If Myers Is Done, What Should Phillies Do?

Posted by Tim Malcolm, Thu, May 28, 2009 08:22 PM | Comments: 194
Opinion, Posts

I stepped away from the Phillies for a while today, since there wasn’t anything really new to write about. Yes, the offense has some bad games, especially against sinkerball pitchers and guys who … well … can actually pitch. And yes, the pitching wasn’t good last night – Brett Myers was probably hurt; Jack Taschner probably isn’t long for the 25-man roster. We know all these things.

Then the news about Myers grew worse, and now it looks as if the longtime Phillie won’t finish 2009; moreover, he might not even don a pair of red pinstripes again.

So now the question becomes: What now? Suddenly the Phillies have lost their best pitcher (statistically), leaving one bonafide ace (Cole Hamels), a probable mid-rotation seesaw (Joe Blanton), a still-unproven mid-rotation lowballer (JA Happ) and an aged veteran who hasn’t shown to be worth his weight (Jamie Moyer). Suddenly they’re – at best – a three-man staff.

It’s no secret the Phillies have been the most ambitious of gentleman callers this season. They’ve inquired about the following pitchers: Jake Peavy, Brandon Webb, Roy Halladay, Doug Davis, Erik Bedard, Cliff Lee, Aaron Harang, Brad Penny, Chris Young and Jason Marquis. The names range from the elite to the broken, and everything in between. For once, though, the Phillies have the talent leverage to pull a deal. Names teams are salivating over include Lou Marson, Carlos Carrasco, Jason Donald, Travis d’Arnaud, Michael Taylor, Dominic Brown, Freddy Galvis, Vance Worley, Kyle Drabek and Antonio Bastardo. Ah, the benefits of finally having a top-shelf farm system.

But considering the circumstances of both the major league rotation and the potential dearth of pitching prospects, the Phils might need two starters via a trade. It might mean Jason Marquis now, Jake Peavy later. Or the Phillies could call up Carlos Carrasco or Vance Worley. Or they could play it safe with Kyle Kendrick or Andrew Carpenter (safe, meaning, they don’t mind making the offense score seven runs per game).

Of course, one problem the Phillies now face is every team in baseball knows the Phils need an arm, so the Phils carry no value leverage. A multiple prospect deal (say Marson, Worley and Bastardo) for a Young is very possible.

So should the Phils point their guns at a big-time pitcher right away?

I think it’s best the Phillies work with what they currently have, at least for a little while. Yes, there is only one goal: Win a world championship. There is no selling to be done. There is no resting on their hands. They must show a commitment to winning. But jumping that gun and trading for a mid- or top-line starter right away wouldn’t be wise. Instead, give Kendrick and Carrasco their chances. Yes, Kendrick has struggled, but his average against with runners in scoring position remains strong (.170, almost 100 points less than his standard average against). That seems like the old Kendrick.

Meanwhile, despite Carrsaco’s faults he remains a high-strikeout pitcher capable of going undamaged in five-to-six inning starts. Start him on a major league track now – force him to make adjustments and see if you can ride him for a few starts. If so, you’ve saved some money and gained some leverage.

Of course, it’s still possible Myers might eschew surgery and risk his hip, pitching the remainder of 2009 without surgery. That’s not wise, but if he feels okay about it, it’s his call. That said, the Phillies can’t be reactionary. They’re already naked to the rest of the league; if they can prove they have more clothes than others think, they can gain some leverage and, ultimately, help themselves out in the long run. Not just in the short term.

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About Tim Malcolm

Tim Malcolm has written 1948 articles on Phillies Nation.

  • Posts: 0 Ben

    Why not take a chance and sign Ben Sheets? That way you get an impact pitcher without having to gut the farm system by trading for a big name. Kendrick or Carrasco or Worley or someone can hold down the fort for a couple of months until Sheets returns with a fresh arm for the stretch run.

  • Posts: 0 me

    Yes, that top shelf farm system which was like mid teens when BA ranked all major league farm systems.

    I’m calling Amaro makes a deal for Oswalt, but overpays in the process.

  • Posts: 0 will

    doesnt matter who you get the mets will win the division

  • Posts: 0 Geoff

    They cant wait like that. They might need two, but they can wait to see. But they cant wait for one. These guys in the minors are all close to ready but none are really blatantly ready yet. I think theyll make a modest deal at first (Aaron Cook, Marquis maybe; basically, your usual mid-rotation solid sinkerballer) and see what happens with Moyer and see if Blanton is consistent.

