This week was tough so I am giving it to the entire starting rotation. Going into Friday’s series opener the Phillies starters had given up a total of 9 earned runs over 45 innings. That is good for a 1.80 ERA. The only starter that “struggled” was Moyer. Moyer surrendered 5 earned runs over a total of 12 innings pitched. Halladay was the only other starter to have two starts so far this week. He was lit up for 2 earned runs over 17 innings pitched. Kendrick, seemingly identifying his impending doom if he had another rough outing, pitched a gem in Houston going 8 strong and giving up no runs. Hopefully Hamels will have another solid outing in Arizona tonight and Blanton the same in his rehab assignment.
The Phillies were known for the offense, but
tonight they put the bats away and played with the leather.
They needed just two runs to get by Tim Hudson. Let’s see.
Vic pulls one back. Howard with the split in the 5th. Utley’s
double play in the 7th. Howard’s all out dive in the 9th.
Just amazing. The Defense was just amazing tonight. The only
down side to the game was the pitch that plunked Polanco on
the elbow in the top of the first. He ended leaving the game
in the 7th. Early reporrts are that it is just a contusion,
but I agree with taking him out. Better safe than sorry. The
Phillies now have 6 players with varying levels of injury.
The silver lining is that it is all happening in April as
opposed to September or worse October. Good win tonight
The best day of the year for Phillies fans everywhere. Opening Day. The only part of the day that was a downer was the throwing out of the first pitch. How much in tax dollars did that cost? But anyway. Like I was saying, Opening Day. It was a beautiful day in our nation’s capital. The sun was shining on the defending National League Champions.
The Phillies put on a display from the jump. They averaged more than a hit per inning. They averaged a walk per inning. The Phillies got 20 runners to first base in what ended up turning into a conga line around the basepath. The Phillies routed the Nationals 11-1, but the offense wasn’t the story.
The big story was Roy Halladay. Halladay scattered 8 Nationals over 7 solid innings. He struck out more than he scattered. 9 Ks in 7 IP. He allowed 1 earned run. The only reason why Halladay got pulled after the 7 solid innings was the cha cha line. Halladay even helped his own cause with an RBI single. If not for all the run support, Halladay could surely have gone the final two innings. After 7 innings, Halladay had thrown only 88 pitches, of which 59 were strikes (67%).
A good start for the Phillies, hopefully Hamels can follow it up on Wednesday.
This weeks Phillie of the week is Roy Halladay. Halladay cost the Phillies three of the their top four prospects in Kyle Drabek, Michael Taylor, and Travis D’arnaud. But not only did we get Halladay, but he agreed to sign to a short term extension, keeping him with the Phillies atleast until 2013.
Halladay is arguably the best pitcher in baseball. The Phillies are hoping that Halladay performs so well that he makes Phillies fans think “Cliff Who?” In his first spring outing Halladay through a modest 24 pitches over 3 innings. Only 3 of those 24 pitches were out of the strike zone.
We all knew that Halladay was going to be the Opening Day starter in DC on April 5th. Being only a couple of days away, my expectations are high. Almost as high as the excitement is in this town. Baseball is back and the boys of summer are too. The quest begins Monday afternoon. The quest for the four peat in the division. The quest for the three peat for the pennant. The quest to regain what was lost last fall, the World Series trophy and Roy Halladay will be one of the main reasons why we get there.
Over the last four seasons, Roy Halladay has averaged 34 starts per season. He has thrown atleast 220 innings in each of those years. His worst year out of those four? 2007. He only went 16-7 with a 3.71 ERA with 139 Ks and 48 BBs. He also only made 31 starts that season. Oh and if you live under a rock, he did that pitching in the American League. More importantly, primarily against the AL East.
The last Phillie to have a similar record? Jamie Moyer matched that in 2008, when he went 16-7 with a 3.71 ERA. The long forgotten Jon Lieber did have a 17 win season in 2005, but had almost twice as many losses (13) in 4 more starts. Plus his ERA was a half a run higher. Hamels had a 15-5 season in 2007. Keep in mind, for Moyer, Lieber, and Hamels, these are all bests over the last five seasons. Halladay’s 16 win season was his worst.
