The Cory Lidle signing has drawn decidedly mixed responses among local bloggers. Lidle is a third, fourth or even fifth starter, but it is worth noting that while he got off to a rough start here (call it an adjustment, which is more charitable than I was toward him in my published comments), he finished the last two months of the season with a better record and ERA than any other starter on the staff (admittedly not much of a ringing endorsement under the circumstances.) And, he is a ground ball pitcher, which everyone acknowledges is an essential quality to pitch successfully in Citizens Bank Park. This was a good signing.
I mentioned yesterday the Phils may be getting ready to trade Brett Myers (a mistake unless they receive an established young outfielder in return) or they may be getting ready to trade Randy Wolf (possibly a mistake but how much longer should we wait for him to deliver?). Again, if they move Wolf they have to get an established young outfielder in return, not some Kenny Lofton type. Whatever they do, I think calls for Gavin Floyd and/or Ryan Madson to move into the rotation are at best a gamble given their limited experience in general and Madson's as a starter in particular. Moreover, Floyd’s call-up toward the end of last season was a desperate measure by Ed Wade and Larry Bowa to try and save the season and demonstrate they were doing something. But it was premature move. Floyd may indeed be ready for a full season in the big leagues but no one knows at this time. Suggestions that Cole Hamels be the fifth starter make no sense. He is just coming off another shutdown for arm problems and can hardly be ready for a spot on the parent club. He needs to spend the season in the minors gaining experience let alone his health.
Placido Polanco is not going to sign with the Phillies. As a matter of fact, they won’t even try and he wouldn’t be interested. Polanco deserves to be a starter on merit but there isn’t any place for him in the Phillies current plans; furthermore, the Tomas Perez signing eliminated the need for a utility infielder. Inevitably, David Bell will go down with another injury; only then will the Phillies be forcibly reminded what they had in Polanco.