Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Pitching- Dearth to Surplus

The Phillies went from having a pitching dearth to pitching surplus. Just as June was coming to an end, the front office was scrambling for a 5th starter and bullpen help. Since then Brad Lidge, Scott Eyre, and Clay Condrey have gotten healthy and are back to producing in their roles. Rodrigo Lopez has taken the reigns as the 5th starter and performed beautifully. Pedro Martinez has been added to the fold, and is set to begin competitive pitching again. Brett Myers may be back by the end of August (more on that below). In the minors, Triple-A starters Carlos Carrasco and Andrew Carpenter lend some depth, and Sergio Escalona remains just a phone call away for relief. Then of course there's the possibility of adding all-world pitcher Roy Halladay to the mix. It's about to be like a cornucopia of pitching up in here. Damn it feels good to be a Phillies fan!

Lopez vs. Martinez:
I was not a fan of signing Pedro Martinez, but I understand the reasoning behind it. My problem with it now is that Rodrigo Lopez has been outstanding in his 3 starts, and it would be nearly impossible for Pedro to outperform him if he were to take his spot in the rotation. Lopez #'s- 2 wins, 17.1 ip, 13 k, 2.60 ERA, 1.21 WHIP. Now, I do not expect this level of success to continue, but I also do not expect Pedro to post an ERA below 4.50 either. Pedro is set to throw a simulated game today and then pitch a Single-A game on Sunday. He could be ready to go in about 2 weeks, giving Rodrigo a few more starts and plenty of time for a debate to go from simmering to boiling.

Roy Halladay:
Do I want Roy Halladay to be a Phillie? Hells yes, I'd be purchasing that jersey right quick. The real question is, what am I willing to surrender. JA Happ has quietly been one of the best pitchers in the NL this season, is under team control for years to come, and therefore should not be traded. If the Phils are so concerned about starting pitching, it would make no sense to trade who is currently their best option in that role. Toronto is reportedly seeking some combination of Kyle Drabek, Michael Taylor, Dominic Brown, Carlos Carrasco, Jason Donald, and/or Lou Marson. Drabek, Taylor, and Brown are rated as Top 25 talent by Baseball America, so I would be alright with parting with one of them, but not two. Donald still is questionable as a full-time MLB player, so although I like him, I would not be sad to see him go for Halladay. Marson could probably be the starting catcher now, but that is Chooch's job, and will be for the next couple seasons. A package of Taylor, Carrasco, and Donald for Halladay would be ideal.

*From Yahoo Sports- Brett Myers (hip) is "way ahead of schedule" in his rehab and will throw a bullpen session Saturday in Philadelphia. Myers said he was told by a hip specialist that he could return in mid to late August if his rehab continues to go well. He wouldn't be used as a starter, but could contribute as a late-innings reliever.

*From MLBTR/Jayson Stark- Pedro Martinez's contract is a prorated $2MM base salary, which will ultimately be worth less than $1MM for the rest of the season. He has incentives to pitch as both a starter and a reliever. Bonuses are awarded for every start Pedro pitches after his fifth. He's also getting paid a $15K bonus for every fifteenth day he's on the active roster. Incentives are included for postseason awards and the Comeback Player of the Year award. In all, Pedro could receive an additional $1.275MM next to his salary.

*Jayson Werth has struck out 9 times in 4 games since the All-Star break.

*Eric Bruntlett's OPS has dipped below .400 (.399) which is by far the most pathetic in baseball. Not opinion, but fact. Seriously, that's the lowest OPS in MLB this season from any player with 70+ at bats.

*Joe Blanton went from being on his way to ruining the Phils win streak on Saturday night to being able to help bump it to double digits tonight (thanks again Mother Nature). Rich Harden gets the ball for the Cubs. 10 straight would be awesome, go Phils!



Corey said...

anybody would trade taylor, carrasco and donald for halladay...except for toronto. the question is, what would you give up that could actually get halladay? drabek, taylor/brown, marson and happ?

Corey said...

and bruntlett has to go.

GM-Carson said...

No way in hell would I give up that package! Our top 3 prospects (mind you Taylor and Drabek aren't far away from MLB-ready), is a deal breaker! Including Happ would be retarded as for the reasons I supplied in the post.

