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.

Looking Back
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.

Pitching, Pitching
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. 

2:45 p.m.

3 Comments

Thanks for the goosebumps guys! I’ll never forget Friday night or Sunday. I hope that you find a way to keep Aaron Rowand! Can’t wait for Spring Training! It was too short but exciting!

Great season, both by the team and by your blogging! This has been great insight all the way.

Mark/MLB.com

http://mlblogs.mlblogs.com

The team has a STRONG nucleus of players — sell the Liberty Bell if need be, but keep Rowand on the team. Give Chris Coste more playing time… he’s the “sleeper” in the clubhouse who has demonstrated his ability to do the job. Along with Ruiz, we have a good pair of catchers… and at a reasonable investment.

It’s been a MOST interesting year and I look forward to next year… thanks for your daily musings!

bob

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