Rotation Problems

Roy HalladayGood morning, y’all.

I wrote yesterday about the many uncertainties surrounding the Phillies’ rotation entering the offseason. Everybody is mostly concerned about the offense (its 3.77 runs per game average is second-worst in baseball), the bullpen (its 4.24 ERA is worst in the National League), if Carlos Ruiz will be back, if Darin Ruf is the answer in right field, etc. But the rotation has been pretty bad this season. Its 4.29 ERA is 11th in the league. We know going into next season Cole Hamels and Cliff Lee will be atop the rotation. That’s a good start. If he is as good as Phillies scouts (and other scouts) think he is, Cuban right-hander Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez should be a solid No. 3.

But then there are the final two spots.

Roy Halladay and Kyle Kendrick? The Phillies face interesting decisions on both. Halladay is a free agent, and his numbers the past two seasons have not been good. He turns 37 next May. He had shoulder surgery this May. History suggests he won’t be the same. Do you trust the evaluation that an offseason of rest and preparation for Spring Training will have him sharper and throwing harder next season? Or is that just something somebody says about a struggling pitcher (i.e. Oh, don’t worry, he’s still got it …)? Halladay is a considerable risk, unless he’s resigned at a significant discount or to a heavily incentive laden contract.

Kendrick is eligible for salary arbitration. He has struggled since the end of June, going 3-8 with a 6.23 ERA in 12 starts. That followed a 40-game stretch from late April 2012 through June in which he went 16-14 with a 3.50 ERA. He is going to get a raise if the Phillies offer him salary arbitration. They could non-tender him and try to sign him for less, but there is risk there. Kendrick is a durable guy, never having appeared on the DL. I would think he could get a multiyear deal elsewhere. I mean, the Angels signed Joe Blanton for two years, $15 million following three seasons with a combined 20-21 record, 4.79 ERA and trips to the DL. Halladay might have more upside than Kendrick, but Kendrick seems to be the safer bet. You at least have a better sense of what you’re going to get.

Bring back both? Bring back one? Bring back none? If you say none you have to have pitchers ready to step up. There are some free agents out there, but are they worth the risk?


Sign Kendrick. Farewell to Halladay. Go shopping.

Pettibone/Ethan Martin/Adam Morgan

What about Petibone? I think he deserves a shot at being a starter again.

Bring back both, but be ready to bring up Biddle or someone like that if one of these guys falters.

Get someone from the Cardinals system. They don’t rebuild they reload. Where do they get all those no-name arms? The Cardinal Way seems to work as well as anything and you don’t see them spending stupidly even though they can.

I thought Kendrick finally had it figured out last season when the Phillies stopped jerking him around and put him permanently in the rotation, but he is what he is. I’m tired of seeing him get kicked around, and the raise he will automatically get in arbitration (estimated in the $8 million range) is not worth it. I’d rather give that money to Doc as the #4 pitcher behind Hamels, Lee and Gonzalez. At least we know he will battle.

Sign Nolasco, good bye roy and kk, Martin to BP.
Lee, Hamels, Nolasco, Gonzo, Pettibone is a pretty good rotation.

I’d sign them both (like you said, incentive laden for Halladay, and year-to-year for Kendrick) but I would have a backup plan ready to go. The competition of Martin, Pettibone, Morgan, Cloyd, etc… is good to fill in gaps. But I would go a step further and find some veteran out there to push the competition in spring training. Maybe on a one year contract with an opt-out if they don’t make the big league roster at a certain date.

The upside is still far to great on Halladay to just let him walk. And KK is reliable. Reliably a 3.50-4.50 ERA starter. It all averages out in the end.

Pingback: Phillies Notes: Ruiz, Ruf, Halladay, Kendrick, Lannan | Blog Post Directory

I think Doc needs to get in top baseball shape. He shouldn’t be up here now. KK, I think he might benefit going to the BP as a long guy and possibly middle relief. He is an average pitcher. If Doc is healthy and in shape, bringing up a young guy as a 5 wouldn’t hurt this team. Follow the 2008 plan. Starters go 6-7, get a reliable 7th and 8th inning guy and Pap closes the deal. (I don’t know if anyone would take him due to $$$).

A healthy Howard changes the power in the lineup. a lot of if’s but it is what it is.

I agree KK should be in the ‘pen. He did well, as our long guy, a couple of seasons ago. Martin could be our long guy, too.

As durable as Kendrick has been, he’s an average pitcher at best. Is this difference between him and someone like Pettibone worth a difference in salary of about $7-8 million? I don’t think so. Halladay is a really tough call, especially with the intangibles he brings. I think it comes down to what kind of discount/incentives he’ll take. $10 million in guaranteed money is too much.

Halladay has been earning $20 million dollars a year and surely hasn’t earned it the last two years. He says he’d like to stay with the Phillies, so let him prove it. He certainly owes someting to Philadelphia. Why not give him a contract for 2014 paying him $1… plus $1 million dollars per win. If he’s 100 percent, he can make his $20 million. If not, he’ll be paid what he’s worth. Philly certainly doesn’t owe him more.

Doc owes the phillie fans nothing. His 2010 season was one of the best we will ever see in our lifetime and he gave us two magical starts. He carried the team in 2010 and 2011. He doesn’t owe us anything. He took way less than he would’ve got anywhere else. We gave him 3/60 mill. He woulda got double that easy from anywhere else. He wanted to come here. So like I said doc owes us 0.

I would like to see him back on a one year deal and try and fix things.

I say sign McCann and Pence that fixes the lineup and if possible move Howard for half the contract freed up. Use Ruf at first.

If not ill gladly take Napoli Cruz as well. Also helps this lineup

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