Archive for February, 2010

Chan Ho Signs With the Yanks

Posted by Pat Gallen, Mon, February 22, 2010 10:05 AM Comments: 56

If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em, says Chan Ho Park.  The former Phillies reliever signed a one-year, $1.2 million contract with the New York Yankees today, according to Dave Murphy of the Daily News.  There are also $300,000 worth of incentives to be had in the deal.

To me, this seems like a steal by the Yankees.  And, although Jose Contreras is wowing some people with his arm early in the spring, I think Park is still the better option presently.  Both Park and Contreras signed for similar money, so did something happen behind the scenes that led the Phillies away from Park, or vice versa?  At a full million dollars less than last season, Park would have been seen as a steal had the Phils locked him up. Now, he’s just been stolen by the former champs and the richest franchise in baseball.

I think the question here is, who would you rather have had for ’10: Chan Ho Park or Jose Contreras?


Mother Mayberry I?

Posted by Michael Baumann, Sun, February 21, 2010 07:55 PM Comments: 28

So after that Johnny Damon debacle, I concede defeat. As it turns out, it cost $8 million for a year of Johnny Damon, which is waaaaay more than the Tigers ought to have paid. And to the question of whether a Damon-Werth-Ibanez outfield would have been good enough to get by, the response seems to be a resounding, “Hell no!”

Fair enough.

But there was a tangent of the conversation that I found interesting. Could the Phillies get rid of an outfielder and be OK with some combination of the following two players: Ben Francisco and John Mayberry?

Even if no one gets traded, this might wind up being an important question for this coming Phillies season. This very interesting post at Beyond the Box Score ranks the 30 major league teams in terms of how much value they lost to injury in 2009. The Phillies lost the fifth-least, which I can’t help but think contributed to their outstanding 2009 (though it throws into stark relief how bad the Astros were last year).

I shouldn’t have to remind any of you how easily injuries can derail a team’s season (just look at the Mets last year). So if one of the Phillies’ three outfielders goes down, we should know what to expect from their replacements. Francisco, a three-year major league veteran, is a known quantity at 29. Essentially take Shane Victorino, turn the defense, speed, power, throwing arm, and hitting for average tool knobs down about 10-20% each, and turn the hitting for power knob up about 30%. And he’s right-handed. If any Phillies outfielder went down, I’d be OK going into battle with Disco–you can win a World Series if he’s your seventh-best position player.

But the second backup outfielder, John Mayberry, Jr., is the real interesting one.

Continue reading Mother Mayberry I?


The Dip: Live and Let Dye Play

Posted by The Dipsy, Sat, February 20, 2010 01:28 PM Comments: 84

This is The Dip, a column penned by our regular commenter, The Dipsy.

Jermaine DyeJudging from the posts of the last few days, it appears that Philly fans don’t care much for Johnny Damon. In that case, perhaps Jermaine Dye would be more your cup of tea. It seems that ever since the economy took a header two years ago, there always seems to be a few intriguing stragglers still hanging around jobless at the start of Spring Training. This year is no exception and one of those guys working out in his basement as I write this is Jermaine Dye. While Dye is getting a little long in the tooth (turned 36 last month) he can still contribute a good amount of offense to any team he joins. The great thing about a guy like Dye right now is that he knows his best days are behind but he can still play. And if he has any competitive fire in him, he wants to prove it. And he’s sweating. Hey may get a nice multi-year contract befitting of what he feels he’s worth – or he may not. Given that it’s February 20, I don’t think it would hurt if RAJ gave Dye’s people a call to find out just what’s going on over there.

Dye is a good hitter. Through a full season he will probably give you at least 25/85/.270 (I don’t do OPS). If the Phillies express interest, perhaps they could remind Dye that he is, in fact, not signed and that maybe he should consider signing on with a probable World Series contender. Ruben could promise him 350-400 ABs and remind him that he could always try for another contract next year while also making mention of the fact that the Phillies may have a vacancy in right field. Ruben could tell him to take the $3.5m he’d be offering and to jump on board with a winner. And Dye might.

Why would the Phils do it, though? Well, here are reasons.

Dye is a righty and has played every outfield position in his career. Charlie could rotate him through the outfield, giving him two starts a week as well as every game against a tough lefty. Maybe, just maybe, if you tossed him a first baseman’s mitt he could learn how to use it. This would make the lineup much tougher against left handed pitchers.

In a season that the Phils could go to the Series, being able to have the depth to cover for a big outfield injury would be sweet. I am aware that Francisco is on the team but he’s no Jermaine Dye. Francisco will get his spot starts, lots of pinch hitting duty, as well as pinch running and defensive replacement assignments.

