2009 Phillies

2009 a fourth time

The Phillies actually play a game today, so I thought it would be a good time to update my guess at who makes the opening day roster.

Not a whole lot has happened since my most recent guess, which came in mid-January:

  • The news about Utley’s health has largely been good. Multiple reports have suggested that he may be ready for the start of the regular season.
  • News about Pedro Feliz’s recovery from back injury has been less encouraging and his readiness for opening day is looking possible but not as sure as some had previously thought.
  • The Phillies signed utility man Miguel Cairo.

It’s very hard to know whether Utley or Feliz are going to be ready to go when the season starts. I’m going to guess they both will at this point. That would give the Phillies ten hitters on the team:


Player

Position
1
Ryan Howard

1B
2 Chase Utley
2B
3
Jimmy Rollins

SS
4
Pedro Feliz

3B
5
Shane Victorino

OF
6
Jayson Werth

OF
7
Raul Ibanez

OF
8
OF
9
Carlos Ruiz
C
10 C
11
Eric Bruntlett

UT
12
Greg Dobbs

3B/OF
13
UT
14

Three spots left. One has to go to a catcher and another to a fourth outfielder.

The top candidates for the three spots look to be Jason Donald, John Mayberry, Marcus Giles, Miguel Cairo, Ronny Paulino, Chris Coste, Matt Stairs and Geoff Jenkins.

Of the three spots one has to go to either Paulino or Coste. Jenkins is a strong front-runner for the second. I think Jenkins is on the team as the fourth outfielder, partly because he’s harder to trade than Stairs because of his contract. He is also far better defensively.

I’ve been saying I think Paulino is the second catcher all along, but my confidence is wavering. I will stick with Paulino, but I do think the chances that Coste makes the team improve as camp progresses without the Phillies adding a right-handed hitter. This article suggests that Coste is the front-runner over Paulino coming into camp.

If Coste were to be the second catcher behind Ruiz, it would solve one of the Phillies other problems in what to do with Coste. They could send him (or Paulino) to the minors, but I would guess they don’t want to. Coste as the backup catcher would presumably kill Paulino’s chances to make the team, but I’m less sure Paulino as the backup catcher would kill Coste’s chances. I think if Coste won the backup catcher spot it would open up the final spot for Giles, Donald or Cairo.

If the final hitter comes from the group above, my guess it would be Coste or Stairs. I don’t think it will, though. I will still guess the Phils make a trade, sending Stairs, or Stairs and Coste, to someone to bring back a right-handed hitter who will take the final hitting spot on the roster.

There are only so many things the Phils can do with Stairs, including putting him on the team, trading him or releasing him. Putting him on the team makes him a sluggish corner outfielder who is the sixth left-handed bat along with Utley, Howard, Ibanez, Jenkins, and Dobbs. Assuming they also will continue to play Bruntlett in the outfield, it would also make him their sixth outfielder. Releasing him, especially since one would think his $1 million contract would make him desirable to other teams, doesn’t seem that likely either. That seems to leave trading him.

If Feliz isn’t ready to go to start the year, my guess is the Phils would go with a Bruntlett/Dobbs platoon at third. It would open another spot on the roster, at least temporarily. I would guess Miguel Cairo, given his experience playing third as well as his ability to play multiple positions, might become a more attractive option for the Phils if that were the case.

Ten of the Phillies pitching spots are likely to be filled by these guys:


Player

Position
1
Cole Hamels (left)

SP
2
Brett Myers (right)

SP
3
Joe Blanton (right)

SP
4
Jamie Moyer (left)

SP
5
SP
6
Ryan Madson (right)
 RP
7
Chan Ho Park (right)

SP/RP
8
Clay Condrey (right)

RP
9
Scott Eyre (left)

RP
10
Chad Durbin (right)

RP
11  
RP
12
Brad Lidge (right)

CLOSER

Two spots left and my guess for each stays the same.

I like Kendrick to win the fifth starter job over Chan Ho Park, JA Happ and Carlos Carrasco. I think Park goes to the pen and Happ joins him as the second lefty along with Eyre.

I will be interested to see if the fifth starter job actually goes to the player of those four who pitches the best in spring training. I think the answer may be no. I don’t think that’s going to be a problem if it’s Happ or Carrasco who pitches the best. Carrasco can’t be too surprised if he starts the year in the minors at age 21 coming off a year when he threw to a 4.32 ERA at Double-A. I think Happ has a good chance to make the team anyway and should have known better than to be left-handed. But if Park, who clearly wants to start, out pitches Kendrick and doesn’t win the spot things could get interesting quickly.