  • Posts: 1650 Tim Malcolm

    Avatar of Tim Malcolm

    According to most experts, the farm system has improved dramatically (even this season), and many believe it is among the cream of baseball.

  • Posts: 0 The Dipsy

    All three of those guys for Young, Tim? I would never in a million years do that. Worley and Bastardo could very possibly the #2 and #3 pitchers in the system. I don’t mind overpaying at this point but that might be close to rape. And all of a sudden the cries for Oswalt. Well, its gonna come earlier than I expected (I think I predicted July 17) but he’s gonna be the guy. Marquis or Cook to come as soon as Myers announces surgery. And lets not forget about Jon Garland :)

    The Dipsy

  • [...] The woes of the Phillies starting rotation continue, even on an off day.  Word came down today that Brett Myers’ injured hip could require surgery and may end his 2009 season.  Not exactly the kind of news anyone surrounding the Phillies wanted to hear.  We all know that the starting pitching has been terrible so far this season, but Myers had been the best of the bunch so far.  So, this poses the question:  What now? [...]

  • Posts: 0 Red Sox Fan

    What would you guys think about Brad Penny? What prospect would you consider giving up and who would be fair value?

    Penny seems like he would fill a role since the Phillies really need 2 starters (how much longer can they depend on Moyer?) He wouldn’t be an ace you pair along with Hamels and is a short term fix, but he would be better than the internal options, Chan Ho Park and Kendrick.

  • Posts: 0 The Dipsy

    Hey thanks for the news.

    The Dispy

  • Posts: 0 The Dipsy

    OR move Myers to the bullpen as the 7th inning guy. I’m only half kidding.

    The Dipsy

  • Posts: 0 Rich

    I would do none of the above right now. Kendrick has been more good than bad in Allentown. Let’s bring him back now, hope he throws ok, and look to make a big move. I’m sorry, if you think Marquis, Cook, or any other bucket of warm spit will cut it, you’re nuts. Considering the cost for Blanton last year (when we were much better off), we can’t afford to make two deals for two guys worth their weight. I would limit ourselves to looking at Oswalt, Lee, Harang, Webb, Peavy, Halladay, and Bedard. Remember here, you’re talking about the best statistical starter we’ve had this year, gone. This means you need a real #1-2 type starter, even if you think Cole is going to be great now.

  • Posts: 0 The Dipsy

    Hey Rich. Kendrick sucks and will always suck. He’s dead to me.

    The Dipsy

  • Posts: 0 Geoff

    Well…Ill say that Kendrick is not a wise choice. As a matter of fact, I think hes going to be traded in the deal for either Cook or Marquis. Honestly, NONE of the starters we have in the minors are ready now, if they had someone ready they wouldnt have given Moyer a 2 year contract hoping he could still hack it. They are PROSPECTS. Good prospects. It will take longer to get a starter to replace Myers’ production, and at that time Moyer will be removed from the rotation. But for now I see them making a deal for a sinkerballer who is a mid-rotation arm.

  • Posts: 0 The Little Guy

    Vance Worley, the dude talking about the Phillies minor leaguers says he could be called up.

    The double A coach said he is MLB ready and and has MLB ready stuff.

  • Posts: 0 mikemike

    If it’s Worley that would be a big suprise. He was allready jumped a level this year, carpenter or Bastardo make more sense right now. Mlb says phillies are in no rush to make a trade. interesting. I wonder how many times the phillies have taken a double a player and brought him up, I believe they take it very slow with prospect.

  • Posts: 0 Joel

    How about signing Pedro Martinez or Paul Byrd??? That would be one option, no???

  • Posts: 0 Greg V.

    The Byrd Cage!

  • Posts: 0 4daysrest.com

    The pitching moves available to the Phillies right now are few and far between. To land a superstar, you’d have to part with not only a major league bat (Werth/Victorino), but a lot of the top-level talent in the minors that we’ve been grooming for the next 2-3 years. It’s a tough call.

  • Posts: 0 Geoff

    Bedard wont cost that much…the Brewers didnt even give up that much for sabathia..get with it guys…it would require a few of your best prospects….you CAN get some top level guys itll just cost like 3 really good prospects plus a few others

  • [...] Ruben make a quick move, which Phillies Nation cautions against? Or will the Phils stand pat and see how the market develops over the next 30 days? Will the Phils [...]

  • Posts: 0 From Section 113

    Taking a chance on Pedro or Sheets might be smart. Sheets would be sought after and if Money is an issue than that could be a problem.

    I don’t mind Cook.

