Odds and Ends: Taylor, Lowry, Wang

Posted by Pat Gallen, Fri, January 29, 2010 10:18 AM | Comments: 137
Odds And Ends, Posts

-While scanning the Top 100 MLB Prospects, as ranked by ESPN’s Keith Law, an uneasy feeling came over me when I found #24.  The kid is built like a statue, going 6’6″and 250 pounds, and is now a member of the Oakland A’s.  Michael Taylor is his name, and I have a funny feeling he will come back to haunt us as one of those Ryne Sandberg-types.

Guys that are 6’6″ with great instincts, a power bat, defensive skill, and a Stanford background don’t grow on trees.  Maybe I’m at my own party on this one, but I almost wanted to see him stay more than Domonic Brown.  Taylor was interviewed at a Phillies game during the summer and just impressed me with his camera presence and demeanor.  Sometimes upside is overvalued, not that I don’t think Brown will be a stud, because he clearly will, as Amanda Orr pointed out. However, I think the Oakland A’s are in for a treat of a player with Michael Taylor.  Now, playing in their ballpark is another story.

-The Phillies will watch former San Francisco Giant Noah Lowry pitch on Tuesday as he continues his comeback from a rare nerve disorder. He’s now 29-years-old and has missed the past two seasons, but I like the idea here.  Again, the Phillies are searching for low-risk, high-reward types and Lowry certainly fits that bill.

Before his lengthy setback, Lowry had two above-average seasons with a below-average tossed in.  In 2007, he made 26 starts, going 14-6 with an ERA of 3.92.  He won’t strike guys out (87/87, BB/K) but that could have been because of the arm trouble.  He struck out 172 in 2005. The only problem is the park factor.  His .226 BAA on fly balls would likely make a jump due to the fact that he played in spacious AT&T Park for his entire career.  If he still has it, and can be ready by opening day, I would take a chance on a guy like Lowry.

-Chien Ming Wang I’m not so sure about. Six teams are reportedly interested in the former Yankee, and Scott Lauber said earlier in the week that while the Phillies were interested, they weren’t sure how interested because of his injury.  He won’t be back at the start of the season, which renders him semi-useless as Jamie Moyer is in the same position.  They need someone who can step in right away.

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Pat Gallen has written 1714 articles on Phillies Nation.

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  • Posts: 0 Paul

    Living in Northern California, I have seen Lowry pitch quite a few times, and if this guy can get back to where he was, he would be a steal for the Phillies.

  • Posts: 0 DudleyMonk

    Michael Taylor will haunt the Phillies…count on it. I am all for the Phils giving Kyle Kendrick a real chance to start as the fifth starter. It sends a good message, and I do not think he will disappoint.

  • Posts: 0 bfo_33

    I hope Michael Taylor does well. Saw him in Lehigh Valley a few times last year, including when he hit for the cycle with two homers (including a walk off) against a not good Reds affiliate. He looked like a man amongst boys. Admittedly, a small sample size, but he looks like the real deal, and I hated to see him go (still think it was the right move though). He’s a good line drive hitter, so I don’t think OAK will hurt his BA, should still aheva decent slug%.
    Lowry should be interesting, high ceiling, little risk.
    A healthy Wang would be an asset (I can hear Beavis and Butthead laughing over that one, no good way to say it), but when was the last time he pitched over 25 games – 2006? He’d be a great fit with our park and defense, but I don’t see him getting out there regularly. Someone else will probably overpay for the risk (see Sheets).

  • Posts: 0 Johnny

    My bet is Lowry ends up in SD or LA. I think he’s from that area.

  • Posts: 0 Don M

    If Wang isn’t signed yet.. I can’t imagine that he’ll command all that much money …. 1 year deals with options are the popular thing right now

    So I would expect the same for Wang. I had heard the Cardinals, and that would make sense for him to go there, work with Dave Duncan and try to regain his form

  • The important thing to remember is prospects are prospects. Some will pan out and others will fizzle. We never know how a player will adjust in the major leagues. I wish Taylor all the best with his new team, but I will never regret seeing a prospect go as long as the team continues to win.

    If the Phillies win the World Series this year nobody will be thinking about Taylor. Just my opinion.

  • Posts: 0 Chuck

    Pat, I saw the same interview with Taylor…and came away with the same impression.

