Tag: Kyle Lohse

Looking for a stranger

Over the past two seasons there have been a flurry of acquisitions around opening day for the Phils. Here are the moves they made:

In 2006 they played their first game on April 3.

On March 28 they traded Aquilino Lopez to the Padres for two minor leaguers, outfielder Matt Thayer and third baseman Trey Johnston. Lopez didn’t appear in the majors in 2006 but pitched some for Detroit last season. In ten relief appearances he threw to a 5.19 ERA in 17 1/3 innings with a 1.38 ratio.

On April 1 they traded Robinson Tejeda and Jake Blalock to the Rangers for David Dellucci. Blalock is now back with the Phillies. Tejeda has gone 10-14 with a 5.59 ERA and a 1.69 ratio in 33 starts with the Rangers since. In 2007 he walked 60 in 95 1/3 innings. Dellucci hit 292/369/530 in 264 at-bats with the Phils in 2006.

In 2007 they played their first game on April 2.

On April 5 they traded for Francisco Rosario, sending cash to the Blue Jays. Rosario is a candidate to make this year’s opening day roster and appeared in 23 games for the Phils last season. All of his appearances came in relief and he went 0-3 with a 5.47 ERA and a 1.78 ratio.

On April 6 they signed Rick Bauer to a minor league contract. Bauer threw to a 7.36 ERA in 33 innings at Triple-A Ottawa before the Phils released him in June. He’s in camp this spring with a chance to make the Indians. Over his career he’s thrown 311 innings in the majors with a 4.34 ERA and a 1.38 ratio.

On April 11 they claimed Michael Garciaparra off of waivers. Garciaparra spent most of the year at Reading last season and hit 240/343/303 in 271 at-bats.

On April 13 they claimed JD Durbin off of waivers. Durbin is fighting for a spot on this year’s team after appearing in 18 games for the Phils in ’07, ten of which were starts. In 64 2/3 innings he went 6-5 with a 5.15 ERA and a 1.65 ratio.

In each of the last two years, the Phils have made additions right around opening day that helped shape their team on the field. Dellucci was a significant part of the ’06 team. In a kinda similar but less impressive way, Durbin and Rosario both left their mark on the ’07 edition of the Phils. I think we can expect more around opening day again this year.

Last night the Phils beat the Reds 10-7 to improve to 5-10 in spring training. A perfect inning from Flash was the best news of the game for those of us unrelated to Casey Smith.

Moyer started for the Phils and went five innings, allowing four runs on four hits and three walks. One of the hits went for extra-bases, a double. Along with Myers, Moyer is one of two Phillies’ hurlers in the starting rotation throwing well this spring training. His ERA rose to 4.50 with the outing. Outman followed Moyer and allowed two runs on three hits and two walks over two frames. Andy Green hit a solo home run off of him in the sixth. Gordon was next a threw a 1-2-3 eighth. Vic Darensbourg pitched the ninth and allowed a run on two singles and two walks, upping his spring ERA to 3.60 in five innings.

Casey Smith had a monster day offensively for the Phils, going 2-for-4 with a three-run homer, a stolen base and four RBI. 467/500/1.000 for Smith in 15 spring at-bats, which gives him the best OPS of any Phil with more than one plate appearance, although I think there’s a good chance Ryan Howard would outhit him over enough at-bats. Helms was 2-for-3 with a triple and a walk. Golson was 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI. Snelling was 1-for-2 with a double and an RBI.

Francisco Rosario gets a start this afternoon as the Phils face the Braves.

Benson and Hamels both pitched in minor league games yesterday. Benson allowed two runs on five hits over four innings. Hamels, who has been battling the flu, struck out six in five innings and allowed one run.

This suggests it will still be a while, late April at the best, before Benson is a real candidate to join the Phillies’ rotation.

The Cardinals agreed to a one-year deal with Kyle Lohse for $4.25 million. Whether the Phillies mishandled the situation with Lohse or not, that is quite unfortunate. The Phils’ core of young, excellent players is getting older and more expensive. And they’re about to start another season with a pitching staff that, to say the least, lacks depth. That’s frustrating for a lot of fans and Kyle Lohse to the Cards for $4.25 million isn’t going to help.