  • Posts: 0 Todd H.

    I know this doesn’t change anything but…if Ruben had taken my advice and signed Derek Lowe the Phils would only need to fill one spot.

    In any event…WE NEED A SP!!! I’d dare say…we need four of them LOL!!

    I think Peavy would be a great choice if we’re are going to be trading the “farm”. No sense in dealing top prospects to get crap (Blanton) in return.

  • Posts: 0 mikemike

    Didn’t the brewers give up Matt La Porta a top level prospect. Better than any prospect we have according to scouts. That doesn’t mean he will be better than BROWN OR DRABEK OR TAYLOR.but a high level prospect.

  • Posts: 0 The Dipsy


    1) Do you think teams devalue a Marson and Donald a little if they believe that they Phils HAVE to trade them because they have no place to play them?

    2) Right now I rank our minor league pitchers like this 1) Drabek 2) Bastardo 3) Worley 4) Carrasco. Do you agree?

    Carrasco’s head is bumping up against the ceiling but it seems he’s not breaking through yet. Worley’s manager apparently thinks he’s ready NOW. Man I would hate to give up Drabek. You comments?

    The Dipsy

  • Posts: 0 The Dipsy

    Excuse me. Let me be precise. “Devalue” is the wrong word. Do you think teams will attempt to give us less than full value if they feel that Marson and Donald are “blocked? Personally, I feel Donald may not be if we trade Vic or Werth but I think Marson certainly is.

    The Dispy

    P.S. I think Myers is gonna pitch.

  • Posts: 0 Gary B

    Well written Tim, I agree 100%. Let’s bring these young guys up and give them a shot to fill some holes in the rotation.

  • Posts: 0 Rick in MA

    How about Marson for Clay Buchholz who is also “blocked”?

    The Red Sox need a catcher for the future, right? Marson could fill that role and I think they’ve lost patience with Buchholz.

    I would love to see Webb in Philly! If the Phils got Webb and brought up Kendrick, he could improve! Kendrick could learn a lot about pitching with his sinker from Webb.

  • Posts: 0 Phil

    Rick, there is no way the Red Sox are trading Bucholz. He’s got better stuff than every single pitcher on that pitching staff combined. He’s going to be the next Lincecum. They’ve regained their patience with him, he has a sub 2 ERA in the minors. They just have a log jam at the major league level, so there’s no way of calling him up right now.

  • Posts: 0 Sean Chase

    The Phillies made a mistake by giving Moyer 22 mil, and not going after a young talent in the offseason. Now they’re stuck. Their payroll will not allow them to sign Peavy. They will need to trade 2 top prospects and most likely a player on the current roster. (Marson, Carrasco, and then it’s anyones guess.) You cannot trade Jayson Werth, he is our only right handed power bat. We’re in trouble if Moyer, Happ, and Blanton cannot step up to fill the void lost by Brett. Kendrick will most likely fill the spot. I don’t see them making a trade until at least early July. Let’s just hope they can stay in division contention until that point. Dobbs step it up, boy!

  • Posts: 0 Sean Chase

    Brandon Webb is injured.

  • Posts: 0 Phil

    They only gave Moyer $14 mil I think…maybe $16 mil. I am all for trading Victorino. He can net a lot because he’s so overrated. Victorino is so overrated that people think he is underrated. Werth can play center, and although I know the line up would lose a bit of speed and falter for contact a bit I think Mayberry would be fine in right. The defense wouldn’t lose that much either. Victorino, Marson, Carrasco, and another low level prospect could probably land us any ace out there. Victorino and Marson could probably get us a guy like Harang. The Reds would love Victorino. They could put him in RF and shift Bruce to LF and leave Taveras in CF. That would give them the best defensive OF in all of baseball and lots of speed on the base paths. They also wouldn’t have that garbage platoon in LF. Their pitching is great so they can afford to let go of Harang. That should be what they go after.

  • Posts: 0 Evan

    How about trying Madson as a starter again or does he need to develop another pitch?

  • Posts: 0 Phil

    Brandon Webb being injured is a good thing. When he comes back his value will be cheaper.

  • Posts: 0 happy feet

    The phillies should try to get by with what they have and then wait to see who falls out of the race and try to get a starter that way. No use on trading marson, brown, drabek to a mariners and gettting bedard. That would kill the farm we need to be smart and acquire a top level pitcher like a Oswalt, Peavy or a Bueherle someone who is good and eats up high innings. I do think if the jays fall out of contention the phillies could make a intising offer to the Jays with a guy like Marson and Donald and then throw in a guy like Bastardo and maybe give up Victorino. To me Holiday is the ONLY pitcher worth giving up MLB level talent for in the leauge. He eats innings and wins.

