Looking for Bullpen Help

The Phillies continue searching for bullpen help, but Ruben Amaro Jr. said late last week that help would not come until after Christmas.

I know they have been interested in Fernando Rodney, but a source said tonight that talks aren’t serious. The Phillies have had interest in John Smoltz and there also have been reports about interest in Mike MacDougal, but there are indications the Phillies are looking in a different direction.

Chan Ho Park? Amaro said he is unlikely to re-sign.

Scott Eyre? Amaro said he has a better chance to return than Park, but it sounds like the Phillies are holding firm on their offer.

So who is out there? Names to watch include Danys Baez, Miguel Batista and Bob Howry. The Phillies have liked them in the past.

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66 Comments

So do the Angels :( bullpen help would be great!! :)

http://mimi.mlblogs.com/

Funny how teams have married the pitch count, and now find themselves scrambling for bullpen help. I’d think a durable starter who can get you to the 7th or 8th inning consistently would be preferable to some aging bullpen guy, but that isn’t how the game is played now. Pity that it takes 4 pitchers to get through a game most times.

Still a bit puzzled over Chan Ho possibly not resigning with the Phils. I understand about his national pride, but think he might be getting bad advice. I hope he finds a place to be a starter.

HAPPY HOLIDAYS TO EVERYONE HERE AT THE ZONE!!

I don’t think anyone will sign Chan Ho as a starter. He’s shown what he can do as a starter and out of the bullpen. Ironically, he’d probably have an easier time getting signed as a starter if he didn’t do so well out of the bullpen. He’d probably have already signed with Pittsburgh or KC or the Mets.

Hmmm… why is the list of bullpen options getting shorter while all of these guys remain unsigned? This was the Phils biggest need going into the offseason, I’m not sure why you would take some of the best names off the board. Bring back Chan Ho!

Happy holidays to you too Karen! And the rest of the ZoZone!

To all the faithful Zo Zoners:
Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, Happy Hannakuh, Happy Kwanza, Happy Ramadan and Happy whatever you celebrate in case I missed it.
Todd, another great year on your blog, hope you enjoy some time off before your sojorn to FL and another season.
The list of bullpen suspects is pretty sparse, lot’s of has beens, never were’s and who’s?

joebridge: Acually, I’d like to see Park starting for the Mets. It would be to the Phillies’ advantage.

First of ALL, Happy Holidays to all Zo Zone posters this Holiday season.

I understand and agree with the Phillies need to keep payroll , within reason, and to try to blend in some younger guys like Bastardo , Escalona and/or Mathieson . However, they need to sign sign or other-wise acquire a back of the ‘pen closer type (especially with Lidge and Romero likely out until May or so. )
And if they have to OVER pay, a little bit to get the guy, then do it. Management needs to be a little more flexible here.

espn reporting that Rodney just signed with the Angels for 2 years, $11M. That’s a little less than Buster Olney reported the Phils were willing to pay for him. Dammit.

Happy Holidays and Halladays to every phan who posts here on our favorite blog: Zozone.

Another one bites the dust.

Am I the only one who is wondering why we didn’t get Brandon Morrow in the Cliff Lee trade? If the Mariners lied to Ruben about Morrow being “untouchable”, then I get it, BUT if Ruben had a choice and picked Aumont, he”s out of his mind.

erichh1: I think Morrow’s injury history makes him less than a sure thing. If the Blue Jays just got him, he’s not untouchable and I doubt if that changed between the Lee deal and today. Also, Amaro’s assistant (Looper) worked for Seattle in scouting. Im guessing he knows a little more about Morrow than most of us, including the Blue Jays.

erichh1: also, our minor league pitching took a big hit from the Lee and Halladay trades so maybe Ruben was more interested in getting the M’s top 2 pitching prospects

delete my last comment please, got some names mixed up there for a moment :-D

Todd – Merry Christmas to you and your family, hope you have fun and enjoy…:-)
~peter
Outside the Phillies Looking In
http://devilabrit.mlblogs.com

Some reports (including the Phillies’ web site) say that the “mystery” bullpen help the Phils are seeking is Danys Baez. I suppose he fits the bill:
a) He’ll likely be a cheaper option than Rodney or some others
b) He has closer experience
c) Charlie managed him in Cleveland.

