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phillies jays scrum.jpgThe second half is upon us.

Pedro Martinez is in the fold. Roy Halladay is not.

But like the Shermanator said, “Confidence is high. I repeat: confidence is high.” Not long ago the Phillies lost 14 of 18 games and their season appeared to be spiraling into the ground. Then they went 9-1 at home to take a four-game lead over the Marlins (it’s the second largest lead of any division leader at the break).

Phillies fans consider a third consecutive National League East championship a fait accompli, which is a little scary when you think about it (remember the ’07 and ’08 Mets).

Fans have reasons to be optimistic. The Phillies have the best offense in the National League, and that is with Jimmy Rollins struggling most of the first half and Raul Ibanez missing much of June and July with an injury. They also have the best defense in the National League.

But pitching remains a problem, which could become a bigger issue in October. Phillies starters have a 4.98 ERA, which ranks 14th in the league. Cole Hamels has a 4.87 ERA and has pitched more than six innings just four times this season. Brad Lidge has a 7.03 ERA, and has a 6.00 ERA since he returned from the 15-day disabled list in June. Jamie Moyer has a 5.99 ERA. Those are some red flags, which makes it even more crucial the Phillies improve their pitching before the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline.

Halladay said this week in St. Louis he considers his chances to be traded at 50-50. If that is the case, his chances of going to the Phillies are less because so many teams are interested in him. But Ken Rosenthal said the Phillies are a favorite because he doesn’t think the Angels and Cardinals have enough in their systems to get him. The Phillies do.

Here are a few things to consider when talking about Halladay:

  • Halladay’s current contract is not an issue. One Phillies source said recently, “He isn’t making anything.” Halladay is making $14.25 million this year and $15.75 million next year. In comparison, Brett Myers is making $12 million this season. Halladay is a bargain at that price, and because the Phillies have been selling out the Bank regulary they can afford it. So, yes, the Phillies can afford to pick up Halladay’s contract. The issue with Halladay is going to be prospects. Who does the Blue Jays want, and who are the Phillies willing to give up? The Phillies are in better shape than most teams, which does put them at the top of the pack.
  • Halladay has not indicated he needs a contract extension to accept a trade. He said he has made plenty of money in his career. He wants to win.
  • Halladay sounds like he is ready to go to any winner, including Philadelphia. This isn’t a Jake Peavy situation.
  • I’m getting a lot of Halladay and Vernon Wells questions. Any inclusion of Wells is a deal killer for the Phillies (and most every other team out there). And I have not heard anywhere the Blue Jays insist on including Wells in any talks. If the Blue Jays suddenly insist on Wells in any deal, the Phillies won’t be getting Halladay. But like I said, I have not heard that to be the case. At all. So relax.

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I was looking for Halladay/Phillies pictures and came upon this one from Spring Training 2003. Halladay hit Jim Thome with a pitch and Larry Bowa sparked a bench-clearing brawl when Halladay came to bat later in the game. Good times.

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29 Comments

Love you Zo but the Dodgers are up 7 games on the Giants.

Yeah Zo missed that detail.

I am ready for the second half to start. I can’t take these off days. It will be interesting to see if Jimmy can pick up where he left off before the break. He’ll obviously be key for the Phils in the second half. And hopefully Moyer can continue his dominance of the Marlins.

It’s corrected.

Todd, while your correcting stuff, we went 9-1 on the homestand to end the first half, not 8-1 (what’s one game between friends?)

Thank god we paly some ball tonight so we acn discuss that instead of blabbling on and on about what we would or wouldn’t give to get or not get Halladay.

Todd, what do you think it will take to get Halalday and do you think we can be serrious contenders to win the WS if we don’t get him, but rely on a rotation of Hamels, Happ, Blanton, Pedro, Flavor of week? Help us out here. If you were Rube, what would you do?

A not-so-bold prediction: Phils will not make it back to the WS without adding a top of the rotation starting pitcher. I really think giving up a some hot prospects, even a boatload of them, is a no-brainer when you’re in the situation the Phillies are in (incredible offense and defense, mediocre pitching, pretty deep farm system). We can’t count on three of our starters pitching out of their minds for three straight postseason series again. That was a gift that I’ll be forever thankful for, but it ain’t happening again.

I agree zach. What we saw in terms of the pitching down the stretch last year was some sort of miracle. No one in their right mind could have told me that this team would win a world series on the strength of their pitching.

