Phillies Sign Gload

gload.jpgThe Phillies have found the last player for their bench.

Word spread late tonight at the Winter Meetings in Indianapolis that the Phillies had signed free agent outfielder Ross Gload. A baseball source said it was a two-year contract.

Gload, who hits left-handed, hit .261 with six home runs and 30 RBIs in 230 at-bats last season with the Florida Marlins. He has hit .283 with a .328 on-base percentage and a .408 slugging percentage in an eight-year career with the Cubs, Rockies, White Sox, Royals and Marlins.

Gload joins a Phillies bench that includes outfielder Ben Francisco, catcher Brian Schneider and infielders Greg Dobbs and Juan Castro.


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Let me see if I understand where we sit as of now: our starting 8 is the exact same as last year, except we got rid of Feliz and added Polanco. SO the line up should be:
Rollins, Polanco, Utley, Howard, Werth, Ibanez, Victorino, Ruiz, Pitcher

We have two outfielders and two inf on the bench, one each RH bat and LH bat and a reserve catcher. SO far pretty good.

We have a rotation of Lee, Hamels, Happ with Blanton possibly on the market. THe 5th starter is a toss up between Moyers, Kendrick, and varrious rookies from the minor leagues. (Halladay is not coming here so everyone get off that bandwagon, please)

THe bullpen consists of: Lidge (coming off surgery) Romero (coming off surgery) Madson. possibly Park and Eyre, (if they can agree to contract) possible Durbin and COndrey (if we decide to bring them back after Arbitration) and possibly Bastardo, Escalona, and Kendrick if he doesn’t make the rotation.

In short, we better hope our starters can pitch 9 inning complete games every game cause we have no pen at all!!!!!!

THe best case senerio I see here is Lidge closes with Romero and Madson as set up guys. All have a year comparitible to 2008. you have Escalona as the LH situation guy, Park as the multi inning guy, Bastardo as the flame thrower (if he can develop a curve ball or a off speed pitch to stop everyone from waiting on heat) and a FA who can replace any of the avove when they are ineefective or injured.

I’ll leave it to Phan, Mule, and Phylan to throw around possible names of FAs who are afordable and available

I honestly think Escalona and Mathieson could be legitimate forces in the bullpen next season. Bastardo, not so much.

Free agent wise, you have Brandon Lyon (too many walks), Kiko Calero (too many walks), Luis Ayala (shaky), Octavio Dotel (worth a look), Chad Bradford (worth a look if he doesn’t retire), Geoff Geary (just kidding), Guillermo Mota (sucks), Duaner Sanchez (maybe take a flier if he’s healthy but eh), Russ Springer (worth a look I think), Jeff Weaver (eh), Joe Beimel (definitely worth a look), Will Ohman (might be worth checking out), Darren Oliver (massively undervalued and definitely a legit reliable reliever, would be a great acquisition), Glendon Rusch (nothing special), Ken Takahashi (walks too many), and Ron Villone (sucks). I also left out a bunch of other guys that also suck. Out of those I think Dotel, Bradford, Springer, Oliver, and maybe Ohman could provide some value. There is a whole lot of quantity and not a lot of quality in the FA reliever class this year.

Out of phylan’s list, I’d say Dotel. It’s a motley crew, for sure. How Glendon Rusch is still in the mix is amazing to me. He’s made $15.5 million in his career – somehow. I used to watch him tear through lineups in Wilmington, and he’s part of the reason I don’t put too much stock in prospects. It’s a long way from A-ball to the majors.

A lot of those guys walk too many, but isn’t that the norm now? Pitchers throw too many pitches, nibble the corners and get themselves in deep counts.

I don’t think walk rates have changed much in the last 40-50 years. In any case, most of the guys I posted that for have walk rates of 4.5-5 per 9, which is just too high in my book, especially for a bullpen that had issues with that last year.
Darren Oliver should really be sought after. He doesn’t strike out a ton of guys, but he doesn’t walk many either, and he gives up very few home runs. His ERAs in the last 3 years were 2.71, 2.88, and 3.78 (FIPs: 3.32, 3.53, 3.78). Great fit I think.

phylan: I guess it just seems to me like pitchers walk more guys. I checked some numbers. In 1950 the average BB per team was 567. In 1962 it was 527. In 1978 it was 523. In 1989 it was 521 and in 2009 it was 558, so there really isn’t much of a trend.
As I’ve said before, sometimes things SEEM to be a certain way and then you look up the actual numbers and see that it isn’t. Nice to see it work on myself for a change.

I do wonder if pitchers are throwing more pitches per inning than they used to. They get to that artificial 100-pitch limit in the 5th or 6th inning sometimes. If they threw more strikes and pitched to contact more, I think they’d last longer in games, which is where my perception of walking more hitters comes in. Maybe they’re just running deeper counts?

Offensive environments do vary from one season to the next, so you get things like fluctuation in walks, but like you said, it’s no coherent trend. I’m sure there is a way to figure out the pitch count thing but it’s not coming to me at the moment.

Well I guess you could use pitchers per plate appearance for pitchers, but unfortunately Baseball Reference only has that going back to 1988, which is when I think the MLB started collecting per-pitch data. Here’s a graph of that: There is a very slight uptick. I don’t think it’s statistically significant though. I would, however, love to see this graph stretching back to 1940, but the data just isn’t there. Sigh.

Also the Phillies apparently kicked the tires on one of the guys I left off that list due to general suckiness, Ron Mahay. Probably nothing will happen though. And apparently the Phillies have had very informal discussions with Smoltz’s agent.

I would have preferred another righthanded bat.

That Ross Gload character will be a life saver for the Phillies because his left hand is thunderous. I think he is going to make the Phillies outfield very formidable even if it is for short period of time, mark my words. – Jordan

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