  • Posts: 0 Justin

    Dipsy, I have to say Michael Taylor has to be higher on the list than at least 1 or 2 of those players, and Dom Brown according to Baseball America is our top prospect with good reason, he is tearing apart FSL pitchers, the minute that Michael Taylor gets called to LHV, Brown will be in Reading. So right now i put the top 5 like this.

    1. Dominic Brown
    2. Kyle Drabek
    3. Michael Taylor
    4. Antonio Bastardo
    5. Carlos Carrasco

    Worley’s still right there but Carrasco is still a guy the Phils are higher on. Just my opinion but I think the Phils are still higher on Carrasco because they’ve put more into his development than Worley who came to the Phils as a more polished prospect.

  • Posts: 0 mikemike

    That is why I believe last night on mlb the phillies said we are in not a rush, We don’t have to do anything. Sure a lot of teams think they have them under the gun, Last season when they tried to get C.C. then haren, then harden, and fail, and had no one ready to step in, look what oakland did to them, they raped them for a okay starter, It won’t happen again. Ruben has to be patient, we won the series, and as much as I would want another title. they can’t be given up allstart caliber prospects for guys who are blanton or park, or marquis type’s. I rather see them bring up bastardo, or kenrick or carpenter instead, Drabek, is a stud in my opinion untouchable. so is brown, Knapp is near untouchable too . Worley and Stutes could be dealt but not for a cook type must be better like Cain.

  • Posts: 0 Justin

    Happy Feet it’s Halladay, Roy Halladay, not like Matt Holliday.

  • Posts: 0 Pete

    don’t think they let you post links here, but reclinergm(.com) has a good article up with 24 possible replacements for Myers, and maybe Moyer down the road.

  • Posts: 0 Steve-o

    I think they bring up Worley. Carrasco just isn’t ready, and Bastardo has only had 2 starts at AAA. Let’s wait and see before selling the farm for a starter.

  • Posts: 0 Geoff

    Vance Worley does seem like the best guy to bring up if theyre going to go that route. He does actually appear (from scouting and coach statements and stats) to be ready right now. If he can perform well that buys them some time to find a replacement for Moyer who would replace Myers’ numbers.

    Also, Worley could blindside baseball for a few weeks and baffle hitters because hes an unknown.

  • Posts: 0 Justin

    It’s a worthy risk to chance throwing Worley into the fire but if it backfires then you kill his development and he’s your new Kyle Kendrick that has to go back through the minors to develop his pitches better, the book on Worley from what I’ve seen is that he’s got the pitches, but the control and command tend to get away from him from time to time, which is why he went through a bad 2-3 starts before turning it back around last game. I don’t think the Phils chance it, they worry too much about their pitching prospects as it is. I think it’s Carpenter or Kendrick before the AA boys or Carrasco, it could even be a guy like Rodrigo Lopez who they may not be afraid to waive if his chances go bad then they have roster spots for Worley or Stutes should they make that call.

  • Posts: 0 J A Happy

    Someone mentioned Madson as a starter again,I think hes to important to the pen,,but what about Chad Durbin as a starter? he would be easier to replace in the pen

  • Posts: 0 Ed

    Personally I would trade the farm for Halladay. And then go with the rest of the rotation we have, maybe trade for a back of the rotation guy…Jon Garland, Doug Davis etc.

  • Posts: 0 NJ

    Worley has some great numbers but a couple of numbers stick out for me, 21 years old less than a year out of the draft with only 22 games of minor league experience. I love what this kids showing but calling for him to take a big spot in the rotation for 2/3rds of a season seems premature to me.