Having seen him several times with the Orioles, I find him to be wildly inconsistent. At times he looked like he could take over the closer’s job from Sherrill, and the next time he’d cough up runs and look like he should be cut.
But, given the names being floated around, he might be the next best option – which doesn’t say much for the remaining candidates.

That said, I’m not overly confident in their bullpen going into spring training. I hope someone crawls out of the heap and pitches well enough to impress us.

Im not confident in the bullpen or the starting rotation. Who will 4 and 5 be?

joebridge: Happ and Kendrick? Happ and Moyer? I wonder if they invite Pedro to spring training or just cut him loose? I haven’t heard any health updates on Moyer, but I’d guess he’s in the mix someplace.
I’d like to see Kendrick step up.

If they’re signing Baez as the early reports speculate, he’s a decent addition, but he won’t be as good as Park was in the middle.

muleman: OK, Happ as #4, I forgot about Blanton. Moyer doesn’t instill any confidence in me. I think Pedro will sign with the Mets, they need each other. Id like to see any of the young guys step up. Baez signing looks good, assuming rumors are correct. Although, what you said about seeing him pitch in Baltimore doesn’t sound good.

Happy Holidays to everyone on the blog. I hope you are enjoying the snow. I miss it as I sit here in 60 degree weather. (Jealous aren’t you??)

As for the Morrow thing, a definate miss by Rube. He could have flipped him to Toronto and kept one of our kids, prefably Drabek, but at least the catcher. As for teh pen, I really don’t care who they sign. Past performance seems to be irrelevent when it comes to judging how someone will do in the Pen. Look at Lidge and Madson. Both were amazing in 2008, and only decent (Madson) or G-d awful (Lidge) in 2009. As long as the guy they sing performs, I don’t care who it is, and there is no way of judging before hand it seems.

f.i.j.: Point taken vis a vie the inconsistencies of bullpeners, but I’d rather have Park than Baez. I think their priority is finding a guy with closer experience, and Baez fits that bill, so we’ll have to hope the old “change of scenery” works for him.

And uh … no, we’re not enjoying the snow. :-)

Happy Halladays…er, Holidays Zozoners! Here’s to a wonderful New Year! I doubt that Morrow would have been a catalyst for the Halladay trade. I truly believe that if the Phillies wanted him in place of Aumont they could have had him. Morrow has injury issues and Aumont has a much higher upside and the Phillies have a lot of inside information about the Mariners farm system. I don’t know what to think of Baez. I would have preferred Chan Ho Park, but I guess they wanted somebody with closer experience as insurance for Lidge. Madson will never be the Phillies closer, IMO, and I think they are pretty much done.

Howard, Utley, Rollins, Polanco, Ruiz, Ibanez, Victorino, Werth, Francisco, Gload, Dobbs, Castro, Schneider, Halladay, Hamels, Blanton, Happ, Moyer, Kendrick, Lidge, Madson, Baez, Durbin, Ramero, Mathieson/Escalona/Bastardo.

As for the issue of injuries, I seem to remember a certain pitcher by the name of Cole Hamels who had injury issues and didn’t look like he would ever be able to start in MLB. I think he has proved a lot of people wrong, altough he still needs a lot of work to fully reach his potential. Ask the Mariner fans what they thought about the Morrow deal. Most of them would never have traded the guy even for a decent pitcher out of the pen.

