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 1947 articles on Phillies Nation.

  • Posts: 0 Don M

    Mayberry sucks.. and Donald can’t try to learn the OF at the major league level

    Feliz has a $5 M team option for next season.. if he’s healthy, I’d imagine the Phillies sign him up for one more season.. meaning that Donald is most likely going to be traded at the deadline this year.

  • Posts: 0 Sean Chase

    Phillies Players mentioned that YOU CANNOT TRADE!

    -Jayson Werth
    -Shane Victorino
    -Jason Donald
    -Antonio Bastardo

    Can trade:
    -Lou Marson
    -Antonio Bastardo
    -John Mayberry Jr.
    -Greg Dobbs
    -Eric Bruntlett
    -Mike Cervenack

  • Posts: 0 The Dispy

    Of course I don’t have the inside track. If the Phils think that Marson is better than Ruiz, then trade Ruiz. I don’t much care either way. Can’t keep em both. Respectfully, I cite my own common sense rather than knowledge of the organization. I just know you can’t play two catchers. Moving on, just for shits and giggles, lets assume both teams would make that deal (and Toronto would be getting a good deal, btw), the Phils aren’t “mortgaging” their future. they have a deep farm system and we’re keeping our best prospects (with the exception of Bastardo). i.e. Drabek, Taylor, Brown, Knapp, Worley.

    The Dipsy

  • Posts: 0 NJ

    You have to trade or let walk one of Victorino or Werth in the coming future, with Rollins, Utley, Howard all reaching free agent years and with the salaries of guys like Lidge, Romero, Madson or the equivalent at that point down the line few teams can afford to have almost all their players in their money years so one will go.

  • Posts: 0 Don M

    Kendrick is horrible at pitching..

    He’s proven that he’s horrible at pitching, BECAUSE he thorws Sinker, sinker, sinker… and MLB hitters adjusted to him and started knocking him all over the yard

  • Posts: 0 The Dispy

    Oh, Mayberry sucks? OK. Well, we can cut him outright OR let him go for the AAA triple crown. I thought Donald has been learning the OF at AAA. If I’m wrong, I stand corrected. Move Cervenack? Great idea. Maybe he and Jeremy Slayden and Taschner can get you…..uh…….ummmm….never mind.

    The Dipsy

  • Posts: 0 NJ

    Toronto (or equivalent) will be seeing things very different on any guys headed their way and it’s not like we have a Matt LaPorta (and it’s no shame not to have one of the best prospects in baseball because you can’t predict who will be), we can’t just easily say who the best prospects are just by looking at their minor league numbers especially since now were discarding the last bunch of guys who hadn’t played above AA for another group who… haven’t played above AA. What about what other teams are willing to offer, everyone will move on Webb if he is available and suddenly the price has gone up past whats being suggested let alone what it would cost if the Phils stay in the bidding.

    As for Ruiz he’s far from intrenched like Lieberthal was, it’s expected he’ll be passed and become a back-up or let walk to find his money down the road. Marson isn’t up because he’s not ready, not because he’s blocked, he hasn’t got the equivalent of Jim Thome blocking him.

  • Posts: 0 NJ

    Talking of sinkerball pitchers… Remember sinkerballs put balls in play and those balls can find the gaps mightily easy. Careful what you wish for as when sinkerballs go bad you see innings far worse than giving up the 2 or 3 run shot.

  • Posts: 0 Don M

    I was pretty sure they were trying to teach Donald how to play 3b, since they didn’t have a good 3b prospect in the system.. and they have 2 VERY GOOD Outfield prospects in Michael Taylor, and Dominic Brown

    SUCKS is a strong word.. I just don’t want to see Werth or Victorino go..

    … Im getting mixed feelings about all this.. think about the current window with Ibanez, Howard, Rollins (Utley and Hamels should be here for a while)..

    and it really seems like they do need to get MLB READY PLAYERS for their prospects right now!!

    Its just a move that can bite you, but in reality.. we have no idea which young guys will turn out to be great.. and while we have a roster full of Best-Ever-Phillies we need to keep this postseason run going

    I still think that Halladay and Peavy are out of the question.. I think Bedard (Donald could be a nice 3b for them?) and Cook would be great upgrades to the rotation.

