To: Pat Gillick, Phillies GM
From: Chris Pesotski, devoted and disgruntled fan
Re: My Plan for the Phillies Future
I know you are busy these days, Pat, so I thought I would put togther a helpful little how to guide to get us to the pennant next year. Please follow along carefully and remember to go get the 'Abreau Salary Flexibility' out of the safe.
Obviously Ryan Howard and Chase Utley are keepers. In my book, these are really the only stone-cold locks on the team though.
Unless the Yankees are willing to part with A-Rod in a trade for Cole Hamels, Hamels stays. Brett Myers pitched pretty darn well after returning frombeging placed in time-out for beating his wife in public. While he is a distasteful human being, he's still a stud pitcher and the Phils won't get any value for him in a deal. He's your #1 next year. Jimmy Rollins is one of the best defensive shortstops in baseball and has good pop in the bat. He's not a typical leadoff hitter, but he's better than what's out there. 3 of the 4 infield spots are back. Shane Victorino answered most of the questions about hoim in the second half of the year. He deserves a shot to play every day next year.
Good Enough To Be Back
Aaron Rowand is nothing special in my book, but if he's willing to play right field, he can come back. I'd rather have Victorino in center, so if Rowand won't play right, he can anchor a trade for pitching. Jamie Moyer has earned the veteran spot in the rotation. I keep him for one more year. Chris Coste is an able catcher, but I can't imagine he can do this again. He's an excellent choice for a second catcher. Abraham Nunez is also a backup. He can't hit well enough to play third every day, but he's a guy we need. Michael Bourne needs a spot on this team. He's fast and plays the outfiled well.
If he can still play after what is apparently a complete tear of his groin yesterday, I think youn have to bring Mike Leiberthal back. He has done some nice things this year and he'll be a bargain. This team needs a veteran that knows major league lineups behind the plate and Leiberthal is better than anyone we are likely to be able to afford on the free agent market.
Guys We Are Stuck With
A guy who needs a golf cart to play his position should not be a starting right fielder in major league baseball. And he sure as heck should not be making $10 million to do it. Pat Burrell would be a great DH. Well, good. Or maybe acceptable. Except that he doesn't hit a lick when he gets the chance to DH. There is ZERO interest in this guy though, so we are stuck with him moping around the outfield and putting up meaningless, hollow stats in games that are already decided.
I am not a Jon Leiber fan. He is an average starter at this point in his career. We need a designated fielder on the mound when he pitches and he is injured more often then Mike Leiberthal. That being said, we won't be able to pick up two free agent starters, so Leiber will be back.
I think you need to make some changes here, but too much is unlikely. Fultz and Geary are back. They were solid, if not stars this year. Probably have to bring Gordon back though he is on his decline and that is an area to be addressed in the near future. The young guns, Matt Smith and Fabio Castro pitched well enough down the stretch to earn them a long look if not a bullpen spot in 2007.
Gone? My guess is that Rick White and Arthur Rhodes are done in MLB, but Rhodes could sneak on the roster becasue he is apparently a good guy to have around young pitchers. Plus I like him because he HATES Corey 'Tub o' Shit' Lidle. Madson? The guy can't pitch. Sanches? We don't know if he can pitch since Charlie only remembers he is out there in games where we are winning or losing by 8 or more runs.
Over the Side
Bye Bye Randy Wolf. Making 9 million, coming off Tommy John surgery and ineffective are a bad combination. David Dellucci was an important pickup this year, but it became evident that he HATES the platoon situation despite being totally unable to hit left hand pitching. Thanks but no thanks. Jeff Conine is one of my favorite guys ever, but he's at the end of the string. I think he may find work again in the AL as a bench bat, but he won't be back Phils pinstripes. As I noted earlier, I'd ditch Rowand given the right situation, and I am not wedded to virtually anyone I have not named specifically.
What do we do now?????
That will have to wait until Part 2.
Look for my solutions to the mess tomorrow!