Another possibility is that the Phils could trade Stairs (or, less likely, Jenkins or Coste) to bring in a second lefty. Or they could sign a left-handed reliever. In either of those cases, I think it would really make it a three-way duel for the fifth starter job between Happ, Kendrick and Park rather than Park and Kendrick battling it out.

So here’s my overall guess at this point:

Hitters (13): Howard, Utley, Rollins, Feliz, Ibanez, Victorino, Werth, Ruiz, Bruntlett, Dobbs, Paulino, Jenkins and a right-handed hitter not currently with the team.

Pitchers (12): Hamels, Myers, Blanton, Moyer, Kendrick, Madson, Happ, Condrey, Eyre, Durbin, Park, Lidge.

Dobbs would like the chance to hit against lefties. He has 55 plate appearances against lefties and 781 against righties for his career.

Victorino will not be playing in the World Baseball Classic.

Jason Donald will start at second base in today’s game against Pittsburgh. Moyer, Blanton, Scott Nestor, Joe Bisenius, Dave Borkowski, Mike Koplove and Jake Woods are expected to pitch for the Phils.


2009 a third time

In mid-November, I took a guess at who would be on the Phillies roster when the 2009 season started. I did it again in mid-December. Since the post in mid-December:

  • It was announced that JC Romero will be suspended for the first fifty games of the 2009 season.
  • The Phillies signed 2B Marcus Giles to a minor league deal and invited him to spring training.

I still think there are nine guys on the team for opening day, including Pedro Feliz, recovering from back surgery, but not including Chase Ultey who is recovering from hip surgery:


Player

Position
1
Ryan Howard

1B
2
2B
3
Jimmy Rollins

SS
4
Pedro Feliz

3B
5
Shane Victorino

OF
6
Jayson Werth

OF
7
Raul Ibanez

OF
8
OF
9
Carlos Ruiz
C
10 C
11
Eric Bruntlett

UT
12
Greg Dobbs

3B/OF
13
UT
14

Utley is obviously on the team as well, but will probably start the season on the DL. That leaves four spots for position players, assuming the Phils carry 13 hitters and 12 pitchers to start the year.

Of the four remaining spots, one has to go to a second catcher behind Ruiz and one has to go to a fourth outfielder. Assuming Utley does not fill Utley’s spot, the third probably has to go someone who can play second base.

On the catcher spot, I still think Paulino is on the team. What I’m feeling a little less sure of as the days pass and the Phillies continue not to sign a right-handed hitter is that Paulino on the team makes it highly unlikely that Coste is not.

One of Geoff Jenkins or Matt Stairs takes the fourth outfielder spot. I still think it’s Jenkins and still think Stairs won’t be with the team when the season starts. Jenkins is far more useful as a defensive player and would be tougher to trade for the Phillies given his contract. I think there’s a chance the Phillies go into the season with four real outfielders on their team, with Bruntlett and maybe Dobbs getting some chances to fill in a little. If you’re going to have four real outfielders on the team I don’t think you have one of them be a 41-year-old Stairs just because I don’t think you can put him out in the field too often.

At second base if Utley’s not ready to go I see the candidates as Giles, Bruntlett, who’s on the team either way, and Jason Donald. The window where the Phillies would bring someone else in with a legitimate chance to compete for the position at this point seems like it’s at least closing. Bruntlett is the least exciting of those prospects. I’m going to guess that Giles proves to be the guy.

Chris Coste and Stairs appear to be the primary candidates to fill out the roster of the players currently on the team. Given how weak the Phillies are from the right side of the plate I see Coste as the winner if it comes down to those two. If Coste is still on the team I don’t think John Mayberry has much of a chance to win the spot. I think there’s a good chance that whoever takes the slot will prove to be the second-best right-handed hitter on the team behind Werth. The need for another right-handed hitter is huge, so my guess is still that the Phillies will bring in a right-handed hitter before the start of the season to be the thirteenth hitter.

Ten of the Phillies pitching spots are likely to be filled by these guys:


Player

Position
1
Cole Hamels (left)

SP
2
Brett Myers (right)

SP
3
Joe Blanton (right)

SP
4
Jamie Moyer (left)

SP
5
SP
6
Ryan Madson (right)
 RP
7
Chan Ho Park (right)

SP/RP
8
Clay Condrey (right)

RP
9
Scott Eyre (left)

RP
10
Chad Durbin (right)

RP
11  
RP
12
Brad Lidge (right)

CLOSER

Assuming the Phils carry 12 pitchers, that leaves two.

