Thursday, July 27, 2006

Winners And Losers

If indeed today’s outing was his swan song as a Phillie, Cory Lidle hit all the high notes with ease.  The veteran right hander went eight solid innings under a wilting mid-day businessperson’s special sun, allowing four hits, two earned runs while striking out eight and walking two.

There are a whole lot of major league teams out there who could use that kind of pitching right about now…including the Phillies.  Chances are, however, his current team isn’t in the running for his services beyond this season if not weekend.  Truth be told, a lot of Lidle’s other suitors may not be either – he is a free agent after this season – but by then one team may have gotten all they wanted from him anyway.

While Lidle’s stock rose, Bobby Abreu’s has probably fallen a little further each day as he continues to struggle for base hits during the current home stand.  Bobby’s salary for the next two seasons was always going to be the stumbling block anyway, but it cannot have helped his value to watch his average trend slowly downward.  For the month of July Bobby has 20 hits in 20 games, but six of them came in just two of them.  In the six games played during this home stand, he has four hits and one rbi.

Meanwhile, at the other end of the outfield, Pat Burrell has been doing a lot of sitting lately as the Phils showcase their other hot commodity, David Dellucci.  By now Burrell’s virtues and liabilities are well-known to all buyers out there and his absence from the lineup lately has done nothing to diminish nor improve his stock.  Dellucci, on the other hand, continues to see his value rise.  Numerous reports have his suitors numbering near double digits.  Again, the Philllies would seem unlikely to be in the running for his future services for one simple reason:  they have already burned their bridges with him, having misused the left-handed hitter in the opinion of the one person who counts the most: David Dellucci.

Jon Lieber remains the other Phillies pitcher most likely to depart, and while his seven inning, eleven-hit, four run performance Wednesday evening might not have set the scouts in attendance to furiously calling home from their cell phones, it was the kind of yeoman’s effort a lot of teams are seeking.

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