The Need for Pitching

moyer 0715 2010.jpgRuben Amaro Jr. has said a few times this week that Cliff Lee and Jarrod Washburn were the only two starting pitchers traded before last year’s trade deadline. (Amaro forgot Jake Peavy, although the guy was traded when he was hurt so I’m not sure he counts anyway.)

And last year Amaro said CC Sabathia and Joe Blanton were the only two starting pitchers traded before the 2008 trade deadline.

His point: Trading for pitching is hard.

I mentioned earlier this week that Phillies starting pitchers had a respectable 3.95 ERA before the All-Star break. They have a 4.02 ERA after Jamie Moyer‘s poor showing last night at Wrigley Field.

And that is why Amaro and Charlie Manuel would love to find starting pitching before July 31: Remove Roy Halladay from the equation and the rotation has a 4.68 ERA. Remove Halladay and Cole Hamels from the equation and the rotation has a 4.99 ERA. Now, I know you can’t just throw out Halladay’s and Hamels’ numbers. But Amaro and Manuel see the other three spots and wonder how they’re going to catch the Braves in the NL East with so much inconsistency.

The Braves are on pace to win 97 games, but let’s say they stumble a bit in the second half and finish with 92. The Phillies would need to go 45-29 (.608) the rest of the way just to tie them.

The Rockies are on pace to win the NL wild card with 90 wins. Even then the Phillies would need to go 43-31 (.581) the rest of the way to tie.

Here is a look at the Phillies’ winning percentages following the All-Star break under Manuel and the starting pitcher they acquired before or just after the July 31 trade deadline:

  • 2005: .589 (None)
  • 2006: .600 (Jamie Moyer)
  • 2007: .608 (Kyle Lohse)
  • 2008: .606 (Joe Blanton)
  • 2009: .592 (Cliff Lee)
  • 2010: TBD (TBD)

Do the Phillies have the pitching for another strong finish, especially with the offense struggling compared to seasons past? No doubt that is why Amaro and Manuel keep saying they would prefer pitching help over infield help before the trade deadline.

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31 Comments

If Blanton doesn’t step it up, thsi isn’t their year. They can’t get by with just Halladay and Hamels.
Offer Houston Werth for Brett Myers. They will both be free agents but Werth will be a type A and the Astros can get two draft picks when he walks.

Offer Hamels and Moyer and the three players received back to Seattle for Lee. The Phillies can get by with Halladay and Lee for this year. The Phillies can then begin to cobble together a pitching staff for next year.

offer moyer, ibanez,dobbs,Castro &
madsen, he has not been any good since his buddy meyers went to houston.

for zack greinke from royals.

bring Domonic Brown up.
sign werth.
bring Figueroa back up.

just a thought

I’d like to see Figueroa back up and Werth signed. What better incentive for Werth then to re-sign him? Just a thought.
Barb/ http://barbward.mlblogs.com

If the Phils don’t make the playoffs it one fault but Ruben Amaro. Everyone who knows anything about baseball knows pitching wins championships.
Amaro starts the season with a underachievers at the pitching position. He had the opportunity to have Halladay, Lee , Hamels and throw in Happ, I beleive they would be in first place handling all teams in NL.
So when the Fightins don’t make the playoffs, I hope Amaro goes out and signs Lee regardless of the cost and gives Moyer, Blanton
and Kenrick walking papers.
Ron King

phan: Why would the Astros take Werth? They aren’t going anywhere, and wouldn’t take a guy with 2 months left on his contract for a veteran pitcher. Think.

pherris: Why would Seattle (who isn’t going anywhere either) take a 47-year old pitcher? Moyer is trash. Giving up Hamels doesn’t make them better. Think.

barbward: If the incentive for a new contract wasn’t enough for Werth to step it up and produce, what makes you think that signing him to a lucrative deal would change anything? Think. Writing a blog doesn’t make you a General Manager.

Just stop with the Cliff Lee talk. Please. There is nobody left in the system to lure Lee away from the Rangers.
I know you’re all frustrated, we all are, but proposing ludicrous trades doesn’t make it any better. Put yourselves in the position of the other team and ask yourself if you would make that deal if you were them. The answer is usually no.

The best they’ll be able to do is lure some veteran from a non-contending team for some A-ball prospects, if anything. Nobody is going to bend over backwards to help a 2-time WS team get better.

pherris: You had me thinking that Lee was still with Seattle. Why would the Rangers (who can actually win something) take a trade for Lee? Think.

