Looking Ahead & Back
October 8, 2007
While our offices were basically closed today because of the Columbus Day holiday, the players were able to drop by the clubhouse to clean out their lockers. The clubhouse was open 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. today. We allowed media access from 11 a.m. to 12 noon.
Iguchi, Victorino, Helms, Werth, Gordon, Howard, Lohse, Romero, Geary, Mesa came by in the morning.
Some players will be clearing out their lockers for good. Others, just until next season.
Potential free agents on the Phillies include Barajas, Iguchi, Rowand, Alfonseca, Garcia, Lieber, Lohse, Mesa and Romero. The Phillies have a club option on Nunez.
Certainly Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley and Ryan Howard continued being among the elite at their positions. That’s a mighty big trio to anchor the offense. Pat Burrell came back and had a very productive second half.
Speaking of Rollins, I guess all that **** about him not being a prototype leadoff hitter is dead. He set the standard this summer for a leadoff hitter.
Werth, Dobbs, Victorino all contributed in big ways. They will all be back.
Rowand had a career year in his free agent season. We want him back but Aaron has the right to test the free agent market.
Desperation, stupid, panic….those were the descriptions when the Phillies moved starter Myers to the bullpen as the closer. The game today is played in the back end of the bullpen and Brett is one of the best there. He has the stuff and mental approach to be a classic closer.
The farm system plugged two big holes this season in Ruiz and Kendrick. Ruiz was solid behind the plate, threw out base stealers and can hit. He’s always been a hitter. Kendrick stepped up from AA ball and filled a huge void in the starting rotation.
That will be the main focus this off-season..….for the Phillies and lot of other clubs.
At the risk of boring everyone, it bears repeating…pitching is the most scarce commodity in baseball. It will not be easy to add to the staff. The free agent market is very thin and prices for the thinness will be thick.
The key to pitching is to produce it from within. The Phillies have some young arms coming but they may be a year or half-year away from being ready.
Ryan Madson and Scott Mathieson are expected to be healthy again next spring and they will be huge additions to the bullpen.