Phillies Need Top-Shelf Starter

Posted by Tim Malcolm, Tue, June 16, 2009 07:30 AM | Comments: 98
Posts, Raising Questions

BastardoDespite the fine comeback win Sunday, playing the Red Sox exposed the Phillies great weaknesses: Lack of bench help, injuries in the bullpen, an insufficient starting rotation.

The third aspect is the most pressing for the Phils’ goals in 2009. Watching the patient Red Sox work against, then tee off on Antonio Bastardo flashed the distress signal; then, watching the Sox do the same thing against JA Happ put us into panic mode. Bastardo and Happ may work against San Diego and even the free-swinging Dodgers, but in big October baseball, it won’t fly.

We do know, however, that Happ is more an asset in the rotation and should continue his run at the back of the rotation. But as we figured, it wouldn’t be a great idea to keep Bastardo, and Happ, and Jamie Moyer, and Joe Blanton back there together. That’s too much of one kind of pitcher (a guy who relies on hitters to make the outs for them — though Blanton has shown to be a bit more than that).

Yes, it’s second starter time. The Phillies will have to make a move, and it will probably be coming down within the next few weeks. I’ll dive into the second-starter business tomorrow; for now, come up with your own ideas as to who should next don pinstripes.

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About Tim Malcolm

Tim Malcolm has written 1948 articles on Phillies Nation.

  • Posts: 0 fred

    adam eaton !

  • Posts: 0 Phil

    Roy Halladay…package Donald, Marson, Carrasco, and either Victorino or Werth for him and then bring up Taylor to play RF.

  • Posts: 0 Dan

    Giving up players on our current roster would not be beneficial, Phil. You don’t plug one hole while opening another huge one elsewhere. Taylor can not make up for Werth or Vic’s defense. We’d have an unproven in RF or CF and that just won’t do.

  • Posts: 0 NJ

    Bring up Taylor now, hope that was a joke (and he’s never going to be a regular in CF unless he shrinks).

    I don’t know if the Phils want to sell up on prospects who have value just to get a guy. I’m aware the value as trade bait for Carrasco, Marson and Donald is only going down the longer their not in the majors but it would be premature to make a deal and overpay for the wrong guy.

    It’s tough to see how Halladay’s going to be available in season and I have to admit I really don’t like the idea of Bedard, as much as one guy can make a difference, a lot of other factors have to fall into place to go deep in the play-offs and Bedard would be an expensive rental. The idea of re-singing the guy for the money he’ll demand seems too much of a reach to me, trading for and letting the guy walk for the draft picks I could live with but I could see this guy signing with a non top-15 team. To be honest I like the idea of going with a genuine rental and trying to make a move in the off-season when guys like Halladay, Webb and Peavy become legitimate trade targets with their contract situations.

  • Posts: 0 Phil

    Um, okay…so you’d rather have a decent hitter than the 2nd best pitcher in baseball? How logical. Taylor is supposed to be fast with a gun. I’m sure Taylor would do great defensively. Werth can play CF and has proven that. You wouldn’t open up a huge hole by plugging Taylor in RF. Actually I think you’d make the offense better because this guy is raking in AA. There’s a good chance that he’d rake in the majors too. Mayberry is ready as well, but he’s not even close to the player that Taylor is.

  • Posts: 0 Phil

    I never suggested Taylor play CF. Werth or Victorino can play CF and Taylor could play RF. If Taylor doesn’t pan out in the majors yet then you use Mayberry in RF. Our line up is so potent that it can take a hit from losing either Werth or Victorino. Our pitching is flawed and adding the 2nd best pitcher in the entire game of baseball for Werth or Victorino is a VERY good idea. He’d also be under contract for another season as well so he wouldn’t just be a rental.

  • Posts: 0 Griffin

    I couldn’t agree more, the Phils should trade for a big time starter. I am a huge Cliff Lee fan, but Cleveland might be playing there way back into contention.

  • Posts: 0 Rick

    I think their target has to be Marquis, no? I think he’s probably who they have their sights set on.

  • Posts: 0 NJ

    The problem is Toronto currently lie 3 games outside of the wildcard with players to come back, Halladay’s not going to be available.