    Hamels, Bedard, Cook, Happ, Blanton … that would be strong enough to make another postseason run.

  • Posts: 0 Justin

    Donald has no position but a platoon possibly next season at 3rd. Bastardo I know is high on the Phils charts so I’d say he’s close to untouchable unless they’re going after a Peavy type pitcher. With Moyer being a possibility to hang em up at any given moment, if you read Jayson Starks column on Rumblings & Grumblings. There’s a spot in the rotation for a new lefty to take his spot, which would then give Bastardo a chance to make a play for it, maybe not this season or not til September but definitely next season at the latest. All the trade talk in the world won’t change what the Phils will do which is what they always do, similar to the Eagles. Talk to these teams about their high priced arms get the what is being asked for then when they don’t make the trade they’ll sit back and say hey we tried, price was too high. I see Brad Penny being the deal they go after, a former ace who is gettable for cheaper rate then Peavy/Buerhle/Webb/Haren/Harang/Bedard etc.

  • Posts: 0 Chuck P

    Armchairing a bit… if there’s any chance that we can get Halladay, I’m all about it. I would deal Carrasco, Marson and Werth to get it done, too… probably not Victorino. I can’t believe that the BJ’s would let him go.

    Would also LOVE to see Haren come to Philadelphia… he’s a beast.

    Bastardo looks like a rising star… Knapp has also been phenomenal. 97 MPH with the courage to throw inside.

    All in all, we have the chips.

  • Posts: 0 Don M

    Right, but Marson isn’t ready.. and in my opinion.. he isn’t even close..

    Its not like your looking at Carrasco who could arguably be the #5 right now with how bad our pitching has been.

    Ruiz has been swinging a good bat, and has been good as always behind the plate.. Marson looked very overmatched when he was up here.

    MLBTR said Buster Olney was wondering about Jason Donald to the RedSox for Brad Penny (its not a rumor, just him thinking outloud)..

    there was also listed that Brandon Webb has an $8.5 M club option for 2010, with a $2 M buyout
    (Webb’s value is rock bottom LOW right now.. definitely worth checking into.. and if he’s stll hurt, you eat $2 M on his buyout)

  • Posts: 0 Bruce

    Oh hum… sorry for intruding here among the GM wanna be’s and their wish list that has long ago overtaken the orginal thread on Meyers. I thought I throw a curve here for any reaction. I’m reposting a portion of my text here from another thread.

    “There is a question in my mind about Myers that has not been brought up here or even by Tim Malcolm. It was reported that Myers has had this hip inflammation in various degrees of discomfort even before the season started. Did Myers withhold this information from Manuel and pitching coach, Dubee in hopes he could ride out the pain as the season started? Was there another reason for him not to reveal this problem that eventually got worst? Did he have concerns about his soon to be expired contract and possible free agency route during the off season? I hope not. I bring this up because I can not understand why an athlete making an enviable living would not take better care of his body in a profession that demands great physical exertion. If indeed Myers deliberately kept silent with his ongoing problem, he did a disservice to his team and himself.”

  • Posts: 0 Don M

    According to Buster Olney:
    “But it may be that Peavy won’t accept a trade to Philadelphia (he already turned down Chicago), and in any event, the cost of a Peavy deal might be prohibitive for the Phillies, whose farm system is improving but is still seen as being relatively thin.”

    aka: No Peavy, and our farm is still thin..
    Because they gave up so much to GET Bedard, they should wait for his value to keep climbing:
    “In fact, it might behoove the Mariners to wait a little bit for the pitching market to play out and for Bedard to keep taking the ball and re-establishing himself as a dominant presence. On the face of it, the chances of the Phillies finding a relatively quick and reasonable deal for Bedard appear long.”

    And our window is still open for 2009, we should still go for it:
    “Phillies GM Ruben Amaro must continue to try to win in 2009, as Salisbury noted, and he’s dead right. The Phillies’ window of opportunity for success is still wide open.

    Peavy, Oswalt, Garland, Marquis, Duke, Bedard, Penny. All could be options.”

  • Posts: 0 The Dispy

    Thank you Don M and Chuck P (are you related to Chuck D. from Public Enemy). Ruiz IS entrenched because A) he’s great, thats right, great, defensively; B) the pitchers love him; C) He’s not an offensive liability. And NJ, give us a break with that stupid sinkerball comment. We have a great defensive infield and we play in a band box. Grounders are the way to go. I thought more of you than that. Are you looking to guard against “seeing eyes” singles???

