The Winter Meetings rarely fail to disappoint and this year was no exception. The Phillies leave Nashville will all the same problems they arrived with and a little less time to find solutions. Their right field, center field and third base situations remain murky, but they’re small problems compared to the Phillies’ need to add at least one and hopefully two quality pitchers before the season starts in April.

As if not on cue, the Phillies picked up pitchers Travis Blackley and Lincoln Holdzkom in the Rule 5 Draft.

Blackley is a 25-year-old lefty from the Giants organization who was 10-8 with a 4.66 ERA and a 1.38 ratio in 28 PCL starts in ’07. He walks a lot of hitters, 67 in 162 1/3 innings this season, which is 3.77 per nine innings. In Phillies’ starters terms that would put him between Moyer, who walked 2.95 per nine innings this season, and Eaton, who walked 3.95. He’s made eight career starts at the major league level in which he’s gone 1-3 with a 9.35 ERA. Righties have hit 336/433/664 against him. He missed the 2005 season after shoulder surgery.

The linked article suggests he’s in the mix for fifth starter, but I would guess there’s little chance that he starts the season in that role. The Phils already have five starters in Myers, Hamels, Kendrick, Moyer and Eaton for one thing. I would guess that when one of those guys goes down, and it’s not going to take long, Durbin would get the first shot given the choices the Phillies have now.

The other addition is Lincoln Holdzkom, a 25-year-old right-handed reliever. He strikes out a ton of hitters but walks way too many. Between Double-A and Triple-A in the Red Sox organization this season he threw to a 2.97 ERA in 63 2/3 innings. Opponents hit just .231 against him but his ratio was 1.54 cause he walked 44 in those 63 2/3 innings. Over his minor league career he’s walked 5.19 per nine innings. He had Tommy John surgery in 2003.

This article says the Phils will be one of nine teams to watch Kris Benson pitch on December 17 in Arizona. Not the whole team, though.

This article says the Devil Rays are interested in Houston’s Luke Scott who you would guess would also be of interest to the Phillies.

This article suggests that it hasn’t been a real good couple of weeks for the Mets. It hasn’t been for the Phillies, either. It has been for the Braves.

This article suggests it’s the Phils, White Sox and Rangers in the hunt for Rowand and that Texas will not give Rowand five years, $75 million.

This article suggests the White Sox would be better off trying to add Juan Pierre than Rowand. I’d really like that to be true so I’m trying hard to see that one, but it’s just not happening.

This article says that the Yankees are discussing a one-year deal with LaTroy Hawkins for about $3.5 million. Nearly all the talk has been about a starter for the Phils, but they need help in the pen as well.