All this leads me to wonder, what we should actually expect from Roy Halladay in 2010? ESPN projects him at 18 wins. Most “insiders” predict 20+ wins. One reporter even went as far as saying “Doc” could win as many as 25. The only problem I have with all of these predictions is that no one backs up with why outside of “He’s in the NL now.”
Before going foreward, I want you to realize that I cannot predict that actual dates that Halladay pitches outside of Opening Day. He could be shuffled for a big series. He might skip a start for an unkown reason. But for the intended purpose of this entry, I assumed that the Phillies are gonna use a four man rotation through April 24th to keep the starters on their 5 day rotation. I also assumed that Halladay would pitch in the mid-summer classic, which pushes his first post-ASB start to roughly the 17th of July. Finally, I do not expect Halladay to pitch in the final series, even though thru my assumptions he would, against the Braves.
With my estimation of starts, I show Roy Halladay starting 10 games alone against the predicted 5 worst offensive teams: San Diego, Houston, San Francisco, Washington, and Pittsburgh. Also between the Phillies prolific AL-style offense and having a top 3 defense, Hallladay should bode well in the NL. My prediction: 22-3. I know it sounds really homerish, but realistically. There are not a lot of NL teams with a complete offense that scares me. There are a couple of NL players that could do some damage against Halladay, i.e. Pujols, Fielder, Manny, Zimmerman, etc. but most teams have 1 or 2 maybe 3 legitimate offensive threats.
I expect a lot of good things out of Halladay and the Phillies in 2010. If the team can stay healthy, and god willing, hit a little bit of luck, the Phillies should four-peat as NL East Champs, three-peat as NL Champs, and hopefully win 2 of 3 World Series.
2010 is already shaping up for the Phillies to be the class of the National League. After losing the World Series in 2009, the Phillies GM Ruben Amaro, Jr. (RAJ) reloaded this squad with the intent of listening to co-owner John Middleton. To paraphrase, “I want my *%$!#@! trophy back.” I guess Mr. Middleton was a little upset at now repeating as World Champs. So were the rest of us, John, so were the rest of us.
RAJ did not hesitate lasting only a few weeks before acquiring arguably the best starting pitcher in baseball today, Roy Halladay. Fans drooled over the thought of a rotation with Halladay, Lee, and Hamels at the top. The fans were printing World Series Champs shirts weeks after the heart break of letting one slip away. Then the other shoe dropped. Cliff Lee, in a deal that prevented the two from being on the team at the same time, was dealt to the Seattle Mariners for a handful of AA prospects. The media raged. The fans in an uproar. The masses pressed the commitment of the ownership for nine million dollars for the best rotation in baseball. At the jump, I understood the complexity of the deal.
The Phillies knew that Cliff Lee wasn’t going to take a low ball offer. Lee was going to be a premier free agent after the 2010 season and he was intent on setting up his family for life with one good payday. On the other side, Roy Halladay made his money in Toronto. Now it was about winning. He saw the Phillies as a winning team and the best chance at the two things he covets most: A playoff appearance and more importantly, a World Series Championship Ring.
So with Cliff Lee not willing to give a discount, Halladay signed on and Lee was sent packing to Seattle for two quality pitchers and a speedy outfielder. Again the fans and media alike questioned the deal. None of these players are of the ilk of the players we gave up. But they did have two things going for them.
They were going to be closer to MLB ready faster than any player(s) the Phillies would acquire for Lee in draft compensation and were the players given up really going to be that missed. Drabek, yes. Taylor, yes. But of the remaining players given (Donald, Marson, Knapp, Carrasco, and D’Arnaud), I would say no. D’Arnaud and Knapp are both top 100 prospects by Baseball America but both are still 2-3 years away. Carrasco, while ready, seems to be a younger version of Oliver Perez. A guy who has a lot of talent, but has problems between the ears. Donald and Marson would have filled needs this year on the team in the same capacity as they will probably be used in Cleveland, a super sub and a back up catcher repsectively. Keep in mind though that we did acquire Ben Francisco in the deal was a contributing player in 2009.