    The Dipsy

  • Posts: 0 Geoff

    Buster Olney is almost always wrong..keep that in mind. but his proposed trade of Jason Donald for Brad Penny is a HORRIBLE IDEA. THat is a stupid ass trade.

    Brad Penny would be a complete disaster here, and as we know you cant just arbitratily trade someone JUST because theyre blocked. Trading Marson and Donald for a guy like Penny is still a bad trade even if theyre blocked. Thats no excuse to make a stupid trade. Ruben: PLEASE DONT MAKE THIS TRADE!

  • Posts: 0 Don M

    I don’t think Myers was “trying to hide anything” .. it bothered him a little in NY, but he was filthy in that game..

    and it started bothering him this past game, and it got the better of him.

    All professional athletes play through pain, and if you make a big deal out of nothing, you get labeled as “soft” and your teammates lose faith in you. They’d rather see you go out a battle than sit out a couple games cause you aren’t 100%

    I sometimes wish Hamels would be as tough as Myers, and have a little bit more of that GIVE ME THE BALL attitude (of course I’d rather have Hamels over Myers though)

  • Posts: 0 pb

    The Paul Bako signing is making sense now he’s insure for when they trade Marson…. Last season I was apposed to trading Lou Marson… now I much rather trade him then some of our pitching prospects… besides if Chooch keeps playing like this he’ll be able to hold fort down until Travis D’Arnaud is ready anyways

    Sorry Lou you will be traded this year

  • Posts: 0 Justin

    I just wish everyone posting on Erik Bedard would stop posting about him, no one in their right mind would pay the equivalent to what they will ask for. Top Pitching Prospect (Drabek/Carrasco/Bastardo you choose), MLB-caliber ready outfielder (Mayberry/Werth/Taylor) and throw-in player. Not worth that price they paid in Chris Tillman, Adam Jones and George Sherill. Plus he’s a rent a player COMPLETELY not worth it.

    I like Webb and would roll the dice depending the price the Dbacks put on him.

    On the Werth/Victorino front Victorino i think may be in his last year or 2nd to last year of Arbitration while Werth has the 2 yr contract so I think both are done in 2 years specially with Taylor and Mayberry being ready to take at least 1 of their spots. Dom Brown could be ready to be the everyday centerfielder in 2 years but Quintin Berry lower OF prospect could be ready in 2 years for sure since he’s already in Reading and a leadoff man for the team. Just throwing out those tidbits for people saying it’s time for one of Werth or Victorino to walk.

  • Posts: 0 Chuck P

    Regarding the future of the team… why not go for it now? I think that the Phillies front office would have to be CRAZY to let the window shut on this squad (the future is now). Right now, ticket sales couldn’t be higher and a new fan is born with every sellout. You gotta ride this wave a couple more years and then you’ll have enough in the bank to reload… you gotta keep the fans energized so that they continue to believe that this organization is serious about winning.

  • Posts: 0 pb

    insure = insurance, my bad

  • Posts: 0 Don M

    I added in that Buster Olney was not reporting a trade rumor.. he was simply saying how they need a SS, and we need a starting pitcher.. both teams can give the other what they are looking for in a win-win situation

    He didn’t say that either team was talking or thinking about making such a trade

    Brad Penny has Geoff’s favorite stat in 4-of-5 starts though.. QUALITY STARTS..

  • Posts: 0 Don M

    I dont think Bedard would fetch THAT high an asking price.. he’s not Jake Peavy.. and he’s not Roy Halladay.

    It would probably cost 3 solid prospects..

    The problem with Webb is that he isn’t ready to pitch right now, and you don’t know how healthy he would be for the remainder or this season, and his career.

    Bedard could come here, and be what we expect from Day One.

  • Posts: 0 NJ

    The Dippy do us a favour and stop trying to act like the big man, this a message board, I’m right and know more than you ego’s are just boring.

    Yes we have a very good defensive infield but around the league some sinkerballs can’t get out of innings because of the consequence of cheap hits and CBP isn’t a completely different entity to the other parks in the league, it has its differences and tendencies but you don’t put a sinkerballer here and its black and white.

