part that is worrisome. Career 3.80 ERA and 1.20 WHIP.

Oswalt- I'd steer clear of him because of the pricetag to acquire him and the fact that I think he's beginning a steady downward trend (ERA's: '07-3.18, '08-3.54, '09-4.62).

Duke- is having a tremendous rebound season with Pittsburgh, and the Buccos would be foolish to trade away yet another good player and get marginal ones in return.

Garland- always a reliable 4th/5th starter type, much like what we have in Blanton, but I can't see his high whip (1.55) translating well at the CIT.

Ain’t Nothing But a GM Thing:
I suggest heavily targeting Peavy, Davis, Bedard, Marquis, and Penny. Phils quite possibly may need two from that list to make it back to the playoffs this season.

*Over on More Hardball, I wonder who has the best outfield in Major League Baseball.

*JA Happ vs. Ross Detwiler tonight in Philly if weather permits. Both are, as Wheels would say, "good looking young lefties".



SirAlden said...

Ah you love them some WHEELS comments.

Beautifully researched and written POST.

It is almost a good thing that Myers the chickenbody finally is done. Makes it time to TRADE.

Bedard is my Prediction.

GM-Carson said...

I so much love leadoff double that don't score.

Way to go Vic, Utley, and Howard!

GM-Carson said...

Charlie Manuel misses Jimy Williams, because he's back to make horrible game altering decisions this year. I understand Happ's pitch count was climbing, but Durbin is terrible anymore.

Bob D said...

Bastardo is my pick as of right now he is likely to come in and pitch good. Duke is my pick for a trade most others are asking for too much with only a short return. Duke is young and has been improving and in the Phils rotation he could be dominat. I really have no interest at this point in the Phils trading Marson, Donald, Carrasco, Bastardo, or others for a quick fix.

GM-Carson said...

My favorite prospect Michael Taylor is likely to be dealt in a trade for a starting pitcher.

Dr. Steve said...

Well here's the question - is Taylor more valuable to us than Werth? Or is he necessary for some of the more salary dump pitchers. I'd be very wary of trading away true talent.

How does Taylor stack up against John Mayberry Jr? Ibanez has two years left, and Victorino is going to be a long-time Philly. Werth is who I have my doubts about. If we don't need both of them, the worse one can get traded if necessary. But, unless we grab Peavy, it shouldn't be. No one here is of any spectacular talent that it'd require impact players. I sure as hell don't want to see another Gavin Floyd get traded for Freddie Garcia.

furiousBall said...

I see Kendrick on the hill again

smiff said...

"The Phils are in 2nd place, only slightly behind the NL East leading Mets..."

Huh? What standings are you guys looking at? Mets are 4 games behind.

Anonymous said...

The Phils aren't going to trade anyone good. You guys that want to trade good minor leaguers are a bunch of dumbells.

GM-Carson said...

Smiff- this post was from last week, when the Phils were a half game back of the Mets.

Anonymous said...

They dont need another pitcher if they have 5 guys who can go out and give you 6 IP 3 ER...hell 4 ER with this team because they average almost 6 runs a game. no need to mortgage the future if you have pieces that can do the job

GM-Carson said...

How much longer can Grand Pappy Moyer "do the job" and can Bastardo really be relied upon?

RTSch said...

Who said that Victorino is going to be a long-time Phillie? I love vic, and he's no doubt a clubhouse leader, but he's definately a trade option at this point. The Phills are way more likely to deal Vic than Taylor I think due to Vic's bad habits and inability to move runners over and make 'productive outs'. Kendrick made almost 30 starts for us last year, it's about time Dubee sits down with the kid and gets his head out of his ass and back on baseball. He has the stuff to be a major leaguer, he just has to want it. Happ is amazing, he has the stuff of Kendrick and the composure Moyer, he's a gem and will be key to a return to the playoffs. Phills are going to have to make a deal and use from within, because either Moyer or Hamels is probably going to miss some time at some point this year, and we can't afford the $$$ or the prospects to go after 2 pitchers. The phills are going to have to go after a top-o-the-line starter in the offseason, which will cost us a draft pick or two anyways, so exchanging some good prospects for a starter is inevitable one way or another.

Eric Chase said...

There are risks with all those guys, but I think Bedard offers the most upside as he'd be pitching with the incentive that his success in Philly could lead to a mega deal.

The Phils would be skeeeeerewed if they gave up 2, 3 or 4 elite prospects (and they do those) for Peavy and Oswalt, and it didn't translate to another title, AND both guys became ornery as they'd be locked into 42 degree April night games for the next few years at a very unreasonable salary.

Anonymous said...

I doubt that are going to get clubhouse cancers like Bedard and Penny. These guys will not fit in with this team at all. Bedard is a complete jerk. After watching the birds all my life, no tears were shed we he left. What a waste of talent. It is my understanding that Penny is no better. I think the Phils have quite a problem conundrum. Peavy, Oswalt and Halladay will cost an arm and a leg. I would like Duke more than anyone else. If Bastardo pitches well again, this might be a closed conversation. Phils should trade Carrasco, Werth. My understanding that Donald is struggling at 3B this year. If that is the case, either he or Rollins should go. Cant have both. Rollins, Werth and Carrasco to Oakland for Holiday would be a dream and say the heck with pitching!

Anonymous said...

Oh yeah, if only some GM would take Wheels "Captain Obvious" and his sidekick rodent which is perched atop his head. Maybe a years supply of sunflower seeds, bullpen chair and pinetar rag (new or used) in return? Food for thought!

GM-Carson said...

How dare you pick on Chris Wheeler? That's my job.