    I hope he does well,, though

  • Posts: 0 bfo_33

    Wang originally stated that he was not going to entertain offers until mid May, but received so many calls that he decided to test the market before completely healthy (he says he is 2-4 weeks behind where he would normally be if healthy). A little different than Sheets, who is airing it out now, but wouldn’t be surprised to see a $7M prorated single season deal with incentives. All things considered, I’m good with Kendrick/Moyer as the #5, with Contreras in the pen, emergency starter if needed.

  • Posts: 0 SDO

    Kevin from MR – I agree with your sentiments, but I can’t help but think that Taylor’s probability of being a bust is quite small and that he’ll probably be a perennial all-star some day.

    After some retrospect, I would have been okay today with RAJ’s decision to mortgage a significant chunk of the Phillie’s farm system talent to bring in Halladay if:

    1. Management had been consistent in their risk/reward strategy and chosen to go for it all by keeping Lee.
    2. The Phils weren’t struggling for a way to keep Werth after this year.

  • Posts: 0 Chuck

    Taylor might be an All-Star…he might not…

    Getting rid of him and Drabek is what it took to get Roy Halladay…at BELOW market value..

    I’m ok with it.

  • Posts: 0 Don M

    Part of the problem with Taylor is that he is seemingly ready to play in the majors right now … but he’s not better than Ibanez, Victorino, or Werth

    so they moved him because he had some value… it would’ve been nice to have both he and Brown as options still in the farm system

    But I would rather have the proven-best pitcher in baseball .. its the cost of doing business and I think a wise decision was made

  • Posts: 0 Bill

    I didn’t like seeing Taylor traded either but would prefer him being gone over Brown. The issue is the fact that Werth may not be back and Taylor would be ready as a replacement. Consider a year after that Ibanez’s deal is done and then Dominic Brown could have emerged making the team younger at both corners.

    I do not see Tyson Gillies contributing at the big league level unless it would be as a bench player.


  • Posts: 0 Rich

    Amaro says, “Wang still hurting.”

  • Posts: 0 The Dipsy

    Why do we need another fifth starter, who we don’t need for the first three weeks of the season anyway? Lowry would be no better than Kendrick, Contreras, or Moyer. Well, maybe better than Moyer.

    The Dipsy

  • Posts: 0 Don M

    Right but by next season, if you didn’t trade Taylor

    you have a rotation of
    1. Hamels, 2. Blanton, 3. Happ, 4. Kendrick, ???

    But Taylor in RF
    …. you needed to move him to get Roy Halladay.. it will be worth it

  • Posts: 0 Chuck

    NOT having Taylor does certainly create the need for Jayson Werth all the more..

    That’s gonna be a tough one.

  • Posts: 0 WFC010

    Actually, wasn’t Toronto interested in Anthony Gose?

    Maybe we could have switched him with Michael Taylor or something?

  • Posts: 1376 Pat Gallen

    Avatar of Pat Gallen

    Dipsy, it’s all about depth. As we’ve learned you can never have too many healthy arms. Contreras and Moyer are a combined 247 years old. Kendrick is still unproven, basically, so if Lowry comes here and has proven to be healthy, and will do so on a minor league deal, why the hell not.

    If Wang is hurting, I feel sorry for him.

  • Posts: 0 Don M

    I’m down for every single arm that they can bring in ….

  • Posts: 0 Manny

    Pat, I’m with you on Taylor… I think he’ll come back and haunt us… All along, I thought Taylor was gonna replace Werth. Taylor obviously has less power (as of now) but he is definitely a big, right-handed bat…. at least to me, he fit in more with our current MLB team. (Brown is a lefty and more of the speed type than the power type….)

    Because of the trade, it now seems that resigning Werth –or finding an equally talented right-handed outfielder in FA– is extremely important… there’s no other power, righty bat to plug into our lineup…

  • Posts: 1376 Pat Gallen

    Avatar of Pat Gallen

    I wonder if the Phillies believe Francisco is the guy to take over. No one has really talked much about him, but he’s had back to back 15 HR seasons, doesnt have a great arm but has some quickness and can play OF better than Raul. Interesting.

    Manny- Taylor will certainly haunt us, I have a bad feeling. But good for him, seems to be a great kid.

  • Posts: 0 Chuck

    I am clinging to the hope that the fact that they let Taylor go…is because the actually think they can re-sign Werth..

