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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About Pat Gallen

Pat Gallen has written 1689 articles on Phillies Nation.

Pat is Editor-in-Chief of Phillies Nation. He also covers the Phils for 97.5 FM in Philly.

  • Posts: 0 Manny

    Also, people keep comparing Bay and Werth… but aside from the obvious defensive issues, Bay seems like the superior offensive player.

    Career stats

    Werth .265 AVG /.360 OBP / .467 SLG / .827 OPS
    Bay .280 AVG /.376 OBP / .519 SLG / .896 OPS

    Just to be clear, I’m not saying this to bash Werth, cause he’s one of my favorite Phillies and I’d love for him to stay with us for many years…. but some people have put him on a pedestal already, offering him 15MM+ contracts per year, and raising expectations to a point where if the guy doesn’t hit 35 HRs you’re gonna be disappointed.

  • Posts: 0 George

    Pedro is looking for $5 million plus, Wang will probably sign for less than $1 million. That’s why it wouldn’t be easier to just pick up “Padro.”

    According to Zolecki, the payroll now stands at $134.775 million, without Happ’s and Francisco’s money. Both of them put together will probably come to about $2 million, if that. So the team still has $3+ million to spend before they hit their cap. They could easily get another fifth starter option for that. I don’t think it’ll be Wang, though, because he’ll still be injured when the season starts.

  • Posts: 0 The Dipsy

    I think with that remaining money that we’re going to go after a lefty for the pen via a trade. We don’t need a fifth starter. We have a fifth, sixth, and seventh starter (Kendrick, Moyer, Contreras). I have a prediction. I would not be surprised if the Phils just let Jaime go at some point. He’s so old and he’s had so many surgeries this off season. The odds are really stacked against him. If he can’t pitch well enough to be the fifth starter, I don’t think you can waste a spot in the pen on him. I see Contreras being the long man.

    Lidge, Madson, Baez, Romero, Contreras, Durbin, Bastardo/Escalona. I think thats your pen. If Kendrick gets the fifth spot, and I think he’ll end up with it, do you let Moyer take that second lefty spot???? I don’t.

    The Dipsy

  • Posts: 0 Chris.I

    I was talking about career stats, NOT last seasons stats. I’m not taking anything away from Werth. Like I said he’s one of my favorite players on this team too, But think about it….Werth is going to get a HUGE raise in his contract and its a possibility that we might not be able to retain him. So that being said we would still have Ibanez for one more year after this season, and by that time Taylor should be ready to take over.

    But in all honesty I’m hoping (just like everyone else) that Werth would agree to some sort of deal to stay in Philly…Hell…Even if it’s a 2 yr 30-35 Mil. I’d be happy with that

  • Posts: 0 Chris.I


    Honestly I think we are paying Moyer too much money just to let him walk during any point of the upcoming season. He’s still proven to be very effective out of the bullpen when he’s well rested.

  • Posts: 0 psujoe

    Is the $140 mil budget inclusive of the deadline? I would save the money if nothing with big upside is out there. Might be able to get a nice piece when we know more about what we’ll need for the stretch run.

  • Posts: 0 jrollpatrol08


    wang is NOT going anywhere for less than 1million, especially when realistically 4 teams are looking for his services. ben sheets just signed for 10 mil and he didnt pitch at all last year and always got hurt by the end of the seasons with the brewers.

    even if he cant start the season, i still say you bring him on board if the price is low enough. you figure kendrick will probably open the season as the 5th starter, unless another FA 5th starter type is picked up. If kendrick doesnt do so well, who are you going to go to? moyer? eh, maybe, but his chances of pitching woes are greater than kendrick’s. contreras? he might be able to start here and there, but i think the phils really want him as a long-man…sort of a combination player to make up for condrey/park.

    im basically thinking if kendrick stinks it up, who are you going to look to? i do think with the remaining cash they do need to address the fifth starter possibility, as it seems more and more that bastardo is probably going to get a shot during spring training to prove his bullpen spot as the phils lefty option…go get wang

  • Posts: 0 jrollpatrol08

    i think wang gets at least 4 mil plus incentives for the 2010 season. personally i dont see the big deal about him not being ready to start the season. kendrick is not going to pitch so poorly that by end of april the phils will be wanting to REALLY trade him to japan….(ahhhh my favorite brett myers memory)

  • Posts: 0 Chuck


    No sure of your question “Why would you (meaning me) post facts?”

