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February 22 2007

Of the guys that made up the '06 Phillies, there are some players that are clearly going to be missed.  Bobby Abreu is an elite player that produced offense in a way that's going to be difficult to replace.  But there are other guys, too.  You have to wonder how many teams are going to miss their fifth outfielder next season as much as the Phillies are going to miss David Dellucci.

Dellucci was an odd choice for fifth outfielder for the Phils in 2006, but fifth outfielder he turned out to be behind Burrell, Rowand, Abreu and Victorino.  In '05 he hit 251/367/513 with a career-high 29 home runs in 435 at-bats for the Texas Rangers.  The Phillies gave him limited opportunities in '06 and he hit very well in the chances he was given, banging out 13 home runs in 264 at-bats.

If Dellucci believed that he deserved to play more than he did with the Phillies last season it would be tough to argue with him.  His .530 slugging percentage was outstanding.  He outslugged three of the Phillies four best hitters, Burrell, Utley and Rollins -- everyone on the team except for Ryan Howard.  His OPS was third-best on the team ahead of everyone but Howard and Utley.

Here's how Dellucci's career numbers compare to the career numbers for the guys the Phillies will try to replace him with in 2007 (Roberson only has 41 career at-bats):


Dellucci 263 348 449 797
Garcia 241 279 424 703
Dobbs 257 291 351 642
Roberson 195 214 244 458

The difference is even more dramatic if you compare them to what Dellucci did with the Phillies last season:


Dellucci 292 369 530 899

If you put the top five outfielders from '06 next to the top five outfielders for the Phils for '07, the list doesn't look real exciting:


2006 2007
Abreu Burrell
Burrell Rowand
Rowand Victorino
Victorino Werth
Dellucci Garcia/Dobbs/Roberson

In 2006 the Phillies outfield featured three very good hitters and two excellent defensive players.  Going into 2007 it looks sure to include one very good hitter, two standout defenders and two questions marks.  I still believe Garcia makes the team as the fifth outfielder and that both he and Werth may be far better offensively than people expect.  Let's hope so, cause after those two it's hard to be optimistic about the organization's chances to put quality hitting outfielders on the field.  Even if both of those guys do surprise in '07, however, they're still unlikely to give the Phillies the kind of boost that Dellucci gave with the bat last season.  And if they don't, and Rowand proves to be the Phillies second-best hitting outfielder, he's going to need to hit a lot better than he has over the past two seasons or the team is in trouble.

Geoff Jenkins says he wants to be traded if he's going to see significantly less time this season.

This article says that Werth looked spectacular in batting practice.  Ditto Alfonseca, but with pitching rather than batting practice.

Dallas Green, no doubt, is keeping an eye on Freddy Garcia.

The Seattle area is apparently infatuated with the Phillies.  This article about Adam Eaton claims that Gillick thinks that Eaton can be a number one or number two starter.

There's an article about Karim Garcia here.

Todd Zolecki's Phillies notes say that the Phillies sent Yoel Hernandez to Triple-A, that Eude Brito hasn't thrown this spring after being in a car accident last month and that Danny Sandoval is stuck in Venezuela with a mystery problem.  I thought the lefty Brito would have a legitimate shot to make the pen out of spring training -- that's less likely if he can't pitch.  Brito was also in a kind of limbo during spring training last year, in 2006 it was because of the World Baseball Classic.

This piece from Marcus Hayes says that Rowand was not bothered by the Linebrink rumors and suggests Rowand deserves much of the credit for improved team chemistry.

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