    As the days tick by the Peavy costing the Padres while he’s not even playing and Arizona not looking like a play-off team Webb looks as if he might be poachable. I’d expect Halladay to be more available in the off-season when the contract issues resurface, but don’t expect him to be available in-season. It would take a bad meal and Riccardi to not care about his future to move Halladay in the next couple of months unless the deal was so good it wouldn’t put him back on the hot seat.

  • Posts: 0 Mark

    Phil, are you suggesting this due to Taylor being on “Inside the Phillies Clubhouse”? Not sure if that’s why or not, and I’m not sure what all this buzz about Taylor is all about. Sure, he is playing great but Mayberry proved how effective he could be in the Bigs right away.

    Regardless, their not going to give that much up for one pitcher. Even, if he is having a great start to the season.

    I don’t like Penny for Donald. Penny is too average in my eyes. I’m not sure who the Phillies could get or for who, but I agree that they do need to do something within the next month or so.

    Why not give Carrasco a shot? Just one start in the Bigs couldn’t hurt just to see if he’s ready to give it a shot.

  • Posts: 0 The Dipsy

    Peter Pascarelli remarked last night during the Indians-Brewers game (yes, I have no life) that Brandon Webb and the D-backs have some real bad blood going on between them and that Arizona might be willing to trade him. Normally, I would not give this rumor any credence but Pascarelli actually researches stuff (see: opposite of Rosenthal, Ken) and is relatively reliable. Now, I don’t know how healthy he is or when he’s coming back but if he can come back healthy soon, I’m making THAT move. I agree with NJ that if we can rent a starter with a smaller price to pay, do it. But NJ, if you can’t get the right pitcher doing that, then I think the Phils have to take the plunge. As much as it hurts.

    The Dipsy

    “Always striving to make the Phillies a better team”

  • Posts: 0 Griffin

    re: Brandon Webb, yes please!

    I don’t want mediocre Jason Marquis. Webb, Cliff Lee or Bedard. Halladay won’t be available.

  • Posts: 0 Craig

    Time for Ruban to make a collect call to Seattle

  • Posts: 0 NJ

    Dipsy I agree if the Phils can make a deal for Halladay, Peavy, Webb or even Cliff Lee then the Phils have no reason to not make the deal and improve their team greatly by trading for and then giving that guy (excluding Peavy) a new deal to keep in in Philly pinstripes for the foreseeable, can’t see that guy as Erik Bedard who seems to be the only readily available front-line pitcher.

    Good throw in on Pascerelli vs Rosenthal. Pascerelli’s not really a source for trades but he’s still got a more realistic baseball brain than Ken Rosenthal and his immature, naive fantasy perspective on baseball trying to cash in on being the young face.

  • Posts: 0 Scotty

    I’m wondering if we’re not jumping the gun on Bastardo, here. He’s had one bad outing against an October contender who were 10-2 coming into our series with them and we’ve not been covering ourselves with glory at home anyway. Does he have stuff to learn? Yeah, no question, and his pitches are improving. He may have been a little cocky, too. But I think Charlie’s going to have a bit more patience with him like he’s done with Myers.

  • Posts: 0 joedad

    They will probably pick up another Blanton-type starter. Their offense scores so many runs, they don’t necessarily need a stud pitcher.

    No need to panic over the Red Sox series. They could have won 2 out of 3. The first game was the Dobbs home run. The second game was a blowout after the starter pitched one inning due to the rain delay and the bullpen was spent. The third had the Phils rough up one of the top 5 pitchers in the league.

    I agree we need another pitcher for the playoffs but no need to sell the farm for a stud.

  • Posts: 0 Chris

    Let’s be realistic, people. No way, ever, are we going to get Halladay. Toronto is not parting with him. Move on. Peavy? Never will happen. Oswalt? Houston isn’t selling. Webb? Staying in AZ.

  • Posts: 0 NJ

    Peavy’s possible, the Padres know they made a mistake not dealing him in the off-season and right now they must be very conscious of having a guy eating up most of their payroll sitting on the DL when they don’t want him. Once Peavy realises it’s only a matter of time his wish list won’t be so picky and the Padres wont take liberties asking for more after agreeing a deal like they did with Atlanta… It’s possible and so is Webb who it would take a massive 180 for Arizona to patch things up with him. Might not be us but don’t expect these two guys to be with the same clubs to start next year.