The battle for the fifth starter appears to include Chan Ho Park, JA Happ and Kyle Kendrick. Park is on the team either way, I think, it’s just a question of whether he’s pitching as part of the rotation or out of the pen.

The loss of Romero leaves the Phils with one lefty in the pen, Scott Eyre, and seems to give Happ’s chances of making the team a huge boost. I think one of the two remaining spots goes to Happ, either in the rotation or out of the pen.

Kendrick isn’t going to make the team to pitch out of the pen. So if Happ or Park does win the fifth starter job, it leaves a spot in the pen that would ideally go to a lefty. I don’t think the Phillies have one that fits the bill, though, so my guess is that it would probably be righties Mike Koplove and Gary Majewski as the front-runners batting for the final spot. Given the current options, though, it looks like the Phillies will go into spring training with an opportunity for a dark horse lefty to make the team as the second left-handed pitcher out of the pen.

There’s still a lot to be decided about how the Phillies pitching will round out, but at this point I’m going to guess it’s Happ (and Park) out of the pen and Kendrick as the fifth starter.

So here’s my overall guess at this point:

Hitters (13): Howard, Rollins, Feliz, Ibanez, Victorino, Werth, Ruiz, Bruntlett, Dobbs, Paulino, Jenkins, Giles and a right-handed hitter not currently with the team.

Pitchers (12): Hamels, Myers, Blanton, Moyer, Kendrick, Madson, Happ, Condrey, Eyre, Durbin, Park, Lidge.

JC Romero will be allowed to participate in the World Baseball Classic.

Interview with Doug Glanville at We Should Be GMs.

Ad: TicketCity has tickets to the Super Bowl.


And that’s why they don’t call him Pat the Glove

Some have suggested in recent days that Raul Ibanez is as bad or worse defensively in the outfield than Pat Burrell. That may be the case. What is hard for me to believe is that Burrell gets to as many fly balls as Ibanez does.

Here’s how many innings each of them played in left field in 2008 and how many putouts they had:

Player Innings in
LF
PO
Burrell 1198.1 202
Ibanez 1340 302

Burrell had about .17 putouts per inning in left field, Ibanez had about .23 putouts per inning while in left. If Burrell had played the same number of innings in left as Ibanez and continued to record putouts at the same rate, he would have had 226 putouts compared to 302 for Ibanez.

Ibanez led all MLB left fielders in putouts in 2008. He also played more innings in left than just about anyone — Jason Bay played about five more innings, but he was the only player in either league to spend more time in left. Ryan Braun and Delmon Young each also played at least 1,300 innings in left in ’08.

Here’s the ten players who played the most innings in left field in either league this season, how many innings they played, how many putouts they recorded and how many putouts per inning:

Player Innings PO PO per
inning
Jason Bay 1345.2 254 .189
Raul Ibanez 1340 302 .225
Delmon Young 1324 282 .213
Ryan Braun 1310.1 275 .210
Matt Holliday 1229.1 240 .195
Pat Burrell 1198.1 202 .169
Carlos Quentin 1147 228 .199
Adam Dunn 981.2 210 .214
Manny Ramirez 974 190 .195
Alfonso Soriano 937.1 186 .198

Of the ten players, Burrell has the worst rate of putouts per inning and Ibanez has the best.

Burrell and Ibanez weren’t fielding in the same parks or behind the same pitchers. And it is true that Phillies pitchers struck out more hitters than Mariners pitchers and got fewer fly ball outs than Seattle pitchers. But not by a huge amount:

  K GO AO K+GO+AO % K % GO % AO
PHI 1081 1718 1465 4,264 25.4 40.3 34.4
SEA 1016 1691 1522 4,229 24.0 40.0 36.0

The number of outs you get in the air reflects, of course, not just how often your pitchers make pitches that are hit in the air but also how good the outfielders are at catching the balls after they are hit in the air.

The Mariners were 15th among the 30 teams in the number of outs they got in the air.

As a team, the Mariners got 1.039 times as many outs in the air as the Phillies did in 2008. Even if you adjust Burrell’s putouts to give him as many innings in left as Ibanez, which, again, puts him at 226, Ibanez’s total of 302 is still 1.34 times higher than Burrell’s.