Then, there is the Jayson Werth issue. If for some unknown reason, the Phils are looking to trade Werth at some point, they’ll already have his replacement on the roster. I don’t care about the at bats Ross Gload is going to miss out on. He’s just another lefty on a team full of them.

In summation, Jermaine Dye may be a “distressed asset” right now – perhaps ripe for the picking at a low price, if offered by the right team, presenting the right situation. My gosh, I think I just described the Phillies. Hey, it doesn’t hurt to pick up the phone.


Audio Clips from Roy Halladay and Bobby Valentine

Posted by Brian Michael, Fri, February 19, 2010 06:18 PM Comments: 4

Today in Clearwater, Phillies ace Roy Halladay spoke for the first time since the December trade that brought him to Philadelphia. He talks about the pressure of winning in Philadelphia:

Click here to listen Roy Halladay speaks!

ESPN Baseball Tonight analyst Bobby Valentine joined the Sports Bash with Mike Gill on 97.3 ESPN FM earlier today and talked about how he believe the Phils are the cream of the crop in the National League.  He touches on the lineup, Hamels, and of course Halladay:

Click here to listen Bobby Valentine speaks with Mike Gill


Quotes and Notes: Spring Training Day One

Posted by Amanda Orr, Thu, February 18, 2010 08:16 PM Comments: 94

The first official day of spring training is over.  Pitchers and catchers reported to camp and took part in their first team workout.  Position players were also in attendance.  Here’s the stories from day one, including quotes:

  • “Being the perfectionist that [Cole Hamels] is, he took [his 2009's struggles] to heart, and he did the work that he had to do. So he’s in a much better position right now. He could have gone home and sulked again and said, oh, what do they know. He didn’t do that. He went home and did what he had to do.” — Rich Dubee, Phillies pitching coach.

Hamels put a lot of work in this off season, and says that he did not stop throwing over the winter.  Over the break, Hamels experimented with a cutter, and even talked to Steve Carlton and Cliff Lee about the pitch.  During spring training, Hamels will work on improving his curveball.

  • “[Jamie Moyer]‘s probably ahead of schedule in what we thought he might be able to do.” — Dubee

This is good news, especially if Jamie wants to keep the fifth starter’s job.  J.C Romero also felt that he was ahead of schedule.  A healthy team is always key.  However, rushing back from an injury can make it worse.

  • “I don’t necessarily expect myself to have ’08, but I expect myself to be a hell of a lot closer to ’08 than ’09, that’s for sure.”  — Brad Lidge, Phillies closer

That’s a confident Brad Lidge.  And that’s what he needs: confidence.  Over and over I have heard that Lidge’s problems were mental.  Perhaps he has his mind straight.  After all, “baseball is 90% mental — the other half is physical” (Yogi Berra).

  • “[ Placido] Polanco has quick feet at third base. Third base is a reaction kind of place. Polly definitely can do that. Polly does throw good. He is accurate. All around with the bat and everything, he’s a better player than [Pedro] Feliz. I don’t see where we’re going to get hurt there.” — Charlie Manuel, Phillies manager

I can’t argue that Polanco is an overall upgrade from Feliz.  He’s not going to be as solid defensively, but as Manuel said, he’s no slouch when it comes to defense.  His transition to third should not be a huge problem.

A Renewed Rivalry?

  • “We’re expecting to go out there and win the National League East, go deep in the playoffs and win a World Series.” — David Wright, New York Mets.

Ever since Jimmy Rollins proclaimed the Phillies to be the “team to beat” in 2007, there has been bantering back-and-forth between the Phillies and Mets.  An injury-plagued Mets ball club only won 70 games last year, and their rivalry with the Phillies fell apart towards the end of the season.  While this isn’t a direct shot at the Phillies, it still adds to the rivalry.

In the quote above, Santana, answered a question.  However, the question wasn’t “what’s your name?”  He was asked who the best pitcher in the National League East is.  He simply replied with his own name.

I don’t know about you, but I’m looking forward to a renewed rivalry between these two teams.


You’d Best Just Shoot Me Now–Or We Can Talk Some More

Posted by Michael Baumann, Thu, February 18, 2010 04:19 PM Comments: 101

Please excuse a brief non-Phillies related anecdote to start. I promise, I’ll tie it in later.

In the 1970s, English soccer manager Brian Clough led Nottingham Forest to two consecutive European championships, a feat no English team has equaled since. Nottingham Forest is a small-market team whose history can be defined in three eras: pre-1975, when they sucked; 1975-1993, when Clough made them into one of the top teams in Europe, and 1993-present, when they sucked again.