  • Posts: 0 Vince

    I’d like to see Bedrard, but how many lefties does this team need? I like Webb, but I have no idea about his injury. Peavy is good too, but he’s scared to leave the West Coast.
    Marquis is nice and won’t require much in trade.

    So, my answer is, I don’t know. I do think that Amaro knows that Bastardo isn’t the answer, but he should hold the team over for a while until they make a deal. I don’t know if the bullpen is an option for him, but I’d like to see him stay in the big leagues. Maybe he needs more starts in AAA. I am confident that they will make a decent move. Isn’t it nice not having Ed Wade anymore?

  • Posts: 0 adam

    I have Webb on my fantasy team and hes out for awhile, at least until the all star break. I can’t imagine a worse scenario than trading good prospects for a guy who immediately gets hurt and then leaves in the off season via free agency so Webb scares me. All the teams are still in the hunt, I can’t see anything happening until July 1. Sportscenter today said the Sox are fielding calls for Penny so his value could be climbing. If we could land him for Donald (who is not going to ever play here with the way our infield is playing) then land Cliff Lee for Marson, Worley/Savery, and a lower prospect I think that puts us where we need to be. Lee must then be signed to a long term deal, mitigating the loss of the young pitcher we trade.

  • Posts: 0 Manny

    I heard yesterday during the ESPN game that Webb *might* be candidate, since he’s apparently upset with the Diamondbacks’ management. He’s affordable and we could buy low because of his injury/poor 2009 performance. His ERA HAS to drop eventually if you just look at his career starts.

    And I also really like Bedard… especially cause I believe it won’t take too much just to get a half-year rental.

    These are both top-shelf starters we can get. Forget Peavy, Oswalt, and Halladay.

  • Posts: 0 Ryan S

    So, if you have Halladay as the 2nd best pitcher in the majors, who’s the first?

    I don’t know about you, but I would definitely rank him number 1.

  • Posts: 0 adam

    1. Johan
    2. Halladay
    3. Verlander

  • Posts: 0 Chuck

    From everything I’m reading here and my own opinions also factoring in, my feeling is that Bedard is probably the best option. Agreed….Halladay isn’t going anywhere and all the others mentioned such as Peavy, etc. aren’t coming here either. Bedard can be had for the right prospects (I don’t think sacrificing our current lineup is a good move right now).

  • Posts: 0 Chuck

    adam….what are you smokin’ dude?

  • Posts: 0 adam

    Johan is so good, his last outing was terrible but he is definitely number 1.

  • Posts: 0 adam

    Im trying to look at it from the last few years not just this year, and even if you are saying best pitcher at this second it would be verlander who is straight dealing

  • Posts: 0 Maverick

    I’ll take Lincecum over Verlander

  • Posts: 0 NJ

    Verlander barely ranks top 10 for the last few years.

  • Posts: 0 NJ

    ^The only person who thinks Justin Verlander’s a top 2 MLB pitcher is Mrs Verlander…

  • Posts: 0 Havoc

    I’d like to see them get Matt Cain from San Fran, but there’s obviously a few things standing in the way of that. He’s not costing San Fran a ton of money and they are right in there for the wild card. I think of all remaining healthy pitchers (i’m excluding Halladay because he’s not being traded) Cain would help the phils the most. The giants need to improve their offense if we’re willing to unload enough prospects, I think a move might be possible.

    Taylor, Mayberry, Donald and a pitcher (not drabek, carrassco) would probably be my starting offer.

  • Posts: 0 Geoff

    I was watching that too while eating dinner. If Webb is back healthy im ALL OVER that move.

    Its time to be realistic:

    Drayton MCLane has repeatedly said Roy Oswalt is not available.

    Toronto is in the race so any GM that trades their ACE DURING a playoff race is insane and should be fired on the spot. Roy Halladay will NOT be traded.

    Jake Peavy is injured and wont be back in time to be traded during the season.

    Brad Penny is well, eh he throws hard at least but thats about it. Unless he can return to the guy he was years ago theres no reason to bring him in.

    Dan Haren is the Ace of the Diamondbacks going forward. They clearly have problems with Brandon Webb. If he comes back healthy the Phillies should and will be all over that. Webb might be the best guy out there on the market if hes healthy.