Goodbye Feliz, Stairs, E-Brunt, and Bako. Hello Polanco, Gload, Schneider, and Castro. With Polanco, a more natural number two hitter, the Phillies gave Manuel the freedom to play with his lineup a little more and put Victorino down in the seven hole. All were definite upgrades at hitting. The Phillies learned a valuable lesson from teams that won before them. If you want to beat an AL team, you need to be built like an AL team
Fast forward to the present and the only story lines left for spring are: Will Jamie Moyer fend off Kyle Kendrick for the number 5 spot in the rotation and who will be the LHP out of the pen until JC Romero returns?
As far as the fifth spot in the rotation goes, I believe it is Moyer’s to lose. Moyer was a valuable starting pitcher for this organization in the 2008 championship season. He had a string of 14 consecutive quality starts. He was the team leader in wins even with Cole Hamels on the staff.
Kendrick looks to be the odd man out for two reasons. One, Moyer makes a base salary of eight million dollars, whereas Kendrick would be making less than ten percent of that. The second reason is simply about what to do with Moyer if he is not in the rotation.
Moyer is definitely not a suitable LHer out of the pen for a full season. If he didn’t have negative trade value, he wouldn’t have any value at all. The other option is to cut Moyer. That would bring the total for monies owed to players not on the roster to about ten million dollars. That includes money owed to Geoff Jenkins, Pedro Feliz, and Adam Eaton.
So with Kendrick having an option to the minors available, I’d prefer to see him remain a starter at AAA to keep getting steady work. If Moyer can keep Kendrick at bay, he is doing his job and there is nothing to worry about.
As far as the left handed reliever is concerned, Antonio Bastardo is the guy with the shot right now. Charlie like him so much last season, he actually got into the playoffs. The Phillies also have options internally if it seems like Bastardo is ineffective in Zagurski and Escalona. To be honest, I’d prefer that Bastardo return to AA or AAA and work on being a starter as opposed to a reliever.I’ve read and heard multiple comparisons of Bastardos and Santanas stuff. They could also acquire or sign for a lefty.
With the additions that RAJ made this offseason, I have no reason to believe, that, if healthy, the Phillies shouldn’t win 95+ games this season easily. That the Phillies four-peat as National League East Champions and the Phillies head to the World Series for the third straight season.
What a wild week for the Philadelphia Phillies. In one day, they traded for AND traded away a Cy Young award winner. Yes, my friends as you may know by now Roy Halladay is officially a Phillie. Thanks to Cliff Lee for the work he did while here. The bigger question among fans was why? Why couldn’t the 2010 iteration of the Philadelphia Phillies have 3 ACES? For as much as we heard either money or baseball decisions, I believe it to be baseball related.
Most fans look at the roster and say wow Cliff Lee AND Roy Halladay AND Cole Hamels. We just won the World Series! But for the rest of us who live and die with the Phils, we know better. We gave up two really good prospects for Halladay, and we needed some back to continue to be able to get younger in the future or to make trades as well.
Please do not look at what we gave up for Halladay and even try to compare to what we got for Lee. They were two completely different situations. I want to start with the simple question of what did we give up for Lee? Carrasco, Donald, Marson, and Knapp. Knapp was the centerpiece. He was one of very few power arms in the system. He is at minimum probably another three years away from even sniffing the Cleveland bullpen. Marson and Donald would have been bench players for years to come. Carrasco, in my opinion, is a younger version of Oliver Perez. He has great stuff, but is a head case. He’ll either strike out 12 or he’ll walk 12. Everyone around said that for what we gave up, the Lee deal was highway robbery.
What did we get back for Lee? Aumont, Ramirez, and Gillies. Two were going to be in Seattle’s top 5 prospects. People are saying that we got fleeced for this deal. Aumont is comprable to Knapp. Ramirez is a reasonable comparison to Drabek. Gillies is better than Donald or Marson. All three will start the season in AA Reading.
What you need to pay attention to is just the Lee deals. What we got for Lee is miles better than what we gave up for him. Aumont, Ramirez, Gillies, and Ben Francisco for Carrasco, Marson, Donald, and Knapp. Three minor leaguers and a MLB ready OFer for four minor leaguers is a solid trade any day of the week.