Over the past two seasons, Ibanez has played 2,454 1/3 innings in left for Seattle and recorded 526 putouts. That’s .2143 putouts per inning. Eight other players have appeared in left field for Seattle and combined to play 415 1/3 innings. In their 415 1/3 innings, they recorded 85 putouts, or .2047 (less) per inning. Burrell, on the other hand, has played 2,226 2/3 innings in left and recorded 378 putouts (.1698) while other Phillies left fielders have played 681 2/3 innings and recorded 163 putouts (.2391 per inning (way more).

There were other things that Burrell did in left better than Ibanez. He made errors at a lower rate in 2008, for example, and despite playing about 140 fewer innings defensively threw more runners out on the bases. There’s a lot of bad things that can happen after you get to the ball, but I’m going to be surprised if Ibanez doesn’t prove to be much better at that that Burrell. I think we’ll be able to see it both from watching the games and in the statistics.

The Phillies signed 24-year-old right-handed pitcher Santo Hernandez from the independent United Baseball League.

Lots of people seem to think Raul Ibanez is a swell fella.

The list of free agents.

Vintage Blue, a Philadelphia-based, vintage-inspired sportswear line for women that holds exclusive license to the All American Girls Professional Baseball League, would like you to know they’re out there. Here, specifically.


2009 a second time

In mid-November I took a guess at who would be on the Phillies roster when the 2009 season started. A lot of things have happened since then, including:

  • Chase Utley had surgery on his right hip and will likely miss the start of the season. It’s unclear when he will be back at second base or who will be playing the position till he returns. We’re pretty sure it won’t be Nick Punto or Tad Iguchi. Probably won’t be Mark DeRosa, either.
  • Greg Golson, who had a slim chance to make the team to start the season, was traded for right-handed outfielder John Mayberry, who has a slimmer chance to make the team to start the season.
  • The Phillies signed veteran right-handed reliever Mike Koplove.
  • Jason Jaramillo was traded for right-handed catcher Ronny Paulino
  • Raul Ibanez was signed to a three-year contract and will presumably see the bulk of the time in left field.
  • Right-handed pitcher Robert Mosebach was acquired in the Rule 5 draft.
  • The Phils signed right-handed pitcher Chan Ho Park to a one-year contract.
  • They also signed Jamie Moyer to a two-year contract.

I think there are nine hitters you have to assume are on the team at this point.


Player

Position
1
Ryan Howard

1B
2
2B
3
Jimmy Rollins

SS
4
Pedro Feliz

3B
5
Shane Victorino

OF
6
Jayson Werth

OF
7
Raul Ibanez

OF
8
OF
9
Carlos Ruiz
C
10 C
11
Eric Bruntlett

UT
12
Greg Dobbs

3B/OF
13
UT
14

Utley is obviously on the team as well, but will probably start the season on the DL. That leaves four spots for position players, assuming the Phils carry 13 hitters and 12 pitchers to start the year.

First spot is second catcher along with Ruiz. I think Paulino is a far better bet to take that spot than Coste. It now seems clear the Marson will start the year in the minors.

The Phillies definitely need to give one of the other three spots to an outfielder, almost surely Geoff Jenkins or Matt Stairs, to fill out an outfield that will feature Victorino in center, Werth in right and Ibanez in left. I still don’t believe the Phillies can carry all three of Jenkins, Stairs and Dobbs — that seems especially true now that the left-handed bat of Ibanez looks like it will be a fixture in the lineup till we’ve been saying “Yeah he can hit but he really needs to go to the AL where he can DH” about him for about a year and a half. I still guess the fourth outfielder spot goes to Jenkins.

That leaves two — the 2B spot that is open with Utley on the DL and another spot on the bench. At least one of those spaces needs to go to a right-handed hitter, and the options in the organization right now are not exciting. I would have to guess that Coste, Mike Cevernak and Mayberry would be the lead candidates. Matt Stairs is not right-handed, but you’d have to think he’d get some consideration anyway given the possibilities. I think Coste would get the spot if it came down to those four — more likely, though, it seems that the Phillies will add a veteran right-handed bat before the season starts.

