Tag: Jack Taschner

You don’t know Jack (but you will)

I’m a bit flummoxed by the trade for Jack Taschner. I thought the clear play for the Phils was to hold onto Paulino and let him play a lot against left-handed pitching, which he has hammered over his career. That didn’t happen, though, and the Phils shipped Paulino away for Taschner, a guy who turns 31 this month and has a 5.68 ERA with a miserable 1.64 ratio over the past three seasons and has been bombed this spring (6.23 ERA and a 2.54 ratio and three unearned runs before last night’s appearance).

This article points out that Taschner is going to make $835,000 this season whether he plays in the minors or the majors. That seems to suggest there’s a good chance he’s going to be playing in the majors. Since he’s on the Phillies it probably means he’ll be playing for them. So I thought I’d go looking for the silver lining.

You have to look pretty hard for the silver lining. To the degree it’s there I think it has two main parts: 1) he strikes people out and 2) he was very solid till the end of the season in 2008 when his numbers fell apart.

First the strikeouts. For his career, he’s struck out 124 in 140 innings. That’s 7.97 per nine innings. He also has struck out lefties and righties at about the same rate over his career. He’s fanned 67 of the 350 righties he’s faced (19.1%) and 57 of the 295 lefties (19.3%).

He also threw to a 3.03 ERA with a 1.35 ratio in 32 2/3 innings for the Giants in the first half of last year. He blew up in the second half, though, throwing just 15 1/3 miserable innings with an 8.80 ERA and a 2.41 ratio. Opponents hit 380/440/634 against him in the second half.

His overall numbers last year were actually solid through his appearance on August 24 against the Padres. Through his first 58 games he had thrown to a 3.89 ERA with a 1.44 ratio. In his last nine appearances of the season he allowed eight earned runs in 6 1/3 innings, an 11.37 ERA with a hideous 3.32 ratio (13 hits and eight walks).

Here’s how his career rates for runs, hits, walks and strikeouts compares to some other Phillies’ lefties (remembering that Happ has thrown just 35 2/3 innings while Romero and Eyre have each thrown more than 500):

taschner.jpg

Taschner isn’t especially good against lefties. He does have some nice numbers against righties compared to the rest of that group:

 
Vs Right

Vs Left
  AVG OBP SLG AVG OBP SLG
Taschner 247 353 412 288 349 409
Happ 269 355 419 217 280 413
Romero 271 379 435 212 306 285
Eyre 280 368 447 242 324 399

Yesterday the Phils released Geoff Jenkins. That one came as a surprise to me, but I also think it’s a mistake. Werth has had 400 plate appearances once in his career and has a history of having problems hitting right-handed pitching. I think Jenkins would have been a good guy to have around. Not sure why you would want to pay to not have him around and I especially think it’s a bad idea if the reason is so you can put Miguel Cairo on your team.

The article linked above also suggests the Phils may be interested in Gary Sheffield. Sheffield and Stairs would be one DH too many if the Phils played in a league with the DH.

Chan Ho Park will be the Phillies fifth starter. That article also suggests that Happ, Majewski, Mosebach and Taschner are competing for two jobs. I’d guess Taschner is likely on the team and Mosebach is likely not.

Brett Myers will start opening day.

The Phillies beat the Blue Jays last night, winning 9-1 to improve to 12-16 in spring training.

Myers got the start for the Phils and allowed a run on three hits. Travis Snider hit a solo home run off of him in the second and the other two hits were singles. He didn’t walk a batter and struck out three. His spring ERA is 3.52. Taschner and Majewski both pitched scoreless innings.

Ibanez was 2-for-5 with a two-run homer, his first of the spring. Rollins was 2-for-3 with a double to raise his average to .321. Werth 2-for-4 with a double and two RBI. He’s hitting .317.

The Phillies play the Yankees today.

Update: This says the Phillies are interested in Andruw Jones. That would make a lot more sense than Gary Sheffield.


Jack and Giles

The biggest news of the past three days is that the Phils traded Ronny Paulino to the Giants for left-handed pitcher Jack Taschner. The Giants then traded Paulino to the Marlins.