First of all, Lee is not here and is not coming here so let’s get over it. If Lee was here, Halladay would NOT be. Amaro has already said that. Secondly, Lee was given an offer prior to being traded. His agent did not accept the offer. Thirdly, the phillies ownership told Amaro that he could not have had BOTH Lee and Halladay too. Amaro does not make these decisions in a vacuum. He has a Boss too. However, you CAN blame Amaro for the really DUMB contract that he gave to Ibanez. That IS Ruben’s fault and he should get skewered for giving Raullll a 3 year contract. The guy can’t play well enough to earn his money. He’s too old to play everyday. Lets hope for the Best but this year does not look like a Division Championship. This team has too many holes to fill.

I just got back from Yellowstone and Grand Teton. Had no idea Lee had been traded to Texas. Last thing I had heard was that the Yankees were interested in him. So of course the Rangers are not going to trade him now.

dolfanman93: I will stop mentioning Lee as soon as you stop apologizing for Junior. Junior knocked over that first domino and the others just keep on falling. But let’s clear the air. What exactly is Junior responsible for: the first Lee trade? the Halladay trade? the second Lee trade? the Ibanez signing? the Moyer re-signing? the Blanton contract extention? signing Baez for two years? failure to get rid of Werth this last off season to address other needs?

These are some of the dumbest comments I have ever seen. 1) We are not getting Lee back, at least not until free agency begins. 2) NOBODY wants Ibanez or Moyer, teams trade their pieces to get ya know…better. 3) The Royals WILL NOT trade their young star who they are building around and is under their control. 4) The pitchers that are MOST likely to be traded for are Dan Haren, Roy Oswalt, or a B type like Ted Lilly, Brett Myers (still doubtful) Edwin Jackson, or Shaun Marcum who all happen to be on bad teams, so getting them will take prospects (Phillies don’t have many) or young enough major leaguers who would be under that team’s control for a while (Victorino, Blanton, Happ). OR, a 3 team trade where Team A (contender, like Boston) gets Werth, Team A (bottom feeder) gets Team A’s prospects/player package and the Phils get Haren (preferably) or Oswalt. Although I don’t think trading Werth would help.

Also, Dom Brown needs to be up and playing, now!

my just for fun lineup for today and the reason i am not manager anywhere. but this could work?

howard
werth
victorino
rollins
ransom
francisco
ruiz
castro

just a thought.

As a token Dodger fan who dares to enter your blog, let me first predict there will be NO third Phillies/Dodgers NLCS. Dodger ownership is too embarrassing and pathetic to allow such. You guys, on the other hand, are fighting the ghosts of history; it’s been 66 years since an NL three-peat. The Phillies are victims of major injuries, some sub-par years from a few players, a bit of age, etc., etc. Maybe it’s just not meant to be this year, especially with the Braves looking solid. The Dodgers, conversely, have been left to dangle and twist in the wind as the McCourts figure out new and questionable ways to pay all their lawyers at the expense of the team. Success in sports is fleeting. And to think that Mr. Skittish, Jonathon Broxton, helped deliver home field to the NL, through no talent of his own. Probably end up benefiting the………just who IS the NL favorite these days?

muleman, the rationale for a Myers/Werth trade was right there in my original post. Werth will be a type A free agent and will garner two high draft picks for whichever team he leaves. Myers garners nothing. So there is incentive for the Astros to take Werth on, and the Phillies get an solid #3 for the remainder of the season.

Suddenly the tide is turned and almost everyone agrees to trade Werth–since it is clear we won’t sign him. Given this, I woulnd’t trade him for a player we’d lose after this year, but either for a resignable pitcher with decent potential, or a group of high level prospects who would be expected to help me next year (and this year as well in Sept). We will need a OF who can either platoon with Ibanez (or Fransisco) or replace him. We also need a super utility guy with a bat (Ty Wigginton) and a guy to bring stability to the Pen. IF we can get two out of three for Werth, who is the best posistion player available, we should be happy.

phan52: You can add letting Myers walk to Junior’s long line of screw-ups. It is so painful to watch someone trying to learn a job on the fly. It is obvious the Phillies learned nothing from the Ed Wade regime, debacle or whatever you want to call it.

pherris: I wish I had been in Tet0n instead of watching this team.

phan: There is no incentive for the Astros to take Werth. They aren’t going to win anything with Oswalt OR Werth. Besides, who wants Werth? His 2009 season looks like an abberation.

I’m planning an October vacation.

Sell, sell, sell.

Werth – gone.

Rollins – gone.

Blanton – gone, if anyone is willing to take him. I’d accept as little as Phillippe Aumont, Tyson Gillies, and J.C. Ramirez for him.