And then there’s the Utley second base spot. Jason Donald, Brad Harman, veteran not on the team or letting Bruntlett handle the job while Utley was out look like the four main candidates there. Harman hit 210/280/366 at Double-A last year, so I don’t think he’s going to be an attractive option. Donald comes off a monster year in the minors and the AFL, but I would guess the Phils let him play in the minors again in 2009. I don’t think Bruntlett can hit right-handed pitching well enough to play regularly at second base, but I think the big question for the Phillies will be how much time Utley is going to miss. If the Phillies believe Utley is going to miss a small number of games, Bruntlett would almost surely get the call. Ideally for the Phils the right-handed hitter they bring in to fill the bench slot above could play second. Without much information about how long Utley is going to be out, I’ll still go with yet another right-handed veteran in this slot to fill out the hitting roster. It would mean the Phils would be in a bind when Utley returned — Utley plus two right-handed veteran bats gives them 14 hitters, which they probably won’t carry. You can see why DeRosa was so attractive to the Phillies as he fills the need for the big right-handed bat and the guy who can play second base. There aren’t a lot of guys like that out there.

Ten of the Phillies pitching spots are likely to be filled by these guys:


Player

Position
1
Cole Hamels (left)

SP
2
Brett Myers (right)

SP
3
Joe Blanton (right)

SP
4
Jamie Moyer (left)

SP
5
SP
6
Ryan Madson (right)
 RP
7
JC Romero (left)

RP
8
Clay Condrey (right)

RP
9
Scott Eyre (left)

RP
10
Chad Durbin (right)

RP
11  
RP
12
Brad Lidge (right)

CLOSER

Assuming the Phils carry 12 pitchers, that leaves two.

With the signing of Moyer yesterday, the Phillies have one spot left in the rotation. Chan Ho Park’s early quotes seem to suggest he’ll be in the mix to win the job. He would presumably be competing with a group that included JA Happ and Kyle Kendrick as the front-runners for fifth starter. I don’t think Carlos Carrasco or Adam Eaton are realistic candidates. Kendrick and Happ may have to outpitch Park in spring training to win the job as fifth starter, but that might not be that hard for them to do. I’m still guessing Kendrick, but I think it’s very close between those three for the fifth starter job.

Park’s likely on the team whether he’s in the rotation or not — I think it’s just a question of whether he’s a starter or the veteran righty in the bullpen. The last bullpen spot needs to go to a righty. I think it will be Park, but if it’s not it may be Koplove battling all the right-handed relievers in the world that currently aren’t on the Phillies to make the team.

Hitters (13): Howard, Rollins, Feliz, Ibanez, Victorino, Werth, Ruiz, Bruntlett, Dobbs, Paulino, Jenkins and two right-handed hitters currently not with the team.

Pitchers (12): Hamels, Myers, Blanton, Moyer, Kendrick, Madson, Romero, Condrey, Eyre, Durbin, Park, Lidge.

This suggests Utley could be ready for opening day.

The Phillies signed Jamie Moyer to a two-year deal worth $13 million. Chan Ho Park was also signed to a one-year deal. Glad to see Moyer back — I think the Phillies won that one as I was expecting Moyer to get more than $13 million. But . . . this says that Moyer will make $20 million over the two years if he throws at least 190 innings and makes 31 starts in each season. Moyer has thrown at least 190 innings and made at least 31 starts in each of the last eight seasons.

The Phillies needed a right-handed pitcher and they got one, but I think Chan Ho Park’s numbers in a Phillie uniform might be ugly in 2009.

I am tracking my guess as to who will be part of the 2009 Phillies here.


Good Burrells go to heaven, but the bad Burrells go everywhere

Disappointing news this morning as Jayson Stark reports the Phillies have agreed to a three year, $30 million deal with 36-year-old left-handed outfielder Raul Ibanez. Ibanez is a very good hitter, but so was longtime Phillie Pat Burrell. It’s hard to imagine the financial commitment the Phils appear to be willing to make to Ibanez is much less than it would have taken to bring back Burrell. The Phils will apparently be paying Ibanez about $10 million a year when he’s 39 years old and will give up a draft pick to bring him in.

The addition leaves the Phils just about naked from the right side of the plate. Jayson Werth was fantastic in 2008. The second-best right-handed hitter on the team is Pedro Feliz, Chris Coste or Ronny Paulino. Take your pick. Switch-hitter Shane Victorino hit lefties well last season, 282/345/537. Fellow switchy Jimmy Rollins was a little better against righties than lefties. He hit 288/341/436 against left-handed pitching. The Phillies needed two right-handed bats without the addition of Ibanez. Still do, and if Ibanez joins the team there’s less places for them to play.

