Sorry I haven’t updated in a while.
Well, the Phils lost the Fall Classic to the Yankees, and so the offseason begins. Cliff Lee will play for the Phils next year, while Brett Myers will not. Those two things are the only sure things so far. So here are my predictions, and I use that term lightly, for the Phillies’ Offseason. It’s more like Suggestions actually.
Need 1) Replace Pedro Feliz
Now I have nothing against the guy, I’ll say that now. He has a great glove, but the bat needs work, and that’s the problem. Because of the lack of a bat, he’s probably our worst overall position player. We can either sign him for 5 Million in 2010, or axe him and pay him 500K.
Right now, I’m thinking to replace him at third with Chone Figgins of the Angels. Figgins is a Free Agent, unless the Angels sign him by Monday. He is not only a drastic improvement over Feliz, in offense, speed, and possibly even defense, he can play every position, except for 1B, Catcher, and Pitcher. He is one of the best utility guys in the majors. Even if we keep Feliz, I still say sign him. He would drastically improve our bench.
Figgins would not only be an offensive improvement over Feliz, but he would add even more speed to this lineup. He could probably even replace J-Roll in the 1-Hole. Of course, that would mean that either J-Roll or Victorino would have to move down to the 7 Spot, but that’s a small price to pay to add such a helpful player.
So, I say replace Pedro Feliz with Chone Figgins. It could work wonders.
Need 2) The Bench
The bench was, let’s say it, horrible this season. Matt Stairs, Greg Dobbs, Eric Bruntlett, and Miguel Cairo didn’t do all that well. Especially Matt Stairs. He’s most likely not even going to return next season. Though I do give props to Eric Bruntlett for that Triple Play. Thanks for rubbing our success into the Mets’ Face even more.
No offense to the guy, but when your best bench player is Ben Francisco, you’re in trouble. Though Ben Francisco has been a blessing in desguise for us so far. He’s done a great job, and was definitely worth the price we paid for him. Which was virtually nothing. The four prospects we gave up was for Lee, not Francisco. Francisco was just a free parting gift in my eyes. Francisco is argueably the most underrated player on this team, except for maybe Jayson Werth.
Anyways, what could we do to improve this bench?
First off, you could go after the two guys that was the main reason the Yanks beat us this year. Johnny Damon, and Hideki Matsui. Now I highly doubt we’ll get either of them, but think about it. Now Damon would probably be a definite no, because he would want a full time position, not a bench position, but Matsui could work. He can’t really play the outfield anymore (though he said he was going to work on his knees and market himself as an OF), but he’s still got a bat. He’s proved that to us in Game 6. If we manage to land Matsui, it could improve our bench immensely.
Another option to consider is Jim Thome, though I doubt he’d want to be a bench player. He wants a full time DH gig, but not many DH spots are open. If he is without a team by January, I’d say go after him. Who knows what would happen? He would be like a Matt Stairs 2.0. Except he has more Home Runs than Reggie Jackson. And he hits home runs much more often.
Will the Phillies get any of the guys I mentioned? On a scale of 1 to 10:
Yeah, I doubt we’ll get any of them. But still, the point is, we need to improve the bench drastically. Heck, Nomar is a possibility too. The Phillies have been linked to Garciaparra a lot since last Winter. Maybe this winter they’ll actually sign him. Don’t count Nomar out yet, his name has been tossed around as late as August, when teams were still trading.
I’m not good at names. But the point of this big mess of paragraphs is: Improve the Bench
Need 3) The Bullpen
This is a no-brainer. All I can really say is improve it. I really have no clue who’s on the market when it comes to the bullpen. Eyre, and Park could return next season. That’s a start. Brad Lidge needs major work. If he’s still blowing saves in April, I say give’m the Brett Myers treatment. Even though that means he’ll be gone after 2011.
I’m litterally scanning through a list of Bullpen Free Agents right now.
J.J. Putz is an option. He had an injury plagued 2009, but he could still have something in him for 2010. It’s not like the Bullpen could get worse. Oh wait….It could. Still, he’s worth a look at the least. Horacio Ramirez could be your lefty specialist is J.C. Romero is still working out some kinks.
Honestly, I’m litterally typing random names. Again, the point is to improve the bullpen.
Need 4) GIVE LEE AN EXTENSION
It speaks for itself. We need to give Lee a contract extension. If we can nail him down for a few years, it would put us (The Phillies) in near-definite playoff contention for years to come. Sure, the Phillies don’t like signing long term contracts, but this is CLIFF FRIKKIN LEE. This guy is Yankees calibar, and I say Yankees Calibar meaning that if he was on the market, the Yankees would give him a 7 Year, 190 Million Dollar Contract, or something rediculous like that. You have him for another year, extend it. Nail down Lee while you can.
Listening to everything I said, here’s our 2010 Phillies:
Moyer/Martinez (Assuming Martinez is still on the team)
Eyre (If he doesn’t retire)
Park (If he resigns)
Not sure if Condrey or Bastardo or either will be in the lineup, so I just put them in as maybes.
How does it look?
Well, It really depends on who fills those 3 Free Agent Spots I put in there.
But overall, we could definitely win the Pennant again. All depends on who fills the spots, and how they perform.
This is Smash, signing out. Can’t wait to see how the offseason turns out.
This is a recap of the last three games against the San Francisco Giants.