It’s easy to spend other people’s money and just about all of us are lacking the details about what actually happened in the Lohse negotiations. One of the fears for me is that the Phils are a little gun-shy after the $10 million they spent on Freddy Garcia last season and $24 million plus they gave to Adam Eaton. I don’t think you can say they aren’t willing to spend, but you have to hope they didn’t take their shot, came up empty and decided to call it a day. Cause they’re pretty good and pretty close. But the difference between having Kyle Lohse and not having him is big and the Phillies aren’t going to have to play many games this season before you see it.


Phils pen apparently looking to make up what it lacks in quality in bigness

Here’s the Phillies’ spring training roster.

This article says the Phillies’ are no closer to signing Kris Benson, but that adding Benson is far more likely than adding Lohse.

This reminds that Ruiz hit 17 home runs at Double-A in 2004 and 16 at Triple-A in 2005 and could see a boost in his power numbers this season. He also slugged .505 at Triple-A in 2006.

Charlie Manuel is losing weight and thinks the Phils could have a “big bullpen.” Assuming big is of the good family in this context, I’m not really seeing that one. But I hope he’s right. I do agree that the “freakin’ Mets” got better.

This article lists Mathieson, Castro, Blackley, Snelling and Rosario as five guys battling for a job this spring. My guess would be that Castro has the best shot of the guys in that group.

The Mets signed Tony Armas, Jr to a minor league contract.


Improve it all night

The Phillies finalized the deal with Pedro Feliz.

The team’s mantra this off-season has been that they want to improve the team in any way they can. That sure sounds nice, but I kind of wish their goal was to build a team that was good enough to win the World Series. With the Feliz signing they are sure to improve their third base situation compared to 2007. But they set the bar pretty low. In 2007 the Phillies’ player that got the most at-bats at third base was Abraham Nunez, who got 212 at-bats and hit 255/342/311 as a third baseman (Helms got 207 at-bats as a third baseman and Dobbs got 190). That’s wretched. If your goal is to just to improve, that makes it easy to improve without getting good. They probably would have improved their third base situation in ’08 without another move. They can improve their fifth starter situation with a guy who throws to a 6.28 ERA this year. Insert your own Shane Youman joke here, but let’s hope that’s not their goal.

Feliz is just about a sure thing to give the Phillies solid defense at third base this season. And there’s a lot of hope out there that he can put up some big power numbers with a better lineup around him in a better park for hitters. And I’m right there with everyone hoping he puts up 30 home runs this season. But his slugging percentage isn’t even his problem as a hitter and he was outslugged last season by Shane Victorino, who’s a fantastic defensive outfielder with a great arm who stole 37 bases. And before you look it up, Victorino outslugged Feliz away from home as well as overall (granted, there was a really strange thing where Victorino was a better hitter away from Citizens Bank Park than at it last season, but still).

So the Phillies did ensure they’ll be a little better at third with the addition of Feliz. And given how many runs the team can score, maybe that’s enough. But the hole they dug themselves at the position was deep enough there was reason to hope they would do more than just improve.

The Phillies already had a full 40-man roster before the addition of Feliz. They will need to make another move.

Dallas McPherson signed a one-year deal with the Marlins. This says that Marlins have also reached a deal with Luis Gonzalez.

This suggests that there is a chance that in addition to Santana, the Mets could also add Kyle Lohse to their rotation. I would be surprised if that happened.

More good news on the improve-in-any-area front as the number of 17-year-old infielders from the Czech Republic in the organization has soared to an all-time high with the addition of Jakub Sladek. The linked article also says that the Phillies will watch Kris Benson throw again next week and that the Phillies still have money to spend. Finally, it explains that the Phillies don’t have to make a move on the 40-man roster yet despite adding Feliz because his addition hasn’t been formally approved by Major League Baseball.

More about the status of the Phillies expected payroll here.