None of this is Raul Ibanez’s fault. Ibanez has pumped out at least 20 home runs four years in a row and put up 338 RBI in the last three years. He strikes out far less often than Burrell — over his career, Ibanez has struck out in 787 of his 5,301 plate appearances, which is about 14.8 percent of the time. Burrell has struck out 1,273 times in 5,388 plate appearances, about 23.6 percent of the time. It should also be pointed out that Ibanez has put up his recent numbers at Safeco Field, which is not a particularly good place to hit. Curiously, however, in three of the last four years his numbers have been better at Safeco than away.

Other than his age, the downside with Ibanez as an offensive player as I see it is his 268/322/411 career line against left-handed pitching. That .733 OPS is worse than Burrell’s 251/352/467 (.819 OPS) against his same side. Burrell’s .950 career OPS against his opposite side (left) of .950 is also better than the .849 OPS Ibanez has put up against righties. There are more right-handed pitchers than left, though, and Ibanez pounded lefties in 2008. In 2008 he hit 305/368/497 against left-handed pitching, after hitting a miserable 256/294/356 against them in 2007 and a miserabler 243/301/362 against them in 2006.

Interesting question about who will hit behind Howard in 2009 for the Phils. The answer is almost surely Jayson Werth at this point, assuming Utley and Howard continue to hit three-four.

It’s a little tough to separate how this will affect the Phillies on the field and the disappointment with the realization that it means Burrell won’t be back. I do think Burrell is the better hitter and will be this year as well, but not by a huge amount. All the left-handed hitters is a problem for the Phils that needs a solution. Overall, though, I would have to disagree with Amaro who suggested previously in relation to Burrell that it was not the time to be sentimental. I think it was a perfect time to be sentimental.

Cole Hamels has some stuff to say about the Mets and their ability to finish. Interesting question for me has been how Hamels is going to motivate himself after winning the World Series and being named the MVP of the NLCS and World Series all before he turned 25. That may be the answer.

If you’re every wondering if the article about Brad Harman you’re reading is from an Australian news source, learning that he was “overawed” by facing Randy Johnson and that Tim Lincecum throws 150km/h (that’s 90 miles an hour) should clue you in. No word on how things came out between Victoria and Queensland, though.

This suggests that Derek Lowe will get about four years, $65 million.

This says the Brewers are interested in Jamie Moyer.


All you need is Koplove

The Phillies signed 32-year-old right-handed reliever Mike Koplove to a minor league contract. The Phils will almost surely add a veteran right-handed reliever to the roster before the start of the season, but Koplove is a long shot to be the guy.

Koplove is a Philadelphia native who had outstanding years with the Diamondbacks in 2002 and 2003, throwing to a 2.90 ERA with a 1.12 ratio over 99 1/3 innings. His numbers dropped in 2004 and were miserable in 2005. He’s thrown nine innings in the majors since ’05.

Koplove has thrown more than ten innings in four seasons. Here’s what lefties have slugged against him in those four seasons:

2002 .261
2003 .397
2004 .444
2005 .487

Despite those struggles, Koplove still has a career 3.82 ERA and a 1.31 ratio. He was good in ’08 in the PCL, throwing to a 3.46 ERA and a 1.12 ERA in 54 2/3 innings while striking out 46. He was also fantastic in the Olympics, allowing one walk and no hits over 5 1/3 innings while striking out six.

I don’t think it’s going to happen, but I don’t think it would be a problem if Koplove won the spot as the last righty in the bullpen (joining, presumably, Madson, Romero, Condrey, Eyre, Durbin and Lidge). The problem would be counting on Koplove without a backup plan — I’d be stunned if that happened, cause I think you have to assume that Koplove is the backup plan (or at least part of it).

The other thing I think you have to remember is that Condrey, despite his fantastic year in ’08, was hit hard by lefties. They hit 320/370/448 against him last year, and I think the Phillies may be concerned about putting two righties at the back of their pen who don’t have much of a chance against lefties if they see any other options.

This article suggests that the Phillies will almost surely offer arbitration to Jamie Moyer and Pat Burrell and that both are likely to decline. Tom Gordon and Rudy Seanez could also be offered arbitration before the deadline at midnight on Monday, which is almost surely not going to happen.

Utley had surgery on his right hip on Monday without complications. GM Ruben Amaro suggests in the linked article that nobody can predict how long Utley will be out, but a gaggle of folks have managed to predict four to six months, which would put the window for his return between March 24 and May 24.

Any guess which Phillie is the assistant hockey coach at John Bapst High School in Bangor, Maine? A hint: his name is probably somewhere in the back of Jonathan Broxton’s mind and probably will be for a while.

November 25 was Shane Victorino Day in Wailuku.


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