Matt Gelb: The Phillies Need to Choose, Hitting or Pitching

Voila_Capture789Matt Gelb, writing in the Inquirer, which, today, in 2013, almost 2014, had to be printed on giant broadsheet reels in Conshohocken, placed into trucks, driven in the snow to a central location or store, or a meeting place for delivery men, who then drive them, again, in the snow, to your home, where you have to walk outside, again, in the snow, to grab the soggy mound of 12-hour-old news and information:

Ruben Amaro Jr. is searching for pitching at these winter meetings, and that is no secret. The Phillies general manager is alarmed at the market prices for a mid-rotation starter. He could acquire one via a trade, but his chips are limited. The path to improving a starting staff that ranked 14th among National League teams in ERA is muddled.

It is increasingly becoming apparent that the Phillies must decide what they value more: a young power-hitting outfielder or a No. 3 starting pitcher. Domonic Brown is their best commodity. For years, they have listened to offers for him. That, of course, does not assure a trade. Brown, four years from free agency, is the type of player every team would covet. The Phillies would want a pitcher with similar upside in return.

Removing Brown from an offense that scored 3.77 runs per game in 2013 – the franchise’s lowest output since 1988 – is problematic. Brown bashed 27 home runs last season and became an all-star. The Phillies harbor concerns about his defense and durability.

Count me among those who think that hitting is more of a need than pitching. Hamels and Lee will be fine. And then you have Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez, who projects to be a number three caliber starter. Then there’s Kyle Kendrick, who is serviceable and at least slightly better than a replacement level starter. And then there’s the fifth spot, which is a toss-up on any team.

Meanwhile, the offense is horrific. Counting on Chase Utley, Ryan Howard and Jimmy Rollins, at this point, is incredibly risky. Any near-All-Star production they give you should be seen as a bonus.

If you believe reports, Amaro clearly hasn’t chosen which area – pitching or hitting – he will focus on. But I think the answer is pretty clear. I’d take my chances with Lee, Hamels, MAG, Kendrick and [fifth starter]. You could do much worse.

Go get someone that can hit baseballs being thrown at high rates of speed.


15 Responses

  1. How did the Phillies win in 08? How have they lost every year after? Great starting pitching is needed but not at the cost of not being able to get guys to drive in runs. Brown should be in right and Ruf in left but Ruin Tomorrow has determined he’s not even good enough to be on this team. I see this team isn’t going to be relevant this year but that’s mainly due to a crappy ass GM. How are you going to contend with the delmon youngs of the league on your roster?

  2. Do you think we could get Delmon Young back???

    I probably would trade Ruf and some minor league pitching prospects for him. That would be a pretty fair deal. We’re so stacked in the minors that tossing some prospects off wouldn’t matter if you think about it.

    All we really need to do as add a little age and we’ll be ok. I’d like to see a starter or two in their late 30s. I’m sick and tired of young guys on this team. Let’s get older, Rube!

  3. amaro never ceases in amazing me. he needs to be piss tested because a positive for narcotics would go a long way in explaining his increasingly asinine way of doing things.

    in unrelated news, being as poor old glen macnow could use a few bucks since he is unemployed, send him over to my house to shovel my walkway and driveway.

  4. Still love the stories of how rube used to walk around lesile guidel’s apartment back in the early 2000s

  5. I will never understand the Phillies infatuation with young, controllable OF. It seems like once they get a player with any sort of potential, they quickly trade him away and acquire aging talent. The last young player that they really took a flyer on was Victorino and that was only because they were in a position where Abreu had to go.

    Dig it:
    2008 Sign 33 yo Geoff Jenkins with the intention of having him play RF.
    2009 Sign 37 yo Raul Ibanez to play LF
    2012 Sign 34 yo Juan Pierre to play LF
    2014 Sign 36 yo Marlon Byrd

    While all of these dinosaurs manned the CBP grass, we traded away a young, team controlled stud in Hunter Pence, traded away OF prospect Michael Taylor, and refuse to show any faith in Ruf or Brown. I would venture to say that the only legitimate move to bring some youth to the OF was getting Revere and he has been the subject of trade talks since the end of the season.

    Rube is so gross.

  6. What good is having a surplus of pitching if the team can’t hit worth a damn? All that means is Hamels, Lee and company will lose a lot of 2-1 games. Ruben’s mistake is in believing the Old Farts Club (Howard, Utley, Rollins and Chooch) will stay healthy and hit again like they had years ago, a foolish hope that will bite him in the ass once those guys start breaking down which is as inevitable as the sun setting in the west. If Amaro puts all his eggs into pitching, he’s going to regret that decision.

  7. Mr. May hit a total of 12 HRs from June through September (that’s 3/month if you are scoring at home). His ASG appearance was as big a fraud as Bobby Abreau winning a Gold Glove back in the day.

    1. I am so sick of hearing this argument. If you take out any “star” player’s best months, you are going to see that their numbers are fairly pedestrian. Just take a look at the NL HR leader, Pedro Alvarez. If you take out his best two months, he averaged 4.75 HRs during the remaining four month period. Those numbers strike me as fairly “ho hum” but of course people love to regurgitate the local radio hacks and “journalists” without giving the argument any serious thought.

  8. Honestly, I could care less. I will forever be thankful to Pat Gillick and the 2008 Phils for getting the monkey off my back but have zero faith in the current process. Heck out of the big four they are tied with the Flyers for least incompetent.

Comments are closed.