Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Phillies Thoughts

Unless something is done – and fast - it appears this season won’t end up like the last two for the Phillies, with a trip to the playoffs and the World Series. There seems to be a lot of panic with the fans, but can we really blame this team for their performance thus far? Injuries top the list as the major factor for the lack of production. To me, this is as good excuse as any. The bench players have not stepped up. But are they supposed to replace production completely? They’re bench players for a reason. Wilson Valdez is no Jimmy Rollins. Juan Castro is no Chase Utley.

I saw a stat in last night’s broadcast that the Phillies were 39-32 with Chase Utley and 9-12 without him. There’s no better stat than that. Chase is a major contributor on this team. When he’s out, things change drastically.

Take Jimmy Rollins’ absence as well. He has been out for a huge part of this season. I guarantee this team hasn’t performed as well without him either. Not to mention, you take a leader out of the clubhouse and a lot more changes than you and I realize.

With key players out of the lineup, Charlie Manuel has been forced to switch it up - a lot. He’s probably never had the same lineup for an entire week. It’s hard to get into a rhythm that way. These guys are ball players, but they're also human.

So, now, it appears that Jayson Werth is on the trading block. This is another issue. His production has been down in a contract year for him, but there have been bright spots that should force this team and its fans to see beyond this year and into the longer term. He still leads the National League in doubles. Granted, his batting average has dropped by over 100 points since batting something like .349 on May 3, he’s still someone with plenty of skill that can help this team in the future, if not the next few months. Do we really need to get rid of him in the short term? Sure, it appears they can bring up Domonic Brown and potentially replenish the farm system, but I’m not so sure Brown is ready. Is there a way to keep both in this system? Why not bring him up next year and bolster the bench that way?

I’ll also throw in the potential for a trade for Roy Oswalt. Two Roys on the same team would be nice, especially of their caliber, but isn’t Oswalt on the downswing of his career? Someone prove me wrong here. It looks like suddenly this team can’t hold more than one stud pitcher at a time. Let’s not make such a swift move here if we can’t back him up in the coming months with good offensive production. And what's to say we can keep both Roys for next season?

The Phillies might not make the playoffs this year, but I don’t want this rush of success in the past few years and sudden panic to affect what could still be a dominant team for years to come. The injury bug can’t hit us the same way next year, can it? I’d trade in a sub-par year for a promising 2011 and 2012 any day. I’d say most fans would.


john said...

Roy has his lowest Whip and batting average against of his career. his era is the lowest since 2006 and below his career average. Down side of his career? As for keeping him next year, he is signed and has an option for 2012. 3 years of Oswalt is more affordable then 5 years of Cliff Lee. would bring up some other problems with your entry but dont really feel like it.

Forbesy said...

thanks for stopping by, john. point well taken. i'd be all about oswalt on this team, but if we can't hit, then there's no point this year, in my opinion. but if this is a move with longer term implications, then i'm all about it, as this team will get healthy and production will return. so i guess my question is, why make a move at all before the deadline. my assumption is that the phillies don't really have a shot at making the playoffs this year.

Forbesy said...

i suppose the other question would be - is it a smart move to trade for oswalt now or at the end of the season? if now, then by all means try to do it (looking forward to next season). if it makes the same sense, or more, then do it after this season is done with.

john said...

For the most part this is the same Phillies team that has made the playoffs the last 3 years and gone to the WS the last 2. Injuries have no doubt hurt them greatly this year but this is still a team that can mash when running on all cylinders and has gotten hot about this time historically. The problem seems to be an attitude is missing from the previous teams, that Philly grit. They have played sloppy and unenthusiastic. So a trade for Oswalt makes sense to revive the troops, light that fire. If the price is right mind you.

john said...

So heres what I do.
Trade for Oswalt Trade Werth.

I don't know what the 'Stroes want but you have to figure good old Ed Wade could help us out again. Let's not forget the 2008 WS may never have happened if Lidge wasn't lights out that year. Yes Bourne has become an All Star and a stolen base monster but it takes talent to get talent. The Astros know Oswalt makes a lot of cheddar so that limits trading partners, he also has a full no trade clause, both of these lower how much they can get for him. Phills have a prospect at 1B that has gotten a lot of interest but is blocked by some guy named Howard. Its obviously going to take more then a mid level prospect to get him but that's what the Phills need to figure out.

I really think that trading Werth makes sense as well. Don't get me wrong I love Werth, he is a bad ass mofo when he is on his game. But I think the fame and future fortunes have gotten to him a bit. At this point there is little chance he rejoins the team next year why not get something better then a couple first round picks? The Rays are interested and and have bookoo talent in the minors. Chuck LaMar built that team and is familiar with what they have. Not to mention DomBrown "might" also be able to help provide that spark that has been missing ala Jason Hayward and the Braves earlier this season. Is It a risk? Sure. But what is known is something has got to change if the Phills are going to rescue their season.

Forbesy said...

great points, john. i suppose this season isn't really close to over, with 69 games remaining right now. a lot can happen. you would think these guys will show signs of a resurrection at some point. agreed about werth if, in fact, he's as good as gone at season's end. i think these guys do have a run in them, but the loss of utley stings a whole lot. they need a shot in the arm for sure.

funny, on my way back from lunch, they were talking about a possible "curse of brett myers" and how he was a firey guy - someone that the phils could definitely use right now. he's gone 6+ innings in all 19 starts this year. granted, the 'stros suck and there's no pressure down there.

Forbesy said...

they = tony bruno and harry mays on 97.5 the fanatic