    Chris I was making a point about Werth and Ibanez and I simply was referencing the stats from last season..

    And Chris..I understand that you were referring to CAREER stats…still…I don’t see Werth being “buried” by that


    Moyer….I don’t like the idea of just cutting him loose either.. There is too much money invested there. BUT…Dipsy maybe right….If he’s going to be just taking up a spot…and not contributing….then I think you have to look at it.

    Lets’s see how he bounces back from all the surgeries first.

  • Posts: 0 George

    Wang has never had Ben Sheets’ stuff. He may get a little more than $1 million but nowhere near four. He’s not even able to throw yet. If anything, he’ll probably be picked up on a split contract by a team in no hurry, pitch in the minors until June, then maybe be called up. Either that, or he signs a pro-rated contract mid-year, after some teams have actually seen him throw, much like Martinez did in ’09.

    The fact that four teams seem interested means nothing. Everyone needs pitching. The fact that 26 teams AREN’T looking says more, I think.

  • Posts: 0 Phylan

    All I know is this bullpen is going to give me a stroke sometime this season

  • Posts: 0 Chris.I

    Wang will def get more than a 1yr/1 mil deal, but not too much more than that. I’d say somewhere between 2.5 and 3.25

  • Posts: 0 psujoe

    Nothing negative meant Chuck, it’s just that people sometimes put out perception, but you put out facts. It’s was a compliment.

  • Posts: 0 Ivan Dejesus

    I think that Sanberg trade worked out really well.

  • Posts: 0 Phylan

    Wang is a good investment even if he can’t pitch right away this season. Phils should get him, but it’s looking like they won’t.

  • Posts: 0 jrollpatrol08

    “The fact that four teams seem interested means nothing.”

    –well it does mean something. it means that he will sign for more than a million dollars. 4 teams seriously interested=one team will get him by probably offering more money==wang gets signed for more than a million. that was my logic. my 4mil prediction might be kinda high, but after seeing ben sheets 10mil (which i didnt expect) i guess anything can happen. sure ben probably has better ‘stuff’ but you can’t depend on that guy if you are a team like the phils and look to play in october

  • Posts: 0 jrollpatrol08

    phylan—the bullpen is going to give you a stroke this season? ummm i may stand alone here but i think thats probably the area where the phils improved MOST over the offseason. not necessarily that they had any huge acquisitions, but in terms of the departed, im not gonna sit around at any point this season and be like “ahh shit, this is the perfect situation for (.clay condrey, scott eyre, chan ho park)??…they are ok guys i guess but mediocre. park had a decent run after he couldnt hack it as a starter, but really i dont think ruben did a bad job reconfiguring the ‘pen. i like baez, high groundball rate and i think charlie knows him from his cleveland days. and contreras, hes kind of a wild card but he still has good velocity…

    here is a little question that may ease the tension of sticky bullpen situations this season. this is what i ask myself in order to keep my thoughts positive…”do you really think brad lidge could be any worse?” come on now! its like a penny-stock. its rock bottom right now. the only direction to go is UP!

    i would have liked to have a lefty acquisition—as we still do not know how healthy/effective romero is going to be. but in regards to that, i am perfectly fine with the low-cost option of allowing bastardo to fill a lefty bullpen arm slot

  • Posts: 0 WorldFudgeChamp

    To all about this Wang stuff. Lets use on of our own for the 5th spot on the rotation.


  • Posts: 0 WFC010

    Wang or Pedro would both be great 5th starters to have, but it depends on the asking price.

