Thursday, November 08, 2007


Pros: Great stuff. Reasonably young. Excited to be coming to Philadelphia. Michael Bourn was expendable, Geoff Geary was on the bubble and Mike Costanzo was never going to be an every-day big leaguer...if that.

Cons: Albert Pujols still plays but fortunately in another division. A fly ball pitcher in a fly ball park. Recovering from knee surgery. Free agent after this year. Michael Bourn might hit.

Conclusion: Any move that freed Brett Myers to return to the starting rotation has to be seen as an overall plus for a team desperate for pitching. Depending on how he fares at Citizens Bank Park, Lidge might be a one-year rental or the change of scenery might be just what the doctor ordered. Still, there is something about this trade that has Philadelphia Phillies written all over it. Rather than draft closers like Chad Cordero and Jonathan Papelbon, the Phillies are forever signing mid to late career closers with baggage, in this case an alleged fragile psyche and a knee that requires healing. The trade we'd like to see is the Phillies' scouting and development staff for, say, Colorado's, or, realistically, an infusion of more talent among the bush beaters.


SirAlden said...

You have hit the nail on the head Tom.

When the Phillies needed Centerfielders or Catchers a few years ago they tried to address that in the draft.

They never ever seem to focus on drafting Fireballing High 90s Closer types. It seems to be a franchise tendency.

Oisín Murphy-Lawless/Wizlah said...

Tom, I don't think he's the flyball pitcher he once was. In 05 and 06 he posted more reasonable G/F ratios of 1.20 or so. Nothing startling, but given that he is primarily a strikeout pitcher, pretty respectable. This year may signal a return to form of earlier years, but not necessarily. Pitchers do change their tendencies as they get older and wiser and learn to not rely on their heat 100% of the time!

The greater issue to my mind has been 06 and 07's increase in bb's and a suggestion that he's been having control issues since 2005's homerun hit.

Also of note is that this does, in fact, assist our youth movement (although it helps none with talent evaluation) - he was a type a free agent this year, so in the event he gets signed elsewhere next year, we can expect a first round and sandwich pick.

As an aside, I don't think the issue is necessarily that we don't draft closers, but that we don't think of switching players to relief sooner. Papelbon was a guy who started and the red sox id'd as being more useful in a closing role. With this in mind, if we see mathieson stepping into a relief role (say), I'll be encouraged that we are being more imaginative in our use of young pitching.