From Ken Rosenthal- The Indians, knowing they cannot compete next season if they move Lee, would consider moving him only for a knockout proposal. Such a proposal would need to start with a major-league ready starting pitcher such as the Red Sox's Clay Buchholz or Braves' Tommy Hanson.

The Phillies have such a pitcher — left-hander J.A. Happ, who is 7-0 with a 2.68 ERA. Adding Class AAA right-hander Carlos Carrasco and Class A outfielder Dominic Brown to the package surely would get the Indians' attention. But if the Phillies were to trade Happ and Brown, they probably would prefer Halladay, right?

*Once again, that's a no-go!

Tim said...

i like happ but you have to honestly look at who he has beaten...anybody over .500? i like him alot but he really is only a 3rd starter at best. his fastball tops out at 91-92. hitters will figure him out soon enough. as for the prospects, give toronto whoever they want. we would be getting a top of the rotation starter who plays against the AL east. if drabek or taylor are going to be good major league players, when will they be ready, 2, 3, even 4 years. olets win again now! halladay can help do that and you would have him for another year if not more. its a no brainer to me to give up happ and prospects for halladay. hes the best pitcher in the game!

philly_phanatic said...

Bruntlett does have to go.... please check out my blog

Reverend Paul Revere said...

You two are damn insane to not give up PROSPECTS, however good they're SUPPOSED to be, for the best freakin pitcher in baseball on a team that, last time I checked, doesn't have much room for Taylor or Brown in the immediate future, you know, with three all-star outfielders and a team prepared to win now and the next year or two.

What's the point of waiting around on players that are going to replace players on a team that is ready to win now? You can get the best pitcher in the world. I don't understand that sentiment at all, at least from a fan perspective.

GM-Carson said...

They are winning now and I'd prefer they keep winning in the future. If you trade Drabek, Taylor, and Brown there goes a lot of your future.

Keep in mind Halladay can demand a trade in the offseason, and if the Phils don't honor that by March 15th, he becomes a free agent, which would be ideal for him because he'd easily make $20M+ on the open market. So the Phils could conceivably only get a 2+ months of Halladay for a king's ransom.

Bob D said...

The Phils have alot of good 2nd tier prospects that would temp Toronto of Cleveland for a pitcher. If they are packaged with one of Philly's top prospects they could possibly make it happen. The top prospects (all of which should be hard to part with) are Drabek, Taylor, Brown, Marson, Donald, and Carrasco. These players except Brown are all nearly major league ready and could get a Sept call up or be starting next year if needed. The other players who are good enough to entice a trade are Savery (12-2), Carpenter (8-2), Kendrick, Berry, Gose, Collier, Flande, Bastardo, and Naylor just to name the better ones. If they want ML ready pitching I say avoid trading Happ as you need to keep success and try to offer a Carrasco, Carpenter, Kendrick, or a Savery instead. The Phils can trade from the basis that they have alot of depth- actually an increadible amount of depth and quality players at that. But all efforts should be made to keep Happ, Drabek, Taylor, Brown, and Marson. Everyone else can be reluctantly parted with in the right trade.

If Lopez/Martinez pitch good, and Blanton and Moyer can continue thier recent success over the next few weeks then a trade may not be necessary. The rotation is not a dominate one but can it get thru a 5 or 7 game series???? Now add the rumors that Myers will be back by Sept in the bullpen then wow they have even more quality.

The Phils will/should win the division with what they have. Amaro needs to decide if they are good enough to win the NLDS and NLCS then the World Series with what they have. Is it worth it to have a great pitcher in the rotation but lose maybe 3 really good players some who are good enough that they could be compared to Hamels or Howard or Utley in maybe 3 years.

Tough decision

GM-Carson said...

If you only plan on winning the World Series this season, sell the farm for Halladay.

If you plan on winning and making the playoffs for years to come, keep the prospects.

Very tough decision indeed.

Reverend Paul Revere said...

Definitely a tough decision … but, the Phils have won exactly 2 World Series ever, meaning those suckers are hard to come by. If you have a real shot at increasing your odds to win one, even just one, it's probably not a bad idea to do it. But yeah, it is tough to mortgage the future as an organization.