I want Halladay as much as the next person but what would also be a huge shot in the arm for this staff would be for Cole Hamels to be the “ace” he should be. First half Cole better be tucked away somewhere never to return again.

So if I understand you, Zach and Joed, you both rather a strong possibility of a WS win this year even if it costs us teh chance to compete after 2011. Cool.

As for last year’s “miricle” yeah, our pitchers got hot at he right time, but look at the last 10 games before teh break? we went 9-1 with some pretty good starting pitching.

f_i_j: put down the future goggles for a second. Was it enjoyable to watch this team win a world series last year? I would have to think you liked that right? Does adding Halladay greatly add to this team’s chances of a repeat? Obviously yes. Unless he were to come here and shred his arm in half. I do not care about 2011 right now. They could give up some guys who end up being very nice players but this team is at its peak right now. Make the most of an incredible core now. And like I said, should Halladay walk after 2010 you will get 2 draft picks as compensation. Take them, do your homework, and draft two players on the same level as a Drabek/Taylor.

Good point karen. They were facing some very weak lineups. The Reds have some decent bats but entered town mired in a funk and the Phillies did what they were supposed to. I know the pitching looked great to close the first half but we can’t expect the Rodrigo Lopez’s of the world to put us all back on Broad St. at the end of October.

FIJ: Not to put a damper on your enthusiasm for our pitching before the All-Star break, but I guess we have to remember who we were facing in that stretch…..Mutts, Reds, Pirates. Not exactly a lot of high caliber teams. I do hope that despite that our pitching staff will have a better 2nd half particularly Cole Hamels. If he continues to struggle we could be in deep doo-doo especially in the post season.

AS I keep saying, I’m split onwhether the price for haladay is worth it. My greatest conern/fear is we win this year and next and then have a decade like ’96-’05. 2 first round picks will help but not for a few years, (look at Hewitt).

Karen, yes, the line-ups sucked but our pitchers still did a good job. Even last year, Cole, Myers and Moyer were great, Blanton, until teh playoffs reminded me of Cole this year, kept us in games, but wasn’t anything special. our #5 last year, after the break, was a combo of Happ, Kendrick and Eaton. Not exactly HoFers.

Todd, feel free to put your two (or three) cents in whenever you want

You’re also not going to know whether the prospects they give up in a potential deal will pan out. There are a ton of variables in this whole thing. But the one constant is how good Halladay is. The farm system is deep, as deep as it has been in a very long time. I’m not prepared to say that if they trade 3-5 prospects or Happ that this team will be a 90 loss team from 2011 on.

And wow, that photo. Amaury Telemaco anyone?

The problem, again Joed, is that we loose everyone on the current team except Utley, Ruiz, Happ and Hamels after 2011 (Werth and Feliz after 2010). HOw many of our guys do you think we can resign as FA’s?

It’s lose. The loose-lose thing drives me up a wall. And it’s not a given that every single player is going to walk when their contract is up. Assuming that is a waste of time.

Here’s something to think about: IF (big IF) the Phils do get Halladay and (another big IF) repeat as WFC, just maybe all those FA’s coming up in the next couple of years will want to resign with the team and the team will want to resign them because they continue to be the WFC. In spite of whatever happens to the “pawns” involved in the Halladay trade. Just a thought…..

Thanks for the spell check. No they may stay, but we now that they’re going to get/demand massive rasies. How much you fuigure Howard will get? Rollins? Victorino or Werth? What about in 2013 Hamels and Utley are FA’s. I want to win now as much if not more then you, but I want to win every year, or at least have a reasonably good chance of it. It’s a balancing act that has to be done. I’m thankful that I only have to have fun on blogs about it and not decide for real what to do. Hard choice to make

oooch, that was a bad typing job even for me. The sentence should ead: No, they may stay put, but we know that they will demand/get massive raises.

You are getting way too wrapped up in the future. There is no telling what the economic state of baseball will be in 2,3,4,5,6 years. It’s completely unpredictable. Remember how erratic the free agent period was this year during this economic downturn? Today is July 16th, 2009.

Worrying about the future is for teams with no shot to win the WS. Our prospects haven’t proven anything but our ML roster has and Roy Halladay HAS. Losing some key position players after the 2010 season is all the more reason to go after Halladay now. I’ve said it before and I’ll keep saying it, putting a strong deal together for Halladay is a no-brainer imo. Now what’s a strong deal is up for debate, but it starts with the understanding that there can be no untouchable prospects.