Clough’s mantra was to know what all your players were worth at all times, and if you could get market value for them at any point, no matter how popular that player was, to trade him in for someone cheaper or younger. Clough’s approach worked. Need a more accessible example? This is what Bill Belichick does with the NFL’s Patriots, and we all know how well that’s worked out these past 10 years.

I’m acutely aware that what I’m about to write is going to be tremendously unpopular with our readership. I can barely believe I’m saying this now. Neither do I expect a single person to agree with me.

But this is what I think, so here it goes.

I think the Phillies should:

1) Trade Shane Victorino for whatever prospects they can get.

2) Move Jayson Werth to center and Raul Ibanez to right field.

3) Sign free agent outfielder Johnny Damon to a one or two-year contract and install him in left.

If you want to skip right to the end and start questioning my sexuality and calling for me to be tarred and feathered, I suppose that’s your prerogative. I don’t think this is a slam-dunk, and I’m aware that Damon will most likely sign with either Detroit or Atlanta in the coming days, but I think that a good argument can be made for replacing Victorino with Damon. This is that argument.

Continue reading You’d Best Just Shoot Me Now–Or We Can Talk Some More


Happy Pitcher’s and Catcher’s Day!

Posted by Amanda Orr, Thu, February 18, 2010 04:07 PM Comments: 3

Photo Courtesy: Todd Zolecki

Hear that? It’s the popping of a baseball glove! That time of the year is finally here, folks! Pitchers and catchers officially reported today! They also had their first work out today.

The off-season is officially over.  From all of us at Phillies Nation, Happy Pitcher’s and Catcher’s Day!


Live Chat with Pat Gallen

Posted by Brian Michael, Thu, February 18, 2010 09:30 AM Comments: 8

Join us for the live chat with Pat Gallen starting at 10 am. You can submit questions starting 30 minutes prior to the event.


Live Chat Tomorrow @10 am

Posted by Pat Gallen, Wed, February 17, 2010 10:10 AM Comments: 4

Hey All, hope you’ll join us for another Phillies Nation Live Chat tomorrow morning at 10 as we get prepared for pitchers and catchers down in Clearwater.  The central thesis of the discussion tomorrow will be “What do you want to see from the Phillies during Spring Training?”

After a long, cold winter that continues to tighten its grip, this should be a great way to warm us all up to the thought of baseball once again.  Pat Gallen will be at the keyboard as the narrator to discuss all things Phillies on what is an important day for fans everywhere.

It will certainly be exciting to talk about the prospects of Roy Halladay, the fifth starter spot, the youngsters trying to make a name for themselves, and the health of the bullpen.

Hope to see you all tomorrow at 10 am for the Phillies Nation Live Chat!


Odds and Ends: Romero, Aumont, Wang

Posted by Pat Gallen, Tue, February 16, 2010 04:37 PM Comments: 76

-All the local Phillies beats are reporting that JC Romero believes he will be ready by opening day, and if not by then, definitely a week or so into the season.

This is a great sign that Romero has recovered from elbow surgery, because it’s imperative he find his 2008 form when he was one of the best situational lefties in baseball.  With Antonio Bastardo and Sergio Escalona being the primary lefties with Romero out, the Phils could use that stabilizing force in the bullpen.  I will say this; I am excited to see what both of the young lefties will bring to the table this spring.  In winter ball, Bastardo was lights out, while Escalona struggled mightily.

-According to the twitter of Tyler Kepner of the New York Times, Phillippe Aumont had “great action on his fastball” today.  That’s an important sign as Aumont is being groomed as a starter once again. The Seattle Mariners used him out of the bullpen to fast-track him to the majors, but the Phillies see him as part of the rotation down the line.

Unfortunately, there will be some pressure on Aumont to show his skill during Spring Training as a way of justifying the Cliff Lee deal.  Right or wrong, that’s the way it goes, so lets see how Aumont deals with being a target during the early part of spring.

-Chien Ming Wang agreed to a deal with the Washington Nationals today.  It’s for one-year and $2 million that includes $3 million is bonuses.

In swapping emails with our very own Amanda Orr, she believes the Nats could win 75 games this year.  After all, they’ve been very active this offseason signing Wang, Matt Capps, Eddie Guardado, Adam Kennedy, Jason Marquis, Scott Olsen, Pudge Rodriguez, Tyler Walker (our old friend), and Miguel Batista.  They’ve certainly done some maneuvering and are getting better slowly, so 75 wins is not out of the question.  That just makes it even more difficult for the Phillies in a slightly-better (on paper) NL East.

Previous Page Next Page