  • Posts: 0 Chris.I

    Pedro is asking 1 yr/5 mil…Wang would come cheaper, but of course he’ll miss the first 2 months

  • Posts: 0 Phylan

    yes, jrollpatrol, Baez sucks, Lidge could be anywhere from awful to solid, Escalona has been terrible in winter ball, and who knows whether Bastardo’s slider will develop into something useful. If the Phillies don’t win the NL this year, it will be because of the bullpen.

  • Posts: 0 WFC010

    “If the Phillies don’t win the NLEast, NL AND/OR World Series this year, it will be because of the bullpen.”

    Fixed that for greater accuracy

  • Posts: 0 Philsgirl

    For even greater accuracy “..because of pitching in general, but the bullpen specifically.” Judging by a lot of well-informed posts, I probably should start having more faith in the FO. Maybe I’ll start by trusting that RAJ has something up his sleeve saved for the pen; what are we doing again for back-up closer? Of course it’s a fact Lidge has no where to go but up; hopefully just the amount of time waiting for that directional change will be a little shorter this year than last. But another season of having to close by committee (at least Eyre and Park were not terrible in their roles given the state of last year’s pen in general), with little discernable improvement in the committee overall, could be definite cause for Phylan’s potential stroke, various arrythmias, and general acute medical disorders. BTW, does anyone know how Hamels is doing with that third pitch?

  • Posts: 0 Chuck

    My bad, psujoe…I got it now. Thanks. …I do think i’ts important to try and at least include SOME facts when making an argument.

    Not saying that it’s always necessary or that the facts automatically justify the point being made.

    …But it’s better than just coming on here…a la “Just Crushed” ….and throwing a temper tantrum without knowing what the eff you’re talking about.


    Phylan….glad to see you’re so upbeat about the season and the bullpen in general.

    Yeah..Lidge COULD be “anywhere from awful to solid”….

    I think what you’ll probably see is something in the middle of last year and the 2008 season….which I’ll take in a heartbeat. Remember…it’s not like Brad Lidge was perfect in 2008…

    Yeah…48/48…BUT…not all those outings were easy, either. I think there was some luck involved with that season.

    And last year…while it was what it was ….wasn’t horrible either. Yeah..the high ERA…the blown saves…the losses…BUT…he did save 31 games….and some were brilliant.

    With Baez….the last two years he pitched for a lousy team in the Orioles..

    2007- W-L 0-6/ERA 6.44/29 SO, 29 BB/1.57 WHIP
    2009- W-L 4-6/ERA 4.02/40 SO, 22 BB/1.13 WHIP

    In fact that WHIP is the lowest since his rookie season in 2001 (1.07) when he was with the Indians.

    I think the Phillies see something they like in Baez…and I think also that being reunited with Charlie has to help as well.. Players love to play for this guy…and I think it will be a factor.

  • Posts: 0 Manny

    What I like about Baez is that he was pitching in the AL East these past few years… which *hopefully* means he should be good enough after facing hitters in the best division in baseball…

  • Posts: 0 George

    I’d hesitate to say that Lidge “has nowhere to go but up.” Every time I say something like that, I’m proven wrong.

    I see the bullpen as no better than last years. The closer enters as questionable, particularly coming off surgery. Left hand duties will have to be handled at first by Bastardo. Baez may or may not be good. Although last years ‘pen fell apart mid-season, at least there was more potential there when starting the year.

    That said, the ‘pen did, indeed, fall apart last year, and changes had to be made. Lidge’s pay had a lot to do with what could be done. I hope he’s great this year. I hope my worries are unfounded.

  • Posts: 0 The Dipsy

    Personally, I have no problem with Danny Baez. He had a good season last year which is significant to me because he was coming off arm surgery. One would think that two years removed he should be better. I am very concerned about Romero. He hasn’t pitched a lot and he’s still somewhat hurt and there was a reason the Phillies were able to pick him up off waivers. The one season on, one season off theory for relivers plus the injuries plus his undistinguished career up until becoming a Philly worries me. I think we need a stud lefty.