    A pitchers a pitcher no matter what he throws, great ones adjust to their environment.

  • Posts: 0 Chuck P

    Since Mayberry is with the team right now, they obviously feel like he’s ready to step in… under that assumption, it makes sense that Werth/Vic would be expendable. I love them both but something has got to give, right?

    I agree that Ruiz has solidified himself as the franchise catcher… and not because he’s mired in a hot streak. He solidified himself as the franchise catcher last year. His defense is superb… the guy doesn’t allow passed balls, he has a cannon and can block the plate as well as anyone. His hitting is average and that’s fine. Marson might be a better batsmith but I’ll take Chooch in a NY minute.

    Buster Olney is a turd.

  • Posts: 0 NJ

    Remember Bedard’s an impeding free agent, the difficulty guessing his value is he’s caught between the value of the deal he was traded for and that of very good but not elite impending free agents. There was also grumblings of him being non-tendered last year so I’d think his value would be near that of Adam Dunn’s last year.

  • Posts: 0 Geoff

    But his ERA is almost 6…and as we know ERA is more important. Hed be the trade a desperate team would make…even though the phillies are desperate.

  • Posts: 0 mikemike

    Bedard I am reading is a real cry baby, gets to a certain pitch count wants to come out. Won’t pitch if he isn’t feeling right ,bad clubhouse guy, but this is not my thought but writers who cover the team. The thing is if we have four lefthanders and most of them aren’t that much different as far as fastball changeup. big advantage to the hitters. that’s is why teams like right left keep the other team off balance

  • Posts: 0 Don M

    Im not even sure what anyone is talking about on here right now.. there are 7 different converstaions going on

  • Posts: 0 Chuck P

    Dipsy Do… ha… that’s funny.

    Does anyone else find it hard to concentrate with that McFadden’s girl in the upper left hand corner?

  • Posts: 0 The Dispy

    Hey NJ, it would be nice if you not deprecate others when you feel like they may have the better side of an argument than you. Its childish. Yes, we should all be mindful of the CHF (Cheap Hits Factor) because its much more important the the LDLLAYFF (Live Drives Leaving Lacemarks Across Your Face Factor).

    The Dispy

    p.s. NJ, when are you going to start YOUR own site so we can all ignore it?

  • Posts: 0 The Dispy

    Line Drives, excuse me.

    The Dispy

  • Posts: 0 Geoff

    I will finally admit though that Ruiz is the catcher for the foreseeable future..Marson regressed since they sent him back down.

    NJ…when Blanton is on his game he is throwing that sharp sinker/slider combo you saw the other day. aside from hamels…pitchers that keep the ball on teh ground with sinkers and cutters are the type that do well in this ballpark. lidge is struggling because hes not spotting his fastball low in the zone (not a sinker). the relievers at this park that do well keep it low..just like the starters…

    all these sinkerballers come in here and own teh phillies because they keep the ball down and throw sliders and changeups to complement their low fastballs..because thats what works in this ballpark!

    obviously, an ace is an ace…and theyre good anywhere…but that doesnt mean that total flyball pitcher like peavy would be AS good if he came here.

  • Posts: 0 J A Happy

    Hey dipsy,caus the pitchers love him? WTF look at thier era’s, they need somebody to put a foot up thier rumps

  • Posts: 0 NJ

    Dippy doo dah maybe your ‘thoughts’ might be more valid if you didn’t feel the need to be the only person to sign every post with your name. Every point you make is from a position of my view is an absolute and f’ck anyone that doesn’t agree and it pisses me off, you post like you don’t come on here to discuss, you post on here hoping for people to agree with you.

    I don’t post to have people agree with me but it just gets on my nerves when some of which your on the very top of the list can’t see past your own arguments and feel like you need to beat your arms on your chest with the most popular view possible.

  • Posts: 0 The Dispy

    No..No..No…NJ’s right. Just ask him.

    The Dipsy

  • Posts: 0 Don M

    lets all talk about how the Mets suck instead of cyber-arguing

  • Posts: 0 NJ

    Appreciate the comment on it Geoff, what I really meant to say is I don’t think we should get hung up on searching for sinkerballers and miss the boat on other guys who might get the job done with what they have.