The Phillies also released Brian Giles and sent John Mayberry and Carlos Carrasco to minor league camp. The linked article also says that Mike Koplove and Pablo Ozuna will not make the opening day roster.

I’m not a fan of the Paulino trade. I’d rather have Paulino than Taschner and would have liked to see the Phils give Happ a chance to pitch out of the pen to start the year. I would love to see it happen, but it’s hard to imagine that Taschner is going to make a significant positive contribution to the Phils this year. Despite a miserable spring, I have much less trouble imaging Paulino help a team this season.

In terms of the Phillies opening day roster, I think it leaves us with 12 hitters surely on the team: Howard, Utley, Rollins, Feliz, Ruiz, Coste, Ibanez, Victorino, Werth, Bruntlett, Jenkins and Dobbs.

Jenkins is the guy who is questionable on that list, but I would be surprised to see the Phillies trade or release him.

That leaves Stairs and Cairo as the 13th and maybe the 14th hitter if the Phils carry 14. Stairs still seems to be a candidate for a trade, but it hasn’t happened yet.

These ten pitchers seem sure to be on the team: Hamels, Blanton, Myers, Moyer, Park, Madson, Condrey, Eyre, Durbin and Lidge. Taschner, Happ and Majewski look like the guys that will fill out the staff. I would say that the chances are good that Taschner will make the team given his contract — I think that would be a mistake, though, and hope the Phils send him down to start the year. Assuming they don’t, it would seemingly leave Happ and Majewski both out if the Phils carry both Stairs and Cairo at the start of the season.

The Phillies have played three games since the last post. After going 1-2 they are 11-16 this spring.

Yesterday they pounded the Astros 13-3. Park got the start and allowed two runs over 5 2/3 innings on six hits and a walk. Only one of the runs was earned and he struck out seven. In 21 1/3 innings this spring, Park has a 2.53 ERA and a 1.03 ratio. He has struck out 25 and walked two. Really he has. Condrey and Koplove both tossed scoreless innings as well.

The Phillies got home runs from Ruiz, Rollins, Bruntlett and Howard in the game. Bruntlett was 3-for-4 with four RBI and is hitting .364. Ruiz was 1-for-4 and is hitting .367. Rollins went 2-for-4 to raise his batting average to .280. Ibanez 1-for-1 with two walks.

Sunday Boston topped the Phils 3-1.

Blanton pitched very well, allowing two runs on four hits and a walk over 6 1/3 innings. Chris Carter hit a solo home run off of him in the second, but the other three hits went for singles. Durbin allowed a run in the eighth to raise his spring ERA to 1.69. Madson kept the Red Sox off the board in the ninth to drop his ERA to 2.19.

A walk to Howard in the third forced in Rollins for the Phillies’ only run of the game. Ibanez went 3-for-4 in the game to raise his average to .290.

On Saturday the Pirates beat the Phillies 10-4.

Moyer got the start and got blasted, charged with seven runs over 5 2/3 innings on 11 hits and a walk. He struck out seven but gave up six extra-base hits, five doubles and a home run. His spring ERA raised to 5.40. Majewski threw a scoreless seventh to drop his ERA to 3.00. Lidge allowed a three-run homer to Garrett Jones in the eighth.

Ruiz had a double and a two-run homer. Howard hit a solo shot, his eighth of the spring.

Happ also pitched in a minor league game on Saturday morning and allowed five runs over 5 1/3 innings.

Cole Hamels will not start opening day.

Chan Ho Park didn’t go with whatever’s-best-for-the-team when asked if he would be upset if didn’t win the fifth starter spot. Park has been outstanding this spring and outpitched the other players who were said to be competing for the job.

The Phillies play the Blue Jays tonight with Brett Myers expected to pitch.

Francisco Rodriguez and Brad Lidge won’t both win the Rolaids Relief Man Award this season. You can follow the leaderboard here.

Update: The Phillies released Geoff Jenkins. So I guess I’m surprised.

More update: Chan Ho Park has won the fifth starter job.


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