GAME 2: Phillies 5, Giants 1
Reigning Cy Young Winner Cliff Lee made his Phillies debut against the San Francisco Giants. Man oh man was he superb.
Lee took a Perfect Game into the third, which ended with a walk. The No-Hitter though, went to the sixth. Lee had 2 hits as well. His first career extra-base hit came in his second at bat, a ball which was inches away from a home run, but hit the very top of the wall instead. If he had hit that ball in Citizens Bank Park, it would’ve gone into the seats.
Lee pitched a full 9 Innings, walked two, gave up four hits, with one-earned run, and struck out 6.
Jayson Werth was the offensive hero, with 1 HR and 3 RBI.
GAME 3: Phillies 0, Giants 2
Tim Lincecum didn’t win the Cy Young award for nothing. Lincecum pitched 8 Innings of brilliant ball, allowing 7 hits, striking out 8, and allowed no runners to cross the plate.
Joe Blanton allowed sven hits as well, but 2 runs crossed the plate. Blanton stuck out 5 in Seven Innings.
Juan Uribe hit two sacrifice flies, which proved to be the difference.
GAME 4: Phillies 3, Giants 7
The Phillies took an early 3-1 lead, thanks to RBI hits by Eric Bruntlett and Carlos Ruiz, along with a homer by J-Roll, but it wasn’t enough to hold off the Giants, who rallied for an additional 6 Runs.
Hamels went 5 innings, allowing 10 hits, and seven runs, six of which were earned.
Barry Zito went 6 innings, allowing 3 runs, two earned, and struck out 5, compared to Hamels’ Two Ks.
Freddy Sanchez went 2-4 with 2 RBI, while Eugenio Valez went 2 for 5 with 2 RBI.
The Phillies start their homestand on Tuesday against the Colorado Rockies. Jason Hammel (5-6) will try and take down the oldest active player in baseball, Jamie Moyer (10-7).
J.A. Happ was 7-0. Two Starts Later, he’s 7-2. Though Happ hasn’t been that bad. His first loss against the Cards was plagued with bloopers that was barely out of the reach of fielders’ gloves.
Today, Happ made one mistake. One pitch in the first inning, that Juston Upton crushed for a 2-Run Homer. The D-Backs never looked back.
Little more news on the rotation situation.
Both GM Ruben Amaro Jr. and Pitching Coach Rich Dubee said Pedro Martinez would be a starter. They also said Moyer isn’t a bullpen kind of pitcher.
Hamels, Lee, and Blanton are most likely safe. Amaro or Dubee didn’t say that, but it’s quite obvious.
Which means the rotation will be: Hamels-Lee-Blanton-Martinez-Happ/Moyer.
Seeing as if they said Moyer wasn’t a bullpen guy, it looks like the Rookie of the Year Candidate might return to the bullpen, where he is 2-0 with a 2.49 ERA.
Don’t forget to check out tonight’s game against the San Francisco Giants. Rodrigo Lopez (3-0), most likely making his last, or next to last start for the Phils, will pitch against the Giants’ Johnathan Sanchez (3-9), most known for pitching a No-Hitter earlier this year. Game time is 10:15 PM ET.
The Phils were lookin’ for an ace. Particularly one that started with Roy, and ended in Halladay.
Instead, we got one that started with Cliff, and ended with Lee.
Yes. Cliff Lee. The defending Cy Young Award Winner.
This is a great addition to the rotation, obviously. It now stands at Hamels-Lee-Blanton-Moyer-Happ, but might eventually evolve into Happ-Hamels-Martinez-Blanton-Moyer/Happ.
That’s a pretty good rotation if you ask me. Let’s just take a look at Lee’s stats for a second here:
Year W-L W-L% ERA IP K ERA+ WHIP
2008 22-5 .880 2.54 223.1 170 175 1.110
2009 7-9 .438 3.14 152.0 107 143 1.303
A definite fall from grace, but Lee was on the Indians. Last in the AL Central. They have one of the worst offences in the league. His ERA is 0.6 Higher, but besides W-L he ain’t much different than last year. The only notable difference is that his ERA+ dropped 30 points. But again, the Indians have a horrible offence.
He also only allowed 0.2 more baserunners per inning on base.
Sure, he ain’t the Cy Young award winner he was last year, but he will still be a great help to the ballclub.
Now comes the question of what the Rotation will look like afterwards.
It’s a definite that Lee and Hamels will stay in the rotation. Blanton is also safe. It all depends on what the Phils do with Martinez. If he’s a bullpen guy, which I doubt, then everyone keeps their rotation jobs. If not, then we’ll be sayin’ bye-bye to either J.A. Happ or Jamie Moyer in the rotation. Honestly, I have no idea who’s gonna go.
We will be saying bye to 4 prospects. Pitchers Carlos Carrasco, once valued as the best prospect in the organization, Jason Knapp, Shortstop Jason Donald, and Catcher Lou Marson.
The Indians will not only part with Cliff Lee, but also outfielder Ben Francisco. Francisco, who is most likely is the right hander off the bench the Phils have been looking for, is batting .250 with 10 Home Runs and 33 RBI in 89 Games with the Indians this year.
Don’t forget that the series final between the Phils and the D-Backs will begin tonight at 9:40 Eastern Time. Go for the sweep!
J.A. Happ (7-1) will pitch against Yusmeiro Petit (0-5).
Also of notice, is that this is my first blog entry. Huzzah!
…I don’t really have anything else to say. Look for more updates I suppose.