  • Posts: 0 Bruce

    Don M~ Before I leave this thread, I want to respond to your comment..”..all professional athletes play through pain”. Knowing your body and its’ tolerance and the source of the pain is one thing; but when not knowing the source or seriousness of the pain and lightly dismiss it is jeopardizing your professional livelihood.

    FYI..from Philly.com: “Landis (Myers’ agent) confirmed that the hip has bothered Myers sporadically over the past few seasons. He acknowledged that the condition could have contributed to the puzzling loss of velocity that Myers has experienced at times over the past 2 years.”

    Again it begs the question of whether or not the Phillies’ organization were aware of this.

  • Posts: 0 J A Happy

    Go Jersey go

  • Posts: 0 NJ

    OK cheers I’m right, don’t know exactly what I’m right on apart from your wrong and have a fantasy idea of baseball.

  • Posts: 0 Don M

    I agree that we don’t “NEED” a new pitcher to throw sinkers, because that doesn’t mean anything..

    I think going after a GROUND BALL PITCHER is important though, and often times those guys happen to have good sinkers.

    Aaron Cook is a GROUND BALL PITCHER, but between him and Erik Bedard, I’d rather have Bedard.

    I’d love to have both of them, and repeat as WS Champs though..

  • Posts: 0 The Dispy

    NJ, I’m glad if I gave you the opportunity to unburden yourself of some hostility. Holding it in just creates stress and as we all know, stress is a killer. But I am curious to know what relation the manner in which I sign off on my posts has to do with the validity of its content. Please get back to me on that one…..when you’re not meeting with Pat Gillick and Dave Montgomery. Moving forward, perhaps I have been phrasing my posts in a rather pushy manner. For this I am sorry and I will make it a point to try and change. Starting now. I think that Lou Marson is expendable beacuse we have Ruiz at C and that perhaps getting a stud starter would be in the Phils best interests at this point. What do you think? Go Phils!


    The Dispy

  • Posts: 0 GWFightinsFan

    I definitely think that because Mayberry is still with the team means that they’re preparing to trade either Werth or Victorino along with a prospect or two for that pitching help we need.

  • Posts: 0 Don M

    I hope to God you’re wrong GW,

    Mayberry can’t protect Howard in the lineup.. meaning that Howard and Ibanez will see ZERO pitches to hit

  • Posts: 0 NJ

    Only made a point of it because it seems arrogant, hostilities dropped.

    I agree Marson is expendable to some degree as he doesn’t stand above other prospects at his position with a little depth at the catcher position. I don’t know how good the Phils are going to feel about Ruiz in his money years, his bats improved greatly and is excellent defensively but will that be enough when everyones looking for the next Salty or Wieters or at the minimum a Yadier?

    Good throw in, Go Phils!

  • Posts: 0 Memphis

    Interesting take from Jayson Stark, ESPN chat — he says Marquis and Penny are likely the more realistic options IF we want to get something done very soon. If we’re willing to wait, maybe Bedard or Oswalt become (more) available, but it seems like it will take a lot of prospects to get either.

    We should see at least one of the young guys, Bastardo, Carrasco, Kendrick, get a few starts, but after the Nats, the schedule gets a little tougher (SD, LA, Mets, Boston).

  • Posts: 0 Don M

    I don’t know that we need to worry about having the best Catcher or even Catching PROSPECT in baseball (Salt or Wieters) ..

    Salty never looked that great to me, and there is talk of Wieters moving to 1b/ DH

    Ruiz has proved he’s “good enough” and to me, he looks better and more comfortable this year then he did in 2008

    He’s 30 years old, but I think he’s only been Catching for a few years (he was a 2b prospect I think?) .. so he’s got a good 3-4 years behind the dish, pretty much when you would expect Travis D’Arnaud to be ready, or giving us plenty of time to draft/obtain other Catching prospects

  • Posts: 0 Marc H

    I wiuld like to get a look at Bastardo before making a trade

  • Posts: 0 Chuck P

    I think that a good pitcher is going to be a good pitcher regardless whether he knows how to induce groundballs or lazy flyballs. Even in CBP, a good flyball pitcher can be effective… would he be better served in a place like San Diego? Maybe, but he can still do a fine job here.

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