On the other hand it could explain what happened to the Mets last season

Bobby Cox wants the Phillies to disappear. Hardly seems sporting.

This article says that Brett Myers is one of three pitchers (Brett Tomko and Miguel Batista) who has 115 appearances and 60 starts since 2005. Just barely, though. Myers has 116 appearances, 68 starts. Kind of an obscure stat, that.

This article suggests the Myers would rather close than start and that Gillick would prefer not having to put him back in the rotation. I understand why Myers would want to close more than I understand why Gillick would want him to.

This article says Myers is okay with starting.

This suggests the Phillies have the tenth-best outfield in the NL. I do not agree.

In this article, Charlie Manuel remembers Gene Lamont saying that Shane Victorino was the best centerfielder he ever managed. Lamont managed 1,115 games in the major leagues for the Pirates and White Sox before he managed Victorino and the Triple-A Scranton Wilkes-Barre Red Barons in 2005. Victorino hit 310/377/534 for the Red Barons that season. I would be surprised if Victorino wasn’t one of the six best center fielders in the NL this season overall.

In this article Gillick says it’s unlikely the Phillies will make a significant move to add pitching and that Kyle Lohse is “way off the radar.”

The Phils are going to either need to add some pitching or to get some performances that are unreasonable to expect from the guys they have available to them right now if they’re going to win the NL East, much less 100 games.

Lotsa technical problems at Philliesflow these days. Hopefully they will be resolved soon.


Gloom and Doumit

Things are looking just a little bit bleak for the Phils. With that in mind, I went on a search for hidden gems of right fielders. Hidden gems in this case meaning players who got at least 100 plate appearances against righties in ’07, posted an OPS higher than Jayson Werth’s .760 OPS against righties in those plate appearances, appeared in at least 25 games in right field and didn’t make me immediately say “there’s no way his team would trade that guy” or “he’s way too expensive for the Phillies.” Some of those criteria are somewhat subjective. Anyway, here’s what I came up with, along with Werth’s numbers against righties:

vs RHP


Player

AB

AVG

OBP

SLG

OPS
Ryan Doumit 195 282 347 518 865
Skip Schumaker 153 327 340 471 810
Fred Lewis 128 289 385 422 807
Gabe Gross 172 244 328 459 788
Jayson Werth 167 257 371 389 760

Nobody real exciting there except for Doumit, and the Pirates are going to need him, especially if they trade Bay or Nady. I don’t think the Phillies would give a spot on their 25-man roster to any of the other three guys.

Jenkins, who got zero plate appearances as a right fielder last year, didn’t make the list. All of his plate appearances in ’07 came as a left fielder or a DH. He posted an .807 OPS against righties. In ’06 he was a full-time right fielder and put up an .871 OPS against righties.

Still holding out hope for Jenkins. But if the Phils don’t get him, one of the guys some people might be wishing they had shown more interest in is Cliff Floyd. Floyd signed a one-year contract with the Devil Rays under which he’ll earn between $2.75 million and $4.75 million in ’08. This article from last Wednesday suggested the Phillies had little interest in him. And yes, I agree he’s sure to get hurt. But so is Jenkins. And Snelling. And Victorino. So it’s a little late to start discriminating against the sure-to-be-injured.

This mailbag from the Phillies web site seems to suggest that the biggest chance to add a third baseman is Pedro Feliz, and that that’s unlikely.

This article says that the Phils watched Benson pitch yesterday and didn’t say much about what they thought about his performance. It also says that the Padres are unlikely to match the Phillies’ offer to Geoff Jenkins. Finally, it says that Benson would likely sign a one-year contract. A one-year contract would no doubt be highly attractive to the Phillies.

This says that Kyle Lohse is considering offers from the Mets and the Phillies and that the Phillies’ offer could be for as long as four years. A four-year contract would no doubt be highly repulsive to the Phillies. I would be a little surprised if the Phillies signed Lohse at all and a lot surprised if they signed him to a four-year deal.

Javy Lopez is back with the Braves.

The Orioles may be interested in Octavio Dotel.


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