GM-Carson said...

I'm pretty confident the Phils will make the playoffs this year, and that's based upon the competition in the NL East. Once in the playoffs anything can happen (see last year as an example).

GM-Carson said...

Getting Roy Halladay doesn't equal a World Series championship.

Not getting Roy Halladay doesn't equal not winning the World Series.

We all know with Halladay the chances are substantially higher, but this team has a alright chance at repeating regardless.

Reverend Paul Revere said...

He improves your chances, that's for damn sure.

Reverend Paul Revere said...

We can all agree that Eric Bruntlett sucks.

Corey said...

last year nobody would trade carlos carrasco. he was the future of the pitching staff. this year, i bet some would trade him for chad qualls.

JA Happ couldn't even beat out chan ho park this spring for the 5th spot in the rotation.

when brett myers was 21, he was throwing heat and lighting up AAA batters to the tune of a 5:1 K:BB ratio. would you give up his phillies career for a chance to win multiple world series titles?

i just don't get the love-fest for some of these unproven prospects. i'm not saying they won't be good, but some are putting kyle drabek and dominic brown in the 2011 all star game. drabek has a sub 4 ERA in AA and brown is hitting .315 in A ball. you'd think nobody ever did that before.

my point is, just because somebody is hot now, doesn't mean they will stay like that forever. just think back of all the can't-miss prospects that have missed in the last twenty years. so while i agree that emptying the farm system for a playoff run is not the best idea, it's also shortsighted to think that all these players are imperative to the future success of the phillies.

that being said, i'm still unsure of what i would give up to get halladay. but if i had to pick now, i'd take 1 1/2 years of roy halladay and a legit run at a few titles than the hope that drabek and brown might be good someday.

Corey said...

also, zolecki is pretty confident that halladay would not ask for the trade and i agree. the phils would trade him if he requested and although he can refuse a trade to six teams, their are more than that who would take him for a year at a reduced trade price, so he could end up playing somewhere less desirable at the same salary. it wouldn't be a good move unless he absolutely hated philadelphia.

Dr. Steve said...

The problem with the "just because he's hot now doesn't mean he will stay that way argument" is because, once you apply it to Halliday, you realize that five guys for one guy is a horrible idea.

If one guy goes down (Donald is hurt), you have the other four. If Halliday goes down... you have nothing. If you're taking a "anything can happen" approach, you wouldn't trade for Halliday.

I wouldn't. We're doing well. We have no reason to get him. REALISTICALLY, a trade for Halliday would move COLE HAMELS to the minors, as he is our worst pitcher. Would you have the balls to make that move?


GM-Carson said...

I want the World Series this season, repeating would be incredibly awesome. With the current team the Phils are most likely in the playoffs. In the playoffs who knows what will happen, but repeating is certainly a possibility.

Now add Halladay to the equation and the chances favor the Phils considerably. I want Halladay. I'd do Taylor, Carrasco, Donald, and Marson for him. Trading Drabek kinda scares me, because I'd do it if it meant then keeping Taylor and Carrasco. Ruben surely has his work cut out for him, but like many of have been saying- get a f'n righthanded bench bat too!

GM-Carson said...

Rumblings of a possible Kyle Kendrick for Josh Willingham swap. If KK nets Willingham I absolutely love everything Kyle Kendrick did for the Phils then. Without him no playoff in '07. Now the possibility of acquiring a much needed righthanded bat for him...gosh I hope this happens

Corey said...

"REALISTICALLY, a trade for Halliday would move COLE HAMELS to the minors" - c'mon. get real.

i don't know what it would take to get halladay, but i'm confident a package of taylor, carrasco, donald and marson wouldn't cut it. when looking at his trade, i think you start with drabek, add brown or taylor, and then keep adding. if you aren't willing to start there, you won't get hallady. we'll see in a week and a half if the phils are willing. nothing will happen this week but as we get closer to the deadline, toronto will realize that if they hold on to halladay, they'll get half as much in return next year and then we might see a deal.

Corey said...

kendrick for willingham. do it now. then send mayberry back to AAA. then trade somebody, anybody for a RH infielder to replace bruntlett and the phils would have their bench set.