    The Dipsy

  • Posts: 0 jrollpatrol08

    yea i guess i dont really see the bullpen this year any more ‘scary’ than last years. if anything i think we have more capable/reliable arms this year. as i said, im not necessarily basing this on new acquisitions, but rather on the fact that we didnt lose any impactful bullpen arms.

    we do need another lefty to definitely make the bullpen stronger, but the remaining arms available on FA seem hit-or-miss. lidge has to put up better numbers than last year, so that alone is going to give the bullpen more success

  • Posts: 0 mikemike

    last year we had lidge with about 11 blown saves, madson 6 or 7 hopefully they do better. than that this year.

  • Posts: 0 Chuck

    Yeah…one would certainly think that Lidge won’t blow 11 saves. Most closers blow a few…maybe even 5 or 6…each season.

    So if Lidge can cut his blown saves in half….that 5 or 6 more wins right there (assuming that each blown save results in a loss)…

    …still… 3 or 4 wins extra….could mean the division in a tight race!!

  • Posts: 0 The Original Chuck P

    Losing Taylor hurts… but knowing that we have Doc for 4-5 years is awesome. Most active players say that he is the best pitcher in baseball… as good as Taylor is going to be, we have the best pitcher in baseball to show for it. I got really excited when the deal was initially announced as a three team deal because I thought that they had found a way to keep Taylor or Drabek but it didn’t work out that way. I’m still happy but Taylor is going to be good… Drabek’s injury issues made him somewhat expendable but Taylor has shown nothing but upside and consistency.

    I think that there’s too much interest in Wang from the rest of the league for the Phillies to make a serious run at him (given the fact they’re up against a wall). I like Lowry and I wouldn’t mind if they took a look… I would feel better if they spent that money on a legitimate bullpen arm. 4/5 starting pitchers are kind of moot… this team has proven that you can piece the back of the rotation together with damaged goods and still win 20-25 games but a thin bullpen lends itself to serious consequences in September.

  • Posts: 0 mikemike

    Taylor i love but you got doc. The redsox gave up HanleyRamirez a allstart for a stud pitcher and won a title so it worth it, you dont get a number one for nothing.

  • Posts: 0 The Dipsy

    Taylor wasn’t gonna play here. He is major league ready and he was blocked here. In a perfect world perhaps we could have traded Ibanez and slotted Taylor in but Ibanez is untradeable unless you give him a sack of about 15m to give to his new team when he gets there. I don’t mean to imply that I love giving Taylor up. I liked Taylor better than Brown, but Brown is better for the Phils timetable, due to arrive right on time in 2012 to take over left field.

    The Dipsy

  • Posts: 0 psujoe

    OC, I’d save the money for a deadline deal for a key piece if needed. Never know if Utley, Rollins, Howard or whoever may go down. I’d hate to see a lost season and so would the brass especially spedning $140 million.

  • Posts: 0 Philsgirl

    True, mikemike, we do have doc. Stud pitchers are worth their weight in gold, aren’t they..? And yeah, agreed Dipsy, timing wasn’t not right for Taylor, just kind of wishing LF could be ready for Brown/vice versa in 2011, curses on the Ibanez NTC. But that really is getting ahead of the game (season?), I’m sure this site will all but implode with views on the changing of the core as time goes on. Given the 2010 situation, if the key piece isn’t in the bullpen, even at the deadline (unless something really serendipitous happens with those guys), this could very likely *be* a lost season even spending $140 M, no? And you all know I’d really hate to see that too. Don’t ask me what’s in the brass’ minds.

  • Posts: 0 Philsgirl

    Oops, grammar check, “..timing wasn’t right for Taylor..”

  • Posts: 0 Chuck

    Again…that No Trade Clause was likely thrown in to the deal as “gravy” (as someone else put it). I really think that we’re making a bit too much of it at the moment.

    Let’s root for Raul to have another great season…. and help the Phillies win the division, the pennant and the World Series. Him doing well accomplishes that ….success….AND…it only INCREASES his trade value next offseason.

    And…who knows….Raul could be open to moving to a few teams….as long as he gets playing time …and it’s to a contender. Players waive their No Trade Clauses all the time.

    Let’s just wait and see how this all plays out.

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