    Erik Bedard is the second choice. Though theyd still be way too left-handed. Watching some of Bedard’s starts on MLBN I noticed that once he hits the 100 pitch mark he mentally shuts down. Starts walking people and giving up hits. I really dont think thats a good formula for playoff baseball. PASS

    Cliff Lee is NOT going to be traded. Theyre surging back into the race and even if they drop back out hes signed cheaply next year and they still need a staff ace because Carmona has shown to be a one year wonder so far.

    Mark Buerhle is NOT going to be traded since the White Sox are trying to GET a starter.

    Colorado has surged back into the race. As long as they keep winning, Jason Marquis and Aaron Cook will not be traded.

    Jon Garland sucks. Doug Davis is not the answer either.

    Brett Myers may or may not come back but theyll be caught with their pants down if they go get some back-end starter. He delivered in the playoffs last year. They need that production again and I dont think they have anyone that can do that behind Cole Hamels as THAT type of pitcher. Happ is good, Blanton is good, Moyer is somehow still useful but NONE of them are Brett Myers.

    The Pirates and Orioles dont really have any starters that they WOULD trade that really excite me.

    When you really look at it, the legitimate options are really really few and far between. Of the people who are probably available, Webb is the best, followed by Bedard and then the Rockies’ sinkerballers and then Brad Penny.

    I mean unless other guys come on the market soon there isnt a lot to work with.

  • Posts: 0 NJ

    We don’t have what the Giants want for Matt Cain, they want an all-star bat that doesn’t cost free agent money. He’s only going to be traded for a Prince Fielder or Dustin Pedrioa level guy with a similar amount of service time.

    It’s a great thought but it was like when the Phils were reported to have offered half their team for A-Rod prior to the Abreu trade, not going to happen…

  • Posts: 0 Geoff

    Also, Matt Cain has like 2 or 3 CG’s already this year and he is flat out dealing. Sure hed be great here, but WHY would SF trade him? they have a winning record and are in the WC race. They need offense, so even entertaining the though it would require a STARTING outfielder like Jayson Werth or Shane Victorino AND a couple good prospects like say, Michael Taylor and Carlos Carrasco (The Giants have their future Catcher in Buster Posey and Jason Donald is injured). THATS how much value Cain has.

    I think the Giants will try and trade Jonathan Sanchez for a bat. There has been talk of a Sanchez-Cantu swap in the past.

  • Posts: 0 Havoc

    True, guess I’ll have to keep praying that the Giants tank like never before, since there really aren’t any other pitchers in the game right now that appeal to me.

  • Posts: 0 therookie300

    As of right now the honor of best pitcher goes to Halladay.

  • Posts: 0 Havoc

    I know Dominic Brown is suppossed to be untouchable, but I feel like I’d be willing to give him up if we were getting Cain.

  • Posts: 0 Geoff

    I agree though, Matt Cain is a top flight talent.

  • Posts: 0 Greg V.

    Sounds like Peavy, Oswalt, and Halladay are out of the picture.

    Bedard always gets tossed around as a possible future Phillie and it sounded like he was about to get traded to the Phils last year as well. Not totally sure I want him. He has little to no ability to go past 100 pitches and he ends up getting shut down in September anyways.

    A healthy Webb would be best!

  • Posts: 0 Greg B

    There are a ton of names getting kicked around here. I have to agree with Geoff. Halladay, Lee, Cain, Haren are not likely to be available. I don’t want us to gut our system for someone like Peavy or Bedard…I simply have too many questions about those two. I like the name dropping of Brandon Webb however.
    Penny and all those less than him are stop gaps in my opinion.

  • Posts: 0 NJ

    Wow talk of Cain as a possibility made me laugh outloud.

    If you think Taylor is a possibility for Cain, then throw in Drabek, Carrasco every other prospect, their entire families as slave labourers as well as offering Chase Utley plus paying all of his salary and Amaro dressing up as the tooth fairy every time an upper exec of the Giants kids lost a tooth (and the Phillies throwing every game against the Giants for the next 5 years)… And Sabean would still field more offers.

    Don’t even think of Matt Cain in Philly pinstripes as anything more than a remote possibility when he nears free agency. The Giants are interested in trading Cain for anything less than all-star talent otherwise he would have been dealt for prospects already because it’s not going to happen, one starting bat nearing his money years and a couple of unproven’s doesn’t make any sense for the Giants.