    Based on the numbers…I can’t see it…but who knows…???


    Put me in the “every single arm” column too….if it’s cheap enough…why not?? You never know if you’re gonna need ones of these guys.

  • Posts: 0 Chuck

    I like Ben Francisco…I’m just not sure that he’s an everyday player.

  • Posts: 0 Don M

    How is Taylor going to hurt us.. From Oakland?

    We got baseball’s best pitcher in the deal that sent him away.. I would have gladly driven him to the airport

  • Posts: 0 RC

    Well Gillies looks like he could be a pretty great player soon (I’m not sure he’s really all that far behind Taylor who no one knows what he is going to do at the major league level since he doesn’t even have one at bat yet) and we’re not in great need of a power hitter in the OF in the future if Brown is all he’s cracked up to be.

    It was the cost of getting Halladay and better than giving up another pitcher.

  • Posts: 1376 Pat Gallen

    Avatar of Pat Gallen

    He’s not going to hurt us so much as haunt us. Knowing that an all-star caliber player is out there, that we could have had. That hurts.

  • Posts: 0 Phylan

    Gillies is not the same type of player as Taylor. He’s one of the fastest players in pro ball, but he has no power. What is promising, and what makes Ben Badler at least think he could be an everyday CF, is that he has good plate discipline and a high OBP, which allows speedy guys to take advantage of their athleticism. His best season so far in the minors was in an incredibly offense-friendly league in Arizona, so it remains to be seen how much of that was for real. He could be interesting.

  • Posts: 0 Chuck

    Too many people have “Ryne Sandberg-itis”

    Sandberg was traded for Ivan DeJesus..

    Taylor was traded for Roy Halladay..

    Not even close.

  • Posts: 0 Don M

    Not every player on your team needs to have power… speed can be just as dangerous

    Look at Chone Figgins, Jacoby Ellsbury, etc.. vs. Carlos Pena.. or any other “power” hitter

    I would trade a “maybe future All-Star” for a Cy Young pitcher every single time..
    I wish all the best for Taylor, hopefully he does have a nice career, and it will be props to the Phillies scouts and development teams . .

  • Posts: 0 Phylan

    Obviously, especially CFs, I was just responding to the “not far behind Taylor” bit.

  • Posts: 0 joedad

    I saw Taylor play in Trenton once and he crushed the ball all 4 times he was up. I thought he could be something special.

    But…after the season, he was interviewed on WIP (Macnow, I think). Macnow was announcing his stats and apparently was incorrect on the number of stolen bases. Taylor kept trying to interrupt Macnow to correct him as he continued to go through his stats. He did that a few times during the interview and i felt that he was a me-first guy.

    Regardless, if he was the cost to get us Halladay, it is a steal.

  • Posts: 0 George

    Taylor won’t haunt me a bit if Roy Halladay does his job over the next several years. In fact, I hope Taylor lives up to his potential, and does show up in the All Star game.

  • Posts: 0 Chuck

    Remember…”offense-friendly” in Arizona refers mostly to power hitters..

    Not sure if playing in Reading will make much of a difference …being the type of player that he is.

  • Posts: 0 NateB

    good point chuck. a single is a single anywhere, and the same with speed.

  • Posts: 0 Phylan

    Chuck, anything from singles to doubles to triples to walks can and are influenced by league and park factors.

  • Posts: 0 Phylan

  • Posts: 0 Phylan

    Also I really don’t think correcting some radio host about your stats makes you a “me-first” guy. Nor do I really care if that guy is Michael Taylor.

    He was a tough one to lose but it was definitely worth it, especially with Dom still in the system.

  • Posts: 0 Chuck

    Yeah…but “offense-friendly” generally refers to power…and it’s no secret that Arizona has a higher altitude…allowing for more power.

    Sure…anything can be influenced to some degree by different parks.

    You know what I meant.

  • Posts: 0 mikemike

    How can you say Gillies isnt far behind Taylor. Taylor is major league ready, gillies is a low level player right now a ball, big jump from a to the majors.

  • Posts: 0 Don M

    Glen Macnow, and the rest of those WIP hosts all suck … they didn’t start even allowing Phillies talk until late 2007

    I remember day of big games, them talking about which guy the Eagles should keep as their backup- punter, etc..