The Phillies minor league system was horrendous for many years, but it wasn’t because they were trading away prospects for veterans. It was because the cheap-skate ownership was short-changing scouting and player development. Well, they’re not doing that any longer, and the Phillies organization is much healthier as a result. Healthy enough, in fact, that they can now behave like other perrenial contenders (the Red Sox, e.g.) by trading away their best prospects (Hanley Ramirez) for big league stars (Josh Beckett) and trust that the organization will continue to draft well enough to keep talent flowing through the pipeline (Dustin Pedroia, Jonathan Papelbon, Jon Lester …)

FIJ………………Why limit the time in the wilderness from 95 to 06? The Phillies were wandering for the whole time Bill Giles was the managing partner. What the Phillies did in 83 was the last gasp of the Ruly Carpenter’s tenure from the 1970s and what they did in 1993 was a fluke. What the Phillies did in 07 and last year was the culmination in the change in management philosophy along with the new stadium which came together when Bill Giles was sacked. The model for the Phillies is not the Yankees but the Red Sox. Stay competitive every and, to paraphrase that great American, George Washinton Plunket, ” Take your opportunities when you see them”.

RAUUULLLLLL!

Who needs Halladay when we have Moyer?!?!????????

My god, an Amaury Telemaco sighting.

btw I was kidding

Got to watch a Rookie League game today here in Clearwater, FL and Dom Brown and Kelly Dugan were both playing in it. Brown is an amazing athlete and I would hate to give him up in a trade. Taylor right now is more valuable than Brown but is older, which makes him less useful for us. So he is a possibility to trade. I will be sure to watch Pedro when he gets here and hopefully meet him a few times. Former Phils 1st Round pick Roundup: Drabek(Pitched in AS Futures Game), Savery(Starting AA All-Star Game), Hewitt(Hitting just above .215 in Low-A), and Dugan(Hitting .283 in Rookie League). We also have Knapp, Carrasco(Who has not been good this year), Kendrick(8 IP with 2 ER on 87 Pitches tonight, ERA now around 3.40), Flande(Got rocked yet again in AA), Gose(Stole his 50th base tonight), d’Arnaud(Hitting for a horrible BA all year but went 4-5 tonight), Happ(6-0, 2.90 ERA-Should be the front runner for the ROY, only would deal him for Halladay), Marson(Gitting around .300 in AA), and Donald(Jays want ****). I say we offer them four or five of these guys and see what they say. Obviously you only get one of Drabek/Brown/Taylor. Then trade them Carrasco since he has been passed by Drabek and offer Kendrick, Donald, and d’Arnaud. So it would look like Taylor/Kendrick/Donald/d’Arnaud/Happ. They would get somebody for the OF for when they trade either Rios or Wells to another team, two SP who can pitch in their rotation this year, and one for next year, and a good Catcher to take over for Barajas in 2-3 years. If we keep Brown and Marson our lineup could look like this in three years:

CF- Shane Victorino
RF- Dominic Brown
2B- Chase Utley
1B- Ryan Howard
LF- Jayson Werth
SS- Jimmy Rollins(maybe he could focus on power and hit 25 HR again)
3B- Sign a FA
C- Lou Marson
SP- Halladay/Hamels/Drabek/Blanton/Savery. That would be a WS contender for a long time to come, and we would have an amazing bullpen with guys like Knapp, Madson, Romero, and others. What do you guys think?

Anybody who is obsessing about 2011-12 when it comes to a potential deal for Roy Halladay needs to take a pill. The guy is a top 5 pitcher in baseball and would solidify the top of the rotation for the next year and a half. During that time, he can realize what it’s like to be in a winning clubhouse and potentially sign an extension. The Phillies have made tremendous strides in the last 4-5 years in developing players (thank you, Gillick) and can afford to give the Jays a very attractive package, while still keeping some important pieces for the future. They are printing money at CBP and can afford to keep a lot of the current roster too.

Obviously Amaro has to posture and try to minimize what he gives up, and a deal won’t get done till the end of the month. But if Halliday gets traded, it better be the Phillies.

I don’t think giving up a top of the rotation pitcher in Drabek, a 5 Tool Outfielder in either Brown or Taylor, our future Closer in Knapp, our future 3B in Donald, and our future Cacther in Marson for 1 and a 1/3 years of Halladay is worth it. Drabek is going to give us 15+ wins, Knapp will give us 30+ saves. And between Donald, Marson, Brown, and Taylor they will give us more than a .300 AVG with 70 HR, 250+ RBI, and 50+ SB.

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