  • Posts: 0 Maverick

    A couple names that haven’t been mentioned…..what would be the hurlde to making a deal for any one of these guys?

    Gil Meche
    Aaron Harang

  • Posts: 0 Geoff

    Thats pretty much what I said. If he IS available, Cain, and we dont even really know that he is, then it would require a starting power hitter who is good plus some very good prospects. That would seem to be the bare minimum.

  • Posts: 0 Al in Seattle

    If Ruben calls GMZ about Bedard, there is a big shot Zdruencick will ask for Jason Donald (along with a few other guys)… Yuniesky Betancourt is horrible with the glove and can’t hit, while Ronny Cedeno can use the glove, but can’t hit at all…

    I say the Phils shoot for Webb…

  • Posts: 0 Geoff

    Meches numbers: 3-5 3.70 ERA, 61K, 30BB, 75.1 IP 78 Hits 1.43 WHIP (eh).

    Well those are ok, however WAY too inefficient for my liking. Im not sure hes available though. He also makes 11M per year and is under contract for 2-3 more years. Not too excited about that, would be another Blanton type maybe a notch better, maybe.

    The Reds are only 3 games out of the division. Their most experienced and longest running starter is not going to be traded in the midst of a race. That, like Halladay, would be insane.

  • Posts: 0 NJ

    Geoff know where your coming from but not even that kind of deal would remotely appeal to the Giants. As you said pretty much all insiders say their shopping Sanchez hard for a bat and the only rumoured interest they had in dealing Cain was to the Brewers for a deal that included Fielder. Their not interested in prospects and it would unlikely sweeten the deal since a Werth or Vic or equivalent on any other team wouldn’t get a deal started. There’s only a handful if that of guys around the league that would kick-start a deal for Cain, there’s no-one in the Phillies organisation that fits that bill.

  • Posts: 0 Dan

    phil, there is no way the blue jays are giving up halladay now when they’re in the al east race. If they turn back into the blue jays soon then maybe thats possible but as of now its not likely.

    I would like to see Cliff Lee come the philly, but I don’t know how likely that is.

  • Posts: 0 Chuck

    I say focus on Bedard. Seattle, while only 5.5 games out of 1st, has no real shot of making the playoffs ( Angels or Texas will win that division and the wild card isn’t coming out of the West), so dealing him for prospects would be in their best interest at this point. He has great #’s…..5 – 2 record, 2.47 ERA……AND in none of his starts is his ERA over 3. Really good strikeout pitcher. Yeah…the problem is, is it an expensive rental? Plus, the other downside is that he has no playoff experience. But he has the mentality to be a big-game pitcher (lots of poise and mound presence) so I think he could shine in that setting.

  • Posts: 0 Keystone

    Geoff, I joked about the possibility of adding Meche about a month ago, but with the Royals losing ground in the division and in the playoff race it becomes more of a possibility. And with Greinke being their true ace and still piching sub 2ERA baseball and with newer guys like Hochevar pitching 80 pitch 9 inning complete games, the Royals may very well be willing to discuss Meche.
    Also he is still one of the games best groundball pitchers and with the Phils defense behind him I don’t see why he couldn’t shave a half a run off his already decent ERA.

  • Posts: 0 Griffin

    I think Verlander is a top 5 pitcher right now. He’s the hardest throwing starter in the game, he has 106 Ks in 86 innings to go along with a 3.02 ERA in the AL. Last year was an injury plagued year for him, but he had a 3.63 ERA in ’06 and a 3.66 ERA in ’07. He has been a top 5 starter over the last 4 years.

    The Indians and Cliff Lee have been unable to reach a contract extension, so don’t be surprised if they move him now (at his peak value) for prospects. The problem is that the Indians have been playing well of late.

    Forget about Matt Cain. As NJ said, he’ll get moved for a major league ready bat. If the Phils want to trade Chase Utley, they can get Matt Cain. So that ain’t happening.

    Peavy will not be healthy in time to be traded. His ankle injury is pretty serious and he’s going to be out awhile.

    I think Cliff Lee, Webb (if healthy) and Bedard are the 3 options. I don’t want mediocre Marquis, we already have Blanton to fill that role.

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