    Screw them, good for taylor

  • Posts: 0 psujoe

    All I know is it’s going to eb interesting to follow the MLB careers of TAylor, Brown, Saunders and Gillies as well as Drabek, Aumont and Ramirez

  • Posts: 0 psujoe

    Downs is now available. I was hoping we could get him packaged with Hallasay, but you can’t have everything you want.

  • Posts: 0 The Dipsy

    So Pat….now you have Lowry, Contreras, Kendrick, and Moyer. Is Lowry going to take a minor league deal beacuse if he doesn’t and he stinks then we have to keep him in the pen or eat his money. Is Kendrick out of options? For arguments sake, lets say Kendrick wins the job. That means we have to find room for Contreras, Moyer, and Lowry in the pen. There are only so many jobs. If Kendrick wins the job, which he very well might, you’re might have to eat a contract as result. Not good for a capped team.

    The Dipsy

  • Posts: 0 Andrew

    Sometimes I wonder if these sites exist to cry about players lost instead of praising the players we have on a 2 time in row defending NL champion.

  • Posts: 0 j reed

    More Wang talk ….anyone know what the scouts are saying. I like sinkerballers…. I am still perplexed though… why is the FO even shopping for anything when they are supposedly in the red…After all, they, according to a Daily News article, declared during the winter meetings that “the Phillies mean business on their budget”. Not that a team loaded with all this talent, in a huge town of rabid sports fans, would impose a cap on themselves….

  • Posts: 0 Chuck

    So here’s a thought on that, Dipsy…it may be a stretch…but bear with me..

    Let’s say Ruben is given a choice…push payroll to $149 and keep Lee (knowing he sacrifices the 3 prospects…but giving us all one glorious summer)… and that $149 is FIRM…no wiggle room..ZERO


    He’s told…$140 is your payroll number…BUUUUTTT…you have a little flexibility with that…a few extra million to play with…in case of emergency.

    So he picks the second option…shrewdly…getting the three prospects for a guy he knows isn’t gonna sign here…and still has a little extra play money to tinker with these “low risk-high reward pitchers”..

    Basically…how firmly “capped” is the team.??

  • Posts: 0 The Dipsy

    Chuck, I have no idea. I think it would be kinda silly if Ruben was given a hard number and then, when presented with an good opportunity that may cost a couple of extra million bucks, told “no” by ownership. I also think we would all be mad if a guy like Howry signed for 2m and then stinks and then we have to release him. That would be a total waste of money. I have a question: If Lee actually could have been had for 3y60m, same as Halladay, if you were Ruben would you have signed him? Personally, as much as I like Cliff, I don’t think he’s a 20m pitcher yet. Maybe he’ll never be. But I sure would like the thought of having him for only three years instead of 5. To me 3/60 is a lot better than 5/87.5 or something. And then I could have cared less about the prospects.

    The Dipsy

  • Posts: 0 Chuck

    Well…it sounds as if Lee WAS offered that deal…3/60…Lee said no…so Ruben pressed hard to get Roy. I think that’s the way it went down.

    I agree…I don’t think Lee is a 20M per year pitcher. He might be down the road…or he could fade and just be mediocre for the rest of his career…servicable. (Kinda doubt that though)

    If I had to make the choice…and I’m Ruben…I do the Halladay deal in a heartbeat.

    That’s what you’re asking, right?…Lee at 3/60…or Roy at 4/80 with an option.

    As far as the cap…That’s what I am wondering…I really wonder with this 140 number how hard a number that actually is. I guess we’ll really never know for sure.

    Howry…I don’t know, man…IF it’s cheap enough..I guess what’s the big deal…If Ruben’s 140 number IS flexible and it allows to get more decent arms in here..in case of emergency…then maybe that’s a good thing

    As opposed to having Lee and Halladay…payroll 149…but absolutely no room for error…that’s a tough box to be in.

  • Posts: 0 Chuck

    actually that Halladay number isn’t right…it’s 4 years but less than 80…becasue the Phillies are only paying 9.75 this year.

  • Posts: 0 psujoe

    The Phils need the extra money if a piece is needed at the deadline. I’ll take Halladay 4/69 over Lee 4/69 any day of the week and twice on Sundays. Halladay doesn’t go through the downs like Lee does and can’t pitch on 3 days rest.

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