GM-Carson said...

Jeff Keppinger of Astros would be a great utility infielder. Go check out his stats and tell me you're not salivating when thinking about him instead of Bruntlett.

Seriously, Bruntlett needs to be released. He's hurting this team because Charlie insists on using him.

Corey said...

update from zolecki: he disagrees with my assumption that all talks start with drabek.

GM-Carson said...

I love and hate the trade deadline at the same time. It's fun and exhausting. It's thrilling and nauseating.

Bob D said...

Kendrick for Willingham or another RH productive bat for the bench is a good idea. Many teams would jump at that as Kendrick has good potential, also a good year this year at AAA.

Drabek, Taylor, Marson, and even Happ I would not trade. Brown maybe a top 25 (as is Taylor) but he is the furthest away and the more likely not to be in the ML. Taylor is close and he is good. He has produced and actually looks like he could come up now and play for the Phils. Marson is on this list because he is a catcher and they are hard to find. The Phils do have D'Anaurd at a lower level but Marson can come in right away if theres an injury.
Drabek too good to part with and this team has so many other good to great pitchers they can part with before. And Happ is well a canidate for ROY. 7-0 sub 3 ERA, even if its just early success how can you part with him right now? Thats hard to do - even if his trade value is the highest its ever been.

Damned if you do and Damned if you don't!

Reverend Paul Revere said...

Dr. Steve is REALISTICALLY an IDIOT if he thinks Cole Hamels would be going to the minors and that he's the Phils' worst pitcher.

Yeah, he's having a rough season, but his ERA is comparable to the rest of the staff save Happ and actually has the potential to be completely dominant … like, say, the 2008 postseason.

Reverend Paul Revere said...

Cole just keeps leaving pitches up in the zone. I have a feeling he can correct that at some point.

Bruntlett sucks.

SirAlden said...

Taylor - Knapp - Carrasco/Happ - The Donald - A 5th Player ....

This would give a Top 25 + a Top 50 minor leaguer and would save Drabek, Brown, and Marston.

In any agreement there has to be the assurance that Halladay would not demand a trade this fall, and I do not think he would.

I hear him and his wife on Blue Jays Radio all the time, they like simplicity of routine, and they live in Florida. He wants a team that has spring training in Florida. We also play the Marlins too.

If we do this the chances of an extension will never be higher than right after the trade is approved. I would hope we would offer 2-3 years right away.

It is an ironic lesson - that - everyone moans about not getting fair value for our three most dark trades - Schilling - Rolen - Abreu (all three trades were forced under different levels of duress on the Phillies), and now no one wants to give any top top talent for the number one Pitcher in the Game at the moment.

Time will tell.

SirAlden said...

The perfect example was the
Beckett trade.

The Red Sox got 4 years of stability and a World Series in Beckett at 10 Million per season, while the Marlins got Hanley Ramirez the top SS in Baseball to build a team around.

The Red Sox fans would not give up those 4 years, and they are spending like a drunk sailor in overslots to continue the success.

Would anyone Trade Hanley Ramirez now for Beckett?

Would you go back now and not have 5 children with a woman who stood by your side and helped you become the Governor of South Carolina, so you could fly to Argentina and enjoy the sensual curves of a tan, Argentinian Divorce who is your soulmate?


SirAlden said...

Would be nice if there was an EDIT COMMENT Button. lol

Dr. Steve said...

What is the point in getting Halliday if you're going to have to take a good pitcher out of the lineup for him? The weakest link is Hamels and he's not budging.

That's my point. The upgrade is minimal.

GM-Carson said...

Great pitching by Blanton tonight. Shame he didn't get more than 1 run to work with.

2 questionable moves by Charlie. 1- bunt Werth to 2nd with Ruiz on deck. Would have made sense if he'd of pinch hit Dobbs or Stairs for Ruiz, but he didn't. 2- not having Madson pitch the 9th. He threw only 8 pitches in the 8th and they were all nasty.

GM-Carson said...

10 in a row!

Zac said...

I hope you didn't order that Halladay jersey with the retired number 32 just yet haha... Don't forget about Lefty!

GM-Carson said...

I know it's Carlton's #, but I didn't know what else # to bestow upon Halladay.