Something that has bothered me since the first time I read the phrase “top Phillie pitching prospect” attached to Kyle Drabek is that it made it seem like the Phils had NO ONE else in the minors who could pitch for the Phils in the forseeable future. Kyle Kendrick, Antonio Bastardo, Sergio Escalona, Drew Carpenter, and Mike Zagurski were all in Triple-A and/or spent time with the Phils last year and are much closer to being ready to pitch regularly in MLB, yet many articles that wrote about the demise of the Phils Pharm system conveniently left those guys’ names out of the discussion of who was going to come out of the Pharm and help the Phils in the near future. Maybe it’s because their “Service time” clocks have started and they are no longer considered prospects. Still, Kendrick has a good chance of making the starting rotation while Jamie is still rehabbing. Bastardo, Escalona and Zagurski have given us some hope for the Phuture. Carpenter pitched a gem against the Yankees starting line-up the last week of spring training ’08. He didn’t fare too well last year, but most of these guys are still 25-26 years old and still have time to develop into Big Leaguers. Let’s hope 2010 is a breakout year for all of these guys. Home grown talent wins championships.

Shouldn’t for be spelled “phor?”

Erich: I think the main difference between Drabek and the guys you mentioned is their potential in the big leagures. Drabek is projected by some as a #1 starter. The other guys are all #4’s or #5’s or bullpen pieces and not even closers (perhaps Bastardo can be turned into a closer, but that remains to be seen.)

As for Morrow, I agree that the Philies didn’t need him, but I wonder if we coupdn’t have flipped him to Toronto (who did want him) instead of one of our prospects.

erich, don’t try to compare Morrow to Hamels. Hamels had some injury issues but, with him, it wasn’t a matter of ‘if’ but ‘when’. There were never any questions of his ability to pitch on the major league level. Ever. Look at his numbers…

http://www.baseball-reference.com/minors/player.cgi?id=hamels001col

That’s right, erichh – don’t you dare compare a WS MVP t0 a kid in the minor leagues. This is baseball, and it’s an exact science!

He was comparing them as minor leaguers and it’s not valid. Morrow was OK and Hamels was superior on every level he played.

Keep in mind that Amaro’s assistant Benny Looper worked in scouting for Seattle before coming over ot the Phils. I think thats all you really need to know about Morrow being or not being in the Phillies system right now.

I was going to post some nasty comments in response to the responses to my last two posts, but I think you guys are just bored because nothing has been happening on this blog. Todd’s on vacation. Ruben must be on vacation. So I get it.
I’ll take my vacation now. Ciao.

erichh: Naw, don’t be hatin’. It is kind of boring with the roster set and Bruntlett signing a big minor league deal with the Nats. What’s the Internet phor if not to rustle-up some emotions?

Meanwhile, I hope somewhere, Cole is working hard on … something.

Cole is more likely to be working on baby #2 than his curve ball

I was wondering why the Phils didn’t go after Rodney harder than they did, here is an interesting take on it from CNNSI. I took just the paragraph out of the whole story to make it more convenient for my fellow Zo-zoners.

“The most puzzling move of the week had to be the Angels’ signing of reliever Fernando Rodney to a two-year contract. I have a lot of respect for what the Angels have accomplished during the Mike Scioscia era, but Rodney is not a good pitcher. He can throw the ball through the backstop, he’s a hulking brute, etc. All granted. What counts is that over the last three years he has thrown 166 2/3 innings with a 4.48 ERA, while the average American League reliever had a 4.21 ERA over that span. If you’ve ever wondered what theorists mean by “a replacement level player,” one who could be replaced by any number of journeymen or Quadruple-A players making the league minimum salary, here’s your man. Guaranteeing him $11 million is just bizarre.”

erichh1: Thanks for not posting the nasty comments you wanted to. You’re a Philadelphian, where’s your thick skin?

If Cole is planning baby #2, I hope he is smart enough to make sure that it doesn’t arrive in October again.

joebridge: I was puzzled by the Rodney signing too. At first, I thought the reason he didn’t come here was because he wanted to close, and the Phils can’t guarantee him the closer’s job. But then I read that he was going to be the set-up guy in Anaheim, so who knows? Whatever, they overpaid for a guy who could fail just as easily as he can succeed.

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