    I’m expecting a no frills rental to be brought in, 2010 free agent pitchers:
    Brandon Backe (32)
    Miguel Batista (39)
    Josh Beckett (30) – $12MM club option with a $2MM buyout
    Erik Bedard (31)
    Kris Benson (34)
    Daniel Cabrera (29)
    Chris Capuano (31)
    Bartolo Colon (37)
    Jose Contreras (38)
    Doug Davis (34)
    Justin Duchscherer (32)
    Adam Eaton (32)
    Shawn Estes (37)
    Josh Fogg (33)
    Freddy Garcia (34)
    Jon Garland (30) – $10MM mutual option with $2.5MM or $1MM buyout
    Tom Glavine (44)
    Mike Hampton (37)
    Rich Harden (28)
    Mark Hendrickson (36)
    Livan Hernandez (35)
    Tim Hudson (34) – $12MM mutual option with a $1MM buyout
    Jason Jennings (31)
    Jason Johnson (36)
    Randy Johnson (46)
    John Lackey (31)
    Cliff Lee (31) – $8MM club option with a $1MM buyout
    Braden Looper (35) – option
    Rodrigo Lopez (34)
    Jason Marquis (31)
    Kevin Millwood (35) – Rangers can decline $12MM salary for ’10 unless he reaches 180 innings in ’09
    Brian Moehler (38) – mutual option
    Vicente Padilla (32) – $12MM club option with a $1.75MM buyout
    John Parrish (32)
    Carl Pavano (34)
    Brad Penny (32)
    Odalis Perez (33)
    Andy Pettitte (38)
    Joel Pineiro (31)
    Sidney Ponson (33)
    Mark Prior (28)
    Horacio Ramirez (30)
    Jason Schmidt (37)
    John Smoltz (43)
    Tim Wakefield (43) – perpetual $4MM club option
    Jarrod Washburn (35)
    Brandon Webb (31) – $8.5MM club option with a $500K+ buyout
    Todd Wellemeyer (31)
    Kip Wells (33)
    Randy Wolf (33)

  • Posts: 0 Kevin

    Nice Article Tim, thought-provoking, as usual.

    In the article there was mention that the Phils currently carry no value-leverage in respect to trading for a top tier pitcher because all the teams in the league know the Phil’s situation… however, also mentioned was that the Phils don’t need to jump the gun and should call up Kendrick or Carrasco and give them some work to see if they work out.

    But what happens if those guys fail, and the Phillies look even more desperate to acquire a #2 or #3 pitcher…. they lose even more leverage when trying to make a deal, right?

  • Posts: 0 J A Happy

    Say no to Chan Ho

  • Posts: 0 bob

    Adam eatons aviable!!

  • Posts: 0 Don M

    I think Eric Bedard is a member of the Phillies sometime within the next week..

    and we’ll say goodbye to one of our OF prospects since the Mariners lost Adam Jones to Baltimore when they got Bedard a few years ago.. Marquis isn’t going to help.. you need someone legit, or just call up the young guys, no sense in having Cole Hamels followed by a bunch of pitchers who should all be the #4 on your team

    If we aren’t getting a legit #2.. lets just use fill-ins like Carrasco, Kendrick.. and save our prospects, because taking Myers out of the rotation, and not replacing with someone better means that aren’t repeating as World Series Champions… and if we wouldn’t be repeating, why would we weaken the farm?

  • Posts: 0 Geoff

    I like Bastardo as well, but does he have the stamina to be a starter? Those strikeouts/walk numbers are major league worthy right now at least out of the bullpen, the guy would own the 6th or 7th innings for a stretch of the season as he is or they could try to stretch out his arm to a starters stamina…

    Guys to stay away from: Bedard (d!ckhead, they wont get him because of that), Roy Oswalt (about 40+ M committed this year and the next two years, aging, delivery suggests eventual arm troubles), Cliff Lee (no way he can be as good as he was last year, would cost too much for just being a one year wonder), Washburn makes too much and would be a Moyer-type replacement., Doug Davis (why even bother? unles you want another Moyer-washburn type for cheap), Brad Penny (d!ckhead, ERA too high).

    I also would not trade Jayson Werth. Though Id trade Shane Victorino for someone as good as Halladay/Webb/Haren/Cain/J. Sanchez if they were actually available. I do agree Shane is overrated, he can be their best player sometimes and then disapppear for weeks at a time.

    Mayberry could play Right, Werth would slide to Center. But Id only consider it if youre getting a 1A/2 type abck in return for your package.

    Right now, theyll call up either Worley or Bastardo and try to buy some time. If that pans out then theyll have a little time to find a frontline guy to replace Moyer. If it doesnt pan out, then theyll get someone like Marquis or Cook or Washburn really soon and then still pan for a topline guy.

    Thats sort of the way I think itll shake out.

  • Posts: 0 NJ

    Bedard’s a tough sell, his values low but not so low he would be an easy deal. The second the Phils make a serious move other teams will do likewise.

    Washburn seems a more practical move to me though if the back-end of the rotation continues to struggle I wouldn’t rule out another move down the line as was anticipated. Myers is a free agent expected to walk, I think the Phils do the sensible thing and make a sideways move and take on the end of a contract and re-assess things nearer to the trade deadline.

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