Ibanez – see above, re: Blanton.

I would even thinking about moving Shane.

Oh yeah…and the most important ingredient…FIRE RUBEN FIRST! Get a real GM in here before that moron does anymore damage to a roster that should have dominated the NL for the next 5 years.

Roy Halladay would appear to be their most valuable trading commodity right now.

muleman, pay attention. The Astros wouldn’t want Werth to keep him. They would want the resulting 2 high draft picks when he walks.

THe Astros might actually want Werth to keep. THey never are able to admit they are out of the race. Even now, when their veterens waive their no-trade clauses, and ask to be traded, they are unwilling to move them. Every spring the Astros think they will contend. They may think Werth is a crucial piece of their future team

f-i-j, anybody who takes on Werth will have to do so with the understanding that he is going ot be a free agent.
As far as Oswalt or Berkman waiving their no-trade clause, that is the least of the problems facing Houston in trying to trade them. I am sure a huge part of any discussion is about who is going to take on their salary (or part of it) for the remainder of 2010 and/or 2011. That would help determine the quality of the prospects they get in return.

Looks like Oswalt maybe off the trade block since he got injured over the weekend. If the Phils were to trade Werth I think it would have to be a 3-way deal w/prospects to flip for a pitcher or they think they need another position player.

Werth has been extremely frustrating since June. Its really odd the way he’s just standing there taking pitches. He has a much better eye for the ball than that. In the past he’d stand there and at least foul off several pitches before either getting out or a hit. If he’d at least take a couple hacks it would appear that he’s at least trying.

Junior needs to be as bold from this point forward as he has been stupid up to this point. It may be he was jonesing so much for Halladay that his judgment was fogged, not unlike a crack addict looking for his next toke. Or, it may be that we have seen the best he has to offer in which case the Phillies are in deeper trouble than any of us could have imagined. All of the Phillies bargaining chips are now on the 40 man roster. Other than Howard, Utley and Rollins everyone is expendable. Many may not agree as to J-Roll but he is my sentimental favorite. Regardless, addition by subtraction should have started last off-season rather than the subtraction by addition which now seems to have occured. If Halladay is one of the best it is only because the lot is mediocre if not bad. It isn’t saying much to say that he is the “ace” of the Phillies pitching staff. I know, I know his
ERA is impressive. But how many times over the last six weeks or so, when he has had the opportunity, did he either stop a losing streak or assist in cobbling together a modest winning streak of, say, two games?

karen, like Charlie says, these guys have to expand their swing zone when they get two strikes. Werth and Francisco refuse to do so and it is killing them. I’d rather see Ibanez swing and miss at a high tight fastball than watch a player refuse to even take the bat off his shoulder.

pherris, I have to ask you, do you actually watch the games? Because if I were to compose a list of problems that this team has, Roy Halladay would be at the very bottom of the list with Howard and Hamels. Those three are the only ones carrying their weight on this team.

lets forget the bambino lee jinx.
lets win today.
fun lineup for today.

victorino cf
howard 1b
polanco 2b
ruiz c
werth rf
ibanez lf
valdez ss
dobbs 3b
1st off the bench to ph
rollins
francisco
gload
schnieder
ransom
1st out to relief
contreras
durbin
baez
herndon
madson
romero
close lidge

phan52: The question is not what I have been watching, the question is what have you been watching? Since opening the season 6-1 Halladay has gone 4-7. In six of those 7 losses he has given up earned runs of 6-6-5-5-4-3. He hasn’t won back to back starts since his starts of May 29 and June 4. The urban legend has always been how star NL pitchers can’t make it in the AL. Leave it to Junior and the Phillies to find a pitcher who can lay that legend to rest.

phan: You pay attention. What would the Astros give up for Werth? Young players? Why would they give up young players to get Werth only to see him walk and get 2 draft picks? You don’t think you’re going to get Oswalt for Werth, do you?

This team is impossible to figure right now. As for me, I’m planning an October vacation. As for fcrescenti, stop posting your dopey lineups.

muleman, read my lips, er, my typing. They can get Myers for Werth. That’s the third time I’ve stated it in this thread. Myers is a free agent also, but the Astros get nothing when he walks. They get two picks for Werth, so it is worth it for them to take him on for the remainder of the year. If the Phillies are going to contend they will need a solid upgrade to the rotation and Happ and Myers can provide that by replacing Kendrick and Moyer.

Stop with Myers. It ain’t happening.

Meanwhile, they’ve scored one run or less 23 times. How does pitching help that?

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