Kline, Stanton Rumored For Helms

Paul Hagen is reporting the Phillies have been in talks with the Giants and Reds about Wes Helms. With the Giants, the target is seemingly LHP Steve Kline. With the Reds, Hagen says it’s LHP Mike Stanton.

In both cases, I ask, “why?”

The Phils already have a grizzled veteran LOOGY in Vic Darensbourg. Clay Condrey (lifetime AVG against lefties) and JC Romero round out the lefty contingent in the bullpen.

Here’s what I wrote about Kline:

Kline will cost $1.85MM this season, which means the Phillies may have to eat $1MM. Not terrible. Kline, 34, is from Sunbury, Pa. (near Bloomsburg University), and carries a career 3.51 ERA. 2007, however, was his worst season since his rookie year. He went 1-2 in 46 innings with a 4.70 ERA and a rough 1.652 WHIP. And lefties hit .318 off him last season — that isn’t promising (career lefty AVG is .238). Kline would probably work in a limited role, like a mirror image of Francisco Rosario. Would Vic Darensbourg be that much worse? I also found this quote from Kline about being booed in Baltimore: “There’s nothing worse than getting booed at home. St. Louis fans are too good for that. They understand the game more than most people.” Sounds like trouble, eh?

For the 40-year-old Stanton, it’s as simple as his 5.93 ERA last year with the Reds. I’m much more comfortable going with Darensbourg, whose spring stats weren’t that bad. Lefties are hitting .243 off him, which could be better, but isn’t bad.

The main argument, however, for me being against these moves is the Phillies really need a right-handed middle reliever. Currently, it’s JD Durbin out there, and I have no faith in him anymore. It’s likely they’d rather wait on Francisco Rosario to get healthy, but is that the smart move? Why not have a seasoned righty to balance a seasoned lefty like a Darensbourg?

With Helms, it’s true we should be happy with what we get, but they’re pointing the dart just a bit off center here.

Click to comment


  1. Frank

    March 26, 2008 at 11:40 am

    ugh. well, if you see Vic Darensbourg as a leftie specialist of sorts (I mean, what other role is there for him?) .243 ain’t gonna hack it. You almost have to do better looking elsewhere.

    Honestly, I don’t really care. You can never have enough LHP relief pitching, Wes Helms just doesn’t have a role here (weren’t they just talking about giving him is outright release)… I mean, we’re gonna spend this whole season looking for sevicable LHP bullpen arms- might as well get cracking.

    By the way- good to be back visiting your great site (still the best Phillies site!)- spring is here! Glad to see I’m still on the link list!

  2. Tim Malcolm

    March 26, 2008 at 12:07 pm

    You’re right that you can never have too many left-handed bullpen arms, but when you’re only current trading chip is Helms (yikes), you need to fill the No. 1 priority. Right-handed relief is No. 1 in my book.

  3. xfactor

    March 26, 2008 at 12:20 pm

    A lefty in the pen is a greater need than a righty unless (until) Gordon hits the DL. The Phillies need the lefty equivalent of Madson, a 7th inning guy who also backs up Romero as the set up man in a pinch. A quality LOOGY would be better than nothing, but realistically we need more than a one-batter specialist.

    The choices aren’t great. Darensbourg is insurance with a chance to pitch his way onto the club from AAA. Ditto Blackley if he chooses the Phillies. Kline is more appealing than Stanton or Aaron Fultz, who was just released, but that’s not saying much. JA Happ might be called upon to fill the lefty void as the season progresses, but leaving him in the rotation at AAA until he earns a rotation spot makes more sense.

    JD Durbin won’t be here for long–he needs to have a breakout season in AAA to get that fire back and show he belongs. I’m not holding my breath.

    Should be an interesting week.

  4. Tim Malcolm

    March 26, 2008 at 1:18 pm

    Remember they have Clay Condrey, who would be underused as a long man because that’s Chad Durbin’s current role. Condrey could slide into the sixth inning role.

  5. ped

    March 26, 2008 at 2:50 pm

    I think we should be happy with whatever help we can get for Helms.

  6. Mike

    March 26, 2008 at 3:41 pm

    While Myers continued his torrid spring today, how about Andrew Carpenter??? 4 IP, 0 R, 2H against the yanks!

  7. NateB

    March 26, 2008 at 4:20 pm

    who is andrew carpenter and when will he join the phillies???

  8. Mike M.

    March 26, 2008 at 4:48 pm

    Carpenter has never pitched above clearwater but is defintiely due for a promotion. Last year he won 17 games and lived up to our expectations. Without looking it up, I believe we drafted him in 2006, which is turning out to be a very strong draft for the Phils. But let’s not get too excited yet. We’ll have to see how he does in Clearwater, Reading, or Allentown. By the way, the last time a minor league pitcher for the phils struck out the side against the Yanks in spring training was Gavin Floyd. So let’s just hope he continues to pitch well against better talent.

  9. JPSnydes

    March 26, 2008 at 9:00 pm

    Steve Kline is from Winfield, and went to Lewisburg High. No where near Bloomsburg University (30 mins). Think more Bucknell University (since its in the same hometown as him) more famous for beating #2 seeded Kansas a few years back in the tourny.

    Oh yeah, and I wouldn’t want him in Philly, he’s a prick!! The only thing Philly about him is he keeps his hat dirty!!!

  10. Tim Malcolm

    March 26, 2008 at 10:44 pm

    Kline’s bio had him from Sunbury, so that’s what I had. Didn’t know he was such a “prick.”

  11. typhoon

    March 26, 2008 at 10:47 pm

    Andrew Carpenter pitched a great season in ’07 for Clearwater, he will start out pitching in Reading in ’08 along with Outman and Carrasco